Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013 Where Has the Summer Gone?

Hey family!
How is everyone? I cannot believe that it is almost September! Where has the time/summer gone? Soon I'll hit my three month mark!
On Tuesday we met with David. I invited him to pray and ask Heavenly Father for a date to be baptized. Surprisingly, David said he would without making any excuses. We received a call from him on Wednesday saying that he wanted to call things off for a while, but he still wants to keep in contact. He told us that there have been some things that have been bothering him for about a month that he's put on the back burner, but now they've come up again. We're not really sure what these things are, but we're hoping that we can sit down and just talk with him about it one day and maybe just talk as friends.
Sebastian and Ava are progressing and doing great--still super excited to be baptized. Sebastian came to church yesterday, but Ava was at her dad's this weekend, so she was unable to come. Brother Luce (their grandpa) said she was upset that she couldn't come, though. We're going to try to set a baptismal date with them for September 21st, just to give us time to teach all of the lessons and to get permission from their dad. 

Also this week we met with Dan at the Prince's home. I think I told you a little bit about him and when we met with him last week, right? Well, anyway, Dan is a really cool guy that is interested in religion and interested to see what we believe. Last week when we met with him, we asked him to write down some questions that he has. This week he asked us how we deal with crisis. Sister Jensen pulled out the gospel nails to explain how we do this. (The gospel nails is an object lesson showing how we can put all of our trials on Jesus Christ. There is a nail mounted in a bottle cap and there are six other nails. The one mounted nail represents Jesus Christ and the other six represent trials. The goal is to put all six nails on top of the one mounted without touching the table or the bottle cap. Those six nails then turn into "tools" that consist of the Atonement, faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.) So by showing Dan the gospel nails we were able to explain that we can put our trials onto Christ by utilizing the Atonement in our life. He said he liked that and agreed with everything we said. We went over and saw him last night and he said we could meet with him again sometime this week!
Thursday I had my first real experience with tracting. Our plans didn't quite take up all of the time that we had before we needed to be to our dinner appointment, so we ended up tracting. At the first house we went to, an Italian guy named Vinni opened the door. Sister Jensen told him we were sharing messages about how we can strengthen the family. He then responded that he used to be Catholic but is no longer practicing. I then asked him if he still had a belief in Jesus Christ and he said yes. I then told him that Christ is what our message is centered on and that's how we can strengthen our families. We asked him if we could come back some time to teach him more and he said yes! At all of the other houses we went to, no one was home or interested, but Vinni made it worth it! 

Saturday morning we helped two families in the ward move. Yesterday, I spoke in church. I was asked to talk on how the temple has blessed my life. I've decided that writing a talk for church as a missionary is hard! I don't have time to just sit at a computer all day and I don't have a lot of resources to look at. I'm very grateful, though, that you sent me those temple magazines. That magazine saved me! Everyone said I did a good job, but I think I could have given a better talk...
After church we met with Janice and Tim. We taught them the Plan of Salvation. After we got to the three kingdoms of glory part, Janice got really quiet. We're not sure if we offended her or if she felt something and was taken by surprise. She said we could come back next week though so we're thinking we didn't offend her. Afterwards we rushed to teach Emilio. He first wanted to ask some questions about the book I gave him, "Our Search for Happiness", and then we went into the Plan of Salvation with him too. He seemed to like it and he thought the cut-out of the Plan of Salvation was really cool. Emilio is still trying to get over his "cliff" of coming to church though. Hopefully, next week he will come! Sister Lowe came with us and she invited him and his family over for dinner. He said he liked that idea a lot! Hopefully he'll come! After Emilio we rushed to see Robbyn. We hadn't seen Robbyn for about a month, so we started off just visiting with her and seeing how life was. We then taught her the Plan of Salvation too! (It was a day for the Plan of Salvation.)  Yesterday was a crazy, busy day, though.
Mom, for transfers, we receive a call on Saturday night telling us if we are staying or if we are being transferred. On Tuesday we go to the Mission Office/Stake Center to the transfer meeting to find out where we are being transferred to. I'm glad to hear that my blog is getting looked at! :) Thank you for creating it and updating it!
Well, that's all I can really think of for right now. I hope you are all doing well! I love you all very much! Thank you so much for your love and support! I appreciate it!

