Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hola Everyone!

We survived transfers! I don't really know how but yes, we lived through transfers! AH! But lets go back to last week before we jump ahead.

So for Valentine's day Sister Steenhoek and I decided to celebrate one of the few Valentine's Day(s) that we would have a good excuse to be single. *Insert fist pump here* We decided to go to the ever-so-romantic Olive Garden...not for lunch...for dinner! Gasp! I know...among millions of couples.... It was SO interesting! We spent a lot of time observing, as you can imagine, and we decided that after are missions we are making a resolve to NEVER be on the phone while going to dinner with someone! It was so sad! We were looking at all of the couples around us and in every single couple at least one of them was on their phone! So terrible! So yeah...we learned a lot...and ate some pretty delicious food at the same time. (:

Earlier that day we went to Wal-Mart for our weekly grocery shopping and 3 different people stopped us as we were shopping, both members and non-members, just to talk to us! It was so cool! One of them was the cutest old lady ever! She was shopping with her son and asked us to call one of her daughters who was not a member. Then, her kind son offered to pay for our groceries. We are just so blessed, people are so sweet to the missionaries here.

On Saturday I received an inbound call from a wonderful lady in Florida. She is not a member but she has a friend who converted to the church. She began to tell me about how happy her friend and her friend's husband became after joining the church. She noticed their family life improved and they just started receiving so many blessings, like a house to live in and enough money to buy food! She told me, "I just know that it has something to do with this religion!" Wow! So prepared! My new companion and I are going to be teaching her, we're really excited for her because she will notice blessings like that in her life too as she accepts and lives the gospel of Jesus Christ!:) Blessings blessings!!!

This morning in Relief Society I was thinking about how unique this mission is. Each day we get texts from West Gate every time there is someone on the square who would like a tour. The texts tell us how many people there are, where they are, and what language they speak. And I can testify...we get a LOT of texts from West Gate. I was thinking about it this morning when I suddenly realized: Any other mission in the world would give anything for the chance to receive a text message whenever someone wanted to learn more about the church. BUT they don't have that luxury.... It really reminded me to take advantage of each text because when I'm outbound I won't be getting a hundred texts a day telling me where to go to find people who would like to learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm very glad I realized that while I am still here.

My new companion is Sister Richardson! She is from North Carolina (WOO! SOUTHERN)! Her accent is comforting and reminds me of my lovely family back in Alabama....<3 She's sooo funny and I'm so exciting to be training her to be the next Fleet commander!

Yesterday, transfer day, was probably the craziest day ever...but everything still worked out. We were awake from 3a.m. to 3p.m. helping departing, returning and departing outbound sisters get to the airport to their flights. We spent a lot of time in a car as well because there were some last minute appointments sisters had to be taken to. Pretty much, I'm becoming very pro at navigating Salt Lake City, Utah. It's a pretty neat blessing.:)

I wish I could write about all the daily miracles but it would take so so long and there are some things that we feel prompted not to write, for different reasons. I've been writing all of them down in my journal though so I'll be able to remember and share them after the mission. Basically, being a missionary is such a blessing. There are so many things that happen on a day-to-day basis that reaffirm everything I know to be true. Being called of God to help others received the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is something very special. I hope no one ever turns down the opportunity for any reason, it would be a huge mistake.

Well that is all the news for this week. I love you all and pray for each of you! Have a wonderful week!

Sister Davis

All the announcing sistesr last week for Music and the Spoken Word haha(:

Me, Sister Malavasi (from Italy) Sister Mathais (who is really from England but also lived in Germany), Sister Taito (from Tahiti), and Sister Yang (from Taiwan)

I would go through and name each sister and where they're from but the signs are pretty explanatory(:

Sister Mathais (from England) and I. She is SO funny!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Happy Day of Love!

You know, being a missionary really makes you think about Valentine's Day..and the word love in general. I've decided that I LOVE Valentine's Day! It gives us a special day to really show those people that mean a lot to us that they...well...mean a lot to us! All the sisters in this mission have been showing each other so much love! It's just the sweetest. :) (Quite literally too. After the sugar fast we were on, all these sweets are extremely overwhelming.)

So much has gone on this last week because we are preparing for Transfers on Monday. Being Fleet around transfers is quite...exhausting. We spend most of the day every day in the office coordinating inbound, outbound, and departing sister's flights and transportation to the airport. My companion, Sister Steenhoek is not going outbound next transfer so we have a guess that she might be training a new baby! As for me, I will be Fleet next transfer again to train the next sister who will take over after me. The A.P.'s have already told me that my new P-day is Thursday so my you'll hear from me again in less than a week!(: I thought I would feel a lot more pressured and nervous when it got close for me to prep to train but I'm feeling really positive about it! Sister Steenhoek has really prepared me and I have the staff in the Church Office Building to help, which is so nice.

