Tuesday, May 31, 2016

week 101- The Last Week!

 (Harrison's last email as full-time missionary in El Salvador!!)

2 John 1:12

In other words:  

Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 100 Corn, ankles, and hammocks

This week was pretty awesome. We got to go back to Hno Riveras place and start to plant all the corn and beans. It was nice and cool because we started so early in the morning and just some good relaxing work.

 About 10 am or so we ate some mangos for breakfast and then the brother asked us if we could climb some big trees and cut down all the branches (corn doesn't like shade). We climbed up and began to machete away at the branches, but all of a sudden we were getting bit by a swarm of wasps. We got down as fast as we could and from the ground found the 6 wasp nests that were in the 2 trees. We knocked them down and then went to keep planting for about 1 hour more. When we came back to finish cutting off the branches we assumed the wasps would all be gone. So we climbed the trees, began cutting again, and then all of a sudden got bit a few more times and got out of the tree as fast as possible.  My comp Elder Tineo in his rush to get down put his weight on a branch that wasn't strong enough to hold his weight and it snapped on him and he fell down on his ankle. 

We piggy-backed him the 40 minute walk back to the brothers house, and organized a quick division so I could do a couple visits and he could stay resting his foot. Needless to say, we weren't able to work 2 days last week because he couldn't walk, and the 1 other day we did work we walked miserably slow.  haha But I give him lots of credit for going for it anyways. 

The branch pretty much thinks of us as the gimp companionship now because we both have hurt our ankles. haha He is getting better and we hope to work every day this week!

Other than that, we saw lots of blessing this week. The attendance rose by 3 more and even though less members showed up, the Lord blessed us with a truck-bed full of investigators to compensate. My goal when I got into this area was an attendance of 80 before I left in sacrament meeting. We are going to work like crazy this week to try and give it one last push and see if we can't achieve it. 

Hope everyone is happy at home. Thanks for all the emails!

Love Elder Davis

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 99

This week has been sweet. It started out kinda tough when I rolled my ankle playing soccer on Monday. Then I tried to still go buy the groceries and placed it bad on the road and it just kinda gave out and I ate pavement. haha Somehow with the help of my comp we got home and it was super swollen already. I rested Monday night, but we had important appointments Tuesday and we couldn't give it another day to rest, so I asked my companion to give me a blessing before bed. When we woke up Tuesday it still hurt and was still swollen but I wrapped it up good and we went out to work. We walked brutally slow but were able to make our appointments. Wednesday I was walking at a decent pace, and even though the swelling continued, it didn't hurt anymore. Its such a miracle to be able to be able to receive a priesthood blessing and see just how fast God heals you when you need it. 

Friday we woke up at about 4 am to go help Hermano Rivera clean up the corn fields because its almost time to plant again. Super fun and tiring work, but it just feels good to be out in nature and get in some physical labor. 

The work is going well. We are having quite a bit of success activating people. Then those that we have been helping come back are telling us about other less actives that we are going to find and teach. It's like a never ending chain of people and blessings. 

Today we went into San Salvador with an investigator and bought some souvenirs and such. It was a fun day, just bargaining with a bunch of people who think they can charge you double because you are in a white shirt and tie. haha

Everything is awesome!
Love Elder Davis

pics: in the corn field 

and Ricardo (an investigator) that bought me a cake when he found out I was going home soon- such a good guy 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 98 Progression

This week was full of miracles! Since the beginning of this change we have been doing anything and everything we could think of to help our branch grow. President promised us as a mission that if we were willing to give up anything and everything for the Lord he would consecrate our efforts and we would accomplish things that have never been done in this mission. 

At the end of last week it would appear that our efforts had been in vain. The best family we had went south, we ended up having to drop the majority of our investigators, 1 less active family we were working with stopped accepting us in their home, and the overall branch attendance dropped to where we were at about 2 months ago. We put in a big self analysis and searched for anything we could change. In our prayers we told God we were willing to make any sacrifice and change anything about ourselves and how we work to please him. 

Saturday morning we were cleaning the chapel and decided to put up 15 more chairs in the sacrament room than what we normally put. It didn't seem to make sense since the week before we hadn't even filled the normal amount of chairs, but we went for it. 

This week after 3 weeks of not giving up through trials, the Lord decided to let the blessings flow until there was not room to receive them. We actually saw that promise come to pass almost literally when there nearly wasn't enough space in the back of the pickup (we pay this less active guy to fill his pickup with people from this nearby town we are working in) to hold the investigators and 1 inactive family we brought to church. 

