Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Week 24: Jerry has a firm baptismal date on February 1st!

Preparation day was hectic. I cleaned the apartment while Elder Jacobs fixed his bike tire. A bike is a great blessing and has helped us to get to places we weren't previously able to get to because of mileage limitations. But, with cold and windy conditions we haven't been able to use them as often anyway. It's been very gusty here. Constant winds of about 35 miles per hour and some days were gusty to about 55-60 miles per hour enough to push me off balance and blow Elder Jacobs name badge into the street. It was quickly recovered with no harm to it. I liked leaning back into the wind and having it hold us up. Sometimes we almost fall over because the wind stops or lessens and we were used to pushing back against it. It's been very warm these past two weeks with an average of about 40 degrees allowing us to bike on several occasions, but now it’s dropping back down. I have a silver bike with blue on it. I'll send a picture sometime. I think it is a trailblazer brand. It is steel and works really well.
On Tuesday we biked 3 miles uphill to the hospital to get TB tests and flu shots so we can volunteer there. They were free because we were volunteering. It took us about a half hour and the wind was at our backs. We thought it would be easier going downhill because it's downhill, but it took the same amount of time. This was because it was harder downhill than uphill because of the fierce winds. They were almost pushing us back up the hill in some of the lower slant areas. It was crazy! 40 miles per hour wind is not fun to bike against.
Jerry gave us a recipe to make a casserole with eggs, sausage, cheese, and tater tots. It was really good. We still have some left over from last week because it is very filling. I've made a personal resolution to at better than the same 5 meals I've been eating since I've been out on my mission. (Okay that was an exaggeration). But I've decided to eat more fruits and vegetables and less greasy foods such as cheeses pepperoni and quesadillas. Wraps are really good. We also made scones. I made a glaze which I dipped mine in and it turned out a lot like corn syrup.

Wednesday was the windiest day I have ever seen in my life no exaggeration this time. It was constantly blowing with gusts of 65 miles per hour that lasted several minutes stopped for about 5 minutes and then started up again. Thursday was the same way. It's surprising me how windy it is here, even windier than Idaho.
We went to a Bible study on Wednesday that really helped me focus on why I am out here in a mission. It was a mini apostasy right before my very eyes! I couldn't believe how much other churches don't know about the nature of God, where we go after this life, and what life will be like after. Everyone had different translations of the Bible that tried to simplify the King James Version language of Old English. In an attempt to simplify those things, things were added that overcomplicate the beauty and simplicity of the Old English King James Version of the Bible. We have been told that there is another New King James Bible, but that we are the only church that uses the Original King James Version of the Bible. Precious truths were lost. People don't know that we have a loving Father in Heaven. People don't know that we lived with God before this life. I didn't know how drastically different other churches were in doctrine until I came out here and I can tell you that I am very grateful for the knowledge that we have about God through the scriptures. I would never want to give that up because it has blessed my life so much. People even think Christ is a spirit even though it says plainly in Luke that he has a body of flesh and bones and is not a spirit. I have a renewed purpose to being out here.

Jerry has a firm baptismal date on February 1st! His interview is this Friday. I've seen miracles in his life unfold as he strives to live according to God's commandments. He has completely changed from being an inactive church goer who didn't read the Bible at all and smoked 2 packs of cigarettes per day to a soft spoken kind individual. He loves church and reads every day. He also has quit smoking and has greater hope for the future. I know the power of Christ's atonement. It really helps others no matter where they are at in life.
We also learned the power of pure testimony as we testified of the truth of the Book of Mormon to someone who thought the Bible was all he needed. They felt something and even if they don't change now, the seeds have been planted for future missionaries to come and reap. I am grateful that I got to be part of the sowing process in those individuals with an honest, short, sincere testimony. (See Alma 32).

We talked with a retired minister whose wife had fallen and broken her hip. He said the greatest service we could give him was what we were doing at that moment: visiting with him and his wife. They are retired and have no company to talk to and their family is really far away. I really like visiting with the Elderly because not only does it give me the chance to fulfill my baptismal covenants, but also they have great stories. His name is Sylvester and he is in his 80s and still skis in Idaho. He doesn't like ties anymore so he said we can have all 50 of his if we would like. We also see the importance of home teaching out here in South Dakota and everywhere. Being here and seeing how very important it is to visit less active members and members alike to help strengthen them has given me greater resolve to get my home teaching done every month when I return home because it is vital in the affairs of the Church. I challenge each of you reading this to do home teaching as often as possible. I know that it will really bless each of the people in the ward not just those you visit.
Yesterday was a great P-day. We received a text from President Barth saying, "It's a holiday today and only one person is on shift at the Big Bend Dam. Would you like to tour it?" It was great. President Barth works there as an operator for the dam. We were able to see many of the things that run hydroelectric power. The turbines were huge and the dam was very claustrophobic. I would never work there but it was interesting to see how all those things work. We were able to see how easy it is to get lost in that place with its many concrete corridors. I also tried almond milk. I really like it.

As always I love each of you.

Elder Davis

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