Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

There is Sunshine in My Soul Today, and in Kalispell!

This truly was the first week of summer not only on the calendar but here in Kalispell. We had sun, sun, and more sun. Besides a 15 minute thunder and lightning down pour we didn't have any other rain this week. It was a nice change to see the sun every day! Along with the sun came more activity not only in service but in lessons. We had a great zone training on Tuesday and that just set the tone for the rest of the week. We kept really busy and had a lot of set appointments too which is always nice. We also found a lot of new people to teach off of referrals and tracting, four new in total and two new less actives to work with also. We also set two baptism dates with two younger kids we are working with. One is a 9 year old who's mom has just been getting back to church and the other is an 11 year old same scenario. We are also getting close to setting a baptism date with 82 year old T. So I guess here in Kalispell we like baptizing the young and the old...literally. I'm so pleased with the work that is going on here. I also feel like right now I'm on the top of my game! I feel like everything is really clicking! At different parts of my mission I've felt close to this but have still lacked in some categories of missionary work. Obviously there are always more things to work on but right now I just feel like I'm hitting all of the points necessary to be a good missionary. This definitely comes from being more mature in the mission and having more experience but it has also helped to have a companion who is more on the same page as you and who can carry some of the load with you. President said that he was proud of me and the great work I've done but said to not look back now and to make these last six months my best months. Then he paused and said wow....I can't believe we are really getting that close...what a sad time and a happy time we are at.

Along with teaching and finding a lot came a lot of missionary journal moments. We had dinner with a family and asked if they had someone they thought we should go see. They gave us a name of a less active lady and we went after dinner and found her house. As we knocked on the door this lady in her 40's comes walking to the door, opens it with a bright smile, and welcomes us in. As I walk in the first thing I notice is the smell and then I look straight in front of me into the room and right there in the living room is a Chicken! A live Chicken! She had just taken some chicken wire and wrapped it around to make a little cage and set it on the floor and then spread the chickens feed on the floor and put his water dish just right there on the carpet! Oh Man! Only in Montana! We later found out that this lady also has 10 cats! She is a really nice lady though and is looking forward to us coming back and teaching her more. We are too because we are going to ask her if we can get a picture with her chicken! haha

You had asked about homecomings and if there are any that I wanted you to go to. Well not this transfer but next you could go to Elder Wells'. He's from Lehi and in Hineman's ward. So you could meet him and Elder Hineman's family. Also don't know if Gma G has any reason to go to Manilla but Elder Catron will be home at the end of this transfer. Tell her to incorporate some family history business into it and that'd help make it worth it. haha

We were online proselyting this week and there was a brother from Columbia Falls here. He said he's lived in Columbia Falls since 1960 so I asked him if he knew Bishop Walker. He said oh yeah I used to coach his church basketball team and we drove around to different tri stake tournaments. I told him about what had happened and it really took him by surprise. He went on to tell me about what a great kid he was and how his parents where deaf but that never slowed them or their family down. It sounds like Bishop Walker was not only a great man but a great young man too.

We helped out with more sheep this week. We had to take their coats off that they wear so the wool doesn't get dyed by the sun and put flea powder on them and then re-coat them. Never a dull day at J's.

What did everyone think of the blogs this week? Got a nice comment from Sister Evans this week. She said "Elder Davis--you have some of the best blog titles/applications ever. Way to work your angle!!!! You must be tearing it up out there." It's good to see that my blog work doesn't go to waste and that people are really reading it not just looking at it.

So I had the thought last night as I thought about the 4th of July. Dad you need to head up EVMCO singing at a Suns game this next season and then next year try out for the Dbacks too. That would be Awesome!

Well I better get going. We're actually off to play some tennis with a teacher from the ward and then we are off to hike Lone Pine. It should be a great pday. We are definitely going to get out and enjoy Montana and what it has to offer. Hope everyone has a great week. Enjoy summer! Send me a letter and talk to you later!

-Elder Davis

PS Bummer the Jazz didn't get Jimmer!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Kali Report
First off Happy Father's Day to all the Fathers out there! I hope you and everyone else had a great week this week.

Life in Kalispell roles on and continues to fly by. Tuesday we went out to J R's to help with her sheep. I don't know if I've really talked about J's much but she has about 30 sheep and 4 big rams with giant horns. She is an older lady who was baptized about a year ago and we help her once a week. This week we had to clean out ram pens and get all their poop out of there. It sure isn't the most pleasantly smelling job ever. We also had to help move rams into different pens. They are the rams that have the giant horns that rap around. You just have to grab onto the horns and a rope and pull away and lead them to their new pen. Reminds me of some of the stuff we did in Chinook.

