Thursday, June 28, 2018

June 23, 2018: Two Whole Whoppers

HELLO ALL

Well my dear readers, this week was pretty crazy to tell you the truth. Monday was the first day of the new transfer. So, we had to answer calls all day from missionaries and help them to know where they are going and what they should do to go to their new areas. First off though, We went to President´s house and had a Logistics meeting. So we had to figure out when all the missionaries would travell and who would come to the meetings in the week. Then after, we ended up going to the office to pass all of the transfer to the Zone leaders. It was really crazy. My new companion is Elder Antunes. He is from São Paulo and is a funny guy. He and Elder Rallsion got called as APs and Elder Gomes was transferred to Bom Jesus da Lapa; a new area. So at the moment we have 3 Aps and basically it is my job to train them on what they should do. 

Tuesday, we had the new missionaries arrive. So we gave trainings to them and to the Trainers. That took the whole day. It was a good meeting though. I was a little under the weather though. I am all better now, but my sinuses were going crazy.

We did a service project last week. I forgot to talk about it in my email last week. But, yeah we helped a member shovel a bunch of dirt for some reason. 




Wednesday, was a normal day. It was actually super cool. I was with Elder Antunes and Elder Gomes. (Elder Gomes only went to his area after the Mission Council... So he had to stick with us.)
It was going well. We taught some great lessons and were having a good time. We had already planned to visit certain people. However, at 4;00 I got a text from a random number saying, "Elder, I was waiting for you to call to mark a visit but you didn´t call. I finished 1 and 2 Nephi and stopped in Jacob." That took me by surprise. SO I called the number and..... It was Cida! (The family of investigators that need to get married) I marked to visit her that night. We got there and taught her. It was a great simple lesson. When we talked about what she had read, she told us that while she was at work she put on the Book of Mormon and listened to it. She loved it! She told us that during that day, while she was listening to it, she felt that 'Certanty' that it is true. I got so happy for her! I had been praying and fasting that she could get an answer from God! Now they need to just get married. She said that they are thinking about it and are willing to prepare all the documents while they do so. Anyways that was really cool and I am super happy with the progress that she has made. 

Thursday, we had a meeting with President Bangerter from 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM. It was pretty crazy. We planned the Mission Council and a bunch of other stuff for when our new misison president will arrive. During the meeting, we took a break to eat lunch. We went to Burger King. President told us we could get whatever. So I got a Whopper Furioso Combo. It was pretty tasty. After everyone finished eating, President asked if any of us was still hungry and would like more. Everyone just looked at me... lol. I guess they new that I was still a little hungry. I just smiled and we all laughed and accepted and president when and asked for 5 more whopper combos. haha I felt like I was at home with the family. It reminded me of when we go to JCW´s sometimes. haha After the meeting, we went to the office and prepared all the materials for the council. That finished off the night. haha


Friday, we had the mission council. It was great. I was super tired in the morning though. So, for the first training I was kind of out of it. After lunch though, the trainings went well. It was a sad council at the end though. It was sad to basically have everyone say goodbye to President. He is a great guy. I may have gotten some hay fever during the meeting because my eyes started watering. 

But, yeah that was the week my friends. I have been preparing a talk for tomorrow at church. I will talk about Missionary Work. While preparing, I read a quote from Joseph Smith that really touched me. It said that Love isn´t just caring for oneself or just one´s family. But, it is caring for and ministering to the families around  you too. I think that is really true and important. In missionary work or Ministering, we are to love everyone! To be One, United, in Harmony with those around us. I know that is what the Savior would do. That is what we must do. I love you all! See who you can love this week!

Love,
Elder Davis

Monday, June 18, 2018

June 16, 2018: Good Evening

GOOD EVENING MY DEAR FAMILY,

Sadly, today I don´t have much time. AND frankly, I don´t really feel like writing at the moment. BUT, I will do it for you guys. 

Alright, I just sat up in the chair and man, good posture goes a long way. I am totally pumped to write you guys now. So this week was pretty sweet. It was a little crazy. Elder Gomes, the other AP, was travelling with the President to some other Zone Conferences. So, I was in a trio with my comp and his companion, Elder Rallison. It was a good experience. We just had to follow up investigators from both the areas. It was kinda hard to follow up on certain people. But, we worked hard and walked a lot. So it all worked out. Elder Rallison and Elder Lucas are great friends, which made things a little complicated during the week. The started goofing off a little bit too much and they began to lose the Spirit of the work. But, we ended up figuring all that out. 

We worked really hard this week and had some cool experiences. I think that one of the coolest parts was teaching our investigator and her family. Her name is Cida and is really cool. She isn´t married with her husband but they have 2 children. They are a great family and we have been teaching them for some time now. However, she was still searching for her answer and didn´t want to get married. We went to her house on Wednesday and we taught about the Law of Chastity with a focus on marriage. During the whole lesson, she was joking a lot and said some things about what she things about marriage. She said she is not at all willing to get married to him. But, then after most of the lesson she got all serious and asked, "Who sent you here?" We were kind of confused because we had marked the lesson with her. Then she explained that her husband and her and been talking about getting separated. She said that she had been praying to God about it the whole week and we just happened to teach her about marriage the day she was most frustrated about the situation. She told us that she was feeling that her burden was too heavy to bear. I remembered what I studied that morning, which was about the people that were imprisoned by the lamanites and had burdens that were difficult to carry. But, I studied about it in Preach my Gospel and couldn´t find the exact chapter that talked about it. I asked my companion and he was able to tell me right away because it is what he ended up studying that day too! We had no idea. But, we read it with her and it was really cool. She loved it and it really helped her learn what she needs to do to follow God´s will. So pray for them! I hope that they will be able to have the disposition to get married so I might be able to be there for it before I go home. 

We also taught about temples to another lady. She is an investigator from the other area.  It was a great lesson. She has a similar problem. She lives with a guy, isn´t married, and has 2 kids. She wants to get married and be baptized. However, he doesn´t want any of it. She loved it and it gave her an even stronger desire to be baptized. At the end, she asked if she could still get sealed to her family if her husband doesn´t get baptized.... So that was kind of sad. But, we explained about it and told her that we will work with him on it. 

Well, I was gonna write some more but I have to go right now. We have an appointment in just a bit. I love you all. Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Davis

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