Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 64: Last week we went to our church building and played a game of lightning that lasted 2 1/2 hours

P-days here in Casper are very fun. We have so many missionaries here that we can play basketball games such as lightning and I even learned how to play chair soccer which was really fun. After I emailed last week we went to our church building and played a game of lightning that lasted 2 1/2 hours because it was the revenge type where if the person who got you out gets out, you come back in. So it took forever and we finally had to agree that everyone came back in and only got one life this time so when they were out they were out. It sped things up pretty quickly, but by then we were all exhausted.

Here is a brief description of some of the people we are teaching.
JD: he is a less active member who is blind. He likes having us over and discussing religious principles and sharing his love of dogs with us. (He remembers people by the dog they have).
Jane: Less Active lady who is starting to get back into the swing of things and is trying.
Lori W: A new investigator that we found tracting. She met with us once, felt the spirit and agreed to be baptized.
Jackie: A lady we ran into outside her house while she was pulling weeds. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she was very excited to read from it. Coincidentally she also had finished the last book she had read so there was nothing holding her back.
The Reardon Family: We taught them the Plan of Salvation and the spirit was very strong. They are enjoying meeting with us.
Matthew: he is looking for another religion that he can take his family to. We gave him a family proclamation to emphasize how our church is very family oriented. We plan on seeing him again tonight.
We also met the Rummell Family. They are less active only because a medical condition keeps them from going to church. So we visit them. He has a lot of really interesting stories and has found a lot of geological artifacts that he has in his basement "museum" that he showed us the last time we went over there.
It also is great because we get fed every night by the members here. This gives us an opportunity not only to be fed, but to strengthen the families that we end up seeing as a result of dinner. It is a great area. We share the area with another set of Elders so there are 4 elders in the Casper 8th ward. On one of the dinners we met the Jones family who has family in Blackfoot. We also met the Rentz family. Apparently they are related to Elder Lete and they thought it was quite the small world that I had been companions with him last.
The highlight in tracting this week was when Elder Newman pressed a doorbell and at the exact same time the garage door opened scaring us both. We thought we had accidently opened the door, but it was a lady who came out heading for work.
Sunday was amazing. The priesthood group in the ward is bigger than the entire branch in Marshall. We had many great lessons.  There was a beautiful musical number and we also had the opportunity to work with the Ward leaders and coordinate the work. Dinner was great as well. We were at the Postal Family's and afterwards for desert we made caramel apples.
It's been a great week. I love you all.
With love,
Elder Davis

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 63: It's been an interesting week. Half was spent traveling around the mission on the van.

So I had a hectic week. Monday packing; Tuesday Drive down to Brookings. Then get on the van and ride all the way up to Fargo ND and then all the way over to Bismarck ND to spend the night. I had a great conversation on the van with Elder Duvall. He got transferred from Chamberlain to McLaughlin SD. Wednesday spent all day travelling over to Dickinson ND and down to Rapid City SD and then on over to Casper WY. It took all day long. And now there are mountains here in Casper!!

Very dry here, I felt like I stepped out of a swimming pool. No humidity and very windy.
Started Casper out with Less Active teaching, we met many this week. We talked with JD a blind member. He was fun to teach and he knows everyone here by their dogs. Also Elder Cunningham served here in this area. I am in the Casper 8th ward and in the East part since there are two sets of missionaries in this ward and a whole lot more in Casper.
Sunday was really fun. We had Stake conference and it was a broadcast of Elder Bednar and Elder Scott speaking. I learned a lot and it has helped with several of the lessons we taught. There are many people here that are ready to receive the Gospel. The Reardon family I met last night and we taught them the plan of Salvation.

