Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Busy Week in Billings

Hello Everyone,

Greeting from sunny Billings, Montana! What a week it's been. First off the 10 hour transfer van ride from Kalispell, to Helena, to Butte, to Bozeman, and finally arriving in Billings Tuesday around 6. It's a pretty neat thing to be around so many missionaries. There are two zones in Billings which mean a lot of missionaries around. It was a surreal feeling pulling up to the mission home on Tuesday. I have only been here for about 24 hours before and havn't been back since a year and a half ago. It sure does feel good to be back though. Wed. I was able to go to the greeny breakfast that they have for all the missionaries in the Billings area and the new missionaries. It was a lot of fun to see Elder Hineman and Elder Whitlock again! I also had the privilege of being able to go to the testimony meeting Wednesday night for the missionaries that were leaving. It was a very spiritual and sad experience. Elders Catron,Weight, and Sargent are all Elders I've been around quite a bit and have been my leaders and example in a lot of ways. This group was just a great group and really tough to say goodbye to. So those were two big highlights of being in Billings and in the mission home. Another big advantage has to be being around President more. It's just great to work with him and also it's great to be working around lunch time and have him stick his head in and ask if we've eaten yet. The answer almost always has been nope so he invites us over for some left overs and we get to eat lunch and talk with him! It's also great to be in the office with the Karlinseys and Ives who are the two office couples.

So my new companion is Elder Garcia from St. George. He's been out a transfer longer than me. We live with a really nice older couple in their basement. It's a great place to live. We've been in the office a lot this week preparing for leadership meeting this week but we were still able to get out and teach a good amount. Elder Garcia wants to find more of a balance this transfer than they did last transfer. We make sure we are always out of the office by 4ish so that we can get some good work done in the evening. Like I said this week we were in the office a lot more than usual getting ready for our leadership meetings this week. Tues we travel up to Helena for the west half of the mission and Wed. we are here in Billings for the east half. We will drive up to Helena and back all in the same day. We have a really great presentation we have been working on. It's focusing on fine tuning our online work to make it better.

We cover the Blue Creek and Central Wards. They both go to different buildings so it's a little different to go to half of Central and then drive over to Blue Creek for their meetings. So far I'm enjoying being in these wards. Already seem like there are a lot of neat people here.

Some of my other responsibilities as an online assistant include monitoring the online activity, collecting online numbers, making presentations at leadership and zone conferences which means I'll be traveling a bit to four different combined zone conferences. We also help out with any other training for new online missionaries and the leadership of the mission. I'm learning a lot but I feel like I'm picking up on everything pretty quick.

I got the BYU shirt from Gma G. Thank you for sending that to me! As far as mail and what address to send it to send it to the mission home addresss 1848 Rimrock Rd. Billings,MT 59102 . It's just the easiest one to send stuff to me at. I get it quicker too because I'm here at the mission home in the mornings.

Well I better get going. I hope that helps everyone see some of the things going on with my new responsibilities. If there are any more questions please ask. My brain is kind of fried right now so we are going to go shop and play some basketball. I hope everyone has a good week. Talk to you all later.

-Elder Davis

P.S. Also one last cool story we street contacted a sweet black guy playing bball at a park the other day. We asked him if we could play PIG with him and he said sure. We played and talked to him. He had played high school ball in Minnesota and college ball at a small college in MT. I had the lead on him PI to nothing. I was hitting some deep shots and doing pretty good. But then he came back and beat me. The only chance I had to beat a black guy at bball and I blew it! hahaha!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

So Long Kalispell!

Well it's goodbye for now to Kalispell. For those who haven't already heard transfer calls came this Friday a little earlier than usual. Usually we don't hear anything till 1ish but at 10:20 the phone rang and it was President Gardner. He said that he would like to call me to be the new online assistant and that he was getting ready to send a voice mail message out to the mission to let them know about me and the new assistant to the Pres. so he wanted to let me know first before I got a surprise. haha I'm sad to be leaving Kalispell after only two transfers but am really excited at this new opportunity to help out the mission with this great tool our Heavenly Father has given us. I'm also excited to have the opportunity to be around President Gardner more. He is such a great man and am looking forward to working side by side with him. I read a talk this week called The Unwritten Order of Things. It was given by, used to be, Elder Packer. He talked about how we need to watch carefully and learn from the leaders around us to learn the unwritten things of the church and how we can better run it and keep it organized. What a great chance I will have to watch and learn from President Gardner and learn the unwritten things.

