Thursday, March 27, 2014

Our Visit to Coimbatore

On 12-16 March 2014, we went to Coimbatore to work with the missionaries and to attend Church in one of the branches. The only challenge is that when the branch president learns that we are coming, he usually plans on us being the speakers. Terry is becoming quite good at speaking in Sacrament Meeting, often without much notice.

Another great benefit of our visits to the districts is that I am able to interview members of the Church, usually for temple recommends or for recommendations for full time missions.

On Thursday, I worked with two sets of missionaries in Coimbatore. I attended the Weekly Planning session on Thursday morning with one set of missionaries. While I was doing this, Terry inspected the apartments of the other missionaries in town. Then Thursday evening we went on three appointments with one of our sister missionary companionships.

These family visits were wonderful. The first was a teaching appointment with the wife of a member of our Church. Husband has been a Church member for several years. His wife now is wanting to learn more about the Church.  The missionaries told us that we were going into the "slums" for this appointment. That meant that we walked down a dirt path to a concrete building where the family lived in a two room place. We entered from the outside into the bedroom. Husband and wife sat on the bed and the missionaries, Terry, and I sat on a bench across from the bed. There was a small kitchen adjacent to the bedroom, and that was their home. I believe the water "faucet" was someplace outside the home, either at the top of he dirt path, or partway down the path, in front of another residence. They seemed quite happy and very comfortable.

The second home we visited was of a member family who the missionaries have been visiting to help with reactivation. I visited the same family about six months ago. We talked about their efforts to be financially ready to attend the temple. Both husband and wife work, though he is starting a new business - construction and remodeling work. The wife is a lecturer in a school. They also live in a two room apartment.

The third home was of some recent converts. Father, Mother and two sons. This family invited us to their two room place, also at the end of a dirt road. They did appear to have an indoor bathroom. We were late getting there, and they had prepared dinner for their guests. The hospitality was most gracious. There was a wonderful spirit in the home.

The next day, we scheduled to travel up into the hill country to a village called Ooty. It has been a place of refuge from the heat for hundreds of years. The road climbs into the mountains, providing some wonderful views. 

 At one point we stopped at an overlook on a very large canyon. We had our picture taken, even though we are not in "missionary attire."
 On our way out of Coimbatore, we passed a man who operates a laundry business. Here you can see him ironing shirts. If you look to his right, you can see his iron. He keeps it hot with charcoal. You can see some burning on a mat on the ground in the bottom left of the picture.

Ironing clothes
 All around Ooty we saw many hillsides covered with tea plants. In several places we saw workers clipping the tea leaves from the top of the bushes.
Harvesting Tea
In Ooty we stayed in a hotel which was first built in 1829. The room where we stayed was constructed in 1840, as I recall. There was a fireplace, which we used, as the temperature in the mountains was much cooler than in the areas where we usually work.
While in Ooty, we went to their local park. There were many displays of flowers. We attended on Saturday, so there were many families and groups of friends. Here are several girls who came together to the park.
In the park, we saw a woman who was sweeping the grass. In India they do not rake the leaves, they simply sweep them.

Early Saturday morning, we went to Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, which is about 1.5 hrs drive from Ooty, over the mountains. We did not see any tigers, but we saw:

Wild Peacocks
Peacock with his tail fanned
Guar - Wild buffalo
Wild Elephant
Herd of Wild Elephants
We also saw deer, wild pigs, monkeys, and many very colorful birds.

We had a wonderful weekend, mixing a day or two in the hills, along with a couple of great days with the missionaries.


  1. I was showing the kids your past, and when Tanner saw the first picture of you (at the overlook), he said, "Oh, I recognize that picture. I've been there." We got a good laugh!

  2. Thank you for your post. Coimbatore is a city in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The colorful and intricately carved Arulmigu Patteeswarar Swamy Temple lies southeast of here. Likewise there are many places to visit in Coimbatore which attracts lots of travellers.