Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wow I feel like it's been 10 years since I've written any letters...

And SO MUCH has happened. I feel a little overwhelmed trying to remember everything I want to tell from this last 2 weeks...

But anyways lets start with TRANSFER NEWS!!!! Because, yes, I have this awesome new companion and YES I'm going to attempt at learning yet another language. My companion is Sister Bernhardt from France! We are over the West 1 zone this transfer (which is why my p-day changed to Tuesday). She's pretty funny and older than me, again....pretty sure all my companion's have been older than me...I'm such a small little child.... But she is SO funny and so French. (: We enjoy being together.

I may or may not have mentioned that last week that President Harman asked me to put together a musical number for a ward in Bountiful, Utah? ... So I gathered together myself, Sister Garcia from Spain, Sister Mathias from England, Sister Aquino from California, and Sister Sindylkova from Czech Republic to sing, with Sister Ma from Taiwan to accompany us. We threw it all together in less than a week and we sang in our sister missionary ward Sunday morning. That afternoon I drove the crew up to Bountiful to sing in a ward and it went so well. THEY HAVE BABIES IN THEIR WARD! Adorable. Babies. I kept having to remind myself not to stare and make faces at the little children during the meeting but to be an example since I am a missionary after all. (Though I will admit after sacrament meeting I asked the mother sitting behind me what her secret was to get her little 2 year old girl to fold her arms and sit quietly during the prayer. It was astounding and so adorable!!!!) Anyways. After the sacrament meeting we were asked to stay for a "linger longer" to talk with the members and their non-member friends they had brought. We met one guy from main-land china who just loved church and asked to get a picture with all of us (of course). But in a nutshell it was just a really really fantastic experience!

President Poulsen pulled me aside later that day and asked me if I would be willing to get the sisters together again to sing that same song for the LDS Business College Devotional this next Tuesday, since he was asked to be the speaker. Fist pump!!! So we'll be singing in that next week and we are so excited!!!! Singing is the greatest!!!!

Our Missionary Leadership council was yesterday and it was excellent! We met again on the 9th floor of the JSMB. All the zone leaders gave instruction so Sister Bernhardt and I were asked to focus on the fundamental Teach People, Not Lessons. It went really well and we had some sisters do an exercise I had been forced to do at girls camp back in the day and it was successful! They all cried! (In a spiritual kind of way.) So yes, that was great. For our lunch break we took the tunnels to the Church Office Building to eat in the cafeteria there and we happened to see Tad R. Callister again! We all walked past him and strained to see if there was meat on his plate... which there wasn't any. (: Hahaha But that's just a random side note.

Right after MLC we had to run (literally) back to the square to get to our assignments. At 4pm we had a V.I.P. tour. And dad you are going to die....(or I could just accuse you of being jealous since I am known to do that...) The people we took on the tour were some of the chief executives of Amazon. (You know, that massive online company?) So yes we were absolutely terrified! But they were actually really nice! And there were a lot of people who work for the church who accompanied the tour so no just in case you are wondering we were not nervous at all... But in all seriousness the tour went very well and they asked a LOT of questions. We showed them the inside of the temple (the model of the temple, that is, haha) and explained to them how Mormons worship in temples. The spirit was just very unusually strong throughout the tour, especially when we ended at the statue of Christ. Sadly, because they are VIP guests, we're not allowed to invite them to learn more or anything like that, but the man from church hosting did tell us that they already gave them a Book of Mormon a few days earlier. We were happy to hear that. (:

Teaching has also been going very well this week! A few days ago a young lady came on chat with a very strong interest in learning more. In fact, she asked us, "What steps would one have to take to become a Mormon?" Which is a good question! She has a lot of religious background and she actually is majoring in Biblical studies in university! She said something interesting to us though. She said, "I feel like I know a lot. Yet, I feel like I don't have the whole truth and I just want to know what the whole truth is!" Quite the statement! So we talked about The Book of Mormon and we will be speaking with her again later this week on the phone.

