Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 30, 2013 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year... Almost!

I can't believe it's almost 2014! Where has this year gone? It was so good to be able to Skype with all of you on Christmas! I loved it!

Like I told you on Skype, we spent Christmas at the member's homes. After Sister Pogue's we went to Sister Roland and then to the Smith's/Meyer's. There we had lunch and we opened up presents from the ward. (Sister Smith had the ward sign up to give us gifts. This ward loves us! We also played a couple of games. Following this we went to the Bruchez's for dinner and then we ended at Elisia's. So, overall, Christmas was great. And I got a lot of stuff! That's why I sent a package home today with some things that I don't want to carry around with me. So, keep an eye out for it. 

Skyping with the family on Christmas morning

Yes, I did receive your other package on Thursday! Thank you soooo much!  I also received the ward's Christmas cards and a package from David and Maurie Jones. What a great Christmas it has been! I feel so loved. 

Yesterday we had dinner at the Burts and I found out that Brother Burt is an optometrist. He noticed my red eyes (yes, my eyes are still really red and I hear about it from everyone) and asked me about them. 

Also yesterday we contacted an unknown lady in the ward. We found out that she is Haitian and left the church back in Haiti when she thought the branch president was too proud. She told us that she hasn't been to the church here because she had no idea where it was at. (She's lived here for 7 or 8 years.) We asked her if we could come back and reteach her and she said yes! What a miracle. Especially after a couple of weeks of finding no one new to teach!

We also received a church headquarters referral yesterday of a man named Joel. So, we went to contact him yesterday. When we got there an elderly man answered the door. We told him who we were and why we were there. He had no idea how we got his name, but he let us in anyway. We soon found out that he has a son named Joel who also lives there. (His son is probably mid 40's.) Joel Sr. is a Christian who does his own missionary work. He has also been to our church to do family history. Joel Jr. practices his own form of Messianic Judaism. So last night was kind of interesting. Joel Jr. said he would like us to come back sometime, though. Joel Sr. said he would also like to talk with us again but he said he was very busy and didn't know when we could come back. However, we did clear up a misconcept that he had about Mormons. He thought that we didn't believe that Christ is the son of God. He also told us that he felt the Spirit that we carry and that's why he let us in! So, if there's nothing that really comes out of this, we at least cleared up a misconception for Joel Sr. and planted a seed for both of them.

That was our exciting news for the week. We've mostly spent our week working with less actives and trying to get to know more members. 

Well, I hope you are all doing well. Thanks for everything! I hope you have a happy new year! Love you!

Sister Davis

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013 MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Can you believe that it's Christmas already? I sure can't! Time is definitely flying by! I can't wait to be able to talk to you in 2 days!!  

This weekend was unusually warm. It got up to 60 degrees yesterday and it rained. When we woke up yesterday morning all of the snow was gone! How weird is that?! That may mean I may not have a white Christmas this year... 

Thursday we had our Christmas zone conference and guess what movie we got to watch!......Ephraim's Rescue! That was a really good movie :). After we watched the movie we had a little devotional with President and Sister Anderson and then we had a talent show afterwards. I sang with Sister Carrigan and some of the other missionaries in my zone. (We sang in the Reading 2nd Ward yesterday with these missionaries, so we decided that singing at zone conference would be good practice.) We sang "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" and we had a violinst and pianist accompany us. 

Looking up and giving troubles to the Lord.

On Wednesday we passed off Fernando to the elders and had an interesting lesson. We taught the word of wisdom and found out that he doesn't think that weed is bad... He knew, though, that he needed to pray about it and that he would receive an answer. Hopefully, he'll accept the answer he gets!

Other than that, my week was filled with seeing less actives and members in the ward. Bishop has asked us to help build trust with the members for right now until they decide to get it in gear and start helping us out with the work. So, that's what we're doing. I don't know if I told you this or not, but there have been some missionaries here in the past that have been kinda lazy, so I think that some of the members have lost trust in the missionaries... And that's why we're trying to build the trust again. 

Sister Carrigan and I are doing well and getting along great! I feel very blessed to have her as a companion right now.

I hope you are all doing well and will have a very merry Christmas! Can't wait to talk to you! Love you all! :)

Sister Davis

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013 Let It Snow!

Hey Family!
So, sorry about last week. I had the 24-hour flu stuff and I did not feel very good at all. Luckily I had wonderful sisters who took care of me and I'm glad you got Sister Handy's email. 

