Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Final Step To Cross The Finish Line..... 6-30-15

Bueno.... The last Email that I will be sending home as a full time missionary and Representative of Jesús Christ. It feels so strange finishing and I don't know what to think right now. 

I  just wanted to tell everyone that I have deeply appreciated your prayers, support, love, and animo (spirit). It has been such a great 2 years serving in Uruguay proclaiming the happiness of the Restored Gospel and the access we now have to the Atonement of our Savior Jesús Christ. I love these people and have learned so much from them as I have served here. It is so hard to leave them and I will always carry with me their teachings and these 2 years of so much learning. 

I know that this work is the work that brings true happiness. I have felt it in me! And seen the fruits of this great Gospel work in me and in the lives of others. I know that Joseph Smith was called to be the Prophet of the Restoration and the Church was of Jesús Christ was restored to the Earth. I know that the Priesthood is the power and authority of God given to man on Earth to be able to perform the Saving Ordinances that we all need for our Salvation. 

I know that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God and the Fullness of the Gospel is found in its pages. The Doctrine of Christ is taught clearly and we all learn how to follow Christ in this life to be found spotless in the last day. I know that anyone can read it, ponder on what it says, and ask God with a sincere heart if it is true and receive the same answer that I have received through the Spirit. It is the Book that is bringing the House of Israel back to the Knowledge of their Savior. 

I know that Christ is my Redeemer and I owe everything to Him. He has been my Rock and Fountain of Strength in the hard times and has given me the peace in my heart as I have repented and put my life to Gods Will. His Atonement is real and heals all who come unto Him with a Broken Heart and Contrite Spirit. He is the Center of God´s Plan of Happiness and we would have no chance of returning to His presence if it weren't for the Self-less, infinite sacrifice. He did it out of pure Love and the Mercy can felt as we repent and put our lives in line with Gods Commandments. He is the way and there is no other way. I know He lives and loves each and everyone of the people here on Earth.  What a blessing it has been to be out here! Love you all and can't wait to see you!!
                   ELDER Devashrayee
My Last Sunset in Carmelo - my "home" gave me a great send off!

Monday, June 22, 2015

My Last Two Weeks Sprinting Forward..... 6-22-15

What a week we had here in Colonia/Carmelo! It was filled with great things and to be honest I am really excited for the Branch here. I am going to miss it as well.

I'm going to start off with the "surprise" blessing that happened Tuesday. So a about 2 weeks ago we had had a lesson with a Woman named Ibon. She was the one that had invited us over as we walked with her going to another lesson. After the first lesson she seemed very enthused about what we have to share, but the next couple of times we tried to set things up she kept telling us that "she will let us know-  I'm really busy". That has always been the sign that they are normally not to interested. So we hadn't talked to her for about a week when we randomly got a text from her asking to stop by in the afternoon! We went and right when we got there she told us that she had read the Restoration Pamphlet a couple of times and asked how we baptize in our church. It was quite the question and we loved hearing it! We taught about  the Book of Mormon and how Christ teaches about Baptism in it. She said she was going to read, ponder and pray about the book, really studying Chapter 11 of 3rd Nephi! We invited her to be baptized and she said she would when she knows for herself that it is the truth. Great experience that I enjoyed. 

Elder Owen and I also did divisions in a little branch called El General and it ended up being a great day for us both to work with other missionaries and see miracles with them! They were really excited to finish the day and had great chances to keep finding and teaching. We also had Interviews with President Smith and we were in charge of the Training during the interviews. We really focused on the importance of Ministering to the needs of the people and teaching to those that want to progress. 

I really enjoy being here in Colonia and have had quite the growing experience here. I loved talking to President too. It was weird hearing him tell me that this is it.... you need to go out with a bang these next 2 weeks! I couldn't believe it and it was even more real to me when I had to give my "last testimony" to the Zone. I had the chance to think back to when I first started here in Carmelo and what my testimony was to how I feel now about the Lord and His work. I have truly been blessed. 

We got back to Carmelo and Patricia was finally doing better after a long stretch of being sick. We talked about Alma 7 with her and how Christ not only took upon Him our sins but the Sicknesses and Trials and Temptations that are before us. It also talks about Baptism and she said she definitely wants to be baptized but is going to do it when she feels she is ready and repented of her past mistakes- It was comforting to hear that and we are excited to keep teaching her and helping her repent. We have been called to do it! 

And today we had quite the P day with the Zone :) We all met up in Colonia Sacramento and we had a huge Asado! Elder Owen hadn't spent the change before coming to Carmelo saving coins and then these past 2 changes together we have been doing the same putting all the change in a "Pringles" can. We counted it today and we had enough to buy the whole zone some meat to grill up!! It was pretty delicious today and brought the memory of being the BBQ man back home. 

