Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Week 77 Mi carta de despedida

My most wonderful family and friends and groupies,

This has been an awesome week!  I had my last time serving at all of the Historic Sites... well I guess not really, because I get to take you on tour next week, thank goodness!  I kinda feel numb... it's super sad leaving all these places and so many people who I love so much, but I am really excited to see all of you!    I think I'm just in denial of everything going on around me.  Nonetheless, this week has been so good.  And Waterloo is doing GREAT!  

We saw one of the happiest miracles of my mission this week!  So we have this investigator who I love SO much.  She has been through every possible challenge you can think of.  She is single mom, my age, and has 2 little kids.  When we first started teaching her, she wasn't even sure if there is a God, and it’s been like pulling teeth inviting her to pray.  BUT… she prayed this week with us!  It was the simplest, most humble prayer I have ever heard!  I thought I was going to fall out of my skin I was so excited.  and then her little 3 year old said the closing prayer and she helped him!  Sweetest thing ever.

I've born my testimony 18.4 billion times in the past few weeks... final site mtg., final zone mtg, final zone conference, fast & testimony mtg, etc.  Anyways, it has been really neat.  Site Mtg on Wednesday night was probably the best.  It was super neat.  There are 6 of us coming home this transfer and we all bore our testimonies and did a musical number.  One of the sisters here is a piano prodigy, and so she made us this little medley/mash-up thing of "the Song of Cumorah" and "The Spirit of God"  (song of cumorah is from hill cumorah pageant... super pretty and I love it so much).  You could have sliced the spirit in half, it was so strong. 

I just feel completely overwhelmed with gratitude.  I am so grateful for the past 18 months--for the opportunities I have had, people I have met, and the miracles I have seen.  
It's all true!!!!
Jesus Christ loves us so much and I have felt so honored to wear His name on my chest everyday.

I LOVE YOU!   Thanks for being the biggest support team in the world.  I have felt all the prayers and thoughts and I am so grateful for all of you!


Hermana Davis

1.  I took this sweet family on tour from Texas and they brought a 1st Edition copy of the Book of Mormon!  I got to check it out!
2.  Sister Hall made me this marker board of all my goals before I go home.  so far, so good!
3.  This morning we went out to our investigator's little lake house!  they converted this A-frame into this awesome little home!  So fun!  
4.  Sister Hall and I at the A-frame.
5.  we have a new love of selfies while driving. 


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Week 76 I've always been a fan of Jesus

--Wise words from my new friend, Mother Theresa… not the one you’re all thinking of, but this sweet lady from Detroit I met this week. So after Pageant we get lots of Referrals…. Its like manna from heaven! So we get this referral of this lady who went to Pageant and wants to learn more… so we go to her house to drop off Book of Mormon/Plan of Happiness DVD and meet her and nobody is answering, and finally we see some sketchy little eyes poking through the blinds, and out comes Theresa… who is not our referral, but the referrals friend!  She invites us in and is super funny and she came out from Detroit to visit her friend and they just hit up all the Mormon sites… and then pageant.. and church… and they are super cool. Okay, I actually haven’t met the referral yet- she is never home. But my girl Theresa is sweet. And a fan of Jesus! Haha

Once upon a time a few days ago this sweet, tender man offered to give us bikes. He joined the church last October and is seriously the cutest thing on the planet. He got the bikes for his grandkids when they visit, but they don’t want them/don’t visit or something, and so he wanted to give them to us missionaries! So kind! So on Tuesday night we taught our Scripture Study class, and we planned on biking home afterwards.  We get dropped off at his house from the other sisters and they leave, and we go to get the bikes… there is a sweet beach cruiser, and a bike for a midget. Nothing like a 7 mile ride on a bike that would be suitable for Payten.    It was so little, that my legs couldn't actually peddle because they didn't fit, so I awkwardly barely sat on the very back edge of the seat (okay, I wasn't really even sitting… it was more like doing a squat the entire time haha) and we make our journey through the farms and country. Oh and ps, I’m wearing a tight pencil skirt. We looked like such idiots… okay I’ll rephrase that.  I looked like an idiot. But it was all worth it. Nothing like two sisters biking in the middle of nowhere with bags flapping because we cant wear a backpack, 4 year old bike and me using it more as a scooter. It was real great.

