Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I Have Come Full Circle..... 5-25-15

Another week in the books for Carmelo and there are great things happening! First one of my favorite photos - me holding the WORLD in my hand - just like a basketball. 

Now I'll start out with some of the people we have been teaching lately. 

So Patricia has been moving forward at a great pace and is loving the Book of Mormon and what it is teaching. We taught the Plan of Salvation in 2 different parts- Pre Earth Life to Earth Life and the importance of Christ`s Atonement and part 2 was Death to Kingdoms of Glory. We taught it all using the Book of Mormon the whole time asking questions and learning together. I love teaching the Plan of Salvation from that book! The Spirit always testifies of the clarity of His Plan. She feels great about it and is going to pray for her own baptismal date. The only struggle she is having is church attendance because of her husband only being home on Sundays and they always go out to see his 93 year old mom. She has a great heart so we can only teach, pray, and hope that she will make the sacrifice. 

The other guy, Nestor, that found us had a great week as well. We showed up and he invited us right in. There was also this woman Sylvia that is from Montevideo that visited him often in Prison. We invited her to listen and she was willingly. She told us that she admires a lot what we do and the friendliness we show to everyone saying hi in the streets with a smile. "We are different" she said. We were able to teach them the Restoration and Nestor remembered things as we were teaching him. Sylvia had great questions and loved the fact that we don't need to be confused. I bore my testimony about the clarity that the Gospel has taught me and the Restoration of it. She agreed to pray along with Nestor. We then went back later in the week to see how it went. They had prayed and felt good about it. We then taught the Book of Mormon to them and the blessing it contains of Christ's visit to the Americas. She had no idea He was here and we decided to read from that part. The testimony that Christ gives of His Divinity and the chance He gave the people to come unto Him to feel the marks really touched Sylvia. We invited them to read the Book of Mormon every day to be able to come to know our Savior more. Powerful 2 lessons and we hope to get another one in before she goes back to Montevideo. 

The other great news that we have isn't one that you normally hear about it. So there is a Brother in the Branch that has been going back to church now for about 7 months and wanted to get re-baptized. So this past weekend he had his Meeting with the District Presidency Saturday and will be getting baptized the 6 of June! He is really excited and Saturday while we were coming back from the Leadership meeting we could see the hope in his eyes and the relief that he was feeling. The Atonement of Christ is open to everyone and can heal who ever will come unto Him- That is a promise. His family is going to be blessed immensely and the Branch as well. He is coming back with Ganas (desire) to work and bless others. 

We also had District Conference in Colonia Centro Sunday. Our bus had some troubles in the morning so we ended up getting there about 30 minutes late. We had just barely sat down and our minds were all a little flustered from the strange happenings when I heard the President say my name to go up and give my testimony haha. I bore my testimony and it was cool because one of my first Sundays in the Mission I had been in that same church for a District Conference. Carmelo will always be a big part of who I am now. This place has really left its mark on me and my testimony.

I know that this is Gods Work and His Plan for us. His Son Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the World and I am positive that His love extends to everyone. He did the Atonement out of pure love for us and absolute obedience to the Father. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ that was restored through a living profet Joseph Smith. God answers prayers and knows each one of us perfectly. Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day and enjoys the week!
                              ELDER Devashrayee
Teaching in the Wild

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Muchachos We Are & Get to Stay Here in Carmelo..... 5-19-15

Well, It was a great week to finish the change here in Carmelo. To be honest it couldn't have ended better! The news is pretty expected though- Elder Owen and I are going to stay together for this last change and we couldn't be any more excited for it! 

So some of the cool experiences from this last week are first the Investigator that we found. We had a lesson with her because the Convert Graciela that just got baptized last week is her sister. She doesn't have any religious background and has listened to us 2 times now and has been progressing a lot as well. The part that really helped her most was going to Gracielas Baptism Saturday. She said she got goosebumps seeing her sister in the Water and the peace that was felt there! She stayed after with us as well to play some Volleyball and loved the night. She is going to need a lot of teaching and that is where we are counting on the Spirit to help understand- good Communication is Spiritual.

The other Investigator that we have been teaching her name is Patricia. It has been hard to see her lately because she was in the hospital with her Daughter-in-law who, we found out, had tried to commit suicide. Sad to hear, but she is doing better now and was released to go to a rehab so that is good progress. We went last Saturday before the baptism to teach her about the Priesthood Authority and the blessing that we have today to have that Authority in the Church. We read with her from 3 Nephi 11 and she loved the part where Christ tells them that that is the way to Baptize and there will be no "Disputes" about it. She is progressing a lot and loving the Book of Mormon. The husband will be difficult still, but this week we hope to have more contact with him. 

We also found another Investigator this week that in all reality found us :) Those are always cool and sure bring a special spirit. We were walking along on our way to a members house to teach her, and we decided to take a different street that we normally don't walk down because it takes a little longer. That is when a guy with a couple of his kids came up to us and the first thing he asked us was at what time is the church on Sunday! (He couldn't end up going) But he began telling us that he was in prison for awhile and while there he had the reoccurring thought of the "muchachos" that had stopped by his house years earlier and felt that the church is what he needed. We are excited to see how he does growing and accepting Christ in his life. It was a testimony to me of how the Lord is preparing people and guiding us. We truly are instruments in his hands and I'm so grateful for the experiences that He has been letting me have as a missionary. 

