9.18.2017

"I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go"

I am not quite sure how to express in this letter how I am feeling today. I hope I can express to all of you my thoughts. :) 
So this week first off, 
We were walking down the street one day, on the way to an appointment and we made a wrong turn and we realized it and started to head back and this car pulled up next to us and asked if we were Mormons. The man had just lost his wife Jan to cancer 3 weeks ago and he has been desiring to know if they will be with each other for eternity and as far as he has found on the internet, we are the only church that supports that. (1 point for the internet) He wanted to know what the "Mormon bible" says and how it can help him. We set up an appointment and we went to see him. He is the sweetest thing and he is really searching for more. I am so excited to hear all about the stories!! 
Also, tender mercy, Sister Miner and Sister Halversen are staying together. :) 
Over the past week we have been able to get in contact with all of our investigators , and that has been great. They are all doing so well and it is just amazing how many people we are teaching here in Massena. When Sister Halversen and I got here 3 months ago there was no one.  Now we are teaching over 20 people and have 4 on date for baptism and many others who are praying about it. :) It is amazing. It's crazy how much the Lord blesses us when we just work hard and do His work. I love Massena. 
I had to say goodbye to the Young Women this week. I have absolutely loved working with them and being able to help them with Personal Progress. They are amazing and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to be here with them :) 
We also counted the amount of prayers we say "out loud" in one day and we said 46 prayers. It was crazy. I'm so grateful I have been able to call upon God so much while I have been here in New York and that He has answered all of us and provided miracles. :) I love prayer so much. 
We started to see Jasmine. She is one of the Young Women who I have gotten really close too. She is a nonmember but comes to young women all the time. We were able to teach her and she wants to be baptized. Also, I have a lots of teenage girls who are planning on Snap chatting me during young women's when I get home :) haha! I am glad that I will still be apart of it :) 
It has been pretty hard to say goodbye to everyone. Luckily we have technology now though that will make it so much easier for me to keep in touch with them. I sure love this gospel and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to be here in Upstate New York helping my Brother's and Sisters. I love them so much and I am so grateful for all they have taught me. Serving here has helped me develop charity and has definitely humbled me. I am so grateful I left my home 18 months ago to come and find more friends and family here in New York. I feel like I am leaving home all over again. I have come to find that it takes just as much faith to come home from the mission as it does to leave. I know that God will strengthen me though and I know that he has prepared so much for all of us and our futures. I love this gospel. I am coming back knowing that the gospel is true. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that he saw God and Jesus Christ not to far from where I am. I know that God has restored His church back on the earth today and that Thomas S. Monson is His prophet at this time. I know that The Book of Mormon is true and that it is living proof that this gospel is restored and that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I know that whoever reads it with a pure heart and desires to know if it is true can find their answer by the power of the Holy Ghost. I know that the Priesthood has been restored and that we have the same authority that Jesus Christ and the Apostles and Prophets of old did. I know that God has given that authority back to the earth in order to bless His children and provide a way for us to receive ordinances, like baptism, that are necessary for salvation. I know that this is the only way we can be saved and return back to live with God. However, I know that God is merciful so merciful that He has provided a plan and at the center of that plan is His Son, Jesus Christ. I know that Christ lives and that He has redeemed me and made me whole. He has shown me my weakness and helped me become strong. He is my Redeemer. He loves me and He loves you. He knows you and He suffered for you. He suffered for me. Why not except that beautiful gift that He is trying to give to all. We have to accept Him, it's the only way we can find that peace in this life. He will heal you. He will give you strength. I wish that I could just be a full time missionary forever. But, like my favorite hymns says
It may not be at the battle’s front
My Lord will have need of me.
But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I’ll go where you want me to go.
I don't know what the Lord has in store for me and my future but I know that the time I have spent here at the battle front will shape the rest of  my life and help me to follow His will and go where He needs me to go. I hope that I can continue to be a tool in His hand to do His work, wherever He may need me. I love you all and I am so grateful for the support you have given me. I know that God placed each of you in my life for a reason. 
Sister Bailey Tate DeVries 

9.11.2017

Temple Trip and Miracles


This has been one of the coolest weeks as a missionary. :) I absolutely love New York and how cool is it that I get to be in the heart of where it all happened. I am so grateful for that. So first off, I love this picture.. Other then the fact that the wind caught my skirt...but good thing it didn't blow up too much! haha It was such a great experience to go to the Palmyra temple again. That place has such a special place in my heart. :)I want to tell you about the trip but first let me tell you a little bit able this group. This is the group that I will be flying home with
Back row: Elder Miles, Elder Espinosa, Elder Stacey, Elder Carlile, Elder Richards, Elder Harvey, Elder Harmon
Front: Sister Anderson, Sister Carruth, Me and Sister Christensen. 


