Thursday, December 19, 2013

Many Lessons Learned

This week has been quite the learning and growing experience. It was fun to call home for 5 minutes to set up the Christmas calling appointment haha:) Mom, your reaction was classic! And it was so crazy because I could hear your accent and it was a lot stronger than I remembered it! So precious:)

I've seen many familiar faces yet again. Pretty much, I see someone I know every day or I hear that someone is on the square looking for me every day. Except there were several people looking for me this last week and I don't know who they were. (Except that one of them was in Katie and Kori's ward from Idaho!) So if you came looking for me and didn't find me I'm sorry I missed you! On Friday night I saw C.J. Spjute, some of my friends from Desert Hills High School Madrigals, Deanna's daughter-in-law, and Jay & Tabby Nyggard! I'm glad there are many people choosing to spend some of this most precious time of the year at Temple Square, a place that really focuses on the true meaning of Christmas.

This week has been hard, in regard to our wonderful investigators. There are several things that I've learned that I really want to share:

1) "With Christ, darkness cannot succeed. Darkness will not gain victory over the light of Christ." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

2) Jesus Christ is the light within us that gives us hope and a desire to change.

3) The temple is the goal. Everything we do in our lives should be leading us toward the temple.

4) "Happy people are commandment keepers! If you want to have a happy mission, keep the mission commandments! If you want to have a happy life, keep the commandments." -Sister Osoreo (our former mission a.p.)

5) Everything in this life is our choice. Heavenly Father lets us chose if we are going to follow Him. The adversary is doing all he can to force you to follow him. Who REALLY is giving you freedom?

But this is the number one thing that I learned this week: Never fall into the trap of doing what is easy. It is easy to give up, it is easy to never progress and it is easy to be unhappy. If you want to keep trying, progressing, and being happy, you have to WORK for it. The easy path leads to eternal damnation, but the path that takes work leads to eternal salvation. Anyone can do what is easy, but the great ones do what takes work.

Yesterday morning we were able to take the formal tour backstage in the Conference Center and Tabernacle. We were able to go up into each organ and learn how they work so we can better teach people that come to the square. It was so incredible! I don't know if y'all know this but the translation facilities in the Conference Center are second only to the United Nations. And the broadcasting from the CC is state-of-the-art (obviously). Every time I go backstage in the CC or Tabernacle I always think how amazing it would have been to have all these resources in high school when performing haha:) The scene shop alone is mind-blowing! For any performer...the CC is a dream come true to put it mildly. Oh and I got to play on the Organ in the Tabernacle. AH! Blessings, blessings.

This morning Relief Society was not held in the mission home, it was held in the Relief Society Building (the most beautiful building on the square besides the temple haha). We had the amazing opportunity to have Linda K. Burton, the Relief Society General President, come and address us! Her message was powerful and such a great way to start the day! She also asked to give each one of us a hug afterwards so ladies and gentlemen I have hugged the General Relief Society President. AH! I am so blessed!!! :) :)

On Tuesday night my district was able to go to a members home for a Christmas dinner/family home evening. It was such a fun, wonderful experience! They had very cute and very funny children and the food was SO GOOD!:) We played games with them and shared funny stories, it was a wonderful time and it gave us a chance to have a small little family-like Christmas experience.

Through the midst of difficult times as a missionary, I've really appreciated the scriptures. The other day was pretty hard for my companion and I. We had an amazing progressing investigator who was really changing and we saw miracles take place. We had experiences that turned our little apartment room into sacred ground for us, as we offered some of the strongest prayers we've ever said. We saw how the power of God overcomes everything that is unholy, and we felt the Savior give us peace and speak to our hearts and minds. But, the next day our investigator decided to not continue on this path and to go back to what was easy, normal, and familiar. That night I laid on the couch and thought about what Joseph Smith meant when he said, "The worth of every soul is great in the eyes of God." My roommate, Sister Souza, (who is so in tune with the spirit) came and sat next to me on the couch and gave me a hug and sat with me as we cried a little. She didn't know what my companion and I were struggling with, but she could feel what we were feeling in our hearts. I am very grateful to her for her Christlike example of following the spirit. Sister Esquivel came and sat next to us, opened her scriptures, and just started to read them to us. I had never really understood how much comfort the scriptures can give us, but all of us learned that night how much the scriptures can truly fill someone with peace.