I'm looking forward to more miracles and I'm going out sprinting!! I know that we are part of a great work that the Lord is doing in these last days! We have been called to help lift others that have fallen with the Restored Gospel. 2 Nephi 25: 17. I know that Christ lives and has felt what we have gone through and offers us rest taking upon us His yoke. He is the Savior of this world and my Redeemer. Thanks for the Love and Prayers! Have a great week! See you in two weeks!
                          ELDER Devashrayee

Monday, June 15, 2015

We Can Learn So Much From Others...... 6-15-15

Another great week to put in the books of Uruguay! We were able to see the Lords hand here in the Zone and in Carmelo specifically. 

Elder Owen and I were able to get together with the Elders Quorum President and work with him to get some Home teaching going here in Carmelo. It has always been a "fail" so he didn't want to do it very much. We read some scriptures and pulled out the member list and the quorum names. It was quite the meeting experience but we are excited to at least see it start and we know it will be a blessing for Carmelo and for all of the families that are visited. We have a follow up meeting tomorrow with the 2 future Elder Quorum Counselors to get an idea of what they are feeling. 

We also did Divisions with 2 of our District Leaders this week. I went down to Cardona/Florencio Sanchez with Elder Salazar. It was fun working with him there in that little town. It is just a group of 15 members, so there is a lot of work to be done there, strengthening them. We taught a less-active sister about the Doctrine of Christ- Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost, Enduring to the end, and partaking of the Sacrament every week ALWAYS. I love 2 Nephi 31  and 3 Nephi 11,18,27 to teach from. It is so clear and has what truly is our Father's way to be spotless before Him. The Spirit was felt and I had a good time teaching with Elder Salazar. There are always things to learn from others and see the examples that they are. I know that we are sent where we are to be able to meet, learn, and bless others. It is God's Plan and I have no doubts about that. 

We also had to go down to Colonia El General Saturday morning for a baptismal interview. I talked to the Investigator and we had a good time going over the Gospel and the Commandments that God has for us. I was just impressed by his sincere desire to feel God's presence in his life more. His willingness to learn and want to understand the scriptures better, to be able to share them was something that showed to me the truthfulness of his conversion. He had spent almost 2 years in prison after being accused for something that he didn't do. He said that prison life was extremely tough, but had a clear mind that God knew what was right and he was innocent before Him. He was let out early because there wasn't any proof of the accusation. He is going to be a blessing for his Branch! 

Colonia as a zone is seeing great things and this Thursday we have interviews with President Smith and we are going to have a Zone Training as well! We have felt that we need to talk about Ministering like in 3 Nephi 19 both before and after baptism Christ Ministered to the people, but we will see how it goes. 

The people that we have been teaching have been sick this past week and it is something that is hitting all of the people here in Carmelo. I just pray to not get sick now! Thank you for your prayers on my behalf as well. 

I know that this is God´s Work and this is the Church of Jesus Christ. I have felt it through the Spirit and know that it is true. Christ is the Savior of this World and as we listen to His voice we allow His Atonement to take part in our life. I know that Families are meant to be Eternal and that is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers. I know that the Book of Mormon is a Testimony of Jesus Christ and helps us understand His Atonement to be able to come unto Him. Thanks for everything that you all do for me! I appreciate the prayers and support! Have a great week!
                 ELDER Devashrayee

Monday, June 8, 2015

Blessings From Hard Work & Love..... 6-8-15

Another great week here to report about from Carmelo! I have to say I am already seeing great things in the Branch and we received many blessings this past week. 

We had 2 divisions this week. The first one was with one of our District Leaders. I stayed here in Carmelo with Elder Guevara and Elder Owen went up to Palmira with Elder Pettingil. We started the Division out seeing something great. Patricia had told us that she wasn't doing too well so she wasn't going to be able to have the lesson that day, but we wanted to stop by and at least give her a blessing with one of the sister members that lives a few blocks away. It turns out that they had grown up together, but hadn't seen each other for a long time! We set up for a lesson the next day and it was a positive note to start out with. 

We finished that day talking with the 2nd Counselor and his wife about Family History Work since her mom, Mabel, is going to need help with the preparation of the information of Mabel´s husband who passed away 8 years ago. We found out that in their whole time as members they had never done Family History Work and both the 2nd Counselor and his wife had work to do for their parents. It was a spiritual experience for everyone there, feeling of the importance of the family and the true reason why we do that work- Heaven wouldn't be heaven without our whole family there! 

