Monday, July 29, 2013

July 1, 2013

Hey Fam!!

How are you? I'm doing great and loving PA! Yes, I have been assigned to the Doylestown area and I love it! It's a tourist town apparently, so there are a lot of cute little shops in the center of town. I guess where I'm living is considered the Borough of Doylestown. I'm not exactly sure what that means. Anyway, my area covers other little towns too (Warrington, Dublin, Chalfont, Furlong, Warrick, etc.) that are very close by but not close enough for walking, so I mainly drive all the time which is nice :) hehe. The humidity isn't as bad as I was expecting. I hear that it is supposed to get worse though... 

My comp., Sister Jensen, is from Ucon, ID. She has been out for three months so she just finished her twelve week training. She's 20 like me and will be 21 in September. She is a wonderful comp. though and I just love her. She is very kind and caring especially for my well being. 

Sister Davis with companion Sister Jensen

There is only one church building that covers my area and two wards. Sister Jensen and I cover the Doylestown ward and the Elders cover the Souderton ward. I believe that Souderton is another area, but the Elders that cover that area are part of district. There are also Spanish Elders in my district, and I'm not really sure which ward they cover if they do. Basically, the Spanish Elders can go anywhere in our zone area I believe. 

The ward members are nice. I've only had one dinner appointment so far and Sister Forsyth took us out to eat because she's trying to sell her home. We have a dinner appointment for tonight though. Sister Jensen says that we usually have quite a few dinner appointments.

Guess what?! I've seen fireflies every night! They are so cool!

Sister Davis with Sister and President Anderson

So about the mish so far... On the second flight (after our layover in Detroit), I got pretty sick. It was a smaller plane and it was quite turbulent on the way. And yes, you guessed it... I threw up.  Anyway, that was gross and I just felt wonderful walking off the plane to meet my mission president. 

New "Golden" Missionaries in Philadelphia 6/25/2013 with
President and Sister Schaefermeyer
After we were all gathered together, we drove to the mission home had cheese steaks for dinner. Then we talked about the mish and our plans for the next day. Then we went to bed. (there were like 30 goldens for this transfer. Yes, the greenies are referred to as goldens here in PA.) The next day, we went to the mission office just down the road and had a mission-wide study/conference call. Then they took us into Philly and we did some street contacting while my mission president did some interviews. Okay, I'm not gonna lie, I was very nervous to go do this and I was very grateful that I had my comp. Sister Howard with me. The first guy we came in contact with was kinda crazy haha. He had a strong belief in Christ, but he didn't agree with Joseph Smith. He talked with us for about 45 minutes and then we went to lunch. After lunch we did some more street contacting, had my interview, and then we drove back to the mission office (which is in a church building) for dinner. After dinner I got my new comp. Sister Jensen  took me up to Doylestown, PA which is a smaller town about an hour north of Philly. It is very green here and so beautiful. The houses here are like my dream houses and they're bigger than the ones in Philly. I have always loved these colonial style homes and since it's a smaller town it feels like home here :)

Okay, so my first night in Doylestown, I actually got to unpack. We didn't get to our apartment until after 8, so my comp. was so nice and let me unpack. Thursday, we had district meeting and then we tried to contact some potentials and visit less actives, but we didn't come in contact with any of them. That night, we went to Sister Zander's house and read the Sunday School lesson with her. Sister Zander is a recent convert of about two years and she just turned 73. She is such a sweet lady and I just love her. Friday, we tried to contact more potentials or less actives and didn't come in contact with them either. (Because everyone here works during the day, it's really hard to find people during the day.) So, we eventually ended up street contacting. That night we met with Barbie who is a progressing investigator and committed her to baptism! :) She hasn''t committed to a date yet, but we'll keep working with her. 

