#SpanishBranchProbs and Pageant Miracles : Transfer 6, Week 3‏

 


“If you truly understand the atonement and remember Gethsemane, you
will have no other desire but to do missionary work.”

“If we really had a deep understanding of the atonement we wouldn’t
have the ability to sin, because we couldn’t physically cause the
Savior any more pain… Be uncommon. When it’s hard, double down. Work
harder. He will carry you.”

The first quote is from Elder M Russell Ballard when he came a couple
weeks ago. He explained that missionary work and the atonement are
directly related to each other. They are one in the same. If we have an
understanding of the atonement, we will have the desire to share the
happy message it brings to people’s lives of repentance and
forgiveness.

The second quote is from the Second Counselor in our mission
presidency, President Newson, who spoke to us on Friday in our zone
conference. He explained the difference in how we experience time and
how the Savior and our Heavenly Father experience it. He said that
when we truly understand what happened in Gethsemane, we physically
won’t have the ability to sin because we know we would be causing the
Savior more pain. If we know that, we will have to desire to share the
message of the gospel with others so they won’t sin or cause Him any
pain. Missionary work is a responsibility, a duty we have, not just a
hobby. No one is serving their mission for kicks. We are serving for
Him, to cause Him less pain in the Garden. Yes it hard, but if we work
hard, He will carry us.

I have been doing a lot of reflecting and pondering on that lately.
Like I said, we had a zone conference on Friday talking about working
hard and doing the best we can. I feel like that has been a big topic
lately and it has been an item I have been studying frequently in my
studies.

Doctrine and Covenants 103:36 says “All victory and glory is brought
to pass unto you through your diligence, faithfulness, and prayers of
faith.”

Diligence is important, and it’s something I sometimes stink at. But
now I am striving to be better and work harder. Gordon B Hinkley said
that his father told him in a letter “Forget yourself and go to work”
and that’s basically what our Mission Presidency has been hitting on a
lot lately.

On Tuesday we had a hecka good Visitor Center lesson with the Benitez
family. We have such a wonderful opportunity to have a temple so close
(literally like 2 blocks from our apartment) and we have a Visitor
Center to use as a resource. I had never had a Visitor Center (VC) lesson
before, but the VC sisters did such a good job teaching the Benitez
family about the temple and what it represents and how families can be
together forever. The topic of eternal families is SO important and
I’m so glad we have that knowledge and comfort, to know I can be with
my family forever. The temple is an amazing place! Sister Benitez felt
the Spirit super strong and she has a desire to come back to church
and read her scriptures and do all the things is supposed to. Her
nonmember husband though is not being as cooperative, but I know the
Spirit will help us as we continue to talk with them and help them,
and he will eventually have his heart softened! He’s a really nice
guy, he just wants to stay where he is, but we want to see him move
forward so badly!

Wednesday night we taught our first English class and it went great!
We only had two people come, our two recent converts, but it still
went really well. Camilo, is the awesome guy with the best mullet
ever, and he is hilarious. He works at Taco Bell and needs to learn
English better so he can get a better job, but he is just so funny and
they are so ready and willing to learn English. It’s fun because we
struggle to speak Spanish and learn Spanish so we can talk to people
in their native tongue, and now we get to teach people our native
tongue. It’s a fun switch.

Friday we had our zone conference and saw many miracles! We had just
got done with zone conference and we were about to go visit a
potential and we decided to make a goal to get one OYM (Open Your
Mouth), basically a street contact when we talk to random people on the
street, before we got back in the car because we are really bad at
OYMing and we want to make that better. So we visited the potential
and we were walking back to the car, but we remembered our OYM goal
and turned around. We saw a lady and decided to talk to her. It turn
out that she was a member, named Debbie, of the English Ward and she
really needed a blessing, so she asked us. We wouldn’t have been there
if we hadn’t had made that goal. So we gave her the blessing and
started to leave and decided we still hadn’t had a real OYM, so we saw
another person and went to talk to them. We talked to José and Maria
for a while and we taught them a little about the Book of Mormon and
got a return appointment. After we got back in the car we prayed and
thanked Heavenly Father for the people He put in our path for us to
meet. It was a miracle! Heavenly Father is so aware of us and I’m so
grateful.

On Saturday night we ate dinner with a young couple and their
brother who’s about to leave on a mission and sister who’s considering
it. We were asking the couple some questions to get to know them and
they told us that they met at the Hill Cumorah Pageant! They went in
2012 and met, but they lost contact because she left on her mission,
but they reconnected at BYU and got married. I just started laughing
because I knew it was a pageant miracle. I love Pageant and I miss it.
Eternal family start at the Hill 😉

Yesterday was the epitome of #SpanishBranchProblems. So we have our
sacrament in the relief society room of a building while an English
Ward has sacrament meeting too, and 5 minutes before we were supposed
to start the meeting the breaker blew for the lights so we had
sacrament meeting without lights. It wasn’t completely dark because we
had Windows and sunlight, but it was pretty dark. We also usually
play the hymns off of the hymns app on the iPad through an aux cord
because we don’t have a piano player, but the speaker wasn’t working
because the breaker blew, so we sang all of the hymns acapella and the
branch presidency asked me to lead at the last minute and I have NO
idea how to lead music. So I lead the acapella hymns in a Spanish
branch sacrament meeting in darkness. I love Spanish branches. I
wouldn’t have it any other way.

This week was amazing and I’m so glad to be a missionary! I love
y’all! Have a great week!

Love, Elder Davies

We went to Whichwich and I drew the plan of Salvation
Tracting

 

Elder Ballard: Transfer 6, Week 2‏


Hola hola. Soy Elder Davies. This week I got to shake Elder Ballard’s hand. It was kind of a big deal.

