Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 100: We have been blessed as we have braved the hot weather and biked around.

It has been a hot and a really great week. We have been blessed as we have braved the hot weather and biked around. The Lord has placed people in our path again that we needed to talk to. One lady had questions about how we would find our family after we die. We testified of the Plan of Salvation and the sealing power of the temple. That power is a great blessing in my life and in the lives of all those who accept and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Half the week this week was spent contacting a lot of referrals that keep popping up on our referral system. A lot of them were duplicates and also all of the ones that weren't were very old from over 3 months to 2 years ago. So we are still deciding the best way to get in contact with these people so they don't get annoyed with repetitive contact. We had a few last week who were very annoyed and wanted their name taken off a "list" that they didn't put themselves on.
District meeting was great. We were trained on how to use Facebook as a mission. We are now authorized to use Facebook in our missionary work. This will consist mostly in confirming appointments, posting inspiring messages up to 3 times per week, and sometimes teaching a lesson through Facebook. It will be interesting learning how to apply the safeguards against temptation the church has given to us to assist us in doing this work. It will also help us develop good habits with social media and the internet and using time wisely before we go home where there will be no restrictions. I am glad I get this opportunity to develop good technology habits that will be useful the rest of my life.
As far as friends, I had to deactivate my old Facebook account which will be reactivated when I return home. Friends and family are encouraged to follow my page, but cannot be "friends".

There will likely be more information on this later.
Thursday we received a call from our bishop’s wife about a man in the hospital who needed a blessing. He was a non-member from the area who was grateful we came for the blessing. He has a member wife who likely made the call. So we gave the blessing and he thanked us.

The weather here has been quite hot. Yesterday it got to be 105 degrees which people say is unusual for this area in June.
We are going to have a great 4th of July. Former Elder Barney is coming back up to do the baptism for Casey. Also on the 3rd we will be heading down to Helena for an all mission conference to meet President and Sister Wadsworth. The new mission president and wife.

On Friday we had interviews with President and Sister Holmes of the mission presidency. They came up here to Kalispell, fed us lunch and interviewed us. It was the first time I've been interviewed on my mission by someone other than the mission president. It was very similar and focused a lot on getting to know us and helping us recognize that we are doing a great work as servants of the Lord in these last days.
The use of social media is really helping member missionary work here in Kalispell. This stake is big on family mission plans and now we can have them include a fun and easy way to do missionary work by posting inspiring messages at least weekly on their account. They can also prayerfully identify some of their friends on Facebook to ask to friend us the missionaries. It provides an easy invitation and a non-threatening environment for them to decide for themselves to act upon the invitation rather than feeling forced to do so.

Saturday was great. We were able to help the 2nd ward elders out with some service. The librarian here asked us if we could help a friend. We agreed. Because I was wearing pants instead of shorts, I was the lucky one who got to weed eat. The others were sorting through big trash piles and recycling materials. Later that day we were able to testify very powerfully to the Fisher family about prayer and the importance of scripture study. We used Mosiah 1:3-7 to emphasize that even prophets, without constant immersion in the scriptures, would have lost the faith and not been able to endure and would have become like unto the lamanites. The spirit bore powerful testimony to them and they are searching for ways to liken the scriptures to themselves and also find a favorite scripture to use in times of temptation.
Sunday was another great Sabbath day for us. There were some great talks and the best part was being able to participate in the sacred ordinance of the sacrament. One thought that has helped me have a meaningful experience is thinking of the sacrament as though you were in the temple. Treating the chapel like the temple and the behavior during the sacrament as if inside the temple. As well as thinking on how we can improve throughout the week with the savior's help.

I am grateful to have been able to write today. I continue to learn new things each week and have a continual appreciation for the things I have been able to learn in the past. It is this renewal that helps me continue on in faith.
Also in my studies this morning I read Alma chapter 29. Verse 9 was particularly important to me. As we share the Gospel with others, our appreciation for it increases as memories of our conversion are brought back to us and we are able to experience more love for those we serve and teach. Keep up the good work.

With love,
Elder Jaden Davis

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Week 99: I love how the Lord teaches lessons.

