Wednesday, June 13, 2018

June 9, 2018: Bom Dia!!

BOM DIA!!!

How are you all? 

Life is going great here in Brasil. I just love this country. It is awesome. I would never move to live here because of the corruption in the government... But, I love this country. hahah Hopefully they win the World Cup. Which, as missionaries we can´t watch. But, it will be really crazy during the season of the World Cup. 

Mural of a dragon
Anyways, like I told you guys I would last week. I travelled to Itabuna Sunday night. I arrived Monday morning. That day we had a zone conference. It went well. It was a fun conference. Our Mission President had final interviews with the missionaries in the zone. The trainings all went well. Then after that, I took a 45 min bus ride to Ilhéus to do splits with the Elders there. I arrived and took another city bus to the Elder´s area. I stayed with Elder Castlemain and his companion. We are from the same group and are great friends. So it was nice to see him again. We had a family night with his investigators and members. It was great. We were able to feel the Spirit and edify one another. FYI I forgot my camera in the Office this whole week. So I didn´t take any pictures during the trip. Bummer. But, it was a good Monday. 

Tuesday, we woke up early and had the Ilhéus Zone Conference. It went really well. During these conferences, I gave the training on the Plan of Salvation. I had studied and created a way to teach about the purpose here on earth and the atonement from Preach my Gospel. At the end of teaching I would always open up 3 Nephi 27 19-22 to explain about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to invite the individuals to baptism. I had perfected it through teaching these various times during the 4 zone conferences I have attended this transfer. So, I did the same thing during this conference. It honestly went very well. At the end of my training, The Elder from the Senior Missionary Couple made a comment. He said, "Since I joined the church until today, I haven´t been able to understand or accept the fact that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth. Until that lad went up, taught that principle, and showed that scripture now I undestand. Thank you."   That was really cool to hear. I really like that guy and I was cool to see how the scriptures help and it shows that you are always learning no matter how old you are and how much time you have been in the church." But, either way it was a spiritual experience. 

After that I did splits with Elder Castlemain.  We left the chapel late because they were one of the last companionships to be interviewed. So I just played the piano and we sang hymns. It was fun! We then visited an investigator and then went to their home. The next morning on wednesday, I went and did splits with Elder Lee and Elder Vasconcelos. Elder Lee is the other Zone Leader in the Zone. We were able to learn new things together and fix things in his area. We also invited an investigator to be baptized and she accepted. So that was great. That night we literally ran to their apartment, grabbed my suitcase, and I hopped in a taxi to the bus station, worried that I would miss my bus. But, it all worked out and I didn´t miss it at all. 


I arrived in Salvador on Thursday in the morning. I rested a little bit because of the lack of sleep during the week. Then we got back to work in my area. Nothing happened in my area during the days I was travelling. Which, is pretty frustrating. My companion said that he would visit marked lessons and go with members... but it didn´t happen. But, he tried so it´s all good. I tried not to focus much on that and just got to work. So we did and found some cool new investigators. We also found some awesome investigators on Friday

Funny story... We were teaching a member´s grandma and she was telling us how she used to drink and her late husband drank and smoked a bunch. One day he came home and ordered her to get his food for him and called her an inappropriate name. She came with a knife and told him to not say that again or she would kill him. He said it... and She knifed him 10 times in the leg!!!! She was telling us this story and out of nowhere she said that like it was the most normal thing in the world!!! I was freaking scared to be in the presence of such a powerful woman... hahah She told us that she sent her husband to the hospital and told him that he couldn´t tell the Doctor what she did or she would kill him. He told the doctor that it was their dog that did all the damage..... hahah Yeah, I guess that isn´t that funny but in the moment it was funny because it was such an odd thing to hear from a tiny ol grandma. 

Anyways, that was my week! I was thinking a lot about the movie "You are special" I really liked that show. I related that to sculpting. How in a way God is sculpting us from a formless lump of clay into a beautiful masterpiece. Little by little, through trials and time we are molded to become something so much more than we can imagine!



Love you all!

Love
Elder Davis

Monday, June 4, 2018

June 2, 2018: You've Got a Friend in Me

GOOOOOOOOD MYTHICALLLL MORNINGGGGGGGGGGG!

