Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I feel like I was sitting at the computer yesturday

Hello! This week was great! The weather is getting slightly warmer! (Actually, I'm not even sure that's true...I think I just may be adjusting...) But the sun is out today and there is nothing that gives me more hope than seeing the sun!

Last Saturday our roommates-Sister McQueen from New Zealand and Sister Yueng from China- asked us to sing for one of their investigator's baptism! So on Saturday afternoon we drove up to the U institute building where the baptism was being held. I just want to take a moment to say that it was SO weird being in the institute as a missionary...soooo weird. It was such a wonderful baptism and the spirit was so strong there. :) We sang Joseph Smith's first prayer and it went really well. When I watched their investigator/now recent convert, be baptized I thought of all the people that we are teaching, especially our friend in New York. Baptism is just the first step towards the greatest goal (the Temple) but it's such an important step. I still remember the day I was baptized, I remember it quite vividly actually; it was a very powerful day.

On Sunday morning after Music and the Spoken Word, we took a tour with two young men who were visiting SLC for a couple of days. They asked SO many questions, mostly just about the culture of being a Mormon. They asked about our testimonies and how we received them. They also asked, "So...after you're done here, what do you do? Do you have to just get married and have kids?" We are asked that SO much. When I told them I plan on studying Biology at BYU after my mission they both said, "Woah it's like you're just normal people!" They were half kidding...but we could tell they were honestly surprised haha:) We spoke a lot about the family unit and what it means to members of the church, and how important it is to us. We also talked about the Book of Mormon, where it came from and how they can know that it's true. We offered one to them, but they both turned it down. They said, "Well, we can look online if we need it." As we continued on, they kept asking several questions about our testimony. Finally one of them asked, "Will you share an experience that helped you gain your testimony?" [Cue Hallelujah chorus] I shared a little from my experiences in Nauvoo, and bore testimony of Joseph Smith. A couple minutes later one of the young men said, "Well..I mean if you have a lot of Book of Mormon's around...I'd love to take one and read some of it." :) :) :)

On Monday we had exchanges with our District Leader, Sister Dizon from the Philippines; so I was with Sister Moran from Mexico. She is such a sweet, caring sister! We made a goal to place one Book of Mormon on our exchange and we achieved our goal while on the MAP desk! Being a missionary really strengthens your testimony on goal-setting!

Wednesday morning was the Mission Wide Fleet Training! I'm not gonna lie-getting up in front of almost 200 sisters to do training is SO intimidating! Probably because they're girls...but I was a little frustrated with myself because crowds usually don't bother me. BUT I just had to kick my fear under the rug and smile haha. For the start of our training we showed a film that we may or may not have made ourselves...and we may or may not have done a rap about rules and car procedures... But it was a huge success. :) The entire training went really well and we were really happy that all the sisters responded positively about the rules and regulations we had to go over. Not only that, but our mission president (who was there) said he loved it! Which was good to hear. But hey, it went so well, Heavenly Father was most definitely helping us out.

Another exciting event that took place on Wednesday was our weekly car cleaning for the mission president's car!!!! So, as Fleet, we get to take President's car each week, fill it with gas, take it to the car wash in the church office building, and vacuum it out. That may not seem too fun to you but when you're behind the wheel of a 2013 Toyota Avalon with white leather interior and seat's a good day.

Thank you for all the prayers and encouragement on our behalf. We can definitely feel the spirit guiding and directing our words and actions each day. Love you all,

Sister Davis

So my companion is really tall... 5 feet 11 inches to be exact. :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Where to Start

What a busy, exciting week it's been!

