Sunday, February 7, 2016

Only in India!

Look who came walking down our street on Friday!

Yup, a full-grown elephant all decorated up for a wedding.
Life is full of surprises here.

We also went to another wedding this week accompanying one of the ladies we had for Christmas dinner.

It was quite the affair, with a huge tent full of good things to eat—this is just the dessert plate.

Indians really dress up in their fancy clothes for weddings.
This one even had clowns performing—but no elephants.
We never saw the bride or groom since we left a little after 9 and most weddings actually happen in the early hours of the morning. It would be interesting to actually see the ceremony sometime.

We got to do the mission apartment checks last month. There are 2 apartments of sisters and 7 apartments of elders. We liked this sign in one of the apartments.

And several apartments fed us while we were there—how kind!

These fellows know how to cook!

And outside of one of the apartments we spied this watch dog—now that is what I call magnifying your responsibilities!

A couple of weeks ago on Preparation day, Elder and I decided it was time to go see some more sights. We knew that most places are closed on Mondays, our P-day, but we went downtown to see the Parliament Building,
the President’s home,
and India Gate. How could they close outside monuments? Little did we know that 8 days later was Republic Day, a really big national holiday celebrating India’s Constitution. Celebrations include a parade downtown—so the mall connecting the sights we were wanting to see was blocked off! They were already securing the place and making preparations. Well, we did take a couple of shots from afar but I’m thinking we will have to go back again.

Elder and I attended an Inter-faith all-day conference at a college where he got to light a candle along with the other speakers (Tibetan, Catholic, Jew, Bahai, Muslim, etc.) and speak for a few minutes about our church. He showed the 5-minute video about our basic beliefs. It was a great experience.

The mission president and his wife recently returned from another trip to Pakistan and gifted us (as they say in India) a small brass nativity from there. They learned over Christmas how much I love nativities so of course I love it and still have it on our bookshelf!

We continue to visit people in their homes, both active and less-active members, plus those just learning about our church. Here is a picture of a family with 7 kids, the oldest one married so not in the picture. The next-oldest is mother of the 1-year old who bonded with me. The widowed mother works a double shift as an in-home aide trying to support her kids, but only earns about $50/month for her unskilled labor. We are standing on the top of their apartment building since the electricity had gone out (it does several times a day here).

People are so protective of us! Here are our 4-security guards, members of a family we had just shared FHE and dinner with, walking us out to meet our taxi. They kindly spoke to our driver to make sure he knew where we lived, and then asked us to call them and let them know we had arrived home safely. We are spoiled by the care of the members here.

We have been told that this is the winter that wasn’t here in India—it has been very mild. And already it is warming up into the 70’s during the daytime. We certainly hope that isn’t a harbinger of how summer will be. Stay tuned.


  1. We can certainly see the smog in those pictures. So neat to see their buildings. Those are beautiful clothes at the wedding! I'm glad Mom can get cuddle time with some toddlers- such a great grandma! I enjoyed the video on the church. It certainly is packed. Also happy to know you have people watching out for your safety. Love you much!

    1. It is also very humid here, but yes, you can see, feel and smell the pollution at times. It was nice to cuddle with this baby. I've been able to do that with several kiddos. I tell them I'm missing my grandkids!

  2. Love your adventure! Noticed the mask Elder Allen was wearing. How often do you have to wear masks?

    1. We wear our masks whenever we are outside and not visiting with people. But the pollution is going down as it warms up--it is often in the 150-350 range now instead of 400-900--but Denver thinks it is bad when it is over 50!

  3. It probably seems strange to see open uncluttered streets. I'm glad the members are very protective of you. It must be nest to come across elephants as a mode of transportation. You both look like you are doing well. So glad I can see how your mission is going. Keep up the good work!

  4. As Frances said when she was in India, "Another day, another elephant!"

  5. Megan says that you sure go to weddings a lot. Sarah noticed the smog too. How interesting to see an elephant walking down your street. Maybe someday you can actually see the wedding ceremony!