Wed. I had leadership in Helena. Mom you talked about Lauren's driving and how the two of us would probably be ready for a road trip at the end of my 2 years. You betcha! I've done so much traveling and driving on this mission of mine. Helena was 4 hours away and it feels like nothing now to travel that far. I didn't have to drive this time though so that does help. Leadership, as always, was a great meeting. President just opens up a lot more and always seems to show us news clips and then relates it back to the gospel. One thing that I really liked is that he talked about the old phrase "All hat, no cattle" It means you dress like a cowboy and try to act like one when you don't even have any cattle. He applied it to us as missionaries and how we need to be all hat and cattle and not only wear the tag and suit but Be a missionary! We also talked about how Mormons are in the mainstream media right now and we need to go out and talk to more people on the street and tract more because people are watching, writing, and talking about us and we can either sit back and let them do that or we can go join the conversation. Needless to say this has fired me up on tracting again and we tracted a lot this week and found some good potentials.

The week in general went really good. We hit 20 lessons for the first time since I've been here. Our area has a lot of potential we are just trying to "rope it up" so that we can be all rope and cattle. haha get it? We had a really good lesson with a lady named D. She is in her 40's and was baptized into a baptist church a year ago and then started meeting with the Elders 6 months ago. They started off small with her but lately we have really been commiting her to read different things as far as pamphlets and the Book of Mormon. We have been going through the message of the restoration bit by bit and this week we focused on the apostasy and the priesthood. She talked about how she could see a church with the priesthood being stronger than one with out it. We bore strong testimony to her that we have more to offer her and that her church has set up a good foundation but there are more blessings out there through the priesthood for her. She said she'd have to pray about it which we agreed with. I really would like to see her come around because she's made some great progress in the last month.

So the blog rolls on. Spiritual Center Top 10! What is the consensus? I thought it was a pretty clever idea. Elder Holbrook jumped on it and wanted to be apart of it when I told him about it and he's going to do one this week because there really are a lot of sports blogs posts out there. I'm pretty sure I have the most though. As I made that sports page tab which is a new feature to the blog. I know I have the most sports posts out of any other missionary out there. The Sports Center post is already almost into my top 5 of all time viewer wise. I also crossed over into the 3000 view mark this week.

It continues to rain and rain here. I hear it's going to slow down though.

Another exciting part of the week was eating dinner with the Robinsons and the Davises. I called up Pres. on Monday night and he said well Elder Mower can but I don't know about you...yeah ok I guess I'll let you. So on Friday night I was able to see Uncle Stew, Aunt Carol, Whitney and Brad and all of their kids! I didn't even know they had three kids so that was fun to meet them and to talk with them. Afterward they took us to Walmart and bought us a bunch of food. They asked what we needed and we said well all we really need is milk. Well they kept saying no you want Oreos and hey look at this pizza! You know you want it! hahah it was very nice of them to buy us foods we can't afford as missionaries. They said they are going to be around and may have to come to church one of these weeks in Kalispell. I'd like that because I didn't think about it but I should have got a picture with them. Oh well maybe later.

It sounds like the funeral went really good. I'm definitely going to have to tell Pres. about Sister Walker tomorrow. I'm also going to ask about school. Glad you are all having so much fun with each other this summer. Don't worry about me. I'm not jealous. I'm getting to have the experience of a lifetime. I can always go to SD some other time.

I better get running. I love you all! Have a great time in SD. Send me a post card or something. Talk to you next week.

-Elder Davis

PS When is the NBA draft?  I'm glad you liked the card Dad. We'll definitely have to tie some flies or buy some. I bet we could ask Brother Ford. He'd know what to tie.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rain, Rain, Rain, and a New Companion

Hello Everybody,

First off what a shock it was to hear that Bishop Walker has passed away. He did so much for our family in our time of need we will all be eternally grateful for his love and service. I'll second what mom said in saying that he is my favorite Bishop. May God bless his family through this tough time I'm sure they are going through and may there be a Bishop as great as he was to be there by their side. I did not know Bishop Walker was from Montana let alone Bigfork. Let me know on FB asap if anything goes down in Bigfork or not. Not sure how long he lived there and if they'd even have anything going on but if they did I'd love to attend.

On a not so bright note it's been cloudy and Raining, and Raining, and Raining all week long here in Kali. I'm ready for some sun! Will summer ever come? Hopefully soon. But hey I can't complain. I'd take the rain and 50/60 over the winter weather.

Elder Mower is my new companion from Orem,UT. He's the first companion I've had who is actually into watching sports not just playing them and more importantly BYU sports! I've always looked at it as the Lord keeping me in check. Maybe I've gained enough experience and trust to be blessed with a comp with some of the same interests. That and I've been away from ESPN and Cougarboard for almost a year and a half so that makes it kind of tough to always talk sports like I used to. Elder Mower (pronounced Mauer) has been out almost a year. He came out with Elder Whitlock's group. He's been senior comp for the last 6 months in his last area so it's nice to have someone more on your same level and willing to take some more responsibility on. It's been really good. I've definitely enjoyed the first week with him. We've been working hard and I know good things are going to come. Quick note on Elder Whitlock before I forget. He's training this transfer! So in mission terms that makes me a grandpa (ask Andrew for more info if you don't get it).

