Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November 24, 2014 San Nicolas

Davis and his companion at the Monterrey Mexico Temple
Hey, let me answer your questions super fast.
Dont have a simplified version [of the spanish hymnbook], its ok im doing well with the regular. I bought my own at the temple.
No thanksgiving here, thats an american holiday only. [Chris, Davis' dad, celebrated Thanksgiving in the Dominican Republic when he was on his mission.]
Luke [cousin] is a junior right now i think, but grandma told me that he will be able to go [on his mission] around the time Carson [another cousin] and I get back.
I think i can do pouch mail, that's probably a 7$ peso stamp (about half a dollar) I´ll ask my trainer about pouch mail, but what I did was just gave 5 pesos to my zone leader for the letter. [A letter arrived from Davis with what looked like a $7 stamp, but was postmarked from Salt Lake City.  It took two weeks to get to us.]
Haven´t gotten any packages yet.
OK! now I´ll tell ya some stuff! :)
I did take out some money from the personal card I have, 1000 pesos, about 80 dollars worth. I did buy one souveniur with some of the money...I found a super nice blanket for you. you can have it in two years. Other than that, I´m just gonna use the money for a couple of necessities, such as buying a tan pair of pants. 
Also, watch out for a cool Christmas surprise in the mail...in about 3-4 weeks hahaha.
Davis with his companion, J, and J's family at the church.
We had a baptism yesterday! J., a 9 yr old in a recently reactivated family, and guess who got to baptize him? The bishop wasn´t there this weekend so I got to do it! Most of the time you try to get a member to do it, but this case it was I who did it! Good experience, J. was really happy after that, and also really wet and kind of cold! once we got in the font and grabbed my arms, he clenched his nose and tried to sink into the water! hahaha it was pretty funny that he was super ready to be submerged. I had to tell him [to wait until] after I said amen.
Also, I will not ever be telling you about our transfer goals or such, or only with hindsight. Here is why: Two of our investigators did not come to church this week so they can´t get baptized in this change. Investigators have to come to sacrament meeting at least 4 times before getting baptized, that's a rule of our mission. But we still have faith for them. Anyway, I´m still trying to figure out what to tell you in these emails. O. is getting baptized tomorrow, and that´s super exciting!
I´m almost finished with the book of mormon again. I have two weeks left to finish it, seeing if I can finish it within this change. Something I read today was in Alma, talking about the Stripling Warriors. I forget the chapter and the verse, but it says that they were concerned of the liberty of their families more than their lives, and that their mothers taught them to doubt not, and God will deliver them. 2 things: 1. We should never doubt our faith. as Pres. Uctdorf has said "Before you doubt your faith, doubt your doubts." When we have faith the Lord can do marvelous things. 2. Thanks for teaching me mom, in Alma 37:35 it says to learn wisdom of keeping the commandments in your youth, and I wouldn´t have been able to do that without you and dad.
Also, can you send me a recipe of how to make good banana pancakes. I´ve been eating healthier also, I eat a banana every day and I try to eat whatever other kind of fruit I can find. are there other healthy meals I can make, or something?
Sorry about the weird format of this email. I´m going to write Nathaniel some things right now. Oh, also, can you send me Vince Guaraldi Christmas trio? That's  appropriate.

In front of the church before J.'s baptism.

I love you all,

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 19, 2014 San Nicolas

[Note to reader: Davis did not send an email on Monday which is the usual "preparation" day (p-day).  We did feel pretty sad and had not expected to hear from him for another week.  It was a fun surprise to get his email on a Wednesday.  He responded to these questions in his email:
1. What do you do to work out?
2. Do you eat at members' homes? 3. What are you eating? 4. How is the Spanish coming along?]

Bet you were sad that I didnt´send an email this monday...because our P-day was today because fuimos al TEMPLO! I have pictures, but I´m at a different Ciber so I won´t send them this week.


1. There used to be a jump rope, I broke it. Need to buy one next monday, it was useful. I usually do core, push ups, tricep dips, jumping squats with some giant cinder block, more leg stuff with two giant cinder block sticks, and I use the stretchy band. I really just try to get up and start working out asap until 7. It´s hard to actually break a sweat, i´m trying to find a way to do it.