Our investigator who previously dropped us and then called us again 3 weeks later is now preparing for baptism! It's amazing and so exciting because before he dropped us we went to the temple and prayed for him and both my companion and I felt that everything was going to be Ok. Then, that night he dropped us! But now it all makes sense because he told us that he has come to the realization that he wants and needs to be baptized! Wow! We gave up sugar, as you know, so that he would give up drinking; BUT he has also quit smoking, using tobacco, and he has cut his coffee consumption in half! The spirit has been working with him so much and his testimony is incredible to listen to. He left us a voice mail the other night and in it he pretty much bore testimony. He told us that he knows that this is the true church of Jesus Christ with the true authority and that it was restored by Joseph Smith and that the Book of Mormon is God's word. It has truly been miraculous teaching him.

On Tuesday morning we went to the temple again, bright and early for the 7am session! (Normally we go on the morning of our p-day but because of meetings we had to go a different day this week.) As we were walking down the stairs into the temple someone turned the corner and came walking up the stairs towards us: It was Russel M. Nelson!!!! AH! He smiled at each of us and said, "Good Morning!" So we all smiled back and very enthusiastically said, "Good Morning!" :) :) We aren't aloud to extend our hand to apostles, they have to extend their hand first, so sadly, we didn't shake his hand. BUT! He was like a foot away from me so I count that as meeting a General Authority. :)

Thursday was our last day with President and Sister Gillette. I think the last thing I talked with President about was that his gas tank was full and the car was clean hahaha:) We really love them and we are never going to forget all that they did for us. President Gillette is the nicest man that you will ever meet, it's true! And Sister Gillette reminds me a lot of mom so saying goodbye was kinda sad.

Our new mission president arrived this morning!!! His name is President Poulsen and he is awesome! He's been here less than a day but since a lot has been going on with Fleet we can already tell that we are going to love him! All the Mandarin sisters love him too because he served in Taiwan and speaks mandarin haha:) He and his wife met at BYU (classic) and he worked internationally for Citi and now is like one of the head guys for American Express; so he is definitely a business man! His first impression of us is kinda funny though... We were dropping off a car to the garage for it's check up and we noticed that President had left the lights on his new car on! So we very swiftly walked to the mission home before the meeting started to let him know. We walked up to him and said, "Hello President Poulsen, we are your Fleet coordinators and we noticed that the lights to your car are still on so we would be more than happy to go turn those off for you!" So he hadn't been here more than 2 hours and we already had the keys to his new 2013 Toyota, Avalon. :) (*sigh*) So we went and took care of that and admired his extremely nice new car and then returned to talk about other things. After going over accident reports and his new car's permit we informed him that he will need to pick out a name for his new car, of course. So he and his wife will be reflecting over that. (President Gillette's car was name POTUS a.k.a. President of the United States.)

It's been nothing but work work work here and we are loving it! We've been just loving spending all our time teaching investigators, giving tours, taking lessons with other missionaries in the SLC valley, and fulfilling our Fleet responsibilities. It's also been quite the adventure giving up sugar! We eat super healthy now, mom you would be SO proud. And we have come to find that things like chocolate and candy bars aren't as appealing to us anymore! I know...insane that I wouldn't want chocolate... We found some sugar free candy at wal-mart but I really only care to have like 1 piece every other day... I know... who am I?

I hope you are all doing SO well! Enjoy the warm St. George weather for me! Remember how blessed you all are...haha:)

Sister Davis

Every Sunday morning we're assigned to help with announcing tours! Sister Liau from Taiwan (to my right) Sister Talatoka from Fiji (to my left) and Sister Bondare from Latvia (in front).

Me and Sister Liau (from Taiwan). She's hilarious, cute and crazy. :)

Home made fried rice and egg rolls!!! AH! No sugar! So delicious!

My last picture with President and Sister Gillette!!! I love them SO much!!!:)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So excited about this coming transfer!!!!

 I don't know if you know this but I am such a spoiled/blessed missionary! This last week has been one full of wonderful experiences, laughter, crying, adventures, anxiety, and surprises!!! This transfer is going to be amazing!