Hello everyone, we had a great week this week and there were a lot of lessons learned as we put our shoulders to the wheel, pressed along, and did our duty with a heart full of song.
I love how the Lord teaches lessons. They are unique to the individual and are personal manifestations of his love. These can be during the good times and the bad. Through a warm embrace of the spirit or the hard trials that beset us as we travel through mortality. No matter what the case may be as we put our trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ all things work together for our good and our benefit and will be to our advantage and learning.

President Mecham put it best when he told me, "The Lord expects us to develop the talents we have and as we do so, we are promised to receive an hundred fold. One way we receive those additional talents is through the trials that we face and the lessons that we learn."

Many of these "talents" cannot be learned in any other way than the way the Lord has prescribed for our souls. I have learned this throughout my mission and I continue to apply these principles as I seek to come closer to the Lord every day.

The week’s activities are thus,

Tuesday we traveled down to Missoula Montana for a Zone Conference. It was here that we were taught the last time by President and Sister Mecham before President and Sister Wadsworth comes into the mission. It was a very powerful meeting focusing on teaching people principles to answer their own questions rather than just giving them the answer. Sort of like the old proverb, "If you give a man to fish, you feed him for a day. But teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." This same principle applies to our gospel study as we are taught by the Holy Ghost DAILY and that's the key DAILY through personal prayer, scripture study, and meditation upon the things of the spirit.

Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Columbia falls elders. I was with Elder Anderson who came with me from the South Dakota Rapid City Mission. He and I are now going home together on August 29. It was a great exchange and we were able to help out in the community by providing service through project homeless connect.

We are now biking a lot as the month comes to a close and we are short on miles. We bike and as a result the Lord blesses us. President Anderson always said the most successful areas are the ones who bike. I have seen this constantly. We see more people, talk to more people because we are not behind the wheel of a car. Thus we are able to accomplish much more.

We got 11 referrals on Friday which we spent a long time (all day) to contact. With the Lord's help we were able to contact them all. Many of them were repeats and weren't interested, but there were some who were genuinely searching for truth and thanked for caring enough to stop by. One in particular, Sandy, was so glad we came that she was moved to tears. She also asked us for a pamphlet. That's something that doesn't happen very often with sincerity and we could tell she was being sincere.

Later that evening we received an additional 5 referrals which we spent our time the next day contacting. Church was really good. Elder Hansen was able to give a great impromptu lesson in Gospel Principles when the instructor contacted us that he wasn't able to attend. Luckily it was on a subject we are very familiar with...Missionary Work! So it was easy to keep the conversation going and I admire the spirit that he was able to bring to the lesson. It was very powerful and helped motivate everyone to act in some way to help the Lord in his work. (This included me).

It's been a great week. I am grateful I was able to write once again. I appreciate each and every one of you. Keep up the good work.

With love,

Elder Jaden Davis

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 98: We also had several miracles this week.

This week has been a good one.

Tuesday I spent all day with the Zone Leaders and we were able to meet several of their investigators. It was really cool being able to teach one of them about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon. As we taught the Holy Ghost whispered to us what we needed to say and inspired us to promise specific blessings. It felt great being a tool in the hands of the Lord to teach to the needs of individuals instead of simply teaching a lesson.

I also got to teach Selena one last time before we transferred her over to the Elders in the other area. She has a lot of potential, a baptismal date for the 11 of July and knows the message is true. It was sad to see her go to other Elders, but happy at the same time because they needed someone to teach and she is still making that covenant with her heavenly father. I definitely want to be there for that.

Wednesday everyone headed down to Missoula and then to Helena for transfers. I stayed here in Kalispell with Elder Swenson and Elders Guthrie and Brewster. They went to Columbia falls to proselyte for the day and Elder Swenson and I stayed in Kalispell. We were able to meet Dan who agreed to let us come back and teach him Tuesday.

Later in the day I met my new companion Elder Hansen. He is from Keller Texas. We also had to move houses so we have a new address. That night we went to President Clark's home (Stake President here) to eat dinner and receive training to further the work here. It was great Hawaiian Luau style food.

So we also had several miracles this week. Elder Buntrock, a traveling assistant for the mission, came and did exchanges with us. As a result we were able to put John on date for the 1st. He taught us a lot about resolving concerns rather than just teaching the next lesson like we had planned. It wouldn't have been the same if he wasn't there to help us with the lesson.

