Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Charge Our Batteries & Trainer To Be..... 7-29-14

Well another week flew by here in Delta! Absolutely freezing too. We don't get a ton of snow, but it is cold!  I'm going to start out with the news of the week that left me excited/nervous and everything in between... Sunday: So changes came and President Smith called us and told us that Elder Del Castillo will be going to Cerro 8 (it is still in our zone so I will be seeing him a lot) and then he told me that I am going to be training here in Delta - a fresh one straight from the MTC! Haha in the moment I was just sad that Elder Del Castillo was going, but then after is when I realized what was going to happen! So looks like the Newbie will have to suffer with me as his trainer ;) Going to be an awesome experience and definitely going to be a huge help to me! 

This past week was great though. We have been able to meet with a lot people and have great experiences teaching the Gospel. That has been a part of this change that I have loved with Elder Del Castillo. Spiritual experiences with people that gives them the boost they need in their life as well as ours. I know that those experiences are what "charge our batteries" to be better and be worthy of the blessings that the Lord has. 

We had one last week with an "eternal" investigator that has some things to get over and do before she can be baptized. We watched the video about the Life of Christ and we testified of how important He is for us as our Savior. The Spirit was there testifying to each one of us that He lives and will be our advocate. I know that what He did changes our perspective on life as we learn more about Him and look for His Spirit and Love. I have felt that change in me, and I know that lesson just strengthened my testimony of Him. 

These past couple of days we have been sharing a short scripture that is clearer than clear and straight from the Lord. 1 Corinth 9:14. We as missionaries and members of this church need to be livers of the Gospel of Christ and that will change how we live and how others around us see us. I know that this church is true and the Gospel that Christ gave to us is straight from our Heavenly Father. We just need to grow to understand it better and live it at a higher standard always. Love you all and hope you have a great week! Thanks for the prayers and support you give me! I really do appreciate it :) My ankle is doing better every week. I know that I have been blessed by keeping doing what I am supposed to do and not let it hamper my work. 
                              ELDER Devashrayee
Burger Time with Elder Del Castillo

Monday, July 21, 2014

HUMP Day = Absolute Change....... 7-21-14

Well I have to start off saying HUMP DAAAAAY! (In the voice of that Camel).  Hahaha I was just laughing when one of the missionaries here said it! Ya the day that seemed so far off actually arrived. To be honest it hasn't really affected me much other than the time that I had to ponder on the past year- absolute change. That is really what I felt. I have grown so much and it really hit me as I was thinking there during my studies. The mission has truly been a huge blessing for me and I have tried to be a blessing for everyone else here in Uruguay that I serve. 

Of course there are things that I wish I would have done better, but I think that is part of what the mission does. It pushes me to be better Representatives of Christ and Serve as he would Serve. I have grown closer to Him and truly have a strong testimony of His Atonement - The true act of love. I know that we need to have faith in His name and His Divinity as the Son of God and Savior of the World. I know we need to have hope in His Atonement and hope that we can be cleaned through it. I know that we need to develop His type of Love and Charity. He truly is our example in every aspect. It isn't surprising that It is called the Doctrine of Christ because He is the center of everything we are and we will become! 

This past change we have watched the 3 minute video `Because of Him` every District Meeting to help remind us of Christ and the importance of sharing the Restored Gospel to everyone! I really encourage everyone to watch it and think about what Christ has done for each of us personally- It will be an experience. 

Well hump day was going great, and I didn't really expect anything different to happen until we stopped by the house of Matias on the way to see if he wanted to "come with us to the next lesson." I had no Idea what was going to happen next. He invited us in, and then my comp said "get comfy gringo" hahaha... joke was on me.  He had planned to have a special home made Italian Pizza with Matias who served his mission in Italy. It went great! We made pizza, laughed, and was a great lunch. My comp really did something that I wasn't expecting, I was so grateful for what he did! It made my day! Enjoy the photos of our yummy Italian meal!

We made a trip to the temple this past Saturday with our Branch, and we as Missionaries stayed outside with our investigators and the less actives that couldn't go in and had a lesson with one of the Temple workers! It was great to be able to be on the temple grounds and feel of that Spirit. It really is a place of peace!! I have sent a couple of photos of the group of us... quite a few went.

This past Sunday was also a treat. We had 4 of our Less active families go to church and 2 couples of investigators go too! We are just waiting for them to get married which takes quite awhile to happen here in Uruguay. Me and Elder D Castillo were able to speak in church, and we focused on the Doctrine of Christ. It was great to be able to talk about the things that Christ would say, and has taught. Things are going well here in Delta Del Tigre, but wow is there a lot of work to be done! Love you all and hope you have a great week! Thanks for your support and prayers. They truly do help me!
                       ELDER DEVASHRAYEE

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sanctify the Sabbath & "Allergic" to the Rain.... 7-14-14

Well another great week from Tigre! We actually had a great one and we were able to see the fruits of our efforts too :) That is always a great feeling and really was a blessing to me to know that Lord does bless us through our desires and work we put into things. 

