Encounter on the Plane to India

I am happy to report that my trip to India went smoothly. Two long plane rides, but my luggage and my hosts were both waiting on the other end, much to my relief. Moreover, I was pleased to find that my room (a dorm room at the Management Development Institute just outside of Delhi) has a computer with internet access. Thus, this post.

On my second flight — from Amsterdam to Delhi — I was settling into my seat when I spotted another passenger carrying a package of Book of Mormon cassettes. (This may not seem altogether strange, but remember that I was on a flight from Amsterdam, Holland to Delhi, India, where the Church is not allowed to proselyte.) I was waiting to speak to her as she passed when she indicated that she had been assigned to the seat next to me! Of course, I immediately struck up a conversation about the Church, and she was very relieved to have found a soulmate on the trip, her first to India. Indeed, somewhat to my embarrassment, she seemed to take my presence as a sign of divine intervention in her travels. You see, although she was traveling alone, she was meeting her husband and his family on the other end. He is an Indian and recent convert to the Church, and she is hoping to introduce his Islamic family to the Gospel. Fare thee well, fellow Saint!

6 comments for “Encounter on the Plane to India

  1. January 3, 2004 at 4:17 pm

    Our stake prez just got back from a trip there for his work. Interesting coincidence, all these Saints headed there.

  2. sid
    January 3, 2004 at 8:41 pm

    And here is a indian who converted to the Church whil at a Univ in the USA. The Church was allowed to send in Missionaries till a few years back when the BJP, the hindu-fundamentalist inspired party took power. In the case of my family, I have found, unfortunately, the hard way, that they are not the least bit interested in recieving the Gospel. So, knowing what most Indian families are like, I wish the lady Bro Smith met on the plane my best wishes.

  3. January 3, 2004 at 9:53 pm

    Somewhat tangentally, does anyone else notice how easy it is to pick out Mormons at airports? It isn’t just garments, which you frequently can’t see. But I’m almost never wrong when I go up to people to start conversations.

  4. January 4, 2004 at 9:22 pm

    Sid, are you saying no missionaries are allowed in India anymore? If so, that’s too bad. I know someone who served a non-proselytizing mission there around ’95-’97. He really enjoyed it, as his primary purpose was service. I suspect he was quite a sight there, as he’s a 6’6 blonde.

  5. sid
    January 4, 2004 at 10:31 pm

    Yup, I think I am correct in stating that Missionaries who are tasked to proslytise(sp?) are no longer allowed in India – not just Elders and Sisters from our Church, but all Christian Churces. Though, I think those doing Medical, Educational, and other service missions are allowed, but, under some rather strict conditions. Heck, if the Indian Govt stopped Missionaries, all the better high schools will have to shut down, because about 90% of the better schools and colleges in India are run by various catholic and other Christian denominations. I attended school run by the Christian Brothers, a Catholic teaching Order out of Ireland.
    The rise of the Hindu fundamentalists has made life difficult for all non-Hindus. They are kind of like a milder, Hindu version of al-Qaeda, and they are trying to rewrite history, and build some kind of a pure Hindu society. This has led to the anti-Christian sentiments, and also a lot of persecution of Christians, and violence against Missionaries, and Christian institutions.

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