Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sweet is the Work

It’s hard to believe that July is over already! But it has felt good to ease into full-time missionary work again. We are so thankful for all the skilled professionals that helped Elder in the hospital. Here is a shot of a few of them as he leaves.

And Sister Adams made sure he felt welcomed as he returned home.

He also received a few homemade get well cards and many get well wishes from friends and family. Thanks again for all your prayers.

We did take it easy for a couple of weeks, and it was such a sweet blessing to be able to again attend church with all our friends out in Dwarka. In the weeks we had missed, it’s like they realized that we almost got sent home and we aren’t going to be with them forever, so it’s up to them to start doing more of the things they need to be doing. Branch council meeting was so fun to experience! And average attendance is up from 65 when we got here to 85-95. Way to go!

And the next Sunday in Noida we saw our first baptism out there—there have been a few others but we just weren’t there for them.
Their baptismal font is also on the roof of the building. And here is a shot of the neighborhood
and one of its residents sitting on the gate of the church.
So Noida, the smallest branch in the district, who was averaging only about 15-20 at Sacrament Meeting when we first got here (8 of which were us missionaries), is now averaging 35-45 a week and one week they were above 50. There are only 80 members on the role so President Gygi and those young missionaries are working super hard on both reactivating and finding.

We had a super fun visitor on July 22.
Many of you will recognize Rob Schill, who served as ward clerk when Elder was bishop, and then replaced him as bishop of the Marston Lake Ward in 2008. He was in town for a week and made time to come spend an evening with us, going to Dwarka Branch’s Pioneer Celebration.
He seemed to enjoy mingling with the Indian Saints,
listening to stories about pioneers then (Utah) and now (India), watching stick pulls
and biscuit eating contests
and getting a taste of real Indian food.
Here is some of what he shared about the experience:

I happened to come when they were having their branch celebration of Pioneer Day and saw Sister Allen lead the primary children in a song and heard Elder Allen bear a wonderful testimony of his mission and about being a pioneer. I got in my cab that night with a hot plate of food, a warm goodbye from the branch and such an uplifted feeling for having been there.”

Any of the rest of you who might find yourself in New Delhi in the next 8 months, just let us know and we will give you a taste of the real India!

We are in the middle of monsoon season over here and I caught a glimpse this past week of a couple of the Noida Elders trying to protect themselves from the downpour.
And I’ve noticed that even if it isn’t raining at the time, the humidity is often 95-98% so it might as well be raining.

A week ago, the number of senior couples in the mission doubled with the arrival of the Hubbards (on the right--Public Affairs, Humanitarian and supporting one branch) and the Blunts (MLS like us so supporting two branches).
We are so excited! Sister Adams has made up a FHE schedule for the first Monday of the month and we get to host this next Monday evening. What’s on the menu? The Allen family’s favorite--Chicken Sundaes/haystacks of course!

Last night all of us senior couples, plus the Hodges, attended the wedding, dinner and reception for the daughter of President and Sister Katuka, he having been baptized back in the 80’s and one of the most experienced members in Delhi.  I believe he was the first missionary from Delhi, he is a current Branch President—but also previous branch president many times—not always serving in the branch where he resides, and previous District President. Sister Katuka is District Relief Society president, branch YW president, and also teaches a combined Institute/Seminary class in their branch. They both were on the couple’s conference committee with us, plus they serve on the district Self Reliance committee with us. The groom is also from Delhi but both he and his new wife are currently attending BYU Provo. It was the largest wedding we have yet attended as President Katuka is also very well connected in the community.
Here is a picture of President Katuka on the left with current District President Suku and his counselor President Palanivel at the Branch Presidents training on July 2.
Here is the wedding, and then the reception with the bride and groom in traditional Indian Wedding clothes.
Elder enjoyed the dance floor.

The work continues here in Delhi—there is always much to do. We are thankful to still be here participating in it.


  1. Matthew: I like your pictures and your words.
    Megan: I like the wedding picture, they have very pretty clothes.
    Sarah: I loved the wedding room. It was very pretty.
    Uriah: we are glad that you are still there too.
    Me: so much going on! Glad you are still there and that there are more couples.

  2. I love that you are still there and that the people recognized that they need to take responsibility to make things work. Thanks for the update.

  3. How exciting! You are both such a blessing to our Indian community! Love reading of your mission and the wonderful pictures!

  4. Elder looks fantastic! They obviously took great care of him. So glad you two are able to continue!