Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Sting of Loss

Well first off to address the game this weekend a thought came to me while sitting in priesthood meeting. I've attached a picture to share this thought with you. The sting of a loss truly is swallowed up in the service of Christ. It's amazing how things from the world don't effect you as much when you are busy serving God. Probably because one I didn't see it and two there were other things occupying my mind this weekend. I'm of course disappointed in the loss but it's not so bad as it once was when I was at home.haha Any way hopefully next week is a better week for the Cougs. Maybe Ether 12:27 could apply well to this team.

What a week here in the great MBM. It sure started out rough but improved over time. We had 8 lessons cancel the first two days of the week. So things really dragged but it started to come around. The big things of the week have to be D. He called us on Tues. and told us how much he can feel the Holy Ghost guide him. He was also asked to speak in church on the Holy Ghost this next Sunday so this will really help him to be able to talk about how it's already effecting him. We talked to him Sunday afternoon and he said he was going to the bon fire. We weren't quite sure what he meant by that. We just figured someone must have invited him over to their house or something. Later he called about the lesson we had set up with him and Brother Z, one of his fellowshippers, and he said that Brother Z had laughed at him because he asked if it was going to be safe to have the fireside with the dry weather we've had and the high winds. Brother Z had to explain what a fireside was to him and then after he told us that we realized he had been talking about the stake fireside. hahaha. Dale had told Brother Z he was also worried because we had told him he could wear his suit to the fireside and he didn't want to get it smokey. haha New members, you sure do have to be careful with the terms you throw out to them without explaining it all. He's doing great though. He loved the fireside and we're excited for his talk this Sunday.

The D's, who I'm not sure if I mentioned last week. They are a young part member couple we have started teaching. We taught them Wed. night and had a really good lesson about the Book of Mormon and then we ate at their place Sunday and taught Sister D again. They are such a fun young couple. I really want to see her get baptized and see them get to the temple. That would be so Awesome! It's just great to get to teach them. I look forward to this Sunday when we teach her again.

Sat. was a long and adventurous day. We didn't have the car and we had an appointment at 10 a ways away. It was raining so we started to walk and try to talk to people along the way. We had our umbrellas and jackets on. It was kind of fun. By the end of the day we were beat though. We definitely walked more Sat. than any other day on my mission. When we told the Garfields how much we had walked they were amazed.

Wed. we had a lesson at the Ps' house with A. She's the one on date for the 8th of Oct. Things are still going good with her. She's fun to teach because she's pretty smart and picks up on things really quick and easy. She wasn't at church though so hopefully she'll make it the next two weeks so that she can stay on date.

We also had a good lesson with Brother W. He had some set backs this week and smoked a little. He got frustrated when he did that which was good because in the past it didn't effect him that much. You can really tell the Holy Ghost is working on him.

Well I better get running. Hope everyone has a good week. Only a couple of weeks before fall break so just keep pushing though it girls. And good luck with the the new job mom.

I love you all. Talk to you later.

-Elder Davis

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Baptism and a Handshake for the Journal

Good Day to everybody!

What a week! Where do I even start? Let's start with our leadership meetings Tues. in Billings and then Wed. in Helena. We had a football coach based presentation talking about getting the members more involved and coaching them up in how to get more involved with online missionary work. Similar things to what dad presented in our ward. It went pretty good. I think everyone really liked it. The drive to Helena with President Gardner was yet again a highlight. It's just really neat to be able to hear him tell stories. He's friends with Elder Holland because they are both from the St.George area and they worked on different church things together. He told of a story where Elder Holland had stopped in to president's seminary class one day shortly after an apostle had passed. President said to him you know who I'd make a member of the 12 if I could? Jeff Holland. Well it didn't happen that time but the next time a spot was open Elder Holland was called. President must be really in tune with the spirit.

After arriving home late Wed. it was back to work and get ready for our baptism. D was baptized Sat. night by his boss who had introduced him to the church. It was a small but great service. Brother W who is an investigator was there. It was so good to see D get baptized. He's been very excited and wants to start participating in callings and family history as soon as possible. His boss Brother Z is a great example of what member missionary work can do.

I had mentioned Brother W. We had a really good lesson with him and we are getting ready to set a date with him. He has almost read the whole gospel principles book which has taught him quite a bit. He really learns a lot from it.