Even Santa reads the Book of Mormon!
As for transfers everyone was transferred but me. I'm now here with my new comp. Sister Carrigan who has been out a year and she also trained Sister Whitaker! How crazy is that? I am also taking over Sister Hyatt and Handy's area because they "doubled" them out. So, now there are only 4 missionaries in this ward. I was a little overwhelmed with this load of new people to take care of, but I have an awesome companion, and it also helps that we gave some of those people to the elders. So, since there are only 4 missionaries now, we changed the boundary lines. Sister Carrigan and I are not working in the city of Reading anymore; we're north of the city now. I was a little bummed about that because I love the city, but we'll still work with less actives in Reading.
So, because we changed the boundary line, that means that Fernando is going to be taught by the elders now, but we are going to keep teaching Isatu. We also picked up another investigator from the other sisters. Her name is Julia and she is the mother of a recent convert. We haven't met with her yet, but she has a baptismal date for January 5th!
As for the snow, we had the first storm last Sunday (the 8th). We got quite a bit of snow, but not as much as we did on Saturday night. Saturday we got probably 6 inches of snow! The two other wards that meet in our building cancelled church on Sunday because of the snow. Now that was weird to me. I don't think I've ever had church cancelled before.The ward I'm in didn't cancel because it starts at 1:00, so Bishop felt like enough snow would have melted by then. The snow here is a little more wet and heavy than it is in Utah. There's no snow like Utah snow! Luckily, we have some wonderful members who came and shoveled our sidewalk and shoveled our car out!
Serving through the snow

As for Facebook, the internet has been down at the church for two weeks now, so I'm emailing at the Muhlenburg Library where the internet is soooo slow... It's so slow that it takes about 20 minutes for it to load one page on Facebook. So basically, I am just not going to get on until the internet at the church is fixed. Oh and I'll send pictures then, too.
For updates this week, I don't really have too many. For Monday and Tuesday, I was inside sick. Wednesday was transfer meeting in Broomall, so we spent the day traveling and unpacking. Thursday was district meeting and our weekly planning so that usually takes up most of our day. Friday and Saturday were our only real working days and we basically spent them getting to know ward members or less actives. Yesterday before church we had a lesson with Isatu. We found out that she doesn't really read the Book of Mormon because she doesn't understand it. Because she's from Africa, it's hard for her to read English. She understands most English, but she mostly speaks the broken English or Mende (I'm not sure how you spell it)... Sister Carrigan talked to her before church started though and she found out that Isatu has two sons in Africa and that she loves feeling the Spirit. She told us if she owned her own place she would have us over all the time! I guess she really is feeling something! Sister Whitaker and I were worried about how much she understood because she's so quite and never has any questions. We'll keep working with her, though!
That was basically my week though. Not too much going on this week. Oh, we also found out that we won't be getting our iPads until January now because of some technical difficulties...  
So a little about Sister Carrigan. Sister Carrigan grew up in San Diego and went to BYU Provo for three years before going on a mission, so she kind of knows what snow is like. This is her second winter here, and she still doesn't like it very much. Sister Carrigan studied art history at BYU. She is now the only child. She had two younger brothers who passed away a while ago. Her parents now live in the mission. They moved after she came on her mission! Sister Carrigan is an awesome missionary and can think of lessons right on the spot which is sooo helpful because I can't quite do that yet. She has a great love for prayer and knowledge of the Book of Mormon which I admire and is also helpful.

New companions - Sister Davis and Sister Carrigan
It sounds like you've had a fun, busy week. I can't wait to talk to you next week! Hopefully, next Monday I'll have some info about that like when and how long I can call/Skype for! I hope you are all doing well! I love you all! Have a great week!
Sister Davis

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013 December is Here!


Can you believe that December is already here? Where has the year gone? So crazy how fast time flies!

This past week was sooo awesome! Lots of miracles! First of all for Thanksgiving, I did have three meals and, yes, I did eat at all of them... So much food.... The last appointment I could hardly eat anything. Thank you so much for the package! The sisters and I loved it sooo much! 

Thanksgiving dinner #1
Thanksgiving #2
To start the week off, on Tuesday it decided to rain all day long and it was a cold rain. That night we had an appointment with Fernando. As we were pulling up to the appointment, we hit the curb and cut a chunk out of our tire. Needless to say, we had a flat tire... The entire lesson I was more focused on that and how we were going to get home than the Plan of Salvation. Luckily though, Brother Leitz came to the lesson with us and was super willing to help up out! He changed our tire in the freezing rain! What an awesome guy!

