Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017: Murphy's Law


This was a great week... So let´s just get right to it.

The first part of the week, the assistants were gone. They were on splits with Elders in other areas. So Elder Roberto and I stuck together and visited people. It was just dandy. 

Live long and prosper...
Last P-day we went to a lighthouse! 

The Highlight of the week was Friday. Elder Costa from the seventy came over. He is really cool. He gave a training for us. All the missionaries from the city went there. AND we got really good lunch too! But it was really cool to hear from him. He was really really funny. He said that our mission finds the most new investigators in Brasil... but we have to baptize better. But he showed us a lot of things and gave us some animo para o trabalho. He shared his testimony. It was very powerful. It´s so cool how he was converted to the gospel too. He said that he has the knowledge that Jesus lives. It isn´t just a testimony. Also he said the same about Joseph Smith being a prophet.
My companion Elder Prado!
I really like my companion, He is my favorite!
SO the best part was what happened after the meeting. The assistants had to go to the office with Elder Costa and President so they left super fast. They forgot to give us one of the phones too. Also, I didn´t have any cash with me. So that was bad. We had to take a bus back to Brotas. I ended up getting money from a missionary. We got on the bus. But, the problem was that we didn´t know where we needed to get off... yeah, it was bad! Right when we get on the bus we also got hit with a GIGANTIC sleep wave. Elder Roberto sat in front of me and within 5 minutes he was already out cold. SO I knew... that it was all up to ME. I was so close to falling asleep. I kept nodding off. It was super tough! haha But I guess I fell asleep a little. I woke up and the area looked familiar. I thought we needed to get off. I told Elder R and he checked with the bus guy and the dude said it was the place. So we got off the bus.

The eye of Sauron
When we get off the bus, we realized immediately that it wasn't the place. So that was bad. We had no more money.. So we decided to walk and follow the direction in which the bus went. We were walking for a while. Then it started to rain... just great. I didn't have an umbrella. Elder R did though. We open it, and within 20 seconds the umbrella broke... Just greater... haha So we kept walking, wet, in our suit coats, in the rain. After about an hour of walking along the freeway, I look at the sign and it said Itapuã. Which is where we started from... So we just started laughing.. almost crying. But laughing. We said another prayer for direction and asked someone for directions to Brotas. He told us it was super far away. That we needed to take a few buses just to get there. He told us that we can´t make it on feet. But we just started walking. An hour into the way, Elder R stops and was freaking out. He looked through his suit coat and realized that his camera had fallen out of it while we were walking. We kept going though, just singing hymns. We finally got home. After asking a few more people for directions. It took us 3 hours and 45 minutes of walking along the freeway.. Barril. But honestly it was pretty fun. We were happy. 

I found a cool soda brand...
When we got home we just collapsed on the floor. After 5 minutes Elder R asked if I wanted to go do one last visit of the night. It was 8:30. I will admit that I didn´t want to. I was very tired. But we went and visited one of my investigators that lived close. Her name is Edna. We gave her a gigantic triple a week ago before she left on a trip. She was back and had read the ENTIRE thing. IN ONE WEEK! She loved it. It was really cool to talk to her about that. 

Anyways that was it for this week. I love you guys! Hope you are doing great! 

Elder Davis

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017: Happy Easter


Well I hope you guys had the week of your lives. I definitely did. haha 

SOOOOO I had a pretty sweet birthday on Monday. I had a great time. After writing you guys, we went and ate some food. Then we went home and cleaned out the fridge. Super awesome. Then we walked to the office and  hung out with Elder Castlemain. He is awesome. He was in the CTM with me. We played some card games and I bought Ice cream. Later, I went with my comp and we taught some people. When we got home we ordered some SUPER good pizza. The crust is stuffed with cheese. AND it´s  the first pizza that had pepporoni! I have missed that. Now I just gotta find pizza with tomato sauce. It´s a real tough battle. 

Birthday Pizza!
(I just want to let everyone know that I tried to tab my paragraphs and format this in a professional way. Unfortunately, It doesn´t work... haha)

So this week was filled with a lot of walking. We walked to Polemica every day. It is a Bairro (neighborhood) in our area. It is 30-40 minutes away though. So it kinda sucks. We have been working on an idea to help our ward be more active with the missionaries, and to give more referrals. My companion had me make some posters for the ideas. They turned out pretty sweet. I will have to take a picture when we print them. This has been our main focus this week. 

