Monday, May 28, 2012

Few things more inspiring than singing the primary song "The Church of Jesus Christ" with 2000+ missionaries in our Sunday evening fireside tonight.

Our Mission Area

India New Delhi Mission
We found this map in the MTC before church.  Our mission is the purple portion.  The mission includes the upper part of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and an area to the far east that's so remote it has no name.  (PS as of May 31 - I was told the unnamed part is part of India.  If you look closely there is a gap between Bangladesh and Nepal that is India.  I'm learning new things every day)
Who would have thought that we'd have a third-world experience in Provo...  Angela was getting out of the shower this morning and the shower handle fell off in her hand with the water running full force - and extremely hot.  After several failed attempts of us trying to fix it, we called the front desk and they sent someone up, who also couldn't turn it off.  As he was leaving he said, there was no shut off valve, so they would have to shut off the water to the entire hotel to get it fixed.  Sure glad we had our showers  My only regret was not getting a picture of the gushing water (fortunately the water was staying in the tub) before we left for church.  Post script - when we got back, they still hadn't fixed the problem, but the water was off.  We changed rooms... three transfers in less than a week.  Must be a record.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Today, Saturday, has been a busy day. After 7 days of the "true" MTC experience (barracks style), we have moved to the Marriott in downtown Provo. The same great rate of $44.00 a night including all the food you can eat at the MTC cafeteria. It's not as convenient to everything on the MTC campus, but the amenities are much improved. The porter told us we have the most bags he has ever seen for a senior missionary couple (is that a compliment?).

Earlier today, we were happy we could go to the memorial services for Julie Grow's mother (Julie is Paul's sister-in-law), who died unexpectedly from a heart attack. We were able to see all of Julie's brothers and her sister as well as her children Heidi, Heather, Aryn and Andy and their families (her oldest son, Adam and his family are in Vietnam and were not able to come back). We love Julie and her husband, Dave, and their whole family and were glad we were able to be with and support them at such a difficult time.

Tonight we went to the Bombay House for dinner. It has some of the best Indian food in the area. We wanted an authentic North India meal to prepare us for what's to come. We had vegetable Samosas for appetizers and then chicken Makhani and Daal Maharani (lentils) with rice and two types of bread - paratha and garlic naan. All ordered mild of course. It was delicious. For dessert we had Gulab Jamun (pastry balls soaked in rose flavored syrup). Now have faith and go out to your favorite Indian restaurant, and order these and you won't be disappointed. Angela actually liked everything and we ate more than we should have.  Our only regret - not getting a picture before it was all gone... 

We're now back in our hotel, having unpacked again, and looking forward tomorrow to a spirit-filled Sunday with the MTC Elders and Sisters - and praying that our visas will come soon so we can leave for India on Thursday.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

We heard today, we are not "leafing" on Monday as was the original plan (okay, bad pun, but you do what you have to to stay positive).  We're waiting for our visas.  We're tentatively scheduled to fly out on Thurday, May 31.  It's hard not leaving when we thought, but we're hoping it's just a temporary delay.   
This past week in the Mission Training Center has been just fantastic.  Our first meeting on Monday was in the same room that we met in when Bryan, Eric, Tyler and Jared went on their missions and parents were allowed to accompany their missionaries for a short meeting and a tearful goodbye. It was also the last room we were in at the end of our training and was another tearful event to leave our teachers and those other couples we came to know and love in such a short time..  We spent the week learning effective ways to present the Gospel message, and we were a little suprised to discover that we're a pretty good team.

This picture shows our "district" - the two other couples (the Farmers going to Mongolia and the Tanners going to Guatemala) - that we spent the week with and two of our MTC teachers (excellent), in front of the world map that has become "world" famous to those that have gone through the MTC. Every couple we met had a faith promoting experience on how they were called to their respective missions.  Truly the Lord has been involved in all of our lives to help us have this life changing experience.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Our MTC Experience

Our MTC Home
WITHDRAWAL - the best word to describe our first night at the MTC.  No TV, no pantry or refrigerator, no Sonic stop, no fluffy pillows or lounge chair.  Thank goodness Angela still had Facebook...  It's not that bad, all the luggage arrived and we made it here safely.

This weekend we spent with friends and family before actually registering on Monday at 10 am.  We had a great visit with Allen and Sheri Bostrom, friends we have known for 20+ years but haven't seen for many years.  Sunday we went to Church with Paul's sister, Leslie and her husband Rick and Paul's brother Randy.  Later that day we got to visit with Dave and Julie Grow (Paul's sister-in-law) and their family.  It is always great to renew family and friends that we don't see often enough.  We're back in our spacious 'one room' apt for a good night's sleep.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Setting Apart

Tonight we were "set apart" to be full-time missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by the President of our Stake, President Brent Rawson.  Being set apart means we were specifically called to serve in the India New Delhi mission for a period of 18 months and given specific blessings to help us while we serve.  It was a great spiritual experience and we were fortunate have Tyler, Julie, their boys Zachary and Brandon, and Jared with us, as well as President Rawson's wife, Nena.  We head out tomorrow morning for the MTC - Mission Training Center, in Provo for the next week before heading to India on Memorial Day.     

Thursday, May 17, 2012

We're off

For all of you who have this blog address, this is our first official test message before we leave the area.  We want to especially thank Sandi Gibbons for creating our blog site and giving us the basics to get started.  Sandi, we'll make you proud.