Thursday, June 11, 2015

E-mail: May 31, 2015 "Have you ever had Shawarma?"

Imagine a really long flame grill that's been flipped upright onto it's side, then imagine a man who slowly turns a 3 foot long vertical spit packed with slabs of chicken until the outside is perfectly roasted and slightly charred. Cut off the cooked outer layer with a small knife, mix that with some fancy sauces and spices, pack it into a slice of pita bread and roll that whole thing up like a burrito and you have a Muslim delicacy.

In other words, yes Mr. Stark, I have tried Shawarma.

One of the things I know I'm going to miss most when I leave here is the food. In fact there's an american elder who's doing his visa extension in the Philippines right now and the only request he has for the elders he's stayed in touch with is to "BRING ME SOME CURRY". There are many foods I've tried that send my taste buds to heaven, there are many I've tried that that almost bring me to tears because regardless of how bad it is I know I have to finish it so I don't offend the member, and then there are some combinations that occasionally are just bizarre enough to be amazing. One of our favorite snacks to get in the afternoon is a butternut (avocado) shake. Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like: a milkshake made from an avocado. The first time I was pressured into trying it I was more than just a little skeptical, but much like many of the people we teach, once I was converted I couldn't get enough of it. Other such crazy combos include a sugary dessert made with noodles and cashews, a boiled egg wrapped in a flaky pastry, a banana fried in a salty batter, another dessert made with flour and paneer (a block of cheese solids) and soaked in syrup, and pink rose flavored milk. All of these ended up being surprisingly good, except for the milk. The first time I saw it in a store I bought some thinking it would be and exotic type of strawberry flavor, only to throw it away when we got home because it literally tasted like I was chewing on a flower.

Seeing how successful these crazy combinations are it's inspired me to get a little creative with the food we have in the apartment. If I'm successful I may be able to contribute my own concoctions to the Indian food market, just so long as I can get my companion to try them first...

I learned this week that India is having a pretty bad heat wave and it's causing a lot of problems. This week was the first time I heard about it though because I've been sitting comfortably in the air-conditioned city of Bengaluru and didn't notice any changes in the perfectly moderate weather. In our mission the three biggest cities are: Bangalore- known for being cool, Hyderabad- known for being dry, and Chennai- known for being hotter than heck. When I was depressed about going to Bangalore my last transfer because I wanted to get away from the big city I consoled myself with the thought that "at least it's nice and cool in Bangalore, at least I'm not going to Chennai."

Brothers and sisters, may I testify to you today that God listens to everything you say, whether you like it or not.

Guess who just got transferred to the seaside city of heat stroke?

One of my favorite quotes says "there's not growth in a comfort zone, and there's no comfort in a growth zone." I got pretty comfortable in Bangalore, not in a bad way of course, but the weather was great, I loved the people, the weather was great, the work was beginning to pick up, and the weather was great. I know that whatever the Lord has in store for me in Chennai at this time is what I need to continue to grow, but any extra prayers that Elder Clouds doesn't "faint by the wayside" because of the heat would be appreciated. ;)

Anyways until next time everyone, rock on. :)
-Elder Clouds

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