Friday, March 29, 2013

Provo, MTC (Letter) - (Wk 5)

Oh my goodness!  I love you so much it drives me crazy!  How are you?
I’m SUPER exited to talk to you on Monday!  I decided that the kids need to just go to school late that day so I can talk to them all.  Another thing…I think that a disposable phone would be best because that way I won’t be tying me AND my companion to a phone booth for hours on end ;) and that way if anything odd happens with the phone booths or if I don’t want to hog it I can just call you on the mobile.  I don’t think any rules have been made about it.  I think it’s one of those “better to ask forgiveness than permission” situations.  I’m sure if I were to ask they’d say no because it could EASILY be misused and cause a lot of problems…but we all know I won’t do that!  I just want to talk to my family as much as possible while inconveniencing the FEWEST/least amount of people possible. AND if I have a disposable phone you can call ME if need be.  Like if you get busy and need to call me back.  So yeah, that is my opinion.  I just can’t wait to ACTUALLY talk to you!  It’s going to be the BEST THING EVER!  Because guess what….I LOVE YOU…and miss you!!!! And I will actually get to REALLY tell you about stuff!

Oh! …and that Sister you mentioned (Anna Berbert) is going to be our travel group leader according to my travel plans, so I should be meeting her, finally.

How did you find out about Karli Farmer (*a cousin who works in the MTC cafeteria)?  I’m so excited to see her now.  I’m going to stalk her down on Monday!!! LOL  LOVE, love that girl!!!

I think I pick Alma 7:9 for my plaque scripture.  Find a good picture of me.  Some pics should be coming your way via e-mail all the sisters in our district sent mass e-mails so we could share.  If there aren’t good ones on there check Face-Book, if that’s still not what you’re looking for, let me know & I’ll make some time to take a good one & send it.

So giving a talk in Church and in Spanish was scary, but I kind of felt like it was coming haha. Afterwards, the Branch President said “bien preparado” (*well prepared).  :-)  See, I’m a good girl!!  Even Hermano Urquhart thinks so!  I won estraiques (* 3 strikes) again this week (well, only kind of)  …Halfway through the game Hermano U. changed the rules so that no matter how many estraiques (*strikes) you had, if you got all 3 sentences right in a round you could come back in the game.  So pretty quick it was down to me and one other sister and she got out, I stayed in, but someone else got back in, which is kind of ironic because one of the sentences H. Urquhart made us write was “Hermana Davis won the game”.   (Because he was expecting me to win in that round but since other people got back in, I didn’t).  By this time everyone else had at LEAST 4 or 5 strikes and I only had 2, but for the last round, I finally struck out and another Hermana got back in so TECHNICALLY she won the game, but even Hermano Urquhart “whispered” to me in front of the whole class, “you actually won the game.” And at one point he said, “Hermana Davis es mi estudiante estrella” (*Sister Davis is my star student) and then pretended to draw a star next to my name on the board!  It makes me this: (& she drew a picture of a huge blushing and smiling face saying, “I’m a good girl”).  It’s kind of awesome because he’s the kind of person that people just naturally want to please or to be on his good side.

So, in response to your question, yes, I know Hermana Oldroyd! Love her!  She was one of Hermana Call’s companions in the MTC.

There’s this Hermana on our floor in our class building, Hermana Tolar, she looks like a princess!   But more importantly, she’s from Chile so sometimes she comes and talks to us about Chile and tells us some fun facts.

Recently, I started playing basketball during gym time.  I forgot how much of a workout it is!  It’s like freaking interval training, especially when I play with the Elders!  Gym rules are such that 2 sisters can play with Elders - they just have to guard each other.  I can’t really decide if I like playing with Elders or Sisters better.  I like playing with Sisters because we use a 28.5 ball, so “their balls aren’t big” (an inside joke & reference to one of Ynez’ most embarrassing moments).  But it’s pretty fulfilling playing with the Elders and watching their reactions as they realize I’m actually pretty good and they start passing me the ball more and more and making comments like “this sister is a baller!”, or my favorite (after I made a play on the inside underneath the basket)…”thanks for showing me how to do that move” lol. :-)

So my 1st investigator (H. Urquhart) Vincente is getting baptized.  We finally helped him resolve his doubts and set a date.  It was really cool though, we are learning so much about teaching.  It’s insane!  I love, love, love it!!!  I’m really learning how to LISTEN and to listen to understand, not just respond.