These are some of my closest friends from the mission. This group of sisters have all been my companion at some point on the mission so they all have such a special place in my heart. Elder Miles and Elder Carlile have served with me in MLC many times. Elder Espinosa and Elder Harvey were the Elders in my ward in Binghamton, Elder Stacey was in the Utica Ward with me and is now my District Leader, Elder Richards was in my Utica District and Elder Harvey has been in my Zone a few times.






I love this group so much! It was such a blast to be among such great friends. We started off our day really early and headed to the temple for a session. It felt so good to be inside the temple again. It had been way too long. I love the temple. We had a beautiful session and I had such a great time in the celestial room. I know that God hears and answers our prayers. He loves us so much and he wants to answer us. Sometimes we just have to be patient and wait for his response. I love this Gospel.






We then went to all the sites in Palmyra. It was amazing to be able to do that, I had not been in 9 years. I felt like all my childhood memories were coming back and it was amazing to go back to the place where my testimony really began. I then got to to go to the sacred grove. This was the first time I have been alone on the mission. I got a moment to pray. It felt so good. I know that this church is true. I know that Joseph Smith received an answer in that grove of trees. We then had a great experience at the Peter Whitmer farm and the printing press. :) It was great. We learned really funny things about President and Sister Rogers and had a blast. It was exactly what I needed. Throughout all that I felt such a need to go back to Massena and work hard though and man we had an AWESOME week! :)



Hopefully I can share all the miracles and say everything I want to say! 
So on Monday! We went to the Boldt Castle on 1000 islands. It was beautful!! It was such a cool experience. We were on our way down to Utica though and we stopped and got McD's for dinner and the McDonalds girl wanted a Book of Mormon and we were able to give her one!! It was soo cool! Little things like choosing McDonalds because mom sent you a gift card can be inspired! :) 
We then had a cool experience with the Young Women on Wednesday. We are the "unofficial" young women's counselors and we were in charge of young women's this week. :) We prepped the girls for conference and it was so amazing to hear them talk about how excited they were and many of them talked about how grateful they are that we are able to be there with them. I'm so glad that President sent us to these girls. Carlena has been doing amazing too and fellow shipping the nonmember girls! :) 
We then had a funny experience where I kinda got in an argument with a drunk guy.. he won and this is how it went. 
"Stick to weed girls, Jesus would tell you that"
"Um.. No he wouldn't" 
"How do you know. Have you ever met him. As far as you know Jesus could be short, bald and fat." 
*jaw drops to chin*
Yup.. you won.. haha!! I just died laughing! So funny!! I love the people here and their funny arguments!! 
Some of my favorite Massena Tracting Responses:
"You girls are banging but seriously get off my porch"
"In Dog I trust" 
"Would you like to hear a message about Christ "I don't get into that. I'm Catholic" .....as far as I know aren't Catholics Christian?
"Ah girls. I'm watching Tv i'm busy"
"I support what you are doing but I'm not interested." Oh then your Christian "no I just don't wanna rock the boat."

My favorite miracles from this week! 

Alexia- we found her this week and she is a 13 year old girl who wants to start going to church. She is so cool. She was so excited to get a copy of the Book of Mormon and her mom is really cool with her learning!!! We are so excited about her!!! :) 

Micky- A sweet mom who is wanting to understand where Christ's church is. We have been trying to get a hold of her for weeks. Her husband told us she would be interest and she is so cool.