We are very blessed and privileged here in the OPM to have an apostles son as our mission president, so we kinda get the hook up. But I’m very grateful for the opportunity we had to be taught at the feet of a living apostle. I KNOW he is called of God. I know he is a seer and a revelator, and I sustain him and the rest of the prophets and apostles.

But hearing from Elder Ballard was amazing! He was in town to visit
his grandkids and their family, but he told President that since he
was here to put him to work, so that’s what they did. They had three
meetings where he spoke, and I only went to two of them. In the
morning on Saturday President Ballard and Elder Ballard spoke to all
of the missionary leaders of the stakes and wards in the mission and
they were talking about the program that President Ballard is trying
to implement where the members and the missionaries work together so
that the work can progress faster. Then, after all the
leaders left and it was just missionaries, we all shook Elder
Ballard’s hand and got a picture shaking his hand, and then we had
another meeting. President Ballard asked us how we thought the
missionary work in the mission could improve and we had a big open
discussion type thing. Then Elder Ballard spoke about how great of a
blessing it is to be on a mission and how when we are on a mission, we
can learn and grow ourselves, but we can also come to a sure knowledge
that Jesus is the Christ and he talked about his experiences on his
mission. It was a really awesome conference/seminar and I learned a
lot.
(It was super funny because this whole week was hot and sunny and all the elders broke out the short sleeves and we were all in the Elder Ballard meeting with burned/tanned faces and forearms from the week.)

He also held a fireside that night for investigators, new members,
less actives and others that wanted to attend. We didn’t go, because
we had to have an investigator there to go, but somebody told us that
he basically taught the first lesson about the Restoration of the
Gospel really powerfully for all the investigators and less actives
and other people. I heard it was really good, but we didn’t go because
we were out working.
One of the things he said that really stuck with me is this: “Satan is beating the family to death through social media” and he is SO right. Satan is trying his hardest to attack the family and beat it to death. One of the things that I will be the first to admit is that I was a slave to social media before my mission, and Satan uses it as one of his tools to tear families apart. Don’t let Satan beat the family to death. Show Satan who’s boss. One of my favorite scriptures is in Alma 48:17, “Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” Be like Moroni. Shake the powers of Hell. We have more power than he can ever dream of, don’t become subject to him.

But in terms of people we are teaching: Estuardo had to travel to New Jersey to get some papers signed and
do some legal stuff for his green card and was only supposed to be
gone for a week, and apparently he’s not going to be able to come back
till September, so that sucks. He was the most solid dude we had, now
he’s back in Guatemala working on his green card. It sucks.

The Benitez family is doing great though. A couple weeks ago we were given a
list of branch records and we were just told to find as many people as
we could. So we knocked on one of these peoples door and this white
lady with tattoos opens the door, so we just kinda assumed that it
wasn’t the people we were looking for and so we started going through
our regular door approach. So we ask her if she had ever talked to
missionaries before, and she told us she was a member and we asked her
what her name was and she told us she was the lady we were looking for
from our records. So the situation is that she went less active in her
teens, married a nonmember Hispanic dude, and they haven’t been to
church like at all. She still lives in the same home Ward she grew up
in, and that same Ward as her parents. So we have been teaching them
over the past couple of weeks and she is super into it. Like she
really loves us coming by and talking to them and she seems like she
wants to change and get back on the right path. He’s a little bit
tougher, but we’re working slowly but surely with him. So she kept
telling us that if we ever needed a dinner or anything that she would
be willing to help, so we didn’t have a dinner this week and thought
“what the heck, it’s worth a shot” so we ate with them and it was
awesome. We got her reading her scriptures and general conference
again, and she went to the Elder Ballard fireside. We also set up an
appointment to go to the temple visitors center with them tomorrow, so
we are really excited. It’ll be awesome.
We also went to go visit an investigator we had on our book named Raul Gutierrez and when we went to go see him the first time he kinda shooed us off and told us to come back the next day and so we did and he was semi-borracho (drunk) and he told us all of his problems. Apparently he is on the verge of divorce with his wife and he really wants to keep his kids and he knows she’ll probably take them, so he’s super depressed about that. And his family back home in Mexico want him to come back and stay with them for a time. So he’s super confused and needs the gospel. When we were talking to him I just felt this super deep, sincere desire to help him. And I know the gospel can help him. I wanted to tell him to just be patient and give us two weeks and we can turn his life around, but we haven’t been able to meet him since that day. We are going to search for him a lot this week. I want to help him really badly.
But that was what happened this last week. It was super dope. I love my mission. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. This is the best thing I’ve ever done!

I love y’all! Have a great week!

Elder Davies

Ponderizing Scripture:
“Y ahora bien, como decía concerniente a la fe: La fe no es tener un conocimiento perfecto de las cosas; de modo que si tenéis fe, tenéis esperanza en cosas que no se ven, y que son verdaderas.” Alma 32:21
“And now as I said concerning faith–faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.”

CONFERENCE: Transfer 6, Week 1‏

image2 (13)
Hey y’all! This week was SO good! Life is good.

So, last week was transfers and this week was my first week with my
new companion, Elder Young! Elder Young and I have pretty much served
in the same branch for all of my mission, so we are pretty well
acquainted with each other and are pretty good friends! We have been
working and teaching in unity and it’s awesome to have a good
companion. He is from Layton Utah and he goes home in 3 months, so I
really hope I get to kill him off. (he will be my companion when he goes home) That would be so exciting. But
yeah, we are getting along great, and we had a great week!

So there is kinda a stereotype among the missionaries here that
Spanish is lazy and we don’t do anything and stuff and I realized that
sometimes we act like we don’t care and don’t act like missionaries.
So in our branch right now we have me and Elder Young and Elder White
and Elder Thatcher. So Elder Thatcher came out with me, but he goes
home a transfer before me because he was in the Mexico MTC for 6 weeks
and Elder White came out one transfer less than me, but we go home at
the same time because he was in the Mexico MTC for 6 weeks. So the
three of us are fairly young and we have been talking a lot lately
that the Spanish elders that came before us and trained us set that
standard of laziness and not caring that much, and we want to change
it. So we have been talking a lot about our branch and how we can
improve it and how we can just be better hardworking missionaries, and
I feel REALLY good about this transfer. I’m excited.