One lady shouted at us to come to her door on Saturday when we were walking by. She told us she was baptized in the church 10 years ago and hasn't gone in a very long time, but that she decided to get over her pride and go the next day. She didn't even give us room to talk, just promising to get active again. haha

On Sunday the branch attendance was 70 people! Can't tell you how grateful we are. God has been so good to us and we are more animated than ever to keep working. 

Another truly amazing experience happened in Elders Quorum. During sacrament a recent convert was called as branch secretary, and 3rd hour he was to receive the melchizedek  priesthood. As we walked in to the class he told me the mission president's counselor that had interviewed him said he could choose who he wanted to give him the priesthood and he asked me to do it. The room was full of such an amazing spirit. I can't describe just how happy you feel when one of your converts makes such great leaps in the gospel. They become like your kids. You are always worried about them, always praying for them, help them learn how to tie a tie, buy them their first white shirt and then all of a sudden they are self sufficient and you don't have to be hovering over them and you just trust them to make the right choices. I just love being here. 

Everything is great. I'm happy and working hard. Hope you are all doing well. 

Oh and it was cool talking to you guys yesterday. You all look good!
Elder Davis

Pics:  Elder Tineo and I

I have a few pairs of socks I should probably throw away. hahaha

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 97

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

This week was awesome and filled with good stuff. Tuesday Elder Durbin and West knocked on our door about 7 am with a little cake in their hands singing Happy Birthday. Finished a killer exercise by eating 1/4 of a cake haha. Following Latin American tradition, I got the cake shoved in my face haha. Fun morning. The Elders here in Sensunte are awesome. Then Tuesday night my comp Elder Tineo invited me to pupusas de piƱa. May be the greatest thing since sliced bread. 

Thursday we had a super awesome multi-zone conference. Waking up at 4 to get there on time was well worth the effort. The mission as a whole has progressed so much over the past 2 years and now the Lord is asking even more of us. I wish I could stay another 6 months just to see the progression of the work (in case you didn't know, getting permission to extend your mission is very difficult), but I'm just going to work with all in the time I have. 

We have been going through some trials in our area. I don't know if I told you guys that we opened up a new town about 30 minutes down the road from Sensunte. We have been working there so much and have a big investigator pool, but it is tough to get them to progress. As far as anyone here knows, missionaries have never dedicated much time to try and work there, and the other churches have strong roots and aren't afraid to down talk 2 white shirt foreigners haha. 

At church on Sunday we both felt pretty down. We had done everything we could think of to get people to go, had put into practice various new ideas, but didn't get even close to the turnout we were expecting. Throughout sacrament meeting we were praying and seeking guidance and forgiveness if we hadn't done something we could have done to help more people. As I prayed the scripture in Ether 12:27 came to mind about how God gives us debilities to make us humble and search his help. Later that night I read this quote from Presidente Monson,

"We all have treasured memories of certain days in our lives- days when all seemed to go well for us, when much was accomplished... It's not difficult to be happy on such perfect days. Our mortal life, however, was never meant to be easy or consistently pleasant. Our Heavenly Father who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become refined through hard challenges, heartbreaking sorrows, and difficult choices. These and all trials present us with the real test of our ability to endure"

The more I think and look back on things, the more I realize that the times I have learned most in my mission, the times when I feel like I have been pushed to become the best missionary I can be is when things weren't working out great. 

My comp and I have new goals and plans and are super excited to push forward this next week. Whatever it takes we are going to push the work forward. So excited for next week!!

Hope everything is going well with you guys! 

Love Elder Davis

Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 96 Cambios

Thanks for all the birthday wishes! Tomorrow I am going to treat myself to some delicious pupusas and I may even put a match in them to serve as a candle:) 

Last week started out good when we got to watch a Disney movie on Monday about these little people in this girls head (in Spanish its called Intensamente, but not sure in English) it was pretty awesome actually. 

Then Tuesday we had changes, With the new way they are doing changes, I sent Elder Bingham off on a bus, and then I had to stay with a member until about 5 pm when my new comp finally showed up. Hermano Carlos (the member I was with) had to work so we couldn't go visit, so instead I spent the day learning how to be a carpenter. Actually he did all the real stuff and I just plained the wood for hours. But it was fun and I learned a little at least. 

