Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I feel like I've aged 10 years this last week...bah!!!

Wow so...that was crazy. From day one I started making a list of the goings-on in my planner because the world suddenly just went crazy as soon as the transfer started! What is this?! It's missionary life, that's what it is!!!

My new companion is Sister Yu from Taiwan. She is SO sweet and SO fun and SO kind and SO hilarious! And although I am so weird for some reason she still loves me and laughs at my terrible jokes (even if she doesn't understand them) and wow she is just so amazing! She's been on her mission for a while now so her English is really good too! We've just been busy busy working on bringing China the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! It's fantastic!

We took our first Mandarin motor-coach the first day of the was the most ridiculous thing in the entire world. I was already mentally preparing myself because I knew they would all like my blond hair and white skin and they'd want to take a picture of me so I practiced in my head how to say "No picture!" over and over but when it finally got time to say it, I felt so awkward that I completely forgot! (The rules on Temple Square is that if someone wants to take a picture with us they have to be in the picture WITH us, not just a picture OF us.) So once she explained this they stopped trying to take pictures of me...which was great...until we actually started to take them around! We got in the assembly hall and I was showing them where to sit when out of nowhere they all started to attack me!! With their cameras! Like honestly they all kept walking up to me saying, "Picture!" and then they'd just grab me, literally, and smile at the camera. AH! It was so awkward! And they just wouldn't stop! One just kept coming right after the other and my poor companion tried to tell them to stop because we were going to start the tour but they wouldn't stop!! It was so awkward! These random Chinese women especially would like put their arm around me and pose and I was thinking "What the heck I'm a real person not just some cool thing you can take a picture with so you can post it on Facebook and impress your friends!" I'll be honest...after about 10 minutes I felt so I didn't feel like a person I felt like a shiny trophy...and that was the worst feeling ever. After that very long tour I couldn't stop thinking about how it's interesting how the adversary wants us to feel like we're not special and we're not people with feelings we're just a tool. Ah it was sad...but I did learn. And every mandarin motor-coach since then, we just tell the guests that they can't take pictures of us...AT ALL! And it helps.

I've already been able to go on exchanges with Sister Marambio and Sister Cano from my district, wow they are such amazing missionaries! It's so fun to exchange so often and learn. Really it's amazing how the smallest things make such a big difference, especially in missionary work! We had a Zone Training Meeting on Sunday and the Zone Leaders asked each district leader to give instruction as part of it. It was a really good experience although I was so so nervous to be up in front of the zone talking. Beforehand I just kept thinking, "Man...if there was only a way I could sing my instruction..." But I'm pretty sure the sisters in my zone would feel SO awkward if I just got up and began singing everything! Ahhahahaha when I really think about it now..haha I just think that would be so funny! But they would never see it coming! I should try it sometime.

Oh! Another exciting story from this week! I was on exchanges with Sister Marambio just yesterday and we met this wonderful lady from China in the North Visitor's Center. We got talking and she said, "You know, I don't have religion-I'm from China you see-but I've always had a lot of respect for Jesus Christ! I hope to take a tour to learn more what you believe!" Luckily it was right before a Mandarin Flag Pole Tour was about to start so we told her that she can go to the flag pole and someone will be waiting there who speaks Mandarin who can take her on a tour! As we pointed out the window to show her where to go, I realized that it was MY companion preparing to take the next Mandarin tour! So we sent her on her way and I texted my companion and said, "Hey! There's a lady from China coming to your flag pole tour! She really respects Jesus Christ!" Well, that night as we were walking home my companion said, "Hey! That Chinese lady came to the tour, and she gave me her number and said we can call and teach her!" Yay!!!! Miracles! Save China!!!

