Monday, October 16, 2017

October 16, 2017: The Hot Sun of the Cold City Conquista

This was a super awesome week here in Conquista!

We worked super hard. We are opening up a new area because the ward boundaries were changed. SO we are starting from ZERO. haha. Our new area is like 45- 60 minutes walking. We have been going there everyday and have been knocking on A TON of doors. It was so great. It was refreshing to get rejected by people. haha Generally, in other areas, EVERYONE accepts a visit from the missionaries, but they don´t have the desire to read, pray, go to church, etc. They are all comfortable where they are at. SO here is different. We knock and knock and knock and everyone is busy or isn´t interested. haha 

Paintball wounds:)
So we worked SUPER hard this week to find interested people. I don´t think I have ever worked so hard in my whole mission. Every day, we arrived at home exhausted. It was a great feeling. I don´t know why but it was a really great experience for me. I learned a lot and became a better missionary because of this. It was like the Refiner´s Fire. 

I also got more tan!!! haha SO I am getting even darker! (YES) 


I don´t have too much to relate to you guys. We just walked a ton. BUT, we had a couple great lessons. I loved it. I told you guys last week about Jacó that accepted to be baptized. Well, I guess his mom and sister told him that he can´t. So he told us he won´t be accepting any more visits. IT was pretty sad. But we talked to him. We told him the importance of the Spirit that he felt and tried our best to help him. I really was sad that he stopped accepting our visits. I felt like that night I saw him through God´s perspective and I wanted to do everything possible to help him receive his Salvation. He told us that he would make a visit at the church. Hopefully he does! Great guy.

But, we have found some other great investigators and have many lessons marked for this week! It´s gonna be awesome!


I finished the Book of Mormon this week. AND like the mission president´s wife said, I wrote "Start again" right next to "The End" hahah! So I started the Book of Mormon again. I think this will be my fourth time reading it. I really like the first chapter. I really loved reading about the determination of Lehi. He was in a tough situation. The Lord showed him everything that would happen. He knew that Jerusalem would be destroyed and that the people would not listen to him. Yet, he left the comforts of his house and preached repentance to the people. He did his part. He tried as hard as he could even though the people wanted to kill him. I think that Nephi must have learned a lot from his father´s example. Nephi then states that when we are dilligent (Like his father) The Lord shows forth his tender mercies. AND by the power of deliverance, makes us become strong. For, without the Lord we are weak, imperfect, hopeless beings. I love the contrast of a life with Christ to one without. HE gives us Hope, Light, and Life. I hope that we can all be like Lehi and fulfill the tasks given to us, even though they may seem impossible and like Lehi, keep our heads up, even if there isn´t any physical, visual results from our efforts. The Lord knows! I love you all! Have an amazing week!

Love, Elder Davis

PS We went Paintballing this morning. It was awesome. hahaha I played pretty well. We had a fun time. LOVE YOU ALL!

Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017: SURPRISE! I was transferred!

SURPRISE everyone! I was transferred... 

I am now in the fair town (huge city) of Vitoria da Conquista (Victory of the Conquest)

It is super cool here. BUT because of this transfer the week was pretty nuts......

I am going to miss Elder Gomes!

To start off on Monday night we went to the Mission Council. We got there on Tuesday and spent the whole day there meeting with the other ZL's and the President. It went very well. At the end of the trainings, I was talking to my companion Elder Gomes and President told me that I was being transferred to Conquista to be ZL with Elder Loureiro. Kinda sad but it's all good.


Also, later that night, we went to the mission office and I said goodbye to Elder Jenkins and Elder Prado . They finished their mission (Elder High finished too but I didn't see him). They actually had stayed another transfer but because of the visa they had to go home 4 weeks into the transfer. So it was necessary to have some emergency transfers to figure everything out. Elder High was in conquista in my place, but he left so I went there!

It is complicated. BUT it was sad to see them go. I love those guys!

My new comp Elder Loureiro!
The rest of the week was just packing and traveling. 

I got to Conquista late at night on Thursday. We ate pizza and I started unpacking.
The rest of the week we taught some lessons and participated in the Helping Hands event at the hospital. We had to sing in front of everyone.... it was very bad. haahha But I guess we are on TV! So that's pretty cool. The ward is super awesome here. They are all very excited and have been giving us many referrals. So I am very excited to work here!