Did I ever tell you about Zach’s parents (the Asbell’s) being here in the MTC and coming and eating dinner with me?  I ran into them in line for dinner a couple of Sundays ago and they came and sat with me and my district and talked to me.  They are SOOOO SUPER SWEET and nice to me.

Another funny story: Prior to playing basketball I played a lot of volley ball with my district and I guess I like broke this Elders foot or something.  One day while we were playing, the Elder & I were on opposite teams and we ended up crashing into each other like through the net because we were both going to spike the ball over.  I was 100% OK but he kind of limped away and I remember laughing and saying some smart-aleck comment like “I like how I’m the girl and walked away fine!” …or something like that-trying to make a joke out of it (while at the same time telling him to put his man pants back on and at least HIDE the pain).  A couple minutes later he left the game.  Saw him the next day…..still limping…2 days later on crutches…4 days later a metal boot!!!  Is it bad that the first thing that comes to mind whenever I see him is “wuss”?  The other sisters and I joke about how DANGEROUS I am now.  They call him BF, or boot foot, or my friend with the boot.  We also joked that next, we’d see him in a wheel chair, and after that a prosthetic leg!  Poor guy!!!  I’m really hoping something ELSE happened to his foot, but we don’t know so pretty much everyone in my district jokes about it now, even the Elders.

Mom! I found another way that I’m like you!  We got the OPPORTUNITY to listen to some Elder puke outside our classroom yesterday.  As soon as I figured out who it was I started getting hand sanitizer from the dispenser and rubbing it down on everything.  At one point, later in the day, he came into our room and touched stuff so I went and borrowed the container of disinfectant wipes from the computer lab and practically wiped down our whole room.  Then I handed one to Elder Israelson (who had a cold) and said, “Wipe off EVERYTHING you have EVER touched.”  LOL.

I love my district and my companion, but I am also ready to get out there.  I will miss them but I’m ready to do what I came to do.

Tell each kid I love them!  Tell Zoe and Trent to write me again and I promise I’ll write them back this time.

Last full week in the MTC!  …can’t believe it!  I’m scared and excited out of MY MIND!!!!

I love you all XOXOXOXOXOXO .  Please, please, please keep writing everyday while you still can. I love you, I love you, I love you!!!!  So sorry for the messy writing and horrible grammar.

Hermana Davis

[Postscript info update by parents: a "disposable phone" to use at the airport was bought and overnight-ed to her at the MTC but the day before leaving, the missionaries were told that they should not have or use such electronic devices so Hermana Davis mailed it back home without using it.]

Provo, MTC (P-day email) - (Wk 5)

Hey everybody!!! 

I GOT MY TRAVEL PLANS!!!!!!!!  And just you wait...
Reporting to the travel office here on campus at... 4 a.m.
Flight from SLC at 7:05 to LAX; flight from LAX at 1:45 to Santiago CHILE (arriving in Chile at 3:00a.m. our time, 7:00am Chilean time).  Then, taking a flight from Santiago to Concepcion at 8:45 am

So ... YEAH! I'm going to be in LAX for like 6 hours! I'm going to go INSANE! Trapped in a terminal for six hours, less than 2 hours away from home, in beautiful, sunny, warm California. BUT looking on the bright side that gives me a lot of time to call home! :) It's going to be quite an adventure!!!! Especially since we'll be "on the road" for over 24 hours

So this week it is actually warm and beautiful here in Provo, the sun is out and the flowers are all blooming. Last P-day it snowed 5 inches... there's been quite turnaround weather wise.

