Monday, April 28, 2014

The Faith of a Child, Staying Strong While Being Tried, Lessons From Nephi to ME! 4-28-14

Weather is starting to cool down here some and it is raining a lot. Just received an email from home that said it was snowing/hailing there right now! Appreciate the moisture and cooler weather - it won't stay that way for long. We still have all 6 of us in our house. Crazy at times, but we are adapting better to the packed quarters, clothes and stuff everywhere, and sharing everything!

Another Week in the books people! Crazy how it goes by. We have a baptism coming up this Saturday! His name is Danilo and he is 9 years old. His whole family are members, but less actives. We started teaching him a while ago, and he has really been progressing a lot. We talked to him about Baptism and he wasn't really sure at first, but said that he will see. The turning point was this past week Tuesday. We watched "Finding Faith in Christ" with him and his brother. It was in English because they didn't have a remote to change the language (haha - sounds familiar - can't find the remote) so I just translated (tried to) what it was saying into Spanish. It ended up being a really powerful lesson for him.

We then set up a lesson with him and had his mom with us so we could talk about baptism. She shared her memories of her baptism, and I really hope that that Spirit she felt will spark a change in her. Danilo told us he wanted to be baptized. It was really cool because after we talked with his mom and she said that he is being an example for everyone. He has been reading the Book of Mormon every night and saying his prayers too! Such an awesome kid and amazing example. He is always outside waiting for us and excited to hear what we have to say. I am really excited for him and his happiness to do what is right and how he feels. He is even going to make invitations to give to his friends to go to his baptism! 

Arturo, our other Investigator, is coming along too! We found out that he has a little bit of shortage with his mental capacity which makes it hard for him to pay attention some times and absorb what is being said. He is awesome and is understanding the Gospel piece by piece. He has been going to church with 2 members that stop by his house to walk with him! We are waiting until he has a better understanding to get baptized, but he really has been growing a lot. 

Mario and the Braga Family are just being AWESOME as always! We were privileged to be invited to Jaqueline's birthday party this past week! Such a great family and examples for the ward. Mario is facing a lot of scrutiny from his friends and a few relatives. He is having his Testimony attacked a lot, but has stayed strong to what he now knows is true, and is only strengthening his testimony even more! That's the most important part. Spiritual growth and testimony. 

I was actually reading in 2nd Nephi 4 the other day about Nephi as a prophet even had difficulties. We all face our challenges, but it depends on if we will fight to keep progressing and being better or if we will put that limit on ourselves. I have been struggling with that these past couple weeks. I felt like I wasn't making any progression. Nephi really taught me a lesson that my progress depends on how much I put my trust in the Lord and try to be better. Obedience to the Lord can always be improved, and through the small things great things come to pass. We will feel that progress which truly is an eternal progress. We are Sons and Daughters of God and we have the opportunity to keep progressing to become more like Him through our own Diligence to growing our faith and obedience! This coming weekend is changes.... we will see what happens.  Until Tuesday, stay safe and keep progressing forward!  Love you all and hope you have a great week!
                        ELDER Devashrayee

p.s. This is what I woke up to this morning! GOOD MORNING URUGUAY! Absolutely Beautiful!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Positive over Negative, Nine months out, & Easter Sunday! 4-21-14

Great week building up to Easter! We were able to have some great experiences this week. I love how the Spiritual experiences are remembered so much easier, and are things that I will never forget. 

We had a lesson Saturday with Mario and his family. We watched "To This End Was I Born" and then shared scriptures about Christ and His Atonement and the Completion of His Atonement with the Resurrection. There was such a powerful spirit that was felt during that time, and the family really enjoyed it. Mario then shared with us his experiences he has been having in just the short month since he was baptized. There was one thing that stuck in my mind and I have been thinking about it a lot since he said it. "The Gospel of Christ and His Church change lives." He has already noticed the difference in his life and is so thankful for it. 

Really made me think about how much the Gospel has changed my life the last 9 months as I have been studying it more with a deeper purpose and desire to apply it. It really changes people. I know that I am so different from when I left thanks to the Atonement of Christ and the Teachings that He gives us in the Scriptures. It truly is a blessing for each and every one of us to know the fullness of the Gospel of Christ and the blessings that there are in it. Mario made me remember to be more grateful for the greatest blessing we have! 

We also have another investigator named Arturo. He is an awesome guy, just struggles to understand. Even the prayer part is still something that he doesn't quite grasp, but he is still progressing and starting to see the happiness or "difference" there is when we talk to him about the Gospel. Originally he didn't have any clothes to wear to church with us, but we found something simple for him to wear. Then last week we found him an old suit that a member was getting rid of and gave it to him. Yesterday he showed up in that suit! He said he really enjoyed the testimonies of everyone and that with time he will understand more. We are going to be working with him and working towards that 3rd of May Baptismal Date!! 

I am so grateful for the experiences that I have had on the mission, and for the Spirit that has taught me so much. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and with prayerful study can change our life. Christ Lives and has made it possible that we can return to our Heavenly Father through His Love filled Sacrifice for every single one of us. I know He loves us and wants us to be happy- which happiness comes through following Him and obedience to the Commandments. 