But, that was basically the week. We taught a few people and had some other cool experiences too!
One cool experience on Sunday, we had a great experience with verifications this week. We were searching for many less active members. The addresses were all wrong and nothing was working out. But, we kept going, trying our hardest to preach the gospel. We were led by the spirit and contacted one of the member´s neighbors. We entered his house and taught him the first lesson. The spirit was very strong and we committed him to baptism on the 21st. 
I finished the Hulk:)
To finish up I had a cool spiritual thought while I was reading the book of Ether and thought I would share it with you all. They said that the boats were tight like a dish. I related it to us. That we must be firm in Christ. We must be 'tight like a dish' with the LIGHT of Christ inside of us. To keep the darkness out and the cold waves of temptation from taking us over. It is very important for us to have a sure foundation in Christ. Like it is stated in Helaman 5:12. Like the church leaders said, we need to keep the doctrine of Christ PURE and have a firm testimony of these things. So that was a cool little connection I had this week. hahah 

I hope you all have a 'tight' week! hahha

Love-
Elder Davis

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October 2, 2017: Conference and Baptisms!

HELLLOOO everyone!

This was an amazingly awesome week. It was very busy. We did splits with a few elders.

SO Monday night we had a bible bash.... The guy talked to us about what we believe and is interested. He just doesn´t like the idea that we say we are the only true church. Because he feels like he has had spiritual experiences in his church too. Which is normal, because he is dealing with God. Of course he can feel the Spirit and everything. BUT, what he didn´t understand was the fact that the Preisthood was restored! But it´s all good. We are going to visit him one last time tonight to see how it goes. 


Tuesday we did splits with the Elders from Itabuna Centro. It went well. I went to their area to help teach a guy that was baptized this Saturday

Wednesday we did splits with Buerarema and went to their area to help them out. It also went well. It is a very small town though. So I am glad I am not serving there. 


Thursday we were going to do splits with some other elders but they cancelled on us. Bummer. But we worked hard and our District Leader did the baptismal interview for Rafael. He passed just fine and at the closing prayer he prayed that he could be baptized and that his baptism could be the best day ever. AND it was.  hahaha


Friday we finished some things up and I went and did the baptismal interview for Itabuna Centro. It was really cool. The spirit was very strong and I could tell that the man really had a testimony about what was taught. 

SATURDAY was awesome. I Loved General Conference. It was super awesome. I learned a whole ton. After the 5:00 session we had the baptism of the two guys. Rafael and the Gilberto (from Itabuna Centro). It was very cool. Very spiritual. 

The person taking this picture did not know how to center the camera haha
Sunday was also good. basically we just listened to conference. But like I said I loved it. I think my favorite talk was Elder Holland´s. I loved when he said that we are all debtors sentenced to prison but because of Our King, we may be saved. Very true. I also loved the talk about miracles and the one about oneness!!! It was very awesome. STUDY those talks! There is a lot of important things in there. ALSO, the Book of Mormon vs critics talk was awesome. It was like a giant bible bash.... just with nobody on the opposing side. Still cool though.


Anyways, that was my week everyone! I love you all! Have a merry week!

Love,
Elder Davis

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

September 25, 2017: UHHH...I can't think of a funny subject line

Ola!!! BOM DIA!!!

TUDO BEM?

How is everyone doing? This week was great. Like always. It was pretty busy though. We had to organize and travel to the zone conference this week. IT was combined with the Zona Ilheus so we went over there for the meeting. IT was like an hour bus ride from Itabuna. 
"The road of the Mormons." It´s the road of the chapel. So the city hall named it Road of the Mormons. hahahaha or Mormon road.
Let´s see so P day was really fun. My companion has Risk. So we just relaxed and played some HardCore risk with some other elders. 

You guys know what is pretty funny? I always start my letters with how p day was with the intention of relating my weekly experience day by day. BUT then I get a little lazy and forget which day was what and who we taught each day. It all blends together... lol

But, while I was talking to you guys about that, I remembered something cool that happened on Tuesday. We visited a referral from a member. It was his brother in law. SO we taught him with the member at the member's house. Because the house that his brother in law was staying at had 24 dogs..... I have never heard so many dogs bark at one time. It was crazy. So we just picked him up and taught him at the member´s house. We taught him the first lesson and it went very well. The spirit was strong and he accepted to be baptized the 30th of September. He had already gone to church two other times before we taught him. We just couldn't get a hold of him to visit him. So I am very excited for that. 

We had the zone conference on Thursday... it went well. haha It was fun and we got to give a training on how to teach the Plan of Salvation. It went well! 

I got to see Elder Vander Werff again this week and we went and took pictures by a big Ilheus sign. Uhhh.... we ate food, slept, did fun stuff.

Elder Vander Werff and me.
Elder Gomes and me.

I have been studying a lot of old general conference talks in anticipation for the GC coming up. I read an awesome talk by President Thomas S. Monson. It is call Love- The Essence of the Gospel. It talks about the importance of Love and that we should show unfeigned love for other! I tied this in with some other studying I did and learned how I can be a better leader! BY showing this love. But, I don´t need to be a leader to be able to do this. I can share my love every day with all those around me. THAT is what Chirst did. That is what brings true and complete joy. Another cool part is when he said that it is interesting that many times we fight, argue, and irritate those that we love most. When we should truly love them more than anyone else!

