Monday, September 27, 2010

Transfer news - Monday, September 27, 2010

Hello Everyone,

It's been a great week here in Montana! The weather has been perfect and the rain has subsided for now. So we were in Lewistown as you know for pday and then President Gardner came for interviews Tues. It was nice to talk with him one on one again and we had the longest interview I've had with him since being out. Since there were only 4 of us he could spend a lot more time with us and it was nice. We talked about
W M's baptism and how Havre/Chinook is going among other things. We also talked about K and he said he feels she is ready for him to interview her and then submit her case for approval. So we are getting ever so closely to baptism with her Finally! He asked me if I wanted to stay and finish things off and I smiled and said you know what President I do but I also know it's up to the Lord. He said he'd see what he could do but I was right it is up to the Lord. Elder Whitlock told me that in his interview he told President he knew I'd been there 6 months so he figured he better be ready to take over the area. I kept quiet about my conversation with President about the situation though. Elder Whitlock kept telling me all week that I needed to stay and finish things off. So when transfer calls came Friday...Oh snap you'll have to wait. Don't cheat and peak below.

 So on the way home from Lewistown we took the dirt road and saw some beautiful trees turning Fall colors. All the trees are starting to turn but it's going to be really pretty in a few more weeks. We stopped out at Rocky Boy Rez for the first time ever. It's really pretty up there and the houses are spread out a lot more and because of that I think people take better care of their stuff. There still were rezy looking houses but not as many as Ft.Belknap. So that was interesting. We visited a less active member out there who wanted a blessing. He seems to have a really strong testimony but just can't get past the typical native stuff (drinking, smoking, etc.) We had a really good visit with him though and he had a good talk with Bishop Q yesterday and Bishop Q is going to help him get rides to church because that is one of his big hold ups right now. We had good lessons this week with C and K. We weren't able to get in with the M boys but we did talk to one of them at the gas station and he said to come over this week. We also didn't get in with J the 15 year old girl but Sister P is doing awesome missionary work in seminary. They have J and K both non members coming and she challenged K to read Joseph Smith History and pray about it. So K did it and memorized the scripture mastery in JSH and went to seminary the next day and passed it off. She told Siser P that she prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help her memorize the scripture if these things she had read were true. She said she memorized it in under an hour! and that scripture is long. So we have a set lesson to teach both of them together at the P's this next week. But will I be there for it....Ok I guess I'll tell you about transfers now. The call came and I'm staying! Elder Whitlock and I were sad to see it come but we knew one of us would be leaving. I think we are both happy because he wants me to finish some work here and so do I. So while he was packing we waited around for where he was going and who was coming and the Zone Leaders called and told Elder Whitlock he's going to Columbia Falls. He's now going to be in Elder Child's district! They then asked me if President had called me yet. I said umm no. They then paused and said well this is awkward. So now I'm sitting waiting for President to call. Well in this mission you aren't suppose to call out of your area but to get around that elders will send a voice message over the voice mail. So I get this message from Elder Hamblin (MTC district) and he said Elder Davis I heard you are staying and a certain elder is going to be your companion. Well this was news to me because we hadn't heard from President yet. Well let's just say that this certain elder isn't the greatest elder obedience wise and so now I'm a little worried thinking President must be calling to tell me how I need to work with him and be a good companion for him and help him be obedient. So for the next 4 hours I'm still waiting to hear from President and still thinking that this Elder is coming and that I'm going to have to do my best to get along with him. Well at almost 6 as we are heading to dinner with G, who by the way fed us indian tacos, President calls and says did I call you earlier...? um..No. I reply. He then says oh man I'm sorry, well you're training. You did a great job with Elder Whitlock so we thought we'd send you another one. He just said it pretty casually and said well I've got to go talk to you later. haha Oh man was I relieved. It turns out this crazy elder is going to be companions with another Elder Davis (there are like 4 of us in the mission) So I'm training again! I'm pretty excited! So now I'm in Great Falls and Elder Whitlock just took off for Columbia Falls. I'll be here till Thursday morning. The new elder will get to Great Falls late Wednesday. I'm really excited too because we have some awesome lessons already set for him.