Wednesday, we met with a less active sister who has been away from the church for a long time. She's been so inactive that no one in the ward even knows who she is. She expressed to us a desire to come back to church and make some of those changes needed in her life to help her achieve this goal. She said that she was more than willing to meet with the bishop to help her with that! She said that when we knocked on her door, she saw that as a sign that she needed to change her life around. What a miracle!

Preparing Thanksgiving meal at Women in Crisis Center
Thursday morning we helped out at the Women in Crisis Center. We helped them make their Thanksgiving dinner. Afterwards we went to the Gampe's for our meal appointment. Following we went to Elisia Soto's and then to the Bruchez's after. We even had a little taste of black Friday shopping Thursday night. We had to run to Walmart because we were out of toilet paper. We only stood in line for about 20 minutes. Overall though, Thanksgiving was awesome and such a great day to just talk with the members and not worry about keeping our appointments to an hour. 
Helping at Women in Crisis Center

Saturday we had a wonderful miracle with Fernando! We had an appointment with him on Friday, but he rescheduled for Saturday. When we got there on Saturday, he told us that he had some great news! He was so excited to tell us, he couldn't wait for Brother Leitz. Right as we sat down he had his wife say the opening prayer. He then told us of his experience that morning how he found God. He said that he was on FB and saw a post from his brother that upset him a little. A thought popped into his head to read the chapter in the Book of Mormon that we had given him to read after our last appointment (2 Nephi 2) and so he did. He said that he cried for two hours after reading that chapter because he felt so much peace and love. He said it felt like God was giving him a hug. Fernando didn't really grow up with religion in his life, so this was huge for him to recognize God and His love for him! He talked about his experience and how good he felt for the first 20 minutes of our lesson! He is now super excited to get baptized! Sister Whitaker and I are thinking that we might move his date up from Jan. 4th to sometime in December! 

This was so neat for me because I've never had that experience with someone yet. To see that conversion process and recognize that feeling of the Holy Ghost! What a great day! :)

Overall, it was a really good week. Friday night is our ward Christmas party. I'm pretty excited for that! This weekend we get the transfer call. Rumor is that one of the set of sisters is being transferred out... We're not entirely sure, but it's highly likely right now... I really don't want to leave this area. I love it so much, but if I'm supposed to leave, then I guess I will. 

Sister Missionaries in Reading with their personalized Christmas stockings
I hope you all have a great week! Thank you so much for the love, support, and prayers! I really appreciate it! I love you all!

Sister Davis

Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013 Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey everyone!

So first off, yesterday was FREEZING!! When we came out of church it was 28 degrees. By the time we went in for the night it was 25. I'm pretty sure it got down into the teens last night. I was sooo cold. Thankfully, some members in our ward came over last night to check out our heat and put the window panes on. In the house we have these windows that crank open with just a screen behind it, plus our house is heated by oil, so downstairs the oil pipes run under the floor and heat downstairs. Upstairs, where Sister Whitaker and I sleep and study, it is a whole different story. The oil doesn't run up there; there are only these heater things at the base of the floor in each room that only a little heat comes out. Anyway, since there was only a screen behind the crank windows, we would constantly have a draft of cold wind blowing in each night. Luckily, the members that came over to help last night knew how to change the screen and put up the window pane so now there's not that much of a draft. I still froze a little bit though last night. I even slept in a hoodie, sweats, and I had a heating pad turned on. I'm going to freeze this winter....

Today we put up the Christmas tree and some lights :). I'm so excited for Christmas. I also went and got some snow boots because I believe it's supposed to snow on Wednesday. On Thanksgiving we're not supposed to proselyte so we're not really sure what we're supposed to do all day. I think it's kind of interesting that we're not proselyting because it says in the white handbook that holidays are the best days to proselyte. But we have 3 different meal appointments to go to, so I'm not too worried about missing out on all the food. This ward definitely takes care of us.

This past week we had some wonderful miracles! Tuesday we went on exchanges with the other sisters in our house. It was neat to see the other side of our ward that I don't get to see. That night Sister Whitaker and Sister Handy met with Isatu (pronounced i-saw-two) who was a member referral. They taught her the Message of the Restoration and invited her to be baptized and she said yes! They set a date for January 5th with her. She also came to church yesterday! Isatu is from Africa - I'm not really sure where, but she doesn't always understand everything we say, so the member who referred us to her explains what we teach. He's also from Africa.