So this has been a week of miracles. Seriously, I am just overwhelmed with gratitude and love for Heavenly father and for all the people out here… the crazy New Yorkers that are obsessed with cats, and all of the guests visiting the Historic Sites, the missionaries. There is just SO MANY wonderful things. I love New York. I love missions. I love life. Anyways…. We found this awesome family we are teaching!  They are super cool, the wife is German (I love all the Germans), they have cars, jobs, and wait for it… teeth!! This is very rare.  They are so open and exited to learn and have the best questions and so much real intent, and also the mom makes the most delicious zucchini bread. We’ve met with them a few times now and they are stoked for church and to keep learning!

And this less active we’ve been working with has just decided to quit smoking this week and is doing awesome. She was an intense chain smoker forever and one morning she woke up and decided to quit, and hasn’t had the desire to smoke since!

Also, tons of incredible people at the sites! I have met so many humble and sweet families from all over the world this week who are just so grateful to be here and have been saving up for this for years and years. My favorite was this little family who came from Liberia.

Scripture:  3 Nephi 9:15
I LOVE YOU ALL!!! Happy August!

Love, Hermana Davis

Here’s some pictures finally!
Pageant pictures… missionaries and the work crew! Me and my bestie from Pageant… her name is Mary. She made me boondoggles. And I just love her so much. She’s 9. Other pageant people…  I don’t remember the pictures I attached, actually haha.
Sister Hall and me on our bike ride. Oh, and I forgot to mention earlier… it was raining for part of it too haha

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Week 74 & 75 - I think my life is normal again???

My dearest favorite people,

HEYYY!!!   I feel like its been forever since I've written home... sorry about that. But I'm alive and kickin and life is starting to get normal again... Well, as normal as it can be in this mission. haha.

We moved back to our area in Waterloo and we've been meeting with all our people again and I'm finally sleeping on a bed again.... it was a long 3 weeks of deflated air mattress/cot/floor/couch haha. It's still crowded and crazy everywhere, but all is well!

And despite the fact that a trillion things have happened in the last couple weeks, I really have no idea what to write.. sorry this is a lame email.  I'll just bore you with the past two days... long story short, but we get this creepy bag of food left on our doorstep every Wednesday night, and usually Elder Crandall (our house dad... lives on the other side of our house.. senior couple here) disposes of it for us because we feel guilty.  Well a couple nights ago when it was there waiting for us, there was a skunk guarding it.  It raises it's back, getting ready for the spray, and poor Elder Crandall's body was trying to move so quickly and he ate it.  But the spray missed him!  But the little critter smashed watermelon all over our stuff and now there is a lovely skunk aroma.  I'm so over all of these little creatures attacking with bites/smells.

 We're doing lots of referral calling from pageant... so many people came and want to learn more, or referred there friends to the missionaries!!  So now we call ppl for days.

I got to hang out with Elder Aidukaitis from the 70 at Pageant!  That was SO neat. (he's the one who spoke at gen conference about roaming through garbage.... with the sweet accent...).

Since I cant think of anyone else, I'll just tell you all the cool things I've learned this week... We finally get to do studies again!!  There isn't time for any studying during the pageant weeks, so it has felt SO nice to get some studies in!  I have just a couple more weeks to become a fluent, native Spanish speaker... haha  But Elder Searle (our past site director) sent this quote in an email this week and I really liked it- went perfect with this week's theme:
 “… All men and women … need repentance. … They are in spiritual death. How are they going to get back? By being buried in the water. They are dead, and are buried in the water and come forth in the resurrection of the spirit back into spiritual life. That is what baptism is.”
 --Pres. Smith (lesson from the teachings of President Joseph Fielding Smith Chapter 13: Baptism.)
We all need the Gospel and need to constantly strive to change and be better.  We can't get comfy or complacent.  Always moving forward... even if we are falling forward, we're still going in the right direction :) haha

I love you all so much!  Have a great week!
Love, Hna Davis

and HAPPY 50th ANNIVERSARY, Grandpa and Grandma!!  love you!

pics... I forgot my camera today.. oops, but these ones were emailed to me from Sister Jones from pageant...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 73 The Pageant

So I only have a second to email you, but I thought I should let you know that I am alive haha. We are all eating, breathing and inhaling pageant.  And seriously everything is going so well with it!

