Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 44 - (San Fernando w Hna Castañeda)

Haha shoot!  It looks like Facebook and Samy kind of stole my thunder in telling you I got transferred and that I'm going to a place called San Fernando, or should I say, I am IN a place called San Fernando. We found out our transfers on Saturday morning, but this time around, instead of traveling on a Tuesday (because of New Year's eve), we traveled first thing this morning.  So I am already here in San Fernando with my new companion Hermana Castañeda.  I finally broke the companionship pattern, now its: Argentina, Peruana, Argentina, Peruana, MEXICANA! haha 
So leaving Buin... (insert broken heart here)...was a rough one.  Six months and you really feel like that's YOUR home, and YOUR branch, YOUR people, YOUR adopted family.  Hermana Arias and I came up with the fact that las tres cosas mas FEAS en la mision son [the three UGLIEST things in a are]:
1) cambiando de un sector [changing sectors]
2) matando o dejando investigadores ["killing" or leaving behind investigators]
3) PACKING... Oh, how I hate packing! especially when I have to find a way to fit 6 months worth of accumulated items into 2 suitcases, and some hand bags... but in the end every thing turned out OK and I was able to get all my stuff from point A to point B,  so all is good in the neighborhood! :) 
The branch in Buin is so wonderful!  They all gave me so many hugs and gifts to remember them by and everything... one of the formerly less active members we worked with gave me something she had made by hand and it is SUPER cool!
 
I just love them all sooooooo incredibly much!  It's always hard to say goodbye, so I just tell everyone that we'll keep in contact and that I'm coming back to visit them at the end of my mission.
 
Rene did, in fact, get baptized this last friday and his baptismal service was SUPER LINDO! It was so cool!  The Spirit was really strong, I am so happy for them both!  They are so special!  I want to be there when they get sealed in the temple in like a year.
 
Anyway, I am here in San Fernando, checking things out...so far so good!  I have heard many good things about the area, except that its hot haha but I doubt it's hotter than Buin, so we're good in that sense. My companion came here to this sector in a "special transfer" three weeks ago, so we are pretty much going to get lost together, but that's the FUN part right?? haha Hermana Castañeda has the exact same time as me in the mission, and we've only been together for about 2 hours, but so far we are getting along really well!  She seems like a fun person who likes to laugh.  Obviously, it's going to take some time getting accustomed to my new area, but so far, I haven't seen anything I haven't liked and I know that whatever challenges come, that the Lord is shaping me to be the missionary that He wants me to be, and besides, I'm excited to be able to love and serve the people in this new area.  My comp told me that it's a small branch, like 50 people in Sacrament Meeting every week, and in the zone there are like 14 Hermanas and 6 Elders, ¡CALETA! (mucho) y muchas Hermanas... haha  OH!, And I am sharing houses with Hna Garcia again!  Love that girl!  She was in Buin with me for 2 tranfers, she is also the one who helped me out when I got lice, por lo tanto, tenemos algunos lasos muy fuertes lol  [therefore, we've got some strong ties]. 

So, everything is good! I'll keep ya'll updated!  If you get a chance say "Hi" to Samy for me and tell her I love her and miss her already! 

Btw, It was SOOOOOOOOO good talking to you on christmas!  Mom, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN FEEDING THE BOYS?!?!?!! could you PLEASE tell them to stop growing, and om goodness Trent, what happened to your voice?  It didn't just drop, I'm pretty sure it fell through the floor!  Poor kid was trying to tell me about his Christmas but I couldn't even pay attention because of how stunned I was listening to how deep his voice is, and John too!  What in the freak?? hahaaha You are all so big and handsome, Zoe is gorgeous, ... cuidela daddy! [watch out for her, Daddy] haha   Mom, thanks for laughing at my silliness! Love and miss you all SO much!  It was SOOOOO good to SEE and hear from you, me dio vida :) cuidense mucho! besotes!!!!  [you livened me up:)  take good care! big kisses!!!]

Monday, December 23, 2013

Crooked smiles, smelly feet, and a Merry Christmas!

So, I have some "fun" news to share with you!!!..... 
I woke up Saturday morning and.... walked in my usual morning-zombie style to the bathroom, running into the door frame on the way (because my eyes were only half way open and blurry) and went to squint and clear my eyes and noticed that I couldn't... well at least not with one side. I could only flinch one eye, so I looked in the mirror and tried about 10 more times, nope nothing.  Long story short, I woke up with Bell's Palsy Saturday morning.  At first I was a little bit worried, so I called the mission nurse just to let her know what was going on, but after talking with her and hearing that it's only something temporary, I felt much better and from then on and have been making a joke out of it, saying that my companion took advantage of how deep I sleep and took her frustrations out on me.  She repeatedly slapped me in the face all night.  I make faces at people (the other sisters in the house) and ask them if they want a crooked kiss (because here every one says hello or goodbye by kissing them on the cheek, like in France, but only on one side not both) etc, etc, so I will be sending some picture so you can laugh with us and also so you don't get scared when you see your crooked faced daughter over Skype on Wednesday.
 
Christmas day Skype snapshot of Hmna Bell's Palsy

Elder Wall, (the husband of the couple missionaries) gave me a blessing on Saturday and today I'm going down to Rancagua to pick up a prescription with the mission nurse, Hermana Jet.  So, I will probably be better in like 2 or 3 weeks, until then, my companion and I will keep laughing and making a joke out of how everything comes out one side of my mouth if I'm not eating or drinking carefully, how I can't whistle, or make kissy faces.

Also, I found out last week that I have athletes foot, so fun! haha fun fact on athletes foot: did you know it is actually a fungus that grows on your feet and causes blisters and itching sometimes... but I've already got my special foot cream for that, NBD.  It's pretty much taken care of now.  To be honest, I think I might have gotten it from my companion because she had it when she got here, but it can also just come from have such terribly sweaty feet.  There's really nothing we can do about that! Imagine, mom, flats, all day every day in the middle of SUMMER.  Basketball feet have got NOTHING on sister missionaries' feet.  .... Hahaha and here I am exposing the secrets of missionary life. Enjoy!

The work continues going well!  Rene is going to get baptized this Saturday, yipeeeeeee!!!!!!! He and Ana are SO cool! haha   Other than that not too much going on that I can't tell you on Wednesday.
Today we had a zone water war. it was a surprise for the rest of our zone that we four sisters planned.  We divided into two team, Nephites and Lamanites, Nephites painted their faces blue and Lamanites red. Before the activity my comp and I (and the other companionship that lives in our house) filled up TWO HUNDRED water balloons, so when every one came, divided into teams, and painted their faces, we went out to the court out back and battled.  The thing is, all 200 water balloons went by in about 3 minutes, y todos quedamos con las ganas de tener una batalla GRANDE [and everyone was left wanting to have a HUGE battle], so, what do we do?  We remembered the fire hose inside the church and haul it outside and start using the buckets filled with water and the fire hose... it pretty much turned into a free for all as far as lamanites vs nephites went.  It was SUPER fun and every one ended up SOAKED!  It was a blast! ... and yes, of course, we cleaned up after ourselves :) 

I LOVE YOU FAMILY! SO EXCITED TO SEE YOU AND TALK TO YOU IN ...2....DAYS!!!!!!

P.S.:  It turns out I can't send pictures; this computer is being complicated, but I'll see if I can send them through Skype on Wed...but just prepare yourselves to see my face half paralyzed! lol
LOVE YOU

Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 42 (Buin w Hmna Arias)

HEY FAM! 
So this week I didn't have time to read your emails before typing because I was trying to download and save all the wonderful things you sent me and because you both wrote a lot...which I LOVE! (keep it up lol)  So I'm just hoping there weren't any urgent questions you asked in your emails. If so, I will respond next week, but I am VERY excited to read your letters a little later.  I am ESPECIALLY excited that John and Lucien wrote me.  Those I did have time to read, hahaha  JOHN AND LUCIEN, I LOVE YOU BOTH SOOOOOOOOOOOO much!  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your letters! and I can't remember for sure if I ever actually wrote/typed out happy b-day to lucien but it was on my mind the whole time I was typing that week, so if I didn't actually write it, I'm sorry and happy belated birthday Lucien, I love you!  