All in all the transfer has been going extremely well and we have been SO busy. At first I though I was going to die with all the things we had to do, plus the fact that I had to go an extra week without a p-day to rest. Yet when I woke up this morning I was almost disappointed to have a p-day because I felt like we've just been on such a role so why stop!? Then I pictured mom and dad's worried face not receiving a letter from me this week so I decided that p-day is a wise thing. (: So yes mom and dad, I do love you immensely. (:

Exciting upcoming events for this week will be Zone Training meeting, announcing for Music and The Spoken Word, singing in the LDSBC devotional, and beginning exchanges with the District Leaders! There's just so much work to do I LOVE IT!

But until next week....I LOVE YOU ALL!

Sister Davis

Picture of me with my new companion!

Friday, January 23, 2015

This week I learned Hu ke tua! and 出去!

Tongan and Mandarin. Just in case you were curious.

This week was very spiritually uplifting. On Sunday I spoke in church. Each sister on Temple Square has one chance to speak in our ward (our ward just consists of our mission btw) in our entire mission and it's always within the last few weeks of service. So yes, I spoke in church on Sunday and it actually went very well! I spoke on 4 different principles I have learned on my mission. I won't give you my entire talk but I will mention what those four principles are.

1. Never fall into the trap into doing what is easy. 2. You've got to just calm down and trust in the Lord! 3. Comparison destroys the purpose of creation. and 4. Forgive others and yourself quickly.

So there you are, it was great! I really did not want to cry because I hate crying on the pulpit but of course, you know me, as soon as the words "the temple" came out of my mouth I cried...awkward! But it was ok I forced myself to remember that people can't understand me when I cry and it was too important of a testimony for people to not understand so I stopped crying almost as fast as I started haha! After sacrament meeting we went to Music and The Spoken Word. (: And I was so happy! They sang an Ola Gjeilo piece called The Ground. #choirgeek #THEBEST 

But really...somebody tell Robert Reimer about this song I expect Trilogy to sing it in their final concert when I return.

We have a wonderful new investigator from Las Vegas, he's a single dad with an adorable little boy and he has been so prepared to learn about the gospel! He said some missionaries stopped him in his driveway and gave him a He Is The Gift pass along card. He said her enthusiasm sparked his interest so He watched it and felt the spirit soo strong. He then decided to call in so he can learn more! He went to church last Sunday and really enjoyed his time there and loved the relationship of the members. We are excited for him to continue learning especially about the TEMPLE!!! :D :D

Speaking of the Temple, we finally went to the temple this transfer! In the last week of the transfer! Haha but it was muchly needed and so wonderful! I just always have this one issue when I go to the temple, I just don't ever want to leave the Celestial room! Honestly, I could sit in there for a few hours and just ponder and be content. But life is about more than being eventually I do drag myself out of there. :( But the temple is great! There is no better place to find peace, feel safe, or just feel closer to Heavenly Father. I love the temple. It was also an excellent temple trip because I received some answers regarding after my mission, which is sad but true. (Not that the answer was sad, it was good, but the fact that it had something to do with other than the mission was sad...) Nonetheless, I am very grateful that we're able to visit the Temple once a transfer (once very 6 weeks).

Yesterday we went on exchanges with some sisters in our zone, Sister Yim from Hong Kong and Sister McElhaney from Arizona. Sister Yim is currently training Sister McElhaney. It was such a great exchange! Sister McElhaney is an exceptional missionary, even just being in her first transfers. I spent the day with Sister Yim and she spoke so highly of her companion. She's very loving, very hard-working, and extremely eager to learn. Sister Yim is an amazing missionary as well. She follows the principle of obedience with exactness and she is just like a missionary sponge. Last transfer sister Yim was companions with Sister Merrill, whom was my companion her first transfer and she asked me lots of questions like, "When you were with Sister Merrill how did you do [fill in the blank]." That surprised me a lot but it was also really cool because Sister Yim just loves to learn on how to improve and different methods of doing the same thing, which is how successful people find success. So Sister Yim is going to be a very successful person. (:

Just a quick update on our investigator in England; she's doing very well! It was a little hard being at home first and she was doing a lot of praying and just really trying to determine what steps to make next. She was a little stressed but we stayed calm because we know that everything will work out for her. She has accepted a baptism date now that she is working toward and she has a lot of confidence in it! We're really excited for her and she is really learning the principle that no matter what the Lord will always provide for our needs.

