Monday, March 30, 2015

Remember Christ & What He Did...... 3-30-15

Another week of adventures here in Carmelo! We have been seeing some Wonderful weather so I first off have enjoyed the streets more ;). Right now Carmelo is going through a strange stage of division between members because of some debts and failed promises so we have been on the "clean-up" crew trying to teach what Christ taught and solve some of what is going on. It has been going well and the thing I have enjoyed most with the members have been the reading a chapter in the Book of Mormon with them for lessons and pondering, asking questions and letting the Spirit testify. That Book is from God and I have no doubt about it. 

We have also been trying to take what President told us about Carmelo needing "new blood" to heart. The young family (Marcelo and Belen) have been receiving all kinds of answers and experiences, but that step of Faith is giving them some trouble. We are working with them a lot because they will be a great new couple in the future! 

This week we also had a miracle happen through teaching the Gathering of Israel to the Members. We were able to go out with the 2nd counselor to visit some people we had scheduled. When one of the lessons failed he told us "Elders we are going to visit my mother in law." We walked with him out to the Boonies, literally the last house on the block and she was home. She let us in and within a couple of minutes we could see the deep pain that she has been trying to hide for a long time come out. Her husband had died years ago and time hadn't taken that pain out of her yet. We started teaching the Purpose we have on Earth and what happens after through the Book of Mormon. It was such a cool lesson because Elder Gomez and I hadn't planned anything at all and the Spirit took over with the scriptures and the testimonies we gave. She felt the peace of the Gospel and she accepted another visit later in the week. 

When we went back the first words she told us were "I have been waiting for you guys to come back." We felt we just needed to teach her the baptism of Christ and explain the blessing of making Covenants with God. She accepted a baptismal date! May 9. She told us after "I don't know how many missionaries I have had teach me, but you guys are the first that GOT to me." The Spirit did it all once she opened up her heart. 2nd Nephi 33:1. She went to the Baptism that the Elders from Palmira had Saturday and all 3 hours of Church on Sunday. She is feeling the peace and now it is time to guide her to understanding the rest of this Message. She is going to miss Elder Gomez because he is going home in a week, but this past week of change she felt is going to affect the rest of her life. What a blessing it has been to be part of that experience. 

I know that this is the Work of the Lord and I'm so grateful the chance I have to be out here serving. I know that God and Christ live and have a Perfect Plan of Happiness and Peace. I know that Joseph Smith was called as a Prophet to restore the Fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is that Evidence and contains a special power as we read and ponder and apply. Thanks for all of your prayers and support.

I hope everyone also has a great week with Easter, being able to remember Christs' last week of life and the things he did for us all. I know He lives and has conquered Physical death for us all. Everyone will Resurrect with a perfect body. I also know that through Him we all have the chance to Overcome Spiritual Death and the Consequences of Sin. What a special time of year! Everyone go to and watch the video. Share it!  Love you all and have a great week!
                    ELDER Devashrayee
 Had my preaching opportunity on a 6 foot monument today. We ran 7 KM to a small beach called Punta Gorda :) Look it up

Monday, March 23, 2015

Gathering of the Lord's Pueblo..... 3-23-15

Well people, the Gospel is true and I have been able to grow in my testimony of that this past week. It truly was full of some amazing experiences even through the difficulties the Branch is seeing. I'm going to start off with the Experience we had in the Zone Training/Interviews. 

President had given us as leaders 10 questions about the Gathering of Israel that we had to look for and answer with Scriptures. We then assigned each Companionship one of the questions and they had to get up in front of the zone and teach us the answer through the scriptures and asking questions. It was great to be able to see the style of teaching each one has and the things we can work on to up our ability of teaching. President helped us and gave us others scriptures he had found as well. I love the Gathering of Israel!! It is such a cool Doctrine to study and is all over the Book of Mormon. 

