Friday, October 14, 2016

Change in the Air

The latter part of September was very busy. There was Seminary Graduation,
branch presidency training about the Self Reliance program from the Littles, the senior missionary couple over self reliance in all of India,
a breakfast with the Country and Asia Area Directors of Self Reliance,
and a Primary Activity where we practiced all the songs for the Sacrament Program.

We also helped put on a temple preparation fireside for the district and received training from Elder William, an Indian Area 70 who thinks we are getting close to being ready to become a stake! Yeah!

Of course we continue to visit families in their homes. In one of the families out in Dwarka, the Patils, the husband is a brick worker and he has single-handedly built his family a new home right next to the one-room they have been renting for quite a few years.

His wife is so excited and it really is very nice, though it was dark when we got our tour so the pictures don’t do it justice.

We also visited Br. Robinson, his wife, and baby son. Tradition here is for the expectant mother to return home to her village about 2-3 months before the baby comes and then stay about 5 months after their birth. It was pretty exciting to finally meet the little fellow in person and also be introduced to the Indian Baby Sling.
We were told that babies sleep in these slings for about 2 years. What a cutie!

The very end of September, our eldest daughter and her family came for a ten day visit.  We saw a few sights in Delhi--including church in Dwarka-
-then took a 5-day road trip to Agra (Taj Mahal and Agra Fort)
and Jaipur (Amber Fort, elephants, snake charmers, working camels, etc.).

Of course the best part of it all was visiting with kids and grandkids! Next week our son, daughter-in-law and their oldest daughter (10) will join us for a week of fun!

With October, the temperatures begin to drop, especially at night. It is now getting down into the 70’s, though still climbing into the 90’s for highs. The humidity is also dropping, so it no longer feels like you are entering a sauna when you step outside of your flat. Yeah! And the biggest festival of the year, Diwali, the festival of lights, is October 30 this year. The stores are already putting up their lights and selling sweets and other gifts for people to buy. There will be nights of fireworks as it gets closer.

Today marks the first day of our second year here in Delhi. We have loved it! But unfortunately, we won’t be here much longer. Last month during routine check-ups (you have quite a few after heart surgery), both Elder’s regular doctor and cardiologist advised him to stay inside with an air purifier during the winter months here when the air is so bad (worst in the world last year!) They emphasized that the pollution has long term chronic implications for the lungs but short term acute implications for those with coronary heart disease—which now includes our beloved Elder. What to do? The mission doctor in Hong Kong agreed with our doctors here so we made the painful decision to ask for a reassignment for the last 5-6 months of our mission. Our request was relayed to Salt Lake City the last week of September.  President Hodges talked to President Funk (Asia Area President) a day ago and learned that he expects to hear where we are being sent within this next week.  The decision is made by one of the Twelve Apostles, just like our original mission call. Stay tuned…..

Random pictures: A truck with eyes painted on its front.

The building by the Dwarka Branch continues to grow upwards.
A goat or two in an auto rickshaw.
Elder with a couple of the guards that work at our flat or the mission building. They are so helpful!