3.27.2017

"Welcome to New York"

"Welcome to New York. It's been waiting for you." --thank you Tswift! :) I got out of the car today and heard the voice of an old friend welcoming me into the blessed state. I haven't heard Taylor Swift in who knows how long. But I sure love her, a little random story for ya!!

So this week was sooo great!! We have 5 people on date to be baptized within the next couple months. It is amazing Sister Anderson and I just started to be bold and talk about baptism and church more with those that we were teaching. (we decided this at the beginning of our transfer together) and we have definitely seen the fruit of those labors 5 on date and many new investigators attending church. :) It has really been amazing! :)

IT SNOWED!
We had Zone Conference this week and Sister Anderson and I had to give a training on Recognizing the Spirit and helping our investigators identify it for themselves. It was amazing. We really just prepared and the Spirit took control of the whole training but the spirit was so strong and we were all so excited to go back and work hard to find those who were prepared. We talked about Alma 8, how Alma had wanted to turn back and give up on the city he was in but then in Alma 8:15 (my favorite scripture btw) Alma was comforted and decided to go back and work hard and that is when he found Amulek. When he was diligent and listened to the spirit!! :) I am so grateful for the scriptures and the stories they teach us! We also showed this awesome video of Elder and Sister Bednar talking about the Spirit https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2015-05-2008-elder-and-sister-bednar-recognizing-the-spirit?lang=eng, I love what Elder Bednar says about Nephi, definitely look it up. But sometimes we fail a few times before we see success but if we just rely on the Lord and follow his Spirit he will help you see miracles! :)
RECORD BREAKING WINTER!
So many miracles are awaiting each of us in life if we will just ask God to help us and then just go and work! :)

That night we had exchanges with the Carthage Sisters. I was with Sister Folkman, she is such a sweetheart and we were able to see so many people! We were just running! One of my favorites was Norma. She is a new investigator that I found when I was with Sister Walker on her last night as a missionary but I was able to pick her up as an investigator with Sister Folkman. She is awesome, Norma has a deep rooted faith in the Bible but we were able to help her understand this gospel and the Book of Mormon more and it just helped me realize. I know my Savior Jesus Christ and the doctrine of Christ, the way he wants us to live, so much better than I did before and it is because I have done a deeper study of the Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it truly answers the questions of the soul and helps prepare us to receive all the blessings that God wants to offer us. I didn't get to read the Book of Mormon in studies one day this week and man.. poor Sis. Anderson, I was just a mess I was so emotionally drained and I was irritable and I realized... it's because of that. I know that there is a power in the Book of Mormon and that it is because it is the true word of God. I love it so much!

Then the next day we were running!!!! :) I was able to go and see Sandra with Sister Thomas (she just came out and she is such an amazing missionary!!) We shared with Sandra the "Because of Him" video and she loved it! She is getting herself ready to be baptized this summer! :) I love her!!!

Then we went and saw Danny Martinelli, his family has had some issues so we pushed his date back to April 29th :) I know that he is going to be able to make it! :) He is such a cute kid!! We are proud of him and the Malczyk's have been awesome fellowship for this cute Part-Member family! :)

Then we ran around and we saw Prince.. He is such a strong kid. I don't know how he stays so active in the situation that he is in. but I am really proud of him! :) I love him a lot and I am sure when I get home I will be calling and checking up on him all the time! :) Then we were able to see Aida and her daughter Jaidan.. Jaidan got a Book of Mormon from us a week ago and she has read all the way to Ether 5 in that week... SHE LOVES IT!! She is soooo golden! She came with us to a baptism and a dinner and conference on Saturday and it was so good to have her there and then Aida met us up there later because she worked a 12 hour day. They are so committed to the gospel, they are constantly busy and yet they still are making such an effort to come to church and read and pray to know if it is true. I LOVE this family so much and I am so grateful that we are able to teach them :) I feel very honored to be able to be a part of their conversion! :)