Oh another neat experience while on exchanges: I was with Sister Cano and we were doing some contacting on the square just earlier this week. Well as we were walking past the temple grounds entrance there was a really sweet girl sitting down on the wall looking around. We said hi and started to talk with her. I asked her what brought her to Utah and she said, "Oh well that's a long, crazy story." So I sat down next to her and said, "Oh great! We have lots of time!" Haha! So she smiled and started to tell us about her really amazing story about how she used to study in Utah but then she moved to New York for Grad school. BUT half way through her studies she woke up one morning and felt really strongly that she needed to graduate that year instead of wait, and move to Salt Lake City! So she did! She's now in SLC looking for a job/getting settled in and she has absolutely no idea why she is here but she just knows that the Lord told her to come! Isn't that amazing!? So much faith. She expressed to us about how nervous she was about everything because she had no idea what would happen. So I shared with her my story about picking up and moving to Idaho on a whim last summer because we felt the Lord told me to go. I told her about how the first month I was there I had absolutely no idea what I was doing there because I had no friends and I couldn't find a job to save my life etc etc. But then I told her about the people I met there and how they changed my life and about being a BYS councilor and I was able to just share my testimony that I know the Lord has a plan for each one of us. I know that He is going to guide and prepare her for what is next because that is exactly what the Lord did for me. If it were not for my experiences and the people I met in Boise...I don't even know what I would do! So that was great. (:

Well this email is getting kind of long so I'm going to wrap things up. But to answer your question mom, yes we did attend the dedication of the Odgen Temple (the 4pm session) and it was so wonderful! It got me so excited for this coming General Conference next weekend! General Conference is going to be so great and so terrifying and so eye-opening but it's going to be a time I'm sure I won't forget! So thank you for all the loves and supports from yous, I love you all so much! I hope you have a good week and I hope you're all looking forward to General Conference as well!

Bye, now!

Sister Davis

P.S. Forgive me for not taking pictures this's just been so busy and crazy!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I saw a giraffe! And an elephant! And a GIANT TURTLE!!!

Hello hello!!!

Transfer news!!! Well, I'm still here on good 'ole Temple Square! But I've been given the new assignment of District Leader. And I'm not sure what I'm going to do but I know I'll have to do something I've never done before! My new companion is Sister Yu from Taiwan!!!! Yay I am going to learn Mandarin and work on project save china (aka P.S.C. sounds more legit than we think it is know..)!!!! Haha I'm so excited for all that will be going on in the near future! The sisters in my district are Sister Marambio (from Chile), Sister Cano (from Peru), Sister Occolier (from Martinee) and then the last sister we don't know yet because she is coming from the MTC and doesn't arrive until tomorrow! Woo! So exciting!

This past week has been just SO crazy and interesting! We got a text from our dear dear investigator in Ireland telling us he has selected a day for his baptism! Wow, we were so happy!!! It's going to be the day right before our sweet investigator in West Virginia will be baptized. Miracles! We've also been talking with so many people online recently and have a lot of opportunities to teach and find more who would like to continue learning. It's amazing how the Lord has such a strong hand in the lives of these people.

School has begun so you would think that Temple Square would be slowing down but it's been quite the opposite. I am beginning to think that September is the busiest month on the square! So many people have been here (although I will admit most of them are visiting from outside the country). Oh I had the most awkward experience with a poor Asian fellow who did not speak a word of English! He came walking into the South Visitor's Center and I said, "Hello! How are you?!" He gave me this really confused look and I said, "Where are you from?" Then he started to look really uncomfortable so I said, "Are you visiting from outside the USA?" Then this poor fellow said, "Oh, ok." rather glum and turned around and walked out! I was just standing there in total confusion and shock haha! I don't know what he thought I said but perhaps he thought he needed to be from the USA to come inside? I have no idea but it was SO sad and SO awkward and I hope that poor man realized later on that all of the buildings are open to the public (well except the Temple of course). I prayed that he would run into some sisters that spoke his language. Haha(:

You're probably wondering why I emailed so much later today than normally... well, I went to the Zoo! I know! This is a remarkable day in my life seeing as I have never been to a Zoo until now! I saw giraffe's, elephants, monkeys, bears, lions, and giant turtles! You know, I've always loved turtles so much...but I think I've found my new favorite animal... I just love giraffes! They are so beautiful and amazing and wow...words cannot describe my new found love. So it's been a pretty exciting p-day. Plus, I totally had a moment with a lion...we are best friends now.