Then I got my new comp, Elder Tineo from Peru. I got to know him a little in San Miguel and was super excited when I saw him get off the bus. I asked God for an obedient and hard working companion for my last change, but told Him I would be fine with whoever, and he blessed me with what I asked for. So far we are having lots of fun, doing lots of exercise, laughing a lot, and teaching really well together. His teaching and working style blends well with mine so we are getting a lot done! 

We work in this little place called San Fransisco every other day and the 3 churches there realized we were taking a little group of people to church with us every week and all decided to hold anti-Mormon meetings and make up a bunch of garbage about the church. Talk about opposition, but we are pushing forward.

I'm doing good, super happy, working hard, and trying to make the most out of every day.
Elder Davis

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 95

This week started off really nice when we went to the temple on Tuesday. Somehow we got the 
2:30 pm session which meant that we didn't have to wake up early, but weren't able to get home afterwards so we had to spend the night in Cojutepeque (because there were no more buses). 

While in the changing room I ran in to Elder Azpilcueta, an old comp. We caught up, and all was good, but then he passed me the bad news. A youth from my first area (everyone just called him "Chico") was killed 2 weeks ago. He was super relax and wasn't involved in anything, but he crossed gang lines to go to a friends house and they didn't like that much. When I was there we challenged him to find a friend to take to church, and he did. We then started teaching his friend in his house and he enjoyed doing it and started going out with us to teach. He tried to teach me beat boxing while walking the streets, but I never got it down haha. He was a true friend, and excited to go on a mission when he turned 18. If you would pray for the Diaz family and especially his dad Mario I would appreciate it. 

As I entered the session it was hard to hold back tears as great memories came flooding back. The session began and I was praying for comfort and understanding. Throughout the session I received a powerful witness of the plan of salvation. I know where Chico is and  what he is doing. I love this gospel and while I'm still sad for what happened, I am happy to know that one day we will see each other again. I just have to keep strong and try to be worthy of that every day.

People need this gospel in their lives. There are so many hardships that only the revealed truths of Christ´s gospel can help cure. What happened has helped me once again see the importance of sharing this doctrine with all who will listen. 

Just got the call that I'm not having changes!! Elder Bingham does though:( 
I'm going to miss that guy. I'm super stoked to have my last change here in Sensunte!! 

Have a great week!!
Elder Davis

1. Johnathan and I

2. A picture that 4 different youth sent me-they saw it on a Mormon meme page on facebook and recognized me. haha It was when President Vasquez took us to the movies.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 94 Wake up Call

Towards the end of last week I was looking over my patriarchal blessing.  I used to be really good at reading it every Fast Sunday but sadly have gotten out of the habit. Every time I read it, it inspires me to work a little harder to be worthy of the blessings that are promised therein. This week I realized I wasn't living up to part of it and decided it was time to repent. Back home early morning work-outs weren't that hard because I was generally jumping in a freezing cold pool and you wake up pretty dang fast, but here my workouts have always been half hearted and done more to just be obedient to the missionary schedule than to actually achieve anything. But after reading my blessing I was inspired and set the goal to wake up at 5:30 each morning. So this entire week I woke up at 5:30, got in 30 min of Book of Mormon reading (it's actually harder to find time here to read than you would think) and then worked out from 6-7. I feel so much better. I didn't even realized just how out of shape I was in, but just starting off the day like that makes such a difference! Hopefully I can keep up the pace because as of right now, I'm loving it! 

This Thursday we had a really special night. We are always in charge of getting organized the family nights we have for the branch every Thursday, but this week the Young Men's President said he was going to take care of it all with the Branch President and Secretary. We showed up a little early (not that I was skeptical that they were actually going to do it, more of just an insurance haha) and all the chairs were already set up. As everyone started showing up we greeted them as usual, but they all had looks on their faces like they were up to something. The family night began (a half hour late as is Salvadorean custom) and the branch had done the whole thing as a thank you to us missionaries. A lot of members had prepared little talks and one member even played, "Armies of Helaman" on his guitar while he sang modified song lyrics directed more towards us. It was so kind of them, I love this branch, and hope I don't get changed on the 20th so I can finish my mission here. I feel like I have so much more I want to be able to help these people with, and just not enough time to do it. 

Other than that, it was a pretty normal week. I got my airline ticket... talk about a terrible feeling. 

But overall happy, working hard, and trying to gain lots of weight before I get home:) 

Elder Davis

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 93 Conference

This week was full of just normal but rewarding missionary work, up until Friday. 