Conference was SO good. SO good. I’m so grateful that we have a
prophet on the earth that leads and guides us in these days. When we
are talking with people, a lot of people don’t believe we have a
prophet and it’s really sad because they just don’t understand. But
conference was really good. I can’t pick my one favorite, so here is a
list all of my favorites:

Favorite Conference talks:
– Elder Renlund’s talk about how we can draw near unto the Savior and
turn towards Him, no matter how far we are, though the enabling power
of the Atonement
– Elder Bednar’s about how we need to constantly be sanctified by the
Holy Ghost and always have a remission of our sins
– Elder Ballard’s talk about family councils was REALLY good too (he
is coming to speak to us this Saturday because we have connections
here)
– President Nelson’s talk in Priesthood about eternal families and him
sealing the two little girls he lost in the surgery he spoke about in
last conference. He also talks a lot about priesthood power. That one
is super good.
– Uchtdorf and Erying’s talks in priesthood, both about eternal marriage
– Uchtdorf telling us that even if there was a perfect girl that she
wouldn’t be into me
– Uchtdorf talking about Chewbacca
– Both of President Monson’s talks about the priesthood and about choices
– D Todd talking about fathers and the role of good fathers. So good.
– Uchtdorfs talk about rebuilding the church in Germany and how Christ
can rebuild us
– Oak’s talk about opposition
– HOLLAND was hands down the best. He always is.

So conference was really sweet. I’m so grateful for the opportunity we
get to be able to hear from those great men and women. Don’t take that
for granted.

We haven’t been able to see Estaurdo lately because he has been
traveling a lot between here and New Jersey, but we have been texting
him and he’s doing well! He’s such a good guy.

We are having a special mission conference on Saturday and Elder M
Russell Ballard is going to come speak to us, and instruct us. We
kinda have the hook up with him. All of us also get to shake his hand
and get a picture with him. This week I get to meet an apostle of the
Lord. I’m so stoked.

I’m really grateful for the opportunity we have to use Facebook in our
mission. We have the ability to reach and touch more lives and connect
with people in more ways. I’m so glad the Lord blesses us with
technology, and we can use it to further His work. It’s amazing. And
plus, I love getting to play the “which one of my friends got engaged
this week” game every time I log on 😉

I love y’all so much! I hope y’all have a great week and keep choosing
the right! Love y’all.

Elder Davies

Ponderizing scripture of the week:
“Porque he aquí, os digo otra vez, que si entráis por la senda y
recibís el Espíritu Santo, él os mostrará todas las cosas que debéis
hacer.” 2 Nefi 32:5
(“For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the
way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what
ye should do.” 2 Nephi 32:5)

Just call me Nephi (because I’m large in stature) 😉

CONFERENCE: Transfer 6, Week 1‏

 

image2 (13)Hey y’all! This week was SO good! Life is good.

So, last week was transfers and this week was my first week with my
new companion, Elder Young! Elder Young and I have pretty much served
in the same branch for all of my mission, so we are pretty well
acquainted with each other and are pretty good friends! We have been
working and teaching in unity and it’s awesome to have a good
companion. He is from Layton Utah and he goes home in 3 months, so I
really hope I get to kill him off. (he will be my companion when he goes home) That would be so exciting. But
yeah, we are getting along great, and we had a great week!

So there is kinda a stereotype among the missionaries here that
Spanish is lazy and we don’t do anything and stuff and I realized that
sometimes we act like we don’t care and don’t act like missionaries.
So in our branch right now we have me and Elder Young and Elder White
and Elder Thatcher. So Elder Thatcher came out with me, but he goes
home a transfer before me because he was in the Mexico MTC for 6 weeks
and Elder White came out one transfer less than me, but we go home at
the same time because he was in the Mexico MTC for 6 weeks. So the
three of us are fairly young and we have been talking a lot lately
that the Spanish elders that came before us and trained us set that
standard of laziness and not caring that much, and we want to change
it. So we have been talking a lot about our branch and how we can
improve it and how we can just be better hardworking missionaries, and
I feel REALLY good about this transfer. I’m excited.

Conference was SO good. SO good. I’m so grateful that we have a
prophet on the earth that leads and guides us in these days. When we
are talking with people, a lot of people don’t believe we have a
prophet and it’s really sad because they just don’t understand. But
conference was really good. I can’t pick my one favorite, so here is a
list all of my favorites:

Favorite Conference talks:
– Elder Renlund’s talk about how we can draw near unto the Savior and
turn towards Him, no matter how far we are, though the enabling power
of the Atonement
– Elder Bednar’s about how we need to constantly be sanctified by the
Holy Ghost and always have a remission of our sins
– Elder Ballard’s talk about family councils was REALLY good too (he
is coming to speak to us this Saturday because we have connections
here)
– President Nelson’s talk in Priesthood about eternal families and him
sealing the two little girls he lost in the surgery he spoke about in
last conference. He also talks a lot about priesthood power. That one
is super good.
– Uchtdorf and Erying’s talks in priesthood, both about eternal marriage
– Uchtdorf telling us that even if there was a perfect girl that she
wouldn’t be into me
– Uchtdorf talking about Chewbacca
– Both of President Monson’s talks about the priesthood and about choices
– D Todd talking about fathers and the role of good fathers. So good.
– Uchtdorfs talk about rebuilding the church in Germany and how Christ
can rebuild us
– Oak’s talk about opposition
– HOLLAND was hands down the best. He always is.