Saturday, we helped a family in our ward move into their new house. Because there is only one D-town ward, the members could move anywhere in my area and still be apart of that ward. After we finished helping this family move, we went down to Philly to meet our new mission president, President Anderson. Afterwards, we went to a very sketchy part of town to get some cheese steaks. I'm not gonna lie, I was kinda scared walking through there ha. But the cheese steaks were really good, so that's a plus :) haha. That night we decided to go visit Robbyn. The sisters before me ran into her while trying to find Barbie. So we visited with her and asked if we could come over to visit with her on Sunday. She agreed and we also invited her to pray. She accepted the invitation. Robbyn grew up in a broken home and didn't have religion until she was 26. She now has a strong belief in Christ and is one of the most Christlike people I know that isn't of our faith! She is a single mom raising two daughters. Works multiple jobs and only gets to see her girls at certain periods of time. She lives in Philly, but works at a boys home here in D-town where Barbie works/lives. (She also works at another boys home but I'm not sure where.) Anyway, she has just inspired me and I just love her. I want to help her so bad.

So Sunday, after church (which is at 9 so I have ward council at 7:30) we went to visit Robbyn. We sang a hymn with her, prayed, and visited for almost 2 hours! We followed up with her prayer commitment and she prayed Saturday night but not that morning. However, she decided to sleep on the couch that night and found a B.O.M that we gave Barbie behind some pillows. She opened it up and started to read the intro., some of the testimonies of the witnesses, and the actual book of Mormon. She was curious about what this book was and so we told her about the First Vision and how the B.O.M. came forth. We invited her to read it and she accepted! We're going to meet with her again in two weeks when she'll be working again.

After Robbyn, we tried to contact some potentials and less actives. Once again, we didn't come in contact with them, but we did find a new investigator. We went to a retirement home and the security guard called us over. He was curious about what we were doing and what religion we belonged to. He has researched all the religions except ours because of the bad things he's heard about us. He was very interested in finding out about ours though and so we gave him a card and told him about We also gave him a B.O.M. and he wanted to read it. We also invited him to pray before reading and he accepted! He wants to meet with us again when he works! He was such a miracle and an answer to our prayers yesterday! 

Sister Jensen told me last night that with her previous comp. the work here in this area was slow. So, I guess with me here the work is starting to pick up. I'm not doing a lot of teaching because I'm still shy ha, but I'm starting to come out of my shell. I'm trying okay! :P Sister Jensen also said that there hasn't been a baptism in this ward for over a year, so we will try really hard to keep Barbie committed. 

I'm loving my mission so far and the Lord is definitely answering my prayers :). I don't think I've ever prayed so hard in my life as I have been here in the field. I truly love these people and I want to help them come to find the happiness that the gospel brings. I'm starting to see why Heavenly Father called me to serve this mission and in this area :). I love you all so very much. I keep you in my prayers. I hope you have a wonderful week! 

Sister Davis

July 8, 2013

My Family!!

I am so glad to hear from you this week! It's been a little bit of a tough week, and I'm so glad to be able to hear from you. I didn't do a lot for the 4th. We woke up and did our regular routine: exercise, get ready for the day, breakfast, personal and comp study. Then we had district meeting at 10:30. We actually spent a good portion of our day in this meeting because our zone leaders came and did sisters accountability with us afterwards. (Sisters accountability is just making sure we're doing what we're supposed to be doing.) We were there until about 2:00. Afterwards, we went back to our apartment and had lunch and then we went to go visit Marla. Marla isn't really an investigator, but she has allowed the sister missionaries to come over and visit for a while now. She is Jewish but not really practicing. She'll still celebrate the holidays, but not really anything other than that. She's open to hearing about other religions, but she has a hard time accepting God because of her childhood. Marla grew up in a state of poverty with a mother who was never wrong. By the time she was 8, Marla was cooking and cleaning. Marla also witnessed an arsonist burn down her best friend's apartment building with her best friend and her family in it. Marla recognizes that we could have these trials to make us stronger, but she can't believe that God would allow them to happen.