Thanks for up dating me on the fam! love it!  Oh AND, I got one of the packages this week when we went to the chapel where the mission office was.  It was the package with all the emails and with a card from mom (you made me cry, JERK ;)) and a picture, but the picture had no name so was that from Lucien? or John? or...? lol but as of yet nothing else has arrived.  OH, I also got a pouch mail from Nicole, dated.... brace yourselves... September 8th.... nbd I'm just happy I FINALLY got it.  I hope my christmas packages don't take so long... lol 

This week was a good one and it flew by because we had our zone CHRISTMAS ACTIVITY on saturday.  The first part was spiritual and we had in in the chapel, there was a talk by the mission pres. a couple christmas videos form the church website and like 5 musical numbers, one of which was Hna Welch and I.  I played "O Holy Night" for her on the guitar while she sang and I sang the harmony in the choruses. that was fun :)  We kind of threw it together last minute but it still turned out really well.  Thanks again for sending me the guitar music daddy :) the second part we had to change into play clothes and we went outside to play soccer, ultimate frisbee, dodge ball, and that game with water balloons where every time you catch it without it breaking you have to take a step back.  At one point, I got NAILED, but it was kinda the best moment of my life because it was blazing hot that day lol. 

Rene is progressing awesomely!  He just has more and more animo [excitement] every day! Valentina is having doubts and troubles due to having her head in the clouds with her 15 year old bf (who is catholic), and Luz is still doing alright but is working A LOT and therefore, has lost a little bit of her focus.  This weekend they went and stayed the night in Santiago, so they weren't able to make it to church, so their date for the 28th fell through, but that just means we'll move it up and keep working with them.  The only thing that's a little "fome" [maddening] is that the cambio ends dec. 30th and I have 6 months here..... so, I probably won't be staying, but you never know! lol   I'll at least be here for Rene's baptism which we are trying to see if we can move to the 25th so that (even though we are in the middle of summer and it's really hot) we can still have a "white" Christmas.
 
Other than that, we are doing well, working hard, and sweating a LOT... lot, lot, lot! haha Time here really feels like it's flying!  I cant believe I'll be talking with you just NEXT week! EEEEEP! ¡Que emoción!!! les amo mucho mucho mucho. 

Su misionera sudamericana, y su lío,
Hermana Davis

ps wanna hear a corny joke i made up this week? ¿Que dijo el agua que estaba aprendiendo español?... ¡no sabo nada!  jajaja... yeah, i know it´s super corny but im a missionary, therefore it´s acceptable, besides, my compi liked it! lol 

pps did you check out the moronitours.com thing??? interested to see what they have to offer


____________________________________________________________

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 41 (Buin w Hmna Arias)

Hey mom and dad... fam and friends,
ANOTHER great week!  I feel like I am just living the life here.  Every monday when I come to write ANOTHER great week has passed with some kind of awesome miracle.  This week not all too much happened, BUT Rene, the husband of Ana (who got baptized last weekend), informed us that he knows the church is true and that ... wait for it.... HE WANTS TO GET BAPTIZED!!!!!  He has been reading the Book of Mormon a lot, as well as "True to The Faith" and pondering and praying a lot and has (as promised in Moroni) recieved a witness from the Holy Ghost that these things are true.  Haha, I guess what we'd said, jokingly, about him being Zeezrom wasn't so far off.  ¡Profecía!  lol jk This sunday he came to church and was so so open and that was very cool for us to see!  Even his countenance has changed substantially! You can see it in his eyes that he is humble and eager to learn now.  Ana is even more excited (especially since we recently taught her about eternal marriage) and is already planning for a year from the 28th (Rene's baptismal date) to go to the temple! haha she's adorable! 

The new couple missionaries, Wall's, made us lunch yesterday, and I'll be honest when I first sat down and saw that it was a more american home-style meal where every one dishes up their own plate with american style burritos, etc.  I was pretty excited thinking, hey! this will feel just like home! But throughout the lunch I honestly felt more and more OUT of place and hesitant.  I feel like I have forgotten ALL my american etiquette!  Al final, terminé con ganas de quedarme siempre en Chile.  [In the end, I ended with the desire to just stay here in Chile forever].  The Wall's are so great though and so, so nice!  They're wonderful!
   
Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the Christmas devotional because (in Chilean time) it started at 10, la hora que entramos la casa [the same time we have to be back home].  BUT, this week we have our Zone Christmas activity Saturday and if President decides that it's worth it, they are going to re-broadcast it for us missionaries on Saturday in the afternoon. 

This week we put our mini Christmas tree up and decorated it.  It was cute and fun but even though we put up the tree and have been listening to and singing only Christmas music, I still don't feel like it's Christmas too much, but I'm OK with it!  I'd rather not recognize so much that it's Christmas this year and be able to keep focused and working hard than get homesick. lol.
 
By the way, how's the rest of the Davis clan doing?  Haven't heard much from or about anyone besides the Loudon and Brian Davis family.  How is everyone else doing? How are all 30-someodd of my favorite cousins doing? (or have we reached 40 yet?) What is the latest? :)

Anyways, all is well here, happy, working hard! Thank you so much, Daddy, for you letter ....you're right, it's time to pour it on!  Davis style. Mom, you're a stud woman!  I cant even tell you how cool I think it is that you're working on your YW medallion!  Keep rockin it!  OH! I almost forgot, I found a quote that I LOVED and had to share with you this week:
"[Missionaries], I hope you appreciate the sacrifices which your parents so willingly make in order for you to serve. Their labors will sustain you, their faith encourage you, their prayers uphold you. A mission is a family affair. THOUGH THE EXPANSE OF CONTINENTS OR OCEANS MAY SEPARATE, HEARTS ARE AS ONE." -President Thomas S. Monson
I cried when I read it! I know it to be true! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do! For your prayers, for your thoughts, for all your sacrifices!  I simply could not do this with out you. I love you.
 
su lío,
Hna Davis

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 40 (Buin w Hmna Arias)

HEY FAMILY! HAPPY BELATED THANKSGIVING!
Thanks for all the Thanksgiving wishes! To answer some of your questions and to be completely honest, I'd totally forgotten that it was Thanksgiving, but I'm counting that as a blessing! haha   The majority of people here don't even know Thanksgiving exists, so it was easy to forget.  Thursday was just a normal day. lol. But it's ALMOST better that way because then there aren't so many people huffing and puffing about how you can't start decorating or celebrating Christmas early because of Thanksgiving.  Tottus (Chile's equivalent to Kmart) has been decked out with Christmas stuff since Halloween ended.  ¡ME ENCANTA!  [I LOVE IT!].

Yesterday we had our district Christmas Devotional (aka Archuleta Christmas concert) ... that's right, en persona y GRATIS ...No codiciarás ;) [in person and FREE...don't covet!]. It wasn't supposed to be an Elder Archuleta concert, but the people who put it on organized it in a way that every other musical number was him.  It was super good though and everything sounded great.

ANA GOT BAPTIZED!!!! yahooooo!!!  It was super awesome!  Hermano [Brother] Luis baptized her and that was awesome because he and his wife are one of my favorite couples in the branch and the people we work with most.  They have been members for 4 years, but Hno Luis had never baptized anyone before so it was his first time!  SO cool!  But it was perfect because they were the family who had fellowshipped Ana and her husband.  THEN, Hna Paty (the wife of Hno Luis) gave her VERY FIRST talk at the baptism, on the Holy Ghost and did a great job!  Before now she had always refused when the Branch President called and asked her to give a talk.   We are crossing all kinds of borders now!  YAY! haha!  I love these people so much!  They are like my family here.  What else happened this week?  AH! We set a baptismal date with (motherand (dtr.)!  IT was SO cool! Especially the lesson with the mom because we decided to teach her the law of chastity because she's got a boyfriend and we needed to know if she was willing to live it and progress or not.  As we are teaching, she kind of sits there just agreeing with everything we say like, "yeah, that's right", "that's true" but with kind of a sad attitude.  So we ask her, _____ is this something that you feel like you could live or fulfill today? ... or do you feel like it's something that's already gone and passed? And she expressed that she felt that for her it was already gone ad past but that she wished she had've known because she had her daughter when she was only thirteen years old because she had no idea what she was doing.  Her mom had just given her permission to date but had never explained anything to her, so her moment had already passed and she was already "impure" as she said. So we invited her to read in the last page of the pamphlet we were using to help us teach.  On the last page it talks about how if any one has broken the law of chastity that through true repentance and the power of the atonement they can be made clean and pure again and when she read that she started bouncing up and down in her seat and she asked us if it were true and if she could really be pure again and we told her yes and she started squealing and expressed to us that she is going to get marred to her boyfriend or end up single!  But no matter what happened, she wanted to be pure again and that if her bf wanted to marry her he would have to do the same so he has to start listening to us too! haha it was so cool!  So then we explained the importance of baptism in the process of being made clean again and starting a new life and she was just overly excited! It was such a beautiful miracle! probably the coolest experience I've had on my mission! so now she just needs to come to church and do her part (which she WANTS to; she is like 110 percent involved now) the only stinky thing is that she got emergency call into work this Sunday, but NEXT Sunday será!  [It will be!]. Who'd have thought that the law of chastity would hook someone's interest in accepting the gospel? lol  Her daughter came to church for the first time yesterday! She's doing great too!
Anyway, everything is good here on this side of the world.  I'm working hard and learning new things everyday!  Miss you all! Love you TOO much! 22 days till christmas! :D

Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 39 (Buin w Hmna Arias

HEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!
Another great week FULL of mini-miracles! The Lord has been SO good to us! 
The exciting news this week is that Valentina went to mutual for the first time and immediately made friends with the youth there.  Then 2 days later, she went with the youth up to Santiago on their temple trip! She and a few others, waited outside while the youth did baptisms. We invited her to pray and ask if the church was true/if Joseph Smith was a prophet, etc while she was at the temple AND SHE DID!  She said she felt REALLY good and it was so adorable watching her try to describe the feelings of the Spirit for the first time.  I LOVE THE TEMPLE!  She is so awesome! This week we are planning on putting more of an emphasis on the mom and the brother so that they can all progress together.  The brother, Felipe, normally runs and hides when he sees us coming or doesn't participate much in the lesson.  He's a little rascal haha but the other day we had a lesson with him and Cristofer.  We read in the Book of Mormon (when Moroni and his troops trapped the army of Zerahemna in the valley and forced them to surrender and one of the soldiers ended up scalping Zerahemna etc, etc) with them and used it to explain the importance of having faith and depending on The Lord.  At the end of the lesson, Felipe said the closing prayer and he asked the blessing that we could come and teach him lessons every day. lol  The other day during our lesson with Luz (the mom) and Vale, he fell asleep in the chairs UNDER the table!  It was so funny I took a picture.  I'll try to send it. lol 
ANA IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY! AH! She is so so special! We are soooooo excited! She is nervous, but SOOOO ready! It's going to be great and we'll send pics next week. :) :)  Other than that, we are doing GREAT!  I love my companion!  She may not be a blabber mouth, but when she does talk, she often makes me bust up laughing. 
Fam bam, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!  Send me letters pretty please with sugar on top! LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU, LOVE YOU!
PS: you never told me what YOU want for christmas.  You better tell me SOMETHING or I'm sending coal for Christmas ;)



Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 38 (Buin with Hmna Arias)

¡HOLA!
This week was a good one! It's starting to get hot! I'm glad you got my letter! that was fast! I sent it like 3 weeks ago I think. BTW, you never told me what you want from ME for Christmas.

This week we have been working a lot with Ana and two other families.
Ana keeps doing REALLY well and little by little we are seeing miracles with her spouse because he now likes to come sit in and listen to us when he's not working and each time he talks less and listens more. He has some of the CRAZIEST questions, but we just try to take the advice from "Preach My Gospel" and use the Book of Mormon to respond to his questions, and we always invite him to pray and ask God. This week we gave him a Book of Mormon and he read the introduction and the testimonies of the 3 and 8 witnesses and also of Joseph Smith. Whenever we bring videos to watch with Ana, he enjoys watching them. This week he told us that he is studying the Book of Mormon to support Ana, and to be able to be there and talk about these things with her for when the day comes that we missionaries aren't there any more, ¡tan tierno!  [so cute!]  Haha the cool thing is that we know and understand the power of the spirit in reading the Book of Mormon, so we are excited to see the miracles that come with him studying (as long as he doesn't harden his heart against it). They may be slow in coming, but if he really comes to feel and recognize the truth of these things he will be a very devout future member.
The other two families we are working with is the family of Viviana and Valentina's family, she is a jovencita [young woman] that started listening to us when we were trying to teach a very disordenado hijo [disorderly son] of a menos activa [less active member], she came along distracting him (she's his ex-GF) so we invited her to listen...hoping to help keep the distractions and what not to a minimum (the very first thing we showed them both was a short video on the law of chastity LOL but they kept listening! hah).  Then she started reading the BofM and fulfilling her commitments etc., so we put an emphasis on her and ended up meeting with her Mom and her brother and now their whole family is listening to us (them 3). The mom is super great too!  The biggest challenge for these 2 families is getting them to church at this point, but we are giving it all we've got and are just excited to work with them and to see ALL the many miracles the Lord is blessing us with.
LOVE YOU FAMILY!!!!  Cuidense MUCHO!  [Take GOOD care!]  Un poquito mas que un mes hasta que puedo hablar con ustedes por skype! :D [Just a little more than a month until I can talk with you on Skype].  but whos counting right?? ;) estoy animada para hablar con usted daddy (en Español) y por el resto de ustedes, espero que estén practicando su español ;) ;) [I am excited to talk with you (in Spanish) Daddy and for the rest of you, I hope that you are practicing your Spanish].
Hna trujillo went home today, more tears! We already have our plans to get together though! haha
XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO write me letters pleeeeease :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week-37 (Buin with Hmna Arias)

HEY FAM!!!!

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!

This has been another great week, we found another new family and a great great new investigator named Coni, she's 21 and so prepared and special! The only challenge so far is that she works sundays, but it's something fixable :) 
Ana has been progressing so well! She really has been prepared by the Lord, she recenlty told us that she quit smoking about 6 months ago and that she did it because she felt like the Lord was preparing her for "something". However the adversary has been working very hard against her, throwing every thing he's got. She hasn't been able to get to church the last two sundays, for example, yesterday she was waiting IN the bus stop all ready to go to church when something happened in the house and they called her and she had to go back. We are going to go out to her house again this week Sunday morning to come WITH her to church.  She has a very interesting husband. He has studied a LOT of different religions and has some very interesting opinions, but luckily, despite the fact that we always disagree with him on points of doctrine, le caemos bien [we get along well]. Let's just say we gave him the name of Zeezrom.  Yesterday we watched the video on Joseph Smith's life and he stayed and watchd it with us, and afterward said it was "really well done".  AKA he liked it and felt the spirit! lol 
Also Viviana's family (the less active that introduced us to her children explaining which ones hadnt been baptized yet) is doing well!  We can only see them on the weekends, so that makes progress slow and hard to measure after just 2 weeks.  But yesterday we did a FHE with them and even though her husband supposedly doesn't like religion and didn't want to listen, we roped him in to listening and he ended up participating and saying the closing prayer!  Also, their youngest son Jesús, who is 9 was their last night, he is the ONLY one of the family who read the home work we left them in the Book of Mormon, but he is so involved and anxious to learn its adorable! Especially because his attitude and manner of speaking etc¡ es mas flaite! (wanna-be Chilean gangster).  When we were watching the video of the first vision, in the part at the end when Joseph Smith hands the finished Book of Mormon to his dad to read Jesús stood up in excitement right in front of the tv and his mom had to sit him back down, it was so cute!  Also, their oldest son (that we didn't get to meet last week), the "lost cause" was their last night and although he didn't listen to the lesson and went and his in his room, apparently not wanting anything to do with us, he did come out in the part where we played games and he got SUPER involved and opened up.  It was super fun and funny!  So hopefully this next weekend he will be willing to listen to us too!
Lots of mini-miracles and special experiences! The Lord has been TOO good to us recently! It's amazing! 
LOVE YOU FAM! take care this week! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 36 (Buin with Hmna Arias)

HEYYYYYYYY!!!!! 
Things are great with my new companion.  She is a lot like Hna Rojas - quiet and de repente [all of a sudden], she throws out a funny comment that's like WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?!?!  We are good but this week was kind of a rough one! But I'm back in the swing with my "animo" [enthusiasm], it's been one of those weeks where your testimony is strengthened even more; especially in the principle that the witness comes AFTER the trial of your faith. 
This week we felt that we had to drop two of our investigator families... Viki and Waldo... and Vivi and Victor. 
Viki and Waldo had stopped progressing because Waldo at first couldn't make up his mind if he wanted to get married or not, but now he's in the not part, and they weren't coming to church very consistently so we sat down and had a heart to heart chat with them about why they are taking the lessons and what it is that they want for their family etc, etc.  It turns out that they had been doing a lot of things (coming to church for example) just to please us and not let us down; and Waldo hadn't received  any answers (because he hasn't been fulfilling his commitments) and even though we KNOW and have pointed out several times to Viki that she has gotten answers, she too is in doubt and is thinking about returning the la iglesia evangelica [evangelical church].  It was a rough one because they were really confused and not understanding the gospel even though my companion and I had taught them every thing more than once, to the point where they DID understand, but what happened was they didn't put it into practice and weren't doing their part, and no matter what we do, we can't do their part for them (even though you KNOW we would if we could because these are people we have been working with and serving for over three months and that we love SO much).  We got the answer that we needed to let them go in the middle of this chat we had with them and it was ... fuerte [strong].  I started crying infront of them, and they just started to feel bad thinking I was crying because of what Viki had said about liking la iglesia evangelica better... it just brings to mind and to heart how the Lord must really feel for example in Jacob 5 when He asks what more He could have done for His vineyard and how it pains him to have to lose even ONE tree. 

