Monday, May 1, 2017

PB&J Sandwiches..... 5-1-17

Hope you all had a great week! 

This week I had the inkling of a feeling that I was going to leave this area and made a weekly tour to a lot of the homes of the members here in this ward. President called and I found out that my streak of 9 months was going to come to an end in Воскресенский. I was awarded the chance to speak the day before and my small testimony had to be replaced with a 10-15 minute talk when the speakers didn't show up. Am I grateful the speakers didn't show up? I shouldn't be..? :) I had way too much that I wanted to say to this great ward that the time wasn't enough! My talk went a little like this: 

"Every since I can remember I have had a PB&J sandwich for lunch at school. My mom made our lunches, but when we got old enough she had my older brother and I make the lunches for us and our siblings. My job was the make the sandwiches. If I didn't get up on time, took too long in the shower, or was just too lazy... the sandwiches didn't get made. If this happened, I didn't eat a sandwhich and neither did my siblings. My mom and dad helped out when asked and so did other siblings, but it was my main responsibility. It not only affected me personally, but my family also if I didn't get up and make the sandwiches. I then learned that if I knew I would be in a huge rush in the morning I could always make them the night before. I learned to manage time a little better. Nothing ruins a mood throughout the day when you don't have a PB&J (Peanut Butter & Jelly) in your backpack for lunch." 

It went something like that... and then I related that to making sure we not only physically nourish our bodies, but also spiritually. At one point, I needed to gain my own testimony and personally set aside time for scripture study. We need to spiritually feed our testimonies every day and when it becomes just as important as eating every day it will not only bless us, but everyone around us ALL DAY. Think of the people you come in contact with and the influence you have. If a sincere study of the Book of Mormon was done in the morning, I have reasons to believe that we would act a little differently around those people and act more like the Savior. There is a lot more than you think in that decision we have every day to read or not. Let's just make the decision now and not worry about asking ourselves every day. 

I then read parts of the Prophet's talk about the Book of Mormon and went over the importance of building personal relationships. The Book of Mormon is just a book, until you read it and gain a relationship with it. Jesus Christ can be viewed as "Just a historical figure" until you learn more about him in your reading and apply His atonement. A ward can just be full of people until you end up knowing each and every one of them by name and have spent quality time with them. A lot more is behind a welcoming handshake every Sunday when you have been in their home and have spent the time well. I then invited all of the members to get to know each other better so every Sunday they are surrounded by 100 or so friends and not just people that they see every week. 

I then read Alma 39:17 and talked about the urgency with which we need to share the gospel and how important individual souls are. Then D&C 59:21 because I owed this ward a huge thank you for all that they have done for me. They helped me live the two greatest commandments to the fullest (Matthew 22: 37-39). I believe that personally living these commandments AND helping those around you do the same is very important. I felt the love of God and my love for God increase while in this area and any time I was around these amazing members. They are very easy to love and make you want to do anything to serve them. I then finished with the words of Paul (Philippians 1:2-11) and addressed it to the ward and finished with my personal testimony. 

I found out that I will be serving in the Харковский branch which is actually the one that I served in last summer before I came to Воскресенский. It will be a lot different than the last time I served in that area because last time we were out in a smaller town a lot of which has now become a small group on Sundays. Lots of changes. One of my best friends on the mission will be coming in and replacing me in this area with Elder Durtschi. I will be serving with Elder Tolman and I am excited for the opportunities that lie ahead. 

Hope you all have a great week! 
Elder Devashrayee

This week I was able to go to the area cemetery with a dear friend. It was very different than back home, but the feelings were still the same - love and peace. Also got some great advice :)

Able to say farewell to some dear friends in the area.... 

Appreciative of these guys for helping me grow and become a better person. I will miss them all!

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