 I did a dobby sculpt for a member. She is like my Brazillian mom. She keeps me fed and helps us with whatever we need. She wanted a Dobby done out of Biscuit (a type of clay) and a hulk...
I told her I can help her out:)


The rest of the week was good too... hahaha.  We have had some humbling experiences by how the Lord is directing us in this work. We had a great spiritual experience this week. Our appointments fell though and we were unsure of where to go. We prayed to our Heavenly Father and asked for direction. We asked to be led to someone who needs our help and our messages. After, the prayer we both felt that we needed to go to visit an investigator. While we headed towards her house, we ran into an excommunicated member that we are teaching. She talked to us and we marked a new lesson to visit her. Then farther down the road we were talking about the ward and the growth thereof. She told us that she needed us to visit her friend because her and her family are all inactive and are going to other churches. She told us that her friend was really needing a visit. Then, all the sudden she stopped and said, "Oh, she´s right there!" Her friend was right across the street. We marked a visit with her as well. It was a very cool experience. We knew instantly that God had answered our prayers. 

WHELP, I LOVE YOU ALL. Have a great week and show your love to those around you. Especially those you love most.

Love,
Elder Davis

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

September 18, 2017: Business Trip

Wellllllll... greetings my fellow brothers and sisters,

This was a great week! It was full of travelling though. Pretty rough. I am wayyyy too tall to fit in the busses.
One of the bus rides, I was sitting in the very back seat and one lady threw up 5 times in the bathroom.  Which, was right next to my seat.  Heard it all!

 Lasagna that a member made...BEST LASAGNA IN MY LIFE.... sorry Mom!
Let´s see.... so the first half of the week we went to the mission council. Which, was great. Loved it. Super tiring though. Then we worked as hard as possible for two days. And we had a zone meeting. SO we shared a training that we came up with and we made goals with the zone to get better. It went really well. We talked about the Title of Liberty and we did our own... on a piece of paper.

In Valença we made stroganoff for lunch. We took a pic and Elder R Santos didnt want to put a shirt on so he just covered up the symbols on the garments.. hahahaha
Then, Thursday night, I went to Valença to do the baptismal interviews for the DL. IT was great. I miss that town and all the people there. It was a great time though. I got to see Elder Vander Werff again. Love that guy. He arrived with me on the mission. We were in the same district in the CTM. So he is like my brother. AND he lives in Orem, Utah. SO we will definitely hang after the mission. UMM also we visited Ednaldo and Mayana (my recent converts from Valença). It was great. I love those guys. Unfortunately that night.... I missed my bus so I had to leave Saturday morning at 11. Which complicated all of our appointments on Saturday. We even missed a service project marked that day. So we have to make it up to the members. BUT its all good.

Elder De Melo and I. We served together in Valença and that was probably the last time I will see him. He is finishing his mission.
My fingers are tired...
Our Zone is doing well. This week I travelled to Valença to perform a baptismal interview for Elder Vander Werff. Things seem to be going well in Valença.
We held a Zone meeting on Wednesday and focused on Our Purpose as missionaries and the importance of contacts. We made goals with the zone to become more obedient to the rules of the mission and we showed the promised blessings if they do so. We need to follow-up better on this idea though. If we fail to follow-up, the Elders will quickly forget what we taught them. The Zone is excited though. 
Our area is great. We are starting to work with the members and have marked many splits to perform this week. However, this week was difficult to reach our goals and the desired results because of the travelling. This upcoming week will be much better though.
I am getting along great with Elder Gomes. We work together as a team and constantly feel the Spirit testifying through us. It is a great time to be able to perfect our work and dilligence as missionaries.

We had the opportunity to be present during a miracle. In Valença, I went with the Elders to visit the family that Elder R. Santos and I had the opportunity to baptize. While we were there. They asked us to give a health blessing to their niece that was suffering from a strong fever and was unable to talk without pain. We gave her a blessing. During the blessing she was still crying and in pain. However, Elder R. Santos blessed her that her pains would immediately go away. When he closed with the name of Jesus Christ, she immediately stopped crying. Afterwards, she was smiling, laughing, and playing with the other children. It was a great testimony building experience. I know that the gift of healing is real. I could really see and imagine what Jesus Christ taught when he said, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me" It was a very peaceful moment. 
Super cool experience. haha Love Copy and Paste. ANYWAYS. I love you alll!  Hope you have a great week!!

A member had a PS2! Hunt and Dad do you remember playing this all the time in the good old days!
Love,
Elder Davis

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017: MOM, I'M FAMOUS!

HEY EVERYONE!

