Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 34- I love the Bills!!!!

Okay, I don’t really love the Bills THAT much... but I pray that they win every game... Their wins/losses greatly affect the missionary work.  When they lose, the entire city is depressed for a solid week and nobody will meet with us (we've tried to tell them that the gospel can help them cope with their sadness, but it simply doesn’t work)... but when they win everybody is happy and we get to talk to them all and less doors are slammed in our faces from grumpy losers!  GO Bills!!  And the Sabres!  I'm learning more about hockey too.  I think I want to pick up hockey when I get home....

Saturday was CRAFT DAY with the elders.... So remember way back when, when I told you we were doing service at the library and there was this cool craft where we helped little kids and I was in charge of the hot glue gun and I burned myself really bad?  Well.... I have a cool scar from it on my hand.  So a couple weeks ago at dinner with sister Wills (pause to tell you about Hna Wills....  she is truly an angel!  Oh my goodness, I just love her so so much!  She is really old and lost her husband about 10 years ago, but she just is so sweet and happy and always willing to help us!  She wants to feed us so bad, but can’t cook anymore so she orders pizza and boneless buffalo wings-- because "sisters LOVE boneless chicken wings" hahaha.  We have taken her on a few member present lessons with us and she has a POWERhouse testimony.  She is so great.  Minus the fact that last lesson we took her to, she scared our investigator really bad..... So Mary Jo (the investigator) is the greatest too!  She is mid-50s, but had a stroke and was in a coma for 3 months and had to relearn how to do everything... therefore now, she is TERRIFIED of water.  Like even scared of the shower.... so she believes everything and really wants to join the church, but she is scared to get baptized because of the water... We've been trying really hard to help her overcome her fear and everything and she was actually getting a lot closer to baptism.  But then in the last lesson with Hna Wills she asked, "So I REALLY have to be completely immersed?  Are you sure you can’t just do it half way... like up to my head or something? "  And then Sister Wills chimes in "OH YEAH!!!!!!   And if you don’t make it all the way, they'll dunk you again!  And again and again until you are completely under!  And sometimes they'll even hold you down... just to make sure!"   .... Thank you sister Wills.  Unfortunately, Mary Jo is a little less than thrilled now... but that’s okay, she'll join!  Anyways; I LOVE sister Wills... even when she scares our people.)   Back to craft day.  So Sister wills asks me to pass her the boneless chicken wing, and she sees the scar on my hand... therefore I tell them about the cool craft and everyone made fun of me forever.... not because I burned myself, but because "crafts are lame."  WELL we get a phone call last week and a very apologetic elder on the line asking us to help them with a craft.  (Due to their making fun of me forever, they bought me subway because they wanted our help).  So we made posters inviting ppl to come to church.  Everyone says they'll come, and then when Sunday comes around they are "too tired" "too depressed" too athletic" "too stoned" etc.  (These were the random excuses of yesterday....  sometimes I feel too athletic for church as well?  whatever haha)  so we made the posters and then took pictures of us holding them and put a magnet on the back and gave them out to all our people!  So far it's a success!  Lots more ppl at church yesterday!  Go team!  Picture is below....

So there is this recent convert of a couple months in the ward named Guo Jian (he's from China).  And he is the most legit person in the world.  He was just called as a ward missionary and so he invited his entire apartment complex to church!  So for the past two weeks there have been about 20 something Asians in the ward and they all want to get baptized in a few weeks!  So now we have Sunday school classes for Chinese, French, and every other week Swahili!  Such a diverse ward!  so much fun!  Still NO Spanish :(  but I swear I will find some Spanish speaking person in New York before my mission is over.  It will come.  I hope.  Because right now i think there are 1o Spanish speakers in all of western New York... and they are us ten missionaries called to speak Spanish here.... but they will come!   Or I'll just switch my calling to Mandarin speaking so I can help out all of these Asians!

I just love studies.  So much.  I found this little nugget this morning and I really liked it:
Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are atrue, whatsoever things are bhonest, whatsoever things are cjust, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are elovelyfwhatsoever things are of good report; if there be any gvirtue, and if there be any praise,hthink on these things.

