Sunday, September 29, 2013

Latest Picture of Shane

¡Hola familia! 9/23/13

This past week has been a pretty good week! We taught a lot people worked hard and improved a lot!

There are a lot of less-active members here. There are more less actives then actives. There are several reasons why people stop going to church. Some of the common reasons are: they don't have a testimony, someone offended them, the missionaries that baptized them didn't teach them well, and there are a few that are just dumb. We started teaching a family this week, she is a single mom inactive in the church with two unbaptized sons,  they are both good kids.

We taught another less-active member of the church a while ago that got baptized to have more friends and to "give the missionaries baptism points". And now we are trying to reactivate her.

This week, we had chicken butt soup. By butt, I mean the anus, the gross part; so we ate chicken anus soup. It was chewy and it felt weird but it didn't taste bad. Every day is a new adventure.

This week I realized that I need to teach better. I realized that I was teaching lessons, and covering the material that we need to teach. I wasn´t really teaching to the needs of the people. So I studied a bit on what I can do to improve, and the Preach My Gospel says that to teach with power, a missionary needs 4 things: needs to know the mission language well, know the doctrine well, develope Christlike attributes, and depend on the Spirit. The first three I have constantly been improving a little bit at a time, but the difficult thing to do is depend on the spirit. There are countless scriptures that say that the spirit teaches, not us. That is a process that I think every teacher of the gospel has: to learn to let the spirit teach through them. Sometimes I think that I know the doctrine and the language well enough and then I forget to let the Spirit do it´s job. I have been trying to improve and I already feel that I am improving a lot but I still have so much to learn.

This is the last week of the transfer (a transfer is six weeks). At the beginning of each transfer are the changes. By next monday I´ll know if I am leaving or staying, and if i´ll be getting a new companion, but I wont know where or who. So i´ll tell you next week!

If you guys want, you can make a list of 10 or more questions of things that you want to know.

Thank you for the emails this week! I am glad that everything is going well at home! The mission is awesome and I am super greatful for this opportunity to serve the Lord and labor in his work!

Until Next week!
Elder Davis

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week of September 15th

Hello all!! ¿Qué onda vatos? (In mexican spanish, that means: what´s crackin homies)

Well i guess I´ll start by telling a cool experience that happened this week. There is one family in the ward that is a pretty good family, the Velez Aguilar family, which consists of the mom, Claudia and her two sons, David (15 years old) and Carlos (11). The mom is mostly active in the church, but has trouble waking up at 8 in the morning. Her son, David, is a really good kid, he studies the gospel a lot, and he tries to share it with his friends (something that I wish I did when I was 15). We visited them to talk to David about his friends and sharing the gospel, but the lesson became sort of a counseling session. Claudia complained to us that David wasnt that respectful to her in the home, and that he didnt do his dishes. Then David started complaining about her a bit.

The funny thing about this story is the way that they complained about eachother. They would complain, but rather than show emotion or cry or something normal like that, they laughed. It went something like: "He is very respectful to other people hahaha, but he doesnt respect me that much hahaha". And david would reply "that is not true! hahaha I respect you in the house hahaha!"... All I can say is that it was interesting. So we had them say 5 different things that they love about one another and then they could say specifically what they wanted the other to do different, then we talked about charity. The gospel blesses families so much!

In the mission, they just changed something... before, investigators had to attend church 2 times and then they could be baptized, but now they have to attend 5 different times. They did that because there are too many converts in the church that stop attending shortly after baptism because they dont understand the importance keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. Right now, we have two investigators that want to be baptized, Olga and Alejandro, but because of this rule, we are going to wait a couple more weeks before their baptism.

Lately I have been feeling like I am understanding a lot more español. When we are talking about the gospel, I can understand just about everything and I can say just about everything that I need to!

The Lord is hastening his work. Missionary work today is bigger than at any other time! I am greatful for this opportunity to participate in the Lord´s work! Thank you all for all the support! I am glad that all is well at home! I love you tons!

Elder Davis

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week 16 (I think)

¿Qué pasa familia?

This week was a pretty good week.

We have two relatively new investigators that we have been teaching for 2 or 3 weeks. Gloria and her daughter Teresa are family a convert in our ward. Teresa 20 is years old (looks a little older), and she is interesting. She talks like a 5 year old girl, wants to serve a mission, and is very "unique".

Our investigator Alejandro (the one that gets super excited when he talks about the gospel) is going to elope is going to go to some small town and elope with his "roommate" so that he can get baptized.

I think I told you guys about Ángel last week. He wants to join the church but we can never find him. And his parents really like angels: their house is full of paintings and little statues scantily clothed baby angels (you know, like the ones in every old person´s house), the people here are interesting.