We have been living in Palmyra for the past week and a half and we presented our missionary workshops to the cast Monday-Wednesday last week.  The workshops went really really well! So much positive feedback, and the Pageant cast this year is absolutely phenomenal!  They go out around 7 pm each night of the show and share scriptures and testimonies to the audience members before the play starts each night for a couple hours.  The full-time missionaries in our mission are not allowed to proselyte.. the cast members do it all!  President Francis gets direction from the 1st presidency to set all of the cast members apart as full time missionaries while they are here for Pageant!  It is so neat!  So the NYRM has about 1000 missionaries in it right now :)   and we have all seen incredible miracles. From tornadoes/terrible weather all over western new York but just skipping over the Hill Cumorah, to helping people learn more about the Savior, to miraculous Priesthood blessings healing people.  Everything is wonderful and I feel like I'm on cloud 9.  and New York seriously has the prettiest clouds ever.  I am obsessed with the sky.

It has been hard being away from our proselyting area for so long, but Heavenly Father really is making up for it and our investigators and people we are working with have been able to find rides to Palmyra for the pageant and are reading the Book of Mormon and are doing really well, too!

And I got to see Grandpa and Grandma, and the Halls!  President let me sit with them at Pageant because it will be so long before I get to see them again since they are on their mission, so it was lots of fun to get to watch the show with them!  And I got to see them the next day for a second at the Joseph Smith farm on my birthday which was the best present ever!

Birthday went great!  Everyone made it so special and we celebrated all day!  One of the Cast teams of Pageant and the other sister missionaries threw me a little surprise birthday and lots of people sang all day in front of thousands of people trying to embarrass me and the best part was that one of my investigators came out from Buffalo to watch Pageant, so I got to see him!  He brought out a little birthday gift and it was a huge treat to catch up!
Thanks you so much for all of your emails and love :)

Ummm... I don’t know what else... its all kind of a blur.  and there are just 5000 things I want to tell you but we have to get back to the hill and I don’t really know how to convey all of it in a little email....  we go to bed around midnight when we're lucky and get up at 5:45 so we can get to our shifts at the historic sites in the morning... then we serve until 2 or 3.  then we go back to the Hill and practice with the cast/ give firesides/ whatever they want us to do haha.  then we eat dinner with the cast, have a devotional, and then go out into the audience on splits with the cast members and share the gospel with all of the guests!   Then we watch pageant, and then we repeat!  go team!

I love you all so much!  Thanks for all of the prayers and support!  
Scripture of the week... all of Alma 26.  I just love the whole thing and its always a good one!

Tonight we get to go to the Cast Talent show!  we tried to be a part of it, but it's not the best way to represent dignified missionaries from our mission.  We'll just cheer everyone on!  I feel like a pageant groupie.  I may seriously be the biggest fan haha.  oh well, it’s the best!

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!  
Hna Davis

Eating dinner with Grandma Armstrong!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Week 72- Happy July

The chaos has officially began!!  The Pageant Cast is here and we are moving to Palmyra in a couple hours and Western New York is swarmed with visitors!
We have been in Palmyra everyday this week preparing our missionary workshops for the cast members, and last night they all arrived and got casted into their roles.  It is quite the incredible experience... they cast 750 cast members in less than 2.5 hours.  We are starting to meet a lot of them and it is so much fun!  And there are a lot of people who came who were here last year that we get to see and be with!   BOOK OF MORMON DISNEYLAND HAS BEGUN!!!!!!!!!   I am so stoked. Our workshops go Monday-Wednesday. All day and we are teaching them all how to open their mouths and talk to people, testify, share scriptures from the Book of Mormon, and inviting the guests to act!  They will be lots of fun; we've improved them and updated them from the past and it should be really good!