We contacted a part member young couple who blessed their baby a few weeks ago. They are really funny. She asked a lot of questions about missionaries and kind of church culture. It was funny to hear their story of going to Utah and some things that happened. He's from Lovell and is a big Wyoming football fan. They quickly learned from Elder Garcia that I was a big BYU fan and we poked fun at each other a little. We are excited to start teaching them this week. She really has very little gospel knowledge so I have great faith that if we can get in there and bring the spirit great things will happen.

Good to hear a lot of you liked my Sept. 11th blog. Afterward I found an article from President Monson about Sept. 11th and the 10 year anniversary and he said pretty much the same thing I did. Here's a link to what he said . Also go check out Elder Garcia's blog . He had a really neat story about his dad. Oh and what do you all think of the new blog background?

Sad to hear BYU gave a game away. I guess you take one you give one unfortunately. The blessing of a mission if I didn't see it they didn't really lose right? haha I hope they can beat the Utes this week! We are eating with the bishop and his Ute lovin family tonight. Things could get interesting.

Elder Christofferson was in Bozeman this weekend for a stake conference. The elders over there were really excited to be able to go. President and Sister Gardner went over there and some how the assistants snuck their way over there for teamups too. Well we later learned that he was doing a fireside for temple workers here in Billings Sunday night. We talked to everyone we knew who was a temple worker including the G who we live with. We dropped hint after hint about how much we'd like to go. All of them shot us down and told us how it was for temple workers only. Well Sunday night we were walking by the church around 8:40 and we couldn't resist walking in. It looked like they had finished maybe 10 min prior and most were to the refreshments in the back by then. We looked up front and there he was. There was a short line by then to shake his hand so we booked it up there and got in line. He was trying to make his way out so he was coming down the stairs and we were pretty much the last people in line. He looked down at us and said elders! Where are you from? We told him and then he talked about how much he enjoyed spending time with President and Sister Gardner this weekend and our compadres in Bozeman. What a great experience to be able to shake his hand! I'll definitely never forget that!

Well I better get going. I hope you all have a great day and week! I love you and and enjoyed the emails today. Be safe and I'll talk to you next week.

-Elder Davis

PS. Oh I almost forgot! We went to that baseball game last week and had a great time! I'll have to send some pics!

Mom what do I need to fill out for school stuff. I want to get started but am still a little lost. I'm going to definitely get started this next week. And Dad if Bishop would like me to speak/testimonify on that Sunday I'd love to if we are still going to be there that Sunday.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

E-Mail Before a Basball Game

Hello Everyone,

Hope you've all had a great week. I hear it's been pretty hot in AZ so I'm definelty glad to be here. The only thing that worries me though is the fact that it was 45 this morning when Elder Garcia and I went to play bball at the church. I could slightly see my breath. I think fall is coming which mean winter is coming which means ugg! Not good!

Any way this week was crazy, fun, exciting, tiring and quick. It's weird how I sit down to email and look back on my week and things from a week ago feel so far away but yet the week went so quick. Weird huh?

Tuesday we helped out with the new missionaries coming in. There were 17 of them so we got to go help pick them up from the airport and help out with their orientation. It was a lot of fun to be around them and feel their excitement. They had a lot of questions about the mission and Montana so it was fun to be able to tell them all about it. I remember the Elders who helped us out when we first came in and answered our questions so I was glad I could do that for them. We also were able to partake of some great cooking by SisterGardner. In the afternoon we took two groups at different times over to see the temple. It is always really neat to be over by the temple. You can definitely feel a special spirit there. It was neat to see the new missionarie's eyes light up when we pulled up there too.

Wed. we had the greeny breakfast where everyone around Billings and those here for transfers along with the new missionaries get together for a big breakfast. Then we headed over to an old folks home where we played bingo with them. haha Later we had a lesson with A. She is the one who's friend is on a mission and her friends family is fellowshipping her. We had a great lesson and ended up setting a baptism date with her for Oct. 8th. She really picks up on things quickly especially from 3 Nephi 11. And as if that wasn't a great way to end our night we went over to the departing missionaries testimony meeting. It was neat to see Elders Child, Wells, and Butler give their testimonies. I sure am going to miss them. It's then when it hit me that I need to stay all the way till the end no matter what others in my group are doing. It appears a lot of Elders in my group are going to try to go early but I'm staying. And I figure if I could get to speak in Grandma and Grandpa Gwynn's ward then there would be a lot more family there and elders I've served around in the mission so that wouldn't be too bad.