So conference was really sweet. I’m so grateful for the opportunity we
get to be able to hear from those great men and women. Don’t take that
for granted.

We haven’t been able to see Estaurdo lately because he has been
traveling a lot between here and New Jersey, but we have been texting
him and he’s doing well! He’s such a good guy.

We are having a special mission conference on Saturday and Elder M
Russell Ballard is going to come speak to us, and instruct us. We
kinda have the hook up with him. All of us also get to shake his hand
and get a picture with him. This week I get to meet an apostle of the
Lord. I’m so stoked.

I’m really grateful for the opportunity we have to use Facebook in our
mission. We have the ability to reach and touch more lives and connect
with people in more ways. I’m so glad the Lord blesses us with
technology, and we can use it to further His work. It’s amazing. And
plus, I love getting to play the “which one of my friends got engaged
this week” game every time I log on 😉

I love y’all so much! I hope y’all have a great week and keep choosing
the right! Love y’all.

Elder Davies

Ponderizing scripture of the week:
“Porque he aquí, os digo otra vez, que si entráis por la senda y
recibís el Espíritu Santo, él os mostrará todas las cosas que debéis
hacer.” 2 Nefi 32:5
(“For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the
way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what
ye should do.” 2 Nephi 32:5)
Just call me Nephi (because I’m large in stature) 😉

HAPPY EASTER!!: Transfer 5, Week 7‏

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Hey everyone! Hope y’all had a great Easter!
So today are transfers! I’m staying here in Beaverton and I’m getting a new companion!
So last pday we went to downtown Portland to hang out and walk around and go to some
shops. I really didn’t want to go, but Elder Anderson’s cousin is in
the mission too and he is leaving today so they wanted to hang out one
last time. I thought it was just gonna be us so I was in a bad mood,
but it turned out being a lot of friends from Oregon City, so I was
happy. I got to saw Elder Hansen too! He was one of the English elders that lived with me and Elder
Buhler for a while and he’s awesome. He’s a farm boy from Logan Utah
that came out with me and he’s hilarious. I loved sharing an apartment
with him because he’s so funny. Monday turned out to be not
as bad as I initially thought.

We had a lot of lessons cancel on us and people bail because it was
Spring Break, so it was a slow week. But we did have an awesome lesson
on Tuesday with a less active part member family. So the branch we are
currently in has only been around for about two months, and we were
given a LONG list of members that they think are in our branch but
aren’t sure and told us to go visit them. So we were going through and
like everybody but like 6 families have moved, but we found this one
family. It’s a young couple and they have a little boy that’s like 2
or 3. The mom is a white redhead that doesn’t speak any Spanish at
all, but was raised in the church and went inactive a long long time
ago. The dad is a Hispanic dude from California that speaks Spanish
(he prefers English though) but he’s not a member and is Catholic.
They were SUPER nice and the mom seemed really open to listening to
us, even though we don’t know if it’s fake or not. So that went really
well. We taught them the Restoration and they invited us back, so
that’s a good thing!

Friday we went to the retirement home that we go to every Friday to
play games and talk to the residents. It was fun, and we were enjoy
getting to know the residents and spending time with them. They also
asked us to come again on Saturday and do a special Easter program
where we sang Easter hymns for them. The activities director is LDS
and she kinda uses us to do a lot of stuff there. We went with a 10 other missionaries and sang
Easter hymns to the elderly folks. They loved it. It was an awesome
experience and I’m so glad we got the opportunity!

Saturday morning, we also had an Easter party for our branch. We had
lots of food and the kids painted Easter eggs and they had an egg hunt
and it was a really fun time! I was the grill master for the hotdogs,
of course. They also had a piñata, because they’re Hispanics. It was a
really fun time.

Yesterday we had church and we had a lot of less actives (chr-easters)
come to church. It felt like a normal day of church, except I was
wearing my super awesome Easter tie. I got a lot of compliments on it,
so props to my mom. She’s the most amazing woman I know. After church we had dinner with this HUGE family from
here. There was like 20 people there. One of the son in laws is our
2nd counselor, so we got invited. Everything was like all organic, sugar free and bought locally. It was a fun time. But the food ended up being really good, and it was a fun time. We had a great Easter!

So I want to include a part of one of my favorite talks about Easter. It’s called Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet by Elder Holland in the April 2014 General Conference. He says:
“This Easter I thank Him and the Father, who gave Him to us, that Jesus still stands triumphant over death, although He stands on wounded feet. This Easter I thank Him and the Father, who gave Him to us, that He still extends unending grace, although He extends it with pierced palms and scarred wrists. This Easter I thank Him and the Father, who gave Him to us, that we can sing before a sweat-stained garden, a nail-driven cross, and a gloriously empty tomb:
‘How great, how glorious, how complete,
Redemption’s grand design,
Where justice, love, and mercy meet
In harmony divine!'”

I love my Savior. I’m so grateful for Easter and for the opportunity that we have to repent and be forgiven and return to heaven. I’m so grateful for my Redeemer. Follow Him.

Love y’all,
Elder Davies

Temple Week!: Transfer 5, Week 6‏

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Hello everyone! Hope everybody had a great week! I had a great week!
IT WAS SUNNY !!!!! You never really appreciate the sun until you come
to Portland. It was just a good week.

Last Monday, we went to Mollala to go visit the Salazars and celebrate
Pattys birthday! She is awesome and it was really great to go back to
Oregon City and Mollala. On Wednesday, we got the opportunity to take
our quarterly temple trip. It was amazing! I love the temple. It is
such a beautiful place where we can escape the world and focus 100% on
the Lord. The presence of the Spirit in the temple is something you
can’t find anywhere else, literally a piece of Heaven on Earth. We
were eating with a member this week, and their son just returned from
Chile and he was telling us that he only got to go to the temple twice
on his mission, when he got there and when he left. So I am so very
grateful that we live so close to the temple and we have the
opportunity to go to the temple every 3 months here. It’s amazing.