So last Friday our mission took an adventure down to BYU! We were invited to attend an art exhibit called Sacred Gifts. The exhibit was paintings of the life of Jesus Christ, the paintings came from different places across the world! We left our apartments at 6:30am and headed to the Trax. We then took the Trax to the Front Runner where we boarded for Provo! After arriving in Provo, buses picked us up and took us over to the BYU campus! Every time I go to BYU I am always flooded with was so weird to be there with a name tag on. We attended the art exhibit first and then we were given an hour or so to explore the campus ourselves. Sister Esquivel had never been to BYU (she actually wasn't too fond of BYU but I made it a goal to convert her by the end of the trip hehe). I took her around campus, we went to the top of the SWKT, walked through the Library, I gave her a tour of the HFAC (she's a singer so I figured she like it), and ended by walking through the WILK; showing her the Ballroom, Cougareat, and Bookstore of course! Naturally, I can't go to the BYU bookstore without buying another shirt to add to my we both got BYU shirts. :) By the end of the tour she said she felt very strongly that she needed to apply and attend BYU. Success! I'll be helping her near the end of her mission fill out the application. After we left the campus we were taken to a Stake Center where one of the Provo Stakes had prepared a wonderful meal for us. We were also given copies of all the paintings of the Savior that we saw in the art exhibit! We are so blessed! We took the Front Runner back to SLC and arrived on the square at about 4 in the afternoon. It was such a wonderful day.

On Saturday night I got to do MTC contacting!!! Remember when I was in the MTC and we got to come to the Square and be assigned a sister here to experience what it's like here? Well I got to do that, except this time I was the Temple Square sister! Haha! My companion for the night was Sister Wu from China! She is sooo sweet! She had never seen the Salt Lake Temple but always wanted to! During our contacting I took her up to the temple doors so she could touch them. :) It was so cute to watch how touched she was to be here at the Salt Lake Temple. It made me think how lucky I was to grow up here, and that coming to Temple Square was such a common thing for me. I definitely took it for granted before, but since receiving my call, I realize how blessed I am to be here on this sacred ground.

On Monday night it was very emotional; it was President and Sister Gillette's last transfer conference. They'll be leaving the mission on the 17th and our new mission president will be arriving. For the special occasion, we had singer/performer, Peter Breinholt, come visit the mission and perform for us! He is an incredible musician! Afterwards, some of the Samoan/Moauri/Hawaiian sisters did a farewell Hakka. The Hakka is something very sacred in the Mauri culture and it's pretty much a mourning/farewell, saying goodbye to loved ones. It was really powerful and everyone was in tears. Once the Hakka was done, the entire mission sang Aloha 'Oe, a traditional Hawaiian farewell song. While singing we all presented our lai's to President and Sister Gillette. Talk about 200 girls being an emotional mess! I don't think there are other missions that become as close to their mission president as we do in this mission. We see them every day, have meetings with them at least once a week, they do so much for is so sad to see them go. :( But they will always have a special place in all of our hearts.

With transfer conference coming up Monday morning I was getting so nervous. I could just feel that I would be getting a new companion. Sure enough Sister Esquivel received the call to go outbound! She is now serving in the Bakersfield, California Mission until early April! So what happened to me, you ask? I have an amazing new companion, her name is Sister Steenhoek and she is from Texas! As soon as I heard her name I was so excited because I knew that it meant that I would now be Fleet!

Fleet is an assignment for a companionship of sisters that are assigned to be in charge of all the cars in the mission. We have our own cubicle in the mission home so we do TONS of office work. We work with the mission president, the mission secretaries and A.P.'s on a daily basis. We also work with people in the Church Office Building in church headquarters. We always have tons of work to do and meetings to go to and training to give to sisters but it is SO FUN! I love it! I feel so blessed to have this assignment, it keeps us insanely busy but it's so great. Today for pday we get an all day p-day because on the day of transfers from 3a.m. to 2p.m. we were coordinating all the sisters whose flights left or came in to/from outbound, as well as the sisters from the MTC coming to the mission. It was crazy and we were in p.j.'s all day but we got it done! Being fleet also has perks because we can take a car wherever we want, and we get our own car! All the other sisters in the mission have to share mini-vans but we get to drive a Toyota corolla. So nice:) In a nutshell, I feel very spoiled, blessed, and excited! At transfer conference Sister Hitritch, one of the A.P.'s came up to me and said, "When we were doing transfers I looked at your picture and instantly new that you should be fleet. I said that to President and He immediately agreed." I KNOW this call is from the Lord.