Then my favorite!! BRITTANY AND MACKENZIE!! :) They are so cute! We were tracting and we knocked on a house that looked totally abandoned. Brittany opens the door and explained that her house burnt down and they have just been living there, She also told us that her mom had just passed away and also her dad a few years ago. She still prays every night and she still has faith and knows that she will be able to see them again. She has always wanted more faith and we were able to testify of the Book of Mormon and give her one. She was so excited to receive one and we set up a return appointment for yesterday. We came back and we taught her and her sister the restoration. It was amazing. I felt the spirit so strong. Brittany had been reading the Book of Mormon like crazy and loves it and Mackenzie was envious and asked us for one really quick. They are the cutest sisters ever and they said that they know this is true. They want to be baptized on October 21st and I know that we will be able to help them make that date. They are amazing. We are so happy for them :)

The biggest tender mercy was that I got to testify of the Restoration of the Church through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Which 3 of us I have not been able to tell that part of the first lesson in a long time. Like the whole time we have been here and recently I have felt like my testimony of Joseph Smith has been lacking I knew it was there but it just felt distant. As soon as I testified of the Restoration I felt the spirit testify to me that it was true. I love that about our Heavenly Father, he wants to hear and answer our prayers but we have to choose to act first sometimes to be able to see the miracle, just like it says in Ether 12:6 after a "trial of faith". I know that this gospel is true and that it has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and I know that we can get through our hard times and doubts. Just hold to what you do know and wait in patience and then act. God will help you. He loves you and your testimony means the world to him. He is sending hope and light just be patient. 

I love you all so much! have a great week! 

Sister DeVries

9.07.2017

The trio!!

I love Massena, being a missionary and my trio! :) I'm convinced we are the best trio that has ever been :) 

This week we got to pick up a new investigator named Glen, we had met him previously and he really wanted help changing his life and one night this week we tried him at 8:45 at night because we wrote him in our people to try list and we told the Lord we would try them all no matter what. So even though it was dark and late we tried him and he had actually just come out for a smoke. We were able to testify of the Book of Mormon to him and help him to have a desire to read it. It was amazing.He wants to change his life so much. 

We were walking down the street one night and I hear "Sister DeVries" ... I turned and a girl was waving at me from the Stewarts (like Maverick but it has the BEST icecream) and we walked over and it was Jasmine. One of the Young Women's friends that I tried to fellowship at an activity! She remembered my name. These Young Women are sharing the gospel like wildfire and it is sooo  cool. Many of them want to serve missions now too because of us coming into this area and that is amazing!! :) 

Carlena is on FIRE!! She is sharing the gospel with all her friends and prepping herself for the temple. We gave her a book of pictures from her baptism day and she carries it everywhere. She is so cool!! :)




Brittany is getting so close. I love her so much! She is on date for Oct. 14th now and she is finally off the streets so that is great!!







Coolest experience of the week!!!! Our plans fell through and we prayed to know where to go subtle promptings like "Lincoln Park songs" and a feeling to stay around where we are led us to Park ST. The first door we knocked on we met Emily. We asked her if she had heard of The Book of Mormon. She said "yeah.. I have read it. It's my favorite!" We kept talking and her grandma is a member and gave her the Book of Mormon a few weeks ago and she has read the whole thing!! She loves it and she wants to be apart of the church! LIKE WHAT!!!!!?????? CRAZIEST EXPERIENCE EVER! I think it is so amazing how powerfully prayer and the spirit are. Our Heavenly Father knows each of us personally and he loves us so much and he knows which of his children are prepared every day and he sends us to them. 






We also started teaching a guy named Bruce who is from Colorado and goes to Utah all the time but grew up in New York and after his parents passing  he moved back to fix up the home to sell. He is sooo prepared and he is earnestly praying to know if this is true! :) I love it so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) 

Sorry not much time this week! But love you all!!! Have a great week!!! 









8.28.2017

C A R L E N A

This week was so great and soo busy! We were out of town for most of it but it was a week where I really saw the hand of the Lord in my life. 
On Monday.. yes we watched the eclipse for a split second with special glasses and then.. we were bored so we did face masks and watch Legacy--about the Pioneers. It was great! :) We then got to stay in our area that night! We finished teaching Carlena the lessons!! She is blooming so much! She was understanding the lessons and she is SOOO excited to go to the temple!! She wants to go so bad! The closest one is 4 hrs away.. I really took the 10 minutes for granted. I am so grateful for temples! She is so ready to go and she was so sweet this week her prayers were full of faith! :) Asking for God to help her overcome the effects of Satan so that she would be able to be baptized and that her family and friends would be able to come. It was amazing!! 
We also saw the Mickles girls that night and told them about Carlena's baptism! They were so excited to go. They look up to Carlena so much! It's amazing the strength of the Young Women in this area they want so badly to impress God and to be able to be married in the temple. I am so proud of them. 

