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.


Monday, July 19, 2010

May 15 2010

Oh Family,

Missionary work is going really well.

We are getting a high number of new Investigators and Member Present Lessons. There are many families preparing for baptism and we extremely excited to help them reach that goal. Elder Mackay and I are still enjoying our work as Zone Leaders. It's fun to help Elders. We also continue to enjoy training Elder Pimsakul. He understands missionary work pretty well and desires to learn more.

I don't know if I told you much about our current investigators...

Here we Go!
1. Rachel (Female, 60?)
Here's the story. A man on the street stopped me and told me he did compost. He spoke very poor English and I had absolutely no intention of calling him, but I took his number down when he offered it. I eventually gave the number to Elder Mackay jokingly telling him to call. We set an appointment with him due to his convenient location. Upon our first visit he invited his neighbor to join us, this was Rachel. She listened intently, and apparently understood much more than the compost man. When we finally told her that Jesus Christ's true Church was on the earth she yelled: "where?!" We told her where, she told us she would be there on Sunday. Surprise! She came to Church. There she explained that, though she had attended her previous church for 22 years, she wasn't satisfied. She had begun fasting for the correct Church, a church full of love. We found her on the second day of fasting. She came to Church on the 4th day of her fasting. She asked to be baptized that following Tuesday. She is going to be baptized this Sunday.

2. Logambal, Keerthana, Keerthi, and Vignesh (Female, Female, Male, Male)
Logambal is the Mother. I found them while knocking doors the same day I found the compost brother from the story above. This family was baptized into a very popular commercial church on the 1st of January this year. Their father died in November of last year. He had converted from Hinduism to Christianity and the family wished to join the same church as him following his death. The are currently being well cared for in their church, though they feel that the pastor and congregation are impersonal and pushy. After our lessons they have agreed to be baptized but with to wait until the 1 year anniversary of their father's death to do it. Keerthana mentioned that it would have been really helpful if we would have just come in December so that they wouldn't have to go through the hassle of changing churches. Haha.

3. John and Mary Li (Male, Female, 50s)
Completely Chinese, both born and raised in India. John has been addicted to alcohol and cigarettes for 40 years or something and Mary drank 40 cups of tea a day. They both completely left all of the their habits in under 2 weeks. Really an interesting couple. They were referred by Kalaiselvi, the sister we recently baptized. She has helped us keep track of them and strengthen them when we are not there. John attended Church last Sunday and committed himself to continue coming until he becomes a member... OKAY JOHN!

4. Tamil Mani (Male, 26?)
Works at the same office as a recently baptized Church member. He was found on the bus by some other Elders and referred over to us. After about a month of trying to meet him, we finally succeeded. He was awesome. He grasped the concepts of the Restoration extremely clearly and has begun reading the Book of Mormon with zeal. Unfortunately, he works full time and has college classes all Saturday and Sunday long until July. Well, we challenged him for baptism and he totally accepted. We will have to find a way to get him to Church... but that can be done.

And others...

I'm currently in Bangalore. We just finished a Zone Leader's Council and received an excellent training on Stewardship. It turns out that we don't own anything and that we'll have to start living the Law of Consecration to make it to the Celestial Kingdom. Helpful. I'm excited to keep being excited. I'm confident that we can baptize more people than we ever have before. My testimony stronger, and my knowledge higher than it has ever been before. It's time to work double time.

I also enjoyed talking to you all on the phone. You are an awesome family. You are also a lot of fun. President Nichols talked about the greatest gift a parent can receive is kindness shown by children to other children. I think there is a lot of that going on in our family. We love each other a lot.

Dad: Good luck on your company acquisition! That's exciting.

I'm finding out that all of these things that we believe are more and more true every day. It makes sense, it's confirmed constantly as we live by the laws of God. It really is incredible to see other people and their beliefs. I'm grateful for the sheer level of knowledge that we have as revealed by the modern prophets and apostles. We understand far more than any other people on the Earth.

Missions are awesome


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