Actually it is afternoon right now... But, it´s all good. 

How is everyone? I love you all. haha This week for me was great. 

First off we have a little bummer. Diego wasn´t baptized. He didn´t come to church on Sunday and when we went there Monday to talk with him he told us he didn´t want any more visits and that we shouldn´t come back. So 
that is to bad. I like him a lot. He was a great investigator. Hopefully things go better for him in the future. We still don´t know what motivated him to make this decision. 

Tuesday, we went to another Zone conference with the Salvador Zone. It went well. I had a great time and was able to learn new things that I should do to help my area do better. So that took up a good portion of Tuesday. I enjoy zone conferences. They are always fun. It is weird though. Our mission President is basically telling all the missionaries goodbye. I can´t believe he is already getting ready to go home. 

The rest of the week was great. We have been working really hard to find and teach new people. It has been tough to find interested investigators. But, after a lot of work and trying, God blessed us with two amazing lessons yesterday. We taught a couple named Sergio and Cida. They really enjoyed our lesson and have the strong desire to go to church. We taught him on Thursday and Friday. Yesterday we showed him the restoration video. It was really cool. He really enjoyed it and is praying to know that these things our true. 

We also taught a grandma, her granddaughter, and 2 friends. The lesson was really great. When we arrived, the grandma, Tereza, told us that her depression was acting up and her pressure was 20/10 or something. So apparently that is really bad. But, she let us in and we shared the first message with them. It was an amazing lesson. During it, she told us that God had blessed her with our visit because she was really stressed and this helped her tremendously. The Spirit was very strong and we were able to help them understand how to receive an answer from God. They all have the desire to do so and we are praying that they might receive it. 

This next week will be crazy. I will travel tomorrow to the Itabuna Zone Conference and then to the Ilhéus Zone Conference on Tuesday. It will be fun though. I am excited. 

This week, one thing that I read that really impressed me was something that Joseph Smith taught. HE taught that the basis of Mormonism is Friendship. He then explained the importance of being friends to all people and doing all we can to love, minister to, and help them. I think this is very important and has much to do with the new ministering program. I think the best thing we can do to help someone is being they true friend and like Joseph said, "Preaching to them to help them out of their difficulties"!


I love you all and invite you all to be friends with ALL those around you!

Love,
Elder Davis

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May 26, 2018: A Sick Old Man

HELLOW EVERYONE!

Well, this week was a good week. Just kinda different... 

I honestly have no idea what we did wrong, but on Monday, Elder Gomes and I made some food. It was really good. We made some egg sandwiches. Then we had some ice cream. That night though....... we were feeling really sick and for the first time in around 10 years, I threw up. I threw up a ton! hahah It was crazy. And then from that time until the next morning I threw up 6 more times. I didn't even have anything left in my stomach! It was pretty painful. Then, the next morning Elder Gomes also threw up. So I wasn't´ the only one! ;) We then got a really bad fever and had to stay home to rest. We couldn't eat anything. So I just kept drinking coconut water at slow increments. Let me tell you, that stuff is SOOOO tasty. I love coconut water. 

Then, from Wednesday on we were all good and better. We worked hard and have been having a great time. One of our investigators, Diego (the one from that Sunday experience) has committed to be baptized this Sunday. So we have been helping him closely. He is doing really well and has a strong testimony of the gospel. I hope that in the future he can serve a mission. That would be really cool for him. We have tried finding new investigators and have had some funny experiences with people who are bugged with the government. One man let us in to share the first lesson with him. He talked non-stop for 20 minutes explaining how bad everything is here in his perspective and how bugged he is. Then during this explanation he would constantly remind us that he isn´t bugged. haha it was really funny. We just tried not to laugh too much. Then, as we taught the lesson, everything ended up going back to the government. I think he might´ve been a little bugged. 



Yesterday, we did splits with the Zone Leader from Imbuí. Which is about an hour away. He is training a new Elder and is Zone leader. So I was with him, Elder Semedo (He was my companion in Conquista) and Elder Gomes was with the new Elder, Elder López. It was a great experience. We had a good time teaching and working in their area. We did our best to help him out. I was going to take a picture.... but my camera was dead.... I will get er charged though and I will take more pictures for yall. 

