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.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Okay. I was hearbroken when I heard that I was leaving Rajahmundry. They don't speak English, I'd been around the whole area, and the branch wasn't so reverent but I sure loved those people. Now I have to readjust. The people here are good I'm sure. Now I can get rid of old habits and set some new goals.

Here's the deal in Hyderabad:

Comp- Elder Doss-Johnson (DJ.) He's from nothern
California and has been on his mission for 9 months. He last served in Chennai and his last companion (here in Hyderabad) was elder Tuscano, who he was with for 3 transfers. Ummm, he did Polynesian Dance and kind of wants it to be his career if he can, so... . Anyways, this information is misleading, because we get along great and we are going to work hard and get a lot of baptisms.

Apt- GROSS. It is 3 bedroom 3 bathroom, so the size is nice, but it apparently was too much for previous elders to handle. The apt is really dusty, dirty, and messy. It was tons of leftovers from other Elders because they would leave their old things there as they went home and nobody would throw them away. It's the storage location for all of our District's supplies (I'm not sure why) so there are tons of things in our apt. The worse part is that there are tons of ants and TONS OF COCKROACHES. Anyways, I've started cleaning, so I'm getting more comfortable there. It will improve.

Area- It's huge. We take buses and autos, so that gets expensive. There are tons of English speakers... but we can't talk to them yet. We have to ONLY knock on blatantly Christian doors. We have some quality investigators though. Also, this is the place for eating GOOOOOD food. There's a
McDonalds, KFC, Subway, Dominos, and assorted other goodies. There are buffets and Pradise Biryani, which is really good Indian food.

Branch- Yep, the building is hardcore nice. The members are really nice too. The branch is doing pretty good and should be a nice welcome for the large number of baptisms we're going to get.

I love you sooo much!

There was lots of rain here too mom. I got completely soaked and had to cover my bag in a trash bag. It was fun... but the streets aren't exactly sanitary, and when sewers flood it's not very pretty. Nevertheless, I like the rain, I just have to make sure I don't get sick.

I remember you telling me about your companions and running around like that. We haven't really done any cardio, but we do walk all day long. A few days ago we ran stairs, that was really fun. I don't have a gym to go to any longer, but I do remain active. I start by doing an
ab workout, then pushups, then I curl a gas cylinder (it's heavy) I do a lat workout with it and then get my traps also. Then more pushups and ab workouts.
I do some squats and lunges occasionally too. My weight has dropped a little bit more, but I may be gaining some of it back. When I can to Hyderabad I checked my weight after a few days (which included a fast sunday in between) and I had dropped 3 Kgs, which is like 7 pounds. That's drastic. I can see my abs even more now, even though I've maintained a donut around my mid section. I have consistently large love handles.

I'm excited for Emily's graduation, and I too am really glad that you have smart and well-behaved children. You absolutely had a large hand in that. You're right that I love these people. I've made wonderful friendships and I've found that they are able to tune themselves into the spirit's frequency. It's crazy how little knowledge of the gospel they have coupled with how strong testimonies they have.

We are currently hitting the mark pretty well for our 2009 goals. Hyderabad was obviously set back, but Rajahmundry was having the greatest results of it's recent history as well with some other places that were picking up the slack, so we're on target though Hyderabad is going to have to get back in the swing of things to keep these 20 something elders busy. Especially now that we know we are relatively safe for a while.

I enjoy it out here and I miss you a lot! Keep up the faith!
love, Kyle

No comments: