Monday, April 27, 2015

Elder Oaks Visits & Movie Night Success...... 4-27-15

What a week it was people! Great Blessings and progress made towards the future. For me and for this wonderful area!

So like I was saying last week that Elder Oaks was coming- He came and what a powerful hour it was to listen to him. It was quite the trip though to get to that wonderful hour. We left Monday night to get down to Colonia Centro where the rented bus was starting from to make the few stops through other areas in Colonia. We got to the Centro Church and there were 10 of us Elders there. 2 had gotten there before us and had fallen asleep already with the keys... We couldn't get in and they weren't waking up! We were outside waiting for awhile and one of them miraculously woke up to let us in. 

We slept there for 2 hours and then got up to get on the bus and head out to pick up the rest. None of the 28 missionaries had slept past their alarm or were late so that was a blessing well accepted by us Zone Leaders. That doesn't always happen! We traveled to the Stake Center in Cerro (the Stake Center that I went to in Delta Del Tigre) to meet as Our Montevideo Mision Oeste group to listen to President Smith talk to us about the great things that have been happening in the mission this year. I'm so grateful to be out here at this time and for the things that I have been able to experience and do as a missionary. He had us all feeling the Spirit and ready to go to the other Stake Center. The Choir also got the chance to be able to practice and we left feeling really good about the piece we were singing. 

We arrived at the other Stake Center and met up with the other mission, which was cool. A ton of missionaries there! Elder Oaks and his wife did such a great job. They first let every single one of us 500 missionaries shake their hands! He is pretty tall too :) What an experience that was though. Sister Oaks talked about Obedience from the heart not just obedience to the schedule. Just being obedient will not benefit us like willingly obeying because of the Love we have for Him. 

Elder Oaks talked about how the mission isn't the end of life. Our ultimate goal is to make and keep Sacred Covenants with our Father in Heaven. He then made a great comparison of what the Lord is talking about when He wants us to be instruments in His hands. We went over Alma 17 and he compared us to a pen. The pen has an ink cartridge inside that allows the pen to write- that is the knowledge and Spirit that we diligently search. He said that the little "button" that pushes the tip out is our health. It doesn't matter how much ink we might have if we are not able "to be engaged" like the pen that doesn't click. He told us to always be taking care of ourselves physically to be able to work. 

He then talked about being a 24/7 missionary. The pen doesn't decide when it writes- The Writer decides that and we should always be ready. That requires humility and willingness to do His will. He said that is a successful missionary. All of the expense that the church puts into the missionary work is for US to be an instrument in His hands now and for the rest of our lives. The song we sang turned out well and I enjoyed every moment! 

The other great activity was the Meet the Mormons movie night. About 45 people went and all of them left very edified. A few of the members were crying during it and definitely left all of them wanting to serve and be a better light to Carmelo. Not as many people went that we were wanting, but those that did go were lifted Spiritually so we counted it as a great success!

I just have to say that I feel a special Spirit here in Carmelo and hopefully it will keep growing. There is a need to just Look Forward and let go of the past mistakes and follies. Doing it faithfully will lead to Miracles. I know that this is Gods work and He lets us be a part of it to help us grow and feel TRUE Happiness. I know that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God and contains the Fullness of the Gospel. I know Joseph Smith translated it by the Power of God and was a true Prophet of the Lord called to Restore His Church on Earth. Love you all and hope you have a great week!
              ELDER Devashrayee
Back Painting the same "Reserve" that I helped paint when I first arrived in Uruguay...
Great Memories and Service Project!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Live Radio Interview - Nailed It!......... 4-20-15

This past week flew by! Everyone was right when they say as one gets older the days move by quicker! (I only have 20 years and I don't evn want to imagine how fast it goes for more seasoned people).  Ha ha!! 

We were able to see the Lords hand this week in the work and the zone. We have been announcing a Community Activity Night in the Church to be able to see the "Meet the Mormons" movie because there aren't movie theaters except in Montevideo. We thought of different ways to get the news out and we had an extraordinary opportunity. One of the members here hopped on the inviting band wagon and went and talked to 2 radio stations that they have here in Carmelo. One of the stations gave us time to talk Wednesday in the morning and the other Friday! The one on Wednesday was recorded on one of those hand held recorders and then was broadcast later in the day.  But the one Friday morning was a live "talk show." They asked us a few questions about what we are doing here so far away from our homes and family. We were able to talk about what we do and the message of Christ we carry to the World. We were able to announce the activity to the whole town just hoping that at least we will see one fruit from it! I was pretty nervous especially with the live broadcast, but it all turned out great and the Spanish didn't fail me! 

The best part was that the member that was there as well basically bore his testimony about how the church had changed his life and how the Movie will help all families see how Mormons really are. Then later Friday afternoon we were contacting on a way to a lesson and we started conversing with a woman and she actually let us share the Restoration with her even though she doesn't believe in churches. The lesson went well and she said that she isn't going to promise anything but would try to go sometime. We invited her to the movie night and she told us "Ya I heard you guys talking this morning- Its Friday the 24th at 7 right?" Someone heard and listened!  

The other big news that we have as a mission is the fact that Elder Oaks is coming to speak to us Uruguayan missionaries! We have been given the counsel to read Mark 4 about the Parable of the Sower. It has been cool to study it and see the Similarity between Mark 4, 1 Nephi 8 and Alma 32. It describes us perfectly and how the Seed of the Word is planted in our hearts and depends on what we do with it to help it keep growing. 

I also got a call from the Zone Leaders in Oeste Montevideo that I was going to be singing a base part of a special arrangement of the song I Stand all Amazed- Asombro me da. (laughing out loud) For some reason they think that I know how to sing base or something because of being tall, when in reality I just follow the person standing next to me really well. I already asked to stand next to Elder Johnson singing base so I don't make a fool out of the Uruguay missions in front of Elder Oaks :) 

Mabel keeps progressing and her firmness in wanting to stay strong to the Gospel for her "last years" as she always tells us. She struggles a bit understanding everything, but has the desire to keep learning and definitely has a testimony of God and Jesus Christ. The Amarillo Family that has the Dog named Owen (my comp just loves the fact that he has a dog named after him) work a ton and they honestly said that they didn't get around to reading or praying. He has a little bit of "harder soil" and said that he will have to decide to do it when he wants, but his wife was more receptive and said that she will pray. They are a great family and hopefully they will have answers and look for the truth.

I know that this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it blesses the family. It is the only way to have true happiness in this life and I have seen that truth. I know that Christ lives and is always there to strengthen us and help us change. Love you all and hope you have a great week! 
                    ELDER Devashrayee
Travis & Elder Owen

Monday, April 13, 2015

We Survived a Taxi Strike - Yea!...... 4-13-15

What's up everyone!? Don't have too much time but what a crazy week we had down here in Carmelo with changes and everything. And to be honest that is where I feel like I should start out. Lets just say that Tuesday night and Wednesday was complete Chaos due to the fact that in Montevideo there was a taxi strike after a taxi driver was shot and killed. So all of the missionaries that had to travel from Montevideo had a fun time. That also meant missionaries missed their bus- My comp Elder Owen was one of them. The whole zone was calling me Wednesday morning with problems about the bus situation. For example how are they going to stay with someone while their comp is coming because the Zone of Colonia is all spread out. I don't know how many calls I made and received in a 4 hour span. I learned a lot though and now I'm just really excited for changes in the future that won't be like these last ones. 

This past week with Elder Owen though has been awesome (even though he is a Hawk;) )! I really enjoy being able to work with him and we have a lot to do here in CARMELO. We had 2 experiences that I enjoyed a lot. One was with Mabel- the women who is going to be baptized the 9th of May. We went with her son in law and daughter to visit and one of the other sons of Mabel, Gustavo, ended up being there as well! We talked about the Sabbath Day and the importance of Keeping it holy. I love Mosiah 13: 16-19 and D&C 59: 9-11 to teach it and ask questions. The Spirit was there and everyone grew in their understanding of Sunday for the Lord. We asked Gustavo how he was feeling and what he was thinking about the message. He answered "I feel a lot of love and peace, I trust what you guys are saying and feel that you are more worried about me being happy." It was cool to hear that.  Now that a seed was planted in his heart, hopefully we can work with him more. Mabel is more than excited and has been showing a lot of signs of her true conversion in D&C 20:37. She wants to be baptized and is moving forward. 

The other one we had actually was yesterday going out to teach. Marcelo and Belen didn't go to church again because of some complications. We talked to them about Obedience and the fact it is the only way to truly progress. They have seen the importance of obedience and how it has blessed them reading and praying. It is a slow and steady process with them, but I'm so grateful to be working with them and seeing them realize that it is the truth that we are teaching. 

It was right after that lesson while we were walking when we passed by a couple outside drinking their famous Maté. We started talking to them and their dog came over to us and was really nice. We asked what his name was and it was Owen! It was the conversation starter and he told us that he believes in God and nothing more, but has received and applied pointers from others. We asked him if we could give him some counsel as well :) We shared what we do as missionaries and how the Gospel of Christ blesses the family as we are obedient. By the end they were comfortable with what we shared and said they were going to pray to see if it is something good for them and their family. Next Saturday we can go back and we will see how it went for them! We both left excited for them and anxious to go back.

I know that this is His Gospel and the is His Church and His Work. I am so grateful to be out here working and growing. Thanks for all of the support and prayers! Have a great week!
              ELDER Devashrayee

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter & General Conference - what a great week!...... 4-7-15

Hello Family and Friends! I need to start off by giving Derek a Special Shout Out for the Mission Call he Received! Ukraine is going to be lucky to have you there and you will be one scary guy speaking Russian :) He is already so much more prepared then I was and I can see it in him. I'm truly so proud of him. I couldn't help but think of him when Holland was talking about the 2 brothers and how the Little brother was there to Save the older one. I know that he has been such a great example and will have great changes these next 2 years! 

What a special week we had to celebrate last week. I am so grateful for what Christ did and the chance we had to remember and Celebrate it! Now for the great weekend of Conference. It is hard to actually put into words what I thought of the Conference. I just have to say that I loved Elder Holland's talk on the Atonement of Christ. The Spirit testified so strongly and I'm so grateful for Living Prophets and Apostles. Now it will be fun to be able to study what they said in the future with more time. Hope everyone enjoyed the Conference as well! 

This past week we saw a lot of hearts open to listen to us because of Easter and the Video the Church made to share with everyone. We met as a Zone, made copies of the Video and then we all went out to share it. That video has power and it was felt. I have never seen so many people let us pass by and share with them our message. This week we have a lot of people to go to and follow up with. 

As you can tell it is change week and those visits will be done with a different companion though. Elder Gomez is officially on the plane home on Thursday and he has been a great example to everyone of dedication and desire to work for the Lord. It was a great week to end with with him.

My next comp is a special one. It is Elder Owen From Draper Utah that is from my MTC group! We both got our calls the same day to the same mission, just the only unfortunate difference was he was at Alta... ;)  I am way excited to be able to work with him. The Lord has many things to do here in Colonia and we want to keep growing. It was a shorter time to write today because of all of the things we need to do but I love you all and hope you have a great day!! 
                       ELDER Devashrayee
Elder Gomez, Mabel and Me - watching Conference