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 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 :) 


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

Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 42 (Buin w Hmna Arias)

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 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'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)

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