Friday we went to this huge lot on the side of a hill (of course because everything here is a hill) and with machetes cleaned the entire thing up. It had been overrun with weeds for years, but these members were trying to sell it and wanted it to look clean for the buyers, so they asked us to help. It was exhausting, but nice to work with our hands for a little. 

Saturday we woke up early and ran over to Hermana Roxannas House. When we got there she already had everything ready and we threw the batter in trays and stuck them into the oven we helped her build. We made Quesadillas (not the cheese Mexican food- it's a type of bread here) and it turned out super delicious. Needless to say, building my own oven when I get home is on my to do list. 

For conference I watched it with Elder Bingham and Elder Durbin in the branch president's office in English (translations just never match up to hearing the prophets and apostles voices). We had tons of snacks and the conference was amazing.

When President Uchtdorf talked about dad's asking their children to take selfies of them it reminded me of our Grand Canyon trip when dad asked us like 5 times to take selfies of him and mom. hahaha President Uchtdorf hit that on point. 

Everything is going well here. Our little branch keeps going through trials, but we are pushing forward. 

Love you all, 

Elder Davis

Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 92 Holy Week

This week was awesome. We had an amazing temple trip to take investigators and they loved it. The spirit was strong and everything was well organized and executed. My branch president forgot to contract a bus to take everyone, so at 6:15 in the morning the day of the trip he called to tell us he had forgotten haha. We threw on some clothes and ran down to the terminal and started searching for anyone who would do the trip for us. As an answer to our prayers, God placed a bus owner in our path who had just gone down to the terminal to sign a paper that day, and wasn't going to work. He agreed to do the trip for us and it turned out great. Between the 2 areas we took 40 investigators and less actives to the temple!

We opened up a new city (San Isidro) it's a little town down the road from Sensunte, but the new sisters stole so much of our area we had to find somewhere to work, and we are already seeing fruits. 

Friday was interesting (the buses shut down Friday through Sunday for Holy Week) because we had to see an investigator in San Fransisco. A little place about 7 miles from Sensunte. We could have paid someone to take us, but we aren't allowed to get in the back of trucks here, so we ended up having to walk there and back haha. It was a far walk, but the investigator is well worth it and everything turned out good. On the way we had all sorts of adventures- the funniest one was when Elder Bigham saw some bags of what he thought were juice on the side of the road and convinced me to see who could throw one higher and have them splat on the road. As we picked them up the liquid started falling out of little holes all over our hands. The smell was inmistakable, it wasn't juice, it was pee. hahaha

This week was Semana Santa- meaning everyone decided they were Catholic again. It was kinda interesting to do a self reflection on how much my teaching has changed since last Semana Santa. I wish I understood then what I understand now, about this gospel and about how to teach it to these people, who have a love for their Savior, but don't know anything about who He is or what He truly did for them. 

In the Lectures on Faith, Joseph Smith explained that to have true faith we need to understand the character of God, who He really is. 

That is one of the most amazing things about the restored gospel for me. We know who our God is. To us He isn't some impossible to understand spirit that is everywhere and nowhere at once. He isn't some undefinable 3 persons in one, or one in three. He is an all powerful, all knowing, exalted man. The literal father of our spirits. He has an only begotten Son in the flesh who is our Lord, our brother, our Savior and our king. He lived a perfect life, and gave a perfect sacrifice that only He could have given. He suffered more than we can comprehend, more than any man could have suffered save it be unto death. He bled from every pour, and He did all of it for the simple and selfless reason that He loves each of us with a perfect love. 

This Easter I give my witness that Jesus of Nazareth is my Savior. I love Him with all my heart and despite all of my efforts I will always be in His debt. 

The distractions of the world and temporal needs and responsibilities may not allow me to dedicate all the time I should after the mission to spreading His true gospel, but I hope to always be a missionary. 

I'm happier and working harder than ever:) 

Elder Davis

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 91 Movie Night!

This week I did something I never thought I would do in the mission. We went to the movies! 

Tuesday night we got a call that we would be going and I thought it was a joke, it took Elder Durbin a good 5 minutes to convince me that it was the truth haha.

