Monday, April 18, 2016

Value of Gratitude..... 4-18-16

A very event filled week with 2 exchanges, new call, and goodbyes. To start off, I recieved a transfer to a neighboring area that is still in Odessa and still in the Zone. It was unusual because transfers usually take missionaries out of Odessa to Kiev and other areas and vise versa, but I am more than happy to remain in Odessa! I will be serving with Elder Jorgenson (he was in my district in the MTC) in Tairovsky (not sure it is spelled right) as Zone Leaders. He has been there one transfer already and there have been a handful of baptisms out of this area lately. One of them was a family of three that I had the privilege to interview this last week. They are amazing people and will be great members. I was nervous for the interviews, but the moment they started it all washed away and they were a great experience for me and hopefully for them too. Elder Glade will remain in Center and will be training! Crazy to think that is where I was a while back. Time flies. He will do great. I learned a lot from the last two exchanges and realized that my calling really doesn't mean anything about me, but what I am called to do.. I feel like I continually learn more and more how to be a better missionary. 

I was able to bare my testimony this last Sunday alongside with one of the Sister Missionaries leaving the area. We had a great turn out on Sunday and had a handful of people that we have been working with there. One of them by the name Boris. We have been talking/working with him since the beginning and I just found out while talking with him before I was due to leave that he knew a close friend of mine (Alex Stoddard) who was the JV coach at Brighton! Talked with him a lot and he showed pictures. 
Boris is the one on the right in the black shirt

Sunday was a day of special moments for me. Boris looked me in the eye and said, "you brought me back... thank you." I quickly made sure he knew it wasn't me, but it was just as special to hear as when I saw Klara get baptized. 

We were able to journey out to Klara's home on Sunday and bless the Sacrament for her. It happened that a couple of less-actives were there too and one of them partook of the sacrament for the first time in a very long time. I am grateful the chance I had to say goodbye to Klara, she will always be a special person.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. I am going to miss this area. Center is amazing. I have just gotten on a personal level with all of the members and see the fruits of staying in an area for a long time. Center Branch is alive and well. It is being left in good hands though!
A couple of things that I learned this week is that complaining (murmuring) in any form is a direct opposite of gratitude and try to visualize myself talking to the Lord himself when I feel like I am about to complain about something. Another goal is to try to eliminate the word "I" while speaking.
Maybe your "typical missionary story" but this last week we stayed out just 5 minutes longer than planned and we were able to give out 2 Book of Mormons in the matter of minutes without seeing success for nearly an hour. We had desire to reach the goal and the Lord made it possible. I will look to try to serve with increased faith this next transfer. 
Still haven't seen all of the talks from General Conference but go and re-read them! They are amazing. 
This is how we were able to watch some of the talks from conference.

Have a great week everyone!
-Elder Devashrayee

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