The work is continuing onward! To help one of our investigators quit drinking, Sister Steenhoek and I are going to give up sugar for 21 days to support him as he gives up drinking. It sounds crazy, but I want him to be able to progress towards baptism so my sugar can just wait for a little while. We also still have our wonderful young man in California on Baptism date, working towards that! This work is always progressing and there is no one who can stop it. :) Being a missionary is the greatest blessing of my life! I don't ever want it to end!!!

Thank you for the continued support and prayers. On the days that seem a little harder I always think of the amazing family and friends I have back home who are cheering me on and praying that I am accomplishing my purpose. So, thank you. I love you all! Continue to move forward and progress!

Sister Davis

Celebrating the New Year with Sister Esquivel! Woo!:)

 Cheesecake Factory on New Years Day! Me and my obsession with Calamari:) :)

Another BYU shirt to add to the pile...check!:)

Sister Esquivel, our roommate Sister Souza, and I being really excited about our new judgements...:)

Our Zone Activity last transfer (We did a service project). This was the day we were locked out of our apartment fyi haha. So that's why we look a little interesting:) If you look really closely you can see that I'm wearing a Chinese flag because I had to borrow a name tag haha.

President Seppi and President and Sister Gillette's last transfer conference. The farewell Hakka:(

 We are really going to miss them!!

 Sister Steenhoek and I on transfer day! We were even meant to be.
Us emailing right now...haha we're kinda matching again!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

"Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men." -D&C 11:21

Yesterday, I had this experience! As many of you know, I set a goal back on November 30th, to read the entire Book of Mormon by the end of the year! Well on December 27th, I achieved that goal! I love the Book of Mormon! I have made a new goal now to read the entire New Testament by the end of my 3rd Transfer! But anyways, back to my cool experience last night: So there is a website that is telling people to go onto chat to troll it (which means just go on as a prank). So! For the past few days we've been FLOODED with chats, some ridiculous, some argumentative, some creepy, some inappropriate, BUT I am so thankful to this website! We have had so many opportunities to preach the gospel! Whether they are accepting it or not, we enjoy sharing the gospel with people. And there have been many miracles that have come of it! Several people we talked to, came onto chat for the purpose of trolling, and we end up teaching them The Restoration and inviting them to read the Book of Mormon! Last night, a young man came on and was asking me question after question after question about the Book of Mormon. Normally, I get easily nervous when people keep asking me question after question, but for some reason I knew exactly what to say to every question he would ask! The spirit was guiding me COMPLETELY and by the end of the chat this young man said, "Wow, I just need to keep reading the Book of Mormon then!" We asked him if we could keep in touch with him and teach him more, and he even said yes! So THANK YOU to that website for telling people to come to and troll our chat! Blessings blessings!:)

This past week we had a miracle occur! I think you'll remember that a couple weeks ago one of our greatest progressing investigators told us that he didn't want contact with us anymore, and that he was giving up. Despite that we sent him a Christmas card anyways (we sent several to some investigators). Well the day after Christmas we got to the teaching center and I noticed I had a voice-mail. It was our dear investigator who had dropped us! He said he got our Christmas Card in the mail and that it put a huge smile on his face and he wanted us to give him a call!!! AHH!!! So we called him and his heart has changed! He is still reading from the Book of Mormon and even sharing it with his friends! And he said that he is ok with us still calling him and talking with him! It was such a miracle! Who says Christmas isn't a season of miracles!? Cuz whoever he is, he's a liar. Hahaha:)