Sister Davis :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013

How is everyone? I'm emailing super early today because we are having zone unity. Elder Causse [Zone Leader] is going home this week... So, sorry if I missed you today. I hope you are all doing well!
This week we picked up two new investigators! They were the kids I was telling you about last week. Their names are Sebastian and Ava and they both are very excited to be baptized. Their mom is a member but has become less active. She owns a Rita's which is like a snow cone/slushy kind of place. They call it Italian ice and they also have snow cones that have custard in the middle like snow creams. Rita's is a BIG thing out here, I guess. There's one on every corner. Apparently there's one opening in Utah - I think in Sandy. It's pretty good though :). Anyway, I guess their mom is too busy running Rita's to come to church, but she sat in with us when we gave the lesson last week and she was fine with them wanting to be baptized. She's a very nice lady. Their dad, on the other hand, is Catholic (their parents are divorced, mom remarried). We're not sure how he will feel about them wanting to be baptized, but their grandpa and mom want them to be baptized before going back to school which is the day after Labor Day! We have a lot of work to do in the next couple of weeks!
Wednesday night we stopped by a potential in our area book that the previous elders had found. (There were elders in my area a few years ago.) His name is Dan O'Brian and he was a really nice and cool guy. We set up a time to meet with him on Saturday. So, on Saturday we met with him at Starbucks... Great place to meet, right?  The Princes (members in our ward) came along, too. Dan is very interested in talking about other religions and seeing what their perspectives are. Basically, we just got to know him and what his beliefs are, and the Princes were great. Overall, it went very well and he said he would like to meet with us again sometime this week. Brother Prince suggested meeting at their home this next time or even at the church. The reason we met at Starbucks was because he doesn't have a car and it was close to where he lives. The Princes also offered to give him a ride. We left him with a B.O.M. and invited him to read the intro, the testimonies, and Moroni 10:3-5. He seemed pretty interested, so hopefully he'll keep that commitment.
Friday we went to the Grange Fair. (I think I told you a little about that last time.) It was a County Fair and it reminded me of the fair mixed with the rodeo. They had the same carnival rides there as well as all the animals. We spent two hours there. It wasn't super busy and we didn't talk with a lot of people. Well, Sister Jensen didn't. I hardly talked. I had a bad headache and I felt a little nauseous so I just kind of sat there the entire time. It didn't help either that I left my water in the car... 
Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference at Pennypack which is in north Philly. The whole theme was missionary work and trying to get the members involved. On Sunday the missionaries in the stake were asked to sing with the youth choir, so we had to be there at 7:15 a.m. to practice. (It started at 9 a.m.) Because it takes about an hour to get to Pennypack, I had to wake up at 5 a.m., and we were also taking some elders with us because they are almost out of miles. So, we were supposed to meet them at the church at 6! Also, the night before we didn't get into bed until about 11:30 because we got back from the adult session of stake conference so late... Needless to say, I was exhausted yesterday. Anyway, stake conference was awesome and I hope the members take what they learned and apply it! We need help from the members!
Last night we had a dinner at the Vallette's and we had waffles. A tradition they have in their home is to put ice cream on their waffles :). They also had syrup too if we didn't feel like being adventurous. Well, I decided to be adventurous and try it. It was delicious! I had chocolate marshmallow ice cream and it was really good. :)
I keep forgetting to tell you this, but I just remembered. At the gas station that we use, the station attendants fill up the car with gas for you! How cool is that?! Haha! It's silly I know, but I like it. Maybe just because I'm lazy...
Have a wonderful week! I love you all! :)
Sister Davis

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

August 12, 2013

Hey family!
Thank you soooooo much for the package!!!! :) I got it today and I am so very grateful for everything in it! I wish I would have known that you were sending me a package... I gave away my "Our Search for Happiness" book (part of the missionary reference library) yesterday when we met with Emilio. But that's okay. I loved everything it in! 
Today I hit my 2 month mark! Time is flying by really fast! I can't believe it. This past week we did quite a bit of service. Tuesday morning we pulled weeds for Sister Guckin, an elderly lady in our ward. Wednesday we vacuumed out Sister Bailey's pool. Yes, we vacuumed it out. She had a whole bunch of leaves piled at the bottom of her pool so we offered to clean it out for her. I think that may be the one and only time I will vacuum out a pool. She also had two frogs swimming in her pool, too. Thursday we pulled weeds for a potential, now an investigator, who is very pregnant. So, thank you very much for sending me gloves. I have been using some gloves that a sister in our ward gave us, but they're both left handed gloves... I am very happy to have a left and now a right handed glove.

