Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Testimony

Hard to know where to start and how to fully show my gratitude to my Father in Heaven and His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. I never realized how much God was looking out for me and how badly He wanted me to recognize His love for me. However, like any Loving Father, He didn’t put all that He had done for me in front of me in order to receive my recognition and the deserved, “Thanks.” He stuck by me and carried me and placed me in an amazing family, game me amazing friends, and provided ways of support that I could have never even guessed / might never even recognize in this life. I always did what was right, but without understanding the “why” involved. Through the Holy Ghost and the right atmosphere I often had small flashes of what it felt like to have my will also be the will of God. My Mom and Dad sacrificed everything and rejoiced when I was on a mission and truly in the Lord’s hands. I would name this stage of my life, “The great awakening.” I had “Held on my way”, but now I understood who guided me to the right path and which people in my life truly influenced me to be a better person. First and foremost, my parents, grandparents, and siblings. My eyes were opened to how ungrateful I had been and how offensive were my ways before the Lord. Yet, He never gave up on me. Realizing your own insignificance and helplessness before God is a humbling feeling. Applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ is what brings joy, peace of conscience, and the greatest feeling in the world of the true love of God. Through the mercy of Christ I turned to Him and became a good person. Through the grace of Christ I have become who I am today and it has been a 2 year process that will continue the rest of my life. Repentance is the key to having the Holy Ghost with you and having the guidance of the Holy Ghost these last two years constantly has shown me the true things that are important in this life. I could go on and on about what I will do differently upon returning home.. but the true show of my love for God, Jesus Christ, and His suffering personally for me, fellow man, and especially my Family is who I continue to be. Two years with thousands of spiritual experiences and miracles, each area teaching you something new, each companion lifting and reconstructing to become better, and the very lessons that we teach being applied. I could not name the point in my mission where I changed, but if I had to guess it would be the moment when I started hugging all the Grandmas. When the people around me became my family. When I started loving Ukraine and the culture. When I looked actively for ways to serve, uplift, praise, and teach. When I gave up all of myself, God gave 100x more. (Mark 10:28-30) I cannot replace the relationships and the lessons that I have learned while serving the Lord these short 24 months. I have been redeemed, cleansed, sanctified, and brought to the lowest depths of humility before God. Nothing works if you don’t involve Him. No one can truly change without His Son. No one could ever know without the Holy Ghost. I am eternally indebted to God and will never be able to repay Him back. One way I can show my gratitude is to bring others unto Christ. That is where the irreplaceable role of the restoration of the Gospel comes in. The Book of Mormon. “Where are you currently reading and what have you recently learned and gathered from Heaven?” The BoM was translated by Joseph Smith by the power of God. Joseph Smith saw God our Eternal Father and Jesus Christ His Son and then through his own imperfections and weaknesses became the man through whom Jesus Christ could restore and lead His Church. If we will follow the Living Prophets we will never go astray. If we will live the Gospel of Jesus Christ we will always be ready before God. If we know the Plan of Salvation is true, we will prepare. Follow the keys, magnify your calling and look to God for help and He will be there. No man can understand His ways, but you can get to the point where you will trust Him nonetheless. Give what God has given you full attention and treat as a gem. Whether that be your mother, wife, brother, sister, friend, a grandma that could use a grandson for an hour, or even how we read our scriptures. Be different. Stay firm. The Church is true. Hold on thy way and remember. In the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I'm Home..... 7-25-17

Final thoughts... Hold on thy way and Remember!

It was a great two years and time that has blessed and will bless my life significantly.  The experiences that were had and the testimonies that were born can never be replaced! I love the people of Ukraine and truly tried to administer to their spiritual needs as the Savior would. Excited to move on in life and keep progressing. Thanks for all that you have done in supporting me and I wish you all the best.





Monday, July 24, 2017

Done My Best..... 7-24-17

Dear Friends and Family,
Thanks for all that you have done for me and for your support these last two years! This last week was amazing. Everything just really seemed to fall into place.

I was able to go eat out last week with a tons of my favorite missionaries and friends on P day. The work seemed to pick up a bit, we had amazing meetings with President and I just had my exit interview.  We had a great exchange and made stencils of the temple and used spray paint and handed pictures out. I was able to go back into my old area and have dinner at the summer house of the family whose son I was able to baptize. Recent converts in our area blessed the sacrament and gave talks. We had a ward picnic this past week.  Today I was able to see a person that got baptized in Odessa last summer and go by a family that I love that lives near the temple for lunch. Yesterday it was announced at church that our investigator, Sergei, will be getting baptized this Saturday! I can't be grateful enough. Work here keeps moving forward. I felt an amazing feeling of gratitude and peace in my nightly prayers this week that can't be expressed. Hard to say how I feel. Greatest feeling that I have done my best and that God is pleased despite all of my weaknesses.
I have figured out the "why" a lot more on the mission. I could go on and on but I know that this Church is true and that it is led by Jesus Christ through living prophets. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that we can all return to him thanks to Jesus Christ. The more I have used and applied the atonement of Jesus Christ the more I know that without it I would not be able to become the person that I am today. I could have said this all before, but it means a whole lot more now.
Not a whole lot of time so...Can't wait to see you all! See you soon!
Love, Elder Devashrayee
Taken right after my "Exit" interview with President