Monday, December 29, 2014

Successful Fireside & New Appreciation of Christmas..... 12-29-14

Merry Late Christmas everyone! Hope it was a great day and everyone enjoyed it! 

Now I will start off by giving the much needed sorry for not writing last week. I'll make it up by filling in a few of the past 2 weeks events. That fireside that we were putting together turned out to be a complete success. We practiced the songs repeatedly for that whole week and Sunday it all paid off. About 300 people went to the activity and everyone left saying "Thank you for the Spirit you guys brought". That made all of the stress, set-up, calls, and rehearsals worth it! 
Our Fireside Choir

The temple trip that we did as a zone was also an experience that I won't forget. We did the work for our ancestor starting with the Baptism. I got to baptize my comp Elder Johnson and he baptized me as well. It was just like what Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry performed during the Restoration of the Priesthood here on Earth. What a blessing that was for me.

Christmas Eve and Christmas were a blast. So Christmas Eve day? That was a lot different for me than the past one I had on the mission- I could see where my level of understanding was then and now, and this one was a lot better because I understood :) We spent the whole afternoon walking around in the streets talking to people about Christ's Birth and if they would like to watch a new video about the importance Christmas. It was tiring because nobody let us in and it was hot, but we were able to meet a lot of people and share our testimonies of Christ. That is why I didn't write - we were out all day.

Then the actual Eve part of Christmas Eve came. We went to a less actives' house to celebrate and eat with them. One of her daughters was there that has been inactive for 6 years and pretty soon we got on the topic of "Why we were celebrating Christmas?" She began to open up, and her boyfriend was listening and participating a lot too. They both asked questions and wanted to know about experiences we have had with Christ. It basically turned into a testimony meeting of the life of Christ and the mission He completed. We bore testimony through our personal experiences of the power of the Atonement and how everyone can change and have new starts thanks to what Christ did. The Spirit was there testifying of that truth and I will never forget that Christmas Eve - Testifying of Christ's cleansing power as a Missionary. 

Christmas morning was also a treat :) The custom to go around singing at doors doesn't exist here which made our Caroling experience even better! We just walked around looking for open doors and people sitting out side (Everyone pulls all-nighters partying so those that were actually outside or even awake in the morning were scarce). Everyone was a little timid at first when we asked if we could sing, which I really don't blame them because I know I would be too haha, but once we sang they had a different attitude and people began to ask more questions. 

Then to top it all off! The talk with the family right after the "Departments Armed Forces" had just recruited me ;) That was great!!! What a great Christmas it was! I love you all and hope you all have a safe New Years! Talk to you in 2015!
            ELDER Devashrayee
"Tree Huggers" - Elder Johnson & Travis

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Joy!!! He hasn't lost his humor..... 12-25-14

It was a great day today.  After an hour of trying to fix the connection and be able to hear each other we got 1 hour to talk to him!  He is doing great!!!  The photo below of him is what he was wearing when we first connected with him.  He told us that Uruguay had gone to war the day before and he was drafted since he was considered a "resident" per his visa.....  

Then he couldn't keep the smile back and took it all off....  his humor????

Had a great chat with him!  He was having a hard time thinking in English at first, and when he spoke in Spanish he was very fast.  Can't believe he is home in 6 months!

Thank you all for your love and support of him. He said  

"Please tell everyone thank you very much for all of the cards, emails and notes you have sent me. They keep me going and remind me how much I am loved and supported out here. I love you all and miss you all - even the ones I don't know.... I hear there are several cousins and friends fiances & friends spouses I haven't met yet :)  Stay strong with your family AND strong in the church!!! See you all soon! Love, Travis"

Love that kid!  We are looking forward to his email next week.... until then - 
            ELDER Devashrayee     (by his mom - Lisa)
Travis' first Snap Chat....  

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Good Moments ERASE The 100 Bad Ones...... 12-15-14

Another week down and already halfway through December... With how fast it goes it makes me appreciate even more the moments we have. This past week was quite crazy and was a good prep for this crazier upcoming week! 

So I'll start with another experience we had. It was a "harder" semana (week) in regards to the work, but we kept pushing forward and just like all of the stories in the scriptures of Christ coming at the last hour- it happened to us. We had spent the whole afternoon in the heat walking around to appointments, knocking doors on the way, and calling others with no avail. It was a bit discouraging but we kept going, trying to find people to teach. It finally came to our last "set appointment" at 8:30pm that we were both looking forward too. Turned out that just like the rest of the day it fell through. We sat there and we tried thinking of where to go. Nothing came. We didn't know what to do, but there was a gal sitting outside her house next door and we decided to go talk to her. She was really nice and talked to us for a minute or two behind her locked gate and then randomly got up and went inside. Haha, ya from the rest of the experiences of the day, and several I have had on the mission, I wasn't expecting her to come back out- but she did, and with the key too! She opened the gate and grabbed some chairs and we began to talk. 

She said she believed in God and sometimes goes to the church that her mom goes too. She has a 1 year old kid and her husband works in the outskirts in the fields. We began talking about the family and the plan that God has for them. She listened so intently and every time we asked a question she would think about it and then answer with what she felt. It was going so well and she was understanding that this life really does have more of a purpose than to just live. It was going great and that's right when the husband returns in a car full of other workers. He hopped out of the car quickly and made his way up to us. Honestly I thought he was going to ask why we were there and that he doesn't want us there anymore. It ended up being the opposite. 

