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

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Week 69: Buenos dias!

Dearest familia,

Awesome week!  So much going on and excitement and good things happening!  I feel like we kinda live at the Historic sites lately and it's really hard to find time in our proselyting area, but I absolutely love the sites... so really it’s a win, win!  I get to be in my area... that I love, and the sites, that I love.. and to study... which I love.  And then pass out every night on my pillow. Also a love.

I have had quite a few very powerful moments at the Historic sites this week. Just making me so so grateful to be serving here in such a sacred area.  The spirit keeps slapping me in the face, just giving me more and more powerful witnesses of Jesus Christ as my Savior, the Restoration of His Gospel, and Heavenly Father's love for each one of us.  I met so many great people this week...kinda sad because I never see them again, but it's really fun for the hour we're together:) Including some awesome families from Panama and Venezuela... they were like the Hispanic version of the Davis/Jones.  We had way too much fun together- which is a definite plus because half the time I wondered if they could even understand my broken Spanish.  Thank goodness the spirit is the one teaching, and not me.  Next time we go to Panama I have a place for us to stay!

We had a nice turf war this morning.  Something I am infamous for here as a missionary is showing up to an appointment when the Jehovah Witness Missionaries are out tracting the street.  But seriously...happens at least once a transfer.  A few times they have invited themselves into our lessons... or occasionally a hot bible bash-which I try to avoid at all costs because I don't really know the bible all that well, and it's not like it solves anything, anyways.  Anyways, this morning we have an appointment with 2 of our awesome investigators, and they happen to be terrified of JW's... and unfortunately they knocked on their door right as we were pulling up... so then when we knock on the door shortly after they wouldn't answer because they thought we were them. Really it was a lose lose.  Nobody got to teach and when I said hi to the other missionaries and they wouldn’t respond.  Sheesh.  So many people hating on us today!

Oh I may be famous!!  So remember last week when I spoke in Stake conference.  Well I made this promise to myself that I would always look presentable because you never know when you're going to go speak in front of a thousand or so people... So I did pretty good the past few days, until yesterday... when it was what I call "comfy day!" (which is hard to do when you have to wear a dress 24/7 as a missionary... but basically I'm over skirts and such... well I've been over skirts since I left the womb... but moving past that.. comfy day = hair in a bun and no makeup and the comfiest dress you can find).  Anyways, it was a comfy day, and naturally it was the day that the missionary department comes from Slat Lake to photograph and film the new Peter Whitmer Farm Visitors Center and took 8 billion pictures of us giving tours and teaching.  And then they filmed us a bunch for interviews and different things for some new public affair video thing coming out.   He said he's sending all this footage to the 1st
presidency today.  Oh goodness. I should really learn my lesson by now at looking more like a dignified sister missionary.  Someday.

Other news.  Actually I cant think of anything.  But life is great and happy and a good thing I love being wet because it keeps randomly pouring and I just walk around like a wet dog!


Hermana Davis

#discoverthebook everyone needs to join  "Called to share"..
We're flooding the world with the Book of Mormon!

Tuesday is the next event!

 Comfy day!!  and one of my new favorite families...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Week 68 I'm not creative enough for cool subject lines...

Crazy week, but super good.  We've officially hit the time of year where we don't see our area very much because the sites are so crazy and we're getting ready for Pageant!  The cast will be here in less than a month!  We're getting the workshops all ready to teach them about missionary work and it's all going really well!  But Heavenly Father blesses us SO much in the little time that we do get to spend in Waterloo.  People are beginning to progress and we're seeing great things!

Last Saturday was so great.  We served at the Joseph Smith Farm and I was able to see some of my most favorite people!  The Buffalo youth came for a Super Saturday activity.  I got to take a big chunk of them on tour, and one of the groups who "just happened" to be in my group (but seriously no coincidence... One of those tender mercies from Heavenly Father) was one of the girls that Sister Tulande Vasquez and I taught in Tonawanda!  She is completely active now and is doing wonderful and it was such a treat getting to see her and be with her for her first time coming to Palmyra!

