Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014


So guess what? Saturday warmed up to 55 degrees and melted a good portion of the snow! You have no idea how happy I was that day! It was so warm, I even went outside without a coat on. It has been a beautiful weekend though; up in the 40s and 50s and I have loved it!

Saturday the elders serving in the Pottsville Branch had a baptism. Since our church building that we meet in is a converted business building, we went to Reading to hold the baptism. It was so great being back in Reading for a day :). The baptism was wonderful, though. The elders baptized a woman named Violet and her two 12 year-old kids, Cheyenne and John. Beverly came to the baptism and commented on how wonderful she thought it was. She said that it is making her more excited for her baptism :). Right now her date is March 29th, but she could totally be baptized tomorrow if she really wanted to! When we saw her on Friday, she was on day 18 of not smoking! She has gone almost three weeks without smoking! It's amazing, especially after smoking for the many years she did. (I don't know for sure how long she smoked, but I'd say about 30 maybe 40 years.) She said that the Addiction Recovery Program that she is attending that is sponsored by the church has really helped her. One thing I really love about her, though, is that she recognizes that the covenant that she is going to be entering into is very serious and that she wants to make sure she can keep that covenant and that she's ready to. Beverly is just awesome!

Yesterday my branch mission leader blessed his baby. His dad is the branch president and his sister lives in the Doylestown Ward. So, she was there and I got to talk to her for a little bit. Also, my branch mission leader's wife is the daughter of a family in the Reading 1st Ward. Her family came to the blessing as well. So, I was able to see some people from each of my areas that I've served in yesterday and it was neat. :) Small world!

Our investigators are doing good. We had one drop us this week and almost another. We're going to see her this coming Wednesday to see if we can keep her. Beverly is really our strongest investigator right now. Carlee is going to be moving this week just barely into the Reading 1st Ward boundaries so she would be leaving our proselyting area... We're going to talk to our zone leaders, though, to see what can be done with her. (It takes a lot of miles to go up to Hamburg from Reading so we're not really sure if the Reading sisters would want to travel up there to teach her.) Colleen is doing pretty good, too. She still wants to be baptized, but my concern with her is that she has a less active husband who wants nothing to do with the church and they're talking about moving to Arizona soon...

Other than the warm weather and Beverly, that's about all I can remember that happened this week. It's starting to get hard for me to remember what I did throughout the week. The days and weeks are all starting to blend together ha.

It sounds like you've had a fun, eventful week! I hope you are all doing well and that spring is coming soon for you! I sure can't wait for spring here! They're talking about a blizzard coming in early March..... I don't know how I feel about that. I really hope it doesn't come.

Have a great week! Oh and transfer calls come this Friday. I'll let you know next week what happens! Love you all.

Sister Davis :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17, 2014 Snow, Snow Go Away!

Hey everyone!

So this past week was crazy! It snowed way too much, and I'm pretty sure there is a good foot and a half if not two feet of snow out there! I will be very happy once spring comes, and I know everyone else here is in the same vote!

Snowstorm in Berks County, February 13, 2014

Not too much happened this week because of the snow and meetings that we had. Tuesday we had zone conference where we got our iPads :). That took most of our day and especially the commute to get home. We got stuck in traffic for a good forty-five minutes!

Wednesday I went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders and it was a pretty awesome day. I stayed up here in Hamburg and Sister Argueta came here with me. We had a pretty busy day with a lot of awesome appointments that were lined up back-to-back. Thursday it snowed all day long and it was a big storm too. Every time it snows our cars are "parked" and so we can't drive them. Sister Argueta ended up spending most of Thursday with me, too, because we had no way to exchange back without being able to drive. So we entered data onto our iPads from our area books for most of the day.

Sister Jensen, Sister Davis, Sister Argueta and Sister Maybury

Friday we had district meeting and then weekly planning afterwards and then Saturday it decided to snow again all day long. We ended up working more on updating our iPads on Saturday and then when the snow finally stopped we went out to see an investigator, Colleen, who I haven't met yet and who Sister Maybury hadn't seen for a while. It was definitely a prompting to go see her because we hadn't planned to see her at all. It was just a random thought that came to my mind to go see her. She first started off by telling us that she enjoyed our visits, but she wasn't interested in converting. She then proceeded to tell us that she has questions and I asked her what those questions were. She asked if there really was an afterlife which beautifully led in a lesson on the Plan of Salvation. We taught her about half of it before we extended invitation to her to be baptized and she said yes! It was so awesome! Especially to know that it was all directed by the Spirit because we had no prior planning for this lesson.