The idea is to do a game with the members. When members bring nonmembers to sacrament or give referrals or teach with the missionaries they get ´points´. (I'm sure you are smiling right now mom!). The person with the most points after a time period will get a prize. The bishop liked the idea and we are working to have it very organized. We are hoping this will help the members share the gospel more. 

Darth Vader
So on Sunday night we had a baptism. It was very cool. Our investigator Paulo Cesar was baptized. He was so excited to be baptized. We told him that we would pick him up at 5. We went with a member who had a car to pick him up around 5:20. But, he wasn´t there..... SO we headed back to the church and found him there greeting everyone for his baptism. He said that right when it was 5:00, he didnt want to wait so he just got a ride with his friend. It was really cool though. He loves the Book of Mormon. It was such a great opportunity to teach him. 

Well that was it for this week. This week was really interesting though. It was easter. All the people in Brasil are religious. They believe in God. On Good Friday they don´t have work. EVERYONE is out drinking and partying in the road. It is very sad. It was sad that they were not focusing on Jesus Christ. The very day that Jesus Christ was crucified, all the "Firm believers" were drinking and paryting. Many of the men were dressed in women´s clothing. I imagine that this is how it was in Jesus Christ´s time. There are people who don´t let themselves believe or feel the spirit because their life and party is more important. I hope that we can all take the time each day to search and ponder about all Jesus has done and is doing for us. 

My latest drawing of Christ
I had a spiritual experience while I was on splits with Elder Roberto. We went to an inactive visit. The Irmã (sister) started off telling us that she already knew everything and that she didn´t have the desire to go to church. I remembered about imagining the people in white. So while I taught her I imagined her as a daughter of God, all in white. I felt the Love of God for her and felt that we needed to still teach about Joseph Smith. We taught the first lesson. I taught about Joseph Smith and the First Vision. The Spirit was very strong. After I recited Joseph´s words and bore my testimony, she replied, "Isso é lindo" (this is beautiful). It was very cool to see her countenance change as she felt the Spirit. I would not have been able to teach with that power of the Spirit without picturing her in white. It truly changed the lesson and my focus on the lesson. 

I love you all!
Elder Davis

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April 10, 2017: I AM SAM!

Well hello hello all.

First of all, Thanks everyone for all the birthday wishes!! I am having a great birthday. We played some great games of basketball this morning! haha

SO this week was great... But, this week, being my birthday, I really don´t feel like writing this letter. So just know, this is taking all of my strength and willpower. 

So Monday was good. I cut my hand though... So that kinda sucked. I was walking and my hand hit a metal thing in the back of a truck. It wasn´t like one of those arm twitching attacks. I just walked into it... I honestly don´t know how it happened. Pretty embarrassing. But, at first I didn´t see any cut so I kept walking. But, after 2 minutes I looked down and realized that my hand was covered in blood... It was really bad. SO I had to walk into the supermarket and get it cleaned up. It looked like I got stabbed by someone. It´s all good though. It´s better now. 

On Tuesday we had training with the President. It was training for all of the Zone Leaders. I attended the meeting though. It was very cool. It was interesting to see how everything worked in the mission according to numbers. After I went on splits with Elder Johnson. He is a black american Elder from Texas. He is one of the coolest guys ever. I love that guy. He is studying at BYU too. He is going home really soon though so he will probably be married before I even get home. But, he is awesome. It was a fun time. We were walking back home and speaking in English. We passed by a lady and told her "Boa Noite" She answered back "Good night guys" hahah We freaked out and started talking with her. She is fluent in English because she lived in Italy and London for ten years. She has a funny accent though. But we went into her house and we talked with her some more. We talked to her about the word of wisdom because she said she wanted help quitting. So I taught her about it quickly in english. It was REALLY weird to teach in english. Didn't feel right. Then I said the prayer in english. It was weird to say a prayer in english out loud. But anyways we visited her two more times and gave her a Book of Mormon. She loves to read so she said she will read all of it. We will have to see what happens. OH, and her name is Edna. 

So the rest of the week we taught people but this one elder was with us. He usually travels to help out struggling elders but he was getting some exams done at the hospital. So he sayed with us. He is a really different guy. Him and my companion are really great friends. They are both like 5´1. So it was weird walking around in a trio. He got pretty annoying though at the end of the week. He just didn´t want to work as hard as we did. So it just got in the way of our work. But, I was basically just third wheeling this whole week. I realized that I was just like Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings... Yep. I was with Frodo and Gollum. But he left on Sunday. So I am free. I don´t need to third wheel anymore. 