2-3. mexico, the biggest meal is lunch. We eat at 2pm with a member. I´ve always had tortillas, and I've had stuff like spicy soups, uhhh I don´t know the names of things, various meats, beans, rice, other stuff, and mole (yuck,hahah) I haven´t had any fruits yet, but I´m going to buy bananas. There isn´t a lot of fruit here and it´s hard to eat healthy on your own time. I´ve probably had a little bit too much meat in the past few weeks though (it´s reallllly good though).

also, the weather right now is CRAZY! one day it´s super cold, the next day it´s hot. this time of the year the weather in monterrey just changes whenever. one day it was raining so much, and since the roads aren't well constructed, the roads were rivers and I was using my umbrella to protect us from the buses flying through these ´¨rivers¨ then it got hot and then it got cold and then it got hot and...

4. All of the latin missionaries say that I speak really well for only being out for this long. The two gueros (whities/gringos) say that I speak super well two for a 3 wk mexico missionary, so does the Stake president and a lot of others. The motivation helps, but remember I was an impatient person before my mission so this is pretty challenging. I think it´s doing well though and I´m trying to speak spanish as much as possible with my comp.

ok here´s some investigator stuff:

right now our goal for the change(transfer) is to have 5 baptisms and 4 confirmations(since they have to wait a week for confirmation) and right now we have...5 baptismal dates planned! I want to talk about O a little bit again, he´s getting baptized next tuesday. Also, he has a good buddy in the church who is just a year younger than him and he is isn't a recent convert family(baptized this past january.) It´s exciting because we´re going to have his friend´s dad baptize him! It´s super good because it´ll give O some support in the church, and since the recent convert family hasn{t been super active, it´ll give them some responsiblity. They´ve actually been pretty active though in the past couple weeks which is awesome! and we´re going to help them start having family home evenings this monday and...O will be there! O is super smart because he is quick to understand the gospel and such...and he makes sure to ask questions when he´s confused! super bien! also, we taught him how to say ¨the book of mormon is true¨and ¨joseph smith was a prophet of god

anyway, I only have time to tell you about one other investigator. He is a father in an all member family, except for him. He´s been investigating¨the church for 14 years. He hasn´t had a problem with alcohol, but he would go drink with friends. So far, he hasn´t touched alcohol for almost 4 weeks, and he´s going to get baptized in two weeks! It´s super awesome and his family is super excited! We´ve talked to him about how we can recieve the priesthood and bless his family with it, and we´re planning on talking to the whole family about being sealed in the temple after he´s baptized and has been a member for a year.


I don´t drink a lot of soda, that was just a picture, we drank that soda in about a week and a half. the nice thing is though that a lot of stores just have a lot of bottle caps I can have. Also, Hermano P (The 14 year investigator) has been getting teeth pulled recently, so what motivation is that to brush every day!!! Don´t worry mom, I´ve brushed my teeth thouroghly every day since I got to the MTC, flossing is improving, somethimes I forget.

Also, if you can send me music via email, I´m aloud to download it. If you can figure it out then Awesome! If not then it´s ok. but if you do, i´d request that you send the Christmas album of Canadian Brass, and Fantasia 2000 (I have the original 1944 fantasia)

If I forgot anything, you´ll hear it on monday!

I love you guys!


oh yea! one last thing! Guess who is the pianist for the ward!?

[Davis was the pianist in the spanish-speaking unit's sacrament meeting at church for a while in high school even though he hadn't played piano for a couple of years...)

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014 San Nicolas

[Note to reader: We took a weekend trip where we attended church in a ward in Encinitas, CA.  While we were there we saw a picture of a missionary (Elder D.) from that ward in the same mission as Davis.  We talked to some ward members about Elder D and learned that he had just been assigned to the mission offices.  I sent Davis a photo of the photo of Elder D by email.]

Hahahahah I know Elder D! He's secretary of materials.

Wow, Nathaniel is fast, I´m kind of jealous hahaha. That´s almost as good as my best sophomore time. I'm trying to work out as much as I can here though, with the 30 minutes we have in the morning. I have found that it gives me much more energy for the day. I do miss running though.

Oh, you need to tell the bank that I'm in Mexico so they don't cancel the card if I use it. I have another missionary debit card, but that's for food and stuff. I could use mine for souveniours and such. I want to get some soccer jerseys for Nathaniel and stuff but I need to find ones without Carta Blanca logo on the back, a beer company.

