Monday, September 19, 2016

Celebrating 25 Years Here...... 9-19-16

Great last week. Some highlights: 

-We learned how to make вареники  this last week from a grandma we are working with. Lots of time to prepare and about a minute to eat, like most good things! (it's called Vareniki)
These are my two companions and the Grandma and her daughter showing us how to make them.  It is a little ball of dough with meat or cheese or cherries or potatoes inside. YUM!

-We were at a less-actives house and she showed us pictures of the missionary who baptized her and her family. My companion's parents served a mission and she had a picture of them on their mission. In the picture was Elder Яшевский and his mom in Kazakhstan.. crazy! Small world. He was about 10 years old in the photo and it was hilarious to see. Amazing how the Lord works.

-We were able to see the finished painting from the reenactment that I participated in a few months back. It was cool to see the final framed version. So blessed to be a part of that incredible event in Ukraine. They had it on display at the celebration we had this week.

-Saturday morning we had a Mission Conference with every single missionary. It was great to see everyone. I was able to visit with several of my old companions.  All of us Elders were given either a blue or yellow tie (Ukrainian Flag colors) for the weekend celebration. It was cool to see!
This is our ENTIRE Mission - serving in the Kyiv Ukraine Mission
The three speakers were:  
Sister Packer: She really focused on the importance of Morning and Nightly prayer and what should be included in each of those. Morning prayers can be hard to concentrate, but that is one of my new goals. To make it meaningful, and not just sleepy. 

President Packer: He showed us a lot of pictures from his mission. He was able to go back there with Sister Packer for a meeting and he had a handful of stories of seeds that he had sown in the area, and then going back and seeing that other missionaries/members had harvested them. This hit home to me, hearing that in my last few areas there have been baptisms of people that I played a role in. It doesn't matter what phase of the work you are a part of, it only matters that you did your part. 

President Porter: He had a 2 hour discourse on Jesus Christ and then Joseph Smith. Here are some of the highlights. 

-"If it is to be, it is up to me.. to trust in the Lord" 
-Take a personal rating, how often is the Savior on your mind? 
-The Law: We can follow all of the commandments, live a very honorable life, and do everything necessary to receive eternal life while becoming as Christ-like as possible.. yet, by the law we would not be allowed to live with our Heavenly Father. Only by His mercy can we overcome the law. 
-Atonement of Jesus Christ did not only take place the last 2 or so days. He prepared his whole life for the Atonement. Every action. Every thought. He went through and felt everything possible, in order to qualify himself to take every thing away. "Nothing you or I have ever done wasn't atoned for on the cross by Jesus Christ." 
-Questions about the Church and doubts about the history: Pointless to argue about if the person doesn't have a testimony of Joseph Smith. 
-"Never ask for permission, ask him what is right." (In our prayers) 
-Do we ever catch ourselves saying, "I feel so sorry for...(so and so)" ? Let's change that to "I feel so bad for  (so and so)... that I am willing to do something." Act!

Saturday was the Jubilee we have been getting ready for all year for the 25th anniversary of the Church in Ukraine. As missionaries we were able to perform in the concert and sing "The morning Breaks" and "Called to Served" in Ukrainian. It was held in downtown Kiev in the Opera House and it was filled with members from all over. I was able to see a lot of old friends. At the end the missionaries joined the choir in singing "How firm a Foundation". When the curtain came up, I realized that there were missionaries on the stage and we were in the crowd... that didn't seem right.  So we hurried and ran to the back stage and were on the stage by the time of the second verse, good times. Photos below.

Unforgettable last week in Ukraine. Love ya all. 

-Elder Devashrayee

 The Opera House in Kyiv
 One of my Primary Buddies
 Elder Young and a wonderful family
 My View from the back of the Stage

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