Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 91: We are both being transferred out to new areas in the new mission.

So this week has been crazy. We had our final goodbyes to our mission President Anderson and Sister Anderson on Thursday as we attended the final zone conference ever to be held in the South Dakota Rapid City Mission. It was very inspiring and we learned a lot. It was hard saying goodbye to President and Sister Anderson. But we will have the opportunity to reconnect later after our missions are completed.

So, since the mission change is on a different day than transfers our transfer ended 2 weeks early. I have only served in Buffalo for 1 month and yet now we are both being transferred out to new areas in the new mission. We have no idea where yet and we will find out after being interviewed by President Mecham on Tuesday.
The rest of the week was spent in chaos trying to schedule goodbye appointments, packing, and making sure the apartment is spotless and the records for the area as updated as possible. (This is made harder by the fact that the missionaries before us didn't really keep good records since January. So we will do the best we can to help the new Elders or sisters (we don't know which ones yet) out in learning the new area.

It is sad to leave and many members are shocked, but I know the Lord is sending us to where we need to be to help the work here progress in the Billings Montana Mission.
I am continuing to learn a lot.

As my mission comes ever closer to a close I am reminded constantly of the Lord's hand in my life over the past 20 months to transform me into the person I am now. I cannot help but look back on the many lessons I have learned and the many experiences that have refined, shaped, and developed me into a servant of Christ. I am grateful for the testimony the Holy Ghost has nurtured within me to grow into a tree that will bear fruit. Already it has continued to be delicious to me and continues to be a wonder to my soul. Few things compare with the joy of redemption and the knowledge that one has served with all his heart. I know that Christ lives. He loves me as an individual with all my weaknesses and is patient with me in my trials. His grace is sufficient for me as I rely upon Him. A mission has helped me realize the true joy of discipleship. I know that Christ has restored His church to the Earth today and has provided the means of recognizing and understanding truth through the witness of His spirit. I have felt such witness swelling within my breast and filling me with joy and light. I am not the person I once was... I am better and continue to improve daily. The Lord's hand is seen in all things and I am grateful for his hand in my life. It makes all the difference.
With love,

Elder Davis

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 90: We gave several blessings this week to different people

So, we had a lot going on this week. One of the Less Actives that we are teaching recently had her boyfriend (another Less Active) go to jail so we visit him there. It is different because it is through a video conference call and only lasts for 15 minutes. But it is still helping him to change his life. She also is very appreciative of what we are doing to help her get back into church. She came on Sunday with a friend.

We also had one of our investigators Savannah Dolbare come to church last week and she loved it. We have another lesson with her on Tuesday at 5 pm. Tuesday seems to be when we teach most of our investigators.
We also got to see the Tehau family down in Kaycee Wyoming. They are doing really well and the spirit was very strong as we taught them. Elder Gardner and I teach really well together and we were able to get out some of their concerns. We plan on seeing them again on Tuesday. They really are starting to get excited seeing as Sister Tehau for 25 years didn't want anything to do with anything religious. the Hilton family took us down there. And we have started a tradition that every Tuesday night when we get done down in Kaycee we go to Maverick for a F'real and some Nachos. It really is a great way to celebrate the success the Lord is helping us with.

They have a really neat hiking trail here that we go on every once in a while called the clear creek trail. It is good for hiking and jogging. They also have a really neat track that we use to run in the mornings.
We gave several blessings this week to different people. One was a referral and two others were members. We also had the opportunity of blessing a home for a member who was scared that there might have been unwelcome spirits in the house. She said she felt a lot better after we did it for her.

Another one of our investigators, Lue Braten, knows the church is true but doesn't want to change. She said she is old and set in her ways. We are working on her though. She really loves doing family history work. And we often go walking with her to help her recover from a recent heart surgery she had.
We had a funny experience at Bingo the other day. An elderly woman went up to Elder Gardner and asked, "Where are those Mormon missionaries? They always hide from me." She then looked over at me and said, "There's one of them." Later when she got a bingo she said "I won!? Oh my lands" She also expressed her deep love for soft cuddly kittens and how she loved sleeping with them cuddled up next to her at night (stuffed animals). She also wanted to take Elder Gardner with her. It was hilarious.