It was also funny because earlier while biking Elder Hansen and I were able to talk to 2 people on the street who are wanting to meet with the missionaries now. And while biking back we unfortunately got a flat tire on his bike which we will fix. (We have plenty of spare tires) so the Zone leaders came and picked us up in their truck.

The Lord blessed us on Sunday with 2 new people to go see, but it was only after we had acted in faith and kept going that we received this promise. We talked to over 20 people before we got 2 who were willing to listen. The Lord blesses our perseverance, diligence and commitment to do what is right and promises the power, inspiration, and ability to accomplish such.

With love,

Elder Jaden Davis

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 97: Monday was elder Barney's last preparation day.

This week has been crazy. I knew it would be since elder Barney was going home and the last week is always the craziest, or so I've heard.  We had a lot of success come from the woodworks.   We ran into several people who are interested I. Learning about the restored gospel. One of them was a door approach where elder Barney had previously told me a goal of his was to invite someone to baptism on the doorstep. We did so and she accepted and a return appointment was secured to learn more. It was a miracle and we were led there by the spirit because she was really happy when we told her it would help her to improve the quality of her life.
Monday was elder Barney's last preparation day. He wanted to get some souvenirs from Kalispell so we got huckleberry barbecue sauce.  We finished off strongly with a zone wide preparation day at the church building playing dodgeball. Elder Barney remains the champion.  We had a great lesson with Selena on Tuesday. She is progressing rapidly and doesn't want to put down the Book of Mormon when she reads it and the message of the plan of salvation answered many of her questions. Later we went out to Kila Montana and taught a family with Brother Parker out in the middle of nowhere.  Wednesday was the last district meeting for elder Barney and it went really well. I played the hymn God be with you till we meet again for him and it was very powerful. We also learned a lot about testifying
immediately when we meet people.
Thursday was crazy. We literally drove all day long. Drove elder Barney down to Missoula and then drove back only for the assistants to call us saying we needed to bring the car down to Missoula to switch out so we ended driving all the way back down.  I was with the zone leaders from Thursday until now and will be until Wednesday at transfers. My new companion is elder Hansen. I don't know too much about him yet. Elder Lancaster is being transferred down to buffalo Wyoming where I just came from so I'll have him say hi to a lot of people for me. 
Had great lessons on Friday that were able to resolve concerns for several people the zone leaders were working with. We also ran into Shiloh a guy on the street with dreadlocks. We asked him if he had heard of Mormons or the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints before. He said yes I've heard of more men. And you guys are like way up here on a ladder trying to become saints. It was pretty crazy he had a lot of funny things he said which didn't actually make sense.  Including a song which went I've got what you need but you don't got what I want. I got what you want but you don't got what I need. Also singing doom doom doom over and over again. He was out of it. But hey add one to the list of funny people and experiences I've had on my mission.
Sunday went well. Had several opportunities for church 1st Ward, Second Ward and lakeside YSA branch with the zone leaders, learned a lot.  Today was the best, we went to glacier national park, this time for a hike and we hiked to Avalanche Lake. It was a great hike and very beautiful. It felt good to go out and hike again. We did not run into any bears fortunately and ended up with some really good pictures. I am grateful to have time to write today. I love the gospel and I also love all of you.

With love,

Elder Jaden Davis

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Week 96: This week was amazing.

This week was amazing. On Monday we were able to bike the going to the sun road almost halfway. It was very beautiful and really fun. Brother Gordon took us there.  Tuesday was a miracle. The first part of the day was slow, but after much prayer we decided to be diligent and continue to serve. As a result we were able to teach 3 powerful lessons on doorsteps. We found someone we had met on the street earlier last week and found the address for someone who had helped us move a member earlier. The Lord was able to also lead us to those who needed to know that God cares about them. Even though some rejected the message they knew God led us to them.  I've been practicing for the hymn God be with you till we meet again for Elder Barney going home to play at district meeting. It will be great.

We also were able to contact many more who hadn't kept their appointments previously. Wednesday afternoon we were surprised by receiving 7 media referrals something that has never happened to either of us before. We were able to contact all but 2 of them.  The Veitch family is doing well.  They moved the baptism to July 4 so that their family could attend. We also were able to teach a referral
from the Carlin family. She was super prepared. She hasn't been baptized and wants to be. The message of the restoration answered many of her questions and concerns. She will be coming to the church on Tuesday for a church tour.