It's been an interesting week. Half was spent traveling around the mission on the van. After a long ride I finally arrived in Casper. The first thing I noticed was the willingness of the members to come out with us teaching. Elder Newman has a lot of stress running the area and he is doing really well. There are many less active and investigators here. There is a lot of work; the only difference is in how to go about the work. It's been an adjustment to the weather, boundaries, and no car. But Despite the challenges it is a great area. We have already found many potentials. A family, the Reardons, already accepted baptism if they find it is true. It was amazingly spiritual to teach them the Plan of Salvation and show how the Book of Mormon helps answer questions of the soul.
We actually ran into people who want to read the Book of Mormon and who had coincidently already finished another book they were reading. And they said we could come back if they weren't busy. It's been amazing being here. Had a short emailing time so I'm glad I could write about my week. It's been very exciting.
With love,
Elder Davis

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Week 62: It's been an amazing, exhausting, exciting, crazy, excellent, inspiring, mind boggling week.

It's been an amazing, exhausting, exciting, crazy, excellent, inspiring, mind boggling week. We have had much success and we have many unexpected results.

I am being transferred again to Casper Wyoming. I will be serving with Elder Newman in the Casper 8th ward. I am super excited for this. Elder Lete is going to be training a new missionary and Elder Rucker from Redwood Falls (Part of the same Marshall branch) will be joining them for the Transfer in a tripanionship due to the lack of available missionaries. So Elder Lete will have his hands full with three proselyting areas for one transfer, Montevideo, Redwood Falls, and Marshall. Transfers never go as expected. Just when you think you have them figured out they throw in a curve ball.

Anyway, So Monday was very exciting. We challenged Brother McDonald at Foosball. Of course we lost every time because he was professional at it. I didn't even know the ball could move as fast as he made it go. It was at the other end of the table and then suddenly like a laser it happened to be in our goal with a very load scoring noise. We picked up a few tricks from him though and occasionally we were lucky enough to actually block his shots by moving our guys back and forth. It was an experience.
On Tuesday we were inspired to go tracting in a trailer park. It went very well and we talked to many people. One of them invited us back after we were walking back to the car and his dog Zeus walked up to us and started getting excited. I love these contacting scenarios because people are actually open to hearing what we have to say. It is also a way that we can be in the right place at the right time. An account of the lesson we had for him later in the week shall be given hereafter in the letter.
On Wednesday at the food shelf we were able to have a good day of service. Later in the day we had our first Bible study course class, but no one showed up except Brother Hale so we showed him the video scripture legacy. The class succeeded though because we were able to get in with a less active member because of the poster that she made for us to advertise for the class.
Thursday was where a lot of the fun and crazy things started to happen. Elder Lete and I were driving past the fire station and saw a lot of people there. So we decided to be good missionaries and be seen in the public. It was really interesting. It was a celebration of the 195th anniversary of the Marshall fire department. So they had many fire trucks to look at and also had demonstrations of how to use a fire extinguisher and finally they set a propane tank on fire and demonstrated how they would deal with that sort of problem. It was really interesting and very neat. Later in the day we also had a cat follow us around. So we naturally had the idea to use it as a tracting approach: Is this your cat? The one door we went to with the cat ended up being the owner’s neighbor and not really liking cats so that quickly ended that idea.
We got back in with the new investigator on Friday and talked with him about the Restoration while his family also listened in. He has a lot of potential. It was great being able to testify to his family.
Sunday was great. The testimonies were very good and filled us with spiritual health. I also was grateful to bear my testimony to the branch. We also were able to have a great lesson with Brother McDonald on the 2nd coming and how keeping our covenants prepare us for the second coming. He was very involved and had many questions that Elder Lete will answer next Sunday in his meeting with him. I really liked helping the people in this area. It has been a really neat experience to see how less active members become happier as they partake of the Sacrament and return to activity. After church we also had dinner with the Hales. They fed us Korean food because Brother Hale served in Korea for his mission. It was very good. I really liked it. kim bop and tok kal bi were the things we ate. It was very spicy as in taste not hot. Curries are some of my favorite foods. Some of my cooking adventures this week: applesauce and caramel apples. I made applesauce because I found a recipe for it at the food shelf and we were at the Gregersons for their Family Home Evening where we shared a lesson with them and made caramel apples. It was really good. I really like caramel apples.
I am looking forward to the future. I am grateful for the experiences I have had that are preparing me for the future. The Lord loves each of us. I am sure that he has prepared me for what lies ahead. Today will be mostly packing and haircuts, etc. and tomorrow will be a lot of traveling. I might not even get into Wyoming until late Wednesday, but we will see. I loved serving here in Minnesota it has taught me a lot. I am also grateful for the opportunity I had to serve with Elder Lete. I have learned a lot from him as well. I continue to reiterate this simple truth: a mission has been the best thing that has ever happened to me so far. I love you all so much.

