Monday, September 29, 2014

Hearts need to be Humbled & Family History Work..... 9-29-14

Whats up people!!? This past week was very interesting and I enjoyed the blessings that we received as a companionship, and for the things that the Lord wanted me to learn personally this week through His Spirit. 

So I'll start off with the Leader Meeting we had as a mission with President. Each Zone was represented by their Leaders and I was just chillin' there solo :) It was quite the experience! I learned a lot. As a mission we are going to have a push in family history work. President explained to us the power of the Spirit of Elias- which is the Holy Ghost that testifies to us the importance of the family and how it has the potential to be an eternal unit. That moment of the training was very powerful for me. I felt the Spirit so strongly and I know that families are eternal. That is why our Genealogy work is so important! I'm excited to be able to share and animate the people down here to do some history work and feel a very special Spirit that just automatically brings a deeper sense of love. Everyone can use a little more love :). 

Then later in the week we had the privilege to teach a friend of a member this week. His name is Pablo and he told us that lately he has been feeling like God has been calling him, and wanted to know more. We talked to him about the Restoration and we were actually able to watch the First Vision in the house of the member. The Spirit just testified to him of the truth, and he even said that he felt something different and wanted to go church Sunday! The power of the Gospel and its restoration is real and will reach every single heart that humbles and is ready for it. I know that it is the true Gospel and the Spirit testifies it to us. He went for the full 3 hours and loved it! The only downside is that he doesn't live here in Delta, we have to pass him along to the other missionaries in Montevideo. 

The other cool part of the week happened Sunday for me. The president of the Branch had called me and the hermanas late Friday night to put together a talk for Sunday... Always last second :) but luckily as missionaries we are always prepared. I had been studying in James 2 and the importance of Faith and Works. I tied it into the Sacrament how being there in church testifies as the work that we remember Christ. The best part happened while I went over John 6 :48-58 where Christ compares the Bread and Water to Himself. I just read the 10 verses in a row and the Spirit filled me. I knew for a fact that what I was reading is true. Christ is the bread of life. His Atonement is real and gives every person the chance to have salvation through His Infinite sacrifice. It was one task that has Eternal consequences for every single person that carries his name and follows Him to the end fulfilling what He asks. 

This church is true and I love the chance that I have to represent Christ and do this great work of sharing the good news! Love you all and hope you have a great week! Enjoy Conference and Remember what The King Benjamin said in Mosiah 2:9. The words of the Living Prophets need to be remembered and applied! It is the evidence of modern revelation that we receive.
                    ELDER Devashrayee
Took a trip as a zone to the Beach today! 
(notice the white shirt tan line on my neck.... Its already gettin' bad!)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Training, Trials, and a Greater Perspective = An Eternal One..... 9-22-14

What's up people!? What a week this past one was! There was a little of everything through it all, that just helps to make things interesting. We had our District Meetings and everything that we had talked about in our little 3 man Leadership Meeting was talked about and I loved how the two District Leaders applied it! I learned a ton, and it was something that I had studied to talk to them about. We talked about the scripture/common phrase "many are called, but few are chosen." It is something that as missionaries and as members of Christs church we NEED to be those that are chosen. Not because we are prideful, but because we understand the importance of magnifying our calling and "choosing" to do what God Wants. He calls us all, but those that are chosen take that calling and chose to Work and give away their own desires. I loved it, and has been helping me as well as others give the best that they have. 

This week with our investigators has been one of the worst. The two that were progressing really well and had their baptismal date for the middle of October decided that worldly things and happiness is more important. We are hoping to get back to them this week and help them to understand the importance of doing things with a greater perspective- An Eternal one. One of them we have been working with for over 3 months, and is such a great guy. He just has a couple of friends, and a girlfriend that keeps him from moving forward. He wants to get baptized and knows that this is the true church, he just needs to make the commitment and stick to it. But the Lord always comes in the "last moment" after things seem to just be going down hill. 

So last night we went out with the Elder´s Quorum President from 6 to 9 working. We went and contacted a house that a "member" (I will explain farther along) had just moved into. His Mother and Father were there and we began to talk about the Gospel and how we have a message that is Based on Christ and His Restored Gospel. That's when both Elder Abel and I realized that we were out of our Restoration booklets.... That's when Omar (EQ Pres) who was with us said "oh don't worry I have a couple here in my backpack." He was prepared!! He was a missionary in Argentina 15 years ago and it is cool how he hasn't changed that attitude. He loves to teach the Gospel and has a great knowledge of the Scriptures. The lesson went great too! All 3 wanted to listen to us again, and in that moment we found out that the guy was baptized, but never got confirmed..... He is a "member" but not really. They are going to be gone for the next couple of weeks, but there is a lot of potential in these people. 