Also, i have been thinking a lot about goals lately... As missionaries we make 7000 goals each transfer.... mission goals, transfer, monthly, weekly, daily.... shoot-sometimes even hourly goals!  With all these goals, I was trying to figure out the best way to achieve them all and really make them worthwhile... I found this little gem this week and I thought it went really well with my goal quest....
(I realize its football season right now... but we are always talking basketball here (Pres Francis played bball for BYU and so we use a lot of basketball analogies)) but Tyler is such an incredible example!  He wasn’t always necessarily MVP, but through hard work and diligence, he came out on top!  He set goals, and he stuck to them!  So I put my goal setting into three categories:  1) "Be a doer and not a thinker” 2) "Stay Accountable throughout the day” 3)  "Stay motivated through the goal"    
It has really helped and I feel like my goals are more meaningful now!  Why I told you all this... I don’t know!  But maybe it can help some of you too?  I just really believe that anything is possible... if we work hard and do our part then we can achieve whatever we want!  It's really simple!  Just do it!

LOVE YOU ALL!!  Enjoy knotts scary farm, and chocolate chips up Livi's nose, and baseball and water polo and oak glen and everything else!  Have a great week!

Te quiero,
Hna Davis

1. craft!

2. I eat eggs now!!!!  Crazy, I know.  I decided to come up with some new meal ideas... new rule in our ward: you can only feed missionaries if they live in your area.  this was really good for us, because we have a total of 1 member that lives in our area! (so we don’t get many meals any more....)  and that one member is bishop.... bishop is a very sweet man.. But so so shy.  He really doesn’t talk.  So last dinner we had with them I tried to ask him some questions.... His wife talks all the time, so I felt kinda bad for bishop--maybe he had something to say, but couldn’t fit it in because his wife is always talking...?  So after 3 questions and getting absolutely no response (not even a shrug, or a nod) I decide to ask other questions.... well Awkward Addison needs to think before I speak... I asked Bishop about his first date (the gospel related topics weren't working, so I thought I could lighten up the atmosphere with something else?  BAD IDEA.)  He turned bright red and began to choke on the biggest piece of broccoli known to mankind.  He then very briskly went to the bathroom and didn’t return the rest of the night..... oopsies!  But don’t worry, I apologized and they invited us over for dinner next week!  I guess we aren’t completely shunned form their house yet!  (and then sister Payne.. the wife... said that was the most amusing thing she has ever seen... so at least she got a smile and I'm not hated by her!  But I will definitely work on my dinner talk from now on!

okay bye!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Week 33- I Aged 50 Years This Week!...

okay, maybe not 50 years... but I'd say at least 20.  So over the past few months, it has been getting harder and harder to read my baby Preach my gospel. ... (granted it is like 5 pt. font... its the spanish photocopy super baby one), but still.  I can't see the words really.  So I decided its time to get some glasses.  The eye doctor told me way back when, that I would probs need reading glasses before the average old person, but I was expecting that would mean like 35... 30 maybe?  not 21.  So I bought some really cool Walmart glasses!  The 80 year old trying them on next to me says they look "hip", so obviously I picked some really good ones... but I just cant believe I bought old person glasses/I need them.  But they are helping with headaches and things, so that's good!

So this week was SO SO good.  oh my goodness... I feel like i have 23985732089 things to tell you and my fingers just cant go fast enough (especailly cause I'm back on the laptop at the library from 1950 and it's missing the letter "t" and "a".... these are both very common letters... and I have to hold them down for a super long time for them to work...  which I realize I just wasted 20 minutes telling you this... moving on.)