Divisions ended the next morning and that day Elder Owen and I had more experiences. About a week ago we were walking down the street and a woman walking back to her house took the same road. We started talking and without asking she invited us to pass by her house the next week. We wanted to go with a member and we went through practically the whole list of Sisters to do it. We arrived at Ibon's house and she told us that she had an interest in knowing what our "mission" is. She enjoyed what we had to say about the Restoration and invited us to come back another time to talk about the Book of Mormon. Hopefully she keeps progressing well! 

That same night we were able to go with Patricia and her 14 year old Daughter Ayelen to The De Los Santos house for a Family Home Evening. It was a great experience for her and she told us after "it is nice to be able to enjoy the time with such great people." She wasn't able to go to church yesterday because she was sick, but is moving along really well and enjoying the Spirit. 

Later in the week we went down to Montevideo again to have divisions with the AP's. I was with Elder Goold and it was strange working in Downtown Montevideo... I have never had an area there and it was strange with all the noise and movement. We had cool lessons and the best part was talking about the mission and what we can do to move the work along. The Area 70 Plan is being understood better and the mission is progressing. There are many people prepared that are going to be a help and strength for the branches D&C 39: 10-12. There is a greater work than the Baptism! 

Then this weekend was the baptism of Gaston Figueredo. He had been "out of the church" for about 10 years and was excited to be able to be baptized again. It was a small intimate group with his family, the missionaries, and the Counselors. A spiritual experience for everyone and his family is going to be blessed greatly. He has a lot of faith and is putting the Lord first. 

Then came yesterday. It was the best Fast Sunday that I have personally had in Carmelo. A lot of people were there and the Spirit was touching the hearts of many. The counselor at the end said that he had never seen everyone so attentive. Gaston bore his testimony as well :) White shirt and tie and a big sigh of relief. The Branch has good things ahead of them. 3 Nephi 18: 31-32 was what I was studying about today and felt the truth of what it teaches to us. We are His Instruments and He knows each and every single one of us. I know that this is His work and I am so grateful to be able to minister to others and take part in guiding them to Salvation. Hope everyone has a great week and Happy Summer! (it is pretty cold here)
                  ELDER Devashrayee

Monday, June 1, 2015

Miracle Month Begins!..... 6-1-15

Well people, what a week! A lot of traveling has been done lately, but was done for righteous purposes. We went down to Montevideo to have a leadership Council and be taught by the Assistants and President  Smith. We were all asked to go prepared with a 15 minute lesson about the Gathering of Israel to share and President was going to pick 2 companionship's. Well of course we were one of the companionship's picked haha. It went really well though and we focused on the importance of the Book of Mormon in the Gathering of Israel. We truly are a blessed people to have the Book of Mormon and with the Spirit it is the strongest tool to Conversion. 

We were then able to hear from others what we can keep doing better and President helped us a lot. He wants us to be sharing the Doctrine of the Gathering with the Members and help them understand that they are the ones, that they are part of the House of Israel and need to start making plans of how they are going to "bless the families on their street with the Gospel." The Gathering comes down to what we do in inviting and helping those around us feel of the Blessings that God Covenanted with Abraham 2: 9-11. The members house should be a refuge and a "center of Gathering" for that block or part of the neighborhood. 

We learned of a lot of other things and Friday we traveled to share it with the Zone. We had a good Zone Training, and it was definitely a task to get all of the Direction compiled down to 2 hours. The Zone took it really well and that is our Goal for Colonia- Build up Zion by Gathering the House of Israel through the members. They have been put where they are for a reason. We ALL have been. 

We had an experience with an Hermana that has been out of town the past months and came back. We decided to share with her and put into practice what we had learned during the week. I have to say it is easy to see when a Member or Less Active is reading or not. Those that read have been able to feel the importance of being part of the House of Israel and act. She was one of them. We were able to help her see the role she has where she lives without telling her and gave us a reference of the Neighbor that lives on the corner. I know that we are part of Gods Plan and just like Jacob 6:2 says the Second Coming happens after the Gathering of the House of Israel. We are going to be helping the Members read the Book of Mormon every day and help them understand the Doctrine that is found in that Book. 

We had a study about it the other day as a companionship and there are so many passages about "Coming unto Christ" and the blessing for doing so. The Book of Mormon teaches just that. This Saturday we are going to have the Baptism of Gaston Figueredo as well! He is coming back to church and is more excited than ever! That spark is going to be a boost in the Branch and I know that we will keep seeing miracles as we push forward. June is going to be a Miracle Month! :) 

I'm so grateful for the Gospel in my life and the Infinite Love of My Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. This is their work and I have been seeing even more of that in who I am and what Their Gospel has done in me. I know that it is True. Thanks for your love and support! Have a great week to start June!
                 ELDER Devashrayee
 Trying to get a photo --- the 10 sec timer wasn't long enough as you can tell below :)