Hello all! So I had a really full week last week. The beginning of the week was super slow, but as soon as I hit Friday, I have had a fantastic past three days.
So Friday I went on an exchange with Elder Cepeda and it was amazing. He has inspired me to become a better missionary because he’s such a hard worker and he is so sincere and loves the work. Anyways, Friday was a baptism for a member he had taught in Oregon City and he decided to take along because I haven’t been to a baptism yet. We went out to OC and ate with a family and the two ladies that were cooking were named Miriam and Brenda. They were preparing for a quinceañera the next day, so they were cooking a lot of food. They made us homemade quesadillas and they were literally the best quesadillas I’ve ever had in my life (sorry mom). So, she made the tortilla from scratch from mása and water, then she put like half a pound of cheese in there and some ham and deep fried it in oil. Then they put lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and sour cream on it and it was amazing. They were awesome people. Then we went to the baptism. The baptism was incredible. The members out in the Mollala branch are amazing. Blanca is the name of the lady that was getting baptized and she was so excited. She got baptized and then we sang some Spanish hymns and Cepeda spoke about the Holy Ghost. The Spirit was so incredibly strong. And even though nobody knew who I was, everybody was so nice to me. They even bore with me when I tried to talk to them, which was probably super painful for them.
Saturday was amazing too. We have all been looking forward to General Conference like Christmas, and it finally came! That Saturday was so good. I really loved Sister Marriott’s talk and it was funny because everybody looked at me when they heard her accent. I know everything will work out like she says. She’s an awesome lady. I also enjoyed President Uchtdorf’s counsel to make our worship and discipleship more simple. I think it’s something we can all learn. The afternoon was awesome as well. Three new apostles are crazy and I totally called Elder Rasband getting called. All of us missionaries thought Elder Tad Callister would be called, but we were all wrong. Anyways, I enjoyed listening to the new apostles and know they are truly called of God. Elder Holland’s talk was amazing, and I will never be able to fully express with words the gratitude I have for my mother (Shout out to my mom, love you). Also, Elder Foster spoke about teaching our children, which I really liked and President Eyring spoke about magnifying our efforts, as long as we try our best.
After conference Saturday we went to the quinceañera for the girl in Oregon City. She is special needs, but she is high functioning, so it wasn’t a real quinceañera, but it was still awesome. We ate molé, which is basically chicken with a sauce on it that is made from coco and chile spices. It was so good. A lot of the white Spanish elders here don’t like it, but I thought it was amazing. I ate it too fast to take a picture. Fun fact: when Hispanics cook chicken, it’s always got the bone in it. They never make boneless chicken. I think it’s awesome. Anyways, the food was amazing and I also had tres leches cake. Tres leches means three milk in English, and it’s basically a SUPER moist cake with three types of milk in it. It almost dripping with milk. It was amazing. That night we found out about transfer info, which I will talk about later.
Sunday conference was just as amazing as Saturday. I really liked D Todd Christoffersen’s talk and something he said has made me think a lot. He said that we don’t need to be converted necessarily to the church, but to Christ. I think a lot of times we worry about little things about churches and things that don’t really matter. Christ works through the church to provide people with the way to return to him, but if we’re converted to the church and not wholly to Christ, we aren’t truly converted. Also, I loved Elder Durrant’s talk, and I think a lot of people have been buzzing about it as well. I have taken both of his challenges to save money and ponderize, and will update y’all about how I’m doing with each. I was sad when conference was over, but I am so grateful for the opportunity we have to listen to the prophets and apostles these days. We truly are blessed to be led by such great men. I sustain them all and love them.
So an update about Spanish. I have been trying the best I can to immerse myself in the language and culture. There is a tienda (Mexican store) in town that we go to a lot, partly to find people and partly to feed my new addiction to a Mexican soda called Jarritos. They are a Mexican fruit soda (made with real sugar, not corn syrup), and they have SO many different flavors, and I’m currently on a quest to try them all. I try to talk to as many people as I can in Spanish. The Hispanic people usually get stunned and give you weird looks when you look super white and go into a Mexican store, buy a Mexican soda, and talk to them in Spanish. It’s fun though. I have gotten to the point where I pray in Spanish so much that it’s natural to me. A family asked me to pray in English this week and I struggled a bit, which is kinda funny. All the Spanish missionaries know me though because I’m the one elder that came English and got switched. We went to the transfer meeting today and there was a greenie who I introduced myself to, and he said “Oh, I’ve heard about you.” So I’m basically a legend among the Spanish missionaries. I try to stay humble though. I also FINALLY got my Spanish name tag today too. So I’m officially a Spanish elder!!!!
So about transfers, my companion and I are staying in Milwaukie and they are closing the other area here. We were an experimental area to see if we could be effective, but the work was slow and they realized they only needed one set of elder here, so that’s us. They moved Cepeda to Beaverton and they moved Young to an English ward in Sandy. I’m gonna miss them. I’m also going to miss Coronel, who was in Oregon City, but is now going to be an English Zone Leader in Tualatin. He’s moving up in the world, but I’m gonna miss him. He’s from Tennessee, so we bonded over being southern, even though he’s Venezuelan. Elder Mugleston and I are excited though to have the whole area now because we’re going to have so much work to do. We’re gonna baptize so many people. I’m so excited. The future looks awesome.
Anyways, hope y’all have an awesome week. I love y’all. Don’t forget to ponderize something, and don’t forget that the gospel is true.
Love, Elder Davies