Monday, February 24, 2014

Cooling down some - YEA! Zone temple visit and D&C 78:17-19..... 2-24-14

What a week! We have seen a ton of blessings and struggles, but that is how the mission goes and how we learn! So me and my comp get along really well, but there is one big difference between us that I have really noticed this week. He works really hard, but it has been more of a "number" search instead of a "people" search. We saw a lot of people this week because of the summer vacation coming to an end and a cool down in the weather (yea!), but I felt at times that he just wanted to gain numbers. We have talked about it, and we will see how it goes this week. I love the chance that I get to learn from every aspect of the mission. It really is a time of "schooling" in the university for the life ahead. 

But the week was also filled with a ton of great news and stories! So we had received a reference of a guy named "Ginea" but we went to the address and they said they didn't know anyone with that name. So we went back to the guy who gave us the name and he told us that the man is in a wheel chair right now with one leg. So we went back to the house again, and the people said that he was gone and wouldn't be interested... It just sounded wrong, so we asked some of the neighbors and there ended up being a passage on the side of the house that lead to another little house behind. We went back there and this guy in the wheelchair was way excited to see us! He got baptized a few years ago in Paraguay, and had been living in this little house for a few months and can't leave because the passage is too steep, and the people in front (it turns out that they are family to him...) don't help him out. We talked to him for a bit, and the day after we returned to help him clean up a few things and fix a part of his roof. We asked if he would like us to take him to church. He was so happy that we could! Yesterday we went and picked him up, and he had a great time in the church; being out of his house, and in the Lord's house. 

Yesterday Mario also showed up at church! He was finally able to go, and he is really serious about preparing and having his baptism this month! Has a special testimony of the Church, and he really does know that it is only True church of Christ here on Earth. This weekend the two daughters in the Braga Family are going to get baptized! I'm really excited for this week and how much the Lord really has been blessing us in our times of struggle.

This week we are going to the temple as a zone too! Looking forward to that, we head down on Wednesday and get to go to the temple on Thursday. I always look forward to having that experience and feeling the peace and guidance there.

I ended up coming across D&C 78: 17-19 and it really gave me an uplift. We really don't understand the Greatness of God and His blessings, but we can be of good cheer and thankful for everything that he has given us. He is always blessing us, and that will never change. He is our Father and truly loves every single one of us. He wants us to live with him for the eternities, and through the Sacrifice of His Son, our brother, Jesus Christ we have the opportunity to do it. That Atonement is truly a blessing in our lives, and is an infinite one. One that we will always be there and we will always be in debt to Him. In every moment we can take advantage of that marvelous gift and feel of the happiness of change and repentance! There isn't any greater joy! I know this Church is true and now is the time for EVERYONE to be part of it! We will only receive more blessings! Love you all and hope you have a great week! :)
                    ELDER Devashrayee

Monday, February 17, 2014

New companion, Mosiah chapter 4 and 66 at church - Sweet! 2/17/14

Week of changes is always an interesting one! So like I said my new comp is Elder Mandujano (yes I know how to spell it now) and he is from Peru. He has 10 months in the mission and is way awesome. A little on the serious side so that has been a change for me, but we get along well and he wants to work so I'm happy! 

Elder Mandujano & Travis

Its just funny when I introduce him to new people. I do miss Elder Zapata though. I really don't like changes. We have a really good friendship and companionship and then it gets changed, but I'm grateful to be able to meet new people. I seem to learn something new with each new companionship.  And Elder Zapata is still in our area so we see each other a lot. 

But this week was an eye opener for my companion. He has been in other areas where it is more 'humble' and people actually answer the door. He had a rough couple days walking and not having anyone be in their house to talk to. But we have been talking with the Bishop a lot and other leaders in our ward to try and find more people that they know and try and re-activate them or find new investigators. On the good side we did have 66 people in church on Sunday which was sweet! 

We also went to talk with the Braga family this week and they found out that they won't be able to get married until June... That was a blow, but they want to have their 2 daughters be baptized here in the new future! They truly are an awesome family, and even though I might not be here to see the parents get baptized, they have been a huge motivator for me in this area! A family that knows what they are doing is true through their own personal experiences and testimony. They truly are an example from Mosiah 4 in general (verses 11 and 12 I like personally). People that understand the importance of Christ and how much we do need him. They are humble and want to do the will of God and be faithful to what he wants. 

It has been something that I have been able to tell the difference between investigators. I love those that already have that desire and really all we are doing is teaching them Doctrinal Truths that they need to know, and others that we teach, but never really put it to the test. Heavenly Father really does have such great love for us. There is no greater joy than that of change and repentance. That 'fruit' is the sweetest of all, and we can 'taste' of it for ourselves. 