The Book of Mormon is the key and tool to the Gathering of the Lords pueblo in these last days! 1 Nephi 15:14  2 Nephi 3:12,  3 Nephi 30.  We then taught what the Assistants had taught us- 4 Principles to Setting Effective Goals. 1) Start with the End in Mind   2) Give everything you have    3) Humble ourselves before God and Trust in the Strength of the Lord.     4) Ask yourself the question "what more can we do?" always. It was fun because we decided to teach it using examples from the Book of Mormon and wow there are a ton. The Book of Mormon is full these Principles. Esther chapter 2, 3 and 12. 

Everyone was able to talk to President Smith and it is such a blessing to be able to talk to him and feel the Spirit. I left feeling even higher even though he made the comment ¨Elder, you only have 2 changes left¨! He is such a great example and is always motivating us to grow spiritually and grow in our conversion.  From that day up until now we have been having some of the most Spiritual experiences that I have had on the mission. 

We passed by Belen and Marcelo Friday afternoon, but they were busy getting their light installed after 3 years trying to be able to do it. So we asked them when we could come by Saturday and find both of them home. They told us at 7 in the morning would be the only time- We accepted it :). That is normally the time we get up, but Saturday morning we got up early and went over to their house. We taught them the Plan of Salvation from Death to the Kingdom of Glories just using Scriptures and having them find the answers. It was one powerful way to start the day! They understood the importance of the Gospel and are trying to make the changes they need to make in their life. They agreed to go to church this Sunday. 

Now time for Sunday. Sacrament Meeting started and there were very few people attending, and Belen and Marcelo weren't there either. It wasn't until 10 minutes to 12 but they showed up! They heard the end of the last talk, the song, and the prayer, but we were able to introduce them to all of the members and the Branch President. They both enjoyed it and asked if we could stop by later to share with them the Movie we couldn't finish (The Restoration). 

That night on our way over to their house we felt that it would be good to see the whole Hour version of the Story of Joseph Smith. So we took that one instead and they were the last lesson of the day. The movie went smooth and after when we started talking when I had one of the MOST Spiritual moments of my mission. Belen said "I feel that someone is right here next to me. I always feel so much peace when you guys teach. I feel a warmth growing in my chest. I have never felt this way ever in my life." The Spirit was there so strongly testifying to EVERYONE in the room. Then came the line that will forever mark my life. "I hope you guys go home, get married, have kids, and teach your kids these beautiful things that you are teaching us. I truly desire this for you." They are moving towards getting married and a baptism together. They remind me so much of the other couple here that just got sealed in January- That's what we are wanting for Belen and Marcelo and their 8 month old Mia! 

We left that lesson smiling from ear to ear practically yelling. That Happiness that we felt is the "True Happiness of the Gospel" that Alma 26 talks about. I know that Christ is the Savior of this world. I know that this is His Gospel that blesses every life and family that will live it. I know that They have a Plan for us Eternally. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ! Have a great week everyone and thanks for all of your prayers and support! Love you all!  
                ELDER Devashrayee
The seed that I was able to plant with Elder Cepeda in Salto!! Florencia got baptized last week and I was able to call and talk to her. She and Federico (was in-active for 8 years until we found him) are planning on going to the temple to be sealed Spring 2016!! What a joy that was to me. Love that family.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Work of Faith and Dedication...... 3-16-15

Hope all is going well for everyone! Another great week here in Carmelo- Full of learning and blessings. I'm going to start off with those people that are moving forward and really giving us positive vibes, the good stuff :)

Remember that couple that listened to us last week? Marcelo and Belen are doing great! We were out of our area for a couple days of the week so we could only see them 2 times, but those times were great experiences. We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its 5 Fundamental Steps: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receive the Holy Ghost, and Persevere to the end. They understood really well and Belen accepted to be baptized when she felt that it was what God wants for her! Marcelo is a little more closed due to the past he has had with Religion but said that if his wife feels good about it he will do it too. They, women, truly do have a lot of sway over us men! 

