Monday, August 29, 2016

Upped My Goals...... 8-29-16

Good last week. Ended up not going to the one neighboring ward, and was put into a three-some. Ended up not opening a second apartment in the other area, and now two companion-ships are trios. I am serving with Elder яшевский (from Kazakstan and he is only one transfer behind me) and Elder Young (from Idaho). Elder Young was in my district in the MTC but stayed in Utah a couple of transfers because of a broken wrist. My new ward is the Воскрасенский ward. We had about 120 people at church and it was awesome. It is awesome serving with a native and it helps a ton. 

Last P-day the Senior Missionaries (the Woods) took the district out to lunch. We ate the best sirloin ever. 

Can you find me???  :)

I said goodbye to my comrade from the Isle of Man, it was a great transfer with him. I learned a lot from the lad.  But I will now be able to use what I have learned and learn something new from my new Companions. Only trying to improve!

1st lessons are always interesting. You never know why the person wants to meet and really even much about the person. We had one this week where we met in a cafe with a women about the age of 40. She was trying to sell us some energy things and wanted us to tell our friends back home and get it big. She then tried to be polite and order us tea. At this point the "Word of Wisdom" was already on the table and ready to, this was going to be interesting. In the end, the waiter brought her tea and it was really awkward seeing what she would do with it. We ended up paying for her tea and walked out with her. Funny times, you just never know what to expect. 

This last transfer I have really upped my goals in every aspect, and I have felt a difference. The more I rely on the Lord, the more he gives. The more I trust him and stretch myself, the more he qualifies me for my calling, and the more I "knock", the more I see when he answers and how. The mission is great! 

Hope you all have a great week, especially at school :)

Elder Devashrayee

Monday, August 22, 2016

One Subject At A Time....... 8-22-16

Great week. It might just be more of a list this week due to time....

Tuesday was a weird day: While contacting we met a lady who was convinced that Jesus Christ was alive and well and resides in Spain. She gave me a picture of some wise looking dude to prove it. At one point I was reading a book of Prophecies written by Nostradamus that I was given by another person. It was at a little market. But finally at one point we had a small group around us asking us about the Book of Mormon. Strange event.

We had our interviews with President and we talked about goal setting. The way he sees it, if we set high goals and then work our hardest but don't quite reach them, we accomplish 20% more then we ever would have in the first place.  I like him a lot. He makes you think and it makes sense. 

We had a picnic in Borispol and it was a great turnout! We brought the brownies and also made Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches for everyone, it was awesome. This whole last transfer was worth it to get everyone together out there. We had a number of less-actives and a part member family that we are working with there. There was a sweet little sand soccer field nearby also. They really do love soccer more than basketball over here. I had fun with all of them.

Sunday was great. I was asked to give a talk because a couple speakers didn't show up 5 minutes before church started. If I was asked to do something like that a year ago I would have ran out the doors and not come back, believe me! The talk went alright, but I learned the importance of picking one subject and really making sure it sticks. I had about 3 that I tried to all tie together with verses and stuff and it got a little confusing. I didn't even know what I wanted to say in English, let alone Russian. 

Later that night, we went to a lesson and all of a sudden we became Amway customers. Amway is a business that is run like a pyramid scheme, and a 19 year old Ukrainian was trying to get us to buy and join. We thought that we were going to teach the Restoration, but 5 minutes in I just sat back and tried to take it as though I was an investigator. I learned a lot of important things and realized how boring/irritating it can be to be an investigator. Lots of things I can improve on as a teacher. 

Found out that I will be leaving my area and it was a blow to me. I envisioned myself in this little town for a long time! This last transfer living with the Assistants and working in this area has been the funnest/hardest working transfer of my mission.  I have grown to love this place. This is just one of the cool places I have seen while I was here....

I will be serving in a neighboring ward with a missionary also from a different area, in a new apartment. I have no idea what to expect, but I am excited. 

God loves you, so love others! 2 Corinthians 1:3-4   I am very thankful for everyone who is a part of my life.