The Atonement is the greatest gift we have in our reach, and nothing else will bring a deeper sense of gratitude, humility, and love for Christ and Heavenly Father. That is our message and purpose here as missionaries. Invite everyone to come unto Christ by helping them understand the Importance of Faith in Christ and Repentance through Baptism and the Sacrament. I'm grateful for this opportunity and I will keep moving forward! Have a great week everyone! 
                                ELDER Devashrayee

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Spread the Good News and learn to really FEEL IT! 2/11/14

Another Week in the Books. This one was another hot and difficult week. Changes are today and Elder Zapata is going to be Zone Leader here in Rivera!! Great - I will still be seeing him around. My new companion is from Peru and to be honest I can't remember how he spells his name (I now know how everyone else feels with my name!) but it is something like Mandujano. I will find out for sure and send it next time.

This last week with Zapata we had some great lessons with the Braga Family like always :) This family just picks me up every time I see them and see the happiness they have. The other great part of the week was the 2nd lesson that we had with Mario and this time his Wife and Son were there. He told us that he knows this church is true from what he has felt. His wife on the other hand doesn't want much to do with us, but she did stay and listen! We talked about the Restoration and Joseph Smith and he asked if we could bring a video to watch. Perfect :). We watched the Restoration short version, and the whole family sat there intently watching and really enjoyed it. 

I love how we get to spread the Good News that The Church of Christ has been restored to the Earth, and is growing! The Kingdom Of God here on Earth really is being strengthened with more missionaries, churches, and temples being built around the world. We will have another lesson with him later this week.  

What Mario said about "feeling it" really had me thinking. Our testimony is truly gained through personal spiritual experiences. We can "know" things of the Gospel solely through reading and studying it, but it is a totally different Conversion when we "feel it". Those moments when the Spirit testify to us truly are experiences that we will never forget and only add to our growing testimony. 

This last week we were able to do some service for a family in the area.  They needed some things cut down.  I think we used the saw that Nephi used to build HIS ship.  The thing was ancient.  Just thought I would share.

This week, I also noticed that the Youth Theme Scripture is Moroni 10:32. I love what it says. Christ really is the only way we can perfect ourselves. That perfection comes through obedience and repentance with a true change of heart. We gain that through our humility and listening to the Spirit. This area has been a hard one during this heat with people not accepting us, but I know that Christ lives and he will be there to help us through our roughest moments. I would never trade the experiences that I have had on the mission for anything. I know that He loves me through what I have felt. We are here spreading the Gospel, inviting people to have their own personal experiences that will truly convert them. There is no reason why us as members can't look for those Experiences and continue our conversion! Love you all and hope everything is going well back in the COLD weather.... haha :) I will get mine soon enough.
                            ELDER Devashrayee

Monday, February 3, 2014

Rainy Days are blessings, Growth comes from Struggles, and "Come Unto ME"... 2/3/14

What a week! So I have finally just accepted the fact that the weather down here is "bipolar". We had one day where it was changing between 90 degrees and then cool with down pouring rain every couple hours. It changed 6 or 7 times in one day! But the rainy days have been a blessing. Those days that are rainy have been the most successful for us because people are more welcoming and not sleeping through the whole afternoon. 
View from above of the street turning into a river just after it was so hot we were sweating....

The Braga family that is waiting for their marriage papers are doing great. That family really has been such a blessing and example of how the Gospel of Christ can change a happy, well rounded family to something even greater! Their happiness is contagious and I love the chances we have to be able to teach and talk with them. We had a lesson about Tithing last night, and they were so ready to start paying and helping the Lord establish his Church here on the Earth! This area has been a tough one for me, but the joy that I feel for this family really makes all the struggles and hard times worth it. 

You also remember that 25 year old stud! He invited us in the first time, and by the end of the lesson he prayed. The second time we went he had just barely been hit by a car...... He just walked it off and told us "come in, I will just be putting ice on my leg while I listen to you guys. This is a little trail for me, but I can't let it keep me from working and moving forward." He has such a great commitment for what he does and wants to do things the best he can. We gave him the Book of Mormon and said he was going to start it that night! He works a lot so it has been hard to stay in touch, but we are excited to see what he thinks of the Book of Mormon. 

This last week I really was able to learn a lot. We were struggling to even enter into houses, but this scripture showed up in my study one day. D&C 122: 7-8... I know that the struggles we have in this life are for our benefit. We grow the most when we have struggles. They are moments where we have the chance to grow closer to God and Christ and put more faith in them. Christ truly went below everything we might suffer here in this life to be able to help us in our moments of need. That love he had for us, to willingly accept the Plan of The Father and come to this Earth to suffer and die so that we could be saved from our weaknesses and failures. 

I know that he loves us, and understands every single one of our problems or difficulties. Go to Him. That has been His invitation from the beginning. "Come unto me" Simple words with a powerful meaning behind them. His Atonement heals, comforts, brings joy, and allows us to keep changing into the Son or Daughter that our Heavenly Father wants us to be. I'm so grateful that I am able to spread this news! He lives! I know that because I have felt it. I know that this Church is true! Love and miss you all and I hope you have a great week!! :)
             ELDER Devashrayee