Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Learn, Apply, Share...... 8-26-15

Not much to report here from the MTC because nearly the same thing happens here everyday... Don't believe me, here is my daily schedule:
6:30 wake up
7:15 breakfast 
7:45-8:35 personal/companion study
8:35-11:35 class
11:35-12:20 lunch
12:20-3:20 class
3:30-4:20 gym
4:50-5:35 dinner
5:35-6:00 Language
6-9 class
9-9:30 planning time 
10:15 quiet time
10:30 lights out

Other than the things that impressed me throughout the week it gets pretty monotonous at times, but I like it at the same time! Our lessons are getting better and better and we have noticed a difference in our lessons once we started praying for the other elder in a lesson when they started speaking. 

We have been focusing on the difference between powerful and effective teaching. More and more I learn that I need to love the people around me and learn to grow more Christlike. I have been reading one principle Christ teaches daily and then I try to apply it to my life and it is helping a lot. 

The rest I have are just personal thoughts of what I have learned and not cool stories cause.. you know.. I'm in Provo. 

* Righteousness=Happiness      Righteousness= Forever
Good way to grow your testimony and that of others.... Learn, apply, share
If we are doing what we should at all times, spiritual promptings will just be how we live our lives. They don't need to be something huge if it is how we already act. 
We cannot be shaken if we always remember.... (I gave experiences where I felt the Spirit Strongly that day, lesson, devotional, etc.) 
The gospel always comes from simple and humble means
President Heaps and how he views trial.. "What great blessing is in store for him/her.." If we view trials with knowing the promise of a blessing it will help us through them. 
Choir leader- gave the analogy of death being like how our mom or dad drops us off for school, and then comes and picks us up. It is sad for the people they leave behind, but for the person being picked up it is a happy time. Some people just go to school for a different amount of periods than others.. 
Stephen B Allen- Do not be a rear-view missionary 
Lawrence E Corbridge-  "If they understood, they would do anything to have it [Gospel] in their lives"  We need to help people understand. 

***Congrats to Lexi Wall for being one of the newest members of the Church! Baptized on August 22nd. :) 

***S/O to Trevor Jensen and Sabrina Wallace. Get better soon you two! Cousin Trent, get better too! All of you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, 
Elder Devashrayee
"Study Time" trying new ways.....

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Silence Helps the Spirit Work..... 8-19-15

Proud to say that I have reached the half-way point here at the MTC! 
Celebration on our Half Way Mark - Yes, the Root Beer was GOOD!

Elder Norton found his flashcards from the first week and we were laughing at how easy all of the words were now. We have come a long way and sometimes we need something like that to help us realize we are making progression! 

Elder Norton and I have been making goals that are slightly unreachable.. not impossible.. but really really hard to achieve. I learned from this last week that being blunt and not usually having much to say other than what needs to be said, might turn out to be one of my strengths that will help me on my mission. We can be friendly and help them out with their lives as much as possible, but in the end, we are there for one thing and it is baptism. To quote my companion when preparing for a lesson, "Baptism isn't the only step to make it back to our Heavenly Father, it is the first step." I love the simplicity of the gospel and the way that we phrase sentences in Russian. 

Our Russian lessons here are going better than ever and we can pretty much say what we feel at this point in Russian.... the grammar isn't there, but the Spirit is. I have learned that silence can often be more important than meaningless filler-words. It gives the Spirit an opportunity to help us know what to say and helps answer the investigators answers. From Preach My Gospel, it states that it is More important to listen than to talk. 

A few things that I especially liked this week: 
* Are we not all beggars? (Mosiah 4) 
* Nashville Tribute Band came and sang for a devotional and in the Choir we sang "Born again" and John's Song. 
* I made a goal to have an over the top awkward moment with a random person here everyday. If you know me, you know that I strive for those and they keep me laughing. It also helps to have a little fun each day.
* I have started keeping a thought journal and I could probably sell it for close to 2k when I get back 
* President Larry J. Echo Hawk of the Seventy came and spoke
- We all have ONE decision to make, not thousands. Make up your mind now. 
- Good enough is no longer good enough. We must act. If we have a testimony, we should share it. If we have good intentions, we should follow through. If we are obedient, we should be exactly obedient. 
- "If               wouldn't have                  , I wouldn't be here today?" We need to realize that our names can be inserted in that sentence, and we can mean the world to someone we barely know at first. 

Personal thoughts:
* We are always an example to someone at every moment in our lives, we might as well make it positive. 
* If we Zealously strive to do anything, there is nothing that can stop us if we have God on our side. 
* Repentance should be a nightly occurrence. We can always find something to better in ourselves.
* If we are disciples of Christ, then we need to be able to teach of Him. If we are believers of Christ, then we must always follow Him. If we represent Christ, we are held accountable to act as he would at all times, in all places, and every way possible. 

