Anticipating the Latter-Day Saint Temple in Bengaluru, India

Anticipating the Latter-Day Saint Temple in Bengaluru, India


My name is Pranith Kumar Jalagam. I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints and I’m from Hyderabad, India. I go to school at University of Texas at Arlington
to do my master’s in construction management. Can you do a Texas “y’all?” No. The most surprising thing for, especially the
people in my ward, when I walked in, so I came in like the regular jeans and stuff, so everyone
was like, “Okay.” And then when I started telling them that
I’m a member and I served my mission, I was born into the Church, everyone was like, “What? Do you guys have church in India?” And, like, they didn’t even know. Right now we have three, four stakes in India. And
recently, last conference, the prophet has announced the temple in India, so things are going fast. The Church is growing really big in India. My family has been introduced somewhere in
the 1980s. My parents felt the fulness of the gospel
and they loved it and they wanted to change. That’s the reason they are here in the Church. It’s been like 25 to 30 years now. All of them still love it. This is my personal
opinion that if my parents haven’t taken that step, I would have never accepted the gospel
in my life. I don’t see myself being that humble and coming
to church if I am a non-member. I think God knows me, like, “This kid, he has
to be taken care of from the childhood or else he is gone.” When we were kids, we didn’t know the value
of it. We didn’t appreciate it a lot, but we love going to church. It was fun. Church was part of our lives, but we never
really had that testimony. And slowly as age grew, we started reading our scriptures, we
learned a lot. After my high school, I got into a school
for my engineering, which is like 115 miles away from the church. The journey to Hyderabad
would be three to four hours every time I go in, and then I stay at my place, and attend the church,
and then go back three to four hours to my school. Initially, when I started the first year of
my school, and I know that the Church is true. By then, my testimony started to grow. And
at that point, I didn’t have, like, a complete testimony, but I know enough that it is true
and I wanted to follow it. When I went on my mission, that’s when the
difference came. So I have five elder cousins, four of them
served their missions. And then my younger brother served his mission. I am the last to come on the mission. In India, there are two missions. We’d likely
be assigned to the Delhi mission or the Bangalore mission. My younger brother was in Delhi mission, while
I applied for my mission, so I knew that, obviously, I was going to go to Bangalore mission. The mission in India is completely different.
So people, like, you have to teach from the basics: who Jesus Christ is, who God is. And
on my mission, there were a lot of times where I felt that I don’t care if my dad isn’t like
a big millionaire or something. When I was serving, I used to go to this really fancy
homes and teach. Like after the lesson, the only thing which I feel was what difference
does it make? My dad is just a high school graduate and
he knows enough—that the Church is true. That’s what matters. And I think that’s the greatest
gift they could give us. When President Nelson announced the temple
in India, everyone got like so excited, especially our families because we have been here in
the Church for a long time, we know the value. It took like 12 years for our family to prepare
for the temple and go to Hong Kong and visit the temple. So people are going to be blessed. Now that I live in Texas, the church is just
five minutes away from me. It’s a five-minute walk. It’s very easy. At the same time, you have
your own challenges. Initially, I don’t know anyone. And I’m like
very introvert, like, I don’t really go out and be that social, so I had difficulties
coming to church. But like I knew that I have to come to church, regardless if people talk
to me or not. I think the Church is the same everywhere.
The gospel, which I learned from my childhood, when I came to Texas, it didn’t change. The Church was still the same, the gospel
is the same everywhere. I just, I’m just in a new place, but the Church is Church. I personally feel that coming to Texas, the
Church here has taught me to open up so when I go back I’m in a calling and I know how
to handle things. My testimony has gone in deep. Though you make mistakes, the moment you try
to correct it, God is going to be there for you. So that has helped me to not go away from
church. The Church will always be part of my life. If you are trying to do the right thing, that’s
what God wants. You don’t have to be 100 percent perfect,
you just need to keep trying and let others do that.

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