Monday, April 4, 2016

Keep Smiling...... 4-4-16

This last week came and went and it seems like it happens faster every week.

Not a whole lot to report on to be honest. Sunday we had a great turn-out. There were a good handful of less-actives we have been working with in attendance and some have really made a full re-activation. I will say the way a few of my church buddies stay awake during church helps :) I try not to participate but it gets hard sometimes :) Star Wars legos have got to be the coolest!

This week I had an exchange with Elder Jorgenson (he was in my district in the MTC) and I learned a lot from him. He is a great missionary and it is fun to see how far we have come since the MTC. We ended up giving a man a Book of Mormon and writing our number in the back... says he will call when he finishes the book in 25 years... One thing I realized that Elder Jorgenson does well on lessons is smile when he is talking. I might have lost that over time, need to work on that. We have a really amazing zone and there was a baptism this last week of a 13 year-old girl from another branch. It was on her birthday too so it was really awesome to see. 

We made a trip up to Kyiv for Leadership Council this week and we came away with a lot of amazing things. We are trying to make a huge celebration for the 25th anniversary of the Church in Ukraine in September and I can't wait for it. We also talked about Unity in the mission. Here are some things that I took away from it that can be applied at here as well as at home: 

-Without complete trust in fellow missionaries, you can never be fully unified. You have to remember that they are representatives of Jesus Christ also and they do the work in different ways. 

-Gossip/Rumors. When you spread or even participate in it, you are denying the power of Repentance and are saying that the Atonement doesn't work.. that people cannot change. 

-"Follow the direction of Priesthood leaders no matter what. Even in it seems odd, or even could be incorrect, you will be blessed if you follow and they will be held accountable." -President Packer 

I was able to see one of the first people I talked to here in Ukraine. He was my buddy from day one. When I saw him on the temple grounds he ran up and gave me a hug. It was precious. His name is Valentine and that is his younger brother. 

Heard this in testimony meeting in Church from a lady: "Whenever I see someone that I cannot physically help on the street, I just a say a little prayer inside my head for them."  We can all do that!

The work is coming along in Center. Lessons with investigators are more unpredictable then Utah's weather here. On the downside, this last Friday while exiting the Night Train in Odessa at 6 in the morning I was not fully awake and missed the last of now I am emailing from a hospital in Center Odessa with a fractured collar bone, 5 bruised ribs, and a broken thumb. I don't know what the mission is going to do with me at the moment, but I know that I will recieve the treatment that is neccessary. I also hope that everyone had a great April Fools this last week. Ukranians take their holidays seriously and I dare say they celebrate it better than America. 

I hope that everyone enjoyed Conference this last week. I am excited to be able to watch it soon! I have seen a couple of the talks in Russian, but we should be able to see it later this week.

Love from Ukraine! 
-Elder Devashrayee

p.s. Yes, he is okay! We even confirmed with the Senior Missionary Couple in his area. We assumed it was his April Fool's Day prank, but weren't 100% sure.... glad to have their email address, knowing they can email any time. Thanks Mikkelson's!!! Darn Kid!

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