Madras is cool. It is definitely different though. There are only about 6500 people so it has a really small town feel. Our area is super huge though. The members are really cool. We have been fed almost every night that I have been here so far, so that has been awesome. The biggest issues in Madras are drugs and homelessness. It is kind of sad to see how much those two things have played a role in the way that the town is. But we have been super busy! This week, we met a guy who was playing basketball at the park. We had about 10 minutes until dinner at a members so we decided to walk over to the park for a few minutes to try and contact some people. We saw him shooting by himself so we started to talk to him and invited him to church on Sunday. We didn't really expect him to show up to church, but sure enough, he was there! He is a college age kid so it was really cool to have him there. The members in the ward play basketball at the church every Thursday night so he is probably going to go do that this week. We are meeting with him tomorrow, which will be awesome.
We are also working with a couple that is going to be married on the 6th of October and baptized on the 8th. They have been working with the missionaries since before I was here and have been on-date to be baptized for a while, so we have been working towards that and are excited to see that. We have a really cool appointment with them yesterday! Our ward mission leader Brother Robinson, who is pretty new to the ward as well, came with us. He is really cool. He and his wife just finished serving a mission in Chicago, so he is very active in helping us. He is in contact with us almost every day and helps out whenever we need him. He has an extremely strong testimony and is really powerful when speaking. Last night we talked about prayer and how essential it is for them to pray every day before they are baptized and also talked about faith. It was a really cool lesson.
This past week we went to Newberg for a mission conference. Elder Schwizer of the 70 was there. It was a really cool experience. He talked a lot about being yourself and relating to people. For p-day today, we went rock (thunderegg) hunting with Brother Robinson and his son. . He made a cool analogy to these eggs that on the outside they don't look great, but on the inside they look really amazing. There are a lot of people out here who don't necessarily look like they may be ready to hear the gospel, but on the inside they are prepared and ready. Here in Madras, I know that that can definitely be the case. President Tateoka and Sister Tateoka talk a lot about opening your mouth to everyone, so I know that that is the only way that some of these people are going to be found.