Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014 It's Always Sunny in PHILADELPHIA!


Guess what?! Guess what?! I'm in Philly! I finally made it to Philly :) We were a little worried about today if it was going to work out or not because it has been raining all weekend long... Luckily, though, the rain stopped this morning and the sun came out. (I guess Heavenly Father heard my prayers.) And to answer your question, Mom, I haven't heard of any flooding, but there was a lot of water on the roads yesterday and the creeks were very full.

Moira, a member in our ward who nannies, took us to Philly today with the kids she cares for. We started off at the touch and feel museum with the kids and it was so fun! Right now we're eating lunch in the Reading Terminal Market which is basically just a huge food court place with various types of food. Our next venture is to the temple and then to Liberty Bell and Love Park. I also believe we'll go to the art museum and anywhere else we can make it today. I love it so far and I'm so excited for the rest of the day. I'll send pictures next week :).

Since I'm emailing in the market, my email is going to be a little short today... Sorry,but I'll tell you all about it next week!

Femi's baptism is next Sunday and I am so excited! We met with him yesterday and he is doing so well. We asked how his readings were going and he told us that he is reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning and the end. He is also reading the Bible from Genesis, the Doctrine and Covenants, True to the Faith, and the Gospel Principles book! He is excited for his baptism next week and he finally told his wife that he is getting baptized! He said that he thinks she will be baptized after she gets her "trainings" in. (Femi calls our lessons trainings.)

We were only able to see Manuela on Monday night this week for FHE and it went well. We played Plan of Salvation "Life" with her and her kids. After a little while her kids lost interest in the game so we quickly finished and answered Manuela's questions afterward. She was going to come to church yesterday (she even got work off) but her son got sick. Hopefully we'll see her this week sometime!

I loved the Women's Broadcast on Saturday! It was so good and the best part was when President Eyring said that he was baptized in Philadelphia! :) hehe I can't wait for General Conference this weekend! So excited!

Well, I'm going to end there so I can get back to my Philly adventures! It sounds like you've had a busy week, though. I hope you have a wonderful week! Love you all!


Sister Davis

Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014 It's Spring Here...Finally!

Hey everyone!

Spring is finally here and I am so excited! Saturday was a B-E-A-UTIFUL 66 degrees. However, today is a little more chilly. More like 30 degrees, but hey it's finally Spring :)

This week has been pretty good. We started off the week with setting up an appointment with Manuela on Tuesday afternoon. However, she had to cancel because a water pipe broke in her house and it started to flood... Sister Hanson and I were beginning to think that we were never going to be able to meet with her! However, a miracle happened and we were able to see her on Wednesday evening after we had our Skype lesson with Femi! Manuela is awesome and has definitely been prepared! She was asking all of the right questions and even had some deeper questions or questions that would be answered in lessons later on. I also found out that she grew up in Yugoslavia (or whatever it is called today) but then moved to Austria. I'm not very good with my geography, but I told her that I had Yugoslavian ancestors and then I discovered that Grandpa Yalovich's family is Serbian and not the kind of Yugoslavian she is ( I can't remember what she said). But, nonetheless, I thought it was cool that she lived in Yugoslavia. Tonight we're teaching her and her kids as a Family Home Evening. 

Sisters Hanson and Davis with Carolyn and Moira, new converts

Like I mentioned before, we had a couple of lessons this week with Femi and he is still set for his baptism on the 6th of April! He is progressing very well and understands everything we teach him. He is willing to keep the commandments that we have been teaching him. He is awesome! Also, the members that allow us to teach Femi in their home bought Femi a quad [set of scriptures] and mini hymn book and had his name engraved on it! How awesome is that! Femi loved it.

Also this week we were trying to contact a potential investigator name Okasha. The description said that Okasha loves the missionaries and loves to cook for them. So, we decided that we would go try  to contact Okasha. Sister Hanson and I assumed that Okasha was a girl for some reason and were surprised to find out that Okasha is a guy. He invited us in and told us that we would need to come back another time when he wasn't busy but that he would make us food. We went back on Friday evening, but not to get food, just to see him and his wife. We found out that they are from Algeria and practicing their Islamic faith. They said that they listened to the missionaries in the past, but that it was threatening to them to change their religion. They were still really nice, though, and offered to make us food again sometime. (I wanted to throw this story in there because I think it is so cool how many people I have run into in this area that come from different walks of life and nationalities!)