Delta has been quite the challenge, but I know things can change here. We are just inviting everyone to hop on board and love this work! Oh and just to let everyone know me and Elder Abel have set the goal to run a 5K in under 18 minutes by the end of this change. :) We are already training in the morning and on our way to getting that goal! Its just unfair that this kid is in such good shape- he definitely whoops me every time! 

I love you all and I know that this is the work that brings true happiness. It is what Christ asks us all. Those that follow Him; preach His Gospel and share it with everyone! I know this is His church and was restored through Joseph Smith. We have all of the blessings we can imagine waiting for us. We just have to put in our part to be obedient, patient and keep enduring with faith.. D&C 103: 36  Have a great week!
                    ELDER Devashrayee
Came home to this scene the other day on our front step.  Even frogs give "bear hugs" :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Using Planners & Doctrine of Christ..... 9-15-14

Hey everyone! What a week and the funny part is that it seems like things have just been getting blurred together lately. The work keeps moving forward, and luckily I have a planner to keep me on target and ¨organized¨ haha!  I have truly been learning a lot, and I am really excited for everything that has been happening. 

The new zone is finally under control and things hopefully will keep moving forward smoothly. I have 2 great District Leaders that have been such great examples and willing to work and trail blaze here in Cerrrrrrro Norte!! 

So this past week in Delta. First off, we have 2 new Sister missionaries in our Branch. That has been very interesting showing them the area and helping them ¨open¨ half of Delta. They have a ton of animo (excitement) and we are going to go forward trying to get this place going spiritually. We have a couple of investigators that have potential of being baptized soon, we are just pushing forward to help them make those last couple commitments. I'm looking forward to that :) 

Gladys has been progressing so well and our next goal with her is to have her do some baptisms in the temple in the next month. She loved seeing the pictures of the temple and I know that she will enjoy being there and feeling of that pure peace that just radiates from the Temple. She has home teachers, and here in the next little while she will be having an assignment in the Church. 

We are trying to change the culture of baptism not being the only goal, this has left a lot of converts not being true converts. The Retention has always been low down here in Uruguay, but we are working hard to keep those that we baptize and reactivate those that are missing out on the continual blessings of living the Gospel. 

We actually had a training last night with all of the Bishops and counselors of the Cerro Stake with the Stake President and President Smith. We talked about the Rescue efforts that we need to make using the most powerful tool there is- The Doctrine of Christ straight from the Book of Mormon. We are going to do it together as missionaries and members to be able to grow that 10% attendance. 

It has been a couple of months that us, as a mission, have been focusing deeply on studying and internalizing the Doctrine. I can truly say that it has changed me. That Doctrine is so clear. Christ teaches us what our Heavenly Father requires of us in order to be saved. I am going to give a sequence of scriptures that we are using as a mission (along with others that we feel are right) to help those that are active understand what they are doing, and help those that are less active to return. 

2nd Nephi 31: 2-3. 2nd Nephi 31:10. 3rd Nephi 11: 32-35. 3rd Nephi 11:37-38. We become like little children through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 3rd Nephi 27:16  Enduring to the end is how we become innocent before God- Just like a little child is innocent. 3rd Nephi 18: 7-13 We testify to God that we remember Him and we will remember His Son Jesus Christ and we will keep His commandments through taking the Sacrament every week! We have to take the Sacrament or we are being disobedient and not keeping the Commandment that God has given us to take the Sacrament. By not taking it we are giving testimony that we have forgotten Him. I love it. 

It is so clear and powerful and we are already seeing fruits of this effort! I know that this is Christ´s Church and this is His Doctrine. The only true Doctrine=Way of our Heavenly Father. There is no other way than to follow the path that Christ has made for us to return to our Father. I love you all and encourage every single person to study the Doctrine of Christ and feel the power of the Atonement in your life. Have a great week! :D
                     ELDER Devashrayee
One of the Districts in the Zone. On the only "hill" over looking our area.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Amazing the Change in 1 Month & Created New Zone...... 9-9-14

Hey everyone!! It has been one crazy week including today! I'm just giving the warning that I don't have much time so I hope to fit it all in. We went to the temple as a zone today because we have a lot of people that are leaving and us living far away from the temple it wasn't in our favor in regards to the timing but the temple was amazing today!! And we were able to cook some pizza up with a few companionship's with Matias :) Needless to say it was one great day! 