Teaching wise we had a good week and at the same time a not so good week. We didn't get in with a lot of the normal people we usually do but yet we were able to teach the same amount of lessons by teaching some new less actives and and finding a new investigator. If we can put everything together we'd be in good shape with quite a few progressing investigators. The new investigator we found was a referral from Columbia Falls. We pull up and he's outside standing in the rain in front of his house. We asked him why he was standing in the rain and he said he was praying to God. He invited us into his empty house and explained that all of this bad stuff went down with his girlfriend and he came home the other day and everything, including her, was gone. We sat on the chairs and had a really good lesson together. He is going to be out of town for the next week and a half working but has already been reading the Book od Mormon and he even committed to a soft baptism commitment.

Another good lesson we had was with a girl who is a member. Her mom and dad are divorced and her dad in Florida is not a member. She is looking for more freedom and to get away from her mom and step-dads rules so she decided she's moving to Florida. This broke her mom's heart. she's been questioning a lot of things about the church so we answered a lot of questions. Things started to get a little heated though and that's when we stepped back and said we can't get into contention like this the spirit wont be here. We then told her that all of her little questions aren't the real problem but that her real problem is in her lack of a testimony in the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. We committed her to watch
The Prophet of the Restoration, read the Book of Mormon, and pray about it. She left for Florida on Sat. but hopefully we can keep in contact with her and get the missionaries over there to help her out. Good to know that we at least gave it our best effort.

Blog has been going great this week. I had hit a little bit of a lul there for a couple of weeks but now I'm fired up about it again. I've added some new features too including the one at the bottom of the posts, the random post generator, and the life feed on the side that shows where the people are that are looking at your blog. Pretty cool stuff. The goal is to get more people to read the older posts I have written. I've got some more exciting ideas for the next couple of weeks so my fire has definitely been lit. Let me know what you think of the new features. Also sent a friend request to Greg Wrubell this weekend and told him about the pilot program and about my blog. Hope he checks it out. Also was good to see R K add me on FB. I know he'll enjoy some of the blog posts. Elder Mower was only able to get on once a week in his last area so I've been helping him get things rolling. He's been pretty excited about the chance to get on every day.

Well I better get going. I'm going to try to get a blog posted today. Enjoy the rest of your trip. Have fun with the family and I'll talk to you later.

Love you all,

Elder Davis

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Good Baptism!

Good Day to Everyone,

Hope it's as nice and sunny for everyone else today as it is here. We had a week full of rain but it luckily has cleared up the last three days. Definitely hasn't helped the flooding situation. I think the worst is still to come because the mountains have even more snow on them now. That mixed with a very steady rain for three days this last week will make for a potential wet june or july. The Elders in Roundup are having their fair share of flood trials right now. Don't know if you've read the Talon yet but Elder Sharp shares what is going on there. Definitely worth a read and a potential post to my email blog. Roundup was hit hard this last week with flooding. The Elders in Billings were transported up there and back four days straight to help out. I was able to talk with Elder Hineman and Elder Catron and they said everythings a mess but that it's been really neat to be a part of the service that is going on. Elder Hineman and other Elders were driving farm trucks out of a flooded area and down the banks of a ditch on a muddy road. Elder Hineman said that his truck was the only one that wasn't four wheel drive and it was stuck and that the back end of it slid out and he went into the ditch. Luckily no damage done they just had to pull it out and he won't lose driving privileges because it wasn't a mission vehicle. haha Elder Catron also said that he stepped on a nail and that this news reporter who followed them around all day but never helped and was always complaining about getting dirty interviewed him and asked him about the dangers of helping with the flood. He responded with well...I just stepped on a nail. hahaha I told Elder Catron that if I'm a reporter someday that I'm going to dive right into the action. If the fans rush the court or the field I'm not going to be worried about getting dirty or trampled I'll take the camera and go with them. hahaha He said he could see me doing that. They really are doing a great service to the people in Roundup.

This week we had teamups with the zone leaders. Elder Weight and I went. He's the one that's from Kaysville and went to Fairfield at the same time I did. We talked about a lot of the kids we knew and some of the funny things that happened. It was fun to reminisce. We were able to teach some good lessons too so that was a good way to start off the week.