 A part member couple walked up to us at church and she said this is my husband and he wants to take the lessons. So we are teaching those 2 teenage girls J and K together and then we'll go straight to the lesson with the H's! I'm really excited for the work we have to do here and the chance I have to stay in the Havre Ward and the Chinook Branch. I really am liking it up here. Well one last quick thing and then I've got to go. There was a sugar beet festival in Chinook this weekend and of course the whole town shut down for it so there was no one wanting to be taught. So we ended up going to the parade with the 90 year old lady who feeds us steak. We helped walk her over to it so she could see it. They were really excited about how big it was. It lasted a half hour and they were crazy excited about it. It was funny. Well I've got to go. I love you all. I'll send you a letter maybe if I get a chance and let you know how the new Golden is. Have a great week.


Elder Davis

Monday, September 20, 2010

Snow? Monday, September 20, 2010

Snow....Yes you heard me right, snow. Believe it or not we were sitting there on Friday at our desks weekly planning and watching it rain when all of a sudden it was like you could see the rain better. Then it hit me what was going on. It was starting to snow! It was a really wet snow but snow none the less. I looked at the calendar...Sep 17th! One day before that crazy dude we talked to in Havre told us it'd snow because his tree had turned colors. No Way! As we sat there it wet snowed for a good 20 min. too warm to build up or turn into any kind of snow storm but still. It's September! As we planned we talked to Bishop Q who lives in Big Sandy which is closer to the Bear Paw Mountains and he said it was snowing enough the roof of his house was fully covered! We also talked to the Zone Leaders and they said it snowed enough in Great Falls that they had to bust out the broom scraper thing to dust off their windshield. Everyone keeps telling us it's normally not this wet. The farmers are ticked. I woke up early this morning and it was raining pretty hard. Pretty much the whole way driving to Lewistown this morning it rained. I told Elder Whitlock I didn't know I was coming to Washington for my mission but I'm ok with it. Ok enough weather talk.

So we had a really good week this week. Lewistown was in town for team ups and we had 7 lessons on Tuesday. And that was only really working 2/3's of the day because of district meeting. The best part was when Elder Butler and I were TRACTING, Yes we still Do Tract, Crazy AZ Mission. I'll get back to that later. Ok so while we were tracting we knocked on a door and a 16 year old boy answered. I gave him a tracting approach and asked him if he knew any Mormons at school. He said no. None of them wear name tags like you do. haha I thought that was funny. So he asked his Dad who was sitting right there if we could come in and his Dad said yeah sure if you want to talk to them. So he let us in. We ended teaching him and his other teenage brother the first lesson. The one kid A seems really interested. The other one, M, seems interested but not as much as A. So at the end we committed them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and they said they would. I also asked them if they'd be interested in Young Men's and their Dad laughed and said A had just been asking about a youth group of some kind a few min. before we knocked. He said he had plans this week on Wed. but that he'd love to come next week. So we have an appointment set up to teach them tomorrow afternoon. Their Dad right as we were leaving said Hey next time tell them about the Angel Moroni. This really caught us off guard. We asked him if he has ever read the Book of Mormon and he said just the book of Moroni. He said their last name is Moronie and that he heard about the Angel Moroni once and it interested him so he got a hold of a Book of Mormon and just read the last book. So now we think we have some good potential with the Dad too. It was awesome to be tracting in the right place at the right time like that. We are excited to teach them more. We were also able to teach a referral out on Ft. Belknap on Thurs and she said she'd read the Book of Mormon. So we got 3 new investigators this week. That is most definitely a record in this area since I've been here. Our mission and zone is really pushing to find more so it was good to help out our zone meet some of the goals we have set. We are also going to start teaching K's son and J (I think I talked about her last week).