We went to the temple!!!! FINALLY!   We get to go every transfer, but out here since it's so far away, we can only go if members take us... well last transfer we didnt really know anybody, and the few ppl we knew weren't going because they wanted to go with the ward for the ward temple trip (the one yesterday).  So we went with the ward and it was SO GOOD.  oh my goodnes.  We had a lunch all together before at the Hill cumorah and as we pulled up and I totally felt back at home.  I didn't realize how much I miss all of these sacred sites, until we were back at them.  I got to see a lot of the sister missionaries and senior couples and it was so good!  And the temple.... oh my goondess.  I just love it so much!  And I totally appreciate it more when it's far away and more difficult to get there.  It's such a blessing having them close by!  Sister Hendry from our ward took us!  SO much fun.  She is literally Nicole.  (aka the reason it was so much fun).  She is from Canada though and says weird Canadian phrases and her favorite food is a really bad swear word in Spanish... we laughed for a long time.  I got to play Jake and the Netherland pirates with her 4 yr old and I spy with her 2 year old the whole drive.... and there was a terrible thunderstorm, so we had to drive extra slow... more time in the car!  I'm telling you Nicole... you are the same person with the same life.  Everybody in this ward is Super old, or super young.... like nobody in the 40-60 age group.... There are a million dental students here (they all go to UB) and so I'm becoming besties with all the students.  which = meals for us and a lot of friends post-mish haha.  They all keep saying to move to buffalo after my mission and when I'm married to live near them all.... even though they'll all be moved on with their life and out of buffalo in like a year when they finish school.... but it's the thought that counts I guess haha. I also got a job offer to join this girl and her partner and their intense blog for DIY... hahaha they think I'm crafty cause I've made a couple bows.  Good one.  But I can become crafty, yeah?  Maybe I'll be a profesh DIY blogger someday haha

Okay, we have the greatest investigator in the entire world.  Oh my gosh.  He is golden beyond golden.  So we get a call last week...  "Hi is this the Mormon missionaries?"  why yes it is!  He went to church on Sunday and somehow none of us noticed (all 700 of us missionaries in the ward... no clue how he slipped past us).  But he got our name/number in the program and so he called us!  He absolutely loved church and has had a lot of really neat interactions with it in the past.  He was so excited to meet with us and asked if he can get baptized in a month or so.  He has so many spiritual experiences associated with our church and he knows its all true.  A few months ago he decided he's sick of the roman Catholics and all of the politics and everything, and he thought about religion... he said every Mormon he knows is a great person, and he wants to be like that... so he checked out the official websites from the church, ordered himself a BoM, and did the little map things to find what meeting house is closest to him...   He feels bad because he cant read his BoM at work, because his boss will think he's not working, but he loves the book so much he doesnt want to put it down.  So he got all of the Mormon apps on his iphone and he just reads talks and watches mormon messages and does all of the cool online resources all the time.  He goes, "Sister Davis--there is this man with a strange name who I thihnk is the most inspired man ever.... I think it's eye-ring... henry or something....  like an eye-ball and then a ring you wear on your finger.... do you know who i'm talking about?"  why yes i do... good ole Henry B. Eyring.  He just found Elder Holland too...  A few years ago he was feeling really upset, and so he jsut got in his car and started driving.  He felt inspired to drive to Palmyra NY... he had never been there before, and it was far away. but he had heard about it and decided it would make him feel better.  He went to all of the sites, and knew without a doubt that those places were sacred and that the storeis/doctrine/everything the sister giving him the tour said were true.  He went to his buddies house after and long story short, ended up sitting in the living room there by himself while the husband was out helping his wife for about an hour.  The buddy tells him to turn on the TV... so he turns it on and goes to the Dish guide and the first channel he sees is BYUtv... the sister he who took him on a tour that day went to byu (he hadn't heard of it before that) so he decided to check it out. He ends up watching an hour movie/show thing all about Palymra NY and all the sites he just went to.  He said it was the biggest tender mercy of his life... that the buddy just had to leave really fast and he was gone the exact amount of time as the show and all sorts of things! Then a few weeks ago he had this mtg for work he had to go to and was a little bit early.  He was thinking all about how if he wants an answer from God concerning which church to join, he needs to sincerely pray and ask.  So right then he said a prayer and asked God to please give him a very loud answer becasue he was scared he would miss a subtle one.... So then he decided to get a donut in his free time before it started.... the line was pretty long, so he goes into the bathroom... he comes out, and there were 6 elders in line.  white shirts and ties and nametags.  The exact kind of sign he wanted.  THANK YOU elders for always following your stomachs!  He went to church for the 1st time a couple weeks later and he saw all those elders.  God always is answering our prayers!  There are a million other incredible things about him and his story.  HUGE HUGE miracle!!!   I'm so grateful we get to help him!!