Elder Devashrayee

I definitely have been eating much healthier since I have been here. This lunch is much better for me than those 'HOT POCKETS' and fruit snacks I would devour for lunch during my senior year. I have been blessed with some great food here.  I wouldn't mind some of my old eating habits once in a while though ;)

Monday, August 15, 2016

I Am What I Am..... 8-15-16

Good stuff this last week. Not a whole lot to talk about though, strange how that works.

My companion (Elder Johnson) and Elder Houston (other missionary in the apartment) got sick this last week so I was with Elder Christofferson for a little bit. At one point we had a completely free day and we went out and the day just seemed to fill itself. It is the best when that happens.

We were able to play "Gator Ball" for P-day this week. Not sure how to explain it.... It's soccer, but you can kick the ball up and run with it and pass it as long as you don't get tagged. You can either throw the ball, or kick it, into the goal. Idk haha, fun though. Here is the group we play with... Missionaries, members and others join in. 

Some different things for this week:
* We have a group of people in the ward that are all mute. The person that signs for them taught me how to say, "Good morning Sister/Brother, I am happy to see you!"  so that was fun and different. A little easier than Russian :)

* My comp took a random pic, best thing about the pic though is the flowers in the back. Some grandma gave them to me last night. It was pretty funny to walk through metro and home holding flowers, while walking home with my companion. She was very nice to give them to me.

 *A member in our ward is really into poetry and I talked to him about it the last week. He then brought some for me on Sunday signed by him. Fun stuff. It will be a fun keepsake.

The biggest thing this week for me was this verse: 1 Corinthians 15: 9-10
For I am the least of the apostles (Missionaries) and do not even deserve to be called an apostle (Missionary) , because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. 

Grateful to be a missionary at this time in my life. Thanks to all of those that helped me get to this point in my life. Love you all.

Elder Devashrayee

Ran across this soccer field/basketball court the other day. Imagine how difficult it would be to dribble the ball down that court. As well as all of the busted ankles you would have. Thankful for our real courts back home.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Be Happy for Others..... 8-8-16

Great week. Here are some of the highlights for me. 

We did a book-stand outside of the metro right next to the bus that takes us to our area (Borispil) so we could hopefully find some people that were going home from work. We were there for a couple of hours and to be honest we did not have much success at all. At one point a girl walking bye dropped a little money out of her pocket and didn't notice. I noticed and so did a grandma nearby. She picked up the money and tried to call the girl back but she had headphones in. There was no way this grandma was going to catch the girl, so I offered to grab the money and catch up with the girl to give it back. The grandma didn't trust me, so I just ran and tapped the girl's shoulder as the grandma slowly but surely came to give her her money back. It lasted maybe 20 seconds, but for 2 hours it was completely worth it to me. Our life on Earth is just like these 20 seconds, and I was grateful for the opportunity. 

We had a great day planned this last week with a lot of lessons in Borispil. The moment we hopped on the bus out to the area, all of the people we planned to meet with either didn't answer or told us that they could not meet. It was one of those moments that you just had to laugh at and realize that it was not the plan that God wanted for that day. We spent a good day contacting and found a family that we visited later in the week in a small village that has 4 sons! 

I was on an exchange this week with Elder Plewe.

We were able to teach one of my favorite lessons so far on the mission. Two men about the age of 50 were seated with us at a ghetto picnic table and we laid the Book of Mormon down on the table and their attention was immediately on us and we taught the Restoration. The lesson went really well and I kinda felt like a school teacher. 

Some person asked me, "If you died today, where would you go? Heaven or Hell." I answered with Heaven and he asked me why. I started talking about baptism, priesthood power, and the Book of Mormon... he then said, "Wrong." He continued and said, "Only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." I agreed with him 100% and realized that sometimes I get away from the basics. As great and as true as our unique message is, it is only through the Atonement that we can live in the presence of God again. 