Alright now I keep forgetting to tell you about D. D is a guy who's a referral from a member in another ward. We've been teaching him a lot and he really wants to get baptized. He's been to so many different churches he has so many false ideas about things and it's been a bit of a struggle in one way to teach him but then again he's picked up on things really quick. We have a baptism date set for this coming Sat. but then he had his interview with President and it appears there might be a pending probation issue but the details have to be figured out so right now we are just waiting on President to find out more and get back to us. Hopefully it all works out for the best.

We've been in the office a lot this week getting ready for leadership this Tues in Billings and Wed. in Helena. I'm excited to take another road trip with President. It's always so neat to listen to him talk about different things mission and gospel related. Our presentation is kind of football based and talk about coaching the members on how to help with our online work. It sounds like Dad has a similar thing going down this week so hopefully all goes well for the both of us.

Glad to hear BYU won! It sure helps to have them on ESPN because Brother Garfield the brother we live with told me they had won. I doubt that would have happened last year with the old TV stuff. Glad to hear some more details about he game from Dad though. Hopefully they can get a win this week in Texas. I hope Brett's using this game as a good selling point. haha knock! knock! Hello we're missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the same church that owns BYU the school Texas is playing this week. Would you like to learn more about our beliefs before you play us this weekend? It could work.

Well I better get going. We are going to a Billings Mustangs minor league baseball game!!! I have always wanted to go to one but knew it'd never happen unless it was on a Monday during the day. I then checked the schedule and hey what do you know they have one today! So we got our tickets last week and our whole zone is going! It should be a lot of fun! I hope you all have a great week. Thanks for the emails. I love you all! Talk to you later.

-Elder Davis

Go Cougars! Beat Texas!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Reports from Montana

Good Day to Everyone,

Well this last week went pretty good. We were definitely busy but for the first time most of it wasn't computer/online stuff. We were able to teach a transfer high 17 lessons and talked to a lot of people through tracting and street contacting.

Transfers were this week. We are no longer covering Blue Creek and Central wards. They have split Blue Creek into its own area and E.Wahl is being doubled in and training and be our district leader. I'm really excited to have him around. We are helping out a lot with the new missionaries coming in this week. It will definitely be a busy week. I'm going to be starting my football/gospel blog this week so check back frequently. Well I'm sorry this email is so lame but I've got a lot on my mind and the sisters are offering me a crepe. I'll try to write a letter this week when brain can think. There are just so many Elders here for the transfers that I can't think with all this commotion around me. I love you all. Go BYU!!!

-Elder Davis

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

820 miles and 13 hours and 7 minutes later I'm back in Billings.

Oh what a busy week! As you can see from above that's the amount of miles and travel time we covered this week. We took off Wed. with the Iveses (the senior couple over cars/housing) and headed off in the big mission van to Missoula. We stopped in Bozeman and they took us to Applebees which was nice of them and then we rolled (hold on I just got a letter from Grandpa Gwynn..reading) ok I'm back now. Thank you grandpa for the letter. Ok back to the travels, so we got into Drummond (just outside Missoula) about 9:00 and spent the night with the Elders there. Drummond is a small town that's up in the mountains. It's pretty up there. Pine trees all over.

The next morning we headed into Missoula (for the first time on my mission) and had zone conference. We then ran into some complications when we realized we had somehow forgotten the flash drive back in Billings and President couldn't find his computer cord. Luckily after some prayers we were able to get into the family history center and download it and then President found his cord. feew! After that things went great! The zone conference went really well and it was great to be able to see a lot of Elders and Sisters that I served around in Kalispell and then others in Missoula like Elders Mower, Wells, Holbrook, Ika, and Sister Mace to name a few. News from Kalispell the 9 year old M got baptized on the 6th! Also 80+ year old T has stopped drinking coffee and has a testimony of the Book of Mormon now! Everyone kept telling me Kalispell wasn't the same as when I was there which was good to hear I'm missed. haha

After zone conferences ended we booked it over to Townsend. Pres. gave us permission to go out to the M's and stay out there. We got out there about 8 and ate some food that they had prepared for the less active/investigator dinner they do at their house every Thurs. It was great to talk to Brother M (who is the new ward mission leader) and Sister M about life in Townsend and how excited they are to keep helping with the missionary efforts. Especially W. He's really excited to get things rollin' and I'm excited to see what he can do. They had an update for me on Sister D. They said she's doing better and is eating on her own now so that was good to hear.

So after staying at the M's we went into Helena Fri. morning and were able to see some more missionaries that I look up to and love. Namely Elder Butler who has been my district leader and zone leader in the past. He's leaving after this transfer and it's going to be tough to not have him around. The zone conference there went great too and it is always good to be back in Helena. Our presentation went really well at both zone conferences and we are really excited to see if we can get online proselyting to a new level with all of it.

