Monday, July 11, 2016

Really Listen..... 7-11-16

Good last week in Odessa. Found out that it was also my last :( I have grown to love Odessa and I practically know the whole city inside and out now! I will be moving to a ward (area) in Kiev (харковский) and serving with Elder Johnson. I don't know a whole lot more, but will update you more next week. Change is necessary and good, but not always the easiest. 

We had a great 4th of July! We had a feast. I made pan apple bread, hamburgers without buns, and home made fries. The cake we bought. It was delicious!!! Happy 4th!!!

This week we had a lot of different opportunities from travelling around Odessa to find a store to pick up flyers for proselyting, talking to a man our Branch President had been talking to in the Hospital, and even a baptism! His name is Dima and he has been a "member" for about 15 years. He was baptized in Russia and has moved many times. In the process, his records were lost, so we were authorized to teach him and ultimately baptize him. It was a great experience, and not many members can say that they have been baptized twice in the Church. He went through the process and truly humbled himself and was a different man after the baptism. Great to see. A second chance to start new! 

We had an exchange with the Assistants this week and it was great to serve with them for a day. The biggest thing I learned was to listen. Instead of hearing them and formulating something to say, you should give them 100% of your attention, which will lead you to what needs to be said. They are great missionaries. I was with Elder Houston. He was in my district in the MTC. It was great to see him again and work with him.

Sometimes people see missionaries & missions and think of the trials and struggles as mostly being physical. I am here to tell you, for me, it is almost all mental. We did a book stand in the park and a lady came up to me and yelled/preached for a solid 30 minutes and there was nothing we could do to get her to stop. At one point I got her to stop and I felt the urge to go over the First Vision. I had maybe 45 seconds of silence from her as I recited the account and then she started back up. I felt completely content at that point. We are here to give people the opportunity to hear the truth and sometimes it works in different ways. This week I can say we had many interesting conversations with many interesting people... I wish I could remember them all to be honest, they would give you a laugh. 

Great week in Ukraine. Excited to see whats ahead in Kiev for me. It is about an hour from the temple, so not the same area I was in last time I was up there. 

A new and different experience awaits me.
Elder Devashrayee

Found the coolest hoop while out in the city area. Best one yet!

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