We also had a crazy experience tracing this week. We knocked on a man's home who came out yelling, "What does this (*****) sign say?"
"It says no soliciting sir, but we aren't trying to sell anything"

"Get off my property, now!"
We paused confused at why he was so furious. He didn't give us much time to react before continuing, "Get off my (*****) property now before I go and get my club".

Well after that he had us convinced. We just shrugged it off and laughed.
Sunday was a great day. We had dinner with a family, the Allgiers, who knew a lot of people in Casper. They knew Sister Burtagnole, the Bishop's wife. In fact she was the mother-in-law of Sister Allgier's daughter who I met once at a dinner appointment there. Church also went really well and helped us learn a lot, especially focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. A parable was told about a seminary teacher who had one of his students do 10 pushups for each member of the class so that they could have a doughnut, even if they didn't want one. He then related that to the Atonement of Jesus Christ and had a profound effect upon all the students. In all, the boy had to do 350 pushups.

Things are going really good here in Buffalo, there is a lot of potential and we are doing a lot to help people out. Zone Conference is coming up this week, the last time we will be able to see our current mission president. This upcoming week has a lot things coming up and next week we will be in a completely different mission. It is interesting to see how things are working out.
With love,

Elder Davis

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 89: Things are going great here in Buffalo

We have some great plans for this P-day and upcoming week. So later today we will probably be hiking. We also were invited to a family home evening by a family where we will have fun and hopefully open up opportunities for receiving referrals. We were able to have a very successful week. We found 6 new people to teach! It was a very busy week. We also had exchanges. I went to Sheridan with Elder Raymond and Elder Gardner stayed here in buffalo to be with our District Leader Elder Nelson who also actually trained Elder Gardner so it was a great reunion for them.

Elder Raymond and I had a lot of success in getting in with people they hadn't been able to see in over 7 weeks. Miracles do happen over exchanges.
Tuesday we went to Kaycee Wyoming with the Hilton Family to meet with two Part member families, the Olsens and the Tehea's. The Olsens are returning members who need their kids to be baptized, one 10 year old and one 9 year old. The Tehea's are teenagers who have questions about what we believe so we showed them the Restoration video and answered a lot of their questions. We have a set appointment with them both every Tuesday.

We have been spending a lot of time reading with Recent Converts and also finding Less Active members that we can help return to activity.
We also had a great celebration last night burning our 6 month and 18 month marks ties and slacks. (Both of us were 2 months late on this). But it was a fun time.

We also have found several opportunities for service in the community which is helping to soften the hearts of those around us. We help with Bingo at the nursing home every Tuesday and Friday and we also help out at the animal shelter.
There are some great families here. Fast and Testimony Sunday was great. There were strong testimonies which filed the chapel with the spirit. I appreciated this because I know it is the Spirit that helps increase the love of the people. There was also an investigator there named Savannah Dolbare. Her final thing before being baptized was receiving a confirmation that this is the true church by actually attending church. She loved it so much that she said she was coming back every week!

Things are going great here in Buffalo and we are staying really busy I appreciate the time I have to serve the Lord.
With love,

Elder Davis

Week 86: I was transferred to Buffalo Wyoming.

News for the week, I was transferred to Buffalo Wyoming. Elder Rucker was transferred to Cass Lake Minnesota which is right next to Bemidji. The YSA Elders took over the 8th ward. I am now assigned to serve with Elder Gardner. The mission change occurs April 28 2015. This was the last transfer before then. So I am now going to be serving in the Montana Billings Mission as of April 28. 

Last week goes as follows: On P-day we went to the Historic Trails museum in Casper. We learned about the California, Mormon, Oregon, and other trails including the pony express. they have several simulations such as riding in a stagecoach and also fording a river in a covered wagon. It was a really neat experience.
We had another great lesson with Terry Young. He is rapidly progressing to the temple and returning to activity. We also were able to teach the Reardons again. They are doing well.

Jennifer Middleton is doing well and recovering. She also is interested in meeting with the missionaries again.
Saturday was very surprising. I had no idea what would happen with transfer calls. I knew I might be getting transferred but I didn't think Elder Rucker would be getting transferred as well. But he did.

