Monday, November 25, 2013

Birthday Dinner, Elder Toledo, Work side by side to do the work.... 11/25/13

First off, thanks for all of the birthday wishes!  I had a big bowl of sweet rice and milk... note the candle I even got to blow out!  It was a good day!!!

What a crazy week!! So now I understand why missionaries never look forward to change week, haha it was chaos!! I went down to Colonia with Elder Nord and we had to sleep in the church there for our last night together as Comps - Describes our 2 changes running around and no beds - remember the bed of chairs - night 2 on them! But he left early Wednesday morning and I waited there in the Bus Terminal with the other missionaries to get our new comps! My new comp is Elder Toledo from Chile! he has been in the mission for 8 months and is 19 years old too! He was in a heavy metal band and still has the scream for it, really took me off guard the first time he did it. 

It has been a long first week and my brain has been fried from thinking in Spanish 24/7  but I can already see a difference in my Spanish so I'm grateful for it! He knows English too so he tries to talk to me in English every once in awhile which has been really funny! His trainer was Elder Jake Davis from my home Stake! I thought that was way cool to have another connection here down in Uruguay! 

Got a young crew here in Carmelo though!! He is an awesome comp and we will keep working hard to bring to pass the work here! There is definitely one difference that has already been noted... It is going to be a messier house this change. He isn't like Elder Nord in how he is organized and cleans but He has a ton of animo (spirit) and is always looking for ways to make the work.... work better, that is really what is important! We even organized with other missionaries in our District to come to Carmelo yesterday night and go out to the houses of less actives to invite them to the activities we are having at the church! It was great! Found a lot of people and left a ton of invites for them with the 8 companionship's that swept through the town!! Hopefully we see results from this effort! 

We have also seen a ton of miracles this week! Two people are preparing to be baptized this December!! And another one of our investigators can now come to church because her parents finally let her and are beginning to have their hearts softened! She 16 and has an amazing testimony of the Gospel and the Holy Ghost! We are going to be working with her and now we can talk to her parents and maybe they will feel of the truthfulness and want to be baptized too! 

I know that these are the days for our work to be hastened in EVERY member of the Church! There is no time to waste! Get involved in missionary work! Be looking for ways to visit less actives and helping them out, showing them that we care for them, and serve them. There isn't time to waste and I have already seen the blessings of having members work side by side with us! 

I know that this Gospel is True and there is no doubt in my mind that Christ and our Heavenly Father love us. The Gospel of Christ changes lives and brings miracles to everyone who has faith and truly wants to come closer unto Christ. His Atonement is for everyone and that will never change. No matter how serious of the sin or how lost we may feel, He is always there for us and wants us to take his hand and lift us from our despair. Moroni 7:33 sums this up. If we have faith in him. We CAN do anything to change our lives for the better. Love you all and Miss seeing you guys! But the mission has been such a blessing and being able to spend time serving the Lord every day to help others see the true happiness that comes from this Gospel!! Have a great week!! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  I have a lot to be thankful for!
                                    ELDER Devashrayee

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Goodbye to Elder Nord, Miracles around us, Ether 12 11/19/13

I don't have much time today because of all the craziness with Changes and Elder Nord leaving so I don't know if this letter will be very long and I will have to send the pictures next week with my new comp and everything! I am staying here in Carmelo! 

But this past week has been a crazy good one! We had 52 people in church Sunday because everyone wanted to come and listen to Elder Nord speak... haha.  Wow were they smart to come! The Spirit WAS SO STRONG in there and I really don't think one person didn't at least tear up. So many came up after and told us that they wanted to start coming back and have callings and prepare to go to the temple!!! The miracles have been incredible! One lady who has only been twice in the past 6 months came and after Sunday she went to work the next day, came home, and told us that she wants to start preparing to go the temple and wants to talk with our Branch President!!! I cannot believe the changes that are taking place here! 

I am so appreciative of all that Elder Nord has done and his Spirit and Love for the people here! He has truly been following the Spirit and showing that love and desire to see them happy and people are returning! I have learned so much from him and I won't be the only one that misses him and that's a FACT! Everyone loves the guy and hope I can keep doing what he did and keep the work moving forward with my new comp! 

So excited for the future and being able to bring more into in the Arms of Christ for this Christmas Season and the Birth of our Savior! Truly so grateful for the blessings and miracles that are happening here! We had two baptisms Saturday too! Both of them were so happy to be able to be baptized and are gong to make huge differences in their lives and in helping the Rama grow and strengthen! It really makes me think of Faith and Works. There is no way Faith and sitting around will bring to pass miracles. It only comes through our hard work and trusting in the Savior that HE WILL make up for our weaknesses and failures. Faith is key for all and truly with it we can do anything that the Lord asks of us. 

Ether 12 was such a great chapter to read and study this past week. There are weaknesses in everyone but that only means we have more opportunity to grow and become better! Read this chapter and ponder on ways that you can better YOURSELF and then think of ways you can help others become better too! Do the Works with the Faith and great things will come to pass! 

Time to meet a new comp and he is Latino too! My Spanish is going to be getting a lot better this change :) Love you all and truly hope you are enjoying life and the time we have here to be happy, grow, and come closer to Christ and our Father in Heaven! Have a great week! and smile too ;)
                        ELDER Devashrayee

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bacon Pizza, Addictions in life, Firm in our Callings, Armour of God 11/11/13

What a booster of a week!!! The weeks just move and it is only faster when I am busy and having a blast doing it!! So last week after P Day everyone here in the Colonia Zone went to Mercedes to meet up with that Zone and have Zone Conference with President Smith and his APs! I'm an, oro, or a "nubee", so after everyone got there I had to go up and bear my testimony in front of them! I was pretty nervous but it went really well and I got to hear the other oros give theirs too! But that Conference really just gives you such a boost of energy and excitement from hearing President speak inspired words and give us suggestions on how we can do better in our work here! 