J's baptism sure came up quick. We met with her two more times this week and had great lessons. The young man, K, who Elder Lanham baptized a year ago, has been helping us a lot by going over to her house with us so we can teach her. He had us over for dinner with J and his non-member parents. We talked a lot and found out that there was some things J had needed to overcome in this whole process but never told us that she had just taken care of them. Like smoking. I never knew she smoked but she said after meeting with us the second time and knowing a little about what Mormons follow as a health code, even though we hadn't taught it to her yet, she quit smoking, coffee, and tea at the drop of a hat. It wasn't till probably 3 more visits that we covered the word of wisdom. By that time when we asked her if she had any problems with these she said nope. Little did we know she had but had already taken care of them. Pretty amazing. Then she told us about all the things her mom has been doing to try to not get her to join but she's held strong and kept telling her mom that someday she would see why she was doing this. I really look up to J for standing strong in the face of adversity with family and friends looking down on her for this. What a great example she has set.

So Saturday came and it was a great baptism! We got there early because we heard if you wanted a warm font in this building you had to turn it on for 5 min and let it sit for 5 min. and so on and so forth. By 10 it was ready though. We had a great program with Elder Wells and Elder Schermerhorn giving talks, K and Schermerhorn singing, and then the baptism. As I walk into where the font is and start to go down the stairs I realize that somehow the plug must be leaking because the water has dropped a foot. Not Good! So we both go down into the font, I say the prayer and I go to dunk her under and realize I'm going to have to make sure she really goes under all the way so after kind of dunking her under I then kind of pushed her under. Not good I know but that foot difference made things hard. She came up and then had kind of lost her footing so she kind of started to twirl around and I had to make sure she didn't fall down. She kind of gave me a look of thanks for drowning me at first but then smiled. I later apologized for drowning her and now it's kind of a joke. haha

Sunday was the confirmation. Elder Schermerhorn was asked by her to do it. He was super nervous but he nailed it and did a great job! We are really excited for her. The Bishop had a little interview with her and said that the primary really wants her but that he wants her to keep going to class and interacting with members and not get shut away in primary. I'm glad he feels that way because I've seen some converts who that's happened to. He gave her a calling already though and wants her to help out at girls camp in July. I'm so excited for her to go. I know Lauren has always enjoyed it and it will be a great opportunity for J to be a part of something that she missed not being a member as a youth but will now still be able to be a part of.

Now for the Gun story! Anyone who was on FB on Sat. may have seen my question of what do you do when an old man comes out with a gun in his pants and tells you to get off his property? So we were going to meet some members at their house but they weren't home yet. We had pulled up along the street in between their house and their neighbors. They didn't have curbs in this area and the streets are kind of skinny in this part of town so I tried to get right up close to the grass and out of the street. Well we see this old man on his porch. As we are waiting we realize he went into his house. No biggy right? Well then he comes out of his house and walks towards us. We then realize he's got a hand gun in the front waist of his pants. I thought to myself oh geez old man did you really need to bring that out here to intimidate us? He comes up to the window and yells Didn't you know it's illegal to park on someone's property?!!! I said oh are we on your property? I'm sorry I didn't know that. He then yells some more and says that we are on his grass. Now I'll admit we may have been on his grass a little but when I say a little we're talking maybe an inch. So I apologized and we drove off. What a grouchy old man! Couldn't he have just asked us to please move. He didn't really need a gun to do it did he? oh well!

I'm excited to read about the whole EVMCO experience. I printed off one of those articles and have shown it to a few people that I know are into music and choirs. They thought that was pretty neat and asked when you're coming to Montana for a concert?

Transfer news as most probably know by now I'm staying! Elder Schemerhorn who's been here for 6 months is going to Laural, MT. Elder Mower from Orem is going to be my new comp. He'll arrive here tonight and Schermerhorn will leave tomorrow morning. Elder Schermerhorn and I have had a lot of fun together and have had some great work going. I'm going to miss him but not his financial status. He is doing better though. He pulled out all of his money and so now he can visually see it disappear which helps him to save it.

We went to a sporting goods store during lunch the other day. We had heard from Brother M that they had big fish ponds with huge rainbow trout in the back. We wanted to check it out and boy was he right. They have this really nice big pond in the back and at first we were just watching these fish swim around but then a worker comes and hands us a cup of these pellets and he said we could feed them. It was so much fun! The fish are really aggressive so when you throw the pellets in they fight over them. It's very entertaining! We're definitely going to have to go to Snappy's when we come back here. haha We are going to take the zone leaders and the sisters there today to check it out.

Well I better get going. I hope everyone is enjoying their time in UT. Thanks for all you do for me and I love you all.

-Elder Davis

PS we adopted the Pirate as our district mascot at the beginning of the transfer and we had some pretty cool t-shirts made up that got finished this week. They say Kalispell Pirates and have a skull with crossed swords and then below it says Life Eternal. haha