I think that is all I was planning on writing about this week. It's just been a really great week full of many teaching opportunities! Transfer conference will be on Monday morning. If I switch zones next transfer my pday will change so if you don't get an email from me next week, you know why! I will let you know quickly who my new companion will be. I'm going to miss Tim-Tams, frequently laughing and speaking in Tongan when I'm frustrated...but oh well. The show must go on!

Want to hear a joke I told my companion the other day? 

The other day I saw three guys walking down the street. Two of the guys walked into a bar, but the Mormon ducked. (Insert awkward smile here.)

I know I mormon jokes make no sense.

Ok bye now!!!!

Sister Davis
We found Grandmother Willow today! So awesome! #pocahontas

Friday, January 9, 2015

Here is a secret about missionaries...

Sometimes we don't want to write letters home. Sometimes we just like to read letters and then not have to worry about responding haha(: But we still write because we love you! So just love you. And that is why I am writing this letter today haha(:

This week was complicated...

Our investigator from England came. (: We got to spend 2 days with her! Ah! The dream of any Temple Square missionary! We met up on Friday afternoon and took her to the Conference Center and Beehive House. We also took her to the mission offices and she met President Poulsen! He had us come in his office and we all sat around and chatted for a while. He's so awesome. (: After which we ate dinner with her, which was fun. We went to the mall across the street but then took our food to what we call "the celestial vending" in the bottom floor of the Church Office Building. It was closed but since she was with us we were allowed to take her in through the tunnels. We then took her to the teaching centre's with us and she watched us take chats and phone calls, which she was completely curious about! I let her look in my area book and read all my records I put in about her hahaha! She enjoyed reading that a lot. On Saturday morning we met up again at 9 am and showed her around the North Visitor's Centre. At 10AM our investigator from Provo came up and we all met up and watched Meet the Mormons in the largest theatre we have. Yes. Yes we used our largest theatre for the 4 of was awesome. Then she went with us to our 3 hour shift in Guest Services haha! I let her get on my familysearch account and look around on what that was like, which she seemed entertained by! She even found herself! Haha(: We talked a lot. Well, we always talk a lot even when she's not here but ya know. Then I brought her to Sister Mathias' District Meeting! (My companion and I split up each week and attend different district meetings.) So she went with me and sat in and experience the ever-so-exciting district meeting of a missionary! Of course, all the sisters were just awestruck by the fact that she was an investigator from the other side of the world who was really visiting us! They all adored her accent as well.

[Random side note: it's interesting how there isn't just one British accent. As a child I always just assumed there was one but our investigators accent is completely different from Sister Mathias', and Sister Mathias' accent is very different from other sisters here and other people I know. Just shows you how cultured I was as a little child...#merica]

We then ate dinner and showed her the rest of the buildings on Temple Square. The Assembly Hall was closed for some reason but we decided it would be ridiculous if she came all this way and didn't see every building!!! So we took her in through the tunnels. #shh... But there was nothing going on in there anyways so...don't judge us! #yolo THEN! Alan (you'll remember he was baptized 6 months ago and is now married to a member and they attend BYU?) came up with his wife and a friend and we all met up to go to Saviour of the World! We originally were not going to sit in the show with them but circumstances worked out that we could and we were SO HAPPY! Not only that, but we went in and the theatre was packed but, you know me, determined to have the best seat for our investigator I walked down to the front where the special reserved seats are and asked the host if it would be possible for our group to sit there. I was about to tell him we had a non-member in the group (I know I know I'm aweful) but he ran to the other host and then came back and said YES!!! So, no joke, we literally had the best seats in the house! Heavenly Father loves our investigator. (: Yes He does!!! After the show we had to say our goodbye's and she left with Alan and Mikah (they gave her a ride back to her hotel).

So now she is back in England. *shed a tear* We miss her. I miss her. I don't want her to be so far. We pray for her constantly. She has hard decisions to make. She has so much faith, though! She has done a lot, but she doesn't do it for anyone other than herself. When we first began teaching her 9 months ago she wouldn't even allow us to call her on the phone haha she would only chat with us online. And it's been neat to see how God answers her prayers, which He does...a LOT. God would never leave her alone, however. He has purposes and a plan for her. He is very aware of her. She may or may not read this blog post, but if she does, I hope she feels the spirit confirm to her that every righteous decision she has made the past 9 months has lead her to where she is right now. D&C 6:14. There are no coincidences.

