Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 44

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!! You guys are the best!!! I actually forgot it was my birthday until night time when my mission presidents wife (hna Vasquez) called me up and wished me a happy birthday... but I had a super awesome day!! 

We have been receiving so many blessings. We are improving our teaching methods, cycling through people really fast and doing really well. The more we put into it, the more blessings I see God grant us. It is just amazing!! 

I had to leave my area 2 days this week, I had interchanges with the Zone Leaders and got to know my zone leader a lot better. I thought he was just a good leader before, but now I really like him as a person and feel like he is a great friend. Then went to do a couple baptismal interviews and then went on interchanges with other elders in my district. I learn so much everyday from things I see that others do, and the things I see that I don't like, I try to take out of how I act. 

Me and my comp have been having tons of fun together, he is an awesome guy!! We are laughing and doing stupid things a ton. Sunday morning we got to church early to prep the sacrament and had to chase some cows out of the church gate (We live in like a farming city and the cows get everywhere haha)

Sunday night for my birthday I finally got around to making those cookies mom sent me. We missed the dough, but it is so hot here the chocolate chips like instantly melted and the dough turned out all brown... then we didn't have an oven so we tried cooking them on the stove. The first batch turned out terrible so we tried just mixing it all together and cooking it at once and it turned out looking more like beans then cookies, they were terrible but we had tons of fun making them. 

We got a capacitaciĆ³n (capitation?? don't know that word in English) from Elder Alonzo of the 70 this week... he pretty much macheted (?) us for 2 hours, made us feel like we were idiots who knew nothing and all had to repent for a lack of faith and understanding of the importance of our calling... it was awesome and I learned so much. Literally everything in the scriptures is symbolic and testifies of Christ and the plan of happiness!! It is insane!! I realized I hadn't really been studying, just reading... crazy!! 

I am doing great though, life is really good and we are receiving tons of blessings. I love you all. Thanks so much for your support!! Have a great week!!
Love Elder Davis

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 43 NEW AREA!!

I had changes for the first time!!!! It's such a weird feeling!! So much stuff has gone down though I don't even know how to start!!

Last week (Tuesday) we went to the temple again (our zone was still leading the mission!) which was awesome!! Super spiritually uplifting- you got to love it! 

Then that night we threw a birthday party for an 18 year old who was baptized about 6 months ago. His entire life he had never had a birthday party or received a gift for his birthday. So we bought pizzas and sodas and cakes and balloons and piƱatas and stuff and then invited his family and threw him an awesome surprise party! It was really awesome. He entered the room and just started crying... such a humble and amazing young kid. 

Then Tuesday night I was up packing until 12, trying to decide what to take and what to leave (my bags were to full and really heavy!!) Then we woke up at 5 and loaded up the busses for our whole zone to go to the changes meeting! 

Before I left, my favorite person in the world (Hno Juan) came to our house to tell me goodbye. We were both crying and holy cow it was so hard to leave, but it was definitely my time and I'm really happy with how I left the area. 

I got assigned to Jiqualisco en Zona Usulutan as district leader! Its on the other half of the country from where I was before and it is HOT! I thought it was hot before, but nothing even compares. I'm with Elder Fraizer from Salem Utah.. He is a good missionary who just got out of his training.  He still needs a lot of work on Spanish, but wants to work hard and I really like him. 

I'm now part of a little branch with 55ish active members. Our branch president has been a member for 2 years, his counselors for a little over 1 year each. We are really young, but there is a really good potential. I like what I've seen so far. 

But holy cow ]I got loaded down with a ton of responsibilities. My first correlation meeting I was asked to talk Sunday in church (I think it went well), help a member build a new house, become the elders quorum teacher, and start up a weekly mutual program for the young men and young woman. Not to mention all the the junk as district leader... I'm normally on the phone until 10:45 every night and waking up at 5:30 in the morning to get things going. 

Our area is huge and I'm trying to work out a way to organize our days and manage it all, but in the past 3 days we have already found a couple really positive people!! I am exhausted, sweating myself to bed every night, over-loaded and absolutely loving life. Life is always best when we are working hard. 

Love you guys and thanks for all your support. 
Elder Davis

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 42

So almost every single email I received today told me that my emails pretty much suck and I need to do better... the thing is I only have 1:15 on the comp each week and so many things to do in that little time (write President Vasquez, you guys, read emails, download Bruce R McKonkie talks to listen to... he is probably the greatest speaker of all time in general conference, etc.) 

This week was awesome... changes are going to be Wednesday and I had 4 people fasting for me last Sunday to have changes. hahaha So we will see what happens. 

I am pretty content whether I stay or go though. I would like to finally know a new area, but our area is doing really good so it wouldn't be bad to stay. We will just have to wait and see what the Lord wants for me:)

I had a pretty eye opening experience this week... We have been really worried about a couple recent converts (2 sisters) who haven't been back out to church in over a month. It was weird because they absolutely love the church and every time we visited them they just gave a lame excuse, but promised to be there the next week. 

Finally Monday they opened up to us, with tears in her eyes the mom told us that the twins hadn't been to church because they didn't have shoes... the one cheap pair they had got the soul ripped out and they had no way of buying new ones. The mom works extremely hard 7 days a week to provide for the family, but barley can afford the $20 rent on the house (the whole house is about the size of our office) and 2 little meals for her 4 kids each day. 

It brought me to tears to hear the true reason behind there inactivity... for the last month only one of the 4 children was able to leave the house at a time because they only had 1 pair for the 4 kids to share.

We were able to help them out to buy shoes for the 3 others. This Sunday they were back in church happier than I can describe. 

The mission really helps put things in perspective... We have all been blessed so much just to have been born where we were born. I have never had to worry about having shoes on my feet, or had to share a twin size bed with 2 other siblings every night, or worked 13 hour work days every day just to give my family a little plate of rice every day. 

We all have the blessing we have for a reason. God trusts us to use the opportunities he has given us to help all others in need. I love this little family and know that there circumstances helped prepare them to accept the restored gospel... I try every day to be worthy to help people like them, and hope that when my time comes I can say like Paul, "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith"

Thanks for all your support and love. I hope you all have an awesome week. 
Love Elder Davis

Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 41 How Strong??? Too Strong!

I think we will all agree that General Conference was the best!!! To be 100% honest though the 70's came in strong this year... almost showing up the 12 at times...

General Conference is pretty much our vacation... Saturday in the morning we all went to the grocery store and used all of our money for the week on a ton of snacks, sodas, and other foods. Then all of us gringos found ourselves a room with a fan, obtained a tv and set up the ultimate general conference watching room! It was way awesome! I learned tons, got some killer notes, and have some new specific goals I'm going to work on. 

The talk on the sabbath day was god-sent... such a problem here and it helped a few members see the true importance of the commandment! 

A recent convert went to the priesthood session with his mom and they both cried during Thomas S. Monson's talk!!! He talked to the bishop about getting enrolled in a mission prep class and said the conference answered his prayer about whether or not he wanted to serve a mission!!!

Other than conference we had a good week. We had a mission wide temple trip for investigators and less actives which was a huge success! We loaded a huge bus full of people and went to the temple... such a great experience!! Now people have a bigger mind set... the goal isn't just to get to church each week, it is to prepare to go to the temple... we are teaching all our recent converts and less actives about family history and they are starting to prepare names!!

Getting in lessons this week was tough though. The Catholic church had a billion things going on for semana santa, and it was tough to find anyone in the house... but they (the Catholics) made some really cool salt creations all over town... just in the middle of the street they make these awesome art things out of colored salt, then they destroy them in their funeral walk for the death of Christ.

Also we bought a bunch of little chicks Tuesday from an investigator and just dumped them all in my ward mission leaders house because he hates animals and it was hilarious!  Just 15 chicks chirping and running around his house and him freaking out. hahaha 

Overall it was a super fun week and I learned a ton. Hope you all had a great general conference weekend! 

Love Elder Davis