D&C 19:23 "Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me."

It has been a blessed week! And next week will continue to get better! I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and always remember that it is because of Him, that we have all reason to rejoice. :)

Sister Davis
 This is me standing on the podium in the CC where Mack Wilburg and Ryan Murphy conduct from! AH!!!!!!

That's me over-zealously conducting and wishing so badly that the orchestra and choir were actually there...*sigh*

Me playing on the Organ in the Tabernacle. Yes, I am so lucky.

On the conductor's podium in the tabernacle wishing I was as legit as Mack Wilburg. :)

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 16, 2013

"The Standard of Truth has been Erected!"

No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing.." -Joseph Smith

Another week full of learning, growing, and being taught by the spirit! Many familiar faces, many chances to laugh, several chances to cry, multiple chances to teach, always countless moments to testify!

One of the wonderful things about being a Temple Square missionary is the abundance of General Authorities in the area! We were all sitting in sacrament meeting waiting for the services to begin when Quinten L. Cook and his wife strolled in! He had his wife sit and he made his way to the pulpit! He sat next to the mission president and informed him that he just wanted to preside at our meeting! So he did! Talk about a pleasant surprise!

After sacrament meeting my companion and I realized that we needed to go to Music and the Spoken word that morning because our schedule wouldn't allow us to go for the rest of the transfer! So we hurried over to the conference center and took our seats! THEN it was announced that the special guests performing were THE KING SINGERS! AH!!!!! I was so stoked!!! And I instantly thought of Mr. Riemer and how jealous he would be if he only knew... Needless to say it was an amazing broadcast. I couldn't help but think how blessed am I and how lucky I am to see what I see and be where I am. The Lord really loves me and blesses me, even though I'm just little old me. Always needing the divine power of the atonement and coming to Heavenly Father with so many prayers. He loves His children.

Continuing on my amazing Sunday... All of the Temple Square Sisters were able to attend the First Presidency Christmas Devotional! I can now say that I've been in the same room as the prophet! Haha:) Such a wonderful broadcast! I LOVED the video of those little girls and boys singing "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus". So tender! Elder Nelson is so inspired when he speaks!

When we got out of the devotional we were on our way to the south when my companion asked if we could run into the north t.c. to grab our bags. So we ran in real fast and walked out the front doors. There was a group of college students in front of us and one of them had an extremely familiar accent... Man it's crazy that sometimes you just walk right up to people you know on the square! It was so great to be able to see Luke and ask about his mission and school etc. So great. :)

On Monday I had to take a written driving test because on Saturday I'm passing off driving a mission vehicle! I was SO nervous to take the test though (although I don't know why, you'd think after having to do traffic school I would know everything there is to know about the laws of driving...ha). But my companion was so sweet and helped me study for it! While I was taking it something really interesting happened: I totally forgot an important combination lock number and it was one of the questions on the test! I started freaking out in my head but I said a quick prayer, I said "Heavenly Father...ah I can't remember it please help me to remember it.." and instantly the numbers popped into my head! So I wrote it down and needless to say I passed the test!!!! Heavenly Father answers prayers!!! I shared that story with one of our investigators and promised him that Heavenly Father can help him remember things as he goes though finals. He told us he will definitely be reading his Book of Mormon and praying during finals. :) We're excited to call him again and here about his experience! The church is so true!!!!

On Monday night my companion and I were casually walking around the North Visitors Center when the ever so beautiful Susan Hutchins ran up and gave me the biggest hug!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE SHE GOT HER CALL TO ROSEVILLE, CALIFORNIA!?!? (Sorry if I spelled that wrong Kori...haha) That just blows my mind that she got called to the same place Kori, C.J., and Allen got called to! So crazy!!! I am so so so so excited for her though! And she's going to be in the MTC the same time as Elder Gunderson! Ah! Tender mercies! It is so exciting to hear and see all of my friends going on missions...the work is hastening!

From 8:30 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon yesterday we had mission training! Wow. Elder Clark came and presented the training for us. It was so amazing...he talked about a ton, so I had a lot of notes by the end of the day. He covered everything from diligence, to marriage, to education, to teaching with the spirit, to learning how to sing spanish primary songs. Yeah so funny story... He asked for two sisters who don't speak spanish, and Sister Yu and I ended up in the front of the room. He assigned two spanish sisters to teach us a song in spanish..but they could only teach us speaking spanish... Oh boy. So...Sister Yu and I looked pretty interesting trying to learn a song in spanish in front of all these sisters, but hey, I'm grateful for learning how to sing in italian before my mission otherwise I would have been even more red than I already was. Hahaha:) So that was a learning experience I will never forget!