Let me tell you a little bit about my area. San Nicolas is a pretty well off city (My zone is san nicolas, area is nicolas bravo) It´s not super wealthy or anything, but they have things. There are a couple really poor parts in my area though. Most of the houses are smaller than our living room plus kitchen plus front room are with the chandelier. There are a lot of stray dogs. something funny to do is if there’s a small stray dog barking at you, you pretend to pick up a rock and it runs away.

Here's a joke: ¿Porque las camisas de los Lamanites tienen arrugas?... porque no tienen planchas!

Ok I´ll explain: Why do the shirts of the lamanites have wrinkles?...because they don´t have Plates/Irons (planchas means both)

Davis and 12 year old O
We've been teaching an 18 yr old named A, as well as his cousin O. A was staying with his aunt working here in Monterrey, but his job was so terrible that he quit, and now he is going back home to puebla MX. He has a desire to get baptized though, and it turns out that his mom is a member! Yay! hopefully he answers the prayers of some other missionaries. We´re still teaching O, who is 12. He's super cool and has a really good knowledge of the bible. He´s reading his book of mormon (hopefully every day like we asked him to do hahah) but now that his older cousin is gone, he doesn´t have as much support to go to church. We´re finding a way to get him to come. It´s kind of hard when the rest of his family isn´t in line with the gospel, since his mom is in a "union libre" (not married) but shes also married to someone that she isn´t living with, so she basically is in a big pickly and can´t get baptized. It must be pretty hard for O, but he´s a great kid and he always has a good attitude. Here´s a picture of him, and then there´s a picture of me and my comp. with A, O, and a member (taller guy).
Davis, Elder S, A, Taller Guy, O, mysterious little girl.

I´ll tell you about more investigators next week.

Also, Bottlecaps! Since the water isn´t great here, a lot of people drink a lot of soda. I have 150 bottle caps just from two weeks being here; I´ll probably send them some time so keep my bottle cap collection safe because im still going to make that mural! I don´t like caffienated ones, so I don´t drink them, but I have a lot of coca cola bottle caps because It´s super popular here. Also, I don´t think I´ve actually had more than one taste of coke or pepsi before now, but when we go over to a members house and they just have a giant bottle of pepsi and that´s all there is to drink, well, ya gotta. hahaha it always just has a weird taste :P
Davis is going to mail bottlecaps home from Mexico?

Also, I´m sending pictures to you because the computers at this Ciber are really safe and stuff, but I probably won't in following areas because my trainer said he has gotten viruses on his SD cards and couldn´t take anymore pictures with them.

Also, no interesting birds! psh

Alright, I´ll be back next week to tell you about all of the amazing things about being on a mission!

Love you all!


Monday, November 3, 2014

11/3/2014 San Nicolas

Elder S (trainer) and Davis (trainee) at the Mission Home in Monterrey Mexico.
Mexico is great! I was assigned to the second smallest area of the mission, only about 1-2 sq miles. The area is called Nicolas Bravo in the town San Nicolas (also the zone), It´s only a short ways from Monterrey.

 My companion´s name is Elder S and he´s all the way from...Provo!  hahaha Yea he´s not a native but he speaks very good spanish. My spanish is, well, going. I´m working really hard to just say as much as I can say and understand as much as I can. I know that I´m going to have to be patient with myself, and that it will take a couple of months, but I´m just too happy to be here and to be working that I don´t let that get me discouraged. In Ether 12:27 it talks about how if men bring their weaknesses unto the Lord, we will make them strengths. That is something that is really promising to me. I try to talk to everyone we pass by, I think that it´s important that everyone has the chance to use their god given gift of agency to choose whether or not they want to accept and listen to more of the glad tidings we have to offer or not. After all, men are free according to the flesh...(2 Nephi 2:27) 

That´s awesome that Nathaniel did that well! WAY TO GO NATHANIEL YOU´RE DOING AWESOME! Tell everyone that    I´m doing awesome, and that I love being a missionary.

As for the birds, my area is really urban so I´m not gonna see any cool birds for about 3 months. I saw those other birds at the mission offices. The birds I have seen here that are different are: Inca dove, Couch´s Kingbird, Great Kiskadee, and some parrakeet sp.

Here are pictures of our home. It´s smaller than the apt. that I stayed in at the MTC. It really just reminds me to be very thankful for all of the things we have, like those new cabinets hahaha. There´s also a picture of me and my companion and me eating a campachana (really good)

 I´ll send you a letter by mail too!

I love you!