I got to see lots of my favorite Buffalo people and had a really powerful experience sharing testimonies in Joseph Smith's log home with a group of the youth.
Also, Dorothea, recent convert from Irondequoit, came to the farm for her first time, so I got to take her on tour as well!  She is doing remarkably well and I'm so happy for her!  Our shift ends at 7, so we hurry and close/get all our stuff and then book it to the stake center because we have the Palmyra stake conference. We get there about 20ish minutes late, so we are in the very last row with ppl in it in the gym and just slightly disheveled from walking to the  church/crazy day/everything just hitting all at once as we're trying to go inside.
And just so you can get a good laugh, I'll share that my hair had been in a bun all day, but it gave me a bad headache because it was on top of my head, so I figure.. Hey we're in the very back row and nobody can see us, I'll take out the bun and give my head a break (which means releasing the humid hair, frizzy lion's mane).  Elder Homer (Area 70) is addressing us, and shortly after taking out my hair he asks all of the full time missionaries to stand up.  I look slightly atrocious, but that's fine, I'm in the back... Nobody can see me.  So I thought. He slowly has some of the missionaries sit down-if you've been out for three months, 6 months, a year, 15 months.... Well great.
Now me and a few elders are the only ones left standing.  So he invites me and the elder about to go home to come up and speak to everyone. Nothing like impromptu talk at stake conference.  So I make the excruciating long walk up to the stand, while trying to tame my Afro into a more dignified ponytail.  Then he had the elder speak for 5 minutes and then me speak for 5 minutes... He wanted "the stake's most experienced missionaries" to speak to everyone.  (How the heck am I the most experienced?  That's a scary thought haha).  So I'm planning on talking about the Book of Mormon.  But nope, that's what the elder speaks on.  Great, now I have nothing... So I stand up- literally have no idea what I'm going to say, but the words kind of just started pouring out of my mouth and I talked about the Atonement.
 It was a really neat experience, and despite the fact that my hair looked like a crazy horse's mane (and they were broadcasting this all over the Southern Tier because the stake center is too far away for most of the Stake to drive there... So now I've made tv haha).  It was really powerful and I was grateful for the opportunity to share my testimony with everyone.  I love these people so much and it's going to be so hard to ever say goodbye.

And miracle- the story of my wonderful friend, Mark!  So Sister Day and I started teaching this less-active lady named Rita in my last area!  She started coming back to church and we saw so many miracles with her!  After a while her sons started listening in, and one of her sons, Mark, really started to progress!  He is 100% active now and hasn't missed church in over 3 months.  he's so solid.   We invited him to start going to the singles branch a couple months ago, and so he started meeting with the elders in that branch... well they went to go change his records into that ward and they found out he's not actually a member.  He had just figured that he had forgotten about his baptism... We go to check with his mom, and nope!  Never got baptized. So... Mark got baptized on Saturday!!!!  wooohooo!!  I'm so happy for him!  And now he's talking about serving a mission!  I couldn't go, cause it was up in Rochester, but I'm so excited!  He has changed his life 150% and has taught me so much!

Life is happy and good!
Love you all! Have fun in Utah!!  Don't die on your long-boards!

Les quiero muchisimo!
Hermana Davis

-our happy family/district doing service at the lake this morning!

-Sister Hall and I at Seneca Lake

Week 67 May 30, 2014

Awesome, crazy week... not quite as thrilling as raccoon bites (although I had another encounter with one at the Joseph Smith farm a couple days ago... I've never been around them in my life, and now they're all just swarming for me), but still a good one!

Last week we were in the parade and it was a lot of fun.. We gave out over 500 mormon.org cards and talked to a million people and it was a really successful day! (We did glue candy to the cards, but nonetheless, they were still accepted haha... and we had our phone number on all of them, and people have been calling us!)

Also, had the ward memorial day picnic at Seneca Lake.  We walked 800 miles to get there because:  a) we are too cheap to pay for parking and
b) we ran out of miles on our car for the month, because we have a very small, finite number of miles we can drive each month.... Nothing like walking down the road with a bowl bigger than I am and the wind blowing and stepping over road kill in the middle of nowhere!

We have found some really cool investigators here!  Which is such a miracle because we were only in our area for about 2 hours all week...
Waterloo is going to come alive!

We've started diving into Pageant Cast Training.  SO MUCH FUN.  We're so excited; it's going to be here in a flash!

Raccoon bite is healing well...  no rabies for me!  Just some sick battle scars.

Love you all, sorry not much time this week... one of the perks to Waterloo... we live right by outlet mall.  And they are having a Memorial day sale that's just calling our names.  Can I fit an ounce more into my suitcase when I go home?  No way.  But we'll make it work.


