Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September 28, 2016: Now Playing..."The Phantom Menace"

Hello Family!

This week was good. haha Its pretty boring to talk about though.. just a bunch of studying and class time. Its basically as entertaining as the Phantom Menace. haha 

So, I'm just gonna talk about some of the highlights of the week and stuff and hope that will suffice for you guys. So to start, everyday when we are in the shower, my companion and I sing The Saga Begins, by Weird Al. And somehow... I still remember every single word of the song. hahaha It's freakin awesome! I love the force. 

Me covered in the "FORCE"!

Okay.. I got your letters!! that was awesome. haha usually the only person who gets letters is Elder Scheer. He gets letters every day pretty much. But yeah that was super nice. I was a little suprised though at Colton´s handwriting in it... hahaha What grade is he in now? ;) Just kiddin Colty!

So the only bad part of the week was we kinda got chastised on Sunday. So the Sunday before last Sunday, the second counselor was in and when we were making district goals for the week he said that we need to have one of our goals be speaking portuguese for the whole day and you get one hour in the morning and night for English.  We were not ready for that and so we didn't finalize anything!  Once he left we just decided to do all Portuguese between like breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner.  Well, this Sunday, of course, he came in again.... and when he heard us go over goals he kinda roasted us for 5 minutes saying that he was disappointed in us and stuff.. It´s all good though. So this week we are trying it out. Its super hard and we aren't perfect at it but some of the people in the district are slower at learning Portuguese so its good for us. 

Ummm next, I don't think I told you guys this, but I am on the 7th floor of the MTC. Also, we cant use the elevators... so we run up the stairs multiple times a day. My calves are gonna be huuuuuuuge. haha 

Brazil from our 7th floor view

During a devotional from BYU, Elder Cook was talking and he told us "Not to make Caricatures of our mission presidents" aaannnnnd, I already have.. and I did one of Elder Holland too. hahah When he said that everyone in my district looked at me. haha He meant it in a different way but it was still pretty funny!

Caricature of Elder Holland:)

Crazy food story... They always have a dessert for us and it generally is some really weird pudding or Jello. The consistency of the food is not normal. This time, I grabbed some Jello and literally spilled the jello on my plate. Once I sat down I put my spoon in it and it was just liquid.  I think they just messed up on it or something though, haha but normally when we have jello it still is really watery and thin!

 Also, figured out my bedding problem. When our Brazilian roommates left, we didn't get any new ones, so we put the bunk beds together and it was like a giant queen bed. Pretty freakin legit... but now we are getting new roommates so we had to move it back. Ohhhhh also! Every night we get Lanche which is just a snack with like juice boxes and chocolate and stuff and we inherited a bunch that a leaving district was saving up.  So one night, we played juice pong with them! haha It was way fun! 

Okay I have a really cool thought and stuff but I think I wanna say it in the voice recorder I have... So you guys should all just read Moroni 10. SUUPer goood chapter. And follow the invitation in verses 4-5. Love you guys! You're in my prayers. 

Elder Davis

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sept. 21, 2016: Wazzzup?!!?!?


So this week was pretty neat.  I have been sick this entire week... I have had a bad runny nose and cough and stuff. Haha but I'm almost all the way better so it's cool. I think this letter is gonna be a little bit different because all the days here are pretty much the same, so I don't wanna talk about what I did every day. It'll probably be more entertaining that way too.

             Soooooo to start off, my sleeping situation is pretty special.. haha! We have these super small twin beds... They are probably triplets instead. Haha!  ANYWAY.... I'm on the top bunk and my feet hang off the bed by like a foot or so. So thats pretty uncomfortable. Haha! and... I literally have lost an item of bedding every single night. Everything just keeps falling down to my companions bed. For example, one night I lost a pillow, the other night my blanket, and stuff like that.. hahaha! It was pretty rough. I didn't get much sleep those nights.

What I look like when I don't get any sleep!