Anyway, Marla wasn't working for the day because it was the fourth and so she was going to do some yard work. We went over in our service clothes to help her out, but she refused to let us help her. She says that we work hard all day long and that we don't need to do anymore work like that. So, we just visited instead and gave her a Restoration pamphlet. She said she would read it, so maybe hopefully something in there will spark her attention. After this, we went to visit Casey who is a less active. Sister Jensen believes that she has a mental problem and so when Casey was baptized, she wasn't really sure what she was doing I guess. I bought a children's B.O.M. story book in the MTC so I could read that to help me understand the stories in the B.O.M. better. Casey is also reading that book, so Sister Jensen thought it would be an excellent idea to read that with her. So, we did and she said we could come back next week to do it again. 

Most of our ward is on vacation right now which doesn't help when we need ward members to fellowship or come to lessons. It was a little tough for me last week because I'm getting frustrated with myself.  I'm still terrified to talk to people I don't know. Basically I just listen and say a couple of words when we talk with people. I'm trying to apply what I've learned in the MTC about just listening to people and then the Spirit will tell me what to say. Apparently I have not mastered this yet, because I still don't know what to say to people to tie our conversation back to the gospel and apply it to their lives.  

This morning in my personal study, I was studying the Christlike attribute of patience. One of the activities it listed was to read about the sons of Mosiah. One of the scriptures it listed was Alma 26:27. This scripture was an answer to my prayers and definitely a pick-me-up scripture that I needed to read. 

Well, I hope all of you are doing well. I can't wait to hear from you next week! Love you!!!


Sister Davis

July 15, 2013

My Family!!

Oh how I love you all so much! Mom and dad, Happy Anniversary!!  I got the package you sent today and I love it so much. Thank you! You know, yesterday for a treat in Relief Society, our teacher made fudge and I was thinking how I wanted more. Thank you for the fudge! And for everything else.

Mom, to answer your questions, we do laundry in the basement of our apartment. We go to a different building in our complex because there are two washers and dryers rather than just one like in our building. Plus, it smells a little better in the other building's basement than ours (ours flooded a little over a week ago).   

For P-days we start off the day like we normally would--exercise, get ready, breakfast, then personal study and companion study an hour each. Ten is when P-day officially begins so we usually go grocery shopping then and then we clean our car. Then we'll go back to our apartment do laundry and clean and of course have lunch. Then we'll come to the library and email and afterwards we'll go back to our apartment and either write letters or do whatever until six. That's when P-day ends. So, we'll go out and find people/visit people until nine.

Sister Jensen is really nice and caring. Sister Jensen is very knowledgeable of the Book of Mormon which is very helpful because that is somewhere I lack, but I'm working on it :). She is a talker too. Like I've told you, she mainly talks/teaches the lessons and I put my two cents in every once in a while. This is another area where I am weak, but I'm trying to work on it. She has a hard time trusting that she's being guided by the Spirit, but I can definitely tell that she is. I told her this and that she just needs to trust that. 

This week has been a roller coaster week. Tuesday morning I had a complete melt down. So, Sister Jensen called our district leaders and asked if they could give us a blessing. They did and then my day started to get better. The rest of the week was okay. We tried contacting people, but people were either not home or just not interested. Friday we were supposed to meet with Barbie (she was the one who said yes to baptism my first week here) but she never got back with us. We didn't meet with her last week either. We were supposed to meet with Robbyn (I believe I told you about her. She works at the same boys home that Barbie does.) on Sunday (yesterday) and so we texted and called her and didn't hear back from her until the night before. She sent us a text saying that Barbie was uncomfortable with us coming over to her house and that she still wanted to meet with us, but since we were meeting at Barbie's house, she didn't want to overstep her boundaries. She also said that if we were just coming over to convert her, she was happy with her own religion.  We were a little disappointed with that, especially Sister Jensen. I really wasn't worried that much about it. I knew that Heavenly Father would help out with this, but this was just a trial that we needed to work through to help us grow. Luckily though, Barbie let us come over to visit with Robbyn yesterday and we talked with her for a while and cleared up some things. Robbyn wasn't scared off by us, I guess it was just Barbie. Barbie did text us last night though saying that we could come over on Friday. :)