Sister Hanson, Sister Anderson (mission president's wife), Sister Davis
and Moira at Stake Conference

This weekend we had stake conference in Broomall. It was really good and focused on Hastening the Work as well as changing and becoming like Christ. Elder Robins from the Quorum of the Seventy spoke and he was amazing! At the adult session on Saturday he talked about the idea of making first connections with people to do missionary work than to make first contact with them. When we make first connections with them we are more likely to teach them and not just a lesson and show them how the gospel can help them and pertain to them. (What Preach My Gospel is all about.) I thought this was so great!

Hump day celebrated by both Sister Hanson and Sister Davis
on March 23. They're halfway there!

That's about all I can remember for this week. I'm so excited for General Conference coming up in a couple of weeks! 

I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Sister Davis :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014 Happy Snowy St. Patrick's Day

There's no better way to start off the week than to wake up to snow....... NOT! Yes, I did wake up to snow this morning, but luckily it's just a spring storm so all of the snow is melted now.

Sister Hanson and Sister Davis with their Lucky Charms

Anyway, this week was a rather slow week. We talked to Joseph earlier this week and he told us he was busy with some things and to try him again in a couple of weeks... Then we also had the appointment with the Austrian lady (Manuela) fall through. First of all she was called into work, but she found someone to cover for her. Then on her way over, her son got sick in the car and so we had to cancel.. She did come to the Relief Society birthday dinner we had on Thursday night, though, and she seemed to enjoy her time there. She called the member who has friended her afterwards with an hour's worth of questions on Relief Society. She is still really interested in meeting with us which is awesome! Hopefully we'll be able to set something up this week!
We also had another member invite us over for dinner this week with one of their nonmember co-workers. Josie (the co-worker) was super cute and bubbly, but not too interested. She did, however, come to church yesterday, but when I talked to her after church she still didn't seem too interested. Oh well. We planted a seed, right? Oh and to top it off, the members fed us fish for dinner... Even Sister Hanson doesn't like fish!
We did, however, get to meet with Femi twice this week! He is doing sooo awesome, and he is progressing really well. Oh and he now has a baptismal date for April 6th.  We are so excited! :)
We also ended up doing quite a bit of service this week because we had other appointments fall through. Saturday we went to Broomall to help with a youth service activity and we got to go to Olive Garden beforehand. Needless to say, that made my day.

Mural on building in downtown Phoenixville, PA

I realized that I goofed a couple of weeks ago when I said this is my fifth area... It's really my fourth, but Sister Hanson is my fifth companion. Just thought I would clarify that. And thank you for the halfway package! You know, half a bag of Cadbury Eggs is a little cruel, but I guess I'll live ;) just kidding. Oh and by the way, Sister Hanson and I have decided to celebrate our halfway on the 23rd because that's what day we'll leave the mission field. So, you'll get pictures next week. 
Well, that's about it for my week... Not too much that happened this week. Hopefully this next week will be a little more exciting! I hope you all have a great week! Love you all!
Sister Davis :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014 I'm Almost Halfway!!

Hey everyone!

I can't believe that my halfway mark is this week!! Where has the time 
gone?! Crazy! Anyway, you guessed it, Mom--I am living in Phoenixville, PA with my new companion Sister Hanson! I am serving in the Valley Forge 2nd Ward in the Valley Forge Stake. (Yes, the Valley Forge National or State park is in my area, and I'm about a half hour drive from Philly!) There are three sets of missionaries serving in this ward. One set of Spanish elders, one set of English elders, and then the sisters. This ward is huge compared to my last area where it was just a tiny little branch. I love it so far, though. Sister Hanson and I came out together, so she'll also hit her halfway mark this week too. Sister Hanson considers herself from Seattle,Washington although she was born in California and grew up in Virginia. She also loves Disney and had the opportunity to work or intern (I can't remember for sure which one) at Disney World! How cool is that! She is 21, but will turn 22 in April. She did a semester at BYU-Idaho and lived in Utah with her sister for a little while. So she's been around the country a little bit. We have a lot in common which is awesome! I love her and this area already!

Sister Hanson and Sister Davis in Phoenixville, PA

Phoenixville is fun place to live. We live in a little apartment (I had to carry my suitcases up about 50 stairs. That was... fun) above this coffee house called Steel City where they have bands playing on the weekend until roughly 11 or 12 at night. That was fun this weekend. Surprisingly, though, I was able to fall asleep pretty quick! We also live across the street from a bar called Molly Maguires where there were several crazy drunk people decked out in their St. Patty's Day gear this weekend already. I wonder what it will be like next weekend?! I really do love this area, though. It is a busy area compared to Pottsville, which is wonderful. We have had a few service opportunities this week, which is something I have really missed. I haven't done any service for awhile. 