We then left Helena and headed down to Butte where Elder Garcia had served. We ate dinner with a family there and then went and visited his old ward mission leader who owns an ice cream place. I was able to try a fried ice cream which I don't think I've ever had before. It was pretty good. After that we made the long trek back to Billings and got back at about 11. Needless to say my mission has trained me to be able to travel long distances. It's not that bad especially when you get to see so much of the pretty country of Montana.

So I don't know if I had mentioned last week but K, J, and another girl from Kalispell were coming down to do baptisms for the dead this weekend. It worked out to be the day for the rest of Billings to go to the temple too so Elder Garcia and Elder Handcock went to a session while Elder Miner, who baptized K, and I went to do baptisms with K and J. The Billings Temple is so pretty especially in the summer time. It was really neat to see J get to come into the temple. You could tell she was nervous but after a while that was gone and she seemed really calm like a veteran. Those temple workers do such a great job of being very nice and showing you everything though so that I'm sure helped. She even got asked to do some more names after we were already done because a lady had just brought more in so she got to do 20 names. I wasn't able to baptize her because she is a female and I'm a missionary which is weird because Elder Lanham said he was able to go with the Heffelfingers and baptize all of them. Oh well. It was just good to be there. I did get to do confirmations though and was able to confirm her. There is a part of the temple where you can sit right as you walk in and there is a big sky light that looks right up to the spire and the angel Moroni. Pretty cool stuff! I'm sure most of you saw the pictures we took on Facebook. If not go check them out.

Ok now to the missionary work work. We found a new investigator named D. He really wants to be baptized and he likes the fact that we really prepare people for it instead of just throwing them in the water. He's recently made some changes to his life thanks to some encouragement of a member friend. We set a baptism date with him for Sep. 10th. He was at church this week and we'll see tomorrow night how he liked it.

Sister M was also at church for the third time. I think we're getting really close to setting a date with her and hopefully we can help her son to see that he can make some changes and things will work out for the best.

We also had a good lesson with Brother W. He knows he needs to come to church but is really nervous. We're going to do a church tour with him this week to help calm his nerves.

Overall a slow week though but not too bad considering the amount of time we were out of our area. We're really looking forward to this week and getting some really good work done because this is a week we don't have any other extra stuff taking us away from the area. We want to get a good start into this next transfer too. I can't believe transfer calls come this Friday. Things will probably be hectic around here but I don't anticipate anything happening to us.

Good to hear everyone is doing good. Good to hear you're making it to a BYU football game! How come when I was at home Mom and the girls would never go and now that I'm gone everyone goes? haha I told the senior office couple, the Karlinseys who are big BYU fans that you were going and they said oh man without you? I said yep. They said oh sad well we'll watch it for you! haha I want to be a senior couple someday so that I can be on a mission and serve the Lord but still get to watch BYU football. hahahah.

As far as the future of online work Salt Lake seems to be committed to this but just want all of the bugs and kinks worked out for the most part before they let it really go. It really has a lot of good advantages and I just hope we can continue to work and find out how best to use it.

Well I better get going now. I hope all of you have a great week! Also Thanks to those that emailed me. God Bless! And cheer for the Billings, Montana team in the little league world series!

-Elder Davis

PS I'm attaching a picture Elder Mower just sent me of the chicken in that house we taught at in Kalispell. It doesn't look quite as dirty as when I was there. Hopefully the smells not as bad either.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Busy as a Honey Bee!

Hello Children of the Lord!

What a week! This week had to be one of the fastest weeks of my mission! I can't believe it's Monday! I hope to deliver a better email than last week. Last week was cut short because we had to go to the hospital to give a blessing. We've been giving a lot of blessings lately. We've been to the hospital five times in a week. On one hand it's a downer to see the struggles these people are going through but on the other hand it's a blessing to be able to serve them and give them a blessing. I truly feel some of the most spiritual experiences have come from blessings on my mission. One blessing in particular this week that was pretty neat was Sister D. I was able to give her a blessing early last week before she went into surgery. She is in the ICU right now with an infection they found so definitely keep her in your prayers everyone. We went again this morning to give a blessing to another person and we turned the corner and saw Brother D. I was able to talk with him and see Sister D for a few minutes. She is still pretty out of it but is slowly coming around. With all of the blessings we've given it's tough to know whether we'd like to hear after what happened with these people or if it's better to just not find out. With all of the people in the ICU we've visited who have been in pretty bad shape sometimes I think the last option is best and then again it'd be neat to hear the potential stories of the healing power of the priesthood.