This week has been super long and pretty tough! But there are always things to be happy about and things to laugh at, which is a blessing to me because I love to laugh; it makes life so much easier!
For example, this week while our district was all playing volleyball together… 
      [OMGOSH! I’m going to go nuts & I can't concentrate because there are some sisters practicing Chinese out loud on their computer program, sitting behind me and it is SOOOO... uhh, INTERESTING... it makes me appreciate Spanish all the more! LOL]  
     …anyway, and Elder Criman was trying to pass the ball under the net from our side back to the other team (because it had gone way out of bounds on our side) and when he chucked it (from the back row on our side) he ended up BEANING the kid in front of him - RIGHT smack in the back of the head with the volleyball! THEN before the Elder could turn around to see who did it, Elder Criman turned around to face the missionaries in line for the four-square court behind us and through his arms out to his sides, gesturing toward them like, "WHAT THE HECK IS YOUR PROBLEM?!!?! Who would do such a thing?!" The whole court busted up laughing and I was laughing SO hard that a fell on the floor, like I couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard! I mean, I was standing RIGHT there, front row seat status!
One of our Elders left this week, Elder Lawrence, (who was originally supposed to go to the Columbia MTC but his visa was delayed) finally got it last week and left early Monday morning. We miss him a lot! He was kind of the class clown, always made us crack up! Before he left, all of us sisters got together and made him a giant candy poster on a broken down giant card board box we salvaged from the cardboard bin on our floor, and we got all our candy and things by raiding the "sharing shelves" on every floor of our residence hall, it was hilarious! ..and an adventure just to make it! It was probably the coolest, funniest candy poster I have ever made, AND it didn't cost us a penny!

I gave my first talk in Spanish this last Sunday. The way Sacrament meeting goes is: every week we are all supposed to prepare a talk and no one knows who is going to speak that week until sacrament meeting.  This last week, the Branch Presidency called me and another Elder in the district (who has been here longer than us). It was pretty nerve racking but cool at the same time! I never would have guess that I’d be able to give a 3-5 minute talk in Sacrament meeting 4 weeks into the MTC.  Speaking of 4 weeks, I can't believe I've been here for a MONTH! At the same time though, it feels like I've been here for years!  (Not in a bad way though!)  1 month down 17 to go! Making progress! :))) Being a missionary is awesome!

A couple of my friends reported to the MTC this week! And guess what, Sister (Elise) Harrison (from home) is in my ZONE!!!!  Her classroom is literally next door to mine! We are both super excited about it! It's really great to see her and to get to talk and catch up with someone from home.

Like I said earlier, this week has been really tough, everyday feels like 3 days, but somehow at the end of the week I'm always like, where in the world did the week go??? Toward the beginning of the week I was really struggling with feeling kind of homesick and being really short-tempered.  After a lot of prayer and talking to Hermana Jeanfreau (one of my teachers) about it, Heavenly Father has helped me realize that what is really going on is that He is trying to teach me some things right now.  It's kind of funny though, because before my mission, I had this idea that change just came NATURALLY when you are on a mission, but I'm really starting to realize that change is JUST as hard (if not harder) being on a mission.  You REALLY have to WORK for it and humble yourself and just pray continually for strength and guidance. All the effort is more than worth it though.  Change comes slowly and according to how much effort you are willing to put in; but I have also learned that as long as I am doing my very best and leaning on/trusting in the Lord, he will make up the rest and help me find joy in the journey and beauty in the struggle... like climbing a mountain ;) 

Family, I LOVE YOU SO STINKING MUCH I CANT EXPRESS IT!!!! I pray for you ALL the time and I always just feel SO blessed to have you in my life, even if it's only through letters and occasional phone calls, I have been so richly blessed to have you. Best cheer squad EVER!!!! Stick together!  Kids: be nice to each other!  I MISS YOU LIKE MAD! Stay strong, Davis style! ;) Letters coming! :)))))) 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Provo, MTC (letter) -(Wk 4)

Friday, 3/22/13

It is kind of hard writing you because soooo much is going on and I can’t even begin to tell you about 98% of it even though I want to so bad.
Here are the lyrics I promised:

    1. Like ten thousand legions marching
    Moves a mighty band of youth,
    Boldly taking to all people
    Zion's glorious song of truth.
    2. Out of ev'ry nation surging--
    Sons of Joseph, Israel's band--
    Now they spread salvation's message
    In the tongues of ev'ry land.
    3. Far across the mighty waters,
    Reaching ev'ry waiting shore,
    Seed of Abraham and Jacob
    Like a mighty lion roar.
    4. Come, ye nations, out of darkness;
    'Tis the time of Christ's return.
    Heed the Restoration's message;
    Let its light within you burn

It is just so cool and touching to me that I get to be a part of that!

