Monday, January 27, 2014

SEE IT, OWN IT, SOLVE IT, DO IT Formula & Finally played real Basketball! 1/27/14

First off, saw some great Theme photos - sounds like it was great dance!  Thanks BBall team for carrying on the tradition - going as a group and heading bowling after... Those are FUN memories with some great life-long friends!!! Second, S/O to BHS bball team, way to go to BEAT Bingham in their house... they may have Football but we own BASKETBALL!!! Keep going strong and aim for another Region Title!  You can do it!

Wow what a week!!!! Going to start off with the climate down here.... I don't understand it at all! One day it is really 115 and before I realize it is dumping rain and back down into the 60s.... But it only adds to the fun! :) 

Alright I can't keep in this news any longer.... I played REAL Basketball for the first time today!! 3 v 3 at the church with another kid in our zone who played High school Bball and played AAU bball with the Extreme team and Zach Wertz!! Elder Watts :) I was definitely rusty at the beginning, haha, but by the end I was feeling better and able to jump a little bit still. It was such a relief for me! 6 months of build-up was released!! It felt good!

So we had interviews with our mission president this week which was so awesome! I really have learned a lot from him and more than anything he has such great insights both with the work and how he can help us young members of the church. It has been such a blessing to have him as my president and I know that he will have an impact on my life. He gave us the example of being above the line and how to do that we need to SEE IT, OWN IT, SOLVE IT, DO IT. That formula can be put to any problem or any weakness that we might have. I have thought about that a lot the past week and I'm going to use that for the rest of my life, I think! It is so simple yet really is how we can progress and become better. 

Cool experience this week though (and it has nothing to do with leaving the house without certain articles of clothing or bugs... :) ) We received a reference from Elder El Bakri about a man that works at a clothes washing place that they drop their clothes off every Tuesday when they pass by and the guy seemed interested. So we went and we were able to find him at his house. Started talking a bit and we didn't even have to bring up the topic of the church or anything, he started telling us that what we are doing is a prophesy being fulfilled in these days with the Gospel being brought to all the Earth. He then said that lately he has had a desire to truly know how he can save his soul as well as the soul of his family. Well folks... It cant get any better than that!! He only had a few minutes so we just bore our testimonies of the truthfulness of this Gospel and of Christ and how we really can be saved through following him. He was so excited to be able to talk to us this next week when all of his family is in town!! We were doing divisions within our house so I was with Elder Nelson. We both felt so good! We understand that feeling comes from knowing that someone wants to come unto Christ and truly change their life. So excited to be able to work with them and I hope Mario keeps the desire to continue! 

It really made me think about what Christ says in 3rd Nephi 13: 20 & 21. There are so many great things we can do in this life, but most important is to think about the treasures we can take with us to the next life. So many decisions, temptations, failures, but with our "eye single to the glory of God" we can pick ourselves up when we fall and know that through the Atonement of Christ that we just need to give everything we can and accept Him in our lives. I know that He lives and wants to help us. He already suffered the pains and sins of the world and only feels joy for us when we repent, change, and have the desire to follow His example. This Church is true and through our faithfulness to the covenants we make with God we can be saved and live with our family forever in His kingdom. Love and miss you all!! Hope everyone is doing well and have a great week!!!
                                        ELDER Devashrayee

p.s. We had splits a few times during the week and one time Elder El Bakri was able to come to "our house" - we celebrated by having pizza - Uruguayan style pizza that is.  It was fun having him there.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Heat messing with my mind, Painting Service Project, and New shoes :) 1/20/2014

Well this week was a really long week but we had a lot of great things! I'm going to start out with some of the funny things that have happened. It has to be the heat that is messing with my head!! But I left the other day to go out thinking that everything was great and Elder Zapata asked me ¨where is your tie?¨ yaaaaa..... I left the house with everything on (even my belt) BUT without my tie!!! That was an embarrassing 1 block walk back to the house. 

