Monday, August 26, 2013

Week 3: First week in the field


This week has gone by quickly, but it feels like I've been here for months. My first area is... Chamberlain South Dakota right by the Missouri River! I have a new companion. His name is Elder Paskett. He is from California. It is humid here. I sweat more in a single hour than I have ever sweated in Idaho or Utah. (This could also be because we were doing a service project). Drinking lots of bottled water, Dasani because it’s Elder Paskett's favorite.

Elder Paskett and I get along great. He loves German pancakes and we both appreciate the cookbook. We made some with chocolate chips and it was very thick and very delicious. Apparently my first week here was very lucky because of all the appointments we were able to get. It’s a small town and we walk everywhere until we travel to other towns in a car. It’s my best friend at the moment. This is a relatively new area (4 months) and Elder Paskett opened it. I also learned that all of Elder Paskett's companions including his MTC companion have been from Idaho, small world.

So we were able to meet with several investigators. Mary Jo is a woman whose daughter is LDS and left her mom because she was involved in Meth. Mary Jo has changed though and actually contacted Elder Paskett and Elder Parrish in the street asking to know more about the church her daughter has joined. She has a lot of questions and is really depressed. She has many health concerns including a recent abscessed tooth. We extended an invitation to be baptized on October 5th and she accepted.

Angeleec and Ben Guest are a non-married family who we've been teaching for a while. Ben is less active and went to church last week although they are conscientious about bringing their kids because they make a lot of noise in a church of about 10 people. It's not a big deal, but they think it’s a problem.

Steven is a less active who is in jail. I feel like dad because I get the opportunity to teach in a jail. We've been trying to contact the Sheriff to see if we can visit him religiously other than visiting hours like the other churches are able to, but we haven't been able to see him and every time we try he's busy. But we will eventually get to it. It was more of a Q and A session, but we were able to help with a lot of his concerns as we answered by the spirit. I don't even know why I said some of the things that I did. It's wonderful to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. The days go by fast as we try our hardest to work for the Lord in his vineyard. I'm also sleeping better as I work hard as promised, but it is very tiring work. I'm looking forward to a nap later today during p-day.

The highlight of my week was when we went to Fort Thompson and Lower Brule. They are two different Reservations and look a lot like Fort Hall. They also have a lot of wild dogs there and we don't know just what will happen every time we go there. There is nothing dangerous though, just very interesting occurrences. We tracked into two new investigators Carl and Marsha. They agreed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.

Bryan is a Native American investigator who we consider "Golden". He agreed to be baptized on the 12th without hesitation. The only problem is that he draws the attention away from the lesson and onto talking about things that are superstitious and supernatural, but we are getting better at staying focused on the lesson.

Joy (Native) was the best all week. We entered her home and taught her about the Book of Mormon. I don't remember much, but we were sent there when she needed us and she didn't even know she needed us. The spirit was very strong there.

Finally, we tracked into Trevor and his family and taught them the Restoration. They readily agreed to read the Book of Mormon and pray to see if it was the word of God. They said to give them two weeks which I am concerned about, but I know the Lord will answer them and He will guide them during the course of the two weeks so I am no longer afraid.
 
Saturday was the hottest day at a total of 110 degrees. There was a lot of wind and no humidity though so it was great. Yesterday was very hot with 108 degrees and not a lot of wind. Very sweaty and we walked everywhere to save on miles. It was very interesting, but again last night was the best sleep I've had throughout the mission so far. I love it here in Chamberlain and have high hopes for the area. Hope to hear from you soon. 

Elder Davis

PS.

 It's very hilly here, but with no mountains. It looks a lot like pocatello, but there is no mountain line in the background. I also tried sending pictures, but I probably can only send one at a time which will take a very long time so I'll just mail the SD card to you or something. If you have any better ideas, email me. Also, the roads here are red and have loose rocks. It's not a very up kept area in terms of roads, but that's probably because of the winters that they get here I'm guessing. Tell everyone hi. Love you all.

With lots of love

Elder Davis

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Week 2: YOU WILL NOT REGRET THE TIME SPENT WITH OUR FATHER CLOSE BY

So my second week has basically been the best week of my life. I'm also at the West campus so I haven't really been to the main MTC, but it has been better here because we have to walk from class to residence outside in the fresh air. The rooms are also very nice. We get our own rooms to our companionship and they are quite big. Anyway, I sent a letter with half of it, but I don't know when it will reach you. A brief summary. It blew my mind!!!

