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 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 :)