Alright well to be honest I am SO exhausted right exhausted...tomorrow is transfer day so it's going to be so crazy and so busy but it's going to be wonderful. I'll be driving my former companion, Sister Fuentes, to the airport very early tomorrow morning; as she is leaving for her outbound mission in San Jose California. It's all very exciting(:

Well, I love you all! Questions? Comments? Concerns? Rebuttals? #prayaboutit Heavenly Father is always listening(: I LOVE YOU!

Sister Davis

Us with our tickets to the ZOO!

Me and my elephant friend!

​All of us who went with the giant elephant(:
Left to right: Sister Lopez (from Mexico) Sister Klein (from Brazil) Sister Sherratt (from So. California) Me! Sister Merrill (from Idaho) and Sister Ying (from So. California/Taiwan)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Week of Miracles!

Wow I'm so happy! This week was so amazing and full of incredible experiences!

Last Friday a member from Idaho called in to refer her dear friend who had moved from Idaho to the other side of the states. She told me about this lady and I decided to call right after I got off the phone with the member. This dear lady picked up the phone and we began talking for quite a while. (: She had talked with missionaries before back in Idaho and gone to church, but after moving out east she began to feel like she was forgetting her purpose in life. She was incredibly lonely and did not know anyone in the town she is living in. I talked with her about attending church and that I knew she could feel that same happiness she had before back when she was attending in Idaho. She was very hesitant to go but come Sunday morning she went! As she was walking up to the doors of the church she saw another older lady and said to her, "Excuse me ma'am, could you help me? I just don't know where to go!" The lady said, "Well you just take my hand and we'll walk right in together!" So wonderful! She met so many wonderful people at church and made so many friends. She felt the spirit SO strong that she knew this was the right path for her. The missionaries came over after church and invited her to be baptized, to which she said yes! We talked with her yesterday and she is very excited as she is now on the path to prepare for baptism!

Isn't it wonderful, the things we find in the gospel of Jesus Christ?! We not only find a large support group, but we also have a place where we can be fed so strongly by the spirit of the Lord! We have the knowledge of the purpose of life and a hope for better things to come. We have the power of God on earth, the same power Jesus Christ had when He walked on the earth! There is so much goodness and hope from God that anyone can find in His church. It's a remarkable thing, to see the gospel change the lives of so many people.

We were so ecstatic to hear from our investigator in England when she told us that she made the decision to attend church (although her original plan was not to attend this week). She felt a real desire to go and she said that she knew she needed to be there. Our investigator in Ireland felt the same way as he sat in the testimony meeting listening to many people bear testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel. When talking to him afterwards, he expressed to us how touched he was to hear and see so many people talk about how they knew this was true.

This last Wednesday Sister Sherratt and I were asked (very last minute) to put together a musical number for Relief Society. We were flipping through some sheet music Sister Klein had and found the song "My Soul Hungered." The only reason I knew that song is because dad used to listen to it back when I was younger (it's super old) haha! We chose that song and it was the perfect choice! The song reminds me so strongly of Enos from the Book of Mormon and his prayer to be forgiven of his sins. It also reminded me really strongly of some times in my life when I prayed harder than I ever had to be forgiven, or receive answers to prayers. One part of it says, "With all my heart, with all my soul, I wrestled before the Lord to make my life whole. He filled my hunger, he fed my soul." I love that. I honestly believe that most people will come to a time in their life when they really have to pray with all their heart to God to make their life whole. But those are the moments that really shape who we become. (:

Oh! Fun story! On Sunday night as we began our shift in the Beehive House, our Zone leaders held up some church materials (e.g. missionary information pamphlets, pass along cards, etc etc) and asked each companionship to pick one thing that they wanted to give to a guest, who came there, by the end of the night. They had lots of little booklets and pass-along cards but they were only holding one copy of The Book of Mormon. So I jumped up and grabbed the Book of Mormon before you could say, "And it came to pass.." I was surprised when it turned out no other sisters fought me for it! They all wanted to give out pass along cards! What?! I remember thinking to myself, "The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and the most powerful tool that we as missionaries have to share with others! Why am I the only one who ran for it!?" Well, needless to say, on our very first tour of that shift we didn't give out one Book of Mormon...we gave out THREE!!!! Isn't that amazing!? The Lord knew we had the faith so He led 3 wonderful women to us who were prepared to receive a copy of The Book of Mormon! Miracles!!!

Well those are just a few exciting stories from this week. There are a few more, but I don't want to make this extremely long, but I hope you enjoyed reading from them. I know that when we are diligent and patient the Lord will help make more of us than we ever thought. I really love being a missionary. (: It is the BEST!(:

Have a wonderful week!

Sister Davis

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Proverbs 3:5

Hey hey er'body!

This week was fantastic! I'm having a hard time remembering why but, you know, such is the memory of a missionary (aka about the size of a goldfish).

The Beehive has been very very busy. I suppose it has to do with school starting, but we enjoy staying busy! Although many guests come to the home of Brigham Young expecting a history lesson, we've really been focusing on making it a spiritually uplifting experience for members and especially non-members! The more I learn about the life of Brigham Young the more my testimony grows. Small stories from his life easily illustrate what was important to him. The more we share the more we hope that those guests who visit walk away from that tour wanting to make either family or God more of a priority in their life. Of course there are those guests who like to make light about certain lifestyles during that time, but it's amazing to see how when we remind people that we're in the home of a prophet of God, it changes their behavior. For little children who are members of the church, I love telling them that it's almost like walking through the home of Thomas S. Monson today, and they get so excited it's adorable!

Our investigator in Ireland is doing very well. He is SO sweet! He has such faith in the Lord and talking to him always puts a smile on our face! Since he is 7 hours ahead of us we always call first thing in the morning and it's the best way to start our day! He's also got fantastic local missionaries who have been doing a tremendous job. Sometimes it can be really hard being on Temple Square teaching some amazing people from around the world. There are days when I wish so bad I could just be right there with our investigators talking to them face to face...but if I were in Ireland I wouldn't be able to teach the others we have around the world...and if I were with any other investigators we wouldn't be able to teach our friend in Ireland... The Lord knows what he's doing, we just have to trust him.

Speaking of trusting in the Lord...this last week I have gained the STRONGEST testimony of trusting in the Lord. I've had moments lately where I have been so concerned and confused and wanting to understand all the Lord is trying to teach me... but it wasn't until the moment I let go of all those worries and just decided I would completely trust God, THAT was when I saw more answers come from Him. On a certain concern I was facing, when I decided to stop worrying and trust God...literally the next day this crazy thing happened that took me completely by surprised. It was almost as if God was saying, "See...I told you to just trust me!" Such is life!

Well...last, but not least, I would like to give a massive shout out to one of the greatest people this world has ever known! Someone who I'm pretty sure is a model but won't admit it, and has the talent and tact to have anyone fall in love with her on the sight! She's a devoted musician, medical student, and she an accent that could cause American citizens to fall at her feet. She's smart, funny, talented, and single (so if anyone out there is looking...let me know)! She has WAY more faith in God than she gives herself credit for and she's one of the bravest souls I've known! And you know she's legit because a quick shopping trip to London doesn't even phase her. So cheers to you, my dear investigator in England! We hope these first few days of placement don't kill you because we're excited to talk to you again about all the "goings-on" over the pond. (: We love you!!!

I'm not sure what else to include this week so I'll end it here. I love you all! Continue to share the gospel and keep smiling!!! (:

Sister Davis

When there are wedding receptions in the garden behind the Beehive House, Temple Square sisters be like...

We were just looking through the lost and found and these stylin glasses were there! I'm thinking I should buy me some glasses..