This blog is produced by the Shep Family... we post letters and photos that Kyle sends us from time to time...

A resident of Chennai is called a Chennaiite. As of 2001, Chennai city had a population of 4.34 million, while the total metropolitan population was 7.04 million. The estimated metropolitan population in 2006 is 4.5 million.In 2001, the population density in the city was 63,926 per mi, making it one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The average literacy rate is 80.14%, much higher than the national average of 64.5%. The city has the fourth highest population of slum dwellers among major cities in India, with about 820,000 people (18.6% of its population) living in slum conditions. In 2005, the crime rate in the city was 313.3 per 100,000 people, accounting for 6.2% of all crimes reported in major cities in India. The number of crimes in the city showed a significant increase of 61.8% from 2004.

The majority of the population in Chennai are Tamilians. Tamil is the primary language spoken in Chennai. English is widely spoken especially in business, education and white collar professions.

According to the 2001 census, Hindus constitute about 81.27% of the city's population, and Muslims (9.37%), Christians (7.63%) and Jains (1.05%) are other major religious groups

Chennai is a major centre for music, art and culture in India.[77] The city is known for its classical dance shows and Hindu temples. Every December, Chennai holds a five-week long Music Season celebrating the 1927 opening of the Madras Music Academy

Among Chennai's festivals, Pongal is celebrated over five days in January, is the most important. Almost all major religious festivals such as Deepavali, Eid and Christmas are celebrated in Chennai. Tamil cuisine in Chennai includes vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Many of the city's restaurants offer light meals or tiffin, which usually include rice-based dishes like pongal, dosa, idli and vadai,


Chennai has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate. The city lies on the thermal equator and is also on the coast, which prevents extreme variation in seasonal temperature. The weather is hot and humid, for most of the year. The hottest part of the year is late May to early June, known locally as Agni Nakshatram ("fire star") or as Kathiri Veyyil,[32] with maximum temperatures around 38–42 °C (100–108 °F). The coolest part of the year is January, with minimum temperatures around 18–20 °C (64–68 °F). The lowest temperature recorded is 15.8 °C (60.4 °F) and highest 45 °C (113 °F). The average annual rainfall is about 51 in. The city gets most of its seasonal rainfall from the north-east monsoon winds, from mid-October to mid-December. Cyclones in the Bay of Bengal sometimes hit the city. The highest annual rainfall recorded is 2,570 mm (101 in) in 2005.


Saturday, December 13, 2008


The missionary work is going very very well. Our discussions (based on their religion) tend to focus on God's love for us in conjunction with families, the importance of authority, and the need for additional scriptures. People rarely have trouble accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet, although Numbers 12:6 and 8 is AMAZING for making his claims more credible. Discussions are difficult due to communications gaps and the difficulty of getting investigators to actually DO committments, rather than just accepting them. My personal study is yielding very intense results. Jesus the Christ is absolutely amazing, and I've really been studying the preordination of Jesus Christ and the organization of intelligences before the world. For zone conference (in Visakaputnam (which are some of the pictures)) I had an awesome discussion with sister nichols about the order and way that the premortal life worked, using Abraham a lot.

Do I get enough to eat? Yes, but no. Whenever people cook for me I almost die from the sheer amount of food they FORCE me to eat (It's really good though.) When we go out for food we can get unlimited food for under $1, so I'm eating lots of rice there. At home, I don't eat much at all. I eat a few biscuits for breakfast, maybe cereal, and toast for dinner. Therefore, the food is there, but I'm watching my weight (and seeing the results.) My abs are starting to come in, and I'll surprise you with my incredible physique when I return home (hopefully.)

Church meetings are interesting. There are varying degrees of English capabilities, and some talks or testimonies devolve back into Telegu, which is uncomfortable because I don't understand and sacrament meeting is strictly ENGLISH. However, the members (specifically in Rajahmundry 1st Branch) are SO sincere. They are irreverent though, and I'll be working with the branch president to change that soon. There are lots of investigators there weekly though (4-7) and so Gospel Principles is very packed.

Thanks for your prayers, and be sure to get me those family pictures!!!
Help out the missionaries in our branch, they need it much more than I do.

I LOVE YOU (whole family included)
Elder Kyle Shep

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