Some other exciting investigator stories this past week: One of our young college students in California has accepted the invitation to be baptized! We are preparing him to be baptized on the 20th of January! We are SO excited for him because we can see the spirit working with him and the gospel bringing him more happiness in his life! We also got a new investigator this week! It was someone transferred to me by another sister. I received his information in my first transfer but every time I called he never picked up. So yesterday I was calling for the last time, if he didn't answer I would have had to drop him. But he picked up! And he's a truck driver so he said that it was crazy that I happened to call at a time when he was on a break just walking around! So anyways, I talked to him about the church and told him about how we have a modern prophet today on the earth! He was really surprised and something that was said really struck him. He accepted the invitation to start reading the Book of Mormon and to start letting us call and teach him! Blessings blessings!

With the New Year beginning it's been such a positive and exciting time on the square! On New Year's Eve my companion and I had the assignment to cover the Tabernacle from 8-9pm. Naturally, there were several concerts going on there that night, so we got to sit in and listen to some AMAZING singers from around the U.S., one of those being an 11-year old prodigy opera singer! It was a great night, to say the least! At 9pm the sisters of this mission went down to the mission home where we had some good food, including sparkling cider, and gave a toast to the New Year. We were back in our apartments by 10:30 but at midnight the sound of fireworks woke us up. Well, at least they woke me up. I heard them and mumbled, "Happy New Year Sister Esquivel." About three minutes later she sat up in her bed and said, "There's something outside...(long pause)...Happy New Year Sister Davis." Hahaha:) My companion and I sleep talk about every night though so it wasn't unusual.

Yesterday, to celebrate the beginning of the New Year, we went with some of the sisters in our district to The Cheesecake Factory! I know. The best. I know you're all wondering what I got, so I will tell you! One word: Calamari. Ah! It was so good, especially because I hadn't had some in so long! Heavenly! And what cheesecake? Well, Red Velvet with white chocolate of course! When the waitress came out with our bags with the cheesecake in them, she handed them out and everyone had the little small bags, naturally. But then she handed me my bag, which was twice the size of everyone else's so at first I was worried that she thought I wanted the entire cheesecake hahahaha! But upon further inspection I realized that the slice of the cheesecake was massive and it required a container twice the size of everyone else! Hahaha! Let's just say, it made my day. I also kept thinking to myself, "If this meal, which is my first meal of the year 2014, is a reflection on the type of year I'm going to have...then this is gonna be a good year!" :) We were also so blessed because an anonymous person in the restaurant asked our waitress if they could pay our bill. Sooo sweet... people are just so kind to missionaries here. So that was our wonderful New Year meal celebration miracle. :)

Today has been quite an interesting day thus far. We woke up, did our studies, and left to take our laundry upstairs. Well it was the one time I didn't double check that Sister Esquivel had the key before closing the we got locked out. Luckily our neighbors upstairs were able to get us into the laundry room! But because our roommates are in Provo and all of the sisters with master keys to the apartments are in Provo as companion and I are homeless right now. And we were wearing p.j.'s because we were about to take showers after starting we didn't have any clothes to wear, plus our wallet is in our apartment and our cell phone and our camera. So needless to say, I don't think I'll be able to email pictures today...but expect them next week! Right now I'm wearing Sister Snow's dress and Sister Liu's name tag. Sister Liu is from China so yes, I have a Chinese flag on. It's ok though, I can carry a small conversation in Chinese so I'm set if anyone tried to talk to me! Our roommates should be back from Provo in like 15 minutes so then we'll be able to go home, shower, wear our own clothes/name-tag, and go shopping at the store all before we have to be on the square at 6. So no worries! It's been an adventure!

I will now answer the question you're all thinking: Why are your roommates in Provo? Well! Everyone in our mission gets to go to BYU this week to an art show! They happened to go today, and my companion and I get to go tomorrow! So we have to be at the trax at 7am which will take us to the Front-Runner (a train) and that will get us to Provo where MTC busses will pick us up and take us to the BYU campus! AH! I'M SO EXCITED!!!! So yes, that is what we will be doing tomorrow:) So expect pictures of that next week as well!