Speaking of K, Elder Whitlock and Elder Ika had an amazing lesson with her. They got there and in their talking she opened up and said she took our challenge last week and prayed about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and that she felt the spirit for the first time so strong she said she couldn't stop crying and that it scared her. She said she felt that way for three straight days and then she bore her testimony to Elder Whitlock and Ika. This was really good because we still weren't sure if she knew Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon to truly be true. Now that we know this though we know she is ready for baptism on our side. Now Bishop Q is going to talk to her probation officer and after he does that we hope that we have a good case to take to Pres. Gardner so that he can take it to the First Presidency and petition for her to be allowed to be baptized. I really think she is ready and hope everything can work out.

The four of us Elders ate at L P's on Mon. night and then his brother C P's on Tues. We made it a little competition between Bro. L P and Sis. A P for who could make better Italian. Let's just say L P's was really good and he bakes really good cookies. But...Sis. P blew him out of the water! Oh man she made a really good Italian dish. It was probably the best Italian I've ever had and then to top it off she made Warm Chocolate Melting Cake. Every one's first word out of their mouths after taking a bite of Warm Chocolate Melting Cake was Wow! They thanked me for sharing the recipe with them. Sis. P wrote on her recipe card Elder Davis's Warm Chocolate Melting Cake. Bro. P said that may have sealed my fate for being remembered in Havre. hahaha

So here's a good rez story for yall. After leaving a lesson with that lady who said she'd read the Book of Mormon we were walking back to the car with Pres. J when an older native came walking right up to us. She said Hey you're Mormons right? We said yes. She said Well I'm a Jack Mormon! Pres. J being naive said oh really what's that? She said I'm a Mormon who drinks, smokes, and cusses! She went on to tell us all of these crazy things. She was really confused about the gathering of Israel. She said why do you feel like you have to gather my people? We aren't lost. We're right here. We've always been here. You don't need to gather us. haha She also said why do you think we are cursed? We look like the earth. You're the ones that look like Ghosts! hahaha She ended up asking us to say a prayer and when we asked her who she'd like to say it she said the creator and pointed to Pres. J. This caught him off guard. He asked what her name was so he could pray for her and she rambled off the longest name I've ever heard. I almost lost it at this point when Pres. J had the funniest look on his face like oh great what do I do now? hahahah So he finally just prayed for her and used the first name she had said. Oh man. Never a dull moment on the rez.

One quick thing. Dad did you know Richard G Scott served in Uruguay on his mission. Pretty cool huh?

So we went with the R family to Stake Conference in Great Falls this weekend. It was a regional conference so it was broadcast in from Salt Lake to Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. Elder Hallstrom, Sis.Cook, Elder Perry, and Pres. Uchtdorf spoke. Pres. Uchtdorf spoke about preparing to go on a mission and being better member missionaries. It is always nice when members can hear it from a general authority and have it back up what you've been telling them. The funniest line of the conference was when Pres.Uchtdorf said that young men need to save for their missions and not be worried about spending money on big trucks with big tires. That was the Perfect line for about 95% of young men in Montana and Wyoming. And maybe Colorado too. hahaha I wonder what Elder Child thought of that. hahaha

So after the conference before we came back to Havre we went and ate with the Rs at the park in Great Falls and then we got to feed the ducks and geese. Sis. R had bought everyone a cheap loaf of bread. It was so much fun. I hadn't done that in so long. haha

We have a musical fireside this weekend in Great Falls . It should be pretty good. Elder Whitlock and I have a small speaking part. Transfers are also this weekend. I honestly have no idea what could happen. I've been here 6 months so you'd think I'm outta here but the trend in this area is 7 1/2. I could really care less if I go or not. I would really like to stay in this area and finish some things I've started but we'll just have to see what the Lord thinks. Pres. is coming to Lewistown tomorrow after District Meeting for interviews. We'll see what he says.

Ok now really quick Mom told me about the "Lazy AZ" mission as I'm now calling it. That is weak sauce that they aren't tracting! Yeah in a perfect world the members would give us a ton of referrals but we don't live in a perfect world. We are trying to get members to help us more but you have to do your part too. You can't just solely depend on the members. If this is coming from the mission president I'm really surprised. This in my mind totally contradicts Preach My Gospel teachings that has a whole section on finding! Yes the members of the church in my mind need to step up their missionary efforts and that is like Mom said a big responsibility of ward missionaries (which we don't have here, too small, just enough members to fill callings). End of story Yes We Do Tract. It's our way of showing the Lord that we are willing to work hard to find and that we have faith that our efforts will pay off and that we will find someone to listen to us. I also believe that when we work hard and tract that even if you don't find someone that the Lord will bless you in other ways because of your hard work. And I would never feel comfortable going to work out at a gym when I should be out teaching and tracting. So tell your missionaries that you'll find them someone to teach when they up their finding effort and that combined you can all move the work forward. So yeah. End of that rant.