The other lesson with them we focused on the Priesthood and the examples of Christ ordaining Apostles with the Authority in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. They understood the importance of that Authority and how it was restored to the Earth again in our days and it is found in Christ´s Church. We are excited for them and this week we are going to teach the Plan of Salvation and help them see the importance of Marriage and Family in God´s Plan- They were going to get married awhile back, but Marcelo got scared and didn't show up.... so maybe understanding the reason why better his fear will go away. 

The other cool experience we had was after a lot of battling one day in the heat. It was something that I have learned is part of what we do on the mission to learn a little of Christ and what He did. Alma 60 vs. 3  Alma 17 vs. 5  and  Mosiah 3 vs 7. We had spent the whole morning using the Less active member list and contacting on the way to their houses, but we hadn't had any luck. That same afternoon we had things ´planned´ that fell through and we kept going on in the hunt. It was later in the afternoon that one of the people we contacted told us that the people next door used to listen to the missionaries. We stopped there and she let us in! We started talking and we could tell that she learns more from watching so we watched the Restoration Video with her and she was willing to pray and ask if that really happened. She had never gone to God with questions looking for answers before. We are just praying that she asks and is open to the response that God will give her. 

We are excited for this week because a lot of people we have talked to are getting back and have asked us to pass by this week! More miracles are on the way. 

Then came the learning experience in Divisions. I went up to the Little Town of Nueva Palmira with Elder Guevara and lived my own experience of how prepared that town was to start to receive full time missionaries. We had 7 lessons in the one afternoon and 6 of the 7 have a baptismal date and are progressing quickly in all of the commitments. Then to finish the day (it always seems to be the last lesson) we went to an old investigators house and her daughter and husband were there outside talking. They were super nice and talked to us for a few minutes asking questions about the states and what we think about Uruguay. They had seen the missionaries before walking in the streets and thought we were Merchandise sellers. Then it came time for our question asking time, love that part. They were believers in God and Christ and they accepted to listen to the Message we share. From the beginning the Spirit was there testifying of what we said. I could see it in Damians eyes, that he knew what we were saying was the truth- I know he is going to get baptized and move forward in God´s path. They were excited to have us go by their house another day and share it with his family! And of course we said yes! 

This is God´s work and is a Work of Faith of Dedication. I know that He blesses us continually and always gives us challenges to work out and experiences to strengthen us. I know that we have Living Prophets of God on Earth today and the Spirit has testified that truth to me. Thank you for everything you all do for me. I feel the support and I am so grateful for it. Have a great week!
                 ELDER Devashrayee
Elder Gomez and myself - too tall for the photo :) 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Firm, Ready and Love - Great Goals....... 3-9-15

What a great week here in Carmelo! The Theme is PEACE. I'm right back into the groove and to be honest I don't feel like it had been a year and 3 months out of here. I feel right at home! 

We put some goals as a companionship to teach the `active´ members the Doctrine these upcoming months and help them stay firm, find those that are ready to make Covenants with God, and love every moment of it! This week was a great way to start and we had some experiences from the beginning. We found a younger family that we had seen in the streets walking before and I told Elder Gomez that I recognized her but I didn't know from where while we were contacting. She had said that the missionaries had always passed by their house but had never shown up until now. We went back the next day to teach her and she had already read the Restoration Pamphlet and filled out the questions in the back- The first one that I have seen to do that. 

We went back and her husband was off work and listened to us. He said that he had a bad experience with churches before, but felt that the message we shared is a good one :).  We went back later in the week and she asked us ¨Am I able to go to your church? is that allowed?¨ We went to the church and had a lesson on the Book of Mormon with a member. She left excited to go and read and yesterday we saw her after church because her husband had been working a lot and they didn't go to church and she said that she loves the Book of Mormon- ¨I feel more peace in my heart and I know that this comes from God.¨

We then found another younger family because their daughter is trying to learn English and the missionaries before had taught her a little. We stopped by and helped her and talked in English (that was strange to have a full conversation in English with some one other that a missionary) Then her mom began to ask questions and said ¨I can't believe the peace that you guys bring, what do you do to achieve that?¨ We told her that we share a message from God and it will bring peace into her own home and life as she listens and applies what we share. She said that she is Catholic but is open to hear what we have to share :) They accepted a visit for this upcoming Wednesday

There were several other lessons or contacts that people commented on the Peace. What a blessing it is to be able to share the Restored Gospel as a full-time missionary. There really isn't anything else that makes it better. 