So Wednesday we woke up early and caught the bus to San Salvador where we met up at the movie theater with 120 other missionaries. I guess President Vasquez saw this movie about the resurrection of Christ through the eyes of this Roman captain and loved it so much he wanted us all to see it haha. I felt so wicked walking into the theater, and watching the trailers for the other movies that will be coming out (not going to lie Batman vs Superman looks pretty good) but it was fun. I was happy because I am finally convinced that I have Spanish down because I understood the entire movie without issues (ended up translating most of it for my comp haha). 

Other than that it was a pretty normal week... This week is Semana Santa so all of the Catholics are already going crazy. I am in one of the most Catholic towns that I have ever seen and even Catholics who never go to mass turn super fanatic this week, so hopefully we have people to teach. 

All is good in the hood!

Love Elder Davis

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 90 Adventures and Pie

Happy pi day!!! I did nothing to celebrate (I don't know if they have pies here) but back home I hope everyone is celebrating like crazy... If mom wants to take out my trusty old ti84 and do some math to celebrate you are welcome to do so:) 

I didn't have changes. Woohoo!! Another 6 weeks in Sensunte!! (I'm very happy) 

On Monday this week my companion and I tried to put up a pull up bar. We got it all well placed up (holy cow I can't even do 3 pull ups- I've got to get myself into shape) but accidently snapped the pipe on the water tank we had hung it from... the tank started dumping out all of its water and we got soaked trying to tape the thing... in the end we lost all of our water and went without showering until Thursday haha. It was a pain but we went down to the hardware store to buy some stuff and get it tapped off. Such a pain, but kinda fun experience... not sure how bad I smelled- but with how much we sweat, you can imagine. hahaha

We finally killed the rat!!!! Sunday morning I was reading the BOM in my hammock while Elder Bingham got ready... and suddenly he started screaming. He was going to put on his shoe when the rat jumped out of it onto his shoulder.  hahaha We locked it in the room and started chasing it with a broom stick and my machete. After 5 minutes Elder Bingham banged it in the head and it dazed him enough for me to bash him with the machete... it was a big victory:) Now nothing will eat my food anymore (hopefully).

We spent a couple days searching for a house for the sisters that got sent here on Wednesday and then spent a lot of time Friday moving them in. Its awesome to have another set of missionaries here. I'm sure they will help our Relief Society a lot... but they took about 70% of our area so we are going to have to start branching out a lot this week going to little towns in buses and see if we can get some new people... Should be exciting. haha 

It was an eventful/ good week. Doing great and happy as ever! 

Elder Davis

Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 89 New Roomie

This week was awesome! We found out that 3 separate households we were teaching are all related... We street contacted them all separately and at different times, none of them knew we were visiting each other, and they all showed up to church on Sunday and were shocked to see each other.   haha It was an awesome moment!! 

This week they broadcasted district/stake conference for all Central America with elder Anderson from Salt Lake. It was a cool conference... It was a little hard for investigators to show up for the first time and have to sit down for 2.5 hours straight without any breaks or anything, but the spirit was felt and multiple people had spiritual experiences. 

This week we also had a new room mate move in with us... every night while we were asleep he would eat our food:( First our bread, then all of our pancake mix and then our margarine... He left his little teeth marks all over our margarine and that's when things got personal. We need to get rid of this stupid rodent!! Finally today we bought a rat trap that supposedly will kill him in un solo so hopefully it works, because we are running out of food to share. 

We got this inactive family to go to church. They were baptized like 20 years ago, but only show up 3 or 4 Sundays a year. We talked to them about getting sealed (along with their 2 kids and their wives who live with them), but even though they have a strong desire to do it, they still have a lot of commandment problems... We were trying to see how to keep their goal in their minds always and then decided just to put it near all the places they might sin in the house.  hahaha One word of wisdom sign next to the stove, law of chastity signs by the TV, etc. and one giant sign with the date of there sealing on the door:) They now have 4 days without coffee and are progressing. haha

Everything is going great. I felt the trial of faith last month, but the blessings are pouring in this month and should continue strong throughout next month:)

Grateful, working hard and happy!
Love Elder Davis

Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 88 Border Hopping

So on Friday we had a pretty intense lesson. I haven't been nervous for a lesson in a long time. When you give so many it just becomes second nature, but I was scared for the results of this one. We met up with Johnathan at the church and had to teach him the commandment of obeying earthly laws. I don't know if I told you guys but he is our best investigator. Super positive, super excited to be baptized and all around golden...there was just one problem, he is a coyote who takes people to the United States illegally. He dropped out of school after the 7th grade because he realized he had a talent for it after his uncle took him on a trip, and he makes a ton of money doing it. He is a super genuine and chill guy. I consider him a good friend apart from our relationship as missionary to investigator. 