Alright this letter is getting really long, so I am sorry I'm going to have to share more stories later sorry about that! But I hope you all have a wonderful week and I hope you're all enjoying the New Year! Thank you for all the support and advice from every one of you! I love you all!

Sister Davis

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I hope you all had a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

This time of the year is the best time of the year!!! It's been so fun, and so many miracles have taken place!!!

We decided to start making it a goal to find those who are prepared to receive a Book of Mormon, and THAT day we ended up giving out 2 of them and the next day we gave out another! Blessings blessings!

This last week has also been a lot of finding! We have limited ways of finding new investigators here on the square, but we've been trying to be creative as possible! And the Lord is helping us out. :) It's just been so fun to be able to talk to so many people about the true meaning of Christmas. One of the films we've been showing on the square this year is a new Nativity movie. It's 9 minutes long and it's brand new, it was filmed in Goshen, Utah on the set they've been filming the new Bible: Life of Christ videos. If you have not seen it I would suggest you do!:)

On Christmas Eve, the buildings on the square closed at 5pm and we all went down to the mission home. We had catered Cafe Rio for dinner and watched The Nativity Movie! After that we went on a little trip around Temple Square to different locations, where we heard some specially messages about the baby Jesus. :) When we finished back in the mission home, they had milk and cookies waiting for us. It was such a special, and holy night:) When we got back to our apartment, we (along with our roommates) pulled our mattresses into the living room and all slept out there that night! It was so fun! Since Sister Esquivel's family is from Sweden, they always open their Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve, so that's what we did, to honor her family tradition:) The next morning we were allowed to sleep in so we didn't wake up until 8AM! SO WEIRD!!! To honor our family tradition, I made some pancakes and we ate a big hardy breakfast. :) Then, to honor Sister Souza's family tradition, she made the most amazing peach cake in the entire world (which we ate later that night). AND to honor Sister Gariki's family tradition, she made two homemade pies from scratch (which we also ate later that night). Don't judge our love for food...haha!

After going to the square, calling all y'all back home, and sharing to gospel, at 5pm the buildings on the square closed at 5pm again and we went down to the mission home once more! We watched 2 Christmas movies and had another huge meal and SANTA CLAUSE CAME TO VISIT!!!! AH!!! Plus we were allowed to hug him! Yay!! :) Haha, we also got a lot of really nice gifts, and I'm not going to list all of them off but I'll just tell you right now, we are SO spoiled in this mission. So spoiled. So spoiled. That night after going home we watched The Best Two Years with our roommates until falling asleep. :)

I also just want to take a moment and give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has sent me cards, letters, and gifts of any kind this Christmas! You are all so sweet and your support means a lot. :) Also, thank you mom and dad for the gift you sent to Sister Esquivel. You must have been guided by the spirit because she is obsessed with really fuzzy socks, so it was the perfect gift haha:)

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and that you have a Happy New Year! I can't believe 2013 is already coming to and end... 2014 is going to be a year I will never forget. It'll be the only full year of my life I'll be serving as a missionary. So exciting!

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Sister Davis

The snowflakes were all perfect star shapes!!! It was so cool!!!

On Christmas Eve morning, we did our personal study in the North V.C. by the Christmas before the building opened. :) So pretty!

Opening Christmas face says it all:)

Best Christmas Gift EVER! Thank you mom and dad!!!

Us and our roommates on Christmas Eve! Sister Souza (left) is from Brazil and Sister Gariki (right) is from Tahiti!

This wasn't even a planned thing that they would all attack me but apparently they passed out a memo or something cuz... hahaha

Sister Gariki making pie..

Sister Souza making cake...

And me making breakfast. I think Sister Esquivel was still asleep haha

And that's me with Santa and my Mission President!!! YAY!!!

This is Sister Esquivel. She found a really big box yesterday...apparently she really likes boxes:)

Thanks for reading!