Also Saturday night, we saw Emilio (the security guard at the retirement home). Did I tell you about him? I honestly don't remember who I've told you about and who I haven't. If I didn't tell you about him, remind me next week. He is as golden as golden gets for investigators, meaning he is so prepared and ready for baptism. So, we talked with him for a little bit, followed up with his B.O.M reading, and set up a time to meet with him on Sunday (yesterday). I invited him to read 2 Nephi 31 to answer his question as to what he needs to do next, or what God wants him to do next. So, we met with him on Sunday after church. He had read this chapter and loved it because it was straight forward and didn't beat around the bush at all. We started off teaching him the message of the restoration, but he told us that he already knew that God loved him and how this could help his family. So, I thought that maybe the plan of salvation would be beneficial, so we started with that route, but ended up at baptism and the proper priesthood authority. Emilio was raised Catholic, so he was baptized as a baby, but he totally disagreed with that. He asked though if this baptism was valid and that's how we got into the proper priesthood authority. I was scared at first because I didn't know how to answer this question without saying "no it's not valid" if you know what I mean... But luckily, Heavenly Father has prepared him so much that he understood what we were talking about, I think, and just wanted to do what God wanted him to do. So, if God wanted him to be baptized again, he said he would do it!! The only problem he is concerned about is his wife and family. Hopefully Heavenly Father will soften their hearts! We invited him to come to church on Sunday. We were a little hesitant to ask him to come with us to church because he lives in the Poconos which is 70 miles from Doylestown. We weren't sure where a church would be up there, so we still invited him to come with us. He said if God wants him to, then he would drive all that way to come to church at our building! He still needed to think and talk it over with his wife though, but hopefully he comes! He is so totally prepared and he is also feeling the Spirit while we're meeting with him!  He says he always feels good after talking with us and that he could talk with us for hours. Another thing that is pretty cool is that he says that he has trust issues, but that he feels comfortable with us and that he trusts us. :) Oh Heavenly Father is amazing!

David is another one of our investigators who has been an investigator for a very long time. Friday night he went to the Hill Cumorah Pageant in NY! He drove 6 hours just to see this! We were so happy when he called us to tell us that he was up there. Last Tuesday, I invited David to be baptized, which was probably like the sixth time he's been invited. He wants to be baptized, but his wife is the problem... We'll keep praying for them though. 

Sister Davis :) 

July 22, 2013

Hello my family!

How was your week back in Utah? Hopefully a lot cooler than mine was... It was about high 90's every single day here with I think about 70-80% humidity! It was miserable!! I could definitely tell a difference this past week. Even the people that normally live here said it was unusually hot this past week. Yesterday and today it has rained which I am so thankful for! The amazing thing here when it rains it pours! Water is just running down the streets. I believe that is what a flash flood would be like. 

The Lord's work is really hastening and it's amazing! Yesterday, a less active sister that Sister Jensen and I have been visiting with about once every week and reading the Book of Mormon with came to church! Her name is Sister Bailey and she's seventy something. She's a retired Marine and has been widowed for a few years now. Sister Jensen says that she hasn't been to church for a while because church reminds her of her husband and it's hard for her to go. So, it was so wonderful to see her at church yesterday! She's also going to help us make bread, and guess what? She mixes her dough by hand!

This week was just another "normal" week--teach investigators, try to contact potentials, and find new people to teach.  However, I have been really working on just loving my comp. and it has worked! Wednesday we went down to Philly to have Golden Retraining. This is where all the new missionaries and their trainers meet with President Anderson and the assistants just to kind of check up and see how we're doing. It was kind of like a zone conference. Thursday we had district meeting and then we went out as a district for lunch. Wednesday night we had a dinner appointment at the Pagatto's home. (Yes, they're Italian) We had steak, potatoes, and corn on the cob! It was sooo good! :) Oh and I keep forgetting to tell you, but for every dinner appointment I've had so far we have not had sea food or cheese cake! I'm loving it here in Doylestown :) hehe

Yesterday we met with Barbie. I think I told you about her last week and how she said she was uncomfortable with us coming over. Well, she let us come over to visit with her yesterday. She still seemed a little uncomfortable, but once we started talking she warmed up a little more. Hopefully we'll be able to keep her and not scare her off again. She has the cutest baby though! He is 17 months old and so adorable. :)

You want to know something else that's pretty cool? Well, Elder Causse in the General Presiding Bishopric or maybe the 70, (I can't remember which one) his son, Elder Causse, is my zone leader! How cool is that? Oh and yes he's from Paris!