Well I love you all mucho!!  We bought a snow scarper today!  I love snow so so much.  Nothing better than cold weather and tracting with hypothermia!  
Thought of the week by Sister Dalton in honor of General conference:
"I testify that as you draw close to the Savior, His infinite Atonement makes it possible for you to repent, to change, to be pure, and to receive His image in your countenance. His Atonement will enable you to be strong and courageous as you continue to raise your banner for virtue. You are golden." 

~ Elaine S. Dalton
I'm trying really hard to draw closer to the Savior this week and to prepare myslef for General Conf coming up.  (To say I am really excited would be an understatement).  It is a huge blessing to have a living prophet and to hear his instruction for us in this crazy world!!  It's the best!!!!

Have a wonderful week!  Mom- let dodger back in the house... yes Ive heard about what he's experiencing.  So sad.  

okay bye!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week 32

My dearest family and friends and everyone!

Happy Fall!!!!!  (it gets a million exclamation points because I am trying to cinvince myself that I am excited.... okay, not gonna lie... I am a little excited.  but just a little)  But I really do love autumn... the leaves changing colors, soups, walking on the ground and hearing the leaves crunch... its the best.  Oh and I have a new love... a couple members have fed us Pumpkin Pie ice cream. At first I was really scared because I hate pumpkin pie... but I am def a fan of this.  I highly recommend it!  the problem is, it is offically cold.  I know I complain about the weather all the time... this is my last time.  Pinky promise.  but I made a vow to myself last General Conferecnce, that I wouldnt wear tights until the next general conference... but I just don't think I can do it... I'm already wearing my winter coats... Bring it on Buffalo... I'm ready for the cold!

So this week we got food poisoning!  We had dinner at a Recent convert's on Wednesday....  who we is a legit drug dealer!  I feel like I'm in an epsiode of Gossip girl or something here all the time because there is DRAMA RAMA!  and we get to be shrinks and hear all about it/ solve all the problems!  this week we finally have put most of the pieces of the puzzle together... its full of secret love affairs, drugs, and there's even a murder tangled in this.  Seriously.... this is real intense stuff.... but we're teaching about moving on and fully embracing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the atonement.... It's actually going really well!  Anyways.... we're at this lady's house (the drug dealer)  (oh, you dont need to worry dad, she loves us its 100% safe....  except one time when Hna. TV was super sick she offered her drugs--as in pain meds-- and we all kinda just stood their and awkwardly smiled... super funny... anyways)  So she made this soup that somehow didn't go well with my stomach... I'll spare you the details, cause nobody wants to hear about it, but we've been a sick little companionship for the past 4 days.... and then the next night (still super sick) we had dinner with Doug and Sandy!  Okay pause in the story to tell you about Doug and Sandy... they are the funniest peopel in the world.  I always get a really bad stomach ache after leaving their house because we are laughing so hard.  So Doug has been inactive for 20 something years.... so we went to visit him a couple weeks ago and long story short/Readers digest version, his wife was taking the lessons last year, but then there were some problems with the elders and they got sent home and she was just left.. nobody ever called her and she loved them and so she was really offended and decided to hate the church.... also she died.  She was dead for 23 minutes, but then came back to life.  HUGE MIRACLE!  It's an incredible story.  She can vividly see heaven and she met her deceased mother there and her mom told her that they still needed her on earth and so she had to come back.  Anywyas, Doug tells us the whole story and tells us to try Sandy again... so we go back to meet Sandy and yikes.... she was NOT happy.  we were a little bit scared.  (luckily she was mad at her husband for invitng us back and not us.... )  after a lot of little fights and lots of laughs, they agreed on letting us come back every week to do an FHE with them!  (FHE's are the best thing ever, btw).  she lets us come becasue she thinks Doug needs help, and Doug lets us come because he thinks she needs help.... Win for us, cause we get to help both pf them! Anyways, they are doing awesome.... back to me being sick... she made us blue-cheese chicken meatballs.... and those just dont go well with an upset tummy.  so then we all got extra sick!   and then the next day we got fed veggie chili.... also not good for the sickness... which just made everything EXTRA bad..... but we are doing better now!  posion is gone and we are all up and at it!  Kinda funny though, cause we rearely get fed, and the three times we get meals were all right in a row when we didn't want to eat haha.

So I had a pretty neat experience this week.  We were visiting a potential, and reading the BoM Title page with her.  She finishes the last paragraph and looks up at me and says "so basically you are telling me that this is the ONLY true church in all the world... and that nobody else has it but you... that's a pretty bold claim."  Suddenly the Spirit was SO strong, just overwhelming, and I was able to bear my testimony to her of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  I told her "yes" it is the only church with the complete truth, and the Book of Mormon is evidence of this.  Yes it is a bold statement, but I know it is true with all of my heart.  I know the Book of Mromon is the word of God and is literally a roadmap for our lives.  I find personal application to my life on every single page and I know it can help us with anything and everything.  I love the book of Mormon and it is the reaosn I am on a mission-so I can share it with others!  I know this is God's church restored on the Earth and that we have a living prophet to lead and guide us.  We are so blessed to hear his words in just a few short weeks!

I love you all so much!  Have a wonderful week and go share this good news!!!!  
Love, Hna Davis

ps... special shoutout to my Breennnie!!!!!!   oh my gosh!!!!!   congrats!  I love you so much!!!!!!  you'll be the most beautiful bride ever!!!  

and ps, thanks for the lengthy letters this week Nicole and Sam, and the packages Mom and Grandma.... they were really nice when we were all laying in bed trying not to die!!  

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Week 31

okay, so yesterday:  we get a call at exactly 6:31 am from Pres Francis.  I do my best to sound very awake (I promise i was actually awake at 6:25... but I dont like to talk to anyone for a solid half hour until I'm more awake).  So I do my best voice, and he is super bright and cheery as always, and he says he's driving to buffalo right now and he has a special visitor he wants us to meet.  Elder Gordon Smith of the 70. No big deal.  He was going out to meet the Zone leaders before church, but requested that my companionship go to the meeting too!  (I dont really know how he knew of us, but hey, I wont complain).  So he asks us to meet him at 7:20 at the Buffalo chapel... well it's at least a 30 minute drive (and thats on a good day)... so we frantically get ready super fast and leave at 645 to meet them!  We had a super good meeting and he just talked to us and gave us ideas and all sorts of amazing stories and direction!  So so neat.  I am so thankful for that amazing opportunity!

So lesson of the week:  happiness is a choice.  I've always believed this 100%, but it was definitely reaffirmed 100 times this week.  This week we met with a lot of people we have been trying to see since we got here but haven't been able to yet (never home, don't answer the phone, bail on appointments, etc.)  but this week we managed to somehow see a lot of them... HUGE MIRACLE!  well unfortuanltely, these people have the saddest, and most depressing stories and experiences I have ever heard.  Honestly, it is just so sad and heartbreaking hearing what people go through.  Well 99% of them have chosen to victimize themselves, and be offended, and just whither away because they choose to be unhappy.  Granted, they are facing more trails than I thought imaginable, but still, they are choosing to be depressed, sad, and are just giving up on life altogether.  But then there is Hna Carrero on the other hand.  (Hna Carrero is the lady we help every other week with the birds that Im really scared of).  Despite my fear, she is the most amazing example in the world.  She can barely walk, she has a zillion health problems, and just a plethora of difficulties... yet she is the happiest person I know (except when Elder Helstern lights her kitchen on fire).  she chooses to be happy and she chooses to keep trying everyday.  It is so imporatnt that we keep that attitude in mind!  WWHCD?  (what would hermana carrero do?)  We cant lose faith, even when it is hard.... Heavenly Father is here for us in everything that we do and we just have to keep putting one step forward everyday.  It's like Jesus says in Mark 5:36.... "Be not afraid, only believe."   Just believe!

Well we have now been here for 6 weeks.  How the heck?  No clue how that happened, because I feel like we just got here yesterday.  CRAZY!  time is always flying!   But we have definitly seen so many miracles and amazing things in the time that we have been here.  There are people just waiting to learn and hear about the gospel... we just have to find them!  Kelsey is getting baptized in a couple weeks!   so excited for her!!!!   and one of our investigators Brian is close too!  (he's adorable and has this very speical place in my heart... he is extremely overweight, and is terrified to get baptized because he doesnt think he can "be dunked."   but no worries, Brian, we can do it!!!

okay love you all!  have the best week ever!!!!!!  Happy autumn!  I now can't go outside without a coat!  yayy!!!  I LOVE SNOW and COLD WEATHER!!

Les quiero,
Hermana Davis

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Week 30

Hola!!   Super good week!  Well every week is good... hey, it's all in your attitude, right?  So I'm feeling pretty distracted from typing right now... because I'm surrounded by "Downawanda Abbey."  I live in the town of Tonawanda... and it REALLY likes the tv show Downton Abbey apparently; I've only seen like 2 episodes ever (and that was when Mom and Nicole were watching and I was there so I could join in on eating cookies... so I really don’t know what it all means)  But right now the whole library is dressed up and there are decorations everywhere for the lovely celebration of "Downawanda Abbey."  Nobody really celebrated Labor Day, but no worries; Downawanda abbey day is a big success.  

But speaking of holidays, Sunday we decided to celebrate Accion De Gracias!  (Thanksgiving) :)  We had a lesson with some of our investigators about gratitude... and we decided we should be grateful all the time... therefore, a Thanksgiving dinner was necessary.  We had a big celebration and it was extra good cause it was Fast Sunday and now I'm all about celebrating thanksgiving monthly.  I highly recommend it to you all!

Umm I cant really think of anything... and I'm on a laptop from the 1700s right now that is rather slow and is missing a lot of keys, so typing is hard.  umm oh I found the only Jamba Juice in Western New York!  My achievement for the week? haha  We were on exchanges, and we'd been walking in the rain/shine for hours.... and we really wanted a smoothie for dinner.  Well I get this inspired idea that University of Buffalo probably has a food court (we were right by it) and we could find a smoothie there.... So we took on UofB.  And it made me really excited being on a college campus... especially cause you're all starting BYU today/ other schools already started... I felt like I’m part of the club!  And I just love school!  I felt sad that I didn’t have a backpack on, but I had my Book of Mormon to carry!  And somebody asked if they could buy one in the bookstore (I gladly gave them mine for free and it "made his day" yay!  Glad I could help!)  but anyways, we find the food court, and there is a jamba juice.  The only one in our mission.  I legit heard angelic music when we saw it and it was glowing.  We enjoyed a yummy smoothie and all was well.

Okay, this is kind of a boring letter... sorry... I keep watching the girls dancing in old fashioned dresses in front of us... This is really weird, not gonna lie.  But we keep seeing lots of Miracles in our area!  Lots of people want to learn and lots of the people we're teaching are progressing!  so exciting!  OH MY GOSH... a guy just ran in with a musket and declared war on all of us.... I am so confused.  and nobody really cares about what the guy is doing, cause everyones reading/on the computer/ doing library things....   he just left.   

This week I taught the Young Womens lesson and I just loved it all so much, I had to share it with you!  I came across this talk while I was getting it ready and I LOVE IT.  Take 10 minutes and read it; I promise it's good (it's Elder Bednar... of course it is :) )
....And a Mormon message cause I just love them so much.....
It is so important that we are always showing our love for everyone!  "Never let a problem to solved become more important than a person to be loved" --Thomas S. Monson

okay, I love you all!  Hope you had a wonderful week! And keep enjoying school!!!

Niagara Falls....  we went last Monday!  Lots of fun... then we got to go play sports after!  (we never go play because... well long story... but we got to last week!  yayyy!!) It poured rain, but that’s okay cause you get drenched by the waterfalls anyways!  Its pretty much the closest thing we get to swimming for 18 months....  super fun day!!
and Hermana TV had a birthday!!  yayy!!!