Then later in the week, we received the same feeling about Vivi and Victor, bueno, ellos están en otra onda ahora, y aun que hemos hecho todo lo posible y hemos tratado de enseñar las lecciones perfectas para ayudarles a despertarse y hacer de su parte, no había nada mas que hacer.  [well, they seem to be on another wave (
or troubled) right now, and although we have done everything possible and have tried to teach perfect lessons to help wake them up and do their part, but there is nothing more that could be done].  It was the same situation as Viki and Waldo, try as we might, we just CAN'T do their part for them, it's all part of the Plan that we each have our agency...and even though we love them with every thing inside us for the time we spend with them, the many prayers, hours raking our brains in study time, planning, service projects, etc, etc.  Until THEY take initiative again, there is nothing more we can do.  To each family we just explained to them this much, that we love them, and that their Father in Heaven loves them even MORE, but that we had done everything we could, but now it all rests on them to do THEIR part, and until they do so, until they ARE ready to take the next step, there was nothing more we could do for them. 
Hard as it might be, the Lord blesses us for our obedience, and this time isn't our own, but it's the Lord's time and He knows how He needs us to be using this time that is so short and so sacred.  He has investigators that are waiting and READY to recieve the gospel, we just have to put our faith forward and look for these people. And that's what we did!  It was kind of a rough couple of days with out having lots of lessons because we had fewer families and fewer investigators, and the answers and blessing didn't come right away, or as they say in Chile, al tiro, [directly or right away], but they DID come AFTER the trial of our faith.  We found a GOLDEN family this last Saturday, someone we had found from our list of less actives that we persistently passed by and even thought many times they weren't there, or the appointments we'd made with them fell through "SOMETHING" (The Holy Ghost obviously) kept nagging us to go back.  So, FINALLY, Saturday night we got in the door and one of the VERY first things the mom did was make sure that we are the  MORMON missionaries, and when she was assured, she immediately points out her 3 children over the age of 8 and explains to us that they haven't been baptized yet.  SO, we cautiously asked, not wanting to get excited too quickly, "And, would you LIKE them to be baptized? And would YOU personally like to come back to church?" She explains to us that, YES, she wants her children baptized because she has seen the difference between when children are raised inside or outside the church, and that she too would like to come back and that she's always wanted to but that things always got in the way or as she said, in the Chilean saying "El diablo siempre mete su cola [the devil always sticks his tail in]". So the lesson with them went TOO good!  Four of her five kids were there.  Four of them are over the age of eight, although according to the mom, the oldest one (16) is a lost cause as far as religion goes, but we'll see what happens ;)  But each one of them committed to read the Book of Mormon (we left them a chapter to read as a family) and to come to church next week (they couldn't yesterday but the mom said that she would definitely be there next week) they are so set and ready to go! All they need is a little help or un empujón [push].  We are super excited to work with them and help them overcome the trials and difficulties they have to come back to church! 
Don't you just love the way the Lord work these wonderful mini-miracles? I SURE DO!
Well fam, love you tons and tons! Miss you tons as well! be good! take care of yourselves... WRITE ME LETTERS! ...love you! 
Your favorite oldest daughter and biggest sister in the whole wide universe,
Hna Davis 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 35 (Buin with Hmna Arias)

HEY! 
Change of plans!  I have new companion!  her name is Hna Arias (she came to replace me when I got transferred out of Lontué, and now she's my companion) from Lima, Peru.  Monday night as the three of us were returning to the house, we get a phone call from the AP's telling us that I would be getting a new companion after all and that she would arrive Wednesday afternoon.  The great part is that now we don't have to divide our time between the 2 sectors and my comp and I can focus 100% on Alto Jahuel. 


We found an awesome new investigator this week, her name is Ana.  She practically contacted us one day in the street while we were talking to a friend of hers. We asked her if she'd like us to pass by and she said, "yes"! We finally got a chance to pass by this week and she was SO happy! She said the closing prayer in our lesson and while she was praying, she burst out in tears and just poured her heart out  in her prayer.  When we taught her about Joseph Smith she told us that she feels EXACTLY like he did because she wants to draw closer to God...but she's afraid to take a step in the wrong direction.  She is loving the lessons and is so open and wonderful!  Also, she came to church with us this Sunday and loved every minute of it!  She is like 50 - 60 years old and so sweet! hah  She's great! We're stoked about it! 


Things are different with Hna Irrazabal gone, but the funny thing is that she says Hi to me or sends me a message almost every day through the members that talk with her on facebook. lol 
This week we were under the sun a lot, I'm a little pink.  OH! and you should see the watch tan I am rockin' right now! haha  Summer is just starting and I cant wait to see the tan lines I'll have by the time fall rolls around.  This week we spent a lot of time searching for people on the list of less active members.  I actually enjoy it, even when we walk all day and only find a few names because all of the directions are out of date or whatever it be!  haha  (wow, I just put this this in italics and I don't even know how, so now I can't take it off.  Oh well haha)  But anyways, it's like an adventure looking for these people and when we find them its even better, because there are always opportunities to meet new people and share the gospel in new ways.  I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! :) 
Other than that, not much else is going on, just doing well, working hard, and enjoying it!
Love you so much family! take care of yourselves, don't forget your prayers and scripture study! You are the best family in the whole world!
Oh and mom, I read your stake conference talk... NAILED IT! ;) 
I love you!!! 
XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 34 (Buin with Hna Trujillo & Hna Zelaya)

 WOW! What a week... what a morning! We (Hermana Trujillo, Hermana Zelaya, and I) all said our goodbyes  to Hna Irrazabal and sent her off to the airport with the secretaries... I cried like a baby. She is incredible and I'm going to miss her like mad and that's all Im going to say about that because if I try to say more I might just start crying again. 

NEWS: SO, as for cambios.... I am staying here (obviously) BUT I am going to be in a trio with Hna Trujillo and Hna Zelaya and we are going to have to divide our time between the 2 sectors we have (Alto Jahuel and Buin).  It is going to be crazy and very interesting but we are all overly excited! I love Hna Trujillo and Hna Zelaya, Hna Trujillo has been in the house with me since I arrived, she goes home at the end of this cambio but she is another one of those noble and great ones and I know that I will learn A TON from her as well.  Hermana Zelaya has 6 months in the mission but is also amazing and we get along great!  Oh and she is from Bolivia.  These next 4 weeks are going to be amazing, theres no doubt about it! But I also know that where much is given much is expected so I'm preparing myself! lol  We are aware that we will most likely face a lot of oposition from the adversary, but we are putting on the "whole armor of God" ;)  I really feel spoiled at this point as far as companions go, because I remeber all this time living in the house with Hermana Trujillo thinking about how much a admire her as a missionary and that I would love to have her as a companion to be able to learn from her as well (because Hna Irrazabal and she are both AMAZING missionaries, but they both have different forms of teaching and different ways of being).  At the time I was sure it was impossible to be her companion as well, but now I got my wish! haha  Like I said, I feel really spoiled, but we 3 as a companionship are SUPER excited!
What else?  This week has been amazing, we worked hard and finished strong as a companionship and my companion never for one second got trunky, she is s real trooper.  We made a pact that we have to see each other again SI O SI [yes or yes...or no doubt about it] lol.
I am excited for these new changes and to see the miracles tha await us in this cambio. This week we had our zone conference and it was superb! Like every zone conference and meeting with the President, APs, etc it was SO inspired!  It was exactly exactly what each one of our investigators needed!  I always leave from meetings like that feeling like someone has taken the blind fold off my eyes that I didn't even know I had on!  I love how the Lord really guides us through His representatives here on the earth, I know He loves each and every one of His children with an infinite love and that He is aware of every last one and knows them by name! He guides His representatives here on the earth through revelation and they truly recieve revelation for each and every one of us.  How wonderful is the Gopel of Jesus Christ!  How merciful is our God!
Fam  bam! Love you lots and lots!  Portense bien, si no, les mato ;)  Sigan adelante con firmeza en Cristo! LES AMO MUCHO! Cuidense! Disfruten su semana!  [Everyone behave or I'll have to kill you;) Keep moving on firmly in Christ!  I love you so much!  Take care!  Enjoy your week!]