Well I better get going. I love you all and I hope you all have a good week. Hope to hear from you all when you get a chance. Talk to you later.


Elder Davis

PS Yes I got my BYU Shirt! Thank you so much! And my contacts are in good shape. I also got a Uruguay Jersey from Andrew! Thanks so much Andrew! They both look good on me! haha

Monday, September 13, 2010

Greetings from MT- Monday, September 13, 2010

Hey Everyone,

Well another week has flown by. We had a pretty busy week this week and I can't believe it's pday already. Our week started in Lewistown for pday and district meeting Mon. and Tues. and then it was back to our area. The dirt road that saves us 35 miles one way and about a half hour or so of time was closed due to a rock slide so we had to go through Denton and to Ft. Benton and then up to Havre. If you look at the map it's way out of our way and not as direct as the dirt road. It was a boring drive and like I said it takes longer. You feel like you should almost be there when you get to Ft. Benton but then you realize you're only about 25 miles or so out of GF. We made it home though and we were able to have a good night with ward splits. On splits I went with Bro. B. He's the one that let us stay in their house while they were in Maine. We had a set appointment with our investigator C and when I told him that as we were driving over there he said wait, what's her last name? I told him and he said he had just hired her to work at the Boys and Girls club. I apologized and told him I hope this wasn't going to be awkward for him and he said no it's ok I'm just glad I hired her or that would be awkward. haha. She was pretty surprised when I showed up with her new boss. She said "This keeps happening to me. I go to the dentist and the doctors and I think to myself they must be Mormon, and then I went to church and they were. Then I go for a job interview and think this guy seems Mormon and now I find out he is". It was pretty funny. We had a really good lesson with her about the atonement. It's amazing how different people view the atonement and how their focus is more on the cross than what Christ did in the garden. But when you think about it that was just the ending to the atonement not the bulk of it. I think after our lesson she understands things a lot more.

Wed. was a pretty good day. We were asked to go the library to take a survey the church wanted us to take about the toughest questions we get asked. Well we were there at the right time because a less active member from Rocky Boy Res. came up to us and asked for a Book of Mormon so that was good to be able to get it to him. We went tracting in the evening time and ran into an interesting man. He automatically started to go off on us and tell us all these things we supposedly believe. He told us he was Born Again Christian which in my experience are always the ones that want to argue because they believe you don't have to do anything but accept Christ to be saved where as we believe our works are what help us use what Christ has done for us and take advantage of that mercy. So he kept going off and this was Elder Whitlock's first confrontational person so kind of tried to go at him with some scriptures and things but the guy was obviously not going to listen so it was pointless. Elder Whitlock finally realized this and after a while we were just trying to figure out in our minds the best way to get off his door step peacefully and politely. He kept saying that our church is a church of deceit and lies and that we know we are trying to lead people astray. He told us that we go to a school of deceit to learn how to trick people. When I just tried to smile at him he said SEE, that's what they teach you to do! You're trying to deceive me! It ended up all coming around as he kept talking at us not to us that his wife was LDS and that when he wouldn't convert and get married in the temple she left him. So pretty much we just think he's bitter and angry. It made for a good laugh later because of all the garbage he was saying. He told us we believe Christ only died for half our sins and we have to work for the rest. When I tried to bear my testimony against that he just interrupted me and that's when I knew 1/8 into the conversation that this was going no where. Like I said though it made for a good laugh later. That has only happened three times on my mission and all three were Born Agains.

Wed. night we ate at the B's and she made us some authentic Maine fishish soup. It pretty much was this awesome soup that had all sorts of seafood in it. I thought of Dad when I ate it and how he would have really liked it.