Molly Maguire's in downtown Phoenixville, PA

We are also teaching an African man from Nigeria named Oluwafemi, but he goes by Femi. His wife and two kids are still in Africa, but will hopefully be coming to the states in April! Femi is here as a computer programming student. Femi is super intelligent and is progressing really well! He calls our lessons "trainings" and he asks awesome and sometimes very deep questions to make sure he understands. (He says he is going to teach his wife and kids so that is why he wants to make sure he understands.) The sisters invited him to be baptized before, but he wasn't sure because he has been baptized before (in another church) and other churches have accepted his baptism. He understands the need for priesthood authority, though. Femi is so awesome! Oh and we teach him at the 
Jenson's home and you'll never guess who was Sister Jenson's grandpa... Gordon B. Hinckley! How awesome is that?!

Just in the few short days I have been here there have been quite a few miracles. Firstly, we contacted a referral named Joseph who actually referred himself and wanted to meet with us! We met with him on Saturday and he told us that God is telling him that Mormonism is what He wants him to do. Joseph has had Mormon friends in the past and he said he did the "Mormon" thing before. He was raised Catholic, but he is going through some life changing and challenging experiences in his life right now and he wants to build that relationship with God right now. We taught him part of the Restoration on Saturday and then he came to church in Sunday! We're going to see him again on Friday. Later on Saturday we met with Femi and had an awesome lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ! He also told us that he had received his answer to be baptized the beginning of April! Sister Hanson and her previous companion had received the answer for him for April 6th! How cool is that?! (I also had my first Skyping lesson with Femi on 
Wednesday. It was so cool!)

Last night we had a member call us and tell us about an Austrian lady she ran into who had been looking for a church. They initially invited her over for dinner to talk about Austria because they were thinking about moving to Austria and so they wanted to talk to her about it. They talked about Austria for about 45 minutes, and then the rest of the time they talked about the church and they set up a time for us to come over on Tuesday to teach her more! See why I love this area? :)

It sounds like you've had quite the week! I hope you have another great week that isn't quite as stressful or busy! Thanks for everything! I love you all! :)


Sister Davis

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014 I'm Getting Transferred...again!

Hey everyone!

Yup, you read it right! After only being in little Hamburg for 4 weeks, I'm getting transferred. It's crazy! I totally thought I was going to stay and train. I thought Sister Maybury was going to be transferred, but she is staying and I'm going! It's crazy to think that in just 9 months I'll have served in 5 different areas. Crazy!

Piles of snow in Hamburg, PA

My birthday was great! I'm not gonna lie, it did feel just like a normal missionary day, but I had some special surprises that made it great! :) Thank you to everyone who helped make my birthday special :).

Happy Birthday, Sister Davis

Sister Davis and Sister Maybury celebrating

The Elders made birthday brownies for Sister Davis

So, this week we had a miracle! We found a new investigator through tracting! I have never found an investigator out of tracting, so this was amazing. Her name is Emily and she was super nice and bubbly. She let us in and we talked to her a little about the Book of Mormon and the priesthood authority. She said that she was really interested and invited us to come back the next day. We left her with a Book of Mormon because she said that she wanted to read it! So, we went back the next day prepared to teach her about the Restoration. The first thing she tells us is that she did some "research" on our religion. She first read the intro and the testimonies to the Book of Mormon, then she visited and a Wikipedia site... The Wikipedia site shared info about the Word of Wisdom (she's a coffee and tea drinker) and that we practice polygamy. She told us because of those things, being Mormon would not be for her. We explained that we don't practice polygamy and tried our best to explain why we have the Word of Wisdom. We also taught her the Restoration because she wanted to know what the difference was between our religion and hers. She liked what we taught, but didn't want to continue meeting with us. She was super nice about the whole thing, though, which was awesome!

Tuesday night we helped serve food at the food pantry here. That was fun :) and it was wonderful being able to serve. I haven't done any service activities for a while, so it was really nice to be able to do that. Tuesday and Wednesday were marathon days--a lot of lessons back-to-back, which was just fine with me! We had a lot of lessons with investigators this week which was awesome!

Beverly is doing awesome! She just finished the Book of Mormon this week (it took her a little less than 6 months to read!) and she is more than excited for her baptism. We're going to see if we can move her date up to the 22nd of March just because of the General Woman's Broadcast on the 29th. We're not entirely sure what we're going to do with Carlee yet. We asked our zone leaders if we could keep teaching her and they said we could until it got closer to baptism. When that happens then the Reading sisters will have to take over because Carlee will have to go to the Reading Ward unless the stake president says otherwise. 

Well, that's about it for my week. Thank you for all that you do for me! I really appreciate it :). I hope you are all doing well and that you have a great week! Love you!
Sister Davis :)