And the other was a battle with maggots that we had in our back patio. I went out to go jump rope and it smelt really bad but I just thought that it must have been something else so I just kept going. I then noticed that there was little rice sized things that were moving on the ground by my feet... I followed the trail and found this sack of something that smelled terrible. The other two missionaries didn't put their sack of old Lamb in the garbage and the Maggots were EVERYwhere! Us four had a 10 minute battle with them using bleach and all types of chemicals. Lesson learned, leftovers go in the garbage! 

This week we had a Zone Conference which went really well. We talked about the struggles we have here in Uruguay during the summer and how the work is a little harder, but we can't waste time complaining about it. President Smith made an example of being above the line, in the line and below the line. Those that are above the line are the people that work to solve the problems and make the most of things. Those in the line just work like normal and don't really find ways to do the work smarter. And those below the line just complain and don't work because of the heat or the decrease help from the members. I really liked it and made me think of the scripture in D&C 103: 36 the `recipe for victory`. 

The heat is tough, but we have still been out working and really have seen a lot of our investigators and less actives doing things like the Lord wants! The Braga family went to church for the 3 hours with their kids and we are able to meet with them a couple times during the week to share Gospel Principles and how we can apply them to our life better. We also found a 25 year old guy the other day that knew about our church but never had time to go or find out more. We had a great lesson with him and he even prayed at the end! He is an awesome guy and we are excited about working with him! 

Oh and the other day we went and painted for service.  Not sure what it is with Painting and ME... The paint was just water with this paste.... we painted the front room with other elders and the family... We got a call the next day that it turned out terrible (wonder why.. hahaha) and we have to go back and try to help them fix it up. I really hope they have something that looks more like paint than water! 

But this area was really hard for me to get used to at first but I am coming around to really love the change and how great of an opportunity it is for me to meet other people and spread the Gospel in another part of Uruguay! We get to eat lunch with members about every day. Wonderful food, I am eating well. I do think I am still losing weight though - it is HOT and I am a sweaty mess!

I know that this is the work of the Lord and the work that brings the most blessings! I know Christ Lives and is guiding this church. He is our Savior. He understands our difficulties and loves us perfectly. We can turn to Him in any moment and really feel that Love and the Healing power of His Atonement. I am so grateful for Him and the chance I have to change, feel comfort, and repent for my mistakes. And best of all I get to spread the happiness of this here! Thanks for all of the support and prayers that you have given me!! Have a great week!
                     ELDER Devashrayee
p.s. I finally found a pair of shoes that actually fit! My P-day shoes were wearing very thin. So I bought them. Thanks to those that donated towards them! They were a great belated Birthday and Christmas gift. No new photos, next time - in a hurry this week!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Investigators are Prepared for US, Obedience=Blessings, Gotta love my New HAT! 1/13/14

Another week down here on the Border!!! The four of us doing just fine in our place.
Elder Mori, Nelson, Zapata (my comp) and ME

It was a great week and things have started to pick up again with people coming back from the holidays and their vacations. We have been seeing a lot of our investigators really progressing and more than anything they are having personal experiences which is the most critical. 

An update to the family that I talked about last week.... we found out they are not married (very common down here) and are waiting for their papers to go through the government so they probably won't be able to be baptized until later, but wow is this family awesome! They have come 2 weeks in a row to all 3 hours and are participating in the classes and really asking great questions. The wife even came Saturday Morning to help clean the church with the Relief Society. It's truly a blessing to be able to work with people that are willing to change and accept Christ in their lives. The Lord really prepares. 

And that isn't the only example of that this past week. I got to do divisions with the Zone Leader, Elder Torres, in his area and it went so well! So many people were just ready to listen to us and talk to us about the Gospel. One of the lessons we had was with a less active family. Their Uncle showed up, who is part of another Church and believes in Christ. He was watching TV and we just invited him to learn more about what we believe and he sat down to listen... He sat there staring at us the whole time and after he wanted to listen to more!! 

I know that people are prepared and we really just have to invite them! One day this week was a little hard though. We went to a lesson and after we both didn't feel good about it and knew that the Spirit wasn't there. We ended up going back to the house to talk to them and we really ask Heavenly Father to help us. We left the house again feeling so much better and ended up having a very powerful lesson about the importance of prayer and going to the Lord for help. The personal experiences truly are how we build our testimony. 