We had a really good lesson in Chinook this week with this lady in her 50's named B. We had an older member couple with us that is good friends with her and she opened up way more than she ever had. We were able to talk about a lot of things and despite her not coming to church yesterday I think we are making headway. It also reaffirmed my testimony in taking members to lessons. It's amazing how much better they work. We ate at Sis. H's on Sat. She ordered a bunch of ribs from the Eagles Club bbq. They were really good. At church yesterday I found out there is a BYU fan in Havre. Bro. S. He was wearing his BYU tie to show he wasn't fair weathered. He told me about the game. It was sad to hear but really not that bad. I guess when you just hear about it it's almost like it didn't even happen. I told Elder Whitlock if I was at home right now I'd still be angry and have a nasty pit in my stomach. haha But when I'm not there to witness it it's almost like it never happened. I hope they can bounce back with a win at FSU but It'll be tough. It sounds like AF has a good team this year. I'm excited to get my shirt this week. Also good to hear the Cards and the Seahawks won.

We were able to play tennis with the Lewistown Elders and Bro. P today. We also went to seminary because they were talking about D&C 4. We cooked them breakfast too. We made German Pancakes. Everyone really liked them. Sis. P payed for all the food we just had to come make it this morning. They have a great group of youth in the Havre Ward who are more missionary minded than the adults at times. I don't know if I mentioned that girl we met at the P's who wants to be baptized but is waiting for 3 years till she turns 18 because her mom won't let her. Well she is now living with her dad and a custody battle is going down. So the Ps and us are all praying everything will work out for the better and she can go live with her dad and get baptized. So more info to come for sure.

Oh also went to the CES fireside last night. Elder Scott was pretty funny when talking about how taking a date to a movie is a stupid idea. haha. It's funny how I was able to relate a lot of his message that was directed to marriage to being on a mission with a companion. Elder Whitlock can be a perfectionist at times and it can be frustrating at times but we are still able to get over that and look past it and do good work. Well I hope you all have a great week. Thanks for the emails. Hope to hear from you all again soon and I'll talk to you later.

-Elder Davis

PS we got a typewriter from the Ltown apartment and bought some ink for it and it works like new. So hopefully I'll be able to bust out some good letters with it.

Go Cougs! Beat FSU!

Monday, September 6, 2010

A busy week for sure- Monday, September 6, 2010

Wow What a Week!

I'm not sure quite where to begin. I guess I'll start at the beginning of the week. Monday was kind of a boring Pday because we weren't with Lewistown. Pretty much after emailing and shopping I just took a big nap. It felt good. Tuesday we normally have splits but we only had one person sign up. The young single adults and some young couples were getting together for a game night so we went with the guy who came for splits and picked up our investigator C and took her to the game night. It was really good for her because she never feels like she meets very many people at church so this helped her get to meet some people.