With charity,
Elder Davis

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Week 61: General Conference was amazing!!!!!!!!!!

It's always fun when you have a dinner appointment with young kids. There are many highlights. We helped them dress up and act out the story of Ammon and King Lamoni using a Burger King crown and a beard that we found lying around in our apartment. Our focus was on teaching about scripture study and prayer due to the recent challenge by the branch presidency. It worked out really well because now the kids want to study the scriptures and act out the stories. They wanted us to come back and do the story of the stripling warriors next.

Many people this week have felt the spirit as we testified of truth. Although initially opposed, the spirit bore witness to them that what we were testifying of was true. I love the feeling that comes as we seek to rely on the spirit and allow our words to be instruments for the Lord to do His work. One such person was Webb. As we testified he decided by himself that he needed to read the Book of Mormon and asked for a specific chapter that he could read. So we gave him Moroni Chapter 10.
On Tuesday as we were trying to find people that other missionaries had previously talked with or been referred to, we were at an apartment complex and we got in the elevator. Right before the doors closed, Elder Lete had the inspiration to hold the doors. Then a lady and her dog came and we got into a discussion on the ride down. She is Jehovah's Witness and agreed to have us over for a discussion. I know that the Lord works in mysterious ways but that they are very edifying and have great results.

On Wednesday night we had a great dinner by brother Kidwell. He made some fried zucchini and some fried green tomatoes with pork chops. It was delicious. We also helped him to feel the spirit again and he was able to be invited to General conference by a friend in a different apartment complex. He was super excited because it would be his first time going. We are excited for him as well.
We've developed a great first lesson format for our first Bible Study class this Wednesday. It involves the Because of Him video, explanations of the New Testament and the Books that are in it, and also why we need Christ in our lives. It will be great even if only a few people show up. But we are really excited to accomplish this suggestion for finding people who may be interested in the Restored Gospel.

General Conference was amazing!!!!!!!!!! I cannot explain everything about it, but it was great because it answered all of the questions I had and gave me great insight on how to help people who we are teaching and also confirmed many of the things we had been learning about earlier in our studies. So it was an amazing revelatory experience. If you missed any of the sessions, I would recommend going back and seeing them. They had a profound impact and it was a really great conference. It was amazing to see how much the conference discussed things I was most in need of improving. The Saturday sessions we watched at the Gregerson's home. And the Priesthood and Sunday sessions we watched at the church. I also really liked how they allowed speakers to speak in their native languages. It was very edifying and they were better able to get their messages across without stumbling. The prayers were also inspired and allowed the spirit to testify very strongly of the messages that were shared. It really was a significant conference.
My favorite talks were Elder Robins about where do we face, President Uchtdorf about taking personal responsibility and not blaming others by asking the question ,"Lord, is it I?" and Elder Jorg Klebingrat's on how to stop the adversary from chipping away at our testimonies and our confidence in doing what is right. I highly recommend watching all the sessions and applying the counsel into your lives. They are the prophets of the Lord. They testify of truth and the counsel they gave is very much needed. I have seen the effect when not followed. All the suggestions they gave are things that I have seen on my mission help others come closer to our Savior. Without ding those basic things, Prayer, Scripture study, Sacrament, Family Home Evening, etc. Things fall apart. I have seen the happiness of people improve as they took the suggestion to do better and follow the counsel of the Prophets and there is a significant change. Keep up the good work and remember that even though times are going good, they can always be going better. I love you all.

With love,
Elder Davis