So a couple weeks ago I saw on that the youth theme for next year is "Come Unto Christ." I love it! Sister Esquivel has been feeling under the weather lately and yesterday we had to go back to our apartment early so she could sleep and get lots of rest. This gave me a lot of personal study time (oh happy day!) and I really felt inspired by the youth theme for next year...So I wrote a song. And Sister Esquivel has a ukulele here (I know right, definitely the hand of the Lord), so I put those lyrics to music and played it for my roommates that night to see what they thought. Maybe I will record it and send it to Kori and try to seek his approval (after all, Kori is the pro at writing music for youth, especially on the ukulele). I sang some of the songs he wrote, to Sister Esquivel yesterday as she lay in bed and she really liked them. Pretty much I have an awesome brother-in-law. Yup.

Well, it's been real, it's been good, it's been real good. I'm excited for the coming week and all that comes with it. The Book of Mormon has been teaching me every day, and the Holy Ghost is guiding me to know what to do. When I follow Him, the purposes of God are fulfilled.

"Persecution may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent; till it has penetrated every continent, visited every climb, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." -Joseph Smith

Sister Davis
My companion and I right after the First Presidency Devotional!:)

The classic awkward-hand-shake photo. Hahaha it was so great to see Luke!

Future Sister Hutchins of the Roseville, California Mission!!!!:D

Sunday, December 8, 2013

It's that time of the week again!

If only you could all feel what I am feeling..I would be so happy.

This week has been a week full of miracles, and surely a week of my mission that I will forever remember.

Last Thursday night was a wonderful Thanksgiving Celebration! Our mission president rented out a building in Sandy called "Noah's" where we had quite the fiesta might I say! When we first arrived we gathered in the dining hall and watched the cutest thanksgiving skit by our senior missionary couples! Then we went to the top floor of the building because there was an ICE SKATING rink!!!! Can I even express how much I love ice skating!? I think not. My companion and I were skating for almost two hours. Then we went to the main level where there was dancing and karaoke. After that we were served a huge, delicious thanksgiving meal! Ah! So good! Following that we went to the second floor and watched Monster's University while making Christmas ornaments and place mats to donate to the Primary Children's Hospital. Once we finished there we went to the main hall and they moved all the tables and chairs and we danced for the rest of the night until it was time to go! They played a variety of acceptable apostate music including Journey, Taylor Swift, and line dancing music (the kind from EFY). Haha:) All in all, it was fantastic!

The next day was when the storm hit! And by storm I mean hundreds of people flooded the square to come see the Christmas lights! It was perfect missionary referral scouting ground. :) Hehe. We talked with so many people and learned about the importance of always keeping our ears covered. I never knew it could be so cold...

We've been working with many of our investigators a lot lately. One in particular is a man from New York City who has really been such an amazing example to me of change, coming closer to Jesus Christ, and submitting your entire will to the Lord. He is amazing and we've set a date with him already to be baptized. He is really looking forward to it and we are so happy for the choices that he is making and for the joy the gospel of Jesus Christ is bringing into his life.

We also had another miracle take place yesterday! Yesterday morning we took a tour with a man from Michigan. As we were on our way to the tour I had a really strong feeling from the spirit that this tour was very important and that we were the ones that needed to take it. Throughout the beginning of the tour I felt a lot of peace and things seemed to just go so well. He was very open to hearing about the history and the beliefs. We ended up being with him for 3 hours (normally a tour is only 45 minutes). As we were nearing the end of the tour the spirit told me, "Make sure you give this man a Book of Mormon." My companion was also being prompted at the same time, but the spirit told her "Make sure you invite this man to be baptized." Needless to say, he accepted the Book of Mormon, even asked for suggestions of passages to read, and accepted the invitation to be baptized. He gave us his information and we will be teaching him and preparing him for baptism.

