Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 12: I've definitely noticed... there is a reason for everything


 
We made tacos on Monday. Also took some pictures in Oacoma of Elder Paskett wearing a cowboy hat. It was really funny. It was funny also when we received possible service at the food pantry and they thought we were coming to get some food for ourselves. They didn't need help though. Had an opportunity to offer service to the Boy Scouts of America here in Chamberlain. We have to fill out an application and it will help that I'm an Eagle Scout. (Thanks mom for pushing me so hard to get it).
I've definitely noticed this week that there is a reason for everything that happens to us as missionaries and if we pay attention, it applies to everyone else as well. Being in the service of the Lord with all my focus is giving me unique perspective on what life really is about.
Ran into someone on Sunday who said, "I appreciate what you're doing, but right now my Gospel is being preached by Payton Manning and the rest of the Denver Broncos." We had to smile at that one.
Look up D&C 129. It talks about how you can tell if an angel is from heaven or from the devil. That was a question a Former investigator named Paul had. Funny thing was that Elder Paskett and I were just having a conversation about it the day before. Also, Paul told us how he's studying Hebrew and the Monster energy drink symbol means 666 in Hebrew. No wonder it's so bad for you.
The Guests have officially started to not smoke. They are really going to try. Angelic is going cold turkey and Ben Guest is trying to use chantex when it comes. We gave them a list of inspirational scriptures to help them in their trial of this next week which will be very rough for them.
Jerry is praying for a baptismal date in December. We gave him 4 dates and he is going to pray for one of them so that it is more of a personal thing for him a personal goal to work towards rather than a forced one.
Made cookies and experimented on some recipes. The result was delicious snicker doodles that I accidently made while trying to make chocolate chip. (Too much cinnamon in an experiment actually turned out to be a good thing.)
We had a live district meeting in Winner on Friday which was my first one. It went well. I got Elder Paskett addicted to the snicker doodle cookies.
President Anderson came to Chamberlain for Branch Conference on Sunday. He interviewed us and we had a potluck. We brought our cookies and I guess everyone liked them because there were only 2 left out of about 20. We also were asked to give an older lady a blessing for pain for the third time she had cancer. She is not afraid of dying; she just doesn't want pain until then. Her granddaughter is a member and asked President Anderson for the blessing.
This morning we waxed the car in 37 degree weather. It was great. I love it here in South Dakota and am grateful for the experience of a mission.
I love you.
Elder Davis
 
 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 11: Kimchee is really disgusting


On p-day tried to make scones, but ended up with a lot of hush puppies at first. Then I realized I don't need that much oil and made some pretty good fry bread with some biscuit mix we received from the Barth's. Got some "ELDER"berry jam to try, it’s really good. I'm still going to try to make scones again, this time better.

So many more clouds here and when it rains, there is a mist above the river that is really interesting. A lot of times as well it just mists with the moisture already in the air and then getting us wet as we walk into it.

Had a lesson with Jerry where we read from the Book of Mormon. He prayed afterwards and said he felt the spirit. It was great and perfect. Also met with someone studying to become a catholic deacon, He reads a lot and didn't accept the Book of Mormon because he wouldn't have time to read it. It was a great lesson though and the first on my mission where it felt more like a discussion and not just a lecture from us. We have resolved to make this every lesson that we teach.
 
Jerry was also able to teach us something that we'd never thought of while reading the Book of Mormon fulfilling the promise that as we teach by the spirit, both missionary and investigator will be edified together. Had a lesson after our weekly planning session with the Stivers, they are less active and his wife is from Korea. It went well and felt like home teaching visit.

On Friday we had Zone training in Pierre and we met someone there that was a member from Utah up hunting. It really is a hunting state here because we have seen a lot of people coming in to hunt pheasants and supposedly Chamberlain is the pheasant hunting capitol of the world. Had a great meeting and afterwards got my winter clothing.

Tried Kimchee on Friday, It's really disgusting.
 
One of the highlights for the week was a lesson with two new investigators named Ron and Amy. They go to an evangelical free church meaning it’s non-denominational with no head of the church, just local leadership. They went well as we answered their questions in a discussion about religion environment where we had several opportunities to testify and they had opportunities to feel the spirit. They did so after we testified of how we knew the Book of Mormon was true. They said, "Wow, this makes us want to pray with you now." It was very enriching and we have high hopes for them. We are planning on making cookies for p-day today using a mixture of different ingredients such as oatmeal, chocolate chips, and cinnamon. We'll see how it works out.

I love you all and am grateful for your love as well. Thanks for all your help and support.

With love,

Elder Davis
 
 


PS.  A bit from a letter to Dad.
                Jerry got to the book of 2 Nephi and is still reading strong. He's understanding more as well as he's praying for help in understanding and is throwing out profound statements at us that I never would have thought about as such as Arising from the dust 2 Nephi 1-2 being arise from the filth of the world. He is ready to be baptized, and we are going to invite him for November 23 next time we meet with him.