This is going to be a short email. I talked about my week in my voice memo. BUT IT WAS GREAT. I love my new comp Elder Gomes. He is a great Elder and we are working very hard to help our area and zone thrive. 

Elder Gomes and I
SO this week the highlight was marching in the parade. It made the week quite crazy. But, either way, it was fun. I was holded a banner the whole time. IT was SUPER tiring. My arms were aching.... hahaha BUT it's all good. So that was fun. And apparently I showed up on the TV!! So I am famous! lol

Marching in the Parade!
So this upcoming week will be really good but really crazy. We are going to Salvador for the Mission Council tonight. We get back Wednesday morning. Then, Thursday night I have to go to Valença to do the baptismal interview for the DL. BUT, I am super excited to see Ednaldo, Mayana, and their family. ALso, Elder Vander Werff is the DL there so it will be great to see him. SO that will be the week! Preetty nuts. But I will be sure to take lots of pics and let you guys know how it all goes!!!


We have been studying in the Book of Mormon and our focus to help our zone is when Moroni creates the standard of Liberty. I think this part is so cool and is an important thing for us. We can apply it to our lives. It is soooo important to have and always remember our purpose in life. Our purpose is what motivates us. AND for us, we should all remember that our purpose is CHRIST. He gives us purpose and life! So let us put more effort to ALWAYS remember him, to apply his attributes into our lives, and to look forward with faith. This is the key to help solve any life problem. BUT, honestly we need to prepare ourselves. Salvation is individual. Christ is returning. He is at the doorstep. 

I love you all and have an amazing week!

Love,
Elder Davis

Monday, September 4, 2017

September 4, 2017: Transfers (WHAAAA HOOOOO)

Bom dia meus queridos!!

How is everyone doing?? Whelp. I love you all. haha

SO as you probably divined through the subject line, the transfers came through!!! YEAHHH So my companion is leaving and going to Livramento. He is staying another 4 weeks on the mission. It is complicated to explain. But yeah so he is going there to finish his mission. My new companion is Elder Gomes! He arrived with me in the field. He is brazillian so He arrivied in the CTM 4 weeks after us Americans. But we went to Salvador at the same time. He is a great guy! I love that Elder! haha He is a great worker and we are good friends. I am very very excited for this transfer. It will be baller!

Brazilian Ants!


SO this week was great! Elder Jenkins left Tuesday morning. Bummer. That was sad. I love that guy. He is a great elder and a great friend. So he left and the last week was pretty normal. We had some great lessons and found some new investigators. One of them wants to be baptized already and has been to church 2 times! Before we even taught her! hahaha So we are going to baptize her very soon. We will meet with her tomorrow! That will be great. 

Elder Jenkins and me.
Also, I hit a year on the mission this week! That was fun! I just worked and had some great lessons and had Açai! Which, is super super good. It is like ice cream kind of... It is a fruit that is from Brasil. Anyways, I didn´t burn a shirt...... yet. But, Elder Gomes hits a year in a couple weeks so we will burn one then! It should still count. haha
My companion said goodbye to the members and they had a family night thingy for him. It was great! There was a lot of good food. haha 

Funny story for the week. We were at the testimony meeting yesterday. One old man went to the stand with a plastic bag full of a Book of Mormon and Bible. He starting talking and said "I can't go to a church like this anymore. When I can't be here and find a wife at the same time I won't go. I was told I cant flirt anymore with the young women. But, I have the right to look for a wife. I'm single and lonely. Yes. I flirted with the young women. Yes, I asked every single one to marry me. And for that I ask forgiveness. But they were all at least 20, so it was legal to do what I did...." He went on talking for like 5 minutes... hahaha It was really weird to hear that during the meeting. And very funny at the moment. But unfortunately the man doesn't want to go to church anymore because of the way the bishop talked with him and treated him for flirting with the girls. So we will visit him and help him come back to church. But, I guess that is a perfect example that the people aren't true but the church is. We are working to help the bishop too. He has had some problems with other people to. haha



ANYWAYS, everything is going well! haha I am doing good and the church is growing! I was studying this week at the end of Alma. I read about Moroni and also the strippling warriors. That is probably on of my favorite parts in the book of mormon. I think it would be really cool to have an interactive website with a map of the Nephite civilization showing what happened over the course of the Book of Mormon, while citing scriptures to follow along with it. In addition, there is a lot of great lessons to learn from these stories. I love the part where the strippling warriors stated "We do not doubt our mothers knew it" This is a perfect example of how our testimonies are great strengths to other people. I know that my parents testimonies of the gospel have helped, and continue to help me in all the trials that I pass through. We shouldn't ever be afriad to bear our testimonies and love to others. For, it is our duty to preach the gospel to all! That is through our testimonies and love for others! I love you all and have an amazing week!!

Love,
Elder Davis