Cleaning pool for Sister Bailey
Sister Davis with Sister Bailey
Monday after we returned to our apartment from emailing, we received a text from Emilio. In his text he said that he knew that God was trying to teach him something, but he wasn't sure that Mormonism is for him... He still wanted to meet with us this weekend and so we did. We met with him yesterday and we had Sister and Brother Clawson there as well. (Sister Clawson is a convert, so we thought maybe her conversion story might help.) Brother Clawson basically taught our lesson for us. Sister Jensen and I got about five words in before Emilio had to go back to work. Brother Clawson was able to answer his questions, though, and he was bold. At one point in the lesson we were talking about faith and Brother Clawson described taking a leap of faith was like standing at the edge of a cliff. Emilio said that his "cliff" was going to a Mormon church and becoming a Mormon. Brother Clawson had a very bold response for Emilio. He said, "What are you going to lose if you go to church maybe a couple of times? Maybe just a couple of afternoons, but you really aren't losing much." Or something like that. Emilio seemed to really agree, though. He sent us a text after we left saying that he really liked Brother and Sister Clawson's experiences and that they seemed to help him! Hopefully, my giving him the "Our Search for Happiness" book, Brother and Sister Clawson's experiences, and giving Emilio the Family: Proclamation to the World will help him!
On Tuesday we met with David. We brought Sister Pond with us. Sister Pond is half Korean and Caucasian. I think we were inspired to bring her because David and his wife, Linda, were very impressed with her ethnicity. Linda and Sister Pond seemed to connect pretty well and the amazing thing is that Linda sat down at the kitchen table with us. That was the first time that Linda has sat at the kitchen table since both I and Sister Jensen have been here! We didn't talk a lot about the gospel, but it was still a miracle to have Linda sit there with us! Yesterday at church David seemed very happy which is good. We didn't have a lot of time to talk with him, but I'm glad he seemed very happy. We're going to try and set a goal with him for a baptismal date on Tuesday. We're hoping that by setting a goal he'll be able to build up courage to tell Linda and prepare himself for baptism.
Sister Davis with Sister Zander who joined LDS Church in 2011
Last night we received a call from a member of the Bishopric in Jarrettown (my zone leaders' area). He said that he has set up an appointment time for us to teach his grandson and granddaughter on Tuesday night. I'm excited and nervous at the same time! Ha I've never taught a child before and I hope that I can teach the gospel in a way that is simple and can keep their attention. (They're ten and eleven.) I'm sure we'll be fine and it will definitely be a good learning experience. Oh and his granddaughter is a dancer. Hopefully, I'll be able to connect with her :).
This coming weekend I'm going to a county fair, too. Part of our stake has a booth set up for it that emphasizes  preparedness--Spiritual and temporal. Apparently, there have been some referrals from this in the past.
Mom, that's kind of funny you mentioned keep moving my dancing feet. I have had some major dancing withdrawals this past week. I want to dance so bad, but there's no time for dancing when you're on the Lord's errand.
Dad, to answer your question, we don't tract very often. As a matter of fact, I haven't tracted at all yet.
Well, I hope all of you are doing well! I love you all so very much! Thank you again for the package!
Sister Davis

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 5, 2013

Hello family!

I cannot believe I have been out for one whole transfer now! And yes to answer your questions, I am staying in Doylestown with Sister Jensen. :) Both the of the Elders companionships in my district will have new companions, though. 

This past weekend in Philly was crazy but fun! On Friday we took the train down to Philly. We had to take a shuttle bus from the Doylestown train station to the Colmar station (I'm not really sure what town that one is in) because they were doing track work. Once we boarded the train a collector came by to collect our money. We engaged in a brief conversation and he proceeded to tell us that his wife is a minister and he appreciates our work. He was a very kind black man. It was about an hour train ride just because we had to make all the stops. I think of it like a subway but above ground. We arrived in North East Philly and exchanged companions. The sisters I switched with were in a trio, so I was able to be in a trio for a day. Luckily the sisters had their car this week so we didn't have to wait forever for a bus to come. (They switch off every other week with the other sister companionship in Philly with the car.) We first went to the Elders' area in their ward (They have three sets of missionaries in their ward! Crazy!) to see some less-active single sisters that their bishop asked them to visit to see if they even still lived there. This was an area of Philly that is very dirty (trash is everywhere) and I was a little scared. There are also a ton of condemned homes among the row homes. We didn't come in contact with any of the single sisters we were looking for, but we found that some of them had moved. After we went back to the apartment to have dinner, we went to ride the bus. They ride the bus around town at night just to contact people. We waited for about 10 minutes and the bus never came. It was 8:45, so we decided to go back for the night. That night the sisters received their transfer calls. 
Row Houses in Northeast Philadelphia

The next morning, they had their ward coordination meeting with all of the missionaries in their ward and their ward mission leader. That took most of the morning. We then went to visit other less-active sisters. We came in contact with one sister who actually was active, but we visited for a little bit and then went on our way. By this time it was time for us to get our train ride back to Doylestown. When we got on the train, the same collector that collected Sister Jensen's and my money before was on that train and he remembered me! Small world :P.
Sister Watson, Sister Davis & Sister Hyatt on exchanges in Philadelphia

It is a completely different world in Philly. This was an awesome experience, though, being able to serve down there for a day. I think I would really like to serve there.

This past Thursday night we received an eight page text from Emilio. When we saw him on Sunday we gave him a Restoration DVD. He had watched that DVD on Thursday night and had an emotional experience while watching it! He told us that he immediately knelt down in prayer and told Heavenly Father that he thirsted and hungered for Him and His Spirit and power. He proceeded to tell us that he had never felt God's grace that strongly before. He asked us if it would be alright if he shared that DVD with his wife and sons! He then thanked us and told us how excited he was to continue on this journey. :)

This was a miracle and such a testimony builder for me! Especially since Emilio has investigated just about every church and has never had an experience like this before with any other church. The church is true! :)

We met with our ward mission leader on Saturday night and were actually able to talk about missionary work with him and who we've been seeing. The couple other times I've met with him it has been to discuss the Grange Fair which is like a county fair but we have a booth where we are going to talk about preparedness. We'll have Spiritual preparedness and temporal preparedness (72 hour kits and food storage). This is supposed to be a missionary effort to receive referrals, but I guess since this fair is in Morrisville, the Doylestown ward doesn't really receive many referrals. Anyway, the ward mission leader is pretty stressed about this and mainly focused on that since it's in two weeks. 

If you have questions let me know! I love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Davis