I have been studying in 1 Nephi. First off, I think it is really cool when the Spirit shows Nephi the visions and things that his father saw. It is interesting that he teaches that God blesses revelations to those who seek him dilligently. I think we all can and should seek God more dilligently in our prayers to be able to receive such revelations. My mom told me of President Nelson´s invite to the youth to pray and receive special revelation and I think that is very important. I believe that personal revelation is key to our Eternal progress.  

I love you all! Have a great week!

Love
Elder Davis 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

May 19, 2018: Uma Semana Corrida e Rapida

BOM DIA A TODOS!!! COMO VAI??

Eu estou muito bem. A vida missionária é maravilhosa! This week was great. 

So we had skype on Sunday which was great. Loved seeing everyone. It is weird how much everyone has changed. Time flies. I am kinda worried that Colton is going to pass me up. It´s all good though. At least I am taller than Jordan and Hunter. Right???


Well, I am trying to remember everything that happened this week but I can´t. Lol It went by sooo fast. 
We have been teaching a family that is really awesome. The investigators are Cida, Luis, and their kids Luize and Samuel. I love teaching them. Cida is super interested in learning about the church and is praying for an answer from God. SO pray for her!! But, the lessons with her this week have been great. We taught her more about the Book of Mormon on Monday and answered all the questions that she had. Then we taught them the Plan of Salvation on Thursday. They loved it. It honestly went super well. It is really excited when you have good, interesting investigators. They were constantly commenting and asking things to be able to answer the questions that they had. 

Another family that we are teaching that is doing well is Margarida and her son Guilherme... And the last time we taught her there was a man named Jorge there. I think that he might´ve moved in... lol So we will have to get them married. But we will see. Either way, they will go to church with us this week and it will be great. 

We have another couple that we are teaching. Josenildo and Josenice. And yes, those are their names. I am not really sure how they found each other. But they almost have the same name. Pretty funny. They are doing well. We were praying with them and in the first prayer they kneeled down and while I was praying they were saying "AMEN" and "SIM, JESUS" and stuff like that. To be honest, I started laughing pretty hard during the prayer and it was hard to finish. I just acted like I was coughing on something and asked for water afterwards. Hopefully they bought it. But, in the closing prayer I told them to not comment anything and pay attention to the thoughts and feelings that come to them during the prayer. HE had me pray again and after the prayer I asked him what thoughts came to his head. (I am not sure why I asked him that. Generally I ask what they feel) AND he said that two thoughts came to his head during the prayer. 1. This is the True Church of Christ. 2. He needs to get baptized. So that was super cool. His wife is still a little hesitant but we are helping her out. 


This week we also had a zone conference that went well. We taught about the plan of salvation and it went very well actually. In a way I saw that some of the things said about my mission in my patriarchal blessing were being fulfilled in that conference. It was pretty cool actually. 

So those were the highlights of the week. I have already shared this with some people but, during my personal study I did a deep study on Section 19 of D & C. It is really interesting what it says in verses 6, 10,11 and 12. To me, this shows that God is completely fair and just and will never punish people more than they deserve....I don´t really know how to explain it over email. But, study it! You guys will like it a lot! I love you all! Have a great week. 

Love
Elder Davis

Monday, May 14, 2018

May 12,2018: Haircut Specialist...hehe

My dear beloved friends and family,

I have learned an important lesson this week: I am definitely not qualified to work at a Hair Salon. 


Let me explain, SO on Monday we woke up super early and played basketball with President Bangerter and other elders. That was a lot of fun. I have totally lost my shot though. It doesn´t help that here in Brasil we play on a shorter hoop with a smaller ball. Barril. Anyways, after we played, President called Elder Prince, Elder Rallison, and I over. He told us that our hair is way too long and we need to cut it to be a good example to the others. HE was definintely right. So we went back home and cut each other´s hair. First off, I cut Elder Prince´s hair. He wanted a 4 on top... but the machine was kind of weird.... The size was adjustable. You just slide it to get back to the same level it was on. AND to clean out the hair one must take off the thingy. So I wasn´t really counting how many steps I went down on the machine. I just eyed it. Not a good idea. I honestly don´t know how... but, I accidently made a hole right in the front of his head where the hair was much shorter than the rest.... SO we had to buzz it all. hahahaha IT was really funny. Luckily when they cut my hair, that didn´t happen. BUT, it is SUPER choppy. haha It´s all good though.
My Victim (Elder Prince)
So anyways this week was the transfer, Monday after basketball we spent the whole day in the office preparing materials and answering calls from confused missionaries. It was a blast. haha

Then on Tuesday the new missionaries arrived. So we gave trainings the whole day to the trainers and trainees. It was a fun day. I enjoyed it. 