It was pretty stinking tough getting the news about Ice.  (***Note: Ice is the family dog who veterinarians determined has cancer throughout his body and won’t live much longer).  I think that’s the first time I openly cried in front of the Sisters in my District…on accident.  I was sitting on my bed reading the letter, crying, while they were all talking and giggling.  Then my companion noticed I was crying and they all just went dead silent, suddenly alarmed and concerned.  Looking back it was moderately funny.  I’ll be honest, I felt really alone at the time because I’m away from family or friends who really understand and I don’t even have the time to grieve about it.  Later that night, when I thought everyone was asleep, I went out of the room and sat in the foyer cried.  My Hermanas came out and just sat with me and hugged me…and were surprisingly understanding.  One of the Sisters (Hermana Phelps) even asked me to share my favorite memories of Ice and tell them all about him.  It was the most perfect thing anyone could have done at that point.  Up to that point, I felt all alone, like no one understands how I feel about my puppy and how close and important he was to me.  (Especially since I can’t even make a big deal about it because he’s a dog and Hermana Phelps lost her Dad when she was 14!)  Yeah, but I was proved wrong!!!  :)  Another thing that has helped me a lot was being able to listen to the uplifting music available while on the MTC’s computer language learning system.  I really loved a song called “Give Me Jesus” by Fernando Ortega.  It really helps me get through.

I have been trying to bust out some letters today!  It is SOOO stressful to me because all of these INCREDIBLY nice people are writing me trying to be supportive…and I want to thank them and write them all back…but, with as little time I have here in the MTC, it’s overwhelming. (Just one example, Sister Brown sent me a sweet card and a NECKLACE! – love that woman!!  Please, tell her thank you for me)

I’m glad to hear you guys are spoiling Ice beyond belief.  I wish I was there to help.  Give him lots of love from me.  Zoe, I’m sorry I couldn’t write you back this week…I miss your face off.  Trent, Middle School is rough and stinks but you’re a stud so hang in there.  John & Lucien, I miss and love you all so much.  I wish I could write much more but, once again, am out of time.

All my love,
Hermana Davis

Provo, MTC (email) - (Wk 4)

Hey fam!

Things have been pretty great this week! Every day has been LONG and exhausting but when my head hits the pillow at night I'm happy with the day’s work.  My district is SO awesome!  So are my teachers!  We have all gotten SO close it's insane!  This week has been quite a "refining fire" kind of week.  Toward the beginning it felt like we were getting pushed a lot more, that we need to be speaking the language more and just be better missionaries in general, which is always hard to hear because you often feel like you are giving your all, but our teachers can tell that we've grown a lot and that it was time to set higher and higher goals.  This week we have set a lot of goals and done a lot of refining our goals so that they are better suited for our district. We started out with a goal to just speak Spanish (no English allowed at all) for like 5 hours a day (in between our classes where we have to use English) and we weren't being very diligent about it because we weren't enforcing the consequences, so we got creative (realizing how competitive our district is as a whole) and turned it into a game.  At the beginning of the day we all start out having one "charm' that we keep on our key-chains, and if someone else in the district catches you using English when you aren't supposed to they get to take your charm. At the end of the day the person with the most charms wins, and whoever wins the most during the week gets a reward at the end of the week.

I have been participating in the MTC choir twice a week, this week was REALLY special because we learned this brand spankin' new song that was written especially for us as an MTC choir to sing.  It is called "Like Ten Thousand Legions Marching" and it is a super awesome/perfect song!  The first time I read the lyrics through I got a little choked up and almost started crying (speaking of crying: Turns out I'm even more like mom than I'd hoped, since entering the MTC I've learned I too am I bawl baby when I feel the spirit. I seriously spring a leak at least once like every freaking day!  LOL). Also, when we performed the song on Tuesday, a film crew came and filmed us... turns out they are going to broadcast it in-between conference sessions on Saturday, I think they said it would be on KSL, so you should try to find some way to watch it, just in CASE I'm on there, LOL, AND because it's a freaking amazing song.  I'll write the lyrics at the end of my email if I have time. 

The MTC is AWESOME! I am learning SO much, every day is tough but I wouldn't change a thing about it!  When I first got here I was thinking, "Man, I cannot WAIT to get out of here and go to Chile!"... I feel a little differently now, BUT I am still WAY excited to go to Chile! Everyone has said, do your very best at learning the language, but when you get in the country don't worry too much, just do the best you can because you won't understand ANYTHING for like at least 2 months lol. Looking forward to that! ;P  Thank goodness for senior companions right?