Peace, 
Elder Devashrayee

The "FAMOUS" Map Photo Shot - you're welcome Mom :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Put Away Distractions.... 8-12-15

The days seem to take a long time here but the weeks seem to pass by... its really weird.  I had heard that before but didn't realize it.

Every Wednesday night we teach a member a family home evening type lesson and last week did not disappoint. We were teaching someone and he would only say 1-3 word answers and was just on his phone and sighing and looking off into the distance for the whole lesson. We gave a great lesson but I was a couple seconds away from cracking up from laughter! I thought they told him to act that way and in a way just be rude and not even attempt to listen. So walking out I just thought it was funny and they were testing to see how we dealt with it. Turns out he wasn't supposed to do that and it was still kinda funny to me because the whole time I thought he was doing a good job acting. Nothing really great came out of the lesson so I decided to take what I could and related it to us. 

God is ready and willing to talk to us at any moment, we just have to put away our distractions here and then to heed his promptings and what the Holy Ghost has to tell us. I have really learned that it is through the spirit and someone's relationship with God that progression happens in their own personal conversion. We are just the instrument, and then if they ask God with real intent he will always answer. What we put in, we always get back. 

What Elder Norton and I studied on a lot was the intent and desires of our hearts. We discussed Ether 12 as a class and it helped me learn a whole lot more about faith. In order for miracles to occur, we must first have faith that they are possible, after we have faith and endure our trials, God will bless us and give us what we ask for. Personally, I have been asking for something for a long time, and I feel with my obedience and faith and humility I have been showing, the Lord has paid me back. I am so grateful for how the spirit works, and how God has a time and place for everything. One of my biggest questions has very recently been answered and I am beyond grateful for prayer. 

I was able to teach the district about 2 Nephi chapter 2 this week and luckily in English. Teaching in English is now easier than teasing Justin, which became a natural habit :) I am grateful for what I am learning. We had a great discussion on it. Near the beginning it states the "Salvation is free"... I invite you to read/ponder about it. 

Elder Norton and I passed off the First Vision on Sunday and it feels great to get that under our belts. I have been trying to learn how to not harden my heart against others, and have come to know what that feels like a lot more clearly and try to fix it a lot sooner. I was bugged by a few of the older missionaries here at first and during one Priesthood meeting I learned what they were going through and it taught me a good lesson that you never know what others are going through so don't judge. I'm gonna miss Brother Lehnhardt, he was one of our first teachers and he is a genius! Mark my words, he will make nuclear fusion happen. He is going to teach the new Russian speakers coming in. 

We listened to Elder C. Scott Grow last night and this is what I gained from it.... The Lord will answer our prayers in accordance to our desires, the intents of our hearts, and our diligence in sanctifying ourselves unto the Lord. 
- Elder Devashrayee
Our District Elders

Funny Happenings so far: 

An investigator asked why Jesus bled from every pore... not being able to answer that in Russian I said, "Why don't you find that out for yourself?" 

After an investigator poured out his heart I tried to say "Thanks for sharing" but it took me a solid minute and it was embarrassing

When explaining the God Head, I drew the Holy Ghost on the board as a Halloween/Pac Man ghost and starting dying of laughter. Elder Norton quickly changed it, but it was hilarious. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Asking Inspired Questions..... 8-5-15

The Russian is coming along! It is reassuring when Nephi said, "O wretched man that I am!"  It is comforting to think that a prophet of God, of his stature and power, felt inadequate at times. I have learned to personalize scriptures to myself and also liken them unto others. 

My companion and I are working really hard and constantly are striving to become better. Whenever we have an amazing lesson planned, we end up not even teaching it and go completely by the Spirit and what we can say as of now. Very little but more every day.

I loved Chapter 9 of Second Nephi. It was my favorite chapter I read this week, no doubt. I have learned that we can personally commit to the Lord and step over on His side and be there 100% of the time. 100% is the easiest way. We can truly pray for anything if we ask with a sincere heart and with real intent. It had never occurred to me all of the things we can pray for and ask God for answers. 

I'm short on time so I'll wrap it up with the fact that Sunday night Sheri Dew came and talked to us and the main point I received was the ministering of angels. Russell M. Nelson came Tuesday night and the biggest witness and testimony builder I had was the feeling that overcame me when he walked in. I wrote in my journal, "I simply sampled of the joy that I will feel when I meet Jesus." It was amazing. 

The one thing I am praying for is to learn how to ask inspired questions to investigators. Russell M. Nelson also stressed the importance and the blessing of multi-generational families. When that is accomplished with our investigators, or with the family we create, we can truly know that we have done our part! We provide baptism, but the blessing of the temple and the ordinances within it's walls are the ultimate goals. So long. Have a great week!
-Elder Devashrayee
Allowable "Facial Hair"
Found some of my "Unit" Brothers!