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