Wednesday we had our weekly study with the two less active old ladies and C. They both married outside of the church and you can see how it has affected their knowledge of the gospel. We are going to start teaching them the lessons. We are hoping to get them back to church and hopefully help them build a testimony. Wednesday we ate lunch at a member's house in Havre. Their son got back from his mission to Mexico a few months ago. He wanted to cook us some authentic Mexican food and we of course were excited. So we go over there and he is making his own tortillas, meat, and beans. It all looked good. Well the tortillas he made were really really really salty. I only ate two of them because it was all I could handle. He said they tasted salty but that the recipe called for 1/2 cup of salt. I knew this couldn't be right. The member was just puzzled as to what was wrong and he just kept eating. After we went to our Book of Mormon study we were feeling sick and drinking a ton of water. The member then called us and said that he was sorry and that he looked closer at the recipe and it was 1/2 teaspoon not 1/2 cup. So pretty much we were salt Poisoned! We drank so much water the rest of the day and used the bathroom a lot. After a while we were sick of water and went to the gas station for something else. I got a lemonade and downed it before we even left the gas station because I was so thirsty. Wednesday night we left for Great Falls. We got there around 9:00 and stayed at the Zone Leader's house along with Elder Stewart (MTC comp who is now in my zone) and Elder Wood. Thursday morning we got up around 5:15 and got ready for our day. We met the whole zone at 6:00 a.m. and drove 3 vehicles to Helena including ours. So I had to drive to Helena with a full truck, 6 missionaries. The drive was beautiful. We left just as the sun was coming up and we drove through a bunch of mountains and up a canyon. We crossed the Missouri River quite a few times because it winds back and forth through that area quite a bit. Because of the temp of the air and the water the river had a thick fog coming off of it. When you'd cross over a bridge you crossed through this big wall of fog. It was pretty cool. We got to Great Falls and ate some breakfast at Buger King. It was a lot of fun to be back in Helena again. It felt like going home because I was going to where it all began. We drove out of Helena 20 miles towards Missoula to a ranch that sits in this valley that's just surrounded by mountains. It was so pretty. It felt good to be back in the mountains. There were 3 zones there. The Helena/Butte, Great Falls and Bozeman Zones. There were over 50 missionaries there. It was a lot of fun to see a lot of missionaries I haven't seen in a while. I saw Elder Cabral (MTC) for the first time since January. I also talked to Elder Kuck who is still in Townsend and guess what....W M is getting baptized in two weeks! Isn't that So Exciting! He had a meeting with the Stake President who he really looks up to and he pretty much told W it was time and committed him to baptism and W agreed. Pres. Fischer is coming up to baptize him. I wish I could be there but there is no chance with how far away Havre is. Oh well that's pretty cool.

So we set up chairs on a hill side of a meadow that had a bunch of big pine trees near it and that's where we did our conference. Part of the conference was going out on our own into the woods to reflect on all that God has created for us. It was a very spiritual experience. Definitely a high light of my mission so far to sit there under a big pine tree and just look out into this great valley with a perfect blue sky and a perfect day. It was so nice to just sit there and look at God's creations. It was a lot of fun to spend a day in jeans and a tshirt with a great group of Elders, Pres, and beautiful surroundings.

We spent the night in Great Falls on Thursday and then woke up early on Friday. Friday Elder Larson woke us up at 5:30. I just thought he wanted to get us up and out of there early so we could get back to Chinook early. Well after we were showered and everything and about to leave he looks at the clock for the first time and realizes it's 6:15. He asks if that's the correct time and we said um yeah. He then freaks out and says NO WAY! I forgot to change my alarm from yesterday! We missed an hour of sleep! It was pretty funny. He asked why we never said anything and we said we just trusted him and thought he just wanted to get us out of there early. haha So from Wednesday night-Friday morning we drove 500 miles.

The other night we got home and the sky was really really clear and the stars were Amazing. You could even see the Milky Way big time! Best stars I have ever seen. It was cool.

We taught an investigator in Chinook named B this weekend. We committed her to read the Book of Mormon. She went from saying at the beginning of our lesson that Joseph Smith was just a crazy man to at the end saying why would Joseph Smith ever lie about that. I just really hope she'll read it now and not tell us the same thing S did that it's a good winter project!

Well All the BYU news brings great Joy to my soul. On Saturday I think I did pretty good not thinking about it very much. Just when I got up, then when I realized it was 5:15 and the game had just started, and then again at 9:20 when I wondered to myself if they had won. As long as we stay busy I'm good. I'm glad to hear they won. Glad to hear the 2 QB thing worked out. Also really liking the new independence and ESPN stuff. It will be interesting to see who they get scheduled. Also loving the games vs Notre Dame. I can't wait to raz Coach F about that. Also glad BYU bball didn't get shafted and that they'll have some good schools to play. Who else is in the WCC? So did BYU write a Declaration of Independence? haha Well I better get going. Thanks to everyone who sent me something this week. It was awesome to get some good mail! Congrats Ricky on the mission call. You'll do awesome! Leaving almost exactly to the day I left just one year later. Have a great week. Love you all. GO BYU!!! Beat Air Force!


Elder Davis

PS. So we've heard a little about this Glenn Beck Rally thing? Just wondered what it was all about. Elder Whitlock's parents flew to DC and went to it so that's pretty cool.