             Next, the hot dogs on Monday were like orange... but that was the only thing to eat, and I was hungry.. so I had three and that wasn't very good for my system... Hahaha!!! 
         Oh! Highlight of the week was Saturday, we went proselyting.. Anyways they give us each three BOMs (Books of Mormons') and drop us off at this busy place in the city. It was kinda scary at first but it definitely got better.. We talked to a dude for like 50 minutes about the gospel and the book of mormon and missions and stuff. It was crazy hard. Haha but it was fun. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he wants to talk to us again, (when we go next) so I told him we would, as long as he reads the Book of Mormon beforehand. Haha! That was cool though. 
       In the city, there is sooooo  much graffiti. It is very ugly graffiti though. It was just like weird looking letters and stuff. It is literally on every wall and building. It's kinda sad because if it weren't for all the graffiti and trash everywhere, the city could be suuuuuper pretty. 
      Also, the cars here are pretty weird... they are similar to the cars in america... but they are super small and the wheels are tiny!! The only trucks they have here are some weird chevy trucks, that looks like a car in the front...

The best part of the city:)
     Okay. Funny story.. We have TRC which is basically sharing a message with a fake member for 30 minutes. To take up time, we always start out with a hymn. We were singing, I know that my redeemer lives in Portuguese, and we started singing and I hear this super high pitched opera voice... The member is going full opera! It was really weird!!!! I was doing everything I could not to laugh, and then all of the sudden the sister teaching with us starts laughing, and then me and my companion started laughing.. I stop quickly but they had a harder time holding it in.... and we sang all four verses.. So this happened two more times during the hymn. I didn't laugh anymore but the other two did and the member just kept nervously singing.. It was suuper weird.

The member singing opera needs this mask! HaHa

      Next, Elder Vanderwerff wanted to do something crazy, so he shaved his legs, and I wanted to do something to so I just shaved one side of my leg from the sock line down.. it actually is pretty comfy.. all my leg hairs don't get that bed head feeling from sleeping in my socks. Hahahahahahaha!!!

My beautiful shaved ankle!

         So next... I found out how to use my talent! One of the brazilian dudes in our room likes to do art too and one of the nights I ended up teaching him a lot about how to draw faces and make them look realistic. It was pretty cool.

       Next, the spirit here is super strong. I think I have told you guys that before but I really love it. I heard a cool thought. Don't just read the book of mormon to read it. It's a good book but you've gotta have a better purpose for reading than just reading it because you have to. When we have a purpose and read with real intent we get sooooo much more out of it. I promise. My testimony of the gospel has grown so much. I challenge you guys to all read the Book of Mormon this week. and REALLY read it. and then pray about what you read. Oh and begin with a prayer too. It makes it so much better. Anyways, I love you all! and I'll talk to ya next week!

Kirk out
Elder Davis

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September 14, 2016: Sewer Flies and Bad Unibrow's


How´s it going? Life here is going just fine. haha It has it´s good and boring days but I´m doing great. 

So a couple of funny things.. One of my brazilian roomates is very weird. haha
I´m not sure what his deal is but he tucks his white button up shirt into his garments, then puts on a tight pair of purple boxer briefs, then puts on a pair of blue PE shorts, and then he puts on his pants.. It´s soooo weird. I am not sure why he does it and I´m too scared to ask.. hahaha. Also, I don´t think I mentioned this but there´s a ton of sewer flies that are in the showers. So when I turn it on, all the flies come flying out of the faucet. Pretty gross but they´re really small. Also, last week at the temple session, we went on a Thursday instead of the usual Wednesday so they weren´t prepared for us. So, at the end we had to speak in portuguese for everything (that´s all the detail I´m gonna give about that) but we couldn´t read off a card or anything so it was SUPER hard. haha I just mumbled and made random noises with my mouth because the guy wouldn`t slow down. Also, I don´t really love the Portuguese hymns. Quite a few of them don´t really work with the tunes so they just sound weird. For example, I Believe in Christ is different because it ends with cristo.. haha. 

Sao Paulo Brazil

So for the week, Thursday, probably one of the funniest things that has happened.. So my companion Elder Cordingly had this super bad unibrow.. the hairs went halfway down his nose.. I just assumed he knew about it and didn´t care. Because it was pretty hard to miss... Especially from the side.. But on Thursday we were in the bathroom, and he was like,(I cant find the quotation button..) Wow! did you notice I had a unibrow? I was like yeah.. hahahahaha so that night he plucked it all and looked like a different person.. kinda. 
Friday, Today was pretty good. We had a lot of free time and so I brought my sketchbook to class with me.. and during Prep time where nobody was doing anything I was just drawing. And for lessons I teach fake investigators with my companion and the only sister in our district. She got really stressed that I was just drawing, but she didn´t really tell me what else I needed to do.. so the lessons werent the best. But, I drew a freakin awesome picture of Groot!! so thats a plus for me. But she did get mad at me kinda which got me frustrated and put me in a kinda bad mood for Saturday. 