Finally on wednesday I got to work with my new companion, Elder Lucas. He is awesome. I like him a lot. We work well together. We got a referral from Salt Lake that we contacted. Her name is Maria Aparecida. She has a family and is an AMAZING investigator. The lesson was so good. I loved it. She had a lot of sincere questions for us. She is an honest seeker of the truth. She loved the message and said she will go to church this sunday with her family. We will walk with them to church in the morning. Also, we will go there tonight to teach them again. I am super pumped. 

Thursday was kinda crazy we had a district meeting and then prepared everything for the baptism of Gabriel. One of our investigators. He is 14 and was a great investigator. He prayed and received an answer from God that this church is true. The funny thing is that the day before praying, he said, "I am certain that God won´t answer my prayer" And he prayed and received it. So he got baptized on Thursday. We had to prepare the font and everything else and from 5-7 we had a meeting with President Bangerter to plan the mission Council. Then, we ran to Gabriel´s baptism and everything worked out just great! It was an amazing baptism.
Gabriel's Baptism



Friday, we had the mission council and gave more trainings the whole day. haha But, we ate well. The food at the mission home was really good (beans and Rice). But, honestly those beans and rice were amazing. And the meat was really tasty too. At night, my companion and I were able to teach a good lesson to some investigators as well. 

This week/last week I had a coool experience and I would like to share it with you all. So last week we had to folllow up and teach people from my area and Elder Rallison´s area because his companion was already transferred. (I know it´s complicated) Anyways we went and taught Julio Cesar and one of my old investigators, Ramon. We talked about the Word of Wisdom. They wanted to stop drinking but didn´t have that much of a desire to do so. He even told us that he would go to a party that weekend and would end up drinking. So we talked about the blessings that they would receive in doing so. At the end of the message during my testimony, I felt impressed by the Spirit and said, "as a Representative of Jesus Christ, I bless you that the next time you drink, you will remember the effect that it is having on your family and what God desires of  you" I knew we had the power and authority to promise blessings such as that. Afterwards, I didn´t think much of it. However, one day, the Elders from that area came home and told us excitedly that Julio Cesar had stopped drinking. He explained to the Elders that when he went to drink that weekend he remembered his family and lost the desire to drink and hasn´t done it since. So that was a really cool experience to be a part of. I know that God´s promises he makes are real, "whether by his mouth or the mouth of his servants it is the same." I love you all! have a great week.


Love,
Elder Davis 

Monday, May 7, 2018

May 5, 2018: A Hippi, Heavy Metal Rocker, and Doctor.....

HEY EVERYONE!

Sorry I didn´t write last week... Totally forgot. ;)

But I did have a great week that week. I travelled to Conquista which was fun. It was great to visit that city once more and do splits with the Elders over there. We had a great zone conference. One of the Zone Leader´s dad passed away the day before, so the zone conference was very spiritual. I can´t imagine how hard that would be! But, he is going strong and is a great example. He´s a great elder.
Seeing the sites in Pelourinho
So this week was quite fun! I think one of the funniest and best days was Tuesday. haha It started off when we visited a less active member in the morning with her mom. So she is kinda a crazy person... LITERALLY!  She goes to the mental hospital and stuff. We didn´t know that before the visit. Not that it changes anything. She is still a daughter of God and a great person. But, it made it pretty funny. We explained about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. Aaaand man, she said some pretty funny stuff. She said that Jesus is a Hippi.... hahah And that when he comes back he will be in a Heavy metal rock band.... because he plays the guitar.. Yeah, I thought she was joking about that, but nope! She was completely serious. Also, she said that Jesus Christ was a Doctor. And I was like, "Yeah, I guess so, he is like the doctor to our souls.... and he heals us." And she said, "No, he was really a doctor and he must´ve opened up a hospital when he visited everyone by boat in the Americas and taught everyone all the medical procedures to heal everyone." Yeah, I tried to explain it better to her... but that didn't really work. hehe It´s all good though. We just tried not to laugh during the lesson and everything worked out. But, I had never heard something like that before. Interesting. 