Tuesday! 
Brittany got a place of her own and is off the streets. The poverty here is so sad.. I definitely am so grateful for the life I have been privileged to live. She is going to be able to quit smoking and she is going to be able to live a better life. We are so happy for her!! :) We got her all moved in and cleaned too! :) 

Wednesday!
We had district meeting which was great and right after was Carlena's interview. It was with Elder Stacey who actually taught her while he was serving her 18 months ago! It is so exciting!! She is so ready! I am so glad that she received her answer! :) I know without a doubt that God does hear and answer prayers and that he is constantly striving to answer our prayers sometimes we just have to wait for the answer. Carlena has been attending this church since 7th grade. She is just now joining after 2 years. But her example of joining now has impacted her Family and a lot of our current investigators! 
Thursday--
We got to have a "practice" what the baptism will be like. Carlena was convinced she was going to hit her head in the font and die or slip down haha!! So we had to have the Elders come to practice with her. 
We then went on exchanges in Potsdam and were there until Friday because the baptism had to be there because our church doesn't have a font! 
CARLENA'S BAPTISM

Friday!! THE BAPTISM!!! 
We had so much branch support and young women support! It was amazing! They were all sooo sweet to her!! Carlena was so happy too!! She was just giggly!! She got her eyes dialated.. so she couldn't see so that was kinda funny! haha!! But she was so amazing! We helped her find the right suit and get ready and she was super excited! When she was baptized she slipped a little bit getting up and she giggled so cute as she got up out of the water. It was a perfect Carlena baptism!! She is so amazing! :) We are so proud of her!! 

Saturday! We went to Syracuse!!!! For a conference with Elder Gifford Neilson of the Seventy. It was SOOO good!!! It was all on the power of the Book of Mormon and it strengthened my testimony so much. It was excactly what I needed to hear! That was mostly our whole day because the drive was 3 hours long. 

Sunday--Confirmation
She was glowing!! She came into church just beaming and after her confirmation man she was so great in the classes. She answered all the questions she was fellowshiping the investigators and she was telling them that they need to be baptized!! She is so amazing! I love Carlena so much!! She is such a sweetheart and I am so glad that she chose to be baptized! She also had a whole group of people come to both the church  meeting and sacrament!! I am so proud of her!! 

One more miracle was Donna! She was a lady we met last night and she was so amazing. We had a little extra time tracting and I had left my GPS so we were just going to walk around and tract a little as we went well somehow I ended up at a Dollar General and then this little boy was across the street and I waved at him then he told us to come over. Because we came over we talked with him and his mom. They weren't interested but He was the cutest little thing. Then that changed our original direction we were tracting and we just started walking back towards the car for some reason. I turn my head as we were walking and I see this lady on her back porch and went to say hi. Her name was Donna. She has just had someone pass away and felt like she need religion in her life. We were able to share the Plan of Salvation with her and she accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited us back. We would have never met her if God didn't have a part in me 1) forgeting the GPS 2) having extra tracting time 3) parking at the Dollar General 4)the little boy I waved to wanting to play 5) cross the street and walk the opposite way 6) look over just at the right moment and 7) prompt her  to take out the trash just as we were walking by. 
I have no doubts that God has a hand in our lives and that he hears all our prayers. He knows us personally and wants to help us in any way he can.  

I love you all and I hope that you have a great week!! 

8.21.2017

what to expect when you are expecting ..

... a baptism. 

Haha!! :) I swear all the baptisms I have had are thrown together really quick. I love it! It keeps me on my toes! 

So Carlena has been praying for a really long time to know if she should get baptized and if this church is true! Well she got her answer and now she is being baptized this week! She is awesome!!! I love her a lot! She is 15 yrs old and she is one of our members best friend. She was Sister Halversen and I, first investigator in this area and she is now going to be the first baptism!! I love her a lot! She is so amazing! :) I am soooooo pumped for her!!! 