Freakin Awesome Picture of Groot!

So on Saturday I was kinda bugged and the sister and then it grew to me getting bugged with other people too. So it was a decent day. I just sat in class and didnt really do much. But it was a good experience for me to have to work on letting go of my pride and changing my attitude. Which is pretty tough even for something like that. OH! and by the way my companion is literally typing with only two fingers next to me.. I guess they never made him learn how to use all his fingers in Idaho. haha 
Sunday was really good. We had a good meeting and at the end there was a broadcasted devotional from Elder Christoffereson. It was really good. I really love the spirit here. There´s a ton of really cool pictures and stuff. 
Monday was really good too. The breakfast was actually pretty good and for american night we had some really good sloppy joes that I had 5 of. So that was awesome. Also, I was able to strengthen my relationships with everyone in my district. I had a good PokemonGO and videogame chat with Elder Vander Werff. That was nice. haha
Tuesday was good and bad. Bad, because I started getting sick. Slowly throughout the day I got a pretty bad sore throat. But, we did splits with a brazilian companion and we had to teach a lesson with them. It was really fun. My companion said we are just going to go by the spirit and just talk about the restoration lesson from memory.. That was freaky. I thought it would be super hard, but it was awesome, It was a good challenge to just speak freely in Portuguese to everyone. But, it worked really well, and we got a baptism.. from a missionary acting as an investingator but thats cool. Also, we watched an old MTC broadcast from Elder Holland at the Provo MTC. IT WAS SOOOO GOOOD. I don´t think you guys have access to those but it was the best talk I´ve ever heard. His testimony is so strong. He said some cool stuff about jesus and missionaries. At one point he was telling us how hard it was going to be and said there is never a hard mission. He said the road to Salvation always goes through Gethsemane. so cool. Also, He said I can´t Imagine losing a sheep, but I can´t concieve losing a sheperd. That struck me super hard. He said missions should mean so much to everyone. He was talking about how he could´nt imagine someone going inactive after serving a mission. The spirit was so strong it brought tears to my eyes. haha which doesn´t happen very often... haha Anyways that was my week. I´m still figuring out how to send picutres. I just have to figure out the password to their WiFi and I´ll be good. 
Scripture of the week D+C 121-122. Those chapters are so powerful. Especially if you´re going through a difficult trial.

Love you guys!
Elder Davis

Thursday, September 8, 2016

September 8, 2016: Oi!!!

Whats up fam?

Life in the CTM is pretty great! Its been a crazy week! The language is coming along very quickly! It´s really suprising how quickly I´m able to comunicate with and understand the language. There´s a couple weird things at the CTM though... first is that this stupid keyboard is a Portuguese keyboard so it´s super hard to type with it. It says every single word I type is wrong. Second I´m not able to send pictures here. The computers don´t have the capability. Also, super weird... the toilet paper doesn´t come in rolls.. Yeah.. it´s just like a bunch of napkins. Haha not very easy to use.. That´s all I´m gonna say about that. The food here is pretty good though! I always look forward to the rice and beans here. Sometimes they have weird food, like watery jello and stuff like that. On American night.. they did hot dogs and mashed potatoes... it was the grossest thing I´ve ever had... the hot dogs were soaked in some weird orange sauce stuff.

Elder Davis with Elder and Sister Grahl

Anyways, On Wednesday, I had a lot of fun. I thought the second day would be really hard for me but honestly, I had an awesome time. My companion is awesome and so is my district. It was just an orientation day though so it was loonnnnnng and boring. It literally felt like that day was a whole week! Also, I was worried I would start gaining weight here because I eat as much as possible and then we just sit in a classroom all day. Haha 

The next day was really tiring too. Me and my district had a ton of fun though and we kinda had a hard time staying on task... we´d just keep cracking jokes and stuff. haha We taught our first lesson in Portuguese to a fake investigator... It was really bad. haha We were just reading stuff. We couldn´t understand a thing.. We taught about the restoration and had about 30 minutes so to take up time my companion read the entire first vision from like verse 11-22 or something!! It was sooooooo funny. It´s hard to read Portuguese at the first so it took like ten minutes. I was just trying not to laugh in the middle of the lesson. Hahaha Also, they told us that we should drink a TON of water or else we´d get a kidney stone from sitting around so long. So... I literally peed 8 times that day.... it was kinda ridiculous.