Now for something really funny that happened yesterday at lunch. So we went to a Sisters house, and I really dont know her well so I just sat down and began to talk and listen waiting for the food. Well I had no Idea that she was an Etiquette Nazi! Her 9 year old son busted me for having my elbows on the table even before the food arrived! During lunch I felt like she was just watching how I cut my meat and ate the food haha. Now I know what it was like for Justin on our family Cruise last spring!! I couldn't help but think about that during the meal and after both Elder Zapata and I took a huge breath of freedom when we left. The food was great though. And it was a good reminder that people are watching us all of the time.

Got a present from one of the members!! haha I got myself a great new hat! People definitely smile over it and I just "shoot em down" with the BOM!!

But this week I had a really cool study session one morning about Obedience and Blessings. In Mosiah 2: 24 and the famous 1 Nephi 3: 7. The Lord really does give us commandments to protect us and on top of that he prepares a way for us to fulfill them. Every time we keep a commandment we are blessed immediately. Really!!! Heavenly Father prepares a way for us to be blessed and it is a law in heaven D&C 130: 20 & 21 that when we are obedient we receive those blessings. 

I know that WE are loved so much by God and Christ. They give us all these blessings of peace, happiness, as well as temporal, and most of all the Blessing of Christ and his Atonement. That is the greatest one and is the only one that gives us the opportunity to live with them again in the Celestial Kingdom. Its a blessing to repent and have the chance to be perfected here on earth and I know that the Atonement is the only way we accomplish that. I am so grateful for my Savior and the Love of my Heavenly Father to send him here to suffer so that we can return to him. Love the work and even though there are difficult times, there is always a way to look for the positive!! 
Have a great week!! Love you all!  More photos for you to enjoy!
                               ELDER Devashrayee

Monday, January 6, 2014

Change is good but hard and My Conversion is in progress. 1/6/14

Hope everyone had a great New Year and are ready to get going this 2014 (weird typing that...) 

Wow what a week! So to start out we have a house of 4 missionaries.. It is very interesting and definitely a lot of laughter and it will take a little bit of getting used to for me, but the other elders are great! One is from Peru and the other is from St George. Oh and there were even more Fireworks than Christmas for the New Year! We all went out onto the back patio Roof and it was NUTS!! Haha I love the Spirit they have down here! 

Changing areas is far from easy. It is really different here in Rivera than it was in Carmelo. I have to say that this past week was a little rough for me. The people here in Rivera are so nice and welcoming but nobody wants to talk with us before 5 o'clock in the afternoon because of the Siesta that they take and then with January being the month that everyone goes on vacation to the beach down south. My first two days we only had 2 lessons, that was different. 

We do have a family of 4 that accepted baptism and are preparing now! They are so awesome and really progressing. They are fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. It has been fun with that! They speak Spanish and then without even realizing it they start speaking in Portuguese and only realize it when they see my face really confused! They went to all 3 hours of church this past Sunday which was a great Sacrament meeting with all of the Testimonies! 

The Bishopric asked me to go up and be the first to bear my testimony and introduce myself and while I was up there I had the weirdest flash back to doing the same exact thing in Carmelo. In that moment I realized that I really have changed a lot in both the Spanish as well as my Testimony. And then on top of that I was reading in Mosiah 5 that afternoon. The chapter talks about the conversion and how our desires change and we truly do grow closer to Christ and take his name upon our hearts through his Atonement and follow him. The verses that really got my attention were: 2, 5, 7, 8, and 12. They are all connected and really give a great outline of how we can convert ourselves. That conversion takes our whole life but I know that through small things and a desire to good always is how we can build that conversion. 

I know that I have so much to go and I'm far from perfect, but during that Sunday the Lord really did help me see the changes that I have made to grow closer to him and realize that my conversion is in progress. I love this work and I know that I was called of God to be here and work during these last days. We are spreading the happiness of finding Christ and knowing that Change only comes through Christ and his Atonement and ones desire. He loves us and completed the Atonement because of his pure love. He will always have that love for us and never wants us to struggle- go to him! I know that he is there and lives! Have a great week everyone!
                                   ELDER Devashrayee