Friday we found a less active family who wanted to have us come back over. They also went to church on Sunday which was super exciting.  And another miracle on Sunday, we needed to contact at least 8 people to meet our goal for the week and we had a half hour left. God blessed us with ten and two of the, we were able to teach lessons to.  I am excited for this week. Elder Barney goes home on Saturday and leaves here Thursday. It should be exciting being with the zone leaders for almost a week to await my new companion. There will be more details later.

Thanks for all the prayers and support.

With love,
Elder Jaden Davis

Week 95: In this mission they have certain things that they encourage us to reach to stretch our potential.

We've had a great week. In this mission they have certain things that they encourage us to reach to stretch our potential. We were down by one this week and the lord gave us a great blessing. As we pondered on how we could reach this particular goal a name came to mind that we should go see and invite back to church, Kateland Benafield. We biked on over there and we invited her and she said yes she would come if we found her a ride to church. We did so and were happy to see her there on Sunday. This was a great blessing from the lord. As we pondered on what we needed to do and then acted, the lord was able to give us revelation on who to see and who to invite to reach those goals. The lord has promised us all who have received the Holy Ghost that if we remain worthy and continue to follow him and keep his commandments, including taking of the sacrament weekly, then we too can receive this revelation for our own lives.

Last Monday we ended up playing dodgeball unexpectedly when we received a call from another area about wanting to meet in the church. They were already here in Kalispell so we forwent hiking, but today we plan on going to glacier national park with the members we live with. The Gordon family. They say it is very beautiful and we are looking forward to doing so.
We had several biking adventures this week. We were on our way to an appointment and elder Barney said he could really feel the contours of the sidewalk. He ended up with a flat. The Gordon family was very nice and fixed it for him. The next day we set out on bikes again and poof he got another flat. So we are fixing that right now. It was pretty funny that it would happen again.
We went on several exchanges this week. We had an exchange for two days with elder Lancaster who joined us in a threesome. His companion did several exchanges with the other members of our district in the meantime. It was a lot of fun. We talked to a lot of good people and were able to get several new people. We have been working and focusing on how to find those who are ready to progress and willing to keep commitments so that we don't waste so much time re knocking on their doors when they are not interested. It has been a trial of faith to stop seeing people who are not ready and won't keep commitments, but as we have done so the lord has blessed us with new opportunities and new people.
One of these people is Casey Veitch. He has a strong desire to be baptized. He and his wife also want to get sealed in the temple as a goal they are looking at. They also went through the Payson Utah temple open house. Basically it is a matter of time before he is baptized on June 20. They also want to have their babies blessed at the same time. We taught them. The gospel of Jesus Christ lesson and they said that answered many of their questions about preparing for baptism and why they needed to be baptized in the first place.
We had a unique experience Monday. All our appointments cancelled so we knew the lord needed us somewhere else. Because we were out tracting we found a member who had some concerns about the Book of Mormon. He invited us back to address them.
Wednesday was also great. We were promised by the zone leaders that if we followed promptings we would find a new investigator that we could teach who was promising. We did so. We both wanted to see a less active member in a certain area here. He had moved according to the current residents. We decided to tract around the area and because of this we ran into someone meant for elder Barney to teach. They only spoke Russian and so he was able to talk to them and they are excited to have us come back and talk about the restoration. It was great.

We also took a member with us that night and as we were visiting Cindy, we ran into a lady visiting her. We taught the restoration, invited her to be baptized only to find out that she had dementia and couldn't remember anything we said. But the spirit was super strong and we were able to accomplish what the lord wanted in that situation.
On Saturday we were on exchanges with big fork elders. Elder Barney went with elder Hastings and I went with elder Brewster. We were able to tract all day long. As we did so we were led to a woman who was less active and looking for an increase in faith and renewed relationship with God. Conveniently she came out right as we were walking up to her yard sale. It was really cool.
We also found a lady Sunday In our area that lives in Columbia falls. She was looking for solace after a recent friend died. She congratulated and thanked us and wants to meet with the missionaries in Columbia falls. She gave us her phone number and address to give to them.
It has been a great week. I've learned a lot and we get a lot done. I love each of you and look forward to hearing from you and seeing you again.

With love,
Elder Jaden Davis