Kiss all the kids for me !  Tell them I love them! 


Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 33 (Buin; Last week w/ Hermana Irrazabal)

Yahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Vivi and Victor finally got married this week! YIPEEEEEEE haha it was awesome! They looked great, in their own very them way. lol  I'll send the pics! haha
The only down side is that with all their friends and family staying at their house visiting and wanting to celebrate (in the non-Mormon way), they caved to pressure and drank over the weekend. So, we had to postpone their baptism date for the next weekend, and unfortunately, now my comp won't be able to be there to see them get baptized with Akori, who turns eight on the 20th!
We had a super good lesson with them last night on repentance, I think it was a break through lesson because, although we'd taught it a million times before and tried to explain it in every way we could think of, they didn't understand the need to repent, or the "why" of repentance.  But with how the lesson went last night, and with the help of a member accompanying us and the spirit guiding the lesson, we were able to share experiences and explain things in a new way and judging by their responses, I think they finally are beginning to understand. We also explained to them that faith is required as well, and as we have the faith to live the commandments, we begin to understand them more and more, so they committed to repent and continue preparing and making the changes necessary to get baptized.
This is my last week with my companion, she will be heading home next Monday... ¡triste!  [sad]  I love her SO much! I can't even begin to explain how much I have learned from her!  She is an awesome missionary and will continue being an awesome member after the mission.  Sad to see her leave!  Excited to see what opportunities and changes the Lord has in store for me and my new companion, who ever she may be! lol
Fam bam, love you lots! The gospel is true!  Keep on keeping on!  Give lots of love to Quinta for me! You are always in my prayers!
HAVE A GREAT WEEK!
Hermana Davis

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week 32 (Buin w/ Hermana Irrazabal)

HEY FAMILY!

So, I hear you are still doing daily family scripture study and personal study... HOORAY! That makes me so happy!  You don EVEN know! Keep it up! You ROCK Davis family! LOVE YOU SO MUCH!
SO, who loved conference? ME ME ME ME ME ME ME!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I LOVE CONFERENCE! I'm like a conference junky I swear!  It's pretty much better than Christmas in the mission! The cool part was that we missionaries (gringos) got to watch it in English too!  I love Spanish, but it just isn't the same if you can't hear THEIR voices.  It was kind of funny sitting in the English room of conference at the end, just us missionaries sitting around listening and taking notes.... the closing prayer ends and we all just stay there like... DANG IT! How can it be over???? And my district leader started fake balling... although he may have been faking it on the outside, I was really feeling that way on the inside! lol  But now I'm chomping at the bit to be able to study it in the Liahona.  I LOVE CONFERENCE!!!!! 
This week passed by SO fast!   OH! we found out cambios [changes] Saturday night.  My comp and I were thinking we were going to be put in a cambio until she heads home (in two weeks), BUT it turns out we have no changes in our companionship, but that means we will have special cambios in two weeks when Hermana Irrazabal goes home.  One of the sister that lives with us is getting transferred to another zone, so sad!  It's amazing how close you can get to someone living 2 cambios together in the same house, even when you're never IN the house together. 
 
This week we found an investigator of GOLD!  She is married with 2 teenage kids.  The family was really close friend with the missionary couple that was here earlier, and we ran into her the other day and she invited us to come eat lunch at her house Friday, so we went and while we are eating she tells us about her life and her friendship with the Grants (the missionary couple) and tells us that she sometimes says to her husband that she wants to be Mormon, but after being catholic (formerly) for so long she doesn't now if she could change her life style so much etc. BUT she came to one of the Saturday sessions of conference and brought her daughter.  We called her Sunday to see if she could come and she said she couldn't because they were celebrating her son's birthday... BUT that she'd been watching it from her PHONE!  Does it get more golden? I think not!  I think if we can just start working with her family and get them all in together then they will all get baptized. They are so amazing! They are the perfect Mormon family, just with out being Mormon! lol They even have plans to go visit the Grants in Georgia in January.  ¡Ojala que se bauticen antes de que se vayan!  [I hope they get baptized before they go].
 
Vivi and Victors wedding is supposedly this Friday, but they haven't been able to verify their date in the registro civil, but supposedly early this morning the registro was going to start working with marriage dates, and Vivi was going to go.  We will see what happens... prayers please! 
OH! and I forgot to tell you last week, we had a baptism! Victor, the 9 year old whose dad is a less active, or WAS a less active :) got baptized, that was awesome! He's a smart kid! 
Not much else going on! But I love you a lot! keep up with the AWESOME work! you're the best family in the whole wide world! ¡Cuidense MUCHO! ¡Les extraño! [Take good care of yourselves!  I miss you]
Hermana Davis
 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Week 31 - **Late P-day** (Buin w/ Hermana Irrazabal)

HI!!!!!
Tanto tiempo! (por favor no me maten) lol [It's been a while! (please don't kill me)]
This week felt like the longest week in my life! lol  Not really, I just feeling like I haven't talked to you in years because of the whole moving p-day thing. 
We have been working hard and focusing in on some of our weak points/numbers the last couple weeks, and this week we were able to reach some higher goals...and that was cool for us. 
We have really been struggling with Vivi and Victor lately.  Before, Victor had his whole heart in for the change and Vivi was just there so so, but now the tables have turned.  At the beginning, Victor had gone full force to stop drinking (& other "recreational" activities not in accordance with the Word of Wisdom), fighting with Vivi, etc, etc.  It seems he has been dabbling in those things again as of late (this has been over the past couple weeks), although nothing like before.  He just does it because he's loosened up/relaxed/gotten lazy.  Meanwhile, Vivi has raised the bar.  We have been racking our brains trying to figure out what to teach, how to teach it, etc, etc so that they pull themselves out of their laziness and get in gear.  I think we finally had a break through this week, when were having lunch with Vivi and talking about a lesson we'd had with them when we reprimanded them with much love and how they hadn't taken it well and afterward had felt bad.  Then, we started explaining our intentions and apologizing and talking more about it to the point that my companion broke down and started crying because she felt bad, because we REALLY try to do the very best we can, but even still we mess up, and we were feeling guilty for having made them feel bad.  When Vivi saw my comp cry and talked to Victor about it, I think it was exactly the wake up call they needed because they had been turning a little bit rebellious.  We will have to wait and see what happens, but personally, I feel like the air has shifted back to good now between us and them. They really are so awesome, and we love them SO much, they're like children to us, we get so happy when they do what's right and it tears us apart when they don't. The registro civil [Civil Register] FINALLY, FINALLY opened up this week so we are waiting anxiously to see if they can still get married on the 11th, or if they will have to do it later with how upside down everything is now in the registro civil.  
We have also been working a lot with Viki and Waldo.  Waldo has this fear of getting married, we haven't discovered fully yet why, he's a tough shell to crack.  He has been through some pretty heavy stuff in his life.  I think he is at the point now where he understands the importance of getting married and everything but he really has a fear of it.  Because of that, he has been driving us crazy recently with, yes, we'll get married, no, I don't want to, yes, I will, no, I don't want to.  BUT nothing that can't be fixed.  We just have to persevere and get to the root of his doubt and help him get over it.  This Friday we are going to do a fast with Viki so that Waldo can get over his fear or whatever it is that is holding him back.  With three kids together, you'd think it wouldn't be so hard lol. 
Other than that, my companion and I have been searching for new people to teach and working a lot on the list of menos activos [less active members].  
We don't have the "5x5 ministering visits"  thing here in Chile.  I actually haven't even heard of that. Right now, as a mission, we have a goal of actualizing/updating all of the list of member for all parts and branches of the mission before Nov 1st.  We are a bit less than half way there as a mission. What we have to do is go to every single one of the houses and addresses on the list and find out if the people are still living there or not and if not, try to get a new address for them.  It's really a cool thing!  I love it!  Along the way you find lots of part member families, new spouses or children that haven't been baptized, etc etc, but I also really just like working with the menos activos [less active members] and watching them, step by step, gain their testimony back, just as if they were an investigator. 
I love these people SO much. I hope I get to stay in this sector like 6 or 7 months. That would rock!  I love our investigators, I love the members, I love the less actives, the leadership, etc etc..  Like every where and every branch, it has it's challenges and weaknesses, but I LOVE the Buin Branch and I LOVE ALTO JAHUEL!  [the area & branch she is working in] 
I read this SUPER awesome message in the September issue of the Ensign that you all HAVE to look up and read it's called! "His Grace is Sufficient" 
It´s really helped me to deepen my understanding and LOVE for my Savior and the Atonement. I love my Savior!  He is my strength and my joy.  He is my message. 
I love you so much family!  Keep up the awesome work with family prayers and scripture study!  I know that everything is going to turn out for the best because the Savior is the center of our home and the rock upon which we have built or foundation, therefore, we will not fall.  I LOVE YOU MORE THAN I COULD EVER PUT IN WORDS!  Behave yourselves ;)