I will really miss the Casper 8th ward. It was a great ward and I was glad to be the missionary that helped start it up and get it up and running as a new ward.
The rest of the week was spent saying goodbye's to everyone. It was a lot harder than I anticipated, but I am looking forward to serving in Buffalo.

Arrived last night and met the Ward mission leader.It was a very funny introduction as he posed as an investigator and supposedly we had to teach him the law of Chastity. They got me good. It made for a great laugh.
Hope to write again soon, very limited time this week. I am glad that I even had the chance to email. Hope to hear from you soon.

With love,

Elder Davis

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Week 88: My favorite talk was by Elder Oaks

Conference was the best one I've attended. The first session was my favorite and answered many concerns, challenges, and questions I am facing. Favorite quotes were: "Life was not meant to be easy. It takes courage to stand up for what we believe" [Elder Oaks]. "Compared to me you both are not all that different" [Dale G. Renlund]. "Sincerely apologize without using if only you would have" [Linds K. Burton]. If you haven't had the chance to watch general conference I highly recommend reviewing it, watching it again or even studying it later. I Know I benefited personally from it and felt heavenly father answer my prayers.

My favorite talk was by Elder Oaks. It was hard to decide there were many great ones.
I am working on learning the area here in Buffalo. We are in a ward. I guess from what Elder Garner says there are about 150 active members and about 300 on the roles. I look forward to meeting with people and helping the work roll forward here.
There was a lady we saw who really loves family history. We were able to teach here the plan of Salvation. We also help with Bingo Tuesday and Friday mornings at the nursing home care center. It is a lot of fun giving service. One of the ladies gave us her bingo prize, a gnome. We are still deciding what to do with it.

We have been teaching a lot of object lessons. My favorite involves food coloring baking soda and bleach. It represents becoming clean through the sacrament and baptism. It is really cool because the combinatio0n of the baking soda and bleach turns the water clear again. Thus we need not only baptism but baptism by the priesthood in order for it to work.
Our new district leader is Elder Nelson. He trained Elder Gardner. He also is from American Falls Idaho area so almost half our district is from Idaho the other half from Utah and one from California.

There has been a lot fun. Elder Gardner ran over a squirrel. I tried warning him by saying squirrel but he looked in the wrong direction. It was ironic because the next time I yelled squirrel he looked in the right direction and avoided hitting another one.
Things are going great. I am excited for P-days here. We have canyons and other places we can hike and we have mountains and all sorts of fun. I am no longer in a walking area and we have a car. It is a little different covering a whole town again and not just a whole town several other towns. In fact our area goes halfway towards Casper and will probably be the border of the new mission. Many great experiences are to follow.

I love each of you. Thanks for all the support.
With love,

Elder Davis

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Week 87: I am now going to be serving in the Montana Billings Mission as of April 28.

News for the week, I was transferred to Buffalo Wyoming. Elder Rucker was transferred to Cass Lake Minnesota which is right next to Bemidji. The YSA Elders took over the 8th ward. I am now assigned to serve with Elder Gardner. The mission change occurs April 28 2015. This was the last transfer before then. So I am now going to be serving in the Montana Billings Mission as of April 28. 

Last week goes as follows: On P-day we went to the Historic Trails museum in Casper. We learned about the California, Mormon, Oregon, and other trails including the pony express. They have several simulations such as riding in a stagecoach and also fording a river in a covered wagon. It was a really neat experience.
We had another great lesson with Terry Young. He is rapidly progressing to the temple and returning to activity. We also were able to teach the Reardons again. They are doing well.
Jennifer Middleton is doing well and recovering. She also is interested in meeting with the missionaries again.
Saturday was very surprising. I had no idea what would happen with transfer calls. I knew I might be getting transferred but I didn't think Elder Rucker would be getting transferred as well. But he did.
I will really miss the Casper 8th ward. It was a great ward and I was glad to be the missionary that helped start it up and get it up and running as a new ward.
The rest of the week was spent saying goodbye's to everyone. It was a lot harder than I anticipated, but I am looking forward to serving in Buffalo.
Arrived last night and met the Ward mission leader.  It was a very funny introduction as he posed as an investigator and supposedly we had to teach him the law of Chastity. They got me good. It made for a great laugh.
Hope to write again soon, very limited time this week.  I am glad that I even had the chance to email. Hope to hear from you soon.
With love,
Elder Davis