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, November 28, 2009

NOV 2009

NOV 25th

Sorry Mom, things are just going by so fast.Between the missionary work, petty cash officiating, organization of the exodus of senior couples, and my TRANSFER TO CHENNAI ON FRIDAY I've been very busy. I *hope* that we'll be able to do *something* special for Thanksgiving. I don't know about the food... but I will definitely initiate a giving of thanks ceremony. I AM thankful for many things, especially my wonderful family.I'm very excited about your job. A leather chair? It sounds like you are becoming quite professional. Congratulations.Haha, I heard about Dad's Christmas tree lots. I'm sure there's BIG money to be made there. It should be fun.

Now, I just realized yesterday that Christmas was a month away, and I COMPLETELY forgot that people got things for Christmas. I'm excited to see what mysterious things you sent me (don't tell me, seriously.) Thank you for doing that!I too am looking forward to the phone call we get to have on Christmas! I'll try to start thinking of things to talk about.Now, in answer to your forgotten inquiries:1. The jollyranchers got here fine, though a little melty. They are fantastic. I chose them because they will last a long time. They are lasting a long time.2. The chocolate chips made it to me IN SEPARATED CHIPS! It was a Christmas miracle. They are sooooo good. Haha, I love chocolate.3. The razor replacement is EXACTLY correct. Thank you so very much.

We are now off restrictions, so we're happy. However, all of the work of getting ready to go to Chennai is going to get in the way of undiluted missionary work days.Whatever.I'm happy. Missions are awesome!Love,Kyle

NOV 18th

Haha, good. Okay, here's my update to you and the family.RACHEL, BLESSY, MERCY, AND ERUSHA GOT BAPTIZED!!!Check the pic.They are awesome, they will be extremely strong members.

Actually, here's the update: we are working under restricted conditions. Wednesday evening I got a phone call and was told that due to an upcoming election we were no longer able to talk to people in the streets, or look for people to teach in general, or to go to investigator's homes. This means that we've been confined to our apartment, church, and members homes. We haven't suffered *too* much, but it's extremely hard when a family doesn't live by any members and can't come to church. We simply couldn't visit them. :( Nevertheless, we've been in phone contact.

We also just finished with Zone Conference. Interviews helped me change my perspective on the straight and narrow path, conference helped me shine. I was in charge of the musical number again. I played: I Know Heavenly Father Loves Me, a children's song. I also gave a talk on faith. I also brought the bowls and dishes for our lunch (Chinese food.) I also did the reimbursements during lunch and after the conference. I also brought the ice cream for dessert. I've been put to work here. I enjoyed conference a lot.

What's exciting is that our branch will finish this month with 8 baptisms. Imagine if our branch was getting 8 baptisms a month. It's a wonderful thing.Other than that... nothing. I'm happy. I also love you a lot!Elder Shep

NOV 11th:

Lauren should NOT color her hair black, (just an opinion without every seeing her black hair)

Visual Kei? From what I know about it, which isn't much, is that it is all about the image. I'm sure you've met some goths (all black, maybe a trench coat, studs, weird piercings) which is basically focused on death. The music genre is more of a backdrop for a way of life that SEPARATES people from other. They want to be unique by opposing what people feel comfortable with. THE mainstream society cannot respect an artistic movement that downplays the attitudes and appearances that result in a respectable person. They need to respect what others consider appropriate. If they can balance the artistic side and interests with the norms of society they should do just fine. Take me for instance. I like Screamo music. I wear some shirts that support some unconventional bands. I wear bandannas sometimes. I do weird art. But I balance that with a professional attitude towards serious public matters and level-headed approach to situations. I don't want to be the same as other people, but it's useless to resist into obscurity. In fact, it's not fun. If one wants to limit thier friends to an incredible small group of Americans who like Japanese violence rock who express themselves with colors that abuse the eyes, then those are the only friends one is going to have to choose from. I digress.. Be more outgoing and people will be more outgoing to you. Be someone people want to talk to, then they'll talk to you. It's pretty simple,

Visual learning sounds nice for Marie. Don't let anyone damage that computer, it is a NICE computer. The resolution on that baby is TOP NOTCH. For real.I remember physics. That was fun. I think we got an A on that project. A bonfire sounds fun.Lloyd Jones? I recognize the name and I *might* recognize the face, but I'm not sure. The 50th anniversary sounds fun!The missionary work is AWESOME!We're doing great with families, 2 families are set for baptism, 1 happening this sunday!!!!Ask dad for the details.Also, I'll be sending pics of the fort that i haven't sent yet. You'll love them.I love you!Kyle

NOV 4th:

Beth is beautiful!Wow, I bet that play was awesome.Good thing that disaster didn't occur, that wouldn't be fun.I'm especially happy to hear about her friend’s interest in the gospel. Suggestion: invite her parents. Children who convert without their parents have a tough time. I guess she's old enough to drive herself and will move out in a few years. It's different here. But definitely consider staying in communication with the parents, especially the mother because you'll be able to connect to her. The elders may or may not commit you take care of the family's fellowship, but you can commit yourself. It makes a huge difference when normal people, not the Elders, encourage people.This is what happened with my suit. 1. I designed it myself.2. I wasn't really serious about it until I went to a sports store and asked out of curiosity if they could make it and they told me that they could... I got too excited and went for it.3. It's a lot of fun.4. People like it.My new companion, Elder Tucker is a good guy. We have an easy time talking to each other and he teaches well. The investigators love him to death.Tell Dad to definitely start writing me more. It's kind of my fault because I only write lots of stuff to you, but I intend it for everyone.Last week we climbed a fort and checked out some old tomb shrines, but I don't have my camera now, so I'll have to send them next week. Sorry.I LOVE YOU!Kyle

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