He sat down and talked with us and offered us food and a place to stay if we needed it! He said he would listen to us and wants to know more about God! It really was such a blessing! We were able to go home excited and happy not even thinking about how long, hot and tiring the day was. The Good Moments erase 100 bad ones. 

So update for what we are going to be having this week. Sunday is the Stake Fireside that we are in charge of. We have been having a lot of rehearsals with the youth and to be honest we are sounding pretty dang good ;). There is a lot of planning and organizing still to be done. I now appreciate more all of the big activities that I went to without thinking about how it came to be! 

The other part is this Thursday and Friday we are going to the Temple as a zone and going to do the Temple work for one of our own ancestors we have been looking for! I can't wait to go! I know that this work is true. It is the Work of Salvation. I am so grateful to be a part of it and for the experiences that I have been able to have participating in the Work of the Lord. These 2 scriptures have helped me see how I can keep with the Lord and sacrificing what I need to. 2nd Nephi 2:6-8 and 3rd Nephi 9:15-22. I know He is the Savior of this world and we can enjoy the blessings He has promised us as we strive to follow Him the best we can. I love you all and hope you have a great week preparing for Christmas!! 
                                ELDER Devashrayee
We had fun setting up and decorating the "Ward" Christmas Tree.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Welcome to Salto!....... 12-8-14

Aloooooooha! Wow it is another level of heat here in Salto! This past week I tried hard to get used to it again. But I have absolutely nothing to complain about because it has been a great time starting in a new area. My comp Elder Johnson is a great missionary and I'm learning a lot from him! We had a crazy week with a lot of random changes of missionaries. We have been waking up and going to bed at some weird times every single day this past week. "Welcome to Salto" is all he told me! Its going to be a great change:) 

We are in charge of planning the upcoming Christmas Fireside in the Stake. All of the missionaries are singing and each companionship has some youth to sing with us. It will be the 21st of this month and everyone is being invited. I hope it turns out like the one that we did in Rivera 6 months ago! 

We did have a really cool experience this week though. We were walking in the morning trying to pass by to visit some people we had planned for, but they didn't answer. Elder Johnson turned to me and said "we need to find someone." There was a house ahead of us with a random arm sticking out the door and we knew that we needed to talk to the person. She was very nice and started to talk to us about things that have passed in her life. She told us that she believes in God, but has resentment towards Him because of certain experiences- Her mom died a year ago from Cancer and she doesn't understand why He would take her with such a terrible disease when she was such a great woman. She was a well known teacher and had made a big impact on a lot of peoples lives. We just sat and listened to her rant so she could get it out. 

That is when something really interesting happened. She told us about a dream she had a week after her mom had died and it was something she had never shared with anyone else and didn't know why she was sharing it. She told us that she saw her mom just as she was here and was completely happy. Her mom was telling her that she was in a place even better than paradise resting free from pain, suffering and worries. It is exactly what the Book of Mormon says about the Spirit World after this life. Alma 40:12 We testified to her about the Plan that God has for us and she accepted to listen to us this week!

I am so grateful for the knowledge of the Gospel. It really does give peace to every worry if we search and apply it. I know that this Work is Gods Work and I have the blessing of being a part of it. It makes one change and Alma 5:14 becomes a reality. I know that serving our Lord is how we truly come to know Him -Mosiah 5:13. I love you all and hope this Holiday Season is full of the Spirit of Love for God and for one another! 
                  ELDER Devashrayee

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

He Is The Gift & "Oven of Uruguay"...... 12-2-14

What a week it was for us here in Delta. We saw some great events and had experiences teaching and sharing. So First off I want to set a challenge- or better said I want to go with the Challenge/Initiative that the First Presidency has set for this Christmas. Everyone look up the video "He is the Gift"
in It truly is an inspired video and will help many see the true purpose of Christmas. With that same Spirit make the effort to share that with others that might not have taken part in the Restored Gospel and the Atonement of Christ. Then comes the most important part. Make a follow up and ask how the video went and if they would like to know more about Christ and how he can take part in their lives by listening to the missionaries. 

This time of the year has many people thinking about Christ and there isn't a better time to bring them the way to have COMPLETE access to His Sacrifice. This Initiative is the focus of all 400 and something missions and really could have a huge impact on the work if every member made the effort to take part. I know He lives and what He can give us brings more happiness than anything else. John 14:6. 

This week we were also able to go visit a 14 year old kid with the Young Men's President. He listened to us talk about Baptism and progression and he said that he feels that he is already growing and learning what the truth is. The YMP testified to him that there isn't a better path for him to take at this time in his life and challenged him to pray about it and feel for himself that it is true. That was a powerful lesson and Martin wants to get baptized soon! 

Another "couple" where he is a member and she isn't has really been moving along. It has been a month now that Pablo has come back to church and is feeling the Spirit in his life. They are now at the barrier of Marriage. She wants to get married so she can get baptized, but he isn't feeling the same way. Time and the Spirit will change that :) The Lord definitely has His time and His way of doing the Work- That is what I learned this week.

So I'll go on with the news.......... I am going to Salto with Elder Johnson as the Zone Leader! It was a complete shock to me to be honest. I was totally expecting to have another transfer here to settle in the changes we have made, that was the plan from the beginning when they called me as 1st Counselor. I was a little upset at first because things had finally started falling in place but I learned quickly that this isn't my work or my way, but His. I know that this is what He wants and it is time for me to move on to another area and keep taking steps toward being more like Christ in the Oven of Uruguay ;) Love you all and wish you a great week from the Uruguayo land!
                      ELDER Devashrayee