After they all got casted, we booked it back to our area for 4th of July fireworks!  We watched them at Vancleef Lake... pretty fireworks over the lake next to an old castle.  I love New York.  Lots of fun!

This morning we had district meeting and my district threw me a surprise birthday party since we'll be gone next week for my actual birthday!  So sweet of them!  The Taylor's (senior couple in our district whom we love so much) brought an ice cream cake and we had a mini fiesta!

So we have been in our proselyting area about one hour this entire week and gotten in about 4 hours of study max because we have been up in Palmyra.  But we have seen such great miracles with our investigators!!!  They are progressing really well and are coming to Pageant and the Lord really is consecrating our area since we aren't in it to help it out.

Okay I feel like 8023957 things happened this week, but the days of no sleep have begun and I'm struggling to remember stuff.

But I love you all!!!  Glad you had fun 4th of July and that you're doing well!  I am just so grateful for the countless blessings we all have.  We are super blessed and fortunate.

Les quiero muchisimo!
Hermana Davis

pic: Us 6 cast trainers in our Independence day, patriotic gear watching the cast members get put into their roles!

and Waterloo is just so darn pretty.  I 'm going to have 2383987 pictures of farms after my mission cause its just surreal.  

Friday, June 27, 2014

Week 71 Fireflies

Firefly season is officially here.  One of my favorite east coast past-times.

I had the neatest experience EVER on Wednesday.  So we are serving at the Joseph Smith Farm and this couple comes in from Florida who aren't members of the church.  So  I get ready to take them on tour and we just click instantly and they are super cool and the sweetest people ever. They are doing the "Oregon Trail" in a month (okay I don’t really know how one does that... they bought 4 wheelers and a trailer and they are just following it I guess?  anyways)  Along with the Oregon Trail they are going to do the LDS church history.  They are starting in Independence Missouri and are hitting up a bunch of church sites on their way.  (they just really love history). SO:  because they are going to be doing all this Mormon history, they want to be prepared... They bought a Book of Mormon and decided to take a spontaneous trip up here to New York so they could see how all the Mormon stuff really began... (and random side-note, now they are going to Sharon Vermont because they want to see where Joseph Smith was born... SWEET). So I'm taking them on tour and it is so powerful and spiritual and fun and everything good.  They see my missionary tag and asked when I served my mission... then I explain that I'm on my mission and they go on to tell me that they used to work doing government stuff in DC and they met TONS of Mormons there... and Mormon Returned missionaries are SUCH an asset to the USA because we bring back all these crazy cool foreign languages and help with America Defense.  Anyways... back to the miracle.  So I'm sharing the Restoration lesson with them and we're discussing the Book of Mormon and they randomly ask if I am going to be in Utah in the beginning of September... as a matter of fact I am. (which btw is like the first time ever that this is an exciting thing... usually all the guests bring it up and they like to tell me how its all coming to an end and "don't get trunky" and all this stuff and joke with me that I'm pretty much dead. (rude.)  But this time it was exciting because they asked if we can meet in Utah!  They want me to show them around Salt Lake City and meet up.  They'll tell me all about their trip and how reading the Book of Mormon went!  Seriously they are the coolest people ever.   They are ending their trip in Utah and so we will meet up and go to the great salt lake for a baptism :)  Hopefully they are okay with that ending :)

ALSO.  Sister Hall is the best companion.  Because she went biking with me!  (cause its definitely not her favorite) For the past 17 months I have wanted to bike... all true missionaries ride bikes, right?  So the anticipated day finally came... plus we are super low on miles again as June is approaching its end.  It was absolutely beautiful and sunny and we just got to bike through the country side and it was so so happy.  And biking in missionary attire is super awkward but its okay because I felt like I was in a postcard.  and then sister hall's bike chain broke.  and we are in the middle of nowhere.  but us little bicycle zoobies were able to fix it! And we were completely black.  I tried to convince the people we were meeting that it was war paint.  didn’t work.  but it was so glorious and biking is the best.  Hopefully we can go again.