Thanks for loving me and loving the Lord enough to let me have this amazing self losing and self finding experience.
Your loving daughter/big sis,
Hermana Davis

P.S.  Hey, I'm trying to send pics right now but the computer I am on isn't reading my card and the Hna I'm with is currently downloading music to her card and can't lend me her computer.  I would ask for a different computer but my time is almost up.  I hope that's acceptable because I put effort in trying to write a long email, and I didn't write to anyone else (besides my mission president) not a single person, nor did I read any other emails. but i will make sure and START with pictures Monday (soon!) please forgive me for last week and other times that have been lame and short. thank you for expressing your feelings about it.  It was the wake up call that I needed.  I am and will continue to do better.  I really love you a lot, things just get tricky sometimes.   Please forgive me.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Quick mid-week note (Sat 9/28)

Hey fam!  I'm writing today Sat., Sept. 28, (as directed by the president) to let you know that my p-day this coming week won't be on Monday.  My companion is going to the temple Thursday so for this week, we have to change our p-day to that day.  So, I will write ya'll Thursday!  LOVE YOU TO PIECES! Don't miss me too much ;) have an AWESOME week, you all deserve it!
tons and tons and tons of love, 
Hermana Davis

P.S. my ears are getting better, they hardly itch any more :)))

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 30 (Buin w/ Hermana Irrazabal)

hey nothing too interesting this week, just a lot of drunk people because of 18 and everything
sorry i wasnt watching the time and its already time to go but i love you all so much! i was going to send pictures but my comp was using my memory card the whole time and i was reading emails etc. things are good though! tomorrow i have a doctors appointment in rancagua for my ears, i think i have an outer ear infection (that would explain my ears always itching) ill let you know how that goes next week. again so sorry for this stinky short email, the good news is that there is always next week! lol Family, i love you so much! you are the greatest in the whole wide world!
be good!
lean las escrituras como familia! les extraño MUCHISIMO!
[read the scriptures as a family!  I miss you SO much!]
so so so sorry!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week 29 (Buin w/ Hermana Irrazabal)

OK, so time is short but I have so much to send!  It's been a crazy week! ...lots to share! ...including pictures.  The bad news is that they are SUPER slow loading, but I'll see what I can do.
OK, where do I start?
Tuesday my companion had a meeting in Rancagua because she's the Sister coordinator.  I stayed here in the sector with Hermana Garcia. Wednesday is our normal district meeting but this week President Warne came and visited and afterward he gave my companion a Priesthood blessing.  It was an AWESOME blessing!...pretty much we're going to be running around like mad the next 3 weeks (the LAST three weeks of my compi's mission:( )  She is SO awesome!  I hope I can become as great a missionary as she is!  So after she got a blessing, I asked for one too... IN ENGLISH! it was AWESOME!
The Lord (obviously) knows all of our needs, worries, you name it!  Even when WE don't even recognize them.  My blessing was SO SO SO perfect and especially and exactly what I needed to hear from the Lord.  I'll admit, I cried just a LITTLE bit... OK, maybe a lot.
Thursday, DIVISIONES! my companion went over to a near by sector and I got to stay here with another hermana.  Fun stuff!  It went well :) OH! another one of our families that we teach is going to get married!  We had a very heart to heart, "tell them what they need to hear" lesson with them and yesterday they told us that they decided to do it!!!  wooohoooooooo  ..When?  Well, we are still working on that.
Friday, President Warne called to have us come to the mission home (Hna Irrazabal and I) because 5 guys from Salt Lake flew in to do some interviews with some sister missionaries from our mission and to ask us some questions about Elder Archuleta.  We go to the mission home and they wanted to interview us immediately because dusk was about to fall and the lighting outside was perfect for the CAMERAS ...that's right ON CAMERA INTERVIEWS. I almost died! lol  The president asked my compi and I (and 2 other sisters from the mission) to come and talk and be interviewed.  One of the guys who came is the guy who makes all the Mormon Messages, another was the personal film agent guy that went with President Hinkley for all his on film stuff all over the world (including with Larry King), another is the assistant to the President of the Mormon Tabernacle who schedules all the stars and people who come and perform with the Mormon Tab Choir.  I don't remember who the other guys were.  Supposedly they are working on something to put between the sessions of conference and maybe some Mormon messages and some kind of documentary on Elder Archuleta. They asked us questions about the mission, our experiences, our testimonies, and also a couple questions about Elder Archuleta.  They had us sign release forms and everything.  What stinks is that we won't really know if/when they use our stuff... I guess we'll  just have to start watching out for it.  Who knows, maybe my comp and I will randomly show up on the TV or the internet!  It was a CRAZY experience!  I'll definitely never forgot it!  It was so cool being with these people and hearing all their stories from working with people high up in the church, people like Andre Botticelli and everything! After we finished filming we all ate dinner together in the mission home. Definitely an experience I'll NEVER EVER EVER forget!
Saturday, the branch killed our WHOLE day proselyting because we had our Sept. 18 party and it went ALL day and they needed our help, but it was SUPER fun and we 4 hermanas dressed up in traditional "cueca" dresses in the China (or chinita) style (YouTube: la cueca chilena) la cueca is the national dance.  It was so fun!  I took LOADS of pics!

I forget to comment on things sometimes, but G-pa Jim WAS on my mind this week and in my prayers. No se preocupe [So, don't worry] lol  I'm really glad to hear he is recovering well.
I love you mommy, thank you for your email, please do have Zoe tell me EVERYTHING EVERYTHING EVERYTHING about her first dance.

I'm writing you an actual letter (believe it or not).  The only problem is that the mail system here is on strike right now, as is the registro civil lol gotta love CHILE
CHI CHI CHI LE LE LE...VIVA CHILE!!!!

I RAN OUT OF TIME TO SEND  PICS...NEXT WEEK!!!! SORRYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 28 (Buin w/Hermana Irrazabal)

HEY!  How's it going?
SO, this week we had our mission conference with Elder Viñas Thursday (they divided the mission in half and had two conferences one for the south part and one for the north).  It turns out Elder Enchilada [David Archuleta] is in the north half of the mission, so I saw him there and shook his hand.  The conference was AMAZING!  I received SO many answers to prayers and questions I'd had for a while. Seriously, it was AWESOME!  The Lord hears our prayers, every single one! ...and He answers them!  I LOVE IT! 

Otra noticia, tengo piojo. [In other news, I got lice].  WOOOOOOOHHHHH!... :P  SO FUN!  Victor and Vivi's kids had them this week and despite my effort to avoid it, they passed it along to me!  To be honest, getting lice was kind of my phobia of being here in Chile, but now I've passed through it and am realizing it's not that huge of a deal.  I really thought that if I got it I would freak out & die or something dramatic like that. I'll admit, it was kind of a downer when I found out, but then I just did what I had to do and started striping my bed, throwing all my clothes into bags and hauled it all down to the first floor to throw in the washer. I am also SUPER grateful we have out own washer because if not, it'd  be a REAL pain. This morning Hna. Garcia ran the lice comb through my hair for me and before coming to use internet we ran by the pharmacy and bought lice killing shampoo. Thank you mom for teaching me (through example) how to deal with situations like this.  I don't know what I'd do with out you and all I've learned from you (whether you knew I was watching or not).  Once again, I'm all out of time to send pictures, but SOMEday soon I will send them. Spring is blooming here and the trees are covered in blossoms it's so beautiful.  The baptism we were going to have fell through, supposedly because they were repairing the baptismal font this weekend, I'll keep you updated. 
I love you so much family!  I LOVE CHILE! The 18th is coming (Chile's Independence day AND TRENT'S B-DAY) I'm super excited because here it's a much bigger deal than Christmas! lol  I think my comp and I are going to buy cueca dresses to wear.  You should look up the dance "la cueca" and their traditional costumes and everything.  It's super cool!  Chile is great...BUT of course, I miss you tons, family!  Be good!  PLEASE take care! Start the school year off strong!  I LOVE YOU SOOO MUCH!

