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! 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!!!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Week 63: You Win Some, You Lose Some

Unfortunately, I lost some this week... So many awkward Addison moments arose... including me eating it in dog crap this morning when we were playing three flags up...  we go running every morning and this morning we all decided to play some sports for a while (as much as you can play sports with 4 people haha) and THE SNOW IS GONE... which means... rain.  always raining.  so we were both going for the ball and I slipped in the mud and landed in a big pile of doggie droppings.  mmm.   That was fun.  Good thing it was raining and kinda cleaned me up?  

Also Okay so our ward doesn't like picking favorites when it comes to choosing hymns to sing in Sacrament Mtg.  Every week we wait in anticipation for the unveiling of the song (okay, huge lie... Nobody really cares beforehand... Actually I'm always surprised, week after week, that songs like these even exist in the hymn book, and that our chorister can even find them-major props to her).  But this week, surpasses all other terrible songs.  And let me preface this by stating that our ward is not very musically blessed (hence why the ward choir is us missionaries assigned to participate).  So we sing this song, and unfortunately I don't remember what it was called, but I assure you that none of you have ever heard of it anyways, and NOBODY is singing.  It's so bad.  And the poor organist had no idea what she was doing either.  So nobody knows what to do or who to follow and it's one hot mess. Some people are humming their own tunes, most ppl are trying not to laugh, and everyone else is just staring around trying to figure out what the heck is going on.  So as a missionary I feel the need to handle the situation... So I nudge Sister Day and ask her to sing really loud with me so we can get everybody on track... We can read music, right?!  No.  Not at all.  The song has no rhyme or rhythm, and I looked away from the music at one point to watch everyone's reactions cause they are so dang funny, and in a normal song the notes would have gone up... But in this one they went down; and I mentioned we're singing loud... So I belt out this awkward high note completely off-key while everyone else is attempting the song at the proper low notes, and all of a sudden the entire ward starts laughing hysterically cause I just butchered it so bad.  Oh man, we were dying.  Like I really can't describe to you how loud and awful it sounded.    Everyone's crying because we can't stop laughing... The poor chorister can't even wave around her arm. We just had to quit the song, it was so pathetic.  Then the person saying the opening prayer had to just stand at the pulpit for what seemed hours to try to compose himself so he could stop laughing and pray. Lesson learned: don't attempt singing loudly for others to follow when you have no clue what you're doing.  And I hope the ward learned a valuable lesson as well-there is a reason we don't sing some of these songs.  Afterwards they came up and asked me to speak in Sacrament Mtg on Mothers Day so I could try to redeem myself/punishment for my awful singing.  It's me and a youth speaker... Aka I have like 45+ minutes to speak.  Good thing I have 8 trillion stories on how awesome my momma is :) but if any of you have any awesome ideas , I'd love to hear them!  ...we're also singing that day, and doing a special program for all the girls/ladies 3rd hour... Nothing like a Hna. Davis show.  Poor people.

Enough of me telling you pointless stories... so this week was great!  I had a lot of really cool experiences at the book of Mormon Publication site giving tours.  Just sweet little tender mercies... I took quite a few people on tours that aren't members of our church and the spirit was so strong and they all agreed to learning more and were excited to get a book of Mormon and they were just really really cool.  Being a missionary is the greatest.  and I love how we can all use our own personalities and strengths to share this with others.  

We had a specialized training at the Peter Whitmer Farm this week.  So. Much. Fun.  Spent the day down there with a few other zones, got spiritually re-energized, worked on my 3-pointer, learned how to make yummy chicken, how to shine my shoes, and had fun playing in the rain.  

We are teaching some incredible, incredible people right now, and they are all so solid and want to join the church, but can't for one reason or another... parents won't let them (they aren't 18 year old yet), or weird health stuff.. you name it.  But they are all so close and have such strong testimonies, so we are praying super hard that it will work out for them!

Scripture of the week:  Alma 5:12-13
Hna Davis

OH PS.  I got a special shoutout from Elder Bednar... whattt??  We taught this man in Buffalo... he is so great.  He was about to get baptized and then all of a sudden tells us he is joining the Russian Orthdaox church... what?  so sad.  well he took a break for a while in meeting with missionaries, but now he has realized that the LDS church is actually  the true one, so he wants to learn again... but he wanted elder bednar's thoughts on this, so naturally he wrote him a letter, and Elder Bednar responded and part of that letter was to tell me hi!  sweet.  
okay thats all.  love you, byeeee

1.  Our sweet investigator Bill gave us "bunnies in a chocolate canoe".. sweetest thing ever.  Bill is the most tender, sweet man in the planet.  He calls us to check in all the time (makes daily contact with the people we teach SO easy haha), and it is such a privilege being his friend.  He's getting Baptized next week!!!  woohoo!
 2.  Peter Whitmer Farm specialized training... my district and another one.