On Thursday, we had a lesson with Estuardo. He is amazing. We taught
him the Word of Wisdom and he was totally into it! He has been reading
the Book of Mormon and telling us what is happening where he is
reading and he explains it better than we can! We brought the
missionary that just got back from Chile and he helped us out a bunch.
Estuardo told us that he drinks occasionally and he smokes a little,
but he promised us that he would keep the Word of Wisdom and keep
doing everything he needs to! We also set a baptismal date with him!
He told us he would be baptized on April 30th! We are so excited for
him and we are going to keep working with him and preparing him. He is
an amazing guy!

On Friday, I went on an exchange with Elder Cornwall. In the beginning
of my mission, Elder Cornwall and I served in areas right next to each
other and we hung out all the time. He is a really awesome guy and we
are super similar. He is from Las Vegas Nevada and we came out
together. He loves baseball, and he is going to go to school in
Alabama after his mission. Anyways, we went on an exchange together
and it was awesome! We both learned a lot from each other and we
worked really hard and we did some work. The rules for missionaries
say you are supposed to speak your mission language as much as
possible, and this is something I have been working on so I can learn
Spanish better, so Elder Cornwall and I spoke in Spanish the whole
time while we were on our exchange. It was fun and it helped us both
learn better.

Friday night, Elder Cornwall and I were going to teach a lesson to a
less active family and they were busy, so our appointment fell though.
But we both had the impression that we were there for a reason and
that we need to find out why we were sent there. So we knocked on some
of the neighbors doors and after about 4 or 5 doors, this lady opened
the door and almost started the cry. She told us that she has been
going some through some REALLY rough times lately and said that that
day she had been praying for messengers from God to help her find the
way and help her get back on the right path. We were stunned! We
showed her the new Easter video (#Hallelujah), and she started to cry.
She told us that the video was exactly what she needed to see and that
she was so grateful that God answers prayers and sent us. We explained
a little bit of the Restoration and then we gave her a Book of Mormon
and she told us she can’t wait to read it. We were so stoked. After we
finished talking to her, Elder Cornwall and I were SO happy and
grateful that we were able to meet her, that we decided to kneel down
in her driveway and say a prayer of gratitude to the Lord for leading
us to her. It was an amazing experience and it was a miracle like none
other I have ever seen. It was amazing.

So this week was awesome! Also, my companion told me I was talking in
my sleep, which is normal, but he said I was talking in my sleep in
Spanish. Ahahah that’s awesome. I’m so proud of myself.

Hope y’all have an amazing week! Remember: “All victory and glory is
brought to pass unto you through your diligence, faithfulness, and
prayers of faith” (Doctrine and Covenants 103:36). Keep praying,
having faith and working hard. Love y’all.

Love, Elder Davies

Alot of the Spanish missionaries at the Salazars
Temple
Candid

A lot of the Spanish missionaries at the Salazars

 

Primer Sueño en Español y Forgetting it was DST: Transfer 5, Week 5‏

Hey everyone! So this is probably going to be short, because all we
did this week was tract. I’ll be honest, Beaverton has some good,
strong potential, but it’s very concentrated, and very hidden, so we
just have to find it.

Right now, we have a VERY solid, golden investigators named Estuardo.
I have talked a little about him before, but I’ll talk about him more
again. So Estuardo is from Guatemala and has only been here for about
two years. He used to be a catholic missionary, and knows a lot about
the Catholic Church and the gospel and the Bible. So missionaries
first came in contact with Estuardo’s cousin, Juan Carlos. The
missionaries gave Juan Carlos a Book of Mormon and bade him to read
(lol). So Juan Carlos was having a tough time reading it because of
the language and the proper Spanish and it was just a little tough for
him to understand. So Juan Carlos asked his cousin Estuardo to help
him, because he knew Estuardo was a missionary and knew a lot about
the Bible and the language. Estuardo accepted to help Juan Carlos
understand, so Estuardo started reading the Book of Mormon. Before the
missionaries had a lesson with Estuardo, he had already read eleven
chapters of the Book of Mormon, and he told the missionaries that he
knew it was true by the way it was written. He had a testimony, before
he even met with missionaries. So we have met with him a couple of
times and we have taught him some of the lessons and he is all over
it. He reads, he gets the concepts, he finishes our sentences when we
are teaching him something. He is pretty amazing. A couple weeks ago,
we asked him to be baptized, but haven’t set a date with him because
he currently works on Sunday’s and he can’t come to church, but next
week he told us he was going to change his schedule so he can come to
church. We taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week, and
he was super into it. He told us he knows he has to get baptized and
confirmed so he can have the ordinances necessary to have eternal
life. He is an awesome dude, and I know that he has a lot of potential
and a very strong testimony.

So besides that amazing lesson this week, we did a lot of knocking
doors and with that, a lot of fun stories. We met a lady who was a
Wiccan/ witch and she kinda chased us out of a place and threatened us
a little. We had another lady yell at us, threatening to call the cops
because we were trespassing and she followed us to our car to make
sure we left. We drove to the end of the apartments, turned around and
drove by her a couple of times to make her mad and it was hilarious.
Usually we avoid managers offices like the plague because we don’t
want to get kicked out of a place for soliciting, but this week we
knocked out a whole apartment complex, didn’t find any luck and we
said well forget it, we have nobody here, so it won’t matter if we get
kicked out. So we (I) knocked on the managers door (my comp didn’t
want to, he was scared), and the manager was actually a really cool
guy. He was totally cool with us being there and he told us he liked
what we were doing, even though he is a Seventh Day Adventist and he
told us he wasn’t interested. We also knocked a whole apartment
complex and every single door was Muslim and they were nice, but very
firm in their beliefs, so we didn’t find any luck there. After driving
around that place a little, we realized there was a mosque right next
door. We met a lot of fun people! At the beginning of my mission, I
hated tracting and knocking on doors, but I came to terms with the
fact that it’s necessary to the work and so I started to do it and
forced myself to like it for the sake of the work, and now I realize
that it’s fun. It’s cool to meet a bunch of new people. I see it in
the way that I have the chance to knock on a bunch of strangers doors
and meet hundreds of new people every day. And at first I was a little
embarrassed because I thought these people would mock me or something,
but I realized that I’m probably never going to see them again, so why
do I care? So it’s been fun since I realized that. Tracting stories
are the best.

