Sunday, July 28, 2013

Week 8

We are going to baptze this saturday! I believe that I have told you guys about Guadelupe´s family (Guadelupe the mom, and her three sons Enrique, Fernando, and Angel). We will be baptizing her three sons. Guadelupe wants to be baptzed, but she works every Sunday and can never make it to church. She is trying to changge her schedule but it might take a while. Enrique (15 years old), Fernando (10), and Angel (9) have been attending church every Sunday for the past while and they will be baptized right now, and their mom later. I am pretty confident that everything will go through with this baptism, though it happens a lot where people dont show up or lose desires right at before.

I think I told you all earlier that my zone leaders decided to have all the 30 missionaries in the zone do a play in order to find investigators, well we did it last night. In the play, we pretty taught the lesson of the Restoration of the Gospel in theatrical form. They asked me to be Joseph Smith when he was younger. It was interesting. But my part was 30 seconds long and I didnt say anything (no complaints there). They pay consisted of the Apostasy, the First Vision, and the Book of Mormon. My companion was a Lamanite in the play (see the first picture). My scene consisted of a pastor of a different church telling me that I am going to go to hell if I dont find a correct church, a different pastor telling me that I should find a good church, I read James 1:5, then they showed the first vision on a movie. Everyone wanted pictures with me afterward, we all know how much I like attention. It was very interesting way to find investigators, but we now have like ten references that we need to contact this week, so I guess that it worked!

I feel like I can communicate pretty well now in Spanish (in comparison with 8 weeks ago). I can understand most of what people are saying, I can say just about everything I need to say (if i say it slowly). i have still got a ton to learn though. Something kind of funny: my zone leader who is from the US, who has been in Mexico for more than 20 months knows how to speak Spanish pretty well, but he has a pretty hilarious accent. Ask Dad to speak Spanish in the most gringo accent that he can, and youll know how it is.

I am glad that the Catalina trip was awesome! thanks for the pictures! congrats on catching those sharks.

The Lord is definitely hastening His work. The Brethren have started to put more and more missionary-related responsibilities on the members of the Church. I dont know if you guys saw it a few weeks ago, but there was a missionary broadcast thing done by the Church encouraging mission Presidents to start changing the was missionary work is done, encouraging the members and the missionaries to work in unity in missionary work. In our mission, we dont spend afternoons  knocking on doors or contacting in the street, we do just about all of our work through references of the members and very little through our own finding efforts. Yesterday, we as missionaries hardly brought anyone to the play, but we encouraged the members to do all of that. i encourage you guys to partcipate in missionary work at home. Think about how the gospe has blessed you, think about how it can bless your friend´s lives, then tell the missionaries about those friends. Kannon: spend an afternoon with the working with missionaries one day, I wish that I did that more! -D&C 123:12

I love you all so much! Thanks for the pictures and the letters this week! until next week!
Élder Davis

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Week 7 in Puebla

Well, I took pictures this week. The volcano Popocatepetl (popo for short) exploded a little bit. I want to climb it, but it is not in our mission, it is so tall that we can see it from very far away.

Dad: That is awesome! You are going to be a great counselor! I hope that the meetings that come with the calling are fun!

We have one baptismal date right now! but she doesnt live in the area, she works as a iron-er (yes, she earns her pay by ironing shirts) in our area. we can teach her but we cant baptize her. I still call that success!

Mom: Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... soon
Kannon: why didnt I get a letter from you this week?
Everyone except Kannon: thanks for the letters, I love recieving emails you guys!

Today for Pday, we played fútbol (I shouldnt have to translate that) with two other companionships in our district and with some of the young men in the ward (including one investigator). It was pretty fun, though I am not that great at soccer.

I feel like my Spanish is improving. Yesterday I saw one of the elders that was in the MTC at the same time as me, his spanish was a little worse than mine, that made me happy... just kidding.

We just recieved two sister missionaries in our district. The mission president, President Christensen said that he is trying to have 50% Elders and 50% Sisters by the end of the year, that will be interesting because when I came to Puebla, there were 8 sisters and more than 120 elders in the mission.

Well, I love you all so much, thank you for the letters this week (except kannon). oh, and this Wednesday, I will have reached the three month mark in the mission (including the mtc). Thank you all for being awesome!

Èlder Davis

Friday, July 12, 2013

Week 6

Well, this is the last day of my first 6 weeks the first cambio (I dont know the word for that in english, ask dad). I will be staying with my companion because  training goes for 3 month (2 cambios). but dont worry, Elder Alejandre is awesome. 

First: something funny about Tlaxcala (the state of mexico that I am in). In order to advertise, cars drive around with these ghetto looking megaphone type speakers that advertise some really loud. There are these trucks that go around selling propane tanks (apparently propane is quite popular here). The play this stupid song that says gas ever other beat super loudly. People walk around with carts selling corn, tamales and other little snacks screaming there heart out the item that they are selling (the lucky ones have a megaphone). They do the same thing for politics too. they just had an election for state government, but before the election, cars would drive around with megaphones strapped to the top playing annoying songs that get into you head. I dont know how people decide to vote here, but maybe some vote for the candidate with the loudest speakers, or the best song, I dont know, but i am glad that the elections are over.