I talked to President Vasquez about it, and after reading in the manual and talking it over for a while, he said that Johnathan would have to drop the job to be baptized. 

In the end the lesson turned out great, the spirit testified of the importance of our words and after talking it over, Johnathan told us that if that is what God wanted him to do, he would stop doing trips. Sunday we talked to him again and he had already begun doing the arrangments to drop out of the family business. 

People like Johnathan are huge examples to me. Growing up he never considered it wrong to take people over...it was just the family business. He saw it as a great way to make a lot of money, and help people find a better life. But the moment when the spirit testified to him that a prophet of God has asked that we obey the lay of the land he agreed to drop everything (work, family) and obey.

 When God speaks not much else matters. Even if it doesn't make sense to us, it does to him and that should be enough for us. It worries me to see members of the church who choose to question the words and decisions of modern prophets. To question their decisions is personal apostasy and blasphemy in the bluntest form and anyone guilty of it has the need to repent. It's nothing new. Wasn't it Paul in his epistle to the Romans who asked something along the lines of, who are we to question God? (just looked it up- Romans 9:20). 

If an investigator who came to know the church about a month ago is capable of showing enough faith to drop his entire life and obey, shouldn't we as seasoned church members be ever so more willing to, as Christ commanded, leave behind our nets and follow him and his chosen servants? 

Kinda a different letter this week, but I just wanted to share my thoughts. Something that has been on my mind for the last couple of days. Take them for what they are worth. haha 

I'm doing great! Happy as ever to be here and working hard to preach the true and pure gospel of Christ. Hope everyone is happy at home! 
Love you all and thanks for the support!

Elder Davis

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 87 Apostasy and Choco bananos

This week was awesome.  We really took control of our area and are using time better. I had been praying to see how to better organize our huge area and as usual (God never really leaves us hanging) the answer came Wednesday night at about 2 am. I was mid a very interesting dream when all of a sudden the ideas just started flowing in. Lucky for me for about a year now I have always kept a notepad and pen next to my bed to record any midnight thoughts (extremely useful). I got it all down and Thursday morning in our weekly planning we mapped out how to put it all in to practice. So far it is working great! Without a doubt God listens to and answers our prayers. 

My companion's doing good. We are only speaking Spanish in the street, but in the night we speak English so he can relax a little and not get to stressed. It seems to be working well because we are happy and he has improved quite a bit (side note: my English is coming back as well). This week I introduced him to the glorious 10 cent chocolate frozen bananas... needless to say we buy 3 or 4 a day. haha

Saturday we went to San Vicente for an awesome mission activity. We were in charge of the family history section... shout out to whoever has done all of our family tree because I pulled it up and mine is nearly full. Lots of people were impressed and asked a ton of questions about how to get started. Family History is an amazing tool!

We also tried to take our ex branch president to an appointment this week. Mid lesson he started saying a ton of apostasy about the Sabbath day and got the family all confused... maybe my goal of getting him involved in the missionary work was a little pre-mature but he showed up to church on Sunday so I'll count that as a victory:) 

Good week- finding good people and working hard!
Hope all is well, 

Elder Davis

Week 86 Satan Strikes Back

Can we just take a second to appreciate that subject line haha. It took me about 2 whole minutes to come up with it:) 

But it is very true. Whenever you feel like things are moving up without obstacles,  Satan hits you where you didn't know you were venerable. And that is exactly what happened this week in our branch.

This week President Dunkin from the 70 visited us and taught us some really cool things, and gave us some sweet statistics. President Vasquez talked a little bit about how we are at war against the devil. This country is his, but we are slowly making ground (actually gave a super detailed and sweet analogy). I learned a lot but more than what they said I learned from what the spirit testified to my heart about how to apply it in our area. The spirit is so powerful it is amazing!!

We made a trip to migrations to get my comp legalized. Fell asleep on a bus and woke up 45 minutes away from where we had to get off.  haha 

Our fridge stopped working Tuesday night (we had just bought 2 weeks worth of food!) We tried to save what we could and made this disgusting smoothie with everything from our fridge in it. Needless to say, we barfed our guts out and my comp has had a messed up stomach since, but it was fun! 

Then we pretty much lived off of pupusas until we could get food today. 