Also, more fun news, I had my first dream in Spanish! They tell you
that when you know the language so well you can dream in it, that’s
when you know you made it. It was awesome. I don’t remember exactly
what was going on, but I remember that I had a dream in Spanish and I
totally understood it, and I’m super proud of it. It was awesome.

Yesterday in church, we had two high counsel members come and speak to
us, both from the Pacific branch (I don’t know if I’ve already said
this, but our stake has a Pacific branch because there are so many
Polynesian people here that then have their own branch where they do
half the service in Tongan or Samoan). So the high counsellors came
and they needed someone to translate for them into Spanish. Usually in
all my other areas, the member from the branch presidency does it
because their Spanish is better than ours, but the branch presidency
here didn’t translate for some reason, so they asked me to translate
for one of the speakers and have another guy that spoke Spanish on his
mission to translate for the other. I was SO nervous. I said a prayer
before the talk pleading with Heavenly Father so I could know what to
say and the Spirit could guide me and I could say the right thing. I
was shaking like crazy when I got up there to start, but he started
giving his talk and I started translating and it went super super well
and I was really comfortable and confident at the end. I know that it
was the spirit that helped me and after I got done I said a prayer
thanking Heavenly Father for letting me have the ability to do that.
It was really a neat experience, because it was my first time
translating into Spanish. I have translated into English plenty of
times, but that was my first into Spanish. It was awesome and now I
want to translate for everybody now ahaha. Gift of tongues is real.

Funny story, we also forgot/didn’t know it was Daylight Savings Time.
So every week we have branch counsel before church at 7:30 and so we
wake up at 6:30 like every other day and go to branch counsel. Well,
we didn’t know it was daylight savings, so we woke up to five missed
called from our Branch Presidency. We woke up at what we thought was
6:30, it was already actually 7:30 and we had missed the meeting.
Luckily we got ready quickly and left and when to go pick up people to
take them to church and we didn’t actually miss church. Daylight
savings time is not a mistake you make twice, so I know next time it
happens, I’ll be ready.

But that’s really all about this week! It was a crazy week because we
just knocked like crazy, but it was fun to meet different people and
translate into Spanish. I had a good week! Hope y’all did too!
Anyways, I love y’all! Hope y’all have a great week!

Love, Elder Davies

Slow Week: Transfer 5, Week 4‏

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Donald Trump pinatas

Bienvenidos a todos! Gracias por leyendo mi carta cada semana, y lo
siento, pero la carta por esta semana será un poco corto porque no
mucho pasó esta semana.

Welcome to everyone! Thank you for reading my letter every week, and I
am sorry in advance because the letter for this week will be a little
slow because not much happened this week.

Basically all we did this week was knock doors. On Tuesday Elder
Anderson went to a funeral with some English elders, so I was stuck
with some other English elders and we went and did service for a guy
that cut down a tree and cut of all the limbs, so we picked all of
those up and we stacked the logs and it was a good time. Wednesday we
had to go to the mission office to go turn in some reports, and it was
the first time I had been to the office. Everybody had promised me it
was a super magical place and they were right. But it was pretty much
just a regular office, but with a bunch of snacks so that’s what made
it so wonderful. That night we had a lesson with some of our recent
converts, Doris and Camilo, about the Word of Wisdom and they are so
amazing. Camilo is the amazing mulleted man, and they are awesome.
They were just baptized in like November and they are SUPER strong in
the gospel. Thursday we went and did service in the morning for a
community center that takes a lot of donations of everything and sorts
clothes and toys and shoes and etc and gives them to kids in need. It
was really awesome to help them do their work and it was really great
to know that we were helping kids in need. Thursday in the afternoon
had a Zone Meeting all afternoon where our mission president and the
AP’s came and talked to us about how important it is to make goals and
make plans and how we can effectively implement them in our missions.
It helped a lot and I am going to try to make more goals and plans so
I can be a better missionary and a better person!

Friday was fun because we go every Friday to a retirement home to play
games with all the residents.
It was really great because all the elderly folks really do get super
excited to see us and they love to talk to us and play games with us.
They are such sweet people and I’m so grateful I get to be able to
serve them every week! Later, Friday night we went to go visit another
recent convert named Jose Vasquez and Jose is the best recent convert
ever. Jose got baptized in September and since then he has read the
whole Book of Mormon, the whole Doctrine and Covenants, two complete
Teaching of the Presidents of the Church books, and Gospel Principles.
The man is an animal. And he was telling us about how he had some
Jehovahs Witnesses come and try to talk to him and Jose invited them
in and talked to them and the JWs tried to bible bash, but Jose held
his own and was spitting some fire. We told him the bible bashing
wasn’t the right thing to do because it doesn’t bring the spirit, but
it’s awesome that he has such a strong testimony and knows so much for
being such a recent convert. Jose is awesome. On Saturday morning we
had an SPC meeting with the stake leaders about how they can help us
do our job better as missionaries, and it was a really helpful and
productive meeting. Later that day we had a lesson with Anthony and
Janet and it went SUPER well. Janet is a less active and Anthony is
her boyfriend and she really wants to come back to church but is
really busy and he is investigating. We had a great lesson about the
Restoration and we read the introduction to the Book of Mormon and it
was so powerful. Anthony was talking about how he felt a strong
emotion that he didn’t know how to describe and we told him that it
was the spirit and we promised him he can keep feeling those feelings
as he keeps reading the scriptures and doing the right things. We have
a lesson with them tomorrow, so I’m really excited to see how that
goes!