Now is the time for me to explain what happened. So we have been really concentrating in the Youth here in Delta to be able to get to more families that are inactive as well as investigators. Our focus has been with the young men and young women's presidents to be able to set up mutual and activities every week. They are on board with us! With activities set up we went by these two families that have a lot of youth and young single adults. We decided to start back at the beginning with them because they have had a lot of lessons, but were never making steps toward reactivating. We watched the First Vision with one of the families and then bore our testimonies about what we feel and know that happened that day. We then gave them the time to be able to think about what they felt and how they can have the same feelings that they had when they were baptized again. Prayer. Their first steps were to start praying and trust that God will answer. 

With the other family we talked about the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, and the countless blessings we will receive through doing it! There are so many promises, and we will never know how blessed we will be if we don't put in our part to Sanctifying that day. Ponder about that word and find out ways we can Sanctify the Sabbath better. We left those 2 lessons that Wednesday night on top of cloud of 9! The Spirit was so strong and I had no doubt that each person there felt it. That feeling truly makes up for every hard time- to be able to feel the Spirit so strongly and feel like we truly are instruments testifying of eternal truths. 

The fruits then came that Sunday! It was raining and everything (if you didn't know already, the Uruguayan people are "allergic" to rain) and both of the families showed up! We just missed the Mom from one family and the Dad from the other. So we still have work to do :) It was great to see them in church and enjoying the time. We were able to have a young men's and young women's class along with 3 people in the Young Single Adults class that my comp gave! The sacrament room actually felt a little fuller and both families asked for us to stop by again this week without us saying a word. We are excited to keep working with them and to keep creating spiritual experiences with other less active families and of course with the Investigators. 

The investigator side is really interesting. We have two couples (3 in our branch counting the one that the sisters have) that are willing and wanting to be baptized, but need to be married first. It is like the Braga family in Rivera, (they got their date of marriage and baptism the 29th and 30th of this month!) One of the couples we are teaching are Florencia and Matias. She is a member, but he isn't. We invited them to the church to have a lesson with our Elders Quorum President. It was about the Plan of Salvation and how important marriage and temple sealing are for God´s plan. It went extremely well, and it looks like his baptism will be in October!! 

The Lord really does bless and love the family. In D&C 88: 118-126 it gives the keys to a happy home and happy family, and how our houses really are an extension of the temple. The coolest part is how it describes Charity as perfectness and peace. The 2 things that we are aspiring towards, and can achieve in our own homes and lives. I know that the Lord lives and listens to our prayers. The work is true and I'm loving it! Just about to hit that scary year mark.... next week - I'll let you know how that goes! Haha love you all!
                ELDER Devashrayee
A wonderful Less Active made us this YUMMY cake!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Youth Are The Future & Walking Better Now! ..... 7-7-14

Ankle is doing better (don't worry Mom :) ) I will start doing those exercises too, thanks for all of the recommendations everyone! Thanks all for the love, concern and prayers- they were felt. I have another check-up tomorrow with the doctor. My comp has been awesome! He is a stud! I have been able to walk okay lately, just gets swollen and sore by the end of the day walking around. Just glad to be out of the wheel chair! To be honest I feel like I am learning so much from him. 

"Maaaaax! Get my cloak!" It's getting chilly down here in Delta del Tigre Uruguay! Almost every night we have thick fog roll in, and the temperature just drops. The problem is that the cold isn't like the cold in the States... All of that Humidity just seeps through everything and everywhere. Now I know why we were told to bring a WARM sleeping bag. 

But it was a great week of work. The activity that we had planned for the youths turned out to be a huge success! We played games behind the church in the Cancha (field/court area) to help them get to know each other. While we were playing the leaders were setting up a little movie and cooking hot dogs for everyone. All of the kids enjoyed the first part, and the second part was great. The young women and young men`s presidents shared a short video about Returning Home. Its another version of Prodigal Son. They talked about the importance of being young and making good choices to be able to return home to our parents here on Earth every night, and to be able to return to our Heavenly Father in the long run. More than 30 kids came! Luckily they had bought a ton of Hot dogs :) It was worth it too! We had 5 of those youth go to church Sunday and they had a little class with the Sister Missionaries that are working in this Branch too. 

The area has been a tough one, but I enjoy the challenge and it requires everything we can do to wake up the less actives and find investigators that are going to progress. It's surprising how many different people we have found these past couple weeks.... The hunt is challenging, but we will get there! 

We have one investigator and her brother that live together and he is a member that hasn't gone to church for over 30 years. Elder del Castillo found them last change and they live in this one room house that is in terrible condition. We have been working with them a lot, and trying to help them get out of the horrible conditions that they are living in. The other day we rounded up some extra blankets and took them to their house so they could actually sleep. The cold has kept them up. It is a sad situation because he has to work every day, just to be able to eat that night, and his sister is really sick. The Gospel really has been the only thing that has been helping him stop drinking and not smoking as much.

I know that the Hope in Christ is what gives us the hope in this life. Every single one of us can change and be better through the Atonement of Christ. I have been picking out parts out of Moroni 7 lately and noticing the importance of our Faith and Hope in Christ, and the Charity we can ask for to act like Him. His example is perfect, and I know that this is His church- He leads it, and is accelerating the work in these days! D&C 88: 73 has already started and we are part of that! Love you all and thanks for the support! It is definitely a hard area but we are moving forward :) Love you all and hope you have a great week! Oh and Happy Birfday Merica!! Ya it was weird to think that I couldn't do anything for the 4th! I was just waiting to see fireworks, and they never came. 
                       ELDER Devashrayee
 This is how we feel down here :)  Herding HIS Sheep!