Sunday, June 19, 2016

Children's Book Distribution--10 May 2016

Several months ago a member of the Hyderabad Stake, Shekar Alamury, provided LDS Charities with over 2,000 children’s books. These are Indian fables, written in English and very well illustrated.

The Rajahmundry 3rd Branch, along with LDS Charities, sponsored a book distribution.  It was held on Friday and Saturday nights. The first night very few people came but on the second night the word had gotten out and we had many more children who came to get their book.

The purpose of this activity was to let people in the community know who we are and mingle with our members. Some who came asked questions about our Church and the members gladly answered their questions.  There were a few who gave their phone numbers to the members.  After the children received their books there was a little refreshment served.

The children were sooo excited to get a book of their very own.

The Elders were excited to meet the kids and new potential investigators.

A great time was had by all; especially Elder Newton who enjoyed reading to some of the children.

A few weeks later we did the same thing at Kakinada Branch--located about an hour north by car from Rajahmundry.

One young man--about 18 years old--was so intrigued about these Indian Fable books written in English, that he learned a Primary song so that Sister Newton would give him a book!

He ended up reading all six volumes to decide which book he wanted...we gave him a full set!!

The children--as well as the adults--had fun looking at the books, reading and visiting together.

We had a great time!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sewing Machines in Bibi Nagar--Completed 6 Jun 2016

On June 6, 2016 we celebrated the beginning of a new sewing training center for the women of Bibi Nagar Village.
Ten Singer sewing machines--with electric motors and treadles--were brought from Hyderabad.

After several delays, the machines, work tables and stools are loaded...

the tables and machines are set up in the classrooms...

ribbons and decorations are in place...

and the banner of appreciation is hung, saying (in Telugu):

"With the help of Bhongin M.L.A.
P. Shekar Reddy and L.D.S. Charities free Training Sewing Machines"

Together, Sister Newton and 
P. Swarupa, Sarpanch (President) of Bibi Nagar, cut the ribbon, while Member of State Legislative Assembly P. Shekar Reddy looks on!

At first glance one might think this was a small insignificant project. What impact could ten sewing machines make in a village of over 8,000 people? A small group of ten ladies asked for the machines and said that others, maybe 40 or 50 women, would learn to sew. When the machines were delivered, the women had found a small two-room building to put the machines and work tables in.  They have designated this as a training center and many, many more women, all those who have a desire, will learn to sew. The Rural Development Office will send two teachers to the village. Forty women will take the course. When the course is finished they will start a new class--and on and on the teaching will go.
The people listened intently as President John Gutty, Hyderabad Stake President and Self-reliance Director for India, spoke to them.  He talked to them about the great opportunity that was being given to them, to learn a new skill that they could use to improve their lives and their families.  After the ceremony, several women approached Pres. Gutty and asked more questions. They also asked if he would have time to help them understand how to go about starting a business.  Pres. Gutty and one of his counselors, Pres. Mekala, who was also in attendance, will be returning to Bibi Nagar to help them in this effort.

Mr. Reddy also encouraged the women to take advantage of this opportunity.  He talked about families and making things better for their children.  Then Mr. Reddy surprised us.  He made a commitment to these women, that those who finish the course and want to continue sewing will receive from him a sewing machine for their home.  This is a kindness out of his own pocket.  He said, “The kindness of LDS Charities has made me want to help my people more.”  He and Pres. Gutty also had a long and meaningful exchange.

The Women said,” We are so happy to have these sewing machines.’
“This is one way to bring us out of our homes to do something good for our family and community…to show our capabilities.”

This project, with very little money, had GREAT results!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hyderabad R.O. Clean Water-- Next Set of Five--total of 35 of 70 Villages--27 May 2016

On Friday, May 27, 2016 we gathered to celebrate the inauguration of the first five of 40 Reverse Osmosis Clean Water filter systems in Nalgonda District.

There were large 1,000 liter-per-hour units and smaller 500 liter-per-hour units--depending on the size of the village.

Upper Left: Rajendren, Supervisor of work at Liquid Solutions.
Upper Right: Shekar Alamury, Project Site Monitor

Ribbons were cut...

There were speeches of appreciation; sharing the importance of strong happy families that build strong communities, states and nations; the importance of self-reliance and positive family values such as respect, compassion and obedience to the laws of the land.

Elder Newton receives a shawl of honor and appreciation from the village leaders.

Sister Newton breaks a coconut for good luck to ensure the equipment works well.

Sister Newton visits with the women and children of the Mukthapur Village.

Children stand near the LDS Charities sign posted on the building.

Women and children excitedly fill the two-liter plastic containers as well as traditional brass and aluminum pots to take water to their homes in the Mukthapur Village.

Top: Member of Hyderabad Stake Presidency Manohar Makela and Rajendran and Shekar pose near the LDSC sign.
Members of the Indiramma Village leadership as well as MLA P. Shekar Reddy, Mr. Sudhakar and Elder Newton pose for a photo for the local newspaper.


Everyone is happy to use the new clean water!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

May 2016 in Rajahmundry

No May flowers...but lots of cricket match enthusiasts!

Here are photos of the District Cricket Tournament.

First the Team names...

Then its ACTION in the HEAT of India!!!

Meanwhile, back in the dugout...

The old guy swings the cricket bat at the air...

What technique?

No, it is NOT baseball!

It's mango season in Rajahmundry...

Breakfast of champions:
strawberry corn flakes and slightly sugared mango chunks...
MMMM good.

Yes, those are vitamins in the dish.

We walk about half a mile each morning over to a park in the neighborhood.

Here Elder Newton walks and visits with our new friend Karan.

Karan is an accountant with a public-private corporation that oversees construction of reservoir dams and highways. We have lots of philosophical talks as we walk.

Shankar, President Chinna's son, likes to play Jenga--he is a thinker, a planner...

A battle of physics, witts and dumb luck!

The Vizag and Rajahmundry combined District Youth Conference was held 13-14 May. 

Classes in which to learn the Gospel...

Games to be played...

Food to eat...

More games to play

What the heck is Twister?

If you ever wondered  how hot it gets in the summer in India...

Here is the temperature on Saturday, May 21st at 4:55 p.m. in Rajahmundry.

The indicated temperature is 108 F (it was supposed to go up to 109 F), and the Real Feel temperature is 122F!! 

You can see the temperatures went up to 112 F later in the week. I don't even want to know what the Real Feel was those days...

We were invited to the birthday party for Jessie, the daughter of a counselor in the Branch Presidency.

She is the little girl with the short hair and lime green dress.

The kids had a great time.

We love to eat Indian prawns--river shrimp.

Peel 'em, batter 'em and deep fry 'em!!

Really good.

These were large ones.

For Young Single Adult Family Home Evening we learned how to play
Uno, Liar Liar, and Spoons. 

This looks like Liar Liar is about to begin.


We had a large Twister game pad made so that the Young Adults could stretch their legs and arms a little.

The competition was fierce!!

Our mission is almost half way done...June 13, 2016 marks one year left. We're doin' good!

Ahhhhh...treasures from!

Tuna fish in a can (nothing is available in cans in India), and Old El Paso Salsa!! Wahoo!

Third Branch Priesthood and Relief Society Activity--all day long.

We gave the theme talks, did activity games and provided the movie--the story of Joseph Smith from the Church media library.

Of course there was food!

Chicken Curry, rice and Rita.

Is it spicy?
Do chickens lay eggs?

Those may look like paper plates, but they are fire resistant!!