Yesterday morning we sang a musical number in Relief Society! The topic was love so we borrowed a guitar from a sister in the mission and I played while we sang "There Is A Green Hill Far Away" the arrangement from EFY that Shelby and I would sing a lot(: It went very well, the spirit was very strong and we saw a lot of tears(: (: The best feeling when performing is seeing the music touch people through the spirit. It's what our gifts and talents are all about, bringing others closer to God!

Last P-day we went shopping at Wal-Mart and had the coolest experience! As we were walking down an isle there was a man that we could tell was watching us. Normally we would be worried about that but I could feel that the spirit was working with that man talking to him. No sooner had I thought this when he suddenly stopped us and said, "Wait! Are you missionaries?" We began talking with him and it turns out his daughter is a member and so is his ex. wife! He also told us about how much he loves the church and how he always makes sure his daughter goes to church when she visits him even though he's not a member. He also opened up and told us that he is terminally ill and only has about 4-6 years left to live. We were so puzzled as to why this man wasn't a member! He was about to say goodbye when my companion suddenly said, "Wait, I have a question for you! What's holding you back?" He thought about it for a minute and said, "Well...I don't really know." We took down his contact information and he said we could call and talk to him more. We also invited him to start reading from the Book of Mormon and praying. He is so prepared! I am so glad the spirit told him to stop us and talk with us. (:

We had a really interesting experience in the God's Plan for His Families presentation yesterday. To give a little background, "God's Plan" is a presentation we have here on the square that takes you through the life of a family, shows some of there experiences, and testifies of Eternal Families. You move from room to room and each room looks like the setting in the film you're watching. Yesterday morning we had Audio/Visual training and they asked us to take some time during our day to go over the system for "God's Plan". Well, at about 2 o'clock we went up and started the presentation, then as soon as it moved into the 4th room we started it again (so that we could learn how the system works with that last two rooms. I know this doesn't make sense but just roll with it.) Anyways, we were sitting in one of the last rooms watching and I suddenly had the thought, "It's dangerous for us to be in here alone, there are no cameras and it's dark in the rooms behind us." THEN I suddenly had this feeling come over me and the spirit said, "There's someone else besides you two in here." Right after that happened my companion turned to me and said, "There's someone else back there! Run!" We got up out of the seats and ran out of the presentation into the hallway. There was a group of people standing down by the entrance to the presentation so we just turned and walked down the stairs. As we were walking down the stairs I asked her how she knew someone was in there. She said, "Well I was just having these thoughts like 'there's no security camera's in here'. Then I turned around and saw someone run back the other way out of sight! That's when I turned to you and we ran out!" We still have no idea if that person was just a random tourist who followed us in there or what but this we do know, the spirit was talking to both of us and we knew it. It is so amazing how clearly the spirit talks to us on a day-to-day basis. Incredible.

Anyways, don't y'all worry about me though because, like I said, the spirit talks with us and we are kept save at all times! :) Besides, we have our own security staff at temple square so priesthood help is moments away!

I love you all and hope you're having a beautiful Valentine's Day! We invite you pray for charity, that pure love of Christ that gives us the ability to serve, forgive, bless, love, strengthen, and encourage others to our full capacity. It is truly a gift that we may attain if we pray and live worthy to receive.

Sister Davis

My companion, Sister Steenhoek (From Texas) and I in the Assembly Hall! It's finally open again! Yay!:) :)

I think the picture speaks for itself :) :)

Last Pday was our Zone Activity! These are all the amazing lovely sisters in my Zone!
4 in the Back: Sister Wettingfeld (my mom from Florida) Sister Esika (from American Samoa) Sister Moran (from Mexico) and Sister Dizon (From the Phillipines).
Three in the left middle: Sister Stiggson (from Sweden) Sister Depablos (from Venezuela) and Sister Whisler (From Texas)
Two in the Middle Right: Sister Calderon (from Spain) and Sister Ichikawa (from Japan)
Bottom 5: Sister Araujo (from Portugal), Sister Bondare (From Latvia) Sister Steenhoek From Texas and Sister Ang (from Cambodia).
Talk about representatives from around the world!:) :)

Thank you family for the package! We want you to know we LOVE the incredibly soft, cute Valentine's socks! (From left to right: Our roomates-Sister Yeung (from China) Sister McQueen (from New Zealand). My companion, and Me(:

So many Miracle On Temple Square!

This week was CRAZY!