Wednesday we had zone conference and it was so good! I believe that everything was truly inspired at this meeting. We talked a lot about teaching by the Spirit and also using the pamphlets to teach a ten minute lesson. The goal is to get them down to 7 minutes, but we started with ten. I definitely needed to hear everything that they talked about at zone conference. That night we had an appointment with Fernando who's wife is a member. Fernando was referred to us by a member as well (not his wife). We found out that Fernando has met with the missionaries before and that he knows the Book of Mormon is true. We also taught him the Message of the Restoration using the pamphlets this time and invited him to be baptized on January 4th, and he said yes! He also came to sacrament meeting yesterday. 

Friday we did a little bit of tracting in Reading using the pamphlets and we got a new investigator from using them! We also ran into a guy named Juan who sat next to a lady on an airplane who is LDS and gave him a Book of Mormon. He said he thought about coming to our church one time but he didn't. We invited him to come yesterday but he never showed up.

Saturday we got a lesson in with an eternal investigator, Nicole, who we can hardly ever catch at home. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and found out that she doesn't believe or understand some of the things in the plan. It was good to figure that out before she was baptized. She's set a lot of baptism dates in the past but always falls through with them. She has one for Dec. 8th right now, but I don't think she's going to make it. She's still smoking and won't come to church...

We also had a very powerful/spiritual lesson with Sheila on Saturday. We taught her the gospel and really related it to her and how she can utilize the Atonement in her life. We were also able to count her as reactivated yesterday because she's come to church for at least 2 times for 2 consecutive months now. Sheila is definitely making some great progress and it's wonderful to see that change in her. 

Well that's about it for my week. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Stay warm! I love you all! 

Sister Davis

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013 Guess what? It's 70 degrees!

Hey family!

That's right! Today it is a B-E-A-U-tiful 70 degree sunny day and I love it! This whole weekend has been so warm. I haven't even needed a jacket :). This has been such a drastic change from earlier this past week when it was 35-40 degrees with the cold wind blowing... That was not very fun. I even pulled out my winter coat on Wednesday because it was so cold. 

This week I've had some pretty tender mercies. First of all, Wednesday when I pulled out my winter coat I was sticking my gloves in my pocket and I found the little heart note stuffed in my pocket. Thanks mom. I definitely needed that that day :). 

Secondly, Thursday was kind of a rough day and our sister training leaders took both of us out for ice cream and just talked to us a little after. It was really good to talk to them. Even though they didn't do anything to change the work, just talking with someone who understood helped a lot. Also that night I came home to a package from Aunt Diane and Uncle Blair! 

Saturday was kind of an interesting day. First off it started with a tender mercy. On Saturday mornings, the Jehovah Witnesses are usually out on Schuylkill Ave. in Reading, and we had planned to see some investigators and referrals there on Saturday morning. This was not the best idea for a Saturday morning because no one answers the door because of the JW's, but we weren't thinking of that when we planned on Friday night. So, long story short, the first couple of people we tried to contact didn't answer the door, even though we could tell they were home. When we went to see someone else, I said the prayer before leaving our car and I asked Heavenly Father for us to contact someone. And guess what! He answered my prayer! David, an investigator that the elders found for us, answered the door. We talked to him for a little bit and found that he wasn't really interested... However, I wasn't discouraged because Heavenly Father had answered my prayer and I needed that tender mercy then.

The other sisters had a baptism on Saturday so we attended that and our investigator Sol was there. Right before we went to the baptism, we decided to 5x5 around the church. At the first house we went to, there was a sign on the door that said, "Please use back door for services and deliveries." Since we weren't delivering anything and we were not a service, we just assumed that we would be okay to go to the front door. Bad idea... An old grumpy man opened the door and began yelling at us. He called us a bunch of dummies and some other choice words and told us to get off of his porch. As we were leaving I was choking back tears and some angry thoughts, but I told myself that Jesus loves him and that I should love him too. I got over that quickly and I didn't really have any hard feelings towards him. It was amazing. However, Sister Whitaker didn't take it very well so we just walked back to the church and went to the baptism instead.