I learned about the true message of the Restoration of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ. It is not about Joseph Smith or the Church. That happened 10 years later. It's about Christ restoring His Doctrine and the ability to access the Atonement. It makes perfect sense now. So many experiences that have changed my life and that I was taught wrong before I came here. Even typing about the message of the Restoration has left me feeling the Spirit very strongly to the point where there is no way that any of this Gospel isn't true. God loves us and He is our teacher. Look in my hand written letters (2) for more details. Tuesday night devotional was amazing. I sung in the choir with over 1500 missionaries singing with me. It was amazing and invited the Spirit so well that it burned within me like a river of Fire. This also happened when the speaker, ELDER RICHARD G. SCOTT!!!!, spoke about the true meaning of prayer. Tell Garrett I also ran into Elder Bingham from We the People! Small world right? 
 
Later on Wednesday, We learned about Baptism. It is only the First Step. It also doesn't cleanse our sins, the Holy Ghost does that by a remission of sins by Fire. Water is only half a baptism. This mind blowing experiences are not as hard to take in as before. I am truly changing how I view and do things here on my mission. I leave Monday at 4:30 am to the Airport. Anyway, we also learned the purpose of Church is to get answers to our questions through revelation from our Father. Especially during the Atonement we think and ask our Father what we can do to change our lives. In 20 mins we can receive life changing answers. I look forward to this tomorrow.
 
On Thursday 15, I began to be worried about our district, including me, wasting study time. This was resolved later in the day. We did a Book of Mormon read as a district with our amazing teacher Brother Balzer. We each had a question. We read 3 verses and all our questions were answered. It was undesirable, but it felt natural. We changed our view of study time and will always respect the time we have for study as sacred for the Lord.
 
Friday we went to in-field orientation. It taught us what to do in the mission field. I also met Sister Kassi Roe there from Kesler's. Even smaller world. The best part was when we returned home and Brother Crandall was waiting for us. He had the impression to instruct us in prayer by teaching us about Enoch. He challenged us to take the knowledge we had gained about it and apply it in a prayer. We prayed for an hour and a half. I thought I was doing it wrong. Everyone else had great experiences, but I felt like nothing. I went to my residence downtrodden and sad. In sadness I cast myself on my bed and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I cried unto Him and he did answer. It was the best Experience I have had here yet. I talked one on one with my Father in Heaven. I loved it. After the prayer I realized I needed that troubling experience to take myself deeper and be completely honest with God. Then, I really relied on Him and our wills became one. I testify that the Gospel is true. That prayer is sacred and will bring us closer to our Father if done correctly. Just talk to Him about anything, anyone, anytime, anyway. Be honest and the answers will come. I challenge each of you to try it. YOU WILL NOT REGRET THE TIME SPENT WITH OUR FATHER CLOSE BY. I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen. 

With immense love,

Elder Davis

Week 1: The MTC is awesome

 Hi everyone.
 
I'm here to tell you exactly how much I have changed over the course of this week. I sent you a letter about this as well. Did laundry today and MTC PDays are on Saturday so expect mail then. I love you so much!! I have a companion named Elder noble who is so kind and patient with all my faults. I am grateful for him and all that he does for me.
 The MTC is awesome. I have grown so much spiritually in only a few days. It is true what it says in the scriptures that we are not here to be taught, but to teach. Our teacher is Father in Heaven and we have all received revelation from him. We got an investigator named Mike. I love him so much. He helps me learn to have charity
and love others. We had the opportunity to talk to Heavenly Father and learn what his goals are for Mike to learn.
 
It was extremely powerful. I TALKED WITH GOD AND HE ANSWERED ME AND IT WAS EASY. It didn't feel wierd or powerful, but it felt natural like I had been doing it before many times. I know that God loves his children and wants us to return to him. This is the Doctrine of Christ: to be put on the path to eternal life with our families. As I prayed to God our wills became one and I was able to see Mike as God saw him. It's too awesome to put into words, but it was the best experience of my life. I go to my father often now. As we taught Mike, I felt the spirit working through me to reach out to Mike. I know he felt it. I also felt calm. He asked us several questions, but I don't really remember them. All I remember is that they were very deep and impossible to answer by ourselves. It wasn't us in there with Mike. It was Christ answering all his questions. I know this and am very grateful that I am not doing this alone.
 
 How's everyone doing? I hope you get this email because I guessed at the address. I trust in God though to get it to you. I love you and miss you.
 
Hope everyone is safe and having fun.
 
Elder Davis