I discovered the Hawaiian pupusa... truly one of the most amazing things that has ever touched my tongue.  haha Super delicious mix of pineapple and cheese!

That's about it, laughing through the trials and adjusting plans to get better. Sensuntepeque is an awesome area. 

Love Elder Davis

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

week 85

Another awesome week has come and gone. 

Wednesday at 4 am I jumped on a bus alone (I felt so weird being alone for the first time in my mission... but its the new way we are doing changes) and headed to San Salvador to pick up my new comp. 

Got to the meeting and started checking out all the new people... they all looked pretty good actually, but I was hoping to get one of the 2 gringos. We had our little meeting and then president gave us our assignments and I got put with Elder Bingham, a gringo from Idaho. Needless to say I was pretty excited. 

Being with a new American has made me realize/remember a few things: 
1. My English sucks
2. There are a lot of super weird things here in El Salvador that I forgot are weird 
3. Starting a mission and not knowing the language at all is pretty dang hard
4. Americans are so much more practical than people of other countries

We had a pretty great first week together. He is cool and pretty down to earth. I got a sore throat and it was so hard because he couldn't talk or understand anyone and I could barley whisper.... but I got a blessing and we were able to make it through our lessons:)

Super happy and working hard!

Love Elder Davis

pic of me sacrificing a chicken over this altar (actually it is the base of this oven we are building haha) 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Week 84 Service and Stuff

This week I made the goal to give as much service as I could to as many people as I could. With that as the basis, this week turned into a very good one! I don't think anything can make someone quite as happy as just serving others all day every day:) 

My hand is doing great... I have no doubt the power of the priesthood has helped it heal so fast because I really needed it this week to get in all of the stuff we wanted to do. Thank goodness we live in a time where the priesthood power is here on earth! 

Oh yeah... I finally bought a blender!!! Smoothies for breakfast, lunch and dinner are going to be delicious!! Super excited to start using it! 

It looks like this Wednesday I'm going to get my new comp and start training again...I hope he's American so I can practice how to speak like a normal person in English again (2 days ago I was asked to give a prayer in English... it turned out super bad.  haha It was just my Spanish translated and all jumbled up haha).

  This change has been by far the hardest of my mission, but I have learned so much that it is all worth it. The atonement has new meaning each time we depend fully on the Savior to help us in things we have no control over. He is always listening and always willing to help. 

Love you guys, have a great week! 
Elder Davis

Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 83 The 12 and a Rottweiler

This week was awesome!! 

Wednesday we had the worldwide mission conference that was great!! Then on Saturday Quinten L. Cook visited El Salvador!! 

His message was so awesome and it helped a lot! I know without a doubt that he and the other members of the 12 and the first presidency are called and guided by God. It's reassuring to know that God guides his church and for that, it will never stir away from the truth. 

So Saturday night this family invited us to eat. They are the poorest family you have ever seen and have so many mouths to feed because they never turn anyone away (they have taken in so many kids of relatives who haven't taken good care of them). The wife (Sister Cecilia) is the funniest and happiest person you have ever met. If you ask her why she is always happy she will tell you, "because I am Mormon, why wouldn't I be happy". 

When we showed up it was obvious that she didn't talk and after a few minutes excused herself to go lay down. Turns out she is super sick and is going to need an operation. They don't have money for the operation and are trying to figure out what to do... in fact they didn't even have money to get food that night for us and chose to not eat breakfast or lunch to be able to give us the little they had for dinner. 

Before we left we were able to give her a blessing and help the little we could. This family has some of the biggest challenges I have ever seen, but they are always happy. They are always looking for ways to serve others. They are always preaching the gospel. And they are always living their covenants. They are the perfect example of Christ like people and have helped me understand what it truly means to be a Christian. I hope to one day be more like them. 

Oh yeah and they have a fat rottweiler that bit me as I was sitting in the house... it's all good though, just can't use my thumb much (which makes typing interesting haha) but its already getting better! hahaha 

I am super happy to be here and everything is going good. Thanks for all your support!

