Monday, December 27, 2010

CHRISTmas Week!

 Pictures include missionaries from the Hurricane area, and Chad's "Secret Santa" gift -- a pair of snowman slippers and at the bottom, crazy Christmas lounge pants for all!  Ho! Ho! Ho!

Hola Mis Padres!!!!!                            27 December 2010
          Como le va?? (How is it going?) Well I hope that your Christmas was good!!!!  Well I mentioned the rain in my last email, and let’s just say it produced a lot of rain! It rained constantly for about 6 days! So with all the constant rainfall here, it caused a little bit of flooding here. The once Virgin "River" was huge for the people around here. But even with the flooding, this "River" was nothing compared to the Snake or Columbia. The rain and flooding got so bad that they had to begin to evacuate the towns of Virgin and Rockville, because they were scared that it was going to be washed away. This was just pre-cautionary because they thought that maybe the Dam about Rockville might break from all the water. So it was a pretty crazy time here! On Tuesday night, we also had a power outage! We were in the middle of teaching a lesson with the Lopez family and then boom! NO LIGHTS! We were in a basement which made it a little worse, but it was still cool to be here and experience all of this on my mission.
Well with all this talk about weather, I guess I will just keep it going. It is nice, without all the rain. It is so nice here that I can walk around in just a short sleeve shirt and I won’t be cold at all! The joys of Southern Utah! Well for P-Day last week and in the morning for exercise, we have found new entertainment. The Sisters were given this laser tag set from one of their ward mission leaders. But this isn’t just any old laser tag set. What happens is if you get hit, you get shocked but you gun. So there is a price to pay, but it isn’t unbearable. It’s actually really fun, and it helps us wake up in the morning! Well with our District, we had a Secret Santa thing. So I got hooked up with a sick present from Sis. Mariano. Check the attached pictures of the snowman and the slippers! So that was pretty interesting, you can always count on girls for something creative.  (sick – means really good!)
Well with it being Christmas this week, most of our investigators were in Vegas, California, or Mexico. So we didn’t have that many people to teach. But when we did, we just watched the Joy to the World movie. We probably watched that thing about 6 times in 3 days. So it got kind of old. But still was a good movie.
Well Christmas on the mish, is like no other place! It was super fun and exciting!! We had a few meals on both days, thanks to the Zone Leaders. So we got to play some “Just Dance” on the Wii with one family. It was pretty legit, made me kind of like I was kicking it back with all the friends in B-Town, but it was a good escape for a little bit. Christmas Eve dinner was also with the ZLs but with a different family. We ate with the Bringhursts. I know it’s a pretty big name. But their house was jam packed full of different people! There was about 50 people total there. We just ate and chilled, they even got us all a goody bag and a present. They made us all pajama pants. My pants were a frog wearing a Santa hat. They are pretty legit.   (picture attached!)
Well Christmas Day was just as fun as Christmas Eve. We were once again with the ZLs. But before we went out on the town, there was THE CALL (home). I know that you enjoyed it as much as I did. It was good to hear your voices and especially the voices of Bry and Chay. They still can melt my heart even from a 1000 