I hope everyone had a great Easter and enjoyed the time to think about our Savior and Celebrate His Victory over Death. Easter was a weird one down here. It didn't even feel like Easter, just another day in the work! But we did get to see the Easter Program that was put up on the BYU channel with Sister Wixom, Elder Holland and Elder Scott. We watched while we ate with one family for lunch.   Love you all!! :)
                 ELDER Devashrayee

Ran across this 'beaut the other day.  I wanted to get in.... but the owner said 
"sorry to tell you but you have too long of legs" haha.... 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Two new contacts, Feel the blessings of Easter Week! 4-14-14

Well it was a great week to add onto the General Conference! We have 2 Investigators that are progressing really well and both have their baptismal date for the 3 of May! One is this 9 year old boy named Danilo. His Mom is a member, just hasn't gone to church for a long time because of things that have happened in the past, and his 14 year old brother who is baptized. Danilo Loves talking to us, and through him we have been able to talk to the Mom and find out that what is holding her back is the repentance process. She has a strong testimony and knows a lot about the Gospel but is stuck at that point. We had a powerful lesson about the Atonement of Christ and the 5 Principles of the Gospel. Danilo accepted the date, and even went with us alone yesterday to go the Stake Conference! We went back that night, and his mom said something that brought me a lot of joy ¨I will come back to church if you 2 (her boys) keep learning and doing what is right.¨ That was a testimony - it doesn't matter the age, those that want to follow Christ and grow in His Gospel are examples for us. He is 9 years old, but being an example to His mother.

The other guy is awesome! He has lived in the "field" for all of his life and knew nothing about Christ until we found him a couple months ago. He has a hard time understanding, and we have had to go over the lessons a few times with him so that he understands. We even used the little Plan of Salvation set that you sent me mom - thanks! I just had to translate the words on them to Spanish ;) Ya it might have been a little childish, but he understood it more and it began to make sense to him. This past week we found clothes for him to go to church and he went!!! 

It was such a great Sunday too. Our mission president was there and this Stake Conference was the most powerful Stake Conference that I have been to. The Spirit of the Work of Salvation was the theme, and everyone left feeling the importance of Working WITH the missionaries. It is what the Prophet has said, and miracles will come through those efforts. He told us he really liked it and will keep preparing himself for his baptism. He doesn't understand everything, but he knows that there is truth in what we say and how he has felt with us! 

Seems like with this cooler weather here the people are more receptive. I'm just so Grateful for the experiences that I am having here. We had interviews with President the Saturday before Conference, and I am so blessed to have a president like him! He is always such a booster and has the Spirit with him really strongly. I love the Atonement of Christ and the power it does give us to do better and be better servants. More dedicated, harder working, and trusting in His power. I know this Church is true, and Christ is leading it. He knows us personally and loves us. I know these things because I have felt them, and can't deny the happiness there is in living and striving to do better in the Gospel. Love you all and wish you a great Easter Week. Think of Christ and what he has done for us, and you will feel the Divine Nature and Merits of Christ. He is our Savior, and He LIVES! 
                ELDER Devashrayee
Thanks for the seasonings Mom - I love the "taste" I can add when I cook. 
Things down here are pretty bland.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Conference thoughts & FHE playing UNO - fun times! 4-7-14

Well there is definitely a reason why Conference is done 2 times a year! Such a boost to what we can do better and how to grow closer to our Heavenly Father. The Spirit was really strong, and to be honest I don't want to watch conference when I am not in the mission haha.  Seems like the Conferences hit me harder because of where I am and what I am trying to do! 

The week leading up to conference was an interesting one, but we did have a lot of success in inviting others to go to Conference. Even though only a few went, those that accepted our invitation, whether they be menos activos (active members) or investigadores (investigators), had an experience watching and listening. We were able to have a Family Home Evening with the family of Mario in the house of a member. We talked about the blessing of a living prophet and Mario began testifying to his family of the help the Gospel has been making in his life this past month. It went really well and the family was touched by the members hospitality to let them enjoy the night and eat some food with them! We finished the lesson playing a game of UNO!!! Crazy that they have no Idea what the game is and it is even in Spanish.... hahaha they loved it though! We will be having another FHE coming up this week with them, and I feel that they are seeing the difference of the Gospel. 

I'm going to put up a few of the quotes and themes that I got from this past Conference that stood out to me. 
¨Pure true Christ Like love can change the world¨ Elder Holland. 
¨Daily scripture study and personal prayer and FHE once a week are the most important things we should do during the week¨ Sister Reeves. 
¨Righteousness must be chosen¨ Pres Eyring. 
"Faith is only safe in Christ¨ Brother Nelson. 
¨Communicate with love, No Corrupt Communication¨ Brother Zwick. 
¨There are no true endings, just everlasting beginnings¨ Pres Uchtdorf. I loved that one a ton. Such a powerful statement of our potential and blessings. 
¨Forgiveness goes hand in hand with love¨ Pres Monson. 
¨The truth will always be opposed¨ Brother Cobridge. 

I know that this Church is true and what we were taught by our Leaders was inspiration from the Lord. We are imperfect beings made perfect over time through our devotion to the Lord and His Atonement. I know He lives and His love is a love that will carry us through whatever challenge we might be faced with. I'm so grateful for the mission and the opportunity I have to spread the Gospel and learn how to be a better disciple of Christ myself. Love you all and invite everyone to reread and follow the talks from this last Conference!! Have a great week! :)
                         ELDER Devashrayee