September 26, 2008

Back to the Job of Being Missionaries

  • Well things have calmed down and we are back to our normal missionary work. Except we still can't wear our tags. I miss wearing it; it was so easy to refer people to it to pronounce my name. They have such a hard time saying Jenks it is crazy.
  • The work is going good. We have quite a few investigators. They aren’t progressing as well as I would hope, they are all having a hard time gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon and that is the first step. They mostly want proof that it really happened. We keep telling them that they have to pray to find out for themselves, but they don’t. I hope this week they will have that desire and will pray to Heavenly Father to find out for themselves.
  • I want to tell you about this family. They are the Paul Mathew family. They are so awesome. They were baptized the week before I came. They already have such a great testimony of the gospel. It is awesome. I love visiting them. They are my favorite lessons. They always feed us. She gives good food that I like though, so that is good. What is funny is they make us eat so much. It is usually like 3 times as much as what normal Indians eat. We eat until we are about to throw up. I have never been that full in my entire life. They are so awesome though. That is why we eat so much.

September 21, 2008

Just a Bit More

Well I only have four minutes. Sorry London I will get to yours next week. Or I will write you a real letter . . . . Before I forget, there isn’t anything I really need. You could send drink packages like crystal light and stuff like that. Also I need my line of authority. And addresses for Grandma and Grandpa, and Grandma, and Aunt Char. And any others you can think of. Have a Great week. And keep doing what you do. Have fun and I'll talk to you again soon. I wish I had more time. I love you all!!!ELDER JENKS

I must add this last bit of his letter from last week. It has become the most important part for me. The missionaries have 30 minutes to check and send emails each week. Devon says, "...I only have four minutes." As I have thought about that, I see the exactness of his obedience. What would it matter if he took 35 minutes to finish up the email; or took an extra 15 so that he could send an email to his brother? Would his missionary service be any less? Probably not; but would he be fully obedient? No. It is very comforting to me, his mother, to know of his desire to be obedient to the very minute, second. Through that obedience will come the blessings; blessings of protection and success and personal growth. Isn't it wonderful when your child becomes your teacher? ! MM

September 18, 2008

More on the Sons of Mosiah in India

First about all the happenings in Bangalore. An assistant and an office elder were on exchanges. Elder Ivie and Elder Valluri. They were just out finding people. While they were out walking, it was like 7 at night. There was a big festival. There are huge Hindu festivals here all the time. They ran into one. There were a bunch of drunk guys who weren’t very happy to see Elder Ivie, because he is white. The Elders ran away because the guys wanted to hurt them. They ran to the police station. Before they got there the “Mob” (I really don’t know how many guys were there) caught up to them. They beat up Elder Ivie. I don’t know how bad. He is still alive and looks the same so I assume not too bad. They then took them to the police, accusing them of offering money to join our church. Since this is illegal, they arrested them. They were in jail for 3 days then released. They are fine and well, so no worries. . . . . . . Everyone is fine though. They Sent Elder Ivie home 2 weeks early. They took out all the missionaries in Bangalore. The only ones left are the assistants, office elders, and the zone leaders in Bangalore. All the other ones got sent to other areas. I don’t know how long that will be like that. We are out of lock down. It just meant that we had to stay in the apartment for a couple of days. Then Friday and Saturday we could only visit those investigators that had a baptismal date set. We are out and prosolyting now. We just can't wear our tags yet. That is our only restriction.

It is somewhat disconcerting to hear about events like this occuring in the mission where your son is serving. But as I think back over the history of the church, I remember multiple times when missionaries have spent time in jail. Establishing the church and it's truths throughout the world is not always easy businness. I still believe that my missionary is safer there in India than he would be at home, living the life of an average 19 year old! MM

All is Well in Coimbatore

  • I am still in Coimbatore with Elder Hansen. He didn’t go with me to register. I flew pretty much by myself the whole time. There were always missionaries there to meet me at the airport though. To register I just had to go to the office and fill out a bunch of papers and sign them. The reason I had to go somewhere else was because no one has ever registered in Coimbatore. They usually just register everyone in Bangalore. I didn’t do that though. I went to Bangalore first, but then they decided that with all the happenings there they didn’t want me to register there so I flew to Hyderabad where I registered. I stayed there for 3 days. We were on lock down most of the time there so I didn’t do much. This past week hasn’t been the greatest for missionary work. We haven’t gotten much done. This week will be good though. We are all safe here in Coimbatore. There isn’t too much unrest here.
  • My apartment is sweet. It is the best apartment in the mission. I don’t know if I told you that. It is just like living in America, just no carpet. Everything else is pretty much the same. We live a pretty good life as missionaries.
  • Food is still not so great. Last night we went to this investigator's house and it was her birthday so she fed us. She fed us this stuff called mutton biriyani. It is just rice with spices and meat. I don’t really like it. Anyway, mutton isn’t lamb here I don’t know if that is how it is in America, but that is how I understood it. Mutton here is Goat. Gross. Especially if you saw the goats here. They are nasty, but anyway about every third bite I would get some mutton and it was so gross. So many times I wanted to throw up. I kept it down though. I drank lots of water. Experiences like that happen about twice a week. The mutton is so nasty it is all gritty and gross. You would understand if you had it. Blah!! Another thing I hate is they always put curd on it. It is pretty much curdled milk. . . . Now you know some of the gross things I have to deal with every week. So nasty!!!