And yes it is change week. Me and Elder Abel (Able for sure :)) are staying together! There is just a little change to just working together and training. I am going to be a one man Zone Leader for the Cerro Norte Zone. They are splitting up the Cerro Zone into 2 different ones. It took me by a lot of surprise because to be honest I have no idea what I need to do as a Zone Leader and no one is going to be able to "train" me, but I am really excited for the challenge and I know that the Lord will help me get His work done here! 

Now onto the story of the week. We had been preparing the baptism of Gladys, and there were a few problems we needed to figure out with the baptismal font (seems like there are more problems preparing for baptisms than anything else.) Our church didn't have water or gas. The water subject was fixed, but the gas part wasn't going to have a solution. There were a few ideas thrown out there to try and heat up water, but Friday night our President told us that we needed to change the service to another church in the town nearby. We spent that night and the next morning calling the members and letting everyone know about the change of location. It went a lot smoother than I thought it was going to be, usually always does. Gladys loved it though- the most important part. 

She was nervous and excited the whole week and when it came time for the baptism she loved it. Elder Abel performed the Baptism too :) The little guy is growing up! Haha he did so well and I think he was more nervous than Gladys too! After the baptism, she gave her testimony and it was so cool to be able to hear about the change she has had in her life and her house. She feels the difference and loves the peace that has entered into her life. She was confirmed a member and yesterday when we talked she told us "I can already feel the difference as a member. It is easier to see the good and bad of things." 

The gift of the Holy Ghost was already starting to take its part in her life! It has been a month since we found her, and without a doubt I know that the Gospel changes lives. To look back to how she was when we met her, and to how she is now it is incredible. 

The Gospel of Christ is the greatest formula for change for the better. To live it and apply the principles makes a bigger difference than anything else we have. I am so grateful for the chance that I have to know this and for the Love and Mercy of my Heavenly Father for giving every single one of us, his kids, the path to get back to Him if we will just humble ourselves to follow it. Love you all and hope you have a great week!
                  ELDER Devashrayee

Monday, September 1, 2014

"Get out of the hole" in Delta..... 9-1-14

What's up people!? What a week down here in Delta Del Tigre! We have been seeing some very beautiful weather and that also brings the pesky misquitos out. Delta is pretty much a swamp because of all of the canals they have here, so Misquitos will definitely be in our future! Time to pull out the spray and netsOther than the weather getting better we have seen some great progress in the people here. 

Gladys has been moving forward really well and her baptism will be this next Saturday! A month after finding her, she has grown so much in her understanding and ´is giddy as a little school girl´ for her baptism! She has already invited all of her family to go as well as a few friends! This past week teaching we have focused a lot on the things that come after baptism- one of those being the temple. We showed her pictures of various temples and she loved it. She comprehends really clearly how the baptismal step really is entering the path and what there is in the future is going to bring a lot of blessings into her life. Her cousin Heber has been struggling a lot lately, and hopefully this weekend sparks something in him. The other mother and her son Matias couldn't come last Sunday, and we felt that it would be better to move their baptism for a later date this month, and they felt that it was the right thing too. 

We are also seeing some great things in the members here. Many are starting to feel the excitement and really want to ´get out of the hole´ here in Delta. It has been a branch for 30 years, and they want to start reactivating and working with us to be able to be able to become a ward! They hooked onto the excitement of the work and we are animated to see changes here in Delta! 

We have been talking a lot about the patience in doing it though and how ´by small and simple things, great things come to pass´ and what the Lord needs  is a ´willing heart and mind.¨ D&C 64: 33-34. Patience truly is an attribute that requires obedience and a strong sense of faith. Changes come through time and like the 3rd group of people in Lehi´s dream we need to push forward constantly holding onto God´s Word and not letting anything take us away from that. 

I felt very strongly the motivation to do things even better and be more Dilligent. We sat there this past Sunday in Sacrament Meeting and I looked around and saw no difference in the people that were there and that lit a fire in me. We need to work every step of the way with the Members if changes are something that we want to see. I enjoyed the challenge and now we are going to put it into action through different ways of bringing excitement here to Delta as well Spiritual experiences. It truly is a great and wonderful work that we are part of. 

Now it is our time to act and prepare for the Coming of Christ. 2 Nefi 2:26-27. I know that this is the Work of the Lord and He is the one in charge of it. He is our Saviour and We truly do owe everything to Him. He will always love us, and blesses us daily. I know that Joseph Smith was the Prophet of these last days and restored the Fullness of the Gospel of Christ in the Earth. The only true Gospel that will have us prepared to live with God if we will be obedient and Faithful to it. Love you all and hope you have a great week!! :D
                          ELDER Devashrayee
"Beach Bums" Missionary Style :)
Played some beach volleyball with the Zone today.