Our investigators are doing pretty good. Our strongest right now is Beverly who has a baptismal date for March 29th. She showed us yesterday at church that she is now on day 13 of not smoking! She is doing so awesome and she is progressing so well. She definitely is one I'm not worried about going less active after she is baptized. She is ready and I'm so excited for her.

Other than that, that was our week. I'm excited to see how our iPads will be able to "hasten the work!" I just first have to figure everything out with it.

Well, I hope you are all doing well and that you have an awesome week!

Love ya!
Sister Davis :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 10, 2014 Going on 8 months! Crazy!!

Hey everyone!

Can you believe that my 8 month mark is this week?! I sure can't! Time is definitely flying by! Also, we're going to finally get our iPads tomorrow at zone conference! I can't wait! :)

So this past week was... interesting ha. We did see some miracles, but it was definitely different than what I'm used to. Things are going pretty good right now. It was different not having a car for half the week and having to walk everywhere. Walking everywhere is definitely not something I'm used to. It wasn't too bad, though. The only problem though about this area is that this branch is so spread out geographically that we can only walk so far. In Hamburg there are only 4 active members and roughly 5 less active members. Luckily we have the majority of our investigators and potential investigators in Hamburg or else we would be in trouble. The only frustrating part is that we don't have a lot of members jumping up and down to come teaching with us. With only 4 active members in Hamburg and 3 of them working during the day, that causes a little bit of a problem. But other than that we're doing pretty good. 

Tuesday I met one of our investigators named Beverly. She's an older woman and knows the church is true. She has read almost the entire Book of Mormon and has been coming to church for a while now. The only thing that has been holding her back is that she smokes... We found out, though, yesterday that she has not smoked in 6 days! Beverly is doing awesome and progressing really well. Beverly has had a baptismal date in the past but didn't make it. I invited her to be baptized on April 5 and she said yes! (At the time I forgot that was General Conference so we're going to try to move it up a week.)

Wednesday I met another investigator whose name is Sharon. Sharon is a very active Methodist but is taking the lessons. I'm not sure her interest level, but we explained the Plan of Salvation to her and she seemed to take it pretty good. She only had questions on the pre-earth life and the three kingdoms of glory (which is usually expected). Afterwards she fed us lunch and we were privileged to try the famous Pennsylvania Dutch chicken pot pie, cho-cho, and peppered cabbage. It was all pretty good :).

Thursday I met another investigator named Lisa. Lisa is a young mom who recently lost a baby in October, I believe. She has a friend who is LDS which is awesome! The sisters here before me taught her the Plan of Salvation due to her loss in October and she loved it. We taught her the restoration on Thursday and she seemed to understand/accept it.

Carlee (another investigator), we were able to see twice this week. The first time we read from the Book of Mormon with her and the second time we went over the baptismal interview questions. Carlee is progressing really well and is ready to change and make the covenant of baptism with Heavenly Father. She told us when we went over the baptismal interview questions that she wasn't scared of change and that she was ready. Right now she has a baptism date for March 2nd. All she needs to do is move out with the guy she's living with and stop smoking. Carlee also has a 13 year-old daughter who lives with her dad right now because she wanted her daughter to have better influences around her. Carlee is awesome and I really hope that she will be able to make and keep her covenants so she can have the Holy Ghost with her so she can have that guidance as a mother!

Those were about my highlights for the week. We did a lot of tracting this week (when we were walking) and trying to contact potentials. We did however find a new investigator this week named Liz. We're going to see her this coming Friday. 

So, on Monday I was offered my first cheesecake.......... Believe it or not, I ate it but mostly had to choke it down haha. I still do not like cheesecake and I'm pretty sure I never will. And to top this off, one of the elder's investigators is feeding us this week and her finance makes about 57 flavors of cheesecake and is going to make one of his specialties when we come over.... Oh boy!

Other than that, that's about it for my week. Sister Maybury and I are doing pretty good. One thing about us is that we have very similar personalities which is nice, but also hard at the same time. Because she's shy I have definitely needed to step it up this week and just talk to people. That has definitely been pushing me out of my comfort zone, but I'm seeing how it's helping me grow. I have also been more bold too. A lot of the bold statements I have said to investigators this week I would have never said just a month ago! I do believe this transfer was inspired even though it was hard.