Yesterday though we saw an amazing miracle. :) soooo... I am ditz. It's true and we had 2 exchanges this week and we were switching in and out of our car and then... all the sudden I look down at the Gas gage on Sunday and guess what... we are almost empty!!! IT'S SUNDAY!! How are we going to be able to do go everywhere we need to... well we had to adjust our plans and we just stayed by the apartment but guess what. I really think it was Heavenly Father's plan. We tracted this street and we got some pretty nice people on one side and then some not so nice people on the other side then we decided to keep going even though people weren't the nicest and we found this AWESOME FAMILY!!! Dan and Claire and their cute puppy! :) She sells MaryKay so she thought that we were some of her clients and let us right in but then she was still interested in hearing the message and they both had so many questions about Mormons. It was amazing. I know that we were led there and we are so excited to go back and teach them more. We also got a note from our neighbor yesterday while we were gone. He asked us for some help and wants to start taking the lessons. We have an appointment with him tonight! We saw so many miracles :) I know that the Lord is blessing us and.. it makes me feel better that it was probably his will that we ran out of gas ;) haha!

Love you all!! have a great week!!!
















3.20.2017

"THAT WAS TOTALLY WICKED!"




I GOT A NEW YORK WINTER!!!!
I LOVED THIS WEEK!! IT WAS A DREAM COME TRUE!! :) but it was also such a hard week! Ever since I arrived in Upstate New York a year ago (which btw.. happy year mark this week to my best pal Sister Anderson and I guess me too.) All that I have heard is things like  "oh watch out for the winter." or "you're not going to stay for the winter are you?"  "Have you ever experienced a New York winter?" ... I was so excited for this winter weather and when it started to end I felt pretty jipped and then BOOM!!! I got to be here for the biggest storm Utica has seen!! It topped the huge storm of '66! YESSSSS!!! Best year mark, present ever!! :) We survived also so that was great!! This week was so awesome!!!



So Monday, we had no car so we were being driven everywhere by Sister Rogers. She spent the day with us and it was so much fun! :) We went tracting with her and then she came with us to see Aida! It was great! we taught Jaidan the Restoration. I love the Benson family so much they are going to be baptized so soon. I love them a lot! :) Then we got dropped off that night at our apartment and all that we heard about from those we tracted into and the news and everyone around was the storm. We also received a warning from the Missionary Department so the Rogers decided to cancel all the District Meetings, Conferences and Exchanges for the week. We were all planning on still working though and Sister Anderson and I go out the door at 10 and we start to shovel for some people and went down and bought a shovel and then... all the sudden we get a text to get back to our apartment and that the Mission was on a Shutdown. We were not to leave our apartments. It was a CRAZY storm! Sister Anderson and I made plenty of calls and just were trying to stay busy but it was soooo hard to be in an apartment ALL day long!! We were going crazy!!



 Wednesday we went out and started to shovel people around the apartment!! We shoveled around 15 cars out of the snow and helped so many people. We met almost everyone at our apartment complex, including a Part-Member family we have been trying to find and lots of others who said that they would be interested!! It was amazing!!!!!!!! We then went out to help others that night and someone said, "Oh yeah, everyone said that the Sister's were out helping shovel." It made me so happy!! We were noticed and everyone was talking about it.. It was really awesome!! :) That night though.. Sister Anderson realized that she lost her GPS.. we have nooo clue where to go to find it because it got lost while we were shoveling which means it could be anywhere but.. it was crazy. I am so glad we got to survive this New York winter! :)


We had some  more hardships this week with still  having no car but... Elder Lee pulled through and we got a 2017 Toyota Rav4... so we have a new car and I am in love with it!! I feel so spoiled!! haha!!! Then we finally got to go and see all of our people!!!!!! It was great! We saw so many miracles this week!! We got to have a Less-Active really decide she needs to come back to church and then saw two investigators that I found when I first got here but we just lost contact and then we got to teach some awesome lessons to our investigators. It has been a great week and I am so grateful for all the things that the Lord does for us. I am going to close this already long email with a quick spiritual experience for this week.