Last p-day we went to our district leader's apartment and saw Ephraim's Rescue! (Both my companion and I had never seen it before!) I love movies that really make you feel the spirit. I am so thankful for all the sacrifices of the pioneers; if it were not for them, I would not be on a mission on Temple Square!

On Saturday we had the sweetest opportunity to take about 15 mandarin sisters to a YSA Chinese New Year party at the U! They were asked by the missionaries in the SLC West mission to come and contact all the hundreds of Asian students that would be there! (Pretty much they had to call Temple Square for re-enforcement because we have a million mandarin speaking sisters...hehe). Sister Steenhoek drove one car of sisters and I drove another. The mandarin sisters had HUGE success and when we picked them up they told me all their stories and miracles! They're all so sweet and cute and full of the spirit!

On Sunday I had a very very interesting experience. As we were walking back from lunch to the South Visitor's Center, a boy and girl (in their 20's) were about to walk past us. As I looked over to say hello, the young man all of the sudden looked right at me, walked up to me and started SIGNING (no, not singing) signing "Hello how are you today?" Before I could even think I automatically responded IN SIGN LANGUAGE "I'm good, thank you! How are you?" It wasn't until after I had responded that I was like..woah...what just happened? The girl who was with him wasn't deaf so she said hello and I said (in a bit of a state of shock) "Hi! Um...I'm not quite fluent...will you help me?" Hahaha! So as we continued to talk, this young man told us that he had been taught by a sign language sister on Temple Square but now all of the ASL sisters are outbound! We told him we could take him to the South Visitor's center and see if there was another sister who was more fluent than I. As we walked to the south, he continued to talk with me, asking me where I was from etc etc. It was so amazing because as he and I were talking (signing) all of the memories of the sign language I had learned when I was younger just started flooding back into my mind! But at the same time I was SO SAD that I had not kept up with my signing. The most amazing thing was when he would talk to me, I could understand what he was saying, responding caused me to think a lot more, but it was amazing how I could feel the spirit being the ultimate translator. As we were in the south I was talking to his friend and something she said really struck me, she said, "Well I wasn't sure what we should do today, but the spirit prompted me to bring him to Temple Square. You were the first sisters we came across on the square."

Since that experience I've been studying my sign language. I spend about 1/2 hour each day during personal study to learn new gospel terms and remember ones I used to know. I know that there was a purpose in us coming across this young man, and I know that Heavenly Father wants me to use all of the abilities I have to magnify my calling so that I can teach His children when they come to be taught. I still don't know why that young man just knew that he could walk up to me and start signing, but I know the Spirit played a role in it.

Our investigators are doing very well. We have a new investigator from New Zealand, who we have been teaching the past couple of weeks. She is SO prepared and has already accepted the baptism invitation. The spirit is really working with her and answering her prayers. I feel so blessed to have a glorious view of what the love of our Savior can do.

Yesterday our Zone Leaders asked us to go on exchanges. Well, my "mom", Sister Wettingfeld, is one of our zone leaders and, you guessed it, we were together for the exchanges. It was so fun to be able to spend the day with my old teaching companion. It just reminded me of how great we worked together and how grateful I am for all of the lessons she taught me. She goes home at the end of this transfer and I am going to be SO sad to see her leave!:(

I have been praying and focusing a lot on how to better myself, not just as a person, but as a missionary. Several experiences have led to Heavenly Father letting me know the things I should do to better myself. He gives me challenges and tasks that aren't easy, but they wouldn't do me any good if they were easy. If we really want to change and be happy in this life, we have to do things that are hard. And even though they will be hard, we are eternally rewarded for it.

I hope you are all doing well and are in good spirits! Continue to look for opportunities to share the gospel with everyone!

Sister Davis

With Sister Dizon (district leader) at misson-wide meeting saying goodbye to President Seppi (who was part of the mission presidency) 

In our Fleet cubicle....we enjoy it(:

Whenever we're in the Church Office Building at Brother Ott's office we always admire his perfect view! So crazy!


On exchanges yesterday with my "mom" Sister Wettingfeld! So precious!

Left to right: Sister Christenson (from Washington State) and Sister Steenhoek (from Texas)
We've decided that we're going to take our Yoga and Zumba classes at BYU together haha

The food we ate to break our sugar fast. I had no idea how sugar-filled our food is!'s SO STRONG!

From left to right: Sister Dizon (district leader: from Philippines) Sister Steenhoek (from Texas), Sister Moran (from Mexico)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Every Week is such an Adventure!