ALL my love,
Hermana Davis

Monday, September 2, 2013

Week 27 (Buin w/Hermana Irrazabal)

LA SEMANA DEL CHORRO [The week of the burglar]

SOOOOO we had some crazy adventures this week :) :) :)

Sunday. Hna Irrazabal sees some dude out the window who is walking around checking out the neighborhood. She explains to us how she got a really bad feeling when she saw him, that she thinks he was looking around planning to rob. As she explains this, one of the other Hermanas, Hna Jaramillo remembers a dream she had the week before that a thief broke into the house to steal. So at this point, we all start joking about chorros [Argentinian slang for: burglars]. The next night Hna Irrazabal and I arrive at the house first, so we decide to play a prank on the other Hnas. We lock the gate behind us, instead of leaving it open, lock the front door, and don't turn on any lights, so that they think nobody's home yet, and we hide behind the front door to scare them. Long story short, this started a chain of jokes, scares, and pranks all having to do with chorros.
Wednesday, Hna Irrazabal and I are sitting in our lunch appointment chatting with the sister that had made us lunch when the phone rings. Its Hna Garcia and Hna Trujillo. They didn't have a lunch appointment and had gone to the house to make their own lunch. They had finished cooking in the kitchen on the first floor and headed up to their room to eat on the 2nd floor.  They ask us "Did you come in the house?"
Hna Irrazabal: "No."
Hna Trujilllo: "No seriously, you didn't come in the house?"
Hna Irrazabal:  "No! Seriously! ...Why?"
"Hermana... we heard the front door close."
Hna Irrazabal: "Maybe it's the other hermanas, did you call them?"
Hna Trujillo: "no, they had a lunch appointment today. It's not them. Hna, I think someone came in the house. We can hear noises coming from the first floor. What do we do?"
"Where are you right now"
"In our room, we shut and locked ourselves inside!"
"Yeah, are you sure you hear something, it's not just your imagination?  Why dont you go and check it out"
"NO! Hna, seriously! there are noises coming from below"
"Yeah, stay put then, we are going to call the Zone Leaders so they can come and check it out."
We call our Zone Leaders, they don't answer.
We call our District Leaders.  No answer...they're all in their lunch  appointments.
We call the Zone Leaders from the OTHER zone. They answer. We start trying to explain to them what's going on when we see that the Hnas are calling from the house.  So, we hang up on the ZLs to answer the hnas.
Hna Trujillo: "The noises stopped. We're going to go down the stairs to check it out, but we want you to come with us, so we're going to put you on speaker phone. Ready? (whispering very softly) OK, we're going down. listen!...."
.... everything is silent. Then we start hearing them go down one stair at a time. then the noise stops again. We start hearing noises that we can't really identify and the line goes quiet
Hna Irr: "(whispering) Hermanas?... (a little louder)Hermanas... Almost yelling at the phone HERMANAS?"  The line cuts out. We try calling again. The phone is turned off. SO we start freaking out.  The sister we are eating lunch with calls los carabineros (the police here in Chile) then Hna Irrazabal calls the other zone leaders again and tells them roughly the situation and tells them to RUN to the house and find out whats going on.  About 3 mins later the phone rings again.  The hermanas.
They explained that they are OK; that they went down stairs and there was no one there.  They tell us to tell the ZLs not to come but we tell them they are already on their way... along with the carabineros. Hna Trujillo then explains to us that she turned off the phone for fear of it making noise while they went down. She also explains that they know that there was someone in the house because the back door that enters into the kitchen was left open when they had left it shut, and that when they came down the stairs they heard the grocery bag hanging on the door handle make noise, as if someone brushed by.  A little while later the ZLs arrive (very winded) and explain to the Hns that they saw some guy jump over the back fence of one of our nearby neighbors.  A little later the carabineros arrive and some of our neighbors come out of their houses to talk with them as well because they witnessed another guy (team attack) trying to rob their house...but since they caught him, he ditched his backpack full of their things and bailed. LUCKILY for us, that very same day in the morning the other two hnas that were living on the first floor had moved into the house of the senior couple that just went home to the states; so it just so happens the first floor had absolutely nothing. SO nothing was stolen YIPPEE!
Later, the Assistants to the President passed by to drop something off and gave the Hnas a blessing of comfort and blessed the house.
All turned out fine but it was quite the heart racing adventure!

As for the work, everything is still going good!  This week we struggled a bit more with getting the members to actually follow through with their commitment to come to lessons with us (aka they all bailed in the last minute, but that's normal lol). But little by little, our investigators are progressing and even though they fall from time to time, they pick themselves up, dust themselves off and keep trying. Turns out over coming addictions ISN'T so easy. lol.  Who knew??
We have a baptism this weekend AND a member of the 70 is coming to speak to the mission this week! Updates later!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you baby sis! You are so beautiful! I miss you tons and thought about you this week. Be tough! Don't be dumb even though all the kids around you in the High School are. HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU'RE MY BESTEST FRIEND FOREVERRRRRRRRRRR! I MISS YOU!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Week 25 (Buin w/Hermana Irrazabal)

YIPEEEEEE!!!!! I finally got my packages! And lots of letters! BIG HUGE thank you to Alton and Debbie, the Whitakers, Nicolee, and Cynphony! You all are the BEST!!!! I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, the letters! SO I with my packages I finally got my credit card, yipeeee!...and thus I bought a new camera today...SO I have a camera again YIPEEEEE!!! With the birthday package stuff :)(cake mix, frosting, streamers, birthday hats) I think we are going to have a mini-party in the house today and next week I can start sending pictures! WOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! So cambios [transfers] are tomorrow, but we found out Saturday night that I GET TO STAY WITH HNA IRRAZABAL!!!!!! :D :D :D :D La voy a matar! [I get to kill her off] (in the mission of course). lol Initially I WAS SUPER excited because those who are in their last cabio [transfer] get to go to the TEMPLE with their companions, BUT it turns out with the new mission president, the "dying" missionaries all get together and go to the temple and leave their companions behind. FOME [darn]!!!!  I miss the temple A LOT! haha I LOVE THE TEMPLE! but all's good, my time will come lol. :)

How cool we have bears in the yard [at home in CA] again! haha Practice up! ;) ;) ;)

This week has been a good one, except that we found out that as foreigners, we can't actually be testigos [witnesses] in the wedding, BUT we will be able to be there, and THAT is the important part... actually the important part is that they're GETTING married lol, but we are super happy to have the opportunity to be there, AND to be together for this cambio [companionship transfer] too! This week we had interviews with our mission President.  Man, he is SO inspired. It's like he's called of God or something that like... weird ;) lol  He told me EXACTLY exactly what I needed to hear, for example that I am right where I need to be at this point in my mission. It was a huge relief to hear that because I'm always worrying too much lol. He also explained to me that this time in my mission it's normal to pass through this phase where thoughts of home/family creep into your mind more because as missionaries we start really adjusting to the mission life and get into a rhythm so we don't need to think quite as hard all the time and with this teeny little extra space in our mind, other things start creeping in. But that it's completely normal and it's just a phase, just don't dwell on it, it will pass and you'll get a 2nd wind that'll carry you through to the end.

OM GOSH that reminds me, tomorrow I officially have SIX MONTHS in the mission! HOW CRAZY IS THAT?!?!?!  ¿Como que tengo 6 meses?  No lo puedo creer! en serio! [How can it be that it's been 6 months? I just can't believe it! Seriously]. Time really flies in the mission!

¿Que mas? ¿Que mas? [What else? What else?] We decided to leave our investigators to come to church by themselves to see what would happen and measure their growth etc. (instead of passing by their houses to make sure they were up and getting ready/help them if they needed something/walk with them and wait with them for the bus to pass). It was scary! lol We were sitting in sacrament meeting tapping our feet. The meeting started and we had 1/8 that had arrived. But little by little (one family/pareja [couple] at a time) they started trickling in until we had 6 of the 8 investigators and their children there. The only 2 that didn't come were Viki and Waldo una pareja [a couple] with 3 little kids. They had called us the night before with some excuse I didn't quite catch for why they couldn't come. I think what really happened is they didn't have money to take their family in colectivo or bus to the chapel again (it's about a 15 min bus/colectivo ride away). We were SUPER stoked though to have the investigators and Menos Activos [less actives] that arrived there because they did it all by themselves. We were SO proud AND we really just felt the love and mercy and blessings of the Lord being POURED/DUMPED out in very large quantity over us. It really is amazing to me, incomprehensible the love and mercy of our God. It fills my heart with joy and peace. It's memories and faith building times like these that I will FOREVER be grateful for and will NEVER be able to forget. I love the Lord! I feel so very blessed to have the OPPORTUNITY to serve this time as His representative and share His gospel. It is SO SO SO true! I just love it! Querida [Beloved] familia, I love you all SOOOO much! thank you so much for your emails, your love, support, and your PRAYERS. They don't go unanswered!!! Sigan adelante, crezcan sus testimonios. Lean como familia, oren siempre. [Keep moving forward, grow your testimonies. Read together as a family, pray always] 
 I LOVE YOU! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO
Hermana Davis

Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 24 (Buin w/Hermana Irrazabal)

Howdy!
To be completely honest, I don't really know what to say this week.  Another good week!  We continue seeing many mini-miracles along with lots of opposition from the adversary.  Apparently he doesn't like what we´re doing.  Who´d have thought? ... Ahh! that reminds me, something else that surprised me about Chile that I don´t exactly love.  They are pretty superstitious... or I don't know what you´d call it but they are like hyper aware of evil spirits and things like that and they talk about it a bit much for my liking.  They talk about people being possessed, seeing/hearing/feeling cosas feas [ugly things], etc etc. It´s something I hate to hear about lol. You know how I handle it?  Plug my ears and sing "LA LA LA LA LA LA LAAAA IM NOT LISTENING!" LOL now, of course I don't literally do that but mentally I do. I just start telling myself that people who've experienced things like that let their imagination get to them or their mind was playing tricks on them or that they are medio loco no mas [just half crazy]. lol  For example, we found a new investigator this week who is really special, like if you take the time to talk to her you can feel it.  I´m not sure if she is 100% there mentally, but she really is a sweet spirit.  She grew up an orphan and was bounced around from one orphanage to another.  She shared with us an experience she had when she was little where she was supposedly possessed, and that since that moment she prays ever night before going to bed so that she can go to sleep peacefully (because she gets spooked a lot).  She lives alone, just her and her dog, Toby.  When we talked with her it was so cool to be able to share with her and feel how much Heavenly Father loves her, and that she is a daughter of God.  We shared with her how to pray (because she recites prayers) and explained to her that she can really just talk with God and express her feelings.  She explained to us that she feels alone a lot and she doesn't really have a lot of people to talk to or many friends, so it was a blessing to be able to share with her our personal testimonies of the power of prayer and experiences that Heavenly Father really listens and answers our prayers and when we pour our heart out in prayer, he can take away our feelings of sadness, loneliness, etc.   It is amazing to me, and really such an amazing blessing to serve as a missionary and have the opportunity to share with God's children His love for them and be the vessel through which He shares His message and have the opportunity to feel at least the smallest portion of the great love that He has for each one of us.
This week we have our interviews with the mission President.  That means I´m going to FINALLY get my letters and birthday packages WOOOHOOOO! AND that I can buy a camera next Monday.
Love you and miss you a ton!  ... seriously! I am so happy here and really enjoying the work, but nothing replaces family.  I hope you all are doing well, thank you so much for the letters Trent, John, and Lucien!  I love you SOOOO much!  Be good for mommy!  Read your scriptures, SAY YOUR DAILY PRAYERS!  Be good boys, I know you are.  Love you to the moon and back times infinity (and you too Zoe) lots of loves and snuggles.  Your favorite sister in a foreign country,
Hermana Davis

Monday, August 12, 2013

Week 24 (Buin w/Hermana Irrazabal)



Answers to questions you asked me in your e-mail:

1) We still don’t know much about your companion or any of the sisters you are sharing the apartment with…who are they & where are they from? 
My companion is the bomb she is from Argentina and the next transfer is her last (we´re hoping we stay together for her last cambio) we get along super well; we work hard and have a good time together.  The other sisters are Hna Trujillo from Peru who has one cambio more than Hna Irrazabal left in the mission and her trainee Hna Garcia from Chile.  The other companionship is Hna Jaramillo (or Jarami‘SH’o) also from Argentina but hasn’t lost her accent she has the same time as me in the mission but more time in Chile because she only had 2 weeks in the MTC and she is with her trainee Hna Opazo also from Chile.

2) How often do you get opportunities to just gab away in your native language?
            As you probably figured out from the last answer, I am the only gringa in our house so I don’t ever get to gab away in my native language, but don’t you worry,  I still gab away, just not in my NATIVE language LOL but I’m really ok with it because the few times I have been able to speak English recently, (for example when my DL (District Leader) called for our numbers/statistics) it comes out really awkward.  I get like half way through a sentence before I have to pause and remember how to say something in English, but even then sometimes random words come out in Spanish mid-sentence and it feels really weird and awkward to speak in English.  I feel like I sound like an idiot, SO i just answer most of the time in Spanish or Spanglish when people try to talk to me in English.  The sucky part is that I haven’t MASTERED Spanish yet so I can’t really speak either language... its rather comical

3) Who do you get along best with?
My companion!!!!  She´s awesome!  I tell her at LEAST 3 times a week that she has to come and visit me after the mission

4) Can you or have you ever seen the Andes?  
YESS!!!!! They are SOOOOOOO beautiful! and they are all snowcapped this time of year, the only problem is that I haven’t been in an area really CLOSE to them yet so whenever its cloudy or smoggy you can’t see them well, but on the clear days they are GORGEOUS.  En serio, me ponen feliz! :))))  (Seriously, they make me happy!)

5) Now that you are really getting acclimated, what about Chile has surprised you? 
Ha-ha I still don’t know... EVERYTHING!  But if I have to pick something(s) specifically, the animals in the street EVERYWHERE!  Chile is in SERIOUS need of a pound! there are SOOOO many stray dogs in the street and stray cats, and the dogs are DISGUSTING many of them are missing limbs, missing large patches of hair, have huge nasty tumors, etc., etc. Poor things need to be put out of their misery, not to mention a pound would seriously help with the flea problem here.  And the people here are rightly known for being flojos [laid back/slack], but like everywhere, there are people of all kinds.  Sean como sean les amo igual [They are as they are, I love them just the same].  I´m really not a fan of the food, any of it lol except manjar [a caramel sauce they put on everything].  I LOVE the people here and I love how humble they are.  son de buena onda aca en Buin (alto jahuel).   [they are good people here in Buin]
This week was incredible! The day we finished our fast with Vivi we went over to her house to teach her the law of chastity and afterward we called victor on speaker phone to talk to him about them getting married and well, the phone call didn’t end so well, it was kind of like... "Shoot, that wasn’t exactly the miracle I wanted for our investigator to see upon showing her faith in fasting..." He had said how he isn’t sure about getting married because he’s not sure about how he feels, like her loves her and all but that he´s confused and that after all their time together he sees her more as a friend (ouch). SO my comp and I (mostly my comp  tan capa! [so cool]) talked to him and told him to pray about it and think about his family their kids and everything and let us know.  About TWENTY minutes later as we are getting ready to leave, Vivi is washing the dishes, the phone rings. Victor. Vivi´s hands are soaked so we pick up the phone for her, put it in speaker and hold it up to her.
"Halo" She answers. Victor says something that Hna Irrazabal and I don’t catch because one of their kids screams right as he speaks, but we see the expression on Vivis face change to bright red with an expression of utter shock..."¡¿QUE?!" she says
So Vistor repeats himself............ "¿Te quieres casar conmigo?"  [Do you want to marry me?]
"SI." Vivi answers and the rest of the conversation gets lost amongst mine and Hna Irrazabal’s screams and we hug each other, hug Vivi and start jumping up laughing and squealing for joy in the middle of their living room.  FUN STUFF! SO now we are planning a wedding WOOOH!  For the end of September.  I think Hna Irrazabal and I are going to be the 2 witnesses to sign the certificate in the civil when they get married.  QUE BAKAN!!!! [So awesome!!!]  SOOOO we´re pretty happy.
BUT I’m out of time so fam love yall! Miss you like crazy!!! Have a wonderful week WRITE ME LETTERS AND DRAW ME PICTURES AND SEND THEM TO MEEEE!!!!!  That’s your out of school home work for this week-  XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO
[An additional little tid bit Ynez added to a reply one of my letters]:
I’m sorry you were disappointed to see how much you’ve lost your Spanish abilities.  I already have fear of losing mine and I haven’t even learned the grammar well yet, but the ability to get around in everything.  It’s something think about sometimes, like what I’m going to do in the future to never lose my Spanish (ie marry someone who speaks it and teach our children etc. etc.) lol  It’s too bad that Brian gets frustrated with you trying to speak Spanish with him and wants you to speak English!  He´ll regret it when Shane comes home.  Especially when me AND Shane are home AND you are more practiced up and we blab in Spanish and he can’t keep up!  lol   Is the whole family buff and lean from all the mtn. biking or what???   Sounds like you are biking 24/7.   I’m not gonna lie I’m a little jealous lol, but I also know there will be time for all that jazz after the mish.  I love you daddy, you’re my hero!!!