Stake conference was really good. President and Sister Anderson talked at both the adult session and just the regular session. The theme was hastening the work and members and missionaries working together. I am so grateful that people in this area listen to the Spirit! We've had two referrals given to us since yesterday and we had a member come with us to an appointment last night! I really hope that the members will keep this up!

That's about it for my week. I hope you are all doing well and I hope you have an awesome week!

Service Day - Raking fall leaves

Sister Davis

P.S.  We also went leaf raking on Thursday as a finding effort. We didn't find anyone, but it felt great to be able to serve some people :) 

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

Hey family!

It sounds like you are doing well and having fun. Time is flying by so fast! Can you believe that I'll be out 5 months on Tuesday? Crazy! And by the end of this transfer I'll be almost to my 6 month mark! 

This coming weekend we have Stake Conference. And guess where we're going to have it? We're having it in Muhlenburg High School. I think this is kinda interesting since the building I attend is our stake center. (Muhlenburg High School is just a couple of blocks away from the church.) I also think it kind of interesting having it in a high school.  

This past week was kind of a long week, but somehow we had really good key indicator numbers. (I actually really dislike key indicators even though I know they help keep things organized. To me, sometimes we become more focused on numbers than we do people; especially with lesson numbers.) Sometimes our hardest weeks seem to be our best. It also doesn't help that I ended this week with a head/sinus cold...  Not fun at all. Especially with it being super cold outside now, too!

Sister twins! This is what happens when you live
 with someone 24/7 - you start dressing alike!

This week we were able to see Mocha 3 times! We saw him on our usual Monday night and we invited him to institute on Wednesday night. (The Young Single Adult branch has Institute at the Kohrman's house who live in our ward.) He said he would come to Institute if he could get a ride because he doesn't have a car. Amazingly we found him a ride with one of the guys in the YSA branch and they seemed to get along pretty well. As we got into the lesson, Mocha participated a lot and had some awesome insights on 2 Nephi 4. He definitely is beginning to understand that Book of Mormon! He said that he liked institute and that if he could get a ride next week he would come again. The third time we saw him was on Friday night. We asked him some of the baptismal interview questions that night just so we could get a feel for where he was at and if he was stuck anywhere. We found out that he's a little stuck on Joseph Smith, so we explained a little and gave him 2 Nephi 3 to read. We're going to meet with him again tonight so we'll follow up with that. He also told us on Friday night that he received an answer that he needs to be baptized! He's not sure when, but he thinks not for a while. But, he still received an answer!! Also, we found on that he's moving this weekend to the other ward...  He says he'll live with Elisia on the weekends and Monday nights so we can still teach him and go to church with Elisia. We're not entirely sure how this is all going to work out, but for now we're still going to teach him. Unfortunately, he didn't make it to church yesterday. He said he had practice for America's Got Talent. (Watch for Mocha when it comes on again.)

We also didn't get to meet with Joe and Joyce this week because Joyce fell down the stairs and hurt her foot. We've had a lot of appointments fall through this week, so we've had to think on toes A LOT this week. 

Like I said, it was a long week. Not too much to report this week. Sheila did make it to church yesterday, though, and her daughter came too! Sheila is still making great progress and she said the she would like to go to the temple soon. :)

I hope you are all doing well! I love you all. Thank you so much for all that you do!

Sister Davis

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 4, 2013 Lots of Change!

Hey everyone!

So, this past week, we've had a lot of change. To start off the leaves had a dramatic change around here and the colors are sooo pretty! Secondly, we found out on Wednesday that by December every missionary in this mission will have an iPad and every companionship will have an iPhone! We'll use Skype and Facetime on our iPads for proselyting purposes. We can also use our iPads to Skype home for Christmas! We'll also have all of our paperwork stuff on our iPads--like our area books, progress records, planners, etc.--which is so awesome! I cannot wait I'm so excited! And especially to be part of this big change. Oh, and President Anderson also said that we will be the first mission in the Northeast to have these iPads and iPhones. Cool, cool!

Fall Leaves in Pennsylvania

Wednesday night was our ward's trunk-or-treat. It was fun to be able to see all of the little kids in their Halloween costumes and the little games they had. They even had a haunted house in the "basement" of our church. (They added on to this building and built classrooms in the basement.) It was even awesome to see some of the less actives at this activity!

Thursday for Halloween we had to be in at 6 pm. Since we live in a house we decided that we should pass out candy taped to mormon.org pass along cards. It was fun. We also just had a "girls" night which was so fun and very needed.