One of the awesome Grandma's here has this "hut" that she studies in. It is the coolest thing. I would "study and sleep" in there all of the time. So peaceful!

Funny thing this week.... I got "child locked" out of the microwave???  No idea how but it locked me out completely! My cooking skills have improved and I usually don't use it, but what the heck? 

Saw a sticker on a bus this week that said, Дай вам Бог того, что вы желаете другим. Hard to translate but Google translate puts it "May God give you what you want for others. " 
Try to be happy for the success of others this week and wish all the best.
Have a great week,
Elder Devashrayee

Derek sent us a separate email about a cool experience the whole mission is having. This is a copy of what Derek's Mission President (Pres Packer, the Grandson of President Boyd K Packer) sent the missionaries about this event - They are celebrating 25 years in Ukraine. Derek was one of the missionaries that were present for this. 

As you all know, we are celebrating 25 years from the dedication of Ukraine for the spreading of the Restored Gospel. To celebrate this occasion, Sister Close, an excellent painter and temple missionary, will be painting a recreation of the dedication. On Monday, we saw Sister Close in the grocery store. She asked if we could get enough missionaries and members together at 7:00am at the Volodymyr Statue to take a picture that she could paint from. It was very short notice but many came. We were richly rewarded for being there. President Lobada and three others from the original group came and shared testimonies. There was a nonmember man invited into the circle by a set of our missionaries who also shared the experience with us. The spirit was as strong as I have ever felt it. There were many more people who participated in the special moment there from beyond the veil. 25 years ago when President Boyd K Packer and Elder Dallin H Oaks pronounced the dedicatory prayer it had been a 1000 years since Volodymyr the Great established Christianity here in this land. Generations of believers are praying from beyond the veil that their posterity will find the restored gospel and the saving ordinances that can now be performed in the Holy Temple. Those that have ears will hear and those with eyes will see. This include us. Pray with your whole souls that God will open your eyes, your ears, and your hearts so that you can understand the role you play in this important part of the Lord's vineyard.

Volodymyr the Great - Statue

Monday, August 1, 2016

Reach Our Potential..... 8-1-16

Another week came and gone. Not a whole lot to talk about. The town that we are working in is really coming along and we have found a lot of work there. One of my favorite things about this week is that we have found a member who was baptized about 5 years ago and has gone in-active. He now has a wife and a 1 month old baby. They are an awesome family and we are hoping to not only bring back the man, but help the rest of his family too.

Guess who I ran into up in Kyiv last week. Elder Gorba - my trainer! It was great seeing him again.  I didn't feel quite as small as I did the first time I met him :)

We do have a Young Man in the ward that is leaving on his mission soon. So the ward had a party for him. We played soccer in the "forest" nearby. It was a pretty sweet soccer field.

This week it occurred more that I would try to talk to someone and bring up the gospel. I did that and someone who was nearby heard me get rejected and then they came up and wanted to know why I just got yelled at haha. Great way to contact I guess. Shows that as long as we do what is necessary, the Lord will fill in the rest.

Met with a family that is from Wales this last week and the father and my companion (from the Isle of Man) had a conversation where it would have been easier to understand in Russian than the form of English I was hearing :) It was good for my companion to have someone like that to talk to though.

I just wanna let everyone know that the fruit here is amazing. Off the tree. In the market. So good! Also did some service out in the middle of no where this week. A cool little village.

My favorite verse that I read this week was Romans 5:19.  We can all be examples. We have the responsibility to help people reach their potential here, and we can achieve that by making sure that every interaction helps uplift them. I have seen it in my life where a person can either uplift and help others make the right decision, or vise versa. I am grateful for those people who made me want to become better, and apologize for the times that I was the one leading people astray. 

The mission is awesome. A missionary came in about 2 weeks ago and said the closing prayer of a District Meeting, and it was the most spiritual part of the meeting for me. Humility and meekness are keys to receiving blessings, and in all reality, happiness. Hope you all have a great week.

Elder Devashrayee

Here are some pics of the area in Kyiv I am now serving in.