We had lots of tracting miracles this week! We have met some really amazing people but mostly my testimony has just grown ten fold this week. I love being able to testify on peoples porches of this restored gospel every single day. I love how much the Book of Mormon has changed me. I am not the same person that I was when I left home 17 months ago and I know I will not be the same person when I return.. I love testifying of my Savior Jesus Christ. We met this kid on the street who had not even heard anything about Christ and I felt so bad. I testified of the atonement and I just was filled of so much love. I just want to SCREAM from the rooftops and let people know that God loves them. It makes me so sad when people are struggling and all they need is the Gospel.. but I am so grateful that I get to bring that to them. :) 

Anyways... this week has been kind of slower but also jam packed with stuff, but we don't have much time today because we are all 3 emailing from 1 computer. so... I will be quick! 

Quick cool experience that might show what I have been trying to say this whole email is.. Jordan. 

We were out in Fort Covington last night and we were walking around and we knocked on this door and a girl answered and she was semi interested but them someone walked out to go and smoke and as we were leaving we said Hi and he said "are you guys coming back to teach her?" Then we said "Maybe, she just wanted us to leave her a pamphlet though." "Well.. can I have a pamphlet?"  He then told us that he used to talk with the Elders in Malone and that he just left his girlfriend and he is in a really crappy spot right now and at a point where he just wants to change his life.  He just sat there and sobbed. I had previously pulled out a Restoration pamphlet to give him and then I had a strong impression to give him a Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet and mark Alma 36 in the Book of Mormon. I then gave a testimony of the atonement and overcoming guilt come out that I know was completely by the spirit. He told us at the end "I need  you guys to come back. I want to change my life" It was such an amazing experience and showed me that God is in charge and he knows where we need to be.

We also had Zone Conference this week. It was great! It was weird though because it was my last one. Funny story though.. All the departing missionaries give their testimonies and they called me to give mine and I look back at the  Palkii's our senior couple and they had the most Shocked face in the world!! They had no clue. It was great! I am so excited to keep working hard and to help Carlena to be baptized this week. I love you all!! I hope you have a great week. 


Sister DeVries

8.15.2017

Tripanionship

So this week has been great!! I hope that I can share the experiences I have had well enough because... I forgot my planner back home so.. I have nothing to go off of but my memory. :)
We will start off at
Sister Miner! She is a sweetheart and is doing so well! We taught  20 lessons this week! Which is a LOT less then she taught her whole first 6 weeks. She has been blooming and loving being able to testify and teach. Her first area reminds me a lot of mine so it has been great to have her here with us.
Off to the people!

BRITTANY! She is doing so well and is going to be baptized soon we just have to help her overcome some things. We had a REALLY good lesson on repentance with her. This week I have really started to realize how amazing repentance is, I think I talk to everyone about it because I am just so excited to let them know that God provided a way for them to get back!! They don't have to feeel that guilt!! They can let it all go!!!! It was amazing! She is truly wanting to change her life. We are so excited for her.
We had a cool oppurtunity on Tuesday to see the Mickles girls and they came to Young Womens and we all watched "Meet the Mormons". It gave them so much perspective and they really want to get baptized. Elisa's closing prayer was "Heavenly Father, please help me and Corinn know when we should get baptized. We are hoping to be able too." They are such sweethearts! I am so proud of them and want nothing more then to help change their lives!

Carlina!! OH MY GOODNESS!! Chalk this experience up as one of the greatest lesson fails for me! :) Haha! So Carlina is getting really close to baptism and we are just teaching her all the commandments and we were on the Law of Chasity. So I decided to use the Marshmallow video about having patience to help the point get across. So we watch it and then start teaching the Law of Chastity and I say "Right now we have to be patient and not eat the marshmallow but after we are married. We can have all the marshmallows we want. Whenever we want!" Man... sometimes the bluntness I get from my mom does not help in lessons :) haha!! Love ya mom!! :) but they will never forget it! :)

We have picked up lots of new investigators!! and I don't have enough time to tell you about them all but they are amazing!! I hope that I  can tell you more next week.