I received BOTH the packages you sent, both were....well, MAGICAL!...(especially the first one). The sisters in my district were cracking up as they were "helping" me open it.

I've heard that when it rains in Chile that it rains from the ground up... not sure how that works, but what I take from that is that I'll want to be as water-proof as possible when winter hits.  So, yes, Mom, I will want the waterproofing you bought for my luggage and to water proof my shoes again.  A water-proof over skirt would be wonderful too!  (my comps mom found one somehow, it just looks kinda like a trash bag that you bunch up and stick in a little bag).

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Mom, for all the help and extras you sent… and you are not at all over the top, mother, you are just Mary Poppins perfect, it's kind of ridiculous ;)

I LOVE ALL YOUR FACES OFF TO DEEAAAAAFFFFFFF!!! It's kind of CRAZY how much I miss you!...but it's bearable now and it doesn’t make me sad very much anymore, it just makes me miss you and appreciate you all SO much more!


More coming.  I didn't have time to write lyrics so I’ll throw them in the letter (if I remember lol)  got to go now

ALL MY LOVE and appreciation,
Hermana Davis

Friday, March 15, 2013

P-Day Letter - Provo, MTC (Wk 3)

March 15, 2013

So, I just finished emailing you, then did my laundry - actually still in the process of doing laundry.  The laundry room is INSANE in the membrane!  I’m sitting on the floor by my dryer with my district and some other missionaries from my zone writing my letter.  I took some pictures that I’ll send you "someday" so you can see how crazy the laundry room is.  Some Elders in my district spontaneously sat inside the laundry carts so I had to run and grab my camera and take some more pics.
Right now I’m listening to some Elders who randomly broke out in “Build Me Up, Butter Cup” and belting it, and the Elders from my district joined in…oh and now it’s “Aint No Mountain High Enough” LOL.  It’s pretty funny. :)

Thank you for sending the Blog link to LaLa, Kannon, Gino and Shane.  Next time you see Kannon, PLEASE tell him I LOVE HIM!  Oh and tell Brian & Tracie, “Thank you so, so much for the letters, I’ll try and get back to them soon (but if I take too long just write me again ;)”.
So glad Zoe and Trent loved their letters, I really enjoyed getting theirs & writing them back.  Tell them I will try to write again soon and sorry I didn’t this time but my schedule is CRAZY.  Tell all the kids I love them and hug them and give them big WET kisses for me.  And please made sure and do lots of snuggling on my behalf. 

I miss you all LIKE MAD.

MOM: Thank you sooo much for getting that stuff together for me!  You are the BEST - EN SERIO (seriously)!!!  No one else gets as much love from their family as I do, the only other Elder who gets as much mail as me is Elder Lawrence (funny guy) and he just gets it all from his novia (girlfriend).
So proud of you for being as brave as you are cleaning out my room. THANK YOU!  How did I get the Best Mom in the WHOLE WORLD?!?!?...Seriously, though!?  Oh and THANK YOU for taking the dog to the vet I love you, I love you, I love you, please keep me up dated on his health & if he keeps getting better (crossing my fingers).

Oh and Mom in Spanish, the word for “daily” is “diariamente”…yeah, I laughed too, then I thought of you :).  I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.  Now whenever I’m trying to remember how to say “daily” I just have to think….”minty diarrhea”….OH! I remember now!”
On Sunday I got to watch the John Tanner Story. It was SUPER exciting.  While my companion & I were sitting there waiting for it to start, I was like a little kid, just sitting there with the stupidest ear-to-ear grin on my face like “I don’t want to brag, but…I’M RELATED TO HIMMMMMM!”
Anyways I LOVE YOU SOOOOOO  MUCH!  So much that it makes me dizzy sometimes when I think about it (kind of like the dizziness you get when you’re trying to wrap your head around endless time or worlds without end).

I could write for hours more but somehow I’m, once again, out of time.  This P-day has been a lot better though because, although I still miss you and think about you all the whole time it’s getting easier.
So I won in this game called “tres estriques” (3 stikes), where you have to translate 3 sentences Hermano U. says in English and write them down with correct spelling, conjugation, accents and everything.  Last time we played I was like 3rd place (in my district/class), but this time I SMOKED everyone! LOL
I have so much more I could say, but I am out of time now.

I love you all!  Miss you!  Please keep writing.

P.S. Thanks Mom & Dad for the blog, can’t wait to see it