 
 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Week 10: Pray often and sincerely express gratitude for blessings.


Got a haircut this week.

Jerry is doing really well. We asked him to pray before he reads and he says it’s helping him to understand the Book of Mormon more. He also has read 8 chapters in 3 days. He really is getting close, but he just needs that extra push to get to church and not stay home because it’s easier.

We met a lady who shared an experience of dying and coming back to life with us. She said there were a lot of warm voices welcoming her, but she said not now and went back. It was interesting. She was interested in family history and thanked us for the records on familysearch.org. She got over 7000 names in her personal records now because of the interest the Church gave her in finding out about her ancestors one day while she was in Salt Lake City. Unfortunately she wasn't interested. 

I started taking Elder Bednar's advice when he says, "read through the Book of Mormon with a question in mind and highlight all the references to that question. By the end of your life you should have around 80 or 90 books."

We had exchanges this week so I went with Elder Perkins while Elder Schneringer went with Elder Paskett. Jerry is actually up to 1 Nephi 18 by now and is going strong in reading. Now he just needs to ask our Father in Heaven if it's true.

Saturday was a highlight for the week. The River City Band Festival is held in Chamberlain so it was an actual Marching Band Competition in both the field and on the streets. It's very interesting the way the whole town of Chamberlain and the surrounding areas view band as a major thing like football.

I know that prayer is the way to receive answers to questions. If you really pray sincerely with the prayer meaning something to you, then it will be more than just "talking to a wall" as one of our very logical investigators says. I know that prayer is where we can express the desires of our hearts to our father in heaven. I know that it helps make days go by easier and will lead to great blessings.

Pray often and sincerely express gratitude for blessings. I love all of you.

With Great Love

Elder Davis

Ps: It's started pouring here in Chamberlain. Last night we had a little leak in our house so we put a bucket under it and it filled up to around 6 inches of water, and that was with a small drip in our house. It wasn't with outside. It's still raining today, but we are dry with umbrellas and it's died down quite a bit. The street gutters here turn into fast streams really quickly and I think they don't really have a shortage of water ever. The highest fire danger sign I've seen is a moderate danger of fire. Also the clouds here are amazing because of all the moisture that's in the air. I really enjoy looking up at them now.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week 9: Now you can do it


So, I've really come to see what a blessing it is to be separated or "set apart" from the world to be able to be spiritually minded 24/7 for 2 years. It's Wonderful! (Exclamation point). Yes we did get to watch conference and it was the best I've ever had. I liked Elder Ballard's talk about missionary work. I also got to see Adrian Ochoa speak again since when he came to Blackfoot with Elder Nelson. I won't forget to "Look up!"

On Tuesday we did service for the library doing my old time favorite crushing boxes. I was grateful that for that short time period I was able to have a box cutter again.

We're trying to update and organize the area book so that when Elder Paskett leaves I will still know where people are that aren't in the area book yet from when Elder Parrish was here. It's going great.

So I must be working hard because my pants tore open on the seam, but I was able to sew it shut with the help of the advice from the cook book and also from Heavenly Father's help. It looks as good as new. I likened this to repentance. When we sin we tear open a spiritual gap between us and our Father in Heaven. It is only through the healing power of the Atonement. (Needle and thread) that we are able to be healed spiritually and close the gap between us and Heavenly Father.

Elder Persher has replaced Elder Cannon as Elder Young's companion. We don't see each other often because of the large area, but we do have a nightly call to become more unified as a district.

riday was very rainy. The most rain all the time that I have ever been in and I was also outside for most of it. I also learned that a lot of people are envious of the commitment we have to living our religion. We explained why and wanted people to accept commitments to read the Book of Mormon, but Russ said no. Had chili for dinner with the Guests and also made hot chocolate to warm us up after the cold rain. The jackets work really well in keeping us warm and dry.

Conference this year seemed really short and I wanted it to be longer. It seemed like the talks were very short. I think it’s because in comparison, we've been talking about the gospel all day every day for a while now. Found out I've lost 10 pounds since being here. I loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk on skiing. Now you can do it.

Not much else has happened this week because it’s been a busy homecoming weekend for everyone and also with their fall carnival. As it gets colder, we have less success on the reservations, but more success here because people are nice and let us in. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future.

Guests: doing well. Angelic is still praying for a baptismal date and Brother Guest is becoming more open as we involve him more

Mary-Joe: She is letting us meet with her again because her medicine for depression is starting to work. She is getting much better than just a month ago and wants to learn more.

Jerry: is going back and forth on progressing and not progressing. We are following up each day to help with this and also helping members to fellowship him so he has more motivation besides us as missionaries who only stay in the area for a short period of time.

Other than that, we haven't been able to see anyone else, but we have set up to see many people this week. We also have many new investigators who are really interested.

I love you all

Elder Davis