Now for moms questions:
1. Do you ever get to play the piano, if so when?
I got to play once or twice, but I have only seen two pianos since I have been here, one in my chapel, and the other piano was in a different chapel. It is kind of funny, there is almost no musical talent here, there is one brother in the ward that plays, but he insists that his 13 year old daughter plays during church so that she can learn. she only plays the top single note of each hymn, and one time she played the wrong song... its interesting.
2. Are you able to teach the discussions in spanish? How are you feeling about your spanish?
Well, the discussions are just about the only thing that I can speak in spanish. when the subject is about the Gospel I cant understand much at all. but I do feel that I have progressed alot in this first 6 weeks. I do all of my studies in Spanish and I can understand just about everything.I am not worried at all
3. Do you feel your testimony growing? Please share any spiritual experiences you have had.
Definitely! Something that is pretty awesome is learning to let the Spirit teach through me. often times during a lesson, the Spirit will put into my mind something that I should say, or a point that I should teach. I still struggle with the language when this happens, but I can amost always get the point across.
4. Are you getting along with your companion?
Yeah, we get along great! obviously he does things that bug me, but I am sure that I do things that bug him too. But Elder Alejandre is a hard worker and a great teacher, and I am greatful to have him as a trainer!
5. What kind of foods are you eating, and do you love "real" mexican food?
We eat pretty well. We eat with members just about everyday and usually they cook pretty well. My favorite foods are what we eat when we go out though, One thing that we eat everyonce in a while is Carne Arabe: It is just meat that you put in corn tortillas, but it is really good! I have only had two bad measl: 1. Mole de panza (the pig stomach) 2. this one sister in the ward (who is probably more than 80 years old) cooked us a bowl of unsalted flavorless vegetables, and bony, soggy fish in some sort of soup or broth. it was interesting, we have 4 missionaries in the ward and we all ate that, the other three missionaries got a little bit sick (luckily I was fine).

Language story: last night, we sang for a few minutes in the ward choir, the choir director asked me if I wanted to sing Bass or Tenor, I told him "No me importa". I though that that phrase was a polite way of saying "It doesnt matter", but in spanish it is the equivalent to saying: "I dont give a crap". But he understands that I am a gringo haha.

Con amor,
Èlder Davis

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Week 5 July 1

Hola familia!

Tell Dakota congratulations! that is an exciting mission! when is he leaving?

And now to answer Dad's questions:
In general, are the people nice to missionaries?
yeah, the people are pretty friendly here! the members love the missionaries, they feed us pretty well.

Have you been in any scary situations?
Well, nothing that scary. One time, it was raining and we were walking to our next appointment when a car pulls over and offers to drive us. The driver was driving a trashy beaten down bug (which is a very popular thing here), he was covered in tattoos, i dont know what my companion was thinking, but he entered the car and i had no choice but to follow. The driver told me in broken English that he has friends in the "southside" while showing me his tattoo on his hand of 13. then we asked to be dropped off not very far from the point that he picked us up. it was interesting

How are your allergies/ sniffing?
My allergies are fine, except when we teach someone with cats. Carmen, a less active member has 10 cats. The Juarez family (most of whom are inactive) has 15 cats. The family of Maricruz just got a cat. There are a lot of cats. Dogs are always outside, so they arent a problem. 

Any sickness?
I think that I have a cold right now, but I haven't gotten really sick ...yet. Everybody gets food poisoning eventually.

Have you had any really hot foods?
Not that bad. The members that feed us intentionally take out all the spice in just about all the food because they know that they will be feeding a gringo. I like spicy foods, but the people here like it quite a bit spicier than I do.

Any embarrassing moments?
Well, the only white people that anybody ever sees here are wearing a white shirt and a black nametag, so I get a few stares but, I can`t recall anything too embarrasing.

With a sister in the ward (who is retired and has a lot of time on her hands) we made these little dolls last week for Pday (she did almost everything). They are pretty cool. Elder Alejandre`s looks like Harry Potter and mine looks like Draco Malfoy. But it is a pretty cool little souvenir.

No baptisms yet. We have two families that are progressing alot though. Maricruz was going to get baptized this saturday, but her hopefully-soon-to-be-daughter-in-law needs to get married. Guadelupe`s family wants to be baptized but wont commit to a date. We still havent found Àngel...

By the way, I dont know if any body has sent me physical mail, but it takes about a month for it to get to the mission offiices, and we dont go the the offices very often to pick up mail because it is two hours away.

I am going to be in a play (we all know how much I love drama). My zone leader, Elder barnes is putting on a play of the restoration to attract investigators. It is an interesting idea. I will be playing the part of Joseph smith. The part is 30 seconds long, and I dont say anything (I have no complaints). I have to show emotion; its wierd.

Well, my hour is up. Thank you everyone for the emails. Life is great! I love you all so much! Kannon: all that I have to say about your accomplishment is congrats. You are such an amazing family!

Con amor,
Èlder Davis