Monday, January 11, 2010

The Noida Connection in HYD

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Somewhere back in this blog, there may be a post about Prabhakar who was baptized in the Noida Branch in late 2008. At least I know his picture with me is there somewhere. He was staying in the Noida area looking for a job. He participated in a Career Workshop we organized with Elder Brown and attended Sister Tanner's English classes. After months of job hunting frustration, he got word from a friend about an employment opportunity in Hyderabad, closer to his home and family. Two weeks after being called as Elders Quorum president in Noida, he left, or shifted to Hyderabad as they say here. I contacted Elder and Sister Laduke in Hyderabad, the humanitarian couple there, and they made contact and kept track of Prabhakar. He did get his job teaching in an IT school and more ... he was married last May and his wife accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was scheduled for baptism. When he learned we were coming, the baptism was re-scheduled for the Sunday we would be there. We were also in contact with Sandeep (Elder) Chilumula whose home is Hyderabad. He had served for some time in Noida on his mission.

Sunday morning we headed for the Hyderabad 1st Branch building which was a great surprise. It is a beautiful two story building, built and owned by the church, and shared by 2 branches. It includes District offices, etc., a stake center in waiting. Imagine Sister Tanner's surprise going from our little branch to attend a Relief Society with over 40 sisters present.

What a sweet reunion it was to hug Sandeep and Prabhakar again. One of the things I like here is being able to hug each other.

Prabhakar is an elder now and he baptized his sweetheart, Krishnaveni.

Looking good Sandeep!! Your smile is as big as ever. What a great young man. He is the branch mission leader and conducted the baptismal service.

After church and the baptismal service, we went to Prabhakar and Krishnaveni's home for lunch. While the food was being prepared, some of the neighbor children couldn't resist seeing who the visitors were and came in to see us.

With the new couple in their home. L-R Prabhakar, Elder Tanner, Sister Tanner, and Krishnaveni who is as shy and kind as Prabhakar, her husband. She is also a good cook and prepared a wonderful lunch of chicken curry and rice.

After lunch, we all went to visit Elder Godi's family. He is currently serving in Noida and asked us to deliver a package and visit his family.
L-R front, Devadas Godi (father), Sailaja with daughter Mini in her lap, husband Uday Gali. Back is daughter Raveena with E/S Tanner. We had a great visit with these wonderful people.

Sister Tanner has never met a child she didn't want to hold and love.

Next, we went to Sandeep's brother's home for dinner, but I didn't know where the food would go. We were still full from lunch. Here are his sister-in-laws and a niece as we get ready to eat.

Sorry Sandeep, I cannot remember your brother's names.

If I remember correctly, Sandeep's older brother made the fried chicken and it would give the Colonel a run for his money. Very good!

Here is the whole family, almost. A 4th brother was not able to make it so we have 4 of the Chilumula brothers, 2 wives, 2 nieces, and a cousin next to Sister Tanner. A wonderful and fun family we were blessed to spend some time with.

After a long and very rewarding Sunday, we're still going strong. It was after 11 PM though when we got back to the hotel and our room. A bed never felt so good.

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