We 'accidentally' found out that we can make homemade wine any time we want to from the comfort of our apartment. It started when Elder Dias tried to make a redneck work of art a few weeks ago with materials we had on hand. He took an old bottle and froze some orange juice in the bottom and froze more juices layer by layer to create a solid mass of bright stripes. We literally could have 'tasted the rainbow'. The problem occurred when one of us accidentally left it out after admiring it and the whole thing slushed together. We decided it needed to be thrown away, but we never decided who should do it, so it got left on the corner of the kitchen and forgotten about until today. The first thing that threw me off after I found it was when it released all the pressure like a bottle of coke when I unscrewed the lid. The juices, none of which had been carbonated beforehand, continued to fiz and froth and give off a very unique smell long after the cap was removed. Had I been a completely apostate missionary I could have secretly spiked my companion's drink tonight for a little entertainment and a good laugh, but thankfully my standards are higher than that (however I'm ashamed to say that the thought did cross my mind).
I inadvertently got 'Payphone' by Maroon 5 stuck in my head this morning, and needless to say it made me pretty darn trunky for a little bit. It reminded me of all the music to listen to and all the things I used to before coming out here, and it's crazy to realize that most of them aren't much more than a distant memory now. On more than one occasion I've been talking to another missionary about some of my favorite songs from the music I used to listen to only to stop mid-sentence because I can't for the life of me remember any of the artist's names anymore. A lot of the things that were super important to me back home crumbled into extinction the minute I got out here, and they're slowly being replaced with what I now know to be of real worth. I used to wonder why people always say that missionaries need to "adjust" when they get back home, but I think I'm finally starting to understand that now. When you come on a mission you have to be 100% dedicated to the Lord every day, but when we go back home we realize that there are many other things we also have to be dedicated to like a job, education, family, and we let our commitment to follow the Lord take a seat on the back-burner instead. The most important thing I think anyone who is preparing to go on a mission can do is to start practicing being completely dedicated to the Lord and his Gospel right now, today. There are many missionaries who have to become converted and dedicated after they get into the mission field, and during hat time they can't help people very well because they're still figuring things out for themselves. Compare that to someone who already knows how to be disciplined and committed before their mission and starts working miracles from day 1. My challenge for each of you today- Don't let your religion be just a religion, make it your way of life, at school, at work, at home, and at church. Try it, I dare you.
Anyways things are getting a lot hotter and a lot wetter over here. The temperature has gone up a little bit more than I hoped it would this last week, and when it's not muggy and hot it's started raining on us. At least I have my umbrella- is what I'd say if I hadn't lost it a month ago. On the bright side though I rarely have to wash my shoes thanks to all the puddles and small reservoirs we tromp through. However it is a pain to be constantly drying out the insides and the outsides before I can wear them again. It was so wet that we decided to take an auto home last week but the flooding was so high that it got up into the engine and killed the vehicle. Oh well, a little water never hurt anybody right? Just pray I learn how to swim soon, I may need it.
Anyways until next time everyone, rock on. :)
-Elder Flower (that was a new one this week)
This picture came in an unexpected email we received Saturday morning:
Dear parents of Elders Cloward and Dias,
I just finished a wonderful dinner with your elders here in my hotel in Bangalore. I'm visiting Bangalore on business and looked up the contact info for the missionaries because I like to treat them to dinner if possible. We had a very nice time.
They will have been very well fed at the Royal Afghan, one of the restaurants here at the ITC Windsor and they appear to be doing very well and in good spirits.
Just a random guy who has a missionary of my own