Friday´s food was good so the day had to be good.. right? It was. But today we didn´t even have a physical activity to do so we were in class from 6:30 until 9:00... besides food breaks. haha pretty rough. But, it was alright we had fun and the lesson went much better. I decided today to start working harder because we have been having a little too much fun and we´ve had too little studying. 

Saturday was good. it started off super boring and long... and honestly I don´t remember why. But, it finished off really well. Oh! by the way Im really enjoying studying the scriptures every morning. We only have 40 minutes but I love it! ... (I thought you´d like to hear that mother). Haha We played basketball today which was awesome. the courts are shorter and the basketballs are smaller but it was still fun. Today I was super impressed with how much of the language I knew. I really wanna testify of the power of the Gift of Tongues. There is no way I would have made this much progress without it. We also read the Book of Mormon together as a district in Portuguese. It was with our instructor, Irmao Sosa, he looks like a sloth... but he is a cool guy. We read it all and then he told us that hearing us read had strengthened his faith. I guess we made a lot of improvement with the language in just a few days! It was really cool. Also, near the end of the night, our other insturctor Irma Maldonado, told us some really cool things about baptism.

(I gotta start summarizing faster because I don´t really have any time)... Sunday was good and really relaxing, Monday and Tuesday were super fast and boring. We didn´t learn very much and I was starting to get really sick of this one guy in our district. He looks like a younger Jeff Dunn and he´s from Texas...(he´s super obnoxious at times but, I looked past that and I´m doing better with him.)  Wednesday was also super cool! Elder Anderson came and had a really good talk. He talked a lot about repentance. I really liked it. Anyways, that´s what my week has been like. haha I´ve been drawing every day. I´ve made it a goal to do so. I´ll try to email everyone I can with the time I have!!

Bom Dia!
Elder Davis

Thursday, September 1, 2016

August 31, 2016: New Missionaries at the CTM!

At the Brazil MTC...I look a little short in this picture!

Dear Parents,
Sister Grahl and I are very happy to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil Missionary Training Center.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they begin their missionary experiences with us! We will surely take good care of your missionary.                                                                                                     
The missionaries now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  Their branch presidents and wives will meet them this Sunday.  These wonderful couples are richly blessed as they work with, motivate, and interview the missionaries assigned to their branch.
The MTC has a full-time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife who is a nurse. We are also happy to report that the MTC food is plentiful, healthy and very good.
Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Wednesday or Friday, depending on individual assignments.
Your missionary is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of many others. President Lorenzo Snow said: “There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children".  We love these missionaries as if they were our own.  We will watch over them carefully to ensure they are ready for a wonderful missionary experience after the rewarding time they will have in the MTC.
We thank you for preparing such a wonderful representative of the Lord.
Pres. Paulo R. Grahl and Sister Zuleika M. Grahl

The CTM in Sao Paulo, Brazil

August 30, 2016: I'm Alive!

Well I made it! 

The flight was interesting.. the first flight I sat next to a guy going to the military. He was really talkative, and we ended up playing poker on the digital thing together. It was pretty funny. haha A missionary and a soldier were playing poker together. Anyways, after that me and the other elder on my flight had to hurry over to the next flight. We almost missed it. It was in the final boarding stage. The next flight I sat next to an elder going to the same mission as me! So, it was cool to get to know him and talk about it all. I learned a very important lesson on my flight... I am very tall! I couldn't really fit in my seat. My legs were jammed up against the seat in front of me. I couldn't fall asleep the whole 9 hours! It was rough. 

Best flight of my life!

Haha But after that we got through the airport smoothly and now we are being shown around the CTM. I am told my next P day will be next Wednesday. Either way, I'm glad I made it. Figuring out what to do at the flights wasn't too confusing. Also, my companion is Elder Cordingly. We are currently waiting on our suitcases to get to the CTM. So, hopefully I have clothes to wear tonight. haha Even though the flight has been long and I've had a long day, it's been good. I'm super excited to be here. I'll write you guys more next week!! 

Elder Davis

P.S. Here are some photos of me at the airport when I left on August 29th.