Sunday was REALLY slow. Yesterday was Fast Sunday, so we didn’t eat
lunch and instead we knocked all day. We didn’t really find anybody,
but we talked to a couple cool people who weren’t interested but we’re
really know. We were very sufficiently humbled because we were fasting
and all we did was knock for like 5 hours straight, so when dinner
rolled around we were super grateful. We ate dinner with two families
last night, one named the Loo’s, who are half Hawaiian and half
Samoan, and the Tanuvasa’s, who are Samoan. So we ate well. They fixed
us breakfast for dinner so we had like 3 different types of sausages,
fried Spam, bacon, eggs, waffles and everything. We had a lot of good
food, but it was really fun to hang out with them too. Polynesian
people are just super awesome.

So that’s what happened this week! I’ve very grateful to be a
missionary and I love getting to share the gospel and talk to people
everyday. Missionary work is indescribable because you just get to
always talk about the gospel and talk to complete random strangers and
that’s always super fun. I love the gospel and I’m so glad that I get
to share it with other! Keep being awesome, fam!

Love y’all! Aloha, and adios!

Elder Davies

Trump piñatas at the Mexican market. I thought they were hilarious.
A text from one of our investigators we recently stopped meeting with 🙂

Surprise Transfer: Transfer 5, Week 3‏

Elder White and I doing service at a retirement home. We played games with the residents and it was happy hour so we got Cokes.
Elder White and I doing service at a retirement home. We played games with the residents and it was happy hour so we got Cokes.
My favorite people ever
My favorite people ever
Stopped at Walmart while we were walking in the rain. Elder Anderson was buying some Girl Scout cookies.
Stopped at Walmart while we were walking in the rain. Elder Anderson was buying some Girl Scout cookies.
Candid of us tempering the knife
Candid of us tempering the knife
First public transportation bus ride experience
First public transportation bus ride experience

Hello everyone! So this week, I want to start off and list all the
things I’m grateful for.

I’m grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a missionary and
serve the Lord and bring the gospel to other people.
I’m grateful for the gospel in my life. I’m grateful to live in this
amazing country where I have the freedom to worship how I please.
I’m grateful for amazing parents that love me and support me and have
raised me to love the gospel.
I’m grateful for family and friends who are awesome and love me and support me.
I’m grateful for an apartment I can go to when it’s cold and rainy.
I’m grateful for food and for the fact I’ve never had to go hungry in my life.
I’m grateful for a car so that we can drive places and do what we need to.
I’m grateful for my health and my strength. The Lord has blessed me
with the ability to be healthy and able to do the things I want to.
I’m grateful for the ability that I have been blessed with to be able
to learn Spanish so quickly.
I’m grateful for all the amazing people I have met on my mission. I
have truly been blessed to meet some incredible people who will be
lifelong friends.
I’m grateful for the Holy Ghost in my life so I can be lead and guided
and know what I need to do.

I’m so grateful for all these things, and so many more, but I don’t
want to bore y’all, so I’ll just leave it at that. Being grateful is
really important because it helps us be humble and happy about things.
When we step back and look at our lives and all the things we are
grateful for, we realize how many blessings we already have, and it
really does make us happier. This week was a little tough, so I have
been pondering a lot about what I am grateful for.

So last week on pday we went over to a 17 year old kids house in OC to
spend pday with him. He is homeschooled and he is the coolest kid ever.
Basically, his hobbies are like blacksmithing and working outside and
just being a total stud overall, so he took off a bit of homeschool
and let us come over to make a knife with him. It was awesome. We
basically started with a piece of steel and heated it and hammered it
into shape then grinded it more into shape then sanded it and tempered
it and sanded it some more and made a knife. It was the coolest pday
ever. Unfortunately, there were six missionaries and one knife and we
couldn’t all make one, so we now have a Brotherhood of the Traveling
Knife. It was some of the most fun I’ve had since I’ve been out here.
I’ll attach pictures.

Tuesday was a regular day. We had district meeting then we went to the
library and after that we went to Milwaukie because I had an interview
with President. At first I was super nervous and I was thinking of all
the bad things I’ve ever done, but it was a normal interview and he
asked me more about how Elder Mugleston was doing as a district leader
than about me. He also talked about how we have a lot of missionaries
coming out in the summer and I will have to train, most likely
English. It was a very normal interview and everything was fine. We
ate dinner and we played volleyball and it was a fun and good day.

Wednesday started off normal. We were studying in the morning and at
about 10 in the morning I get a call from the Assistants to the
President and they said that I’m getting surprised transferred to
Beaverton and I need to pack all my stuff and leave OC as soon as I
could. I was so sad and mad and disappointed and frustrated because I
LOVE Oregon City so much and I never wanted to leave. But I decided
not to fight against the inevitable, I switched and tried to have the
best attitude I could. That’s why I’ve been thinking a lot about all
I’m grateful for, because it helps keep you happy and positive.

So Wednesday, I packed my stuff and tried to say goodbye to as many
people in OC that I could, and we made the swap in the afternoon. I
got to Beaverton, and my new companion, Elder Anderson told me that
the car was in the shop getting some repairs, and we wouldn’t get it
back until Monday. So we have been walking and taking the bus and
relying on other elders to take us places. It’s been quite the fun
experience riding public transportation for the first time and walking
all over the place.