Pennsylvania Winter

Mom to answer your question: There was the snow storm on Monday that kept us in until later that evening, but other than that we were out working. We did have some freezing rain on Wednesday which made things messy for the rest of the week because it just coated the snow with ice... But we were out working the entire week! We don't stay in unless we're asked to by president ;).

Well, I hope you are all doing well! Have a great week! Love you all! :)

Sister Davis :)

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 4, 2014 Transferred to Pottsville

Hey everyone!

Sorry I didn't get to email yesterday. There was a snow storm and the library was closed...
But yes, I have been transferred. In mission lingo it's considered an "emergency transfer", which means a transfer that happens immediately and outside of "normal" transfers. I have been transferred into the Pottsville Branch, but I work in the Hamburg area which is the Branch just north of the Reading 1st Ward. So, I'm a little familiar with the area I'm in right now because I worked on the other side of the highway when I was in Reading. (Part of the highway is the dividing line for the wards.) I'm also the senior companion!

I'm not going to lie, though. This was a super hard transfer for me. I loved Reading so much and I was looking forward to another transfer there in that area/ward and with the people there. I think the hardest thing was that I got a call from President Anderson about 11:30 in the morning on Saturday telling me that I was being transferred and that the assistants would be there to pick me up around 4:30 that day. I had no time to say goodbye to anyone! I called a couple of people in the ward to tell them, but I wasn't able to tell any of the people I was working with :(. That was really hard...

Anyway, I am now in Hamburg and I live in a super nice apartment. It smells brand new and I'm pretty sure it is :). I have my own bathroom and closet! I love my apartment. Sister Maybury from Utah is my new companion and I have been out one transfer longer than she has. Sister Maybury is an "older" sister missionary (she's 26) but she is a really cute girl and we've seemed to get along really well so far. Sister Maybury was also on drill team in high school for her senior year!

The Pottsville Branch building

It's kind of weird working in a branch compared to the ward I just served in. The building we meet in was an old business building and it's so small. The branch is small, too. Hardly anyone was there on Sunday. We have a few investigators that are progressing well up here that I haven't met yet but will soon (I will meet them later today)! The members in this ward are awesome (well, the ones I've met so far) and they are willing to help the missionaries out in this branch. There are a set of elders serving in the branch right now, too, and we share a car... So, to answer your question, Mom, yes I am going to freeze! Especially when we don't have the car... :( I've debated many times about getting a warmer coat, but I just don't have any way to store it for the summer... And yes, Sister Roland's daughter is in this branch and we're working with her. She fell away from the church for a while, but now she is wanting to come back!

Sister Carrigan and Sister Davis serving Sister Moore in Reading

That is awesome that you're finally getting moisture back home! Heavenly Father truly does answer prayers! And congratz to the Drill Team! That is awesome!

That is just fine for the YW to take stuff from my blog. The advice I would give is to ALWAYS turn to Heavenly Father in prayer and to continually ask if you don't receive answers immediately. Through prayer we can strengthen our faith because we can ask for help. Answered prayers also help build our faith and trust in Heavenly Father. My testimony of prayer and priesthood blessings has increased a lot this past week. I received an amazing priesthood blessing from one of the assistants on Saturday before leaving Reading that promised me that I would receive answers to my prayers in His timing because of my consistent asking. Just the other morning during my personal study I was studying the topic of testimony. I came across something that made me reflect back to another priesthood blessing I received not too long ago. That was an answer to my prayers because things started to finally make sense what Heavenly Father wanted me to do and learn so I could grow. I would also advise the young women to keep going and stay strong to the gospel even through hard times. He is always with us, and our trials make us stronger even though we can't see it in the moment of the storm. I am grateful for the trials I have had because without them, I wouldn't be who I am today and who I am becoming.

For the past while I never really thought I loved my mission. I have realized in the past couple of weeks that I really do love my mission. I'm not always happy out here because it is hard, but the things I am learning and the person I am becoming could only happen out here on my mission. I would have never had an experience like this that would help me learn and grow as much as my mission has. I really do love my mission (give me a hard couple of days and I probably won't be saying that ha, but I really do love my mission). I am learning so much and growing and I love it. Missions stretch you to your limit, but I don't think I have ever relied so much on the Lord before and I love it! I am grateful that I received the prompting to come (write this down because I will need to be reminded of this a lot haha) and that I chose to come! I am excited to see what changes the Lord has in store for me in the next 10 months of my mission!

Thank you for everything you do for me! I love you all so much and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Sister Davis :)