I want to share 2 experiences though. These are both about God's timing! Because it is perfect!  I love being a missionary because you get to see how he works with others on a daily basis.
So we had one day where a few things fell through and we were trying to figure out what to do we went walking to try a potential and there was LeeAnn. She is 14 and she is interested in learning more about the church. We were able to teach her right then and there. It was great! She is amazing!! And we would have never met her if it weren't for God's perfect timing of having her go outside her house right when we walked past! It has been great!! :)

Also.. Bob and Bruce. They are probably my favorite story of this week. Bruce was a guy we found when we were trying to find a potential. We somehow ran into him and he said that he wanted a Book of Mormon but that the print was too small. We FINALLY got  a large print this week so we were able to go over yesterday. Well it just so happens that his son Bob was there up from Albany for 6 months because he got in a car accident. Bob has been searching for truth without really realizing it. He has left countless churches because they don't back up his believes in God and they are too much about the money. He was able to really find answers as we shared the Restoration with them. Their faces just lit up and they were so excited  to read the Book of Mormon. It was amazing. They reminded me so much of my first visit with Greg. I loved it. I know that this gospel is true and I know that the message we share does indeed answer those questions that everyone has had in their lives. I love it so much.

Surprise Story!! The GALES!! President Gale and Sister Gale from Greenwich showed up at church yesterday to come and see me!! It was such a great surprise. They were camping not to far away and heard that I was here in Massena and decided to stop over. It was amazing. :) I felt so loved. Greenwich has been booming since I left! They have had 12 baptism in a year. It is so amazing!!
Well.. I love you all !! I hope you have a great week!!! :)

Love,
Sister DeVries

8.07.2017

TRANSFERS!

So... here is a twist. I got a call from President Rogers on Saturday and he left an urgent voicemail. We called right back and guess what.. We are getting Sister Miner! She came out with Sister Halversen. So we will be a trio and I will be double training. It's CRAZY!!! I am so excited though!! So more stories to come, I am sure! :) 
Cool story... This email might be short because everyone at the library in the media room just figured out we are Mormons and they are interrogating us, because they have never seen girl missionaries here in Massena! So... it is super funny!! :) But seriously just a normal day here in Massena I love it!! and the poor Elders.. no one ever cares about them! :( I feel bad!! but.. they can't complain too much because the branch feeds them more then us!! :) haha! anyways!! Oopps... We just got a new investigator! We have an appointment set! Awesome! :) Kinda cool how many miracles come from just having a name tag on! :) 
This week was amazing!! 

So there was this lady that we ran into the first day here in Massena and now we have ran into her everywhere and we saw her one day and she needed help moving and we were able to move her last Monday! When we first talked with her she was so not interest and now she is so softened and hopefully she will want the gospel soon. It was awesome! She said at the end "I've been telling all my friends that God is good and that he works in mysterious ways. Those 2 girls are helping me move now. Have you met them they are so nice" 1 friend said "Yeah. They parked in front of my house the other day" "yeah they knocked on my door" "no! I have wanted to meet them" It's sooo cool! People are noticing us! 
Brittany is doing so well! We also helped her move! she didn't move to PA so that is GREAT!!! :) She is still looking forward to being baptized and SHE QUIT SMOKING COLD TURKEY THIS WEEK!! we are soooo proud of her!! it was amazing!!!!!!!!! :) We had Sister Rogers with us for a night and it was great we were able to really help Brittany understand the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity and at the end of the lesson she just hands us her cigs and lighter! It was amazing! I'm sooo proud of her!!! 
Carlena!! she is getting so close. She totally got an answer that she needed to get baptized but she pushed it aside.. she just thought it was nothing. Her life is full of stress and sad things.. We are hoping we can build her confidence in herself. She is so great! 
We taught Courtney's Mom, Stacy, and she at the end of the lesson said "I am so excited to read this. I know it will change me and Sonny and Courtney's lives" It was amazing!! We were at Walmart today and they saw us and gave us a huge hug. I love them so much!!!  :) 
We got to teach the Mickle's girls and they all came to church this week!! Man that was a miracle!! We have 5 non-member young women at church this week!! it was so great!! we are hoping we keep helping these young women and keep seeing miracles. I love Massena and I am so excited to start this new transfer and push through and see so many miracles!! 
I love you all!! have a great week!!!!