Third wheeling it with Frodo and Gollum...
BUT that was my week. OH we also committed one of our investigators to baptism! His name is Paulo César. He is way cool. So his baptism will be this Saturday. But Pray for him to help him have the strength to go through with it, no matter the opposition.  Anyways I love you guys. I also have one thought that my companion shared with me. Nephi, when he is tied up on the boat,  he prays for strength to break the bonds, according to his strength. It then says that the bonds were 'loosed' . He didn´t break them, but instead they were loosened and he got out. There is a really cool principle in there. Let me know what you guys think about that!  But, remember to ALWAYS depend on the Lord. He will deliver us through his way and will. But first, we must Remember him.

(Whelp...The camera isn't showing up on the But I think I might have an opportunity to send pictures to ya this week.  I will try my hardest.  HaHa Sorry.)

Love you all,
Elder Davis

April 3, 2017: My worst ENEMY Stairs!


Hey guys! How´s it going? This was a good week! There unfortunatleawskjsly wasn´t a ton to talk about. But it´s all good. I will explain it all to you guys.

So Monday Night I said goodbye to everyone and left at 10 at night. I got in Salvador way early in the morning. Then we went to president´s house to see the training. He gave the training for all the new trainers. I went too because my companion had to help with the training. It was good but, just really long. It was a long day with little sleep. We then got home way late at night and I just crashed into the bed. haha It was bad. 

Picture of Brotas Salvador (from the web)
On Wednesday I got a taste of the Hills.... So first off, in Salvador the whole land is really hilly. It´s full of hills. There is nooo flat roads. Its just a ton of really steep down hills or up hills... I dont know if that makes any sense. But anyways the two APs had to go to a meeting all day, so they told me and the other companion of the AP to find a lot of new investigators and less actives. It was funny. We had no idea what we were doing. We tried to follow some addresses to find less active members. BUT, the addresses here SUCK. They are terrible. There´s #1087 and the house right next to it is #32. So we just walked up and down hills all day and didn´t find very many people. It was really tiring. I felt like Poe the Panda... There is so many hills. And the houses are built really randomly and on top of each other. It is really cool. I will have to take a picture. A lot of the 'roads' are super tiny alleyways. You can´t fit two people side by side. Anyways that was the day.. haha The rest of the few days it was tough to work because my companion was in meetings.

I felt like Poe the Panda...
We had a cool experience where we found a family of investigators. When we were teaching the lesson my companion started. I did the part about Joseph Smith. My companion later said that the spirit was very strong. He wanted me to invite them to be baptized. So he pulled out a pamphlet and wrote "invite them to be baptized" He was slyly holding the pamphlet right in front of me.. But I still didn´t see it. I finished bearing my testimony and then looked to my companion to let him do the invites. So he just handed me the pamphlet. But I had no idea what to do with it. I just looked at it blankly.... it was an awkward moment in the lesson. Then he finally pointed at the sentence. haha And I said "Oh, so we have some invites for you guys..." haha They told us that they aren´t prepared at the moment but when they are, they will be. It was awesome though. Really really funny. We got out laughing. So that was basically it during the week. 

General Conference was sooooooo awesome!! I loved it! It was a little tougher to pay attention in Portuguese. I had to focus to make sure I got everything. Because the speaker in the chapel wasn´t very good so the voice 
didn´t come out clearly. Also, when you walk around all day, and dont get a lot of sleep, and eat lunch right before the session, It is VERY VERY hard to stay awake. I didn´t sleep through it but it was tough. One of the elders slept in every single one. I don´t know how... I think my favorite talk was Elder Uchtdorf´s in the priesthood session. It was way good. 

Another really cool moment was on Sunday night I think... yeah sunday night. Me and my companion got home and we had a Freestyle rap. It was way funny. He was rapping and I was doing the beat. I basically just said "yeah" a lot of times. It´s nice to talk in english sometimes. My companion is Brazillian but he is completely fluent in english. He was studying at LDS business school.

WHELP that is pretty much it for the week. I love you guys!!! Have a great week! I hope you all can remember the teachings we received in conference and utilize it in your lives.

(I won't be able to send pictures because the computer I have doesn't have a USB port...really weird!)

Elder Davis