In other news: My companion is the greatest! She makes me laugh all the time and if I don't have a 6-pack when I get home I will be really upset. Possibly rage. Speaking of rage! If you haven't seen Meet the Mormons yet, you better! Oh and that reminds me, my companion's Christmas package finally made it all the way here from Australia! Hahaha! We have been feasting on Tim-Tams! AH! I must live in Australia someday JUST so that I can eat Tim-Tams! And my companion is great because she never thinks about the fact that she returns home in 13 days! WOO! Life is good. My companion is good. (: It's good to have a good companion.

This letter is too full of emotion! I should not be so sappy! What is not sappy that I can tell you...? Our avocados are ripe! FINALLY! We've been waiting to eat them for 3 weeks!!!!!

Well I can't think of anything else that is not sappy that I should write about so I think that sums up this week's email!

Ok bye now!
Sister Davis

The New Year is here!!!! Meet the Mormons is here!!! Our investigator is HERE!!! (January 1st)

Everybody stay calm!!! Except this is kind of a BIG DEAL!

(This email will not be chronologically...I'm just jumping to the good stuff first.)

OUR INVESTIGATOR FROM ENGLAND IS HERE!!!!! And I met her 2 days ago!!!! And it was so crazy!!!! :D She was here with the family of one of the Elders that has been teaching her back in England! We were in Guest Services when she first came on the square but I couldn't just sit down there when I knew she was upstairs! So we went up and I was thinking we would just be quick and take longer at a later time...ha! Yeah right! We were talking for almost 2 hours I think? It was a long time, but it was great! She is coming back to be in downtown SLC all day Friday and Saturday so we have lots of time to fill!! Today she is spending the day skiing up in Park City with the members. Woot! :D

One of the things we will most definitely be doing is showing her Meet The Mormons!!! We had a mission wide training from the Missionary Dept on Monday morning to tell us all about the details and how we are going to be involved in the showings here on Temple Square. It officially begins showing on Temple Square tomorrow (January 2nd) at 7:30PM as the first showing. But, of course, the movie will be in the systems attached to all the theatre's on Temple Square so we're reserving a theatre just for our investigator from England to watch with her...maybe tomorrow? #tsqmissionary #perks The main point is that we are stoked about how many people will be coming to watch it! Usually after Christmas is over the square slows down quite a bit but we have no doubt this will keep it busy enough to have people to talk with. It's just such a fabulous movie! Woo!!!

If you're in the Salt Lake City area and want to watch Meet the Mormons in the Legacy Theatre on Temple Square you'll need to go online and reserve tickets. The tickets are free, but they are required for seating purposes. If you don't get tickets, however, there will be a standby line in the JSMB (Joseph Smith Memorial Building) for any extra seats in the theatre. If you don't get in even after that, you can go to the North Visitor's Centre for overflow in theatre 5. You can obtain tickets here: 

Languages it is currently available in is just English and Spanish. By summer of 2015, however, the missionary dept says it will be available in other languages such as Mandarin, Portuguese, Japanese, etc.

Ok, now that we have the formal information out of the way...

This past week we had exchanges with all the District Leaders in our zone, and THAT was fun! Sister Garcia (from Spain), Rangel (from Brazil), and Mathias (from England) are just amazing district leaders! They do SO much and are very on top of everything. We were able to do a lot of teaching with each of them and it was a great experience! After we completed exchanges we had Zone Leader reports with President, which went super well!!! Sister Poulsen and Sister Taito (from Figi) kept laughing at me though...and they kept looking at me and Sister Tuinukuafe and saying "Oh those two!" I don't know what that means...but it was interesting!

Funny story! At the end of Zone Leader reports we told president about our investigator in England who was here and he got really excited! He asked about how she got interested in the church and we told him she had been watching a Mormon family on YouTube for 4 years called The Shaytards (Shay Carl and his wife are pretty famous YouTube who just post videos of their family/life all the time haha). We had never seen them and neither had president so he said, "Well lets go look them up!" So he sat at his desk and pulled up the shaytards on YouTube and we watched a little bit haha! It was very...interesting... We kept laughing at how dramatic they are but president was just watching with a very intent/interested face and it was SO funny! Sister Poulsen and the AP's were just laughing too. So now I can say the first time I saw the Shaytards was when my mission president looked them up during zone leader reports! #what?