I'm not sure where to start this week so we'll start at the very beginning....a very good place to start. :)

Last Saturday night we had plans to take an investigator lesson with Elders in the SLC South Mission, but it didn't work out. :( So we met some wonderful people on the square and took them around to a few of our favorite places for a tour! Afterwards, as we walked downstairs to leave we saw CIERRA'S PARENTS about to walk out of the north visitor's center!!!! AH!!!! It was SO good to see them! It completely made my night, plus, I haven't had a hug that big in a long time haha:)

Our next miracle occurred right after we finished chatting and went into the teaching center. We have an investigator who is a truck driver, but because of his job it's hard to know when we can call to teach him. BUT, that night I felt prompted to give him a call and, as you can guess, we "happened" to call right when he was just chilling waiting for his next assignment! It went so well, the Lord really guides his missionaries!

Sunday morning, we attended Music and the Spoken Word! I was THRILLED when I opened the program to see that they were going to sing "The Battle of Jericho" arranged by Moses Hogan. AH! I remember singing that in high's a classic epic choir number. :) Brilliantly conducted by Ryan Murphy! Afterwards we took a tour with a wonderful group of people from London! They apparently had been at BYU the day before performing for...we don't really know what. We made the focus of the lesson about the Savior, Jesus Christ and felt prompted take them to the New Testament Paintings in the North Visitor's Center. As we got to the end of talking about the life and Ministry of Jesus Christ we stopped at the painting of the Resurrected Lord appearing to Mary. We shared with them the message that we love to share with everyone, that Jesus the Christ lives. He still lives, He still loves us, and He is still aware of us. As I stood and testified of Jesus Christ, I looked into the faces of these wonderful people. It's hard to describe unless you have been a missionary, but as I looked at them I could see the spirit testifying to them. I KNEW they were feeling the spirit and I KNEW it was touching their hearts. Although none of them accepted a Book of Mormon I know in my heart that God has a plan for each of them. I doubt I will ever see them again, but I doubt they will ever forget what they felt when they heard of their Savior, Jesus Christ.

Monday was quite the eventful day! The A.P.'s of our mission informed us that the lost their car in the Church Office Building garage. Hahaha so, as fleet, we decided to go try and find her! (The car's name is Sheila, by the way.) As we were driving (our car's name is Lance) around the garage-me in the passengers seat clicking the key button with the window rolled down- we stopped by the C.O.B. entrance and to our great surprise saw Jeffrey R. Holland and D. Todd Christofferson standing right next to our car! They must have heard us gasp and saw our surprised faces because they both got huge grins on their faces haha! Elder Holland waved and said, "Hello Sisters!" We said, "Hello!" Then he said, "It's great to see you, sisters!" Our reply, "It's great to see you too!" Ha. Classic. :) So they waved and walked into the building and that was our exciting experience seeing two apostles. :) [By the way, yes, we found Sheila about 20 minutes later.]

On Tuesday my companion and I were feeling a little stressed so we decided to treat ourselves to lunch at Chick Fil' A! WOO! But on our way back we had a very interesting, and frankly terrifying experience. We were walking down south temple street on our way to the square when we passed a man just chillin' on the sidewalk. I got the oddest feeling that I should avoid eye contact, but ridiculous little me didn't listen and as we passed by we looked at him, smiled, and said hello. As soon as I did I felt something really...just not a good feeling. We kept walking but as we did we heard the man mumble a couple different things to us. About halfway down the street we suddenly heard this man yelling after us! We both started walking a little faster but then the man started to RUN AFTER US! YEA! RUN! So, terrified out of our minds we walked extremely quickly across the street to the square, telling Sister Steenhoek to call security. Thankfully, the light turned red so the man couldn't cross the street and we made in safely within the walls of the square. So that was exciting...and terrifying...and I'm going to make sure that if the spirit tells me not to look at someone I won't look at someone...ha. Follow the spirit my good friends. :)

On Wednesday nights we have district meeting and this week my companion and I were asked to give the instruction. It went so so so well! We built off of the principle that our thoughts have great power in determining who we become. I'm definitely going to keep the outline we created because it is something I feel like youth would be really receptive to. It's amazing how much our thoughts have the power to affect our actions. And as we know our actions create habits, which eventually make up our character. So, it's just like Alex Boye said, "We become what we think about the most." <- I. Love. That. Quote. Because I know it's true. What do you think about the most? How does that affect the type of person you are? What do you think the Savior thought about as He ministered throughout His life? How did His thoughts affect His actions? It's something to think about. :)

新年快樂! For those who don't speak Mandarin that says Happy New Year! The mission had a small celebration last night because many of our sisters are Asian and the rest of us wish we were. :)

Well, I love you all! Thank you for the continued love and support!

Sister Davis

Sister Steenhoek and I in Music and The Spoken Word!:)

 Listening to Ryan Murphy give last minute critiques is probably my favorite part of the entire experience:)