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

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 30, 2013 Miracles Really Do Happen!

Hey family!

This week was actually pretty good. We did a lot of tracting, but we also had a miracle this week! On Friday Sister Whitaker and I were out trying to see some potentials, less actives, and 5x5ing (which is a form of tracting). Unfortunately, no less actives were home, our potentials were busy, and we weren't finding anyone who was interested. So, Sister Whitaker suggested we go sit down on a bench at a park so we could figure something out since all of our plans that we had made fell through. As we sat down, a guy walked past us and asked us if we had just come from church. We told him that we were Mormon Missionaries. He came over and sat by us and asked us if we had any pamphlets or anything that he could read that would tell him what we believe. We gave him a card and a Message of the Restoration pamphlet. We started to teach him about the Restoration and then we lead into talking about the Book of Mormon. Estevon (the guy) said that he had downloaded an app on his phone that had the Bible and the Book of Mormon on it before, but he never read through the Book of Mormon. He thought that maybe this was a sign that he needed to learn more and read the Book of Mormon. He told us that he was interested in learning more and that he would come to church if he was still in Reading (he lives in Allentown but is moving to Reading). 

Estevon texted us on Sunday and told us that he was back in Allentown, and so he wouldn't be able to make it to church. He did say though that he has questions and would like to meet with us this week so we can answer his questions in person! This was a miracle especially after a long week of tracting and trying to find those whom He is preparing for us. 

Another miracle happened this week. On Saturday, we met with a less active named Shelia and she's from Jamaica! Shelia knows that she needs to change and that she is missing something in her life. We told her that she was missing the gospel in her life and encouraged/invited her to come to church, read the Book of Mormon, and pray. She hasn't been coming to church because she works on Sunday and she also didn't feel very welcome in this ward, I guess. Shelia knew though that she needed to come to church again and have the gospel apart of her life again. The miracle part of this was she actually came to church yesterday! Though she had to work yesterday, she still made the effort to come to sacrament meeting! 

Sister Missionaries in Reading before Thankful Meal
We also met with another lady in our ward who is from Haiti. Her mom actually has a really cool story. Her mom was the first member of the church in her village and was kicked out for becoming a member. I don't remember how long it was until she received a prompting to go back to her village and preach the gospel, but she acted on the prompting, and as a result there were about 25 baptisms! How neat is that?! After we visited with them, she offered to feed us. We weren't planning on being fed by her and so we had eaten lunch just before coming over. However, we accepted her invitation and were able to try Haitian food which is actually pretty good. That night we went to the Relief Society Broadcast which was awesome! I can't wait for conference this weekend!

We've also been trying to build relationships with the ward members this week so we can build those relationships of trust. The members are awesome in this ward, and I'm excited to get to know more of them. Last night we ate at the Pierson home and they had their special "Thankful Meal" with us. This Thankful Meal consisted of no utensils and garbage bags placed over our body including our arms. So, basically we lost all of our manners and ate our food like a dog would eat his food. I was pretty nervous about this at first, but then I just went for it. It took a while to be able to eat all of my food, but it ended up being really fun and I'm pretty sure I burned off all of the calories I was eating by trying to eat my food! Sister Pierson said she would get us pictures next week. So I'll send pictures next week! The Piersons are a fun family. Also this week, we stopped by the Pogues just to get to know them and they fed us! This ward is awesome! I love this area :).

That's about it for over here. I hope to hear from you guys next week! Love you all!

Sister Davis