On to a lighter note, zone conferences. We had one here in Billings on Wed. and one in Lovell, WY on Friday. Pres. talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and invited us as a mission to reread the Book of Mormon with him by Dec. zone conferences. I'm really excited for this and have already started to do so. I grabbed a fresh copy of the Book of Mormon so that I can go through and do all new markings. I'd invite and encourage all of you, especially my family, to read the Book of Mormon with me and finish by the time I get home. Who's with me?!!

Our presentation/training went really well. Everyone said ours are the best because they entertain and teach. I'll have to see if there is a way to send them to you in an email so you can see them. We went to Lovell on Friday. Wyoming is flat and brown is my first impression. hahaha That was the same impression of southern Wyoming too. Lovell has 6 wards there despite being a small town. The stake center there is huge though. It has two chapels in it. The best part had to be seeing Elder Wahl who I haven't seen in a while and Elder Lunt whose mom by the way is doing better. Cancer is gone.

We had a great finding week in our area when we had time to be there. We were able to find three new investigators and we did a lot of tracting and street contacting on Sat. Our mission is really pushing more finding and talking with people about the Book of Mormon. On Sat. alone we were able to give three Books of Mormon away while tracting. I think that's the most we've ever given out. We are now walking around with Books of Mormon in our hands so that the people we talk to have more of a visual and it might spark their interest more. So far it's working great!

One of our new investigators we think might be an alcoholic. We've taught her on her door step twice now and she always smells of alcohol but retains what we've taught her well so far. It was funny though because she looked at Elder Garcia's hair the second time we taught her and gave him a funny look. She asked why his hair was old (combed over). We just laughed! She then touched it and said wow and it's really thick! hahaha

Well I appreciate the little updates about BYU football. I hope they have a great season and hopefully they'll make the Fiesta Bowl or the National Championship game so that I can watch them! :) HaHa. Well I better get going! I love you all! Next week should be full of more exciting news as we are off to Missoula Wed. for conf. Thurs. and then off to Helena for conf. on Friday. Have a great week! Bye now!

-Elder Davis

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Week 3 In Billings

Well Hello there Everyone,

Week 3 in Billings has come and gone. Man how time flies! We had a good week this week both in preparing for zone conferences and in finding and teaching. We started teaching two new families this week. One of them was the ones that just showed up to church last week and the other showed up after church and talked to the Bishop. I really hope they progress because you see how the Lord is leading them.

The crazy story of the week has to be on Wed. we came into the office early to study and then jump right on the computers at 10. Well we come in and Sis.Karlinsey who is one of the senior missionaries says oh I was just about to call you. Listen to this message. We listen and it's a member who called into the mission home late last night and said that there was one of our mission blogs with porn on it. He assured us on the message that it wasn't the elders who had posted it but that because of something called a hotlink it had been changed. So at this point in time we are really lost and confused. So Pres. has us jump on his computer and we call the elders whose blog it was and get their info so we can get on and get rid of it ASAP. Pres then called the man who had left the message and we found out more of the story. So if you take a picture from online and don't save it to your computer but just put it on your blog there is a hotlink attached to it that shows where it originally came from. Well if the person who originally posted it doesn't like that you put it on there they can change the picture while keeping the same address and all of a sudden your picture can be changed because they are hosting the picture and its link. So there was a man who these elders took a picture from and he didn't like it so he went on and changed it to a bad picture and then posted it on this website called reddit where people just post funny things or things they find interesting. This is where the member saw it. The sad thing is it received 60,000 views. The good thing was the man who posted it didn't mention anything about the church so most people probably didn't even connect the blog with missionaries or the church. What a headache though. So we learned all about hotlinks and how we need to not do them anymore and yeah. End of story this is a pilot program and this is what we have to do is learn from mistakes some times and correct them and move on with the work!

We had a good lesson with the Ms this week. We watched the Restoration with them. they said that they really enjoyed church so that is a plus but then they weren't there yesterday. :( . We did have Bro.W there though and he's a less active member who is just starting to come back to church and he's been reading the Book of Mormon like crazy and just finished yesterday! We met with him last night and he's doing great. Hopefully we can get his wife on the same page as him.

Sadly enough I've got to get going. There is a man in the hospital who is dying who wants a blessing before he passes. Maybe if I get some time I could get back on here since I didn't get much time. I hope all of you have a great week. I love you all. God bless!

-Elder Davis