Friday we went on exchanges with our sister training leaders. I stayed in our area and Sister Whitaker went to their area. Sister Argueta came up here with me and we had a great time. Sister Argueta is originally from Guatemala, but she moved to California when she was eight. So, she speaks Spanish which is so helpful in this area! I took Sister Argueta down to Reading for the day and she loved it! She spoke to about three people in Spanish and it was awesome! I definitely need to learn Spanish. 

Sister Davis and Sister Whitaker at the Pagoda overlooking Reading

Saturday we switched back and then Sister Whitaker and I went to Bernville to visit Joe and Joyce. Joe and Joyce are an older couple who were introduced to us by a member in our ward. Joe and Joyce have a very strong belief in Christ and I believe are Baptist. They even have a cousin who is Mormon, so they know a little about the Mormons. (I think the member who introduced us has told Joe a little about the Mormons as well.) They are such a cute friendly couple and they even bought us a cake. We started to teach the Message of the Restoration with them. Eventually we got to explaining the Book of Mormon and invited Joyce to read it. She said she would and we left a copy for Joe. (Joe was taking a little nap.) Before we left, we invited them to come to church on Sunday and they said they would. They are so cute, and the entire time we were teaching them I could see them as cute little temple workers.

Yesterday, guess who came to church! Yup, you guessed it! Joe and Joyce did as well as Mocha! Before sacrament meeting started, Joyce told us that she flipped open to a place in the Book of Mormon (I believe it's Moroni 8) where it talks about infant baptism. She agreed with the entire thing! She also said that she wanted us to come back again on Thursday and she wants to take us out to eat. Love her!

Unfortunately, Mocha will not be getting baptized next week. He's having a hard time understanding the Book of Mormon and he says that he hasn't received an answer to be baptized yet. We're working with him though :).

We weren't able to see Nicole this week and I tried to message her on Facebook but she never responded. We did catch Diana though this week and she seems to be doing well. She had the SAT yesterday so she was focused more on studying for that this week than the Book of Mormon. She said she would start reading again. 

Sounds like everything is going well back home. There hasn't been snow here yet, but I think it may be on its way soon! It is super cold today. Hope you are all doing well! Love you all so very much! Thank you for all you do!

Sister Davis :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013 BAPTISM!!!

Hey family!

Yup, you read that right: David (my investigator from Doylestown) got baptized yesterday, and I got to attend. It was so awesome to be able to go back for his baptism and he seemed very happy :). 

I'm not sure exactly how he decided he needed to be baptized, but I guess he kept thinking about it more and more and then he finally told his wife that he wanted to be baptized. His wife said that she was fine with it, if that's what he wanted to do. So, I guess he told someone in the ward or someone in the ward invited him to be baptized. I'm not entirely sure what the story is there, but it doesn't really matter to me. What matters to me is that after seven years of investigating the church, David finally got baptized and is on the path to eternal life and the celestial kingdom! 
Sister Davis and Sister Jensen return to Doylestown for David's baptism

It was such a blessing and a miracle that I was even able to go. First of all I didn't even find out until Friday when I was on Facebook that Sister Whitaker pointed out a post from one of the elders in my previous district. As soon as I found out David was getting baptized, I immediately called President Anderson and asked for permission to go. He gave me permission to go, but I needed to find a member to take me because mission cars aren't supposed to leave the area unless it's for transfers, zone things, or some other important mission related thing. I was a little nervous to ask someone just because that's my personality--I don't like asking people to go out of their way to do things like that for me. Plus, we would have to leave church half an hour early to get there in time. So I worked up the courage to ask Sister Pogue, and luckily she loves us enough that she was willing to take Sister Whitaker and me to Doylestown yesterday. I love Sister Pogue! 

What a blessing and miracle-filled day it was yesterday. Best day ever!

Saturday was another miracle day... especially after a long week of not being to find people at home... Saturday we caught Nicole and Diana (investigators) at home and taught both of them a lesson! This was amazing because Nicole is always busy doing something and Diana has been super busy, too For awhile her Facebook account was deactivated, so we had no way to contact her. So many tender mercies! 

Monday night we went to Elisia's house for dinner and to teach Mocha. When we got there Elisia asked if we eat salmon. Instantly my stomach dropped and I thought it was going to be a long meal, but I liked the fish taco I had in Doylestown, so I decided to try the salmon. (Funny thing, people out here add the "L" in salmon.) However, this fish tasted like fish and I didn't really like it. Don't worry though, I was polite and I ate it all. 