I feel like I am starting to be able to communicate better in Spanish now. I am understanding a little more everyday, but some people speak fast and they dont pronounce their words well at all! The gift of tongues is a funny thing, it works just as hard as you do. If I dont study the language one day I cant speak Spanish as great that day; it isn´t that I know less Spanish that day, I just dont recieve as much help that day.

I am glad that all is going good for you guys! How is Justine doing in High School? Is Kannon Dating?

Dont worry, I havent gotten that sick in a while, and dont worry mom, I dont have to take special medicine to kill parasites.

One the members of the ward told me that he met the brady family from San Bernardino, California in Palmyra, New York. Tell them that Hermano Izquierdo says hey.

Kannon: I hope that you are always preparing for your mission. I hope that you are always studying th scriptures and seeking knowledge and understanding. Always try to improve your personal relationship with God. In D&C 93 (I cant remember the verse), God says that to the obedient, He give fulness of knowledge

I love you all more than I can express through email. You are an awesome family! thanks for the letters this week!

Élder Davis

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

This week has been a pretty awesome week! my companion, Elder Alejandre baptized Sergio a year ago and he is going on a mission this Wednesday, and got to go to the temple this Wednesday. So me and Elder Alejandre got to go. The Mexico City temple is super awesome! Sergio going to be an awesome missionary! 

A month or two ago, I believe that I told you all about an investigator named Ángel. He is the 18 year old boyfriend of a member in the ward, Aranza. And when we found him two months ago, we taught him, he wanted to be baptized, and then we never saw him again (because Aranza wouldn't help us find him) until a week ago on Sunday, when he decided to go to church with his girlfriend. So we talked with him, he gave us his address, and we he reaccepted baptism, so that is pretty awesome. Ángel is good kid, when he knows something is right, he does it, regardless of Aranza´s poor influence.

I´m glad you guys had a great trip this weekend in the sierras (minus the rain)! Kannons: congratulations for getting into ceramics, feel free to use all of my crappy pots to get good grades.

I am super grateful for this gospel and the blessing that it has been in my life! I am also grateful for this opportunity to help others receive this light into their lives.

Our mission president, President Christensen, spoke to the youth of the stake (the area that I am in). He said that before the mission is the time to prepare. He expects missionaries to come already having a knowledge and a testimony of the gospel of Christ. They should come willing and ready to work hard all day everyday. They should come already knowing how to be obedient. All of my preparation has helped me in the mission: studying Spanish, the Book of Mormon, the Preach My Gospel, always trying my hardest to be obedient.

I am glad that you are all doing well at home! thank you everyone that wrote me this week! I love you all and thank you for the support. Until next week!

Elder Davis

Pictures of Temple trip

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Week 14

This week has been a good, but interesting week.

We found a new investigator this week. He contacted us in the street, he told us how much he delights in reading the Bible and how he lets Heavenly Father flow through him. He is super excited about reading the bible. when he is not working, or sleeping, he is reading the bible. He is a very interesting cuate (spanish for guy). Every time we go to teach him, before he lets us say a word, he speaks for about 15 minutes about a lot of his beliefs accompanied with very dramatic hand gestures, powerful voice inflections (He is pretty much yelling), and a lot of enthusiasm. In other words, I have never seen anybody so excited about the bible. He accepts everything that we teach, and wants to get baptized, but first he needs to marry his "wife". The other day, while he was discoursing and telling us how much light God has brought into his life, he told us that he used to be involved a lot of shady things. He found God and changed a whole lot; and we are helping him change even more.---remind me after the two years and i´ll tell you more. its amazing that God can change peoples lives so much!

We have one investigator, Olga, who used to belong the Cristiana church... a church that speaks in the "gift of tongues" (meaning they babble really loudly and call it a gift from God). Olga has already abondoned her old church, so she felt comfortable to make fun of it this week. She said that half of the people when they "speak in tongues" always say SHABBADABBADOO!! Apparently that means something... but the problem is that they dont have the gift of interpretation.

The true gift of tongues is a gift that God gives to people through His Spirit that helps us speak in unfamiliar languages to help others come to Christ. So unless it helps other come unto Christ, it is not the gift of toungues. God has given me the gift of tongues to help learn Spanish faster than I would on my own, so that I can preach His Gospel. Right now, I can say just about everything that I need to say without much problem. what I lack right now is that I cant understand much of what peope are saying, unless it is about the gospel, then I can understand most of it. But I feel that I have progressed a lot in the language!

Yesterday, I got to play the piano for sacrament meeting in church. I didnt to so good because I have practiced in 4 months, but the people here dont know any different. There is only one other person in the Ward that plays the piano, and he has his daughter play. 

Thank you all for the letters this week! Tell the Gunnoes that I got their letter this week, and thank them for me! Justine: good luck in High School, dont be that worried, Rim is better than MPH, always hang out with people that uplift you and respects your standards (also be someone that uplifts others). I love you all! Thank you for being such a awesome family!

Élder Davis