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 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