I've also decided this week that I really should have learned Spanish. More than half of Reading is Latino and only speak Spanish which is kind of difficult sometimes... I've also been inspired to learn ASL though. Sister Pogue is taking an ASL class from RACC and it looks so cool.

As for transfers, everyone except my district leader, Elder Stannard, is staying. 

Reading District missionaries

Mom, your talk was so good! I loved that you talked about member missionary work! It is soooo true though! We cannot do much without the members.

It has been so cold this past week! I'm not ready for winter yet!

That's it for my week. Hope you're all doing well! Love you all so very much! :)

Sister Davis

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013 What a Week!

Hey family!

So I'm emailing earlier than usual this week due to zone unity day, so I haven't received any emails yet. But anyway, this week was awesome! To start off, we got three new investigators this week! One came from a referral that the Spanish elders gave us, and the other two are the kids of a less active person in our ward.

Diana, our first new investigator, is a 17-year old high school senior who enjoys learning about religion and wanted to learn more about ours. So, we contacted her on Monday and we set up an appointment for Wednesday. Wednesday we had an awesome lesson with her about the Message of the Restoration. She seemed to take it all in very well and didn't have any questions when we asked. She said she would read the Book of Mormon and start saying her prayers every night. To conclude the lesson, we asked her to pray. She was really nervous at first and didn't know exactly how to. Sister Whitaker asked if she could say a prayer to show her how. Diana agreed and then said a prayer after Sister Whitaker said hers. Diana's prayer was so good! It was amazing to see her faith and willingness to say a prayer when she was so nervous to at first.

Sister Whitaker found her on Facebook the other day and asked how her Book of Mormon reading is going. Diana told her that she was reading some as she was talking with her and that she really liked it and that it was starting to open up her mind to the Savior's life. She also said she would try to come to church on Sunday if her parents would let her. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to make it on Sunday. And the other sad part is that we're not sure when we're going to see her again because she said she was really busy for like the next two months... Luckily though, Sister Whitaker found her on Facebook, so we'll try to stay in contact with her through that.

Our two other new investigators are Rosie and Sammy (12 & 10). They want to be baptized. We taught them on Wednesday as well. We're going to teach them again this coming Wednesday. They unfortunately couldn't come to church on Sunday either because they don't have a car or any other form of transportation to get them to the church... Our ward just needs a big van or a bus to pick up all of the members in Reading.

Mocha (one of our investigators who has a baptism date) came to church on Sunday, though! He said he really liked Sacrament meeting (until the high councilmen spoke). He also liked Sunday School, but for some reason he didn't like priesthood. We weren't able to talk to him after church, but we're meeting with him tonight so we'll ask him. Jacquie, a less active that we met with this week, also came to church. Jacquie is an interesting person with a lot of problems, but she's great and I just love her :). 

Friday we contacted a headquarters referral up in Shoemakersville. (There are some interesting town names out here.) He requested a Bible, but we decided that we were going to give him a Book of Mormon and a Bible. We told him a little bit about the Book of Mormon and he said that it sounded really interesting and that he would like to read it. We asked him if we could teach him more another time because he was sick and he agreed.

Miracles keep happening in this area, and I love it!

Saturday night the ward had an activity. This activity was a hay ride out at the Hassler's house way out in the boonies. We were very thankful that Sister Pogue was willing to drive us so we didn't have to use our miles. The activity was fun until it rained.... And then we decided to go home. 

Other than that, that's about it for my week. Fall weather is definitely here and I'm starting to get nervous for the winter weather... 

Well, I hope you are all doing well and loving life. Love you all! 

Sister Davis :)

October 15, 2013 Rain, Rain Go Away

Hey family!

So this past week it rained a total of 8 inches in two days! There was so much rain and it seemed like it would never end. Needless to say, I'm thankful for mom's raincoat, an umbrella, and a car. Oh and I'm e-mailing on Tuesday because of Columbus Day yesterday (there wasn't any school so families were supposed to be home together). 

Not a lot happened this past week. We've been doing A LOT of less active work and updating the records on the ward list. We worked down in Reading mostly the entire week. There are about 20-30 less actives or unknowns in our area of Reading, and so we decided to go try to locate these members and try to help reactivate them. 