Many may be asking well what is an online assistant? I can't completely answer that yet. Maybe next week. I do know that me and Elder Garcia are going to be over all the online proselyting for the mission and communicating and working with President and the mission department to find out how best to use it. I know we will be on the computer a lot probably from 10-4 allowing time to answer other elders questions while they are on about how to do things. I also know that we travel to leadership and zone meetings to present new tools and ideas so that will be a really neat thing to be able to not only meet all of the missionaries in the mission but to be able to see all different parts of the mission. I'll even make it down to Wyoming for the first time. More info for sure to come next week though.

I head out tomorrow morning for a long and not so direct trip to Billings. My guess is I'll be on the van from 8 am- 8 pm. The van is fun though because you get to see and talk with a lot of different missionaries you haven't seen in a while. The trip does go faster than usual.

As far as Elder Mower he is staying here and is becoming the district leader which he is kind of nervous about but I think he'll do fine. His new comp is coming from Wyoming and has only been out 3 months. I feel confident they will keep the work moving forward in this area just fine.

This week was pretty good teaching wise. We were able to see most of our usuals and even found a new investigator. The sister who cuts our hair gave me a hair cut this morning and asked if there was anyone I was worried about leaving who we've been teaching. I told her I was not really worried but hoping that a few keep it up and can make it there. I have a feeling this area is going to be like Havre where after I left a bunch of people got baptized. So hopefully that is the case. I'm not worried about leaving J because she's solid but you could tell when I called to tell her that she was pretty sad to hear the news. She said she knew the day would come but that she was hoping it would be further down the road. Facebook is good though because I told her we can still keep in contact and I can keep sending her church links. I also told her we are planning to come up here next summer and she thought that was pretty cool and said she looks forward to meeting my family.

Can't remember much else that happened this week. Everything before Friday kind of seems like a blur now. I think I'm going to wrap this up. We have some cleaning to do and some quick shopping before I enjoy one last pday in Kalispell. I hope everyone has a great week. Stay cool, watch out for haboobs, and have fun. And for anyone that wants to send me a letter you can send it straight to the mission home for now until I get my other address. Also anyone with ideas for online proselyting I'm your man to talk to. I'd appreciate any ideas you've got whether through a facebook message or an email. That will pretty much be my home away from home now. 1848 Rimrock Rd. Billings, MT 59102 . I love you all and look forward to the adventures ahead. Can't wait to tell you all about it next week.

-Elder Davis

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Went to Glacier Park today! Had a great time! No time to email, sorry. I'll be sending a letter though with some pics. Love you all.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 4th of July Everyone!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe day celebrating our freedom not only in our country but the free agency we have from God! Where do I begin? This was a very busy and productive week. The time just keeps going faster and faster the more that gets accomplished it seems. Work wise we had another great week of teaching and finding new investigators. We have found eight new investigators this transfer and we still have two weeks left. It's always a good thing to increase your teaching pool. One of the new investigator couples is a young family, husband and wife, with two kids. We had tracted into the wife a few weeks back and she said they had just started going to the Fresh Life Church but would be interested in what we had to say. The Fresh Life Church is a church that is a happy go lucky, feel good, and rock out for God church. They have a radio station that plays more modern christian music so a lot of people in Kalispell go there. We're excited that they had just started to attend because that probably means they are kind of just getting into church again or for the first time. I went with a brother from the ward on splits to see them and we had a good lesson. The brother from the ward, who is a convert, and the husband were able to find some good connections between them as far as LDS people they both know and hang out with and they enjoyed hearing the first lesson so they've invited us back this week to teach them more. The wife is pregnant which is suppose to be one of the best times to teach someone because they are bringing a new life into the world and like to hear about the pre-earth life part of the plan of salvation. I hope we can get somewhere with them. I'd love to see their young family benefit from the gospel.

Another good thing teaching wise that happened was committing 82 year old T to baptism in Aug. She really enjoys meeting with us and reading the Book of Mormon. We know it's going to be tough for her to overcome smoking and get to church because of health but we promised her that the Lord would help her overcome those trials. We also had a great lesson with M. He's one of the ones who's 9. He and his mom have really stepped up their efforts to prepare him for getting baptized. He was even at church despite her having to work which before probably wouldn't have happened.