Elder Davis

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 82 Count Your Blessings

About Tuesday of this week I was feeling a little frustrated... but then almost magically the thought of that talk from that general conference came into my head... where the missionary hears the voice in his head that in God's eyes he isn't much different than his companion. I realized that I have no right to be frustrated at anyone, my sole job is to do the Lords will here in El Salvador and try to help everyone I can... so I started making a list in the back of my agenda of all the things I was grateful for this week to focus on all the blessings the Lords given me. Needless to say,  I have much to be grateful for:
- Pupusas
- Hermana Cecilia
- Johnathan and the testimony he has developed
- repentance
- modern day prophets
- Gods love
- Mercy
- Nice Pens
- Preach My Gospel
- scriptures
- Gifts of the spirit
- hot showers
- Having my own bathroom
- having a mirror (it is my first real mirror in the mission haha)
- clean water
- Journal
- answers to prayers
- Christ
- The atonement
- Gods love
- second chances
- President and Hermana Vasquez
- Hot Dogs
- Avacados
- The lady who gave Hermano Carlos work
- Hermana Carlos
- finding a seat on the bus
- Tortas
- My shoes after I got them sown back together
- Taking off tie and shoes in the night
- Anti-itch cream (mosquitos love me)
- zone conference
- Wednesdays (when we have water come to re-fill our tank)
- Health
- Mormon Messages
- Life
- Opportunity to be on the mission
- Opportunity to be in Sensuntepeque
- family support
- Parents who raised me in the gospel
- Honey
- Inspiration
- Revelation
- Goals
- companionship inventory
- money pouches
- Hermano Napo
- Pte diego
- Hermana Roxanna
- Clean laundry
- Daily exercise
- Fasting
- gift of the Holy Ghost
- Temples
- Trials
- The Book of Mormon
- friends who are on missions
- toast
- Water tank
- new socks
- Gospel art
- Church books and manuals
- Service projects
- Blisters
- Maizillo
- hammocks
- new razor blades
- sacrament
- the visit of pte Lopez (conselor to mission president to our ward)
- Miracles
- people who want to change
- New ideas
- The Word of Wisdom
- personal study
- other elders in the branch
- The fact that the bus driver jammed early 2000's pop the entire 2 hour ride to Cajutepeque
- computers that are updated above windows xp

Just a few things that I noticed throughout the week. I'm just so grateful for Gods blessings... He at times lets me go until I feel like I can't push any more... but if I give that last little push He always sends a tender mercy to keep me up.

Love you guys and hope everyone recognizes their blessings this week!

Love Elder Davis

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 81

Another week here in Sensuntepeque. I learned that the word sensunte in some Indian language means place of many hills... my life all of a sudden makes sense. haha

This week we had an awesome multi-zone conference with President Vasquez. I guess the convert baptisms around the world dropped this year and Salt Lake is giving a ton of instructions and seminars to the mission presidents to stay on top of things. The mission is going through even more changes... honestly everything has changed since when I got here. The progression and inspiration of our mission president and the general authorities that give instructions to him is just awesome to see. The work of the Lord will progress no matter what efforts Satan throws at us.

In the multi-zone conference Sister Vasquez spoke on patience. It was awesome and a true answer to my prayers. Crazy how God is always so willing to answer us when we have faith. 

One morning we woke up at 4 and went to a less actives corn field. We had an hour and a half hike out to it... then worked until oneish cutting down the maicillo (not sure how to say that in english) and headed back home. It was super fun. I became friends with his deaf-mute brother who was helping us (see pic) and learned the art of using the "cuma" the curved machete-like thing. Super awesome day. 

Other than that just trying to help our investigators progress... It's interesting how Satan puts obstacles in the paths of the most amazing people, but without doubt God will help us see how to resolve the challenges. 

Love you  and thanks for eveything,

Elder Davis 

Monday, January 4, 2016


Happy New Year!! 

Hope everyone had a great new year, and have placed some awesome goals that we will all probably forget about by February but it's the thought that counts right?? 

I personally have a few goals but I would like your help with one. I set the goal to do exercise every day (except Sunday's) until I get home. If you guys would be so kind as to verify with me each week that I am really doing it, that would be much appreciated because I am out of shape! 

We had a pretty chill new years. One member invited us to a carne asada lunch. It was soooooo delicious and there was so much food it was amazing. We were exhausted at the end of the day and ended up going to bed early:( but woke up to the millions of firecrackers that people set off until about 2am. 

Other than that it was a good week. We taught an investigator about the vicarious work and how he can help his ancestors recieve the saving ordinances and he just started crying and couldn't stop thanking us for being here to teach him. He is just waiting on a letter from Salt Lake and he wants to go to the temple the day after his baptism! 

Loving the people and truly coming to understand what patience really means. The mission is the best.

Love Elder Davis