From doing this, we found two less actives that wanted to come back to church and about 10 that had moved. So, hopefully the ward clerk appreciated all of our updating.

One of these less active members was Rosemary. We had a very spiritual lesson with her about the Atonement and relying on Christ. She really wants to come back to church and she knows that that's what she needs in her life right now. However, she doesn't have any transportation and her husband (who is a member) isn't very supportive of the church and sometimes won't allow her to go. She told us she would be at church on Sunday, but she never showed up. We have an appointment with her tomorrow, so hopefully we'll be able to figure out what happened.

The other less active was a cute old black man from Philly named Augustus. He lives on his own now and he loves the church. He said that he hadn't been to church for a while because he's be sick, but he came on Sunday! We visited him last night and he told us that he really appreciated us stopping by and getting him to come to church. He said that he felt peaceful and comforted at church and that he's missed feeling that. He said he would come again this Sunday. Hopefully he does! 

Sheila came to church again this week! She is definitely progressing and beginning to see changes and blessings in her life; especially with a new job offer. It is so awesome to see this change in her! I hope we can continue to help her rebuild her faith and strength in the gospel.

This past week the elders passed off an investigator to us. His name is Mocha. We taught him two lessons last week--the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ--and invited him to be baptized on Nov. 10th. He said yes if he received an answer after praying about it! 

Other than that, that's about it for my week. Miracles are happening in this area, even if it is with less actives! I am a firm believer that the Lord needs to trust this ward with the members in it first before he can trust this ward with new members. So, that's what we're doing! We're working with the less actives, but still also trying to find new people to teach. 

Love you!

Sister Davis

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013 What a Great Week!

Hey family!

So this past week was great! Especially with Conference! Wasn't that so good?! I loved it! And I loved that I watched all of it for once... No falling asleep or having to work and missing it. 

Sister Davis and Sister Whitaker enjoying Rita's water ice

First off, I want to wish mom a Happy Birthday on Saturday! I hope you have a great day! And thank you so much for the package! I received it on Thursday and I made the muffins yesterday morning for breakfast! I loved everything in it and thank you for sending my sweats! 

So, to start off, this week we met with President Anderson on Tuesday for interviews. They were short, but we found out that Sister Whitaker and I would be getting a car! So, that meant no more having to share a car :). Wednesday night the Assistants brought us our brand new car! A 2014 Chevy Cruze! I feel a lot of trust and pressure driving around that brand new car. I actually haven't been able to drive it yet, but you get my point. 

Thursday we had zone training, and afterwards we sat down as a district and set new area boundary lines for each of us just because our previous boundaries weren't working out very well. Now our area goes down more into the city of Reading and I love it! I don't know why I love working down in Reading. I should probably be more scared because of the crime rates (I guess they're worse than Philly), but I'm really not. Maybe it's just the feeling of being in the city, or maybe it's because people tend to be more humble because they struggle more financially . I don't know, but I'm excited to be able to work more there.

Reading Railroad (think Monopoly) Station in Temple, PA

Another exciting thing that happened this week was Shelia (less active) came to Conference! She seemed to enjoy it, and she was even taking notes! We also picked up an investigator this week. Her name is Nicole and she's been investigating for about 5 years I believe. The elders passed her off to us since she's now in our area in Reading. She set a baptismal date for December 8th when we met her. The only thing that's holding her back from being baptized is smoking... Hopefully we'll be able to keep her committed to that date!

Tomorrow night all of us sisters are going to learn how to knit!  We went to volunteer at a club this past week called the Nice Knitters who donate all of their work to various places in Reading. Since none of us know how to knit, we're going to learn tomorrow night when they have classes. So, that's fun.

Tonight Sister Whitaker and I are going over to a recent convert's for dinner. Elisia (recent convert) is really cool, very strong in the gospel, and is an awesome missionary! She invites everyone to her house when the missionaries come over! She's also a bouncer or was one. I'm not entirely sure what her conversion story is, but I'm sure it's really cool!

We haven't been able to meet with Estevon again this week and we haven't heard from him much either. Apparently he deactivated his Facebook account and he hasn't texted us back... Oh I might be getting a Facebook either this week or next! I'm pretty excited. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Missionaries with Facebook pages cannot "friend" family and friends from home but you will be able to view her page when she has completed her training.)

We email at the family history center in the church building, so we'll probably still email next Monday. It sounds like you've all had a good week and weekend! I hope you're all doing well! 

I love you all!

Sister Davis