Thursday, November 12, 2015

New Discoveries

We made a lot of new discoveries this week.

First up is two fruit discoveries:

This is a picture of a custard apple from the outside, and the inside.
You eat around each black seed—very sweet! I liked eating the soft inside around each seed sack. Elder A thought it was bitter.
Together we ate it up!
We have been buying and juicing small limes each week, adding the juice to our water at meal times. It usually takes 4 limes to satisfy our weekly needs. Last week I saw some large limes so decided to buy them instead.
I only bought 2 since I was sure they would have a lot more juice than the little ones we have been using. However, when I cut into the first one to juice it, this is what I found:
It looks like an orange—and tastes like an orange—and is an orange! So no more paying the equivalent of 50 cents for oranges anymore. The local variety is just fine! But it’s back to the small limes for our lime juice.

As we’ve shared earlier, we take walks most mornings in a nice park about 5 blocks away. Lately we’ve noticed another park just a couple of blocks in the opposite direction and decided to check it out. Look what we found:

The first day we went there, we could even go inside and read about what it is.
It was built during the Lodi dynasty, Sunni Muslims who ruled over Delhi from 1451-1526 AD. There are also a few smaller ruins around the park (seen here behind piles of burning trash),
plus an interesting pagoda:
I particularly liked this sign:

Of course the sign is on one side of a walking path and a busy road is on the other,
but it’s a nice thought!

This week was the Festival of Lights (Diwali), the biggest festival of the year for the Hindus.
Many places decorated with lots of lights, even this gas station.
People gave gifts to family and close friends (often sweets and nuts and fruits) and they set off tons of fire crackers and fireworks. The traffic has been even crazier than usual so we spent a bit more time inside. The mission president’s wife gave us a roll of packing tape and told us to tape around our drafty windows and doors as much as possible. (The tape shows up as shiny around the glass.)
(She had asked about caulk and weather stripping but couldn’t find any. And the people in Mongolia also use tape for this purpose.) It’s really made a difference! And we used a cut up bubble mailer to weather strip our front door.
We are onto using our second air masks already. This picture shows the difference of a 3-week old mask, a 1-day old mask, and a new one. The air pollution is real!

The last adventure I want to share is about a trip out to Noida on Tuesday afternoon—the day before Diwali. The taxis were charging 2.6 times their usual fare (supply and demand works here) but we had an appointment with the branch president and his counselor so away we went. When we got there, the pest exterminator was spraying for bugs and rats so we couldn’t meet inside. No problem, we just grabbed some chairs and met in the courtyard out front. All of a sudden, a troop of about 20 monkeys came jumping down from the roof. The security guard grabbed his stick and kept them away from us. However, one of them had peed from up above and it went onto/into my purse! Luckily I keep my zippers closed and my shawl in a ziplock. As soon as we got home a few hours later, both the ziplock and my purse got a thorough cleaning!
Here is a picture of the kind of monkeys they were—I didn’t get a picture of the exact culprit.

We are beginning to see some effect of our efforts here—both branch presidents we are working with are very open to support and leadership training for both themselves and their branch leaders. Elder A is so effective in this kind of situation—so loving and kind in his guidance and suggestions. And we hear that both of them now have a schedule for holding all their branch leadership meetings regularly, have organized Home teaching and visiting teaching routes, and are really excited about the potential in their branch, especially the larger of the two branches. Dwarka has about 300 members but only averages 75 at church on Sunday while Noida has 80 members and averages 12-20 on Sundays. We alternate which branch we attend and were at Noida this last week. There were 30 there—but about 8 were visitors from Rexburg, Idaho, 5 were missionaries, 5 were investigators and that means 12 were branch members. We still have a lot of work to do! Here is the Noida Branch President on the left with his counselor. We love them both!

Oh, and stay tuned. We learned this week that Elder Rasband is coming to India to help form a stake in Bangalore this weekend, then coming to Delhi for a meeting with the YSA next Monday night before going to Mumbai and then Pakistan with our Mission President. Elder A and I have been writing up articles about newsworthy events in Delhi for the India Newsroom page and/or the Facebook page of the church in India. So I guess we’ll just have to go to this meeting as well. We feel blessed!


  1. The park and ruins are beautiful. Sounds like you guys are having some success. I like reading about your experiences.

  2. These are incredible stories. I feel like I am there when I read your posts. New food, new animals, new air, new environment, new precautions and new people. Thank you for your dedication!

  3. Wow! Those crazy monkeys. I can't imagine having a meeting where monkeys roam free. You should try taking pics of animals so we can see what kinds you see there! And those masks- even after 1 day! Can't imagine that going in your lungs. Is it the worst riding in the taxis? Hooray for meeting another member of the 12!!

  4. That fruit looks yummy! And those air masks look really dirty! And what interesting stories you'll have to share about all the animals you meet. Glad you had your scarf in a ziplock bag.