September 9, 2008

Wanakum Family

  • Wanakum (Von-a-cum) Family, That is some language that I can't remember, but it means hello. Either Telegu, Hindi, or Tamil. One of those. They speak so many languages it is so crazy. Most everyone can speak 3 to 5 languages here. It is hard to tell them apart but they are definitely different. It is kinda fun trying to learn all that I can.
  • Oh by the way I'm in Hyderabad for awhile now. Somehow they forgot to get me registered. Once you get to India you have to register and they have to approve you within 14 days. I have been here a little longer and fell through the cracks. So I haven't been registered yet. I have been flying around the country for the last 2 days. I have only been in India and already I have been in half the cities I can serve in; how awesome is that? Every city is so different. I love every one though. India is awesome.
  • The food I don't like is mostly everything. They just put so many spices in everything and it is really overpowering. I just have to eat a lot of rice and bread with it. Bread here is really good, like chapati and rotti and naan all are very good and rice is normal. . . . I can eat mostly everything now, I just don't enjoy it. HAHA Everyone says that will change eventually. . . . . I'm not very good at meals without a recipe. I just don't really remember how to make things. I would like recipes like pancakes, stroganouf, cookies, maybe some soup, some kind of chicken dishes, and just stuff like that, anything that you think would be relatively easy to make.
  • Everything is well here and I learn so much everyday. We pretty much find (street contact) all day long, because we don't have very many new investigators. I love being a missionary. Sometimes I feel like those big characters at Disneyland. Like Mickey Mouse and Pluto and people like that, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love the gospel. I know I didn't always show it, but it gives me so much happiness and joy. I am so grateful to be able to share what I have with others. I know this church is true and that everything I teach everyday, is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I love it or I wouldn't be here. I love everything about missionary work, even the dangerous parts, it makes it more exciting. I love you all and hope everything stays well.

Sons of Mosiah in India

There were two missionaries arrested in Bangalore on Sunday night (September 7th). They were accused of bribing people to join the Church. This is a big problem in India; we can't even call ourselves missionaries, we are just volunteers. Don't worry though they are fine and out of prison. They are fine, they just won't be able to go home until their case is over. So don't go writing President Nichols or anything. He has enough on his plate already. The whole mission is on lock down for a while, because it is all over in the news so people are a bit suspicious of us. Once again don't worry we will all be fine I promise we are being taken care of.

September 7, 2008

First Zone Conference

We went to zone conference yesterday which was awesome. . . . . It was cool, accept we had to ride a bus for 10 hours to get there then 10 hours to get back. It was in Chennai. It is cool; I can't wait until next zone conference. Elder Scott aka Elder Lund (from Declo, Lund is a bad word of some sort in India, so he goes by his first name) is in my zone except he is going home next week. I got to meet him and talk to him. Elder Ward aka Reagan Ward (from Raft River) was his companion so I got to talk to him too. It was pretty awesome. I was on an exchange and we went to subway for lunch. Normal food, awesome! And we were there and Elder Scott and Elder Ward came and my exchange is from Idaho. So we had four guys from Idaho sitting at a subway in India. How crazy is that? I thought it was funny.

Finding aka. Street Contacting

Street contacting is fun. I'm not very good at it. I still have a hard time talking to people that I don’t know. Everyone here will just smile at me so that makes it easier. We just walk up to people and start talking. We just say hi brother what is your name … my name is elder Jenks coming from church. Then we share some part of our message and ask for a contact number to call and come and visit them some day. We normally get numbers because people would rather lie to us then tell us no. They just tell us no over the phone when we call them back at night. It gets kinda annoying. We call it finding not tracting, but it doesn’t really matter. We found a man named Raja (there are lots of those). We taught him the first lesson and are going to teach him the next one this week. I hope it goes somewhere. We will see though, he seemed like he liked our message, but wasn’t sure if he thought it was different from other churches. We will have to fix that soon.

Settling in at Coimbatore

  • I feel like I am on a different planet. It is so weird. People think I am an alien. They always stare and laugh sometimes. It bugs me a little, but I will get used to it. Hopefully sooner than later. We are like two of 6 White people here. Indians think it is so funny to see two white people at the same time. They always stare.
  • I haven't seen any big bugs yet. Just normal sized ones. Except the mosquitoes. They are huge here.
  • The weather is good. It is pretty much like home except a little cooler and more humid. It has rained 3 out of 5 days I have been here. When it rains it rains so much I have never seen so much rain. Two times we were walking when it started to rain and there were no buses or autos to catch. An auto is a taxi like a cushman, it is pretty funny actually. They are fun to ride in. They weave in and out of traffic, it is kinda scary. They are so much faster here than at home.
  • Everyone tries to speak English, but I don’t really know what they are saying. I never thought I could be listening to English but not understand it. Hopefully I will start to understand it soon.
  • I hate the food. The first couple of times I ate it I wanted to throw up so bad. It was nasty. I am starting to be able to eat it even if it is nasty though. I just drink lots and lots of water. The other two missionaries in my area are from India and Nepal so they are going to teach me how to cook something
  • Coimbatore has about 2 to 3 million people in it. Relatively small. haha, comparatively to 12 in Chennai. I have never seen so many people, and they all look the same; it is crazy. Church was interesting very different. They have to translate everything to Tamil because a lot of people understand that better than English. Some people just speak Tamil during their talks so I have a lot of time to just think. I have to give a talk this Sunday. It is missionary Sunday because it is the fifth Sunday. I didn’t really get to talk to my branch president much, but he seems cool. The church here is beautiful. It looks just like a normal church building, but better.
  • Street contacting is interesting because we have to talk to people who speak English so sometimes it is hard to find them. They had 8 baptisms right before I got here so we mostly tract all day long.
  • Something funny I saw here families usually only have one vehicle and it is usually a motorcycle. I saw a family of 7 on one motorcycle, it was crazy. Most of them were little but still that is a lot of people on one motorcycle.