Some little miracles that happened this week!

A former investigator that Sister Esquivel and I taught a year ago called into my personal extension and left a message saying he wanted to talk with us again! I freaked out! His story is a long one, and you may not remember him. But he was the guy from New York who was into some bad things and then was converted but then dropped off the face of the planet. Yeah! Him! He called us! And he's doing really good! And he's still Christian!!! So that is exciting!

There was a man from Las Vegas who came onto chat about 2 weeks ago who was really interested to learn more, but sadly we couldn't get a hold of him after our amazing online chat BUT this morning I saw a voice mail from him! He called us last night trying to get a hold of us and he says he still wants to go to church and learn more! We are so happy!!!! That was a tender mercy. (:

Speaking of tender mercies!

Yesterday was crazy. I for some reason I couldn't sleep AT ALL and I was just laying in bed awake all night long. By the time my alarm went off I felt soooo terrible. I got out of bed and went out to the living room planning on trying to work out but I was so dead that I ended up sitting in the middle of the living room like a zombie and I wasn't sure but I thought I was going to perish. But then we had a MLC (Mission Leadership Counsel) so I got myself ready to go and we came down to the square. The meeting went well but I just felt sooo out of it and I couldn't figure out what was wrong and why I couldn't sleep etc. and my companion thought I had turned into a vegetable haha. So we came home for lunch and I seriously collapsed on my bed and just started crying like there was no tomorrow! My poor companion was like "Oh my gosh what is wrong!?" and I was like "I don't know I just feel like I'm going to die!" So she just sat by my bed and patted my sad little head while I cried for two minutes haha and then the next thing I knew I was unconscious. I had a lot of really weird dreams and when I woke up and looked at the clock it was 3 hours later! I also found that my companion had taken like 5 blankets and put them on me and tucked me in and put heating pads in the blankets too because our apartments heater was broken and she said I felt super cold! Crazy! Apparently after I fell asleep my companion called the mission president's wife and they found covers for our assignments and she said for me to just sleep. So anyways when I woke up I just felt so awful like I had been hit by a truck haha so we stayed home the rest of the day and had lots of good gospel discussions. (: The APs gave me a sleeping pill to take but I still couldn't fall asleep until 3AM this morning...but for some reason I still feel a lot better than I did yesterday. It was just such a crazy experience I have never felt my body just shut down like that before! But there was a huge tender mercy because we had an appointment with a new investigator that we missed but when we called her this morning she said that it was ok because the local missionaries ended up showing at her house yesterday at the same time our appointment was! SUCH A TENDER MERCY!!!!

So yes, missionary work is hard and sometimes you almost die. BUT the Lord takes care of us. For me, He sent me the sweetest loving companion ever who just patted my head while I cried and covered me with blankets so I could sleep! Haha(: And she made me laugh on New Years Eve when we were talking about how in a year from then we would look back on this New Years eve and laugh about how we spent it reading conference talks together and watching super old church movies that are cheesy but awesome! It was a good New Years. And even though I couldn't sleep, it was a tender mercy because I got to listen to fireworks at midnight while all the other sisters were sleeping! See! Life is grand. (:

Anyways wow that was a big long dramatic way to tell you that I'm sick. But it had a happy ending, right?

I will be buying lots of orange juice today.

Anyways so that is the condensed version of the goings-on this last week! The weather is FREEZING COLD and I don't know how I will survive but I know the Lord will provide! I am grateful for gloves, scarfs, jackets, long sleeve shirts, leggings, boots, earmuffs, and the ability to walk swiftly from building to building. :D

I love you all and hope you have a marvelous week!!!!!!!!!

Sister Davis
 BY THE WAY! This was an abandoned skate board someone left is west gate for an entire transfer! So we finally just brought it home and now we skateboard around the apartment when we're bored... :D Don't judge by byu sweat pants, really cool hat or my charlie the unicorn t-shirt...I have awesome friends who send me awesome stuff ok!?