So I love being a missionary but I have just felt like I have "hit a wall" in almost everything my prayer, my studies, the lessons we teach, energy.  I have been trying just to drill through it on my own because you know...I am just that independent. I was praying during sacrament so hard trying to get help and then in one of the talks someone said, "If you are obedient, you should have a baptism in every area in your mission" ... Then I started to analyze my work on the Lord's mission. I haven't been having a baptism in every area.. does that mean I am not being obedient.. I think I am.. I probably am not doing enough.. I need to wake up happier and just be better.. I just really started to tear myself down then I thought. You know what I am doing all I can.. Then I realized half way through Gospel Principles (we were teaching) we watched the current bush video and I realized that "I" am trying to do His work. I need His help and the thought to get a blessing came.. It was so hard for me to ask for a blessing because I am so independent but I asked. The Elders gave me one and I just cried. Every prayer I have said, every worry I have been having was answered. The Lord trusts me in doing His work and He is the Gardener here. He knows what success really is and He is about to show me a miracle if I will just keep being obedient even when it gets hard. I know that the Priesthood is real. I know that Priesthood Blessings are from God. I know that the Elder had NOO clue what I was going through and somehow he answered every one of my prayers. How could he do that, he can't? But God can and He knows. For anyone who might be wondering if He is hearing your prayers, I know that He is and He loves you so much and He just needs you to keep walking slowly but surely he will show you the answers :)

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

Love: Sister DeVries

3.13.2017

Lessons for the week!




--Walking missionaries/ humility lesson
--way too many things on our schedule not knowing how it would work out and it still did
--just GO and DO and I will guide you.

This week was such an awesome week. I learned so many valuable lessons. We had a crazy busy week and before I start with the miracles I need to tell you all about the circumstances and events that happened this week.
First, We had an awesome exchange with the Goveneur Sisters. They are awesome Sisters and it was such a great exchange! I love being able to be an STL so that I can learn from all different types of missionaries :) It is such a blast! Sister Ostler and I had so much fun just getting lost in the work! it felt like our morning just flew and then Sister Tuckett and I got to see lots of miracles!! :) So I am super excited to tell you all about them! Then, we had a mini missionary! Cristy Nibroxty is from our ward and she is trying to decide whether to go on a  mission so we got to take her out with us and have her stay the night to get a feel for what a mission is like :) It was pretty awesome.
Now my favorite thing that happened this week... So I have been kinda complaining for a little while saying "Wow! That was a weak winter. I really just wanted to say that I survived a true New York winter!" Well,  guess what... IT'S BACK! :) Heavenly Father has a huge sense of humor!  And we don't have a car, we are a walking area for a week or so while our car is in the shop! (don't worry.. I didn't do anything to it) So, hopefully you caught all of that, we had an exchange, a mini mission, no car and on top of that MANY appointments and service commitments that we had to make it too.

So.. in short. One thing I learned this week is humility. I am soooooooooooo independent and so is Sister Anderson and this week we really had to rely on others A LOT! and I realize, people really want to help out the missionaries in any way they can. People would call us and text us all week asking us if we needed rides. It was so sweet, I love this ward so much and we got to grow closer to them as we relied on them more and more and also they started to trust us more by just seeing more of what we actually do every day. It was pretty cool. So we had almost 10 member present lessons this week. It was crazy! Alright.. enough of that. Here is the investigators progress.

Sandra- we taught her the Word of Wisdom this week and she was really nervous about it, she really doesn't feel like she can do it, but we brought Sis. Lee and she calmed a lot of her fears. Then when we went again to follow up Sandra said she couldn't even read this week because she felt so guilty. She knows that at this point she can't quit drinking wine in her heart, she just wouldn't be doing it for the right reasons and she felt bad knowing that she would not be able to get baptized with that mentality. We started to just key into what the spirit wanted us to say and The Spirit was able to calm her fears and she said "you know, if God could just give me a desire to not want it, I would quit" Then we were able to help her see her own potential, that God really does love her enough that he will take away her desire. It was amazing!