When we had our last "change" a shirt was made. Finally got a photo of it to send.  That is me right above the "sun" along with Elder El Bakri :)  Can you find Elder Nord???

After we had bacon pizza and it was sooo good!! It gave us the strength to win the tug of war battle. We split up into 3 teams for each Zone and Colonia went 3-0!!! After the meeting before our bus left we walked around the city and Elder Nord got to talk to his converts and members that he worked with in his first months of his mission!! It was so cool to see people and the excitement they had to see him! He was so happy to be able to get back there before he left and be able to communicate well with them too. 

The things in Carmelo are still going great! Another week with people coming to church and really becoming firm in their callings. Our investigator is still on track to be baptized this Saturday and she really wants to be able to do it too! She just needs to hold out strong on quitting smoking. The addictions of this life really are so strong and I can't imagine how much more difficult it would be to overcome them without the help or hope of the Gospel and Christ! 

We also have this kid, 13 yrs old Edgar, that is planning on getting baptized too! I have known him since the first day I got here and he has grown so much! He even drew this picture for me and gave me this half coin he cut out! The kid has a lot of energy but really has a huge heart to do what is right. He isn't afraid to pray in front of others and is learning the lessons and remembering them too! Whenever the baptism is he asked me if I would baptize him! 

Things have been going so well and Carmelo is turning the Corner and I am lucky enough to be right in the middle of this change! Miracles are happening and families are growing closer together. Those who have been doing their own things for the past years are coming back to Christ and realizing that the true happiness comes from doing this! So grateful for this opportunity to be able to Spread the Word of God here in Uruguay. 

My scripture this week is in 2nd Nephi 25: 25-29. Such a reminder of everything Christ has done for us and how we should do all we can to share the happiness that comes from His life and sacrifice for us. I know that this church is His Church and there is no doubt that he is leading it. These last days are when we are going to be tried the most and like Conference said: Satan is out in full power deceiving and trying to bring down those who doubt and lose faith. Lets fight against that! Lets build our Faith and Testimony and truly put on that Armour that will protect us! Love you all and hope everyone is doing well too!! Have a great week! 
                                            ELDER Devashrayee

Added more photos again this week - love it when he sends photos.  There is a Zone Conference photo - Elder El Bakri is in it also!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hosting a Cooking Class, First Baptism, Carmelo is being blessed... 11/4/13

Well another crazy week of weather, news, work, and members! We had a huge storm roll through and the streets were literally rivers. I was so glad to have my boots. The nice part about that is the weather has actually stayed pretty cool and the summer won't be as brutally long like everyone has been saying. 

So for one of our activities this past week we had a night for people to come and learn how to make something North American. We showed them how to make Lemon Bars and the Hermana Missionaries in our area translated the recipe into Spanish to give to those that came. It has been way fun to have been learning how to cook better with Chef Nord around and the Lemon Bars were amazing! 
 If anyone has Ideas for cheap, easy "American" meals let me know! 
We are always searching for new things to make and try out! For us and for the class.

The next day I went on splits and I got to stay in our area and go around leading my companion! It was an interesting exchange because he only has 1 more change than me so the Spanish part was a little bit of a worry for us when we started but it ended up going really well and it was fun to be able to play a little bit of charades to figure out what they were saying exactly! :) 

The next day was another great one as we set up for the Halloween party at the Church with a little scavenger hunt, bobbing for apples, and then a Karaoke. I went as a soccer player, Argentine one, I was really thinking outside the box on that one! Everything went really well and turned out to be an activity that people want to do again especially the Karaoke  We have been trying really hard to have activities that people will enjoy and include little testimonies of the Gospel or comparisons from what we are doing to the teachings of Christ. It has been fun being able to have activities and be thinking of new ways to help people have experiences at the church and grow!! 

We had 43 in church and that was even missing a family who the mother went in for surgery that Saturday. She is doing great and the tumor was taken out from behind her eye without a problem! So the investigator that accepted fecha (date to be baptized) has been growing so much!! She really is a different person and it is so easy to see it in her demeanor and how much she is dedicated to overcoming her addiction. The Gospel is truly changing her life! 

Sorry I had to leave in a rush to catch the next bus so I couldn't finish haha. I will send a photo of my first baptism that I was able to do on the mission last Saturday! It was an investigator of the sister Missionaries and I had the opportunity to Baptize her!  It was awesome and a little nerve racking too, but was a special experience!

We are seeing miracles here and Carmelo is changing!! La Iglesia De JesuCristo es verdedera y la se que sin duda. Podemos llegar a ser como nuestro Salvador por medio de siguiendo los mandamientos que nos ha dado para nuestro beneficio. La Expìacion fue efectuado por nosotros para que podamos arrepentirnos de los errores y pecados hemos hecho. Se que Seremos bendecido por nuestros esfuerzos. Se ve en la iglesia los que están disfrutando esta vida para prepararlos por la vida que viene. Testifico que oracìon es tan poderoso y realmente nos communicamos con Dios. Les Amo mucho y espero que tengan una semana marvillosa!!  
                                     ELDER Devashrayee

I don't read Spanish, so I copied and pasted what he wrote on a site that translates for you, to get a "jest" of what he was saying.  Here is what it translated to... Keep in mind that it isn't 100% :)
The Church of Jesus Christ is presented and is without doubt. We can become like our Savior by following the commandments which he has given us for our benefit. Atonement made by us so that we may repent from errors and sins we have done. If that we will be blessed by our efforts. I have seen in the Church who are enjoying this life to prepare them for life coming. I testify that prayer is so powerful and really we communicate with God. I love you all very much and hope that you all have a marvelous week.