Crazy week, but it is all GREAT!!!  The Pageant Cast gets here next week.... WHATT?  I feel like pageant last year was yesterday.  So basically that also means that I don't have any more P-days until end of July.  It was nice knowing you.  But July is always the best month of the year.... my favorite holiday- 4th of July... and my birthday... and pageant.  If only it could be July all the time... never ending summer.  Maybe I'll get to email home next Saturday.

Happy Friday!

AND... HARRISON- scratch that... ELDER DAVIS.  How's Guatemala?  Love having two missionaries out in the fam bam.  Buenas suerte!!

love hermana davis

ps. Trivia for the day!  Today is the 170th anniversary of the prophet Joseph Smith dying.  I love him so much & know with everything in me that he is a true prophet of God.  and getting to live in his home-ground has completely changed my life.

okay bye!!

pics:  these three lovely sisters are going home... super weird because I came out same time as all of them.  But they're some of my most favorite people in the entire world and I'm so sad they're taking off....  Sister Day, Sister Astorga, and Hermana Boseman....

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Week 70 WaterLoo

My dear favorite people-

I meant to tell you this weeks ago, but I kept forgetting... but in case if you are wondering, you pronounce Waterloo like "waterLOO" ... accenting the "loo."  I think its super weird; everybody says the name so funny... but maybe New York says their names in weird ways to differentiate themselves from all the European cities that they are trying to replace.  Anyways, fun fact for the week!

It has been such a good week!  We got to go to the temple on Wednesday with us 6 Cast Trainers for Pageant!  It was just what we needed for a busy, hectic, interesting week.  Especially because of  this new guy we were teaching.  Last Friday we went to some of our investigators house for a lesson and we get there and we meet this man who is super interested in learning more, so we set up a return appointment and he had read a bunch from the Book of Mormon and was super awesome... until he started acting really weird... and then we found out he's a criminal.  And ever since we've been having to deal with a bunch of drama.  But we are all safe and word on the street is he is getting sent back down to Texas.

Another funny moment... well its funny now... at the moment I wanted to sit in a corner and die.  We had possibly the worst lesson ever.  It involved the investigator and the member getting into a fight, the worlds fattest cat (really it is the biggest cat you have ever seen...
it looks like it has eaten 3 other cats... it can barely walk because its so big. anyways) giving the member an allergy attack and then her leaving... which meant we had to leave because it was a single man... and then he got offended and started pouting.  and then we're trying to bear testimony and share a scripture at the end before we leave and go cry, and then these random people come up and distract everyone... sheesh.  It was terrible.  And it was probably 100 times worse than I just made it sound.  BUT all is well.   We have hard times so we can
learn and grow and appreciate the good.  And now I can laugh at it, so that's improvement haha

We had Zone conference yesterday.  SO GOOD.  All of it.  We are "raising the spirituality of the mission" and one of the ways we are doing it is by reading the Book of Mormon all together by August 12.  So we started over today and will finish up right as I'm leaving.  Its about 10 pages a day.  Anybody who wants to join is welcome!   I just love the book of Mormon. Also at Zone conference, the departing missionaries share their testimony... didn’t realize it till he announced my name that this was my last conference and so I shared my testimony with everyone.  So weird.  But I was really grateful for the opportunity!

We are seeing lots of miracles and we just found an awesome new investigator yesterday... which finding an investigator is a huge miracle because New York is "all set" and doesn’t need religion... silly people!  But life is great and we're super happy and working our little tails off!

Love you all!!
Hermana Davis

And I love HARRISON!!!  Good luck you little El Salvadorian, you.
You're going to kill it!

Hna Hall and I :)

Sister Allred!  She is the secretary in the mission office and is truly one of my most favorite people in the world and she is heading home on Saturday. (and breaking my heart cause she is leaving...) Thank goodness she lives in Orem and I'll get to visit her all the time.

It rains here.  all the time.  and we get really wet.  all the time.

Pictures from the temple!  Pageant cast trainers 2014