Also, that night we went with a member and visited some investigators. The lesson went great! We marked their baptisms for this Sunday. We are still preparing them. It might not work out for both of them. We couldn´t visit them yesterday because we were doing the transfer with the president. But we will visit them today to see how everything is going to make sure that will work out. We are helping one of them called Diego. He is very poor and we are helping him build his house. So we will try to help him finish it tonight. The other is called Gabriel. He is Sorania´s son. (the lady who was baptized a little bit ago) So yeah things are going super well here.


OHHH I have been studying the Joseph Smith Papers. I love how he talks so much about Love and treating everyone equally independant of religion or social status. That was one of the things that he preached most. He loved people. And trusted and treated everyone like his best friend! I think that is something very important. Love truly is the essence of the gospel. Let´s all love and treat others as the Savior loves them. Love you all!

Love,
Elder Davis

April 14, 2018: THANKS FOR ALL THE BIRTHDAY WISHES

HEY GUYS!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. I had an awesome birthday and an awesome week.


On my birthday we had Mission Council. I woke up in the morning to my comp and the other dupla of elders singing Para Bens to me. So that was nice. It was a good surprise. Then we went to the mission house super early. Got there at 7:30ish. We only left 12 hours later. haha  We spent the time passing trainings and new emphasis on rules to the Zone leaders and Sister Leader Trainers. We ate lunch there, and had even more meetings. OH, cool thing, I was in my birthday suit the whole day! So thanks mom for making it possible for me to buy it. haha I realized it is a little short on me.... but it´s all good. It serves for the mission. Once we left the mission house that night we went to an irmã´s house because she had made some cake and stuff for my birthday. It was supposed to be a surprise... but it didn't really work. But, it still was awesome to walk in a see a cake with 20 candles on it for me to blow out. That was definitely a highlight of the week. 



Wednesday we had a normal day, we worked hard and I got to know my new area. We taught some great lessons. Thursday we had a Zone conference with Salvador and Imbuí in Amaralina. It was a good conference. Our training took forever though. Our President likes to give a lot of information and doesn't want to forget anything, so he stood up and made comments a ton in our training so it went pretty long. It was supposed to be 30 min at the maximum and it went for 2 hours.... I was just laughing though. After reading every bullet point he would stand up and say something about it. He is an awesome guy. I love our president. 



So we had the zone conference and after we went to work in our area. We got to do two cool visits to members who needed Priesthood blessings. It was a great opportunity to bless others with the priesthood. The first one was a young man who has a chronic sickness in which he slowly loses power over his body and he slowly enters into paralysis. It was really sad to see that. But, we gave him a blessing and did our best to cheer him up and be his friend. Then we gave a blessing to a irmã from the church who had a fever and cold and also was going through some hard times in life. I gave her the blessing this time and it was really cool. At the end she was crying a ton and she was already feeling better. So that was a testimony builder. We also got a referral from her! So that was exciting. 



Friday was a normal day of work too. It was a good day. We taught a guy named Josenildo and we invited him to be baptized and he accepted! So that was great. We just gotta help him go to church these next few weeks and get a strong testimony of the gospel. Also, side note, it rained a ton this week. Brazillian rain is much different than Utah rain. It rains so much in just one day. haha It´s crazy. Well, That was my week. I love you all!

ALSO, little spiritual thought, I was thinking about how our lives compare to those of the Nephites in the Book of Mormon. They almost always seem to enter into the cyle of thanking God and then quickly forgetting his goodness and falling back into sin. I´m sure we all go through this cylce either individually or as a people in whole. BUT, if we do as the faithful Lamanites did and would "Observe strictly to keep the commandments of God". Just ask yourself "Where am I spiritually" and "How can I be more like the lamanites/people of Ammon?" Love you guys!

Love
Elder Davis