Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Smiles Go A Long Way...... 10-24-16

Great last week. Let's just say that I didn't email yesterday because I found a D.I. here in Ukraine and that's all that you need to know :) 

From last week, I didn't have enough time to explain my talk so I will now:
I choose the topic of Repentance and retold the story of how our neighbors garage window in our backyard was shattered 3 times by us little boys playing soccer in the space of 3 summers. I talked about how the first time we didn't want to tell but my older brother was a good example and told the neighbors and we split the bill on the window. The second time how it was all my fault and I didn't want to tell anyone. Finally, I mustered up the strength to tell my mom and she was understanding and loving but made a list of chores for me to do throughout the summer to make up for the broken window. The third time it broke I, myself, knocked on the door of the neighbors and already knew what to do. This is a very little and simple version but see where you can input these verses into the story and in what order: Alma 42:4 , D&C 18:10-13 , Alma 7:14-15 , Romans 3:23 , 1 John 8-10 and 7 , Alma 34:33 , Mosiah 4:12 , Moroni 6:8 .  

Last Monday at the ward there was a birthday party for a lady turning 70 and we were asked to help set up/take down/and most importantly eat there too. It was my first Relief Society activity ever and I am not going to lie, I enjoyed myself. Lots of emotions running around everywhere and I thought I might even shed a tear ;).  But, the part that I took away from the activity was first, it brought a large amount of sisters together in a bonding environment and I am positive everyone left uplifted. Secondly, the lady who turned 70 talked about her conversion story and she kept mentioning all of the smiles that she first saw in the ward. All of the warm smiles that made her think, "Why are these people so happy?" Smiles can go a long way and especially to strangers and newcomers. Keep smiling! 

I was also able to talk on the phone with some people in some of my first areas this last week and saw how easy it is to move on in life and forget the people that really had an influence on you. Take a second and think about someone and talk to them this week! 

I realized that I haven't quite made fasting a part of my missionary work other than on Fast Sunday and decided to try something out. As a District (4 of us) we got together and prayed about a spot to hand out Book of Mormons and planned for Wednesday. It was amazing the see the difference in our preparation and we gave out nearly 30 copies of the Book of Mormon in the space of an hour and a half. The work sped up x10 and we didn't do a single thing different other than fasting. To end the fast we went to a members house and they ended up making pancakes. It was a win-win. 

I forgot my planner at a less-actives house this week for a couple of days and I was completely lost without it. We went back and the husband of his granddaughter was there. He had just become a father that very morning and his wife was still in the hospital with his brand new baby. We entered the home just to retrieve my planner and ended up spending an hour on the request of this person. Turns out I forgot my planner on purpose. God works in mysterious ways, thank Him. 

Had a meeting for District Leaders and President Packer had a great thought on the theme of keeping our minds clean and focused. We all know that when a person repeatedly walks along a certain path on the grass it gradually becomes a dirt path and then eventually gets dried up and is there for a long long time until people stop walking along it and give it a chance to grow back. The first pioneers had a lot harder of a time chopping down trees and moving rocks to make the first path and as time went on it became a better and better path for others to take. It became more accessible. Every time we let a bad thought go down "the path" in our minds it slowly will come back more and more often and can even become a freeway if we don't stop it. Thoughts are the hardest thing on a mission. Our actions and words can be stopped, but our thoughts are our own and we need to let the grass grow back over the paths that we have made. It takes time, but if we do it the paths that were once easily accessible will become rough terrain that we won't even contemplate to travel down. 

Hope you all have a great week!  Had a great time up at the temple for training...

Elder Devashrayee

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