Monday, October 28, 2013

Service opens many doors, Constant Up-lifter, BE HAPPY! 10/28/13

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS hahaha that is so sweeeeet!!!!!!!!!!!!! BHS BHS !!! Congrats Girls Soccer for taking State!  Good luck Football at State! Bengal Train for me.....

What a week!!! Wow Carmelo is turning the corner! There have been so many blessings and miracles this past week!! We have been having activities every night in the church as a way to invite people to OUR territory haha. They have been doing really well and the members are becoming closer than ever! 

The biggest miracle this week came from this. We received a notice that a family had a house fire and the clothes of their kids got burnt in it. We informed others to come and help us separate and organize some extra clothes that were gathered at the church for them. The friend of the family that told us ended up being an investigator of the Church for a long time but never committed to anything. We talked with her once when I first got here and since then we haven't really been able to contact her until the fire came around. She came to the church and helped and enjoyed the atmosphere because we were having fun, talking normally, and giving service. We went by her house the next day to talk with her and her whole demeanor changed! She was bright and really talkative about it all. We shared our lesson and by the end we knew that we needed to ask her again if she would be baptized... She Accepted!!! She is going to be taking the steps necessary to reach her goal and going to overcome her addiction to smoking too! We set the date for the Saturday before Elder Nord leaves because she wants him to be at her baptism because of how persistent and kind he has been to her! What a blessing that comes from service and having a constant place like the Church to have us meet at and enjoy each others company!! 

We then had 45 in church Sunday and we were thrilled!! People who hadn't come for weeks, months, years were there for Sacrament meeting!! The Spirit is changing here and I am lucky enough to be a part of this! My companion has been a great example of never giving up on someone and being a constant up-lifter for all! We have a lot of work these next 3 weeks before he leaves and we want to do all we can! 

The scripture this week is Mosiah 2:41 Such an amazing promise that is given there and we have the chance to receive those blessings! The Church is truly a rock that we have the ability to choose if we are going to build our testimony on it. At times it may fall, but that only means we need to build it up stronger! The Atonement of Christ is infinite and was done out of pure love for us. I am so grateful that I can be here serving in these times and build my own personal testimony of this Gospel. Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to be happy. True happiness comes from following his Commandments and Living the principles taught to us in the scriptures and through the living Prophets too! Love you all and have a great week!
                                 ELDER Devashrayee

He sent a few photos again this week - see the Carmelo link to enjoy them.... some classics :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

So Blessed, Graffiti Artist, Charity - Pure Love of Christ..... 10/21/13

He was able to send some new photos this week. Take a look under the Carmelo link. He got his first mission hair cut (BUZZZ)!

Crazy how much things change in just a short few months... I have been looking back this week and thanking my Heavenly Father for everything that I have been given. It is amazing how much love and patience he has with us! 

We had a great week here in Carmelo! People are starting to change and those attending church have been having great experiences with it too! The Spirit here is so much happier and it shows in the willingness they have to serve others and fulfill their callings! We had a service project this past Saturday in this small plaza that really needed some fixing up and painting. While we were doing it, kids of all ages started to come in and help us paint and were so interested in us ´blancos´  especially Elder Nord the "good ol´ rubio"! We had the opportunity to talk to them about the church and invite them to sports and the activities we are having at the church. We were also able to discuss the help that following Christ will bring in their lives. There are so many who truly will listen to us, we just need to open our mouths and Invite them! I had my first experience with Graffiti! It was approved and all of the kids loved putting their mark in the park as well.

Along with that experience there have been many great lessons this week with members who are really struggling with problems and trials in their life. The power of Prayer and gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon, the KEY to our church, is incredible. The Spirit can always be there with simple statements of truth and testifying of these things. There are changes in the hearts of Menos Activos (less actives), feelings of excitement for investigators, and strengthening testimonies of the faithful members! Carmelo is taking a turn for the better and the Lord has truly been blessing us in our efforts and leading us to those that need us most! 

This week I came across 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 and how strong this chapter hit me. Charity and Love are absolutely essential! Without them we are literally nothing and not able to feel the Spirit as much as we would have. Christ was Serving and Loving and is STILL serving and loving in every moment. There is a reason that Charity is called the Pure Love of Christ!! Love you all and hope that everyone is doing well!!
                                       ELDER Devashrayee
p.s. Since I am newer out here and most of the other Elders have been here for a while, I was able to pack more 'lively' ties with the new guideline change.  My colorful ties are great conversation starters! Love them! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

"I am Uruguayan", Spanish clicking, Teaching families, Re-read Conference talks - 10/14/13

This week was incredible!!! But now Soy Uruguayo!!! Firme mis Papeles de Residencia Hoy!!!  Haha, I traveled down to Montevideo to become a legal resident and sign my papers! A relief to feel that now I'm not running from the Government.

How great it is the opportunity we have to watch Conference and truly hear the words from the Profets of God. I know I am a week late but this past weekend catching up and watching all the sessions was so great!! There is a reason that Pres Monson said this was one of the most powerful, and inspirational Conferences he has attended!! So true. The Spirit was so strong and centered on Mission Work along with the strengthening of Family. Those two things are the center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and it was definitely stressed so much! 