On Saturday night I went on an exchange with Sister Yu (from Taiwan) and we were able to go to the Celebration of Christ interfaith Concert! It was incredible! Jenny Oaks Baker performed as well as Vocal Point. Watching Jenny Oaks Baker I have never seen someone perform with so much talent and so much power. Her gift is truly mind blowing! She went to Julliard, you know. That concert was just such a pleasure, I feel so blessed to have been able to go!

I saw Chrissy on Tuesday night! She came into the Tabernacle while my companion and I were talking with someone we had just met (who is now a new investigator). When we were done talking with him I got to go talk with her, give her a hug and take a picture! Such a tender mercy from the Lord! We also sent a snap-chat from her phone to some friends back in St. George..haha it was great.

Last night as I was laying in bed I was reflecting on all the amazing supportive friends and family I have. I hope you all know that your support means so much to me. I am so blessed to know that there are friends and family back home that are cheering me on and excited for me to continue the work.

I know that this is the Lord's mission, and not mine. I am here to do the will of my Father in Heaven. He is blessing me so much, and for that I am so grateful. I love you all so much! Remember that the happiness this gospel brings can be found nowhere else! Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Sister Davis

P.S. Sister Davis always emails on Wednesdays

Ice Skating with Sister Yu from Taiwan! I love her!

My companion and I :)

Sister Snow!!! She's also from Utah! I LOVE HER!

The rink felt outdoorsish but it was indoors. Way cool:)

hursday night during the thanksgiving celebration at Noah's hahaha:)

Making our Christmas ornaments we were way tired if you can't tell :)

We got Santa hats and a Christmas countdown with CHOCOLATE in it! So good:)

Got to see Chrissy while in the Tabernacle! :) :) :)

So much snow! It's crazy!!

A few of the Christmas lights! It's so beautiful here!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

New Transfer! New Companion! Christmas Season starts TOMORROW!

Hello once again.

I just love you all, did you know that? Well, I do.

So I have a new companion for this second transfer! Her name is Sister Esquivel and she is from Georgia and I LOVE HER! We work super hard and she is really helping me become the missionary Heavenly Father knows I can become. She is a singer, like me, so we pretty much are singing all day everywhere we go. It's fantastic and perfect because what better time of the year to have a singing companion than Christmas time!? I tell's no coincidence.

So! I'm sure you're all curious about our speaking in sacrament meeting! the sisters who I was going to play for decided they really didn't want to they just asked me if I would sing a solo. Haha so I said yes, of course, because I love singing in public and piano playing is a little scary for me! I sang Nearer, My God to Thee. I loved going and speaking in the ward SO MUCH! I've really come to love speaking and singing in front of large groups. It's very fun and such a learning experience for me!

I've seen some wonderful friends this last week! Last Friday night I was told by the sisters at west gate that there were 5 guys who came to the square looking for me, they didn't catch their names but they said they went to high school with me and two of them had their mission calls to Texas and South Africa! But I don't know who these boys are so someone please tell me!!! Haha I have a couple guesses...but still! The next day I got my hair trimmed and when I came up stairs Sister Ma stopped me and said "Hey! Do you know a C.J.?" I was like "Yeah! Is he here?" Unfortunately, I missed him by about half an hour haha but he told some sister to tell me "Hi." Then we walked outside to go to the north and on the way we got a text that said "There's a Ben Jones walking around the square looking for Sister Davis." Right after we got the text I turned around and Ben came around the corner! Haha it was awesome! Then just last night we were walking back to our apartment and I saw Aruora and Brooke from the BYU music camp two summers ago! They're so cute and all in college now it's crazy! So yeah! Lots of friends came to the square! And I'm certain I'll see lots more throughout the Christmas season. :)

Today is Thanksgiving day so HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!! In an hour the square is closing down and all the sisters are changing into p-day clothes and taking a bus to this huge building they have rented out for us for the rest of the day! There's going to be food and movies and games and crafts and dancing so we're all SUPER excited! You can count on some pictures of it next week!:)

Well we don't have as much time to email this week so sorry this isn't super long. I love you all and thank you to ALL of my friends and family who are supporting me and showing your love! Have a wonderful week everyone!

Sister Davis

Last picture with my first transfer district! Love them!:)

Brook and Aruora from the BYU music camp!

My and my new companion Sister Esquivel! I LOVE HER!:)

My last picture with my trainer Sister Wettingfeld! Precious!

Thanks for reading!