We have some solid people here. We have a recent convert named Camilo
and he is the coolest. He’s from Mexico and he has one of the greatest
mullets I’ve ever seen in my life. His hair is majestic. I tried to
sneak a quick picture, but I wasn’t able to. We also have an
investigator named Estuardo from Guatemala and he is a cool guy. He
used to be a catholic missionary and one of his friends had talked to
missionaries and needed help reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish
because the words are tough, and he helped him. While Estuardo was
helping his friend, he read like all of 1 Nephi by himself and he told
us that he knows it is true just by the way it is written. So we
taught him the Plan of Salvation and he was super into it and super
golden and he accepted a suave, which is a soft baptismal commitment.
We just have to pick a day for him to get baptized and get him to
church.

But it’s been fun since I’ve been here. I don’t know why I’m here, or
what I’m need to do here, but I’m excited to be here and do what I
need to, even if that means walking or taking the bus (public
transportation really is fun. I’ve already seen a prostitute and a
drug deal).

“The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop
the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine,
armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go
forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every
continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in
every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the
Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”
-Joseph Smith Jr.

I love y’all! Have a great week!
Elder Davies

 


Elder Jeremiah Z Davies

A Whole Day of Service: Transfer 5, Week 2

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Palmetto tree
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BBQ

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Hello everyone! I hope y’all had a great week!

So every week, we try to do at least 10 hours of service (we add the
service together, so if we both do an hour of service we report it as
2 hours because I did an hour and my comp did an hour) and we try to
all of it for the community. Back when I was in Milwaukie, it wasn’t
very rare if we got zero hours and we only hit 10 like once. Since
we’ve been in Oregon City, we do regular community service every week
and we usually get about 4 or 5 and that’s what we get. This week,
however, we got 24 hours of service !!!!!! We did like a whole day of
service and it was awesome!

Last week for Pday we went down to Mollala to have a cook out with a
lot of the other Spanish missionaries at the Salazars (super awesome
family in our branch that loves the missionaries, and we love them).
It was awesome to see all the other missionaries and also hang out and
have a barbecue with them. It was a lot of fun!

Tuesday we had a regular day. We went to district meeting, and went to
go find some people, but we didn’t end up finding anybody that was
interested. That night we played volleyball and that was the day.

Wednesday morning is when all the work started. So we have an
investigator family, Alejandro and Monica, who have been living in a
hotel for the past two months because their apartments got condemned
and they have been looking for a house. At first, they were going to
move out of the area and out of the mission so we have been praying
that they would find a house here in Oregon City. By a miracle, they
found a house here in OC, so they are gonna stay, but they needed help
moving their stuff from their hotel and a storage unit to their house.
So all Wednesday morning we helped them pack some of their stuff from
the hotel and then we went to the storage unit to help them load all
their stuff to a moving truck and then helped them unload at the
house. That took all of the morning and that afternoon we went out
contacting people. We were on exchanges, so I was with an English
missionary, and I didn’t take him anywhere too Spanish, so we ended up
only talking to a few people.

Thursday morning we were doing our regular morning studies and Monica
called us and said “Hey we need help unpacking and doing stuff. How
quick can y’all get here?” So we ran over as fast as we could and we
went and helped them unpack and get everything organized. That took
all of the morning again, and we had lunch and left. That afternoon we
visited a couple people, had to drive to Mollala for dinner and then
drive back to OC, and when we got back we went to go visit Alejandro
and Monica and we actually sat down with them in their new home and
taught them a lesson. It was an interesting lesson because we had the
English sisters there that have been teaching them in the past, and
they were talking in English and we were talking in English and
Spanish and translating for the sisters and it was fun because the
lesson was half English and half Spanish, but we all felt the spirit
and we were all able to understand. We were teaching the lesson about
the Doctrine of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation,
enduring to the end) and Alejandro stopped us when we got to baptism
and he said “What do I need to do to get baptized?” and it was awesome
because he has the faith and the desire to learn and grow and were
super excited for them.

Friday morning we went to go do the service we do every Friday, which
is going to a community service center in Clackamas (where I was
serving before here) and we were making food boxes and organizing food
and goods for people that are homeless. We do that every week for two
hours and it’s been a really humbling experience to realize how
grateful I am for everything I have and realize how good I have it!
Thanks Mom and Dad, y’all the best. So we worked at the service center
for a bit and then we came back and went knocking. Nothing too crazy,
good or bad happened, so it was just a regular knocking experience.

Saturday morning, all the missionaries in our stake went to a service
project in West Linn (northwest of OC) and we volunteered at a park
beautification project where we were cutting down blackberries bushes
and pulling up invasive ivy from the forest. It was fun, but hard work
and we worked all morning and then came back and ate lunch and changed
and stuff. Then we had to drive to Mollala to eat an early dinner with
the Salazars, who are awesome and they make awesome food. When we got
back to OC, it was kinda late and we tried to visit people, but they
didn’t like us trying to visit at night on a Saturday so we didn’t
have much luck.

Sunday we had a normal day! I love Sunday’s because they are always
the best and I learn and grow so much! Sunday night we also visited
José, who has been investigating the church forever but can’t get
baptized because him and the lady that he’s living with and has an
entire family with aren’t legally married. So we’re really trying to
get them, going and help them work towards that. We had a good lesson
Sunday night, and decided to just start over and teach the Restoration
again, because it’s so important to kept being reminded of what
started the whole thing, which was the Restoration and the First
Vision. It went really well and hopefully they start to get things
going to get married soon!

But that’s it for me! This week we collectively did a day of service
and it was a lot of fun! We definitely kept busy. It makes me thing of
Mosiah 2:17, which says “And behold, I tell you these things that ye
may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of
your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” It’s so
important to serve others and help them, because when we do we are
demonstrating our love for our fellow men and our Heavenly Father! So
this week try to find someone to do service for and do it! It feels
awesome when you are helping others. Anyways, love y’all! Have a great
week!
Elder Davies