Now time for great news we received Sunday. First off 78 people went to church! I couldn't believe how full it felt and just made me think back to my first Sunday in the mission here in Carmelo seeing 15 people....   It has grown a ton! And 20 of those were people from a little town 20 minutes from Carmelo where recently the missionaries started working there. 8 of them are going to be baptized this month. That town (Nueva Palmira) is going to open up its own little Group in April- they already have the place that they are going to rent!! 

I'm so excited for the things we are seeing here and being able to come back. I know that Joseph Smith was chosen as the Lord´s Prophet to Restore the Lords Church here on Earth. I know it because I have asked and I have received answers from God through the Experiences he has given me and the Peace that I have felt in my life. I know that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of this World and through the Covenants we make we gain Access to His Eternal Sacrifice. Thanks to Him Peace for us is possible. Isaiah 53 1-6. Love you all and hope you have a great week!! 
            ELDER Devashrayee

Monday, March 2, 2015

Flash Back Memories..... 3-2-15

I have to start this Email off giving a huge shout out to Brighton Girls Basketball winning State and to Derek and the Brighton Boys making an awesome run to the state finals- Way to represent!! Can't believe that was just 2 years ago for me. Time flies but the emotions and love don't leave. Great memories. Great job Brighton!

This week was one of the strangest for me in the mission to be honest. I kept having flash back memories of things that I had done in Carmelo, people I had taught, contacted, feelings, and thoughts. I couldn't believe how much things had changed AND not changed. People that I never had met were in Church Sunday and those that used to go weren't there. Seeing families that had made progression in the Gospel Like Cinthia and Eduardo, who were sealed a month and a half ago, and those that are still in the same rut.

And then to look back at what I understood, believed and ultimately was... to realize the greatness of the Power of the Atonement of Christ. It has truly worked in me without me even realizing it. I know that this work is what brings the Sanctifying Power of the Atonement and the Lord has made it known unto me- I love this work. It truly is the greatest blessing even though it brings some of the greatest challenges that I have ever faced. I know that this is His Work and His Plan to help us grow in Him and our testimony of Christ. 

We had some cool experiences this week too :) We had a couple of members take us to friends homes and introduce us to them, and the best fact about those two appointments is that those were BOTH successes! The work is hastened through us as members. The first one was an older gentleman named Dante that had always gone to another church but was interested in hearing the message. We had to go really slowly, explaining things 2 or 3 times and then leaving him some time to think and read what the Pamphlet says. It was great though because he understood and was willing to pray to see if Church of Jesus Christ was restored through Joseph Smith. 

The second one was a woman who a member babysits her daughter. We went with the member and she let us right in, and then later told us that if Natalia (the member) wasn't there she would have never let us in. Blessings of doing member missionary work. At first she didn't seem to interested, but as the lesson progressed she slowly started paying more attention. The Spirit testified of the truth and she as well committed to pray and find out for herself if it is all true. She told us that this next Sunday we can go back and share what the Book of Mormon is with her. 

They are two solid investigators that Carmelo has been looking for. We also had a lesson with four young adults that each had a different view of God and Religion. They didn't really give us room to share our message because they were fighting with each other more than listening, but it really strengthened my testimony of the Gospel. In the middle of Confusion and battle of words I know that this is the Eternal Gospel that our Heavenly Father has for us. It has been brought back to the Earth to bless us and give us the way to  be able to work towards Eternal Life.

I know that is true because I have studied and asked God if it is true throughout my mission. I'm here in Carmelo again with a sure testimony that it is. Love you all and hope you have a great week! Thanks for the Support, Love, and Prayers!!
                      ELDER Devashrayee
Sunset welcoming Elder Gomez & myself - welcome back to Carmelo!!!