Aida, Jaydan, Josh, Gabe- I love this family so much!! So Jaydan joined in this week and she is loving it as well. Aida has agreed to be baptized this week on April 15th! It was amazing! :) This whole family is well on their way to being baptized!! I love them all so much!!! Gabe this week he is 12 and he has Autism! He is adorable and he likes us so that is great! :)

So one day we were walking because we don't have a car and it was fun. We had no clue where we were going to go and so we started to walk in the parking lot and then a cart ran into this guys car and so I ran after it to grab it and then the guy got out of his car. His name is Roberto and he wants to learn about the gospel... We left our apartment having no clue where we were going to go and then we met this solid guy and taught him the restoration all because a grocery cart caught wind and hit his car! :)

Then with the mini missionary, we picked up 4 new investigators. They are all pretty solid we are excited about them!! It was just an awesome week!! It has been such a fun time walking with Sister Anderson and just having the members help out so much!! (I've got like 10 moms out her Mom. Don't worry)

It was such a great week!! I love you all so much and like half of our emails have said... I am excited for this storm!! :)

Love: Sister DeVries


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3.06.2017

HELLO, UTAH!


SISTER ANDERSON AND SISTER DEVRIES
This in from New York, the sun was shining it was 78 F and then it was 9 F the next day!! It has been so much fun to see the weather switch all the time!! I think it is because I kept saying "I am so disappointed I didn't get a REAL New York Winter" So.. I am excited it is still going!! :) haha!! This week has been so awesome, though! I am really loving it!! I love New Hartford and Sis. Anderson and I are just trying to work really hard!

So Miracles of the week!

Norma really wants to get baptized! She is done with her other church, she knows this church is true! The coolest part is that she knows it because of the spirit. she can't understand 70% of what we say to here but she knows it is true!! It's so awesome! Just shows me how big of a role the Spirit plays in this work.

Which is awesome because this week we talked about the Spirit at MLC. It was so awesome to see how important it is that we are being obedient so that we can have the spirit with us because it truly is the only converter and it is the only way we can have success. :) It's so fun to just be an instrument in the Lords' hands.

We had an awesome lesson with the Sevilla's this week. So I got to try out my lesson that I have wanted to teach my future children since I was 16!! So we read Mosiah 2 with them and talked about General Conference then we said "We are going to "pitch our tents" on April 1st to watch conference" So we are planning on making forts and watching conference with the Sevilla family! They are so excited! I am really excited to make it all workout!! :) It will be the kids first conference and I am so happy to be apart of it!

Aida!! She is still amazing! I don't think I have ever in my lifetime met someone so prepared! She is just so cool! She came to church this week and she came with a question about what women's role in the church is and guess what! A woman said the opening prayer! Then as testimony meeting started it was AMAZING!! All of her questions were answered! She is sooooooooooo stinking prepared!! She shared her testimony in Relief Society about her "conversion story" and all the women love her. I teared up because she was just so grateful for me knocking on her door and it was cool to see that my effort of knocking doors every day really does pay off. I love her so much :)

Prince moved but luckily they are still in our ward boundaries. They just aren't in our area so it is going to be hard but we taught him with Sister Rogers last night and I was so humbled. I love these kids so much. They are so sweet and they are converted to this gospel and they have nothing. These kids don't know when they will have food or if mom will come home..but they still read their scriptures and say their prayers. I just love them so much. :) They are some people that will always be a part of my life.. because I need them and they need a mom.. and so many of the Sisters including Sister Rogers are ready and willing to help!

This was a great week!! I hope that you all had a great week!! LOVE YOU LOTSSS!!!!

Sister DeVries


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