Talking with people is slowing coming. Sister Jensen says I'm doing awesome, but I don't know about that. I still can't talk to new people I meet, but being able to talk with our investigators is starting to become easier :). I just need to keep being patient and it will come. This week we have exchanges and I'm a little nervous for them just because I'm going to be with a new comp. and I don't know exactly how she teaches and if she's a talker. This is going to be interesting, but I'm sure a great experience. 

I hope all is well for you back home! I love you very much! Have an awesome week!

Sister Davis :)

July 29, 2013

Hello my family!

Saturday, Sister Jensen and I learned how to make bread and pulled out grape vines for Sister Bailey who is a less active. Sister Bailey is super talented and such a sweet elderly lady. Yesterday after church we had a linger longer and that was fun. Afterwards we taught the mission prep class for our ward. We taught the Plan of Salvation. Instead of teaching the doctrine, we asked the youth what they wanted to learn about this. They said they wanted to learn how to teach it, so we went that route. We hoped they got something out of it because they all looked bored... But maybe it's just that age group haha. We also met with Emilio yesterday and he is doing wonderful still. He told us that he needs more time before he is baptized, but he is still progressing and hasn't found anything that contradicts his beliefs or that he finds not true about our faith. He also told us that he told his wife about investigating the church and that he wanted to attend a Mormon church sometime. Surprisingly, his wife was okay with that. She told him that if that's what he wanted to do then she was okay with that! Oh my goodness! The Lord really does answer prayers! We're going to be able to meet with him again this coming weekend because he picked up another shift for someone else! Maybe he'll be able to commit to a baptismal date this time!

This week we didn't get to meet with Robbyn or Barbie. Barbie cancelled on us and Robbyn never returned our phone calls or texts... We also didn't meet with Tim and Janice yesterday because they cancelled. (Did I tell you about Tim and Janice?) We did however get to meet with David this week like we always do! David came to church yesterday, like he has every single week since I've been here, and he seemed to be very happy. His wife was in the hospital about two weeks ago. Last week when we met with him we asked if she would like a priesthood blessing. Because David's wife is not open to the idea of Christianity he was hesitant to ask her. However, when he asked her she said yes! But, she thought that Sister Jensen and I would give the blessing. When David told her that men would be giving her the blessing she didn't like that idea and said no. But at least she was open to having a priesthood blessing at first, right? Heavenly Father is starting to soften her heart :).

So guess what! You are not going to believe this! So on Saturday we had a dinner appointment at the relief society president's house. She made fish tacos and I actually liked them! Crazy huh?! It was tilapia and it didn't even taste like fish. When she first said we were having fish tacos my stomach dropped and I looked to make sure I had enough water haha. But, they were really good so I didn't even have to worry about it :P. Maybe my taste buds will change...

Other than that, there wasn't anything else too exciting this past week. We had six dinner or lunch appointments this past week which was awesome! This week is girls camp and scout camp, so I think we may have two dinner appointments, if that.

Guess what! I get to go to Philly this week for exchanges and I'm riding the train down! :D I am excited and very nervous at the same time. I guess the sisters that are down in Philly do go into the ghetto sometimes and not everyone is always nice in Philly like they are here in Doylestown, so I'm nervous about that. But I am excited to be able to be down in Philly! :) This past week I was on an exchange as well with Sister Meeks the sister training leader. You want to know something funny/kinda cool? She knows Josh and Kelsie haha. She went to Snow the year before I went and Josh and Kelsie were in her institute class. Sister Meeks was awesome though! I learned so much from her.  

Josh, do you remember her? Her first name is Brandi and she said she was in your courtship and marriage institute class.

Well, I hope you are all doing well and that you have a wonderful week! Thank you for all that you do! Love you all very much!

Sister Davis