We met up with the chicken lady again. She's such a nice lady I just wish her house didn't get cat hair all over my pants. I thinks it's kind of fun to have the chicken around. haha it does stink though. We had committed her to pray ever night which she did and you can already see a difference in her. Another one we are teaching is A. He's the one who's friend is LA. He's in his 20's and is a big time bible studier. We had two more good lessons with him. He is still trying to figure things out but you can see he is making baby steps. His friend who is less active talked about how she's always known this is all true and that she once had strong feelings in her life about it all but with the lack of church attendance that has slipped a little. She bore her testimony though that as she's been meeting with her friend and us that that spirit is coming back into her life. Pretty neat for her to share that with us and her friend.

Ok now to the other affairs of the week. We'll start with last Monday. Last Monday we went on a fun little hike up to the top of a mountain in Kalispell called Lone Pine. It gives you a really nice view of the whole valley. For pictures of that you can check them out on my facebook. We are hoping to make it up to Glacier with the help of some members next Monday but we'll see.

We saw a huge peacock while driving down the street. I know random but thought I'd share that. haha
I noticed a little video on facebook that someone posted about BYU's Football shirts are out! I PLEASE WANT ONE!!! THANK YOU!!!! Elder Mower and I decided to have a little fun with BYU Footballs independence day and that's why if you saw the profile picture on Friday that it was BYU/American/Missionary.

Now onto this weekend. So the 1st of July is Canadian Day in Canada (Lame) and what do they all do to celebrate Canadian day....Come To America!!! (Super Lame!!) There were a ton of canuks at church. You can tell pretty much who all of them are because for some dumb reason they wear flip flops with church socks to church ! Hey Canadian!! This is church not the beach ya hoser!!! HaHaHa! It was worth it though because we got to sing patriotic AMERICAN songs in church. I laughed when we sang the Star Spangled Banner at the end and all stood up and this one Canadian just stood there and wouldn't sing! hahaha It was crazier in Bigfork though. I guess on this weekend every year church is crazy because of all the tourists that come from both other states and Canada. The ZL's said they had 1,200 people at church!!!! They only have an extended testimony meeting and then cancel the other meetings. They have people in the halls, RS and Primary rooms with TVs in there. It took 45 min to pass the sacrament! Pretty crazy huh?!

So now onto the 4th of July events! What a great way to spend the 4th of July and a Pday! The Flat Head Valley is an awesome 4th of July destination! This year was way better than last years 4th. We went down to Bigfork to be with Elder Wells and Elder Weight for the big breakfast they had invited the whole community to. They had a full on flag ceremony with gun shots and a cannon! It was pretty cool! I'm going to write more about this in my blog so check that out later. They set a table up for us with Books of Mormon and pass along cards and they had us offer church tours. We didn't have a whole lot of people jump at it but we were able to give 5 with 3-5 people in each so that was good. After the breakfast we headed down to the parade route. We walked the whole route looking for a good spot in some shade hopefully and let me tell you missionaries are truly famous! We walked the whole parade route and we had people saying Hi Elders! and Hey look it's the missionaries! We talked to members and people from Arizona, Washington, Utah, and California. It was pretty neat! Along with that also came the people that gave us weird looks haha. That doesn't faze us though. There were a lot of people there for that parade. It was a neat feel to it too because it's going down Main Street which is like the old main streets that have all the old shops still. It was just a neat feeling to be there and the weather was perfect! They also give out the best stuff! Not just little candy like most parades. They has some people throwing out otter pops and then the last float was throwing out full size candy bars!!! It was awesome!

We went back after to Kalispell, had a bbq at the Ms, who we live with, went and saw a less active member, and then came back and hung out at the Ms for the rest of the night. Pres said we could be out of our house till 11. The Ms backyard overlooks a big valley so it was a great place to have a fire, watch their son and his friends shoot off fireworks, and then watch the ones through out the valley. We had a great night and a great 4th of July! Definitely need to come back with the family next year!

Well I better get going now. I hope all is well and you keep enjoying summer. Stay cool! Haven't seen Parker yet but I did talk to him on the phone. We'll hook up some time this week. I'm on team ups with Elder Wells today. The two AZ boys out and about! Love you all and talk to you later!


Elder Davis

PS I loved the SD slide show!