I have to say that I am enjoying a lot Alma 17-26. Just so many Spiritual Experiences that those missionaries had and were definitely great examples of being true disciples of Christ and teaching His Gospel despite the circumstances. They had hard times, but had a few "ones" that were converted and many more after were then converted. That great patience and diligence brought miracles. I am so grateful for the scriptures and what they teach me daily and the examples found in them. I know that this is His Church and has blessings for all those that want to listen and act. Thanks for your love and support- I can truly feel it and I'm excited to make the most out of this last change! Have a great week!
             ELDER Devashrayee
Carmelo District - May 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mabel's Baptism & Mother's Day...... 5-11-15

Happy late Mother's Day to all you mothers out there! What a special day it was yesterday and how much we all appreciate what you all do as Mothers! It was fun talking with my Mom - Love you!

This week was quite the week and I'm just excited to be able to be here working and enjoying the blessings. I'll start off with the well waited news about the baptism of Mabel- It was a success. We were there early cleaning the font and filling it up and the water that was coming out was warm so this time there were no problems with the water (hallelujah). It was funny though because it was set to start at 5:30, but when 5:30 came around Mabel and her family still hadn't arrived. I was a little nervous not knowing what was going on, but she got there with a big smile and 2 big thumbs up so I felt better :) She had sent us a text Saturday morning early saying "this is the happiest day of my life Elders." I knew she was bound to be showing up. Her son-in-law Jose Isnardi baptized her, and when they got into the water it was cold... Luckily it was just "luke cold" :). 

After the baptism Mabel shared her testimony and is just looking forward to keeping strong and learning more. I know that she is going to be a great member and is going to help her daughter and son-in-law return to the temple! She wants to get sealed to her husband and the family has committed to help her do it as well. I then had the chance to confirm her member of the Church Sunday which was an experience that I enjoyed a lot. 

The rest of the week we had cool experiences as well. We have been working with a less-active family and the last 2 weeks they have gone to church as a couple. They are making progress and doing great things to grow and hopefully we can help them get on the road towards the temple. Another day during the week we were walking after trying to get out with a couple members to visit but with no avail. We were trying to see what we could do to help them and while doing so we saw 2 kids playing outside of the front of a house. We went over to talk to them and their mom came out. She was extremely receptive and let us in to her one bedroom house. Diana takes care of her 4 kids by herself and has many struggles, but a lot of faith in God and the strength that He gives her. We shared a little about the Blessing that the Gospel is for the family and set up for another day to go back and keep teaching. She told us that day that she was really grateful for the little time we had. It was more than enough and what she needed to feel, she told us. The Gospel brings peace to one who looks for God and hopefully we will see progress with her in the future. 

We also had a lesson with a less active and we really didn't know what to share with him. We got there and after the prayer we said something about Conversion and he asked us "what does Conversion mean?" That is a great question and now we know what to share :) It was a cool lesson seeing the needs he has deep down in and help him see that Conversion is giving up his will and way of life to put it in line with Gods. That all starts with Faith in Christ and Repentance. I love testifying about the Lords Atonement and the Redeeming Power that it has for us. He was reluctant to let go of past, but hopefully the Spirit can help him understand the scriptures and the need he has to Come unto Christ. 

I know that He lives and His Atonement is Infinite and Eternal. I know that this is the Work of Salvation and so grateful to be part of it. Love you all and appreciate more than you know the prayers and support! Have a great week and enjoy the time!
                  ELDER Devashrayee
Mabel on her Special Day!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Center Yourself on Love & Sacrifice...... 5-4-15

B-e-a-utiful week here in Carmelo. We had some sweet rain storms and the cool weather came with it, but the work kept going forward! We had some great things happen and I would like to start with the news from the "mission changes." 

The Key Indicators were changed again and it has been turned into a straight focus of Conversion of the Members, Investigators, and Us. We are focusing on the Gathering of Israel through our Conversion to progress toward Eternal Life. It was a week that I truly enjoyed because I was even more able to be free doing what I felt and not worrying about "numbers." It was ALL just seeing what the people need. We are putting a renewed focus on the members with Active Recommends for the Temple and reactivating the Less Active, along with making the effort to help/find those that are ready to enter in the Path through Repentance and Baptism. We saw fruits from that, and I personally felt like an even greater instrument in the hands of the Lord. 

We had a contact 2 weeks ago that Elder Pettingill and I had made during divisions and we were able to go back. Patricia let us in and said that she had been reading a little from the Restoration Pamphlet up until it talked about Spring 1820. :) It was a special lesson because of the focus that she had on the Spirit of the Lesson. Great questions were made and she understood what had happened during the Apostasy and when we started talking about a boy in 1820 had questions she clicked in even more. Patricia had never prayed with a "extranjero" (stranger) before but she did with us and is looking to receive an answer. We asked her when she received an answer and knew for herself that it is the truth if she would be baptized. She answered with a smile and said yes. I think she has already felt it.  The next goal we have is to be able to talk to the husband who is only home Saturday night and Sunday and is Atheist. We are ready for the Challenge! 

The other contact this week was with a less active family that we talked with about the temple and letting go of the past rumors and wrong things said and putting a focus on what the most important thing is: Being an Eternal Family and living with God and Christ again. We spoke extremely clearly and read from Alma 5:38-42 about Christ calling us in His name and the Spirit testified of the need they have to get over it and start going again. Sunday the couple was in church! Now we just want to work with their kids and help them keep going forward. I feel that what they say about having an Eternal Perspective of everything is what will keep us going in Faith. 

This work is true and I know that it is all Centered on Love and Sacrifice. We love God and Christ because they loved us first and have already given the greatest Sacrifice- an Eternal one. I know that God has a Plan of Happiness that is centered on that Great and Last Sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ. What a blessing it is to know of these things and feel that peace. This is His Gospel. Love you all and thanks for the prayers and support! Have a great week!
                  ELDER Devashrayee
"COOL" weather Sunday :)