Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Troops

Indian troops went to France and were honored there. They marched down a street I love to see. At certain times of the year you can walk along this street and find a chestnut under the trees and put it in your pocket and keep it forever. Well, earthly forever.
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Friday, September 25, 2009


Socks. Oh how glad I am that I brought a six pack of them to India. Sand at the beach is fun to wiggle your toes through but on the living room floor it is a different matter. It is delightful to retreat to a pair of cozy cotton socks. The sock with pink was worn once, the orange striped one was worn a few times. They are both clean. The sock with the blue stripe was put on this morning to walk around on the floor that was just mopped. If you were fixated on total cleanliness you would go crazy with Indian city life.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Pondicherry For Now

Someday many families will gather in Pondicherry.....

For now we are excited and happy for one man. The worth of a soul...
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Pondicherry - The Bottom Line

All the traveling to Pondicherry was for one soul.

This man was excited about what he had learned about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He brought his friends and students to listen with him. There is no Church in his area and he was willing to wait to have baptism. It took special decisions all the way up the line to Hong Kong but last week this man was baptised. The desire of his heart was met.

In patience came another blessing. This man brought his brother and sister-in-law to be taught and when all three were baptised their parents came to be with them and to study.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Preparing For Our Visit To Pondicherry

We were to go to Pondicherry again and this time on assignment by the mission president to see a man who had investigated the Church while he was in France studying for a PHd. The first time we were in Pondicherry it was just for a long day but we did find a hotel by the ocean that we liked. It was very pricey and now going back we were not sure whether we would go once or several times to Pondicherry. We decided to search out a bed and breakfast with
ambiance and
security and though it had Indian elements ( a bathtub that took an hour to fill) we enjoyed the French family who were the owners.
We rested well and the price was fantastic!
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What Do You Find In Pondicherry?

An ocean, still part of the Bay of Bengal ...
A lighthouse ...
A couple of big churches ...
And a very big statue of Gandhi. So why do you make the three hour trip south? Just because you have come a long way to India and in this part of India it seems that there is not a lot of historical sites to see. It may not be true but we have asked many and we think it is.

The waves crash on the shore here and that could be relaxing but this mission is not a time to relax so will we come yet a third time? See the next blog and still we will all be guessing.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Pondicherry is a small city three hours south of Chennai. It was settled by the French and in the old quarter you can see big doors and walls and once in a while you get a glimpse of cool, green gardens.
We have visited there twice. The first time we ate at tables on the sand and this time the same area was being changed into a beach side patio.
After the tsunami the beach was lined with huge, protective rocks.
Pondicherry was established in 1742 by the French. Many came to conquer but the French always won and maintained the area under their rule until 1954. Joan of Arc is still a presence to this day.
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Firm Foundation

All of the marble is down and the grout is in. This should be a cool and welcoming place on a hot Sunday morning.
The machines clicked on and the first polishing began. There will be eight. The floor will have seven polishings and then be protected during the building of the walls.
When all the walls are in place the paper and coverings come up and the marble floor will be polished one more time.
Thank you for the beautiful floor. Now could we just make one more change over here? That will make everything perfect!
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There it is a straight shot down on the fire escape in our new building. Work is moving forward and we can move in about five to six weeks. On sight last week we saw the marble floor get its first polishing and now it is finished and covered with protection and the interior walls will be started soon.

This fire escape that you see is located in the back corner of the building. It is right out of the women's Relief Society room which is right next to the children's nursery room. The question of women and children first is not an issue. It just seems that only fire would motivate you to step out!
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Remember when air for your tires and water for your radiator were free in the good old USA? Are radiators almost a thing of the past? I guess not obsolete just disposable.

India also offers buckets of sand in case of fire which is great because....................................................

You often have large tanker trucks full of gas parked twenty feet away from the pumps as little autos stream through. Lots of opportunity for sparks to fly.
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Monday, September 7, 2009


Some place in the world there was a procession fifty miles long to celebrate this Hindu god. We looked out one night and saw the traditional design usually drawn in front of door ways now drawn in the street. It was enlarged to fill the whole intersection. A parade began and it was not longer than 32 feet, not fifty miles. Never the less the worship was sincere. Our neighborhood is very Hindu but still I have never seen more that thirty people in any religious parade here.

Hinduism is not really a religion but a way of life. In a sense you could say that it is a political party too. This party lost control in the election in the late spring. It continues to make serious mistakes and is losing respect of the next generation. For awhile news of the US was blocked to our computers, but little things that we picked up made me think that our political system is not in very good shape either.

Before we left for India I heard things like, "If you don't agree with me you are not patriotic." Unfortunately that was my party speaking. I grew up in what is now referred to as the OC. Conservative, but practical and hopefully pragmatic. I have spent my life serving others starting as a child delivering May Day baskets to very senior citizens and ending washing dishes after meals prepared to feed the homeless.

If you believe that you are a child of God then you have to serve. God gave us our intelligence, our physical strength and many times an abundance of goods. God expects us to share our means and our talents.

In this mix we have agency. We get to choose how and when we will help others. This is difficult when others vote for something we did not want. Now we get into politics. I see India about fifty years behind us, but remember nothing stands still. If we as a nation can't improve we must be backsliding. It goes with all the backbiting in politics. Let's turn this around and begin to embrace our differences. It is what made us strong and what will keep us strong.

We do not have to think like our neighbors, but we always want to respect them. It is a small gesture, but RESPECT for our fellow men could one day save our nation.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

His Friend

Elder McKinley's friend got baptised too on the other side of Chennai. Some Sundays we are together and other times we have to do "our" version of missionary splits to be at every baptism.
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My Friend

My friend got baptised last week. We got to know each other last year and went out for a Christmas dinner together. She would have taken this step long ago but women have a difficult time making changes here without their husband's permission. She is a doctor and a woman of great compassion. Elder McKinley confirmed her today.
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If You're Not Having Fun You're Not Doing It Right

We have fun when we work. Working hard in all ways makes it happen. We have to work the hardest not to miss the young missionaries when they get transferred. Transfers are every six weeks and you never know who it will be.
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