Well this week along with Conference I have felt the greatest increase in my Spanish. All of the sudden I am able to put together conversations with little mistake, just a little slower then the Natives, but it was starting to catch! This new change I have more responsibility with helping with the lessons and being more integral in the delivering of them. We actually had a lesson with the Familia Isnardi whom I love so much. We talked about the temple and how significant it is. I joined in more on the lesson and the Spirit was so strong there! The two parents then showed up to church on Sunday!!!! What a feeling it is to see those less actives step into the sacrament meeting and start to come back to that true happiness they felt earlier in their lives. 

We then had a Family Home Evening with another Family about the Plan of Salvation. It was also so strong and the husband accepted the invitation to be baptized in a month!! Hopefully he continues along with everything and reaches that goal we have set with him! Teaching those two lessons which were focused on Family were so strong, and then to have that reaffirmed in the Conference Sessions was such a boost! 

There are changes coming here in Carmelo and people are starting to accept new callings in the church and the Rama Prez here is really building a place of peace and love that used to be of contention and un-forgiveness. 

My thought for this week is for all to go back and watch one of the talks from Conference for family night if you can. This WILL strengthen you and bring you ways to become better in different areas of your life. Take notes on what you feel and then do them! I promise you all that I will be reading them once I get the magazine this next month. This invitation isn't empty. It is something that I will be doing too and it will only strengthen your testimony and Faith in Christ. I Promise you this! Love you all and thanks for the support and love and prayers!! Push Forward and don't look back at what you have done! Look forward to what you still need to do!! Have a great week :)
                   ELDER Devashrayee

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Overstuffed Pain, Faith of 16 & 11 year olds, Two Powers - 10/8/13

What a week!!! I can't believe that my "first change"** has come to an end!! (That's why I'm emailing on a Tuesday, by the way mom - I didn't just forget ;) haha) But time keeps moving and it is October already and unlike you guys with snow it is starting to warm up here and I am actually kind of excited for it, even though I know I will take that back in a few weeks here! 

Last P day we met as a Zone and went to this All You Can Eat pizza place in Colonia!! The pizza here is more like bread sprinkled with cheese but it was great! I ate so much and it felt great to have that overstuffed pain again hahaha. We also took some pictures at this business who does 'old fashioned' photos and when we get them back I will take a picture of it and send it your way! 

So this past Conference Weekend I was not able to watch Conference which was a huge let down but we will watch it as a Rama this next Saturday and Sunday! From what some of the other missionaries have said it sounds like a great Conference focused so much on the Missionary Work that the WHOLE Church is needing to do!! Cant wait to see it! 

We had divisions this past Saturday and I was with Elder Mar who is from Mexico and only speaks Spanish. It was a great 24 hours of just Spanish and I was actually really grateful for that opportunity! He also has some crazy stories from his childhood in the Mexican Mofia/Gang. I enjoyed hearing those a lot! 

Nothing really big happened other than one of our investigators that has been wanting to get baptized for over a month but her parents won't let her because her father is the pastor of his own Church and her mom says we are just all lies. Julieta our Investigator has such incredible Faith! She told her parents that she knew that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was the church she needed to go and her Father had two other pastors come and pretty much interrogate her and she just told them "I don't know the scriptures as well as you but I DO KNOW that I have received an answer through the Holy Ghost that the Church of Jesus Christ is true and nothing will change that. Nothing you say will take away the feelings that I have felt." What a testimony builder to hear that from a 16 year old girl who is just going to wait until she is old enough to legally do what she wants, reading the scriptures, praying, fasting, and talking to the missionaries too! Talking to her the other day had such a strong spirit! She has a boyfriend who is a member and he is definitely Kapo! Such a strength for her and when he bore his Testimony it was very strong as well! 

We had Fast and Testimony meeting this past Sunday and it was great to see 35 people there including a guy who hadn't come to church in over a year! He came to the Baptism last week and we talked to him and asked him to come and he finally did!! We also had Ivan the 11 year old who just barely got baptized and he gave his 1st testimony in church! Great to hear a simple pure testimony of Recent Convert! I love the Testimony Sundays! 

My Scripture this week is in DC 64 33-34. Things are brought to pass with small things that build upon each other for those that are willing to open their minds and hearts to the Savior. It is our decision to either trust in the Lord and come to him with all we have, or turn away. The world is full of two powers: The good Spirit of the God, or the Evil Spirit of the Devil. We need to fortify ourselves and build on that Foundation of Christ continually. It really is a foundation that supports the house we build on it with our own experiences,obedience, faith, repentance, and charity. Love and miss you all and hope you have another great week! 
                                ELDER Devashrayee

** First Change: This was explained in another one of his emails... It occurs every 6 weeks and is the day when Elders change companionship's, move areas, etc..  He is still with Elder Nord and is still in Carmelo.  Elder Nord will leave to go home at the next "change" so Travis will end up with a new companion and possibly sent to a new area.... When these occur all Elders then have P-day on Tuesday. He sent new photos - click Carmelo to view them.

                        The Carmelo Zoo Building they have been painting on their Service day's.