Scripture of the week:  Matt 10:16

Hna Davis

SPECAIL SHOUTOUT to MY Harrison!!!   all graduated and adultish now.
I'm so proud of my little guy.

AND.. to DADDY!!!  Happy Birthday on Sunday!!!   Love you so much!
Have a wonderful day!  (and of course your card is late... cause I can never get anything on time... BUT, it's coming. and I love you so much.)

 Our cute little investigator, Anna, and us at the Memorial Day festivities.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Week 66: Rabid raccoons, Memorial Day Palooza, my best friend Peter Whitmer

SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED!  I don't even know where to start... stay tuned till the end though, cause this is definitely going to be a good one.

First off, transfers!  I left my ghetto, wonderful city of Irondequoit and am now in Waterloo. Population under 5,000, 2 stop lights, lots of cows, even more road kill than Irondequoit (didn’t know that was possible), Mennonites, and home of the Peter Whitmer Farm.  I literally live on the Peter Whitmer Farm.  No big deal. just kidding, HUGE DEAL.  This is just right where the church was organized, right where the three witnesses met Moroni and saw the gold plates, right where they finished translating the Book of Mormon.  So fun.  What took two hours to drive to when I was in Irondequoit is now my front yard.  sickkkkkk.  Waterloo is going to be just lovely!  This area has just recently opened up (it has been closed all winter), so we have a lot of work to do to get it going again!  and not a lot of time...we're starting up cast training stuff and the sites are getting crazybusy and life is just wonderful.   My new companion is sister Hall!
Another Arizonian, tuba player, accounting major, fellow cougar, stoked to do missionary work.

Okay huge miracle (back in Irondequoit last week) Sunday we walk into church and Bishop Boyer runs up to me and says I have to meet this girl, Nicole.  She rode the bus and just showed up to church and wants to learn more... 19 years old, spunky, hot pink hair, ultimate woman.
Every missionary's dream... So I go sit down with her and share some of our beliefs and whatnot and we're talking and just instantly click.  And church starts. She absolutely LOVES Sacrament Mtg. and asks if she can come back next week.  Why yes, most definitely!  So we met with her Sunday and had another lesson with her on Monday, and she is the most prepared, awesome girl in the world! She tells us that she has been reading the Book of Mormon on her iPhone for a while, and believes that's it's true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet.  She has so much faith and she's been trying to find direction in her life for a little while now, and everything just keeps pushing her back to the Mormons.  We invited her to get baptized, and before we can even finish the invitation, she has this huge smile and says YESSSS! She had been hoping we would ask her! June 14th is the special day! And we told her about the single adult branch and she actually got really excited (not the usual response haha), and she is just wonderful.
Another person I'm so sad to leave... But there will be miracles in Waterloo too!

GUESS WHAT?  Fun fact about Waterloo.... it is the birthplace of Memorial day.  and guess what is on Monday?  that's right.  Memorial day.  and guess who is obsessed with holidays and America?  me.  The town goes all out... this weekend is "Celebrate and Commemorate" and there's thousands of people and a  big celebration and fireworks and the whole small town partying extravaganza.  This is like Gilmore Girls. No joke.  So last night we are helping set up for it and are putting 8.7 thousand flags into the ground and there are two left over, and we're working with our friend, the mayor, and he says I get to choose where the last two go.   So I volunteer to just march around the park with the flags and sing Patriotic songs.  And that’s when his face lights up and he asks us to BE IN THE PARADE!!!  Yesssss.  So now we get to have all the missionaries in this area be in the parade tomorrow morning!  Mormon.org cards and candy and America?  yes.

Okay, I've been in Waterloo a total of maybe 20 minutes when I get bitten by a raccoon.  Yes you just read correctly.  We go to visit this family and they have a pet raccoon (welcome to my area... where people have illegal pets).  His name is Hammy.  He was a stray they found--his poor mother was hit by a car, so they adopted him.  He eats dog food, pudding cups, and mandarin oranges.  He's also the fattest raccoon I have ever seen (to be honest, I really haven’t seen very many racoons in my life, but the dead ones on the side of the road always seem a lot smaller).  I digress.  So Hammy lives in the garage and that’s how we enter the house.  So we are leaving and yes I think this is the weirdest, and kind of scariest thing I've ever encountered, but I can't be a pansy or rude, so I just stand there while the dad is trying to get him to move.  And that is the moment he bolts for me and bites me in the leg.  We go clean it up and I find this all quite amusing.  And then we go home cause its already after 9 and I go to bed.  Yes it stings and hurts, but I figure that is normal.  Then we have a site mtg. the next morning in Palmyra (45ish minutes away) and everybody finds out about my leg and freaks out... aka I have rabies and am going to die.  So I call the mission nurse just to be safe and she says I need to get to urgent care ASAP.  So our shift ends and we use up a million miles on our car to get to the urgent care.  and then they tell us they don’t treat animal bites, and we have to go to the ER.  So we go to the ER.  And they don’t like sick people in the ER...
oh and I kinda got sick after the bite... cold and semi-flu.  so just to give you the full picture here, you can imagine us walking to the ER and them making me wear a surgical mask as I explain to 800 people that I've been bitten by a raccoon.  And all these moms keep running up to me who think they have medical degrees and are giving me advice.
 And then they make me remove the bandage to show them the bite, but they don’t have another one for me (and it was still bleeding quite a bit)... so what do they wrap around my leg?  another surgical mask. Freak of New York. right here.

So they tell us that they need to treat me ASAP. HOWEVER.  they have to quarantine Hammy and fine the family.  So terrible.  So basically we are in a tricky situation.  I die of rabies. OR this family hates Mormons and missionaries forever because their beloved pet raccoon is taken away and they get a fatty fine.

So I avoid the ER... their eternal salvation is at risk... way more important than my life... after all, if I die on a mission I’m bound to go to the celestial kingdom. right?  Then all the senior couples get in on it and President Francis, and long story, short:  the bishop is going to go talk to the family, and i need to go to the ER ASAP.  Now it’s late at night.  and site mtg is over and we got to the hospital.
Elder Stewart (site director) and Elder Bean (senior couple elder) give me a priesthood blessing. and then we stayed the night in the ER and then I lived.  the end.

Hammy is being quarantined and I am on a bunch of antibiotics.  I don’t have any infections and as long as Hammy comes back clean, I don’t have to get the rabies vaccines which are a million in your stomach and painful.  thank goodness.

Okay that's all!  There's more but my fingers are tired.  Welcome to Waterloo.  It’s been quite the eventful three days.

Love, Hna Davis

My hna Tulande Vasquez!  Poor thing has a lot of health stuff so she had to go home early.  I'll just have to visit her in Alicante Spain!!

 My wonderful friend/investigator, Ron, came to the sites from Buffalo!  Got to take him on tour for the day!

 Sister Hall and I at bomps

 La familia, Lajara de Dominican Republic-  some of the sweetest people ever. I'm going to miss them so much!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Week 65:

Life is so happy!  so much happened and I have about 20 seconds to tell you!

bill got baptized on Saturday!  It went great and there was an awesome turnout and Sister Day and I sang a lovely song and we watched the world's greatest movie while he was changing out of his wet clothes- "spiritual crocodiles"... I wouldn't recommend it for a baptism... but it worked for Bill, so its all good!  Then on Sunday he got confirmed and it went great and he is the happiest member of the church. ever.

Sunday I got to talk to you!!! woohooo!  Special shoutout for being the coolest people I know. but really.  I am kinda obsessed with all of you.  Thanks for a lovely skype date... Last mission skype for me. weird, After skyping we had our "cinco de Madre" party with our Bishop's family and another family in the ward. They didnt have time to have the annual cinco de mayo party like they normally have, so we celebrated mothers days mexican style with delicious food and party and a shrine for our mothers.  just kidding. No shrine.  But we all got to talk about how wonderful mommas are!

SOOOO the moment we have all been waiting for:  THE PETER WHITMER FARM
IS OPEN AGAIN!!!!  I actually dont remember if I ever told you it was closed (not all of it... the log home and chapel have been open for tours, but the visitor center has been closed since like October or something to re-do it).  It was supposed to re-open in January, but it never did.... and we've been waiting and waiting, and waiting, and FINALLY its back.  We have been in training from the missionary department from our Utah people for the past couple days, and now we are ready to liven up the PWF. Everything is much more up-to-date and modernized and it turned out really well... not gonna lie- I was worried.  I liked it how it was before they changed it.  But it all turned out really well and i'm really pleased with it all... perhaps I love it so much is because I feel like I have entered Hogwarts. Everything is cool talking pictures and touch screen everything and I just know that JK Rowling would just be so happy if she visited.  So its been fun getting to be trained there and play with all our new "toys".

ALSO a story about my skillz. So all the time, elders are always telling stories about how they were walking down the street and they start playing basketball with people and then start teaching them.  I have been forever jealous because that opportunity has never presented itself to me.  UNTIL MONDAY.  we were at the park for a lesson (I was on an exchange in Canandaigua) and the person we were meeting was a little bit late, and so we go around to talk to people and we meet these guys playing basketball. We go over and talk to them (and by the way, people dont really like playing basketball with girls wearing skirts. rude).  Long story short:  we're talking and they say they'll listen to our lesson if I make 2 3-pointers in a row. pressure. yikes.  We all know I'm no Kobe.  But I have been trying to improve. And by some divine intervention, I made them both.  Perfect swish. (swush?  swish?... clearly i dont know the lingo either).  so awesome. they were awesome and we got to teach them and i feel like a true missionary out finding investigators on the streets.

Okay love you all so much!  I'm glad you ahd a good mothers day, mommy! Just saw your snake pics... please dont get bitten and die.


Our hike to the waterfalls and in the city last week!

 Some of the area books.... We are officially PAPER FREE.  We had to input ALL that information online.  And we are finally done. Thank goodness.  We brought them all to Missionary Leadership council and I'm hoping the next time we'll have a bonfire to burn them all!
 Bill's baptism
One of my most favorite people ever, Aubrie!
 Learning the swing of things at the Peter Whitmer Farm with the new stuff

Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 64: This is dedicated to my Harry-Pookie

OH MY GOSH.  Freaking out.  My little Harrison got his mission call!!
I am soooo excited for you!  You are going to be the greatest little El Salvadrorian ever.  Slightly devastated that we overlap, (and by slightly, it would be better to say extremely) but Heavenly Father knows a bit more than I do, so I'll just have to get over it.
Seriously, so happy for you Harrison!

I feel like I just talked to you... ummm what's new?

On Friday/Saturday we did an exchange with the Fairport sisters and they live in this little house right in between a Methodist church and a Presbyterian church.  So we're getting ready in the morning, and we look out the window (trying to figure out if it was warm enough to go without tights... It wasn't...) and we see all these people doing yard work at the Methodist church!  So we go out and offer to help and it was such a fun little service opportunity!  I learned the art of cutting bushes and we became awesome friends with this sweet little couple!  Then we went to the Grandin bldg (the Book of Mormon Publication Site) to serve and I had the neatest experience!  This family comes in from Connecticut... They were here because their daughter/sister had just got married in the Palmyra temple, and they came to the BOMPS before the reception began.  Anddddddd.... They're originally from Peru!  And they brought their grandpa who only spoke Spanish who isn't a member of the church!  So I got to take them through and it was incredible because I get kinda scared to do Spanish tours at the BoM Pub site... I think the print shop words are really weird in English, Spanish is a whole different story.. So I just said a quick little prayer in my heart before we started and I was speaking like a straight-up Mexican.  My Spanish has NEVER been that good before and I was saying things that I didn't know I knew how to say, and understood everything they were saying.  We stop at a painting of Jesus Christ coming to the Americas, and I bore my testimony to them and asked what his thoughts were on all this... and then he ends up bearing his testimony to all of us how he felt the Spirit so strongly and believed everything I said was true.  He agreed to meeting the missionaries back in Peru when he gets home next week!
 It was so much fun and a very memorable moment!   Maybe I'll kinda be
able to communicate with Harrison now when he gets back?  haha.

Oh, other answer to prayers... that has nothing to do with anything spiritual... so yesterday we were walking through the Sacred Grove, and I just wanted to go hiking so bad.  Like I really miss going on hikes and being outside... so this morning we are out running, and we go a different direction than normal, and all of a sudden we are in this awesome forest and we come across this huge, beautiful bridge going over a river and there are all these cool hiking trails and things to do!  It's like a mile from our house and we didn’t even know!
So now we're going hiking today!!  Ask and ye shall receive....

Life is just wonderful!  I GET TO TALK TO YOU AND SEE YOUR HOT FACES ON SUNDAY!!!!!  so excited!  I love you all! Keep being so wonderful!
Happy Birthday to my Brando... dog pound :) And Happy Mothers DAY week!!!!
Scripture: Alma 8:15

Les quiero,
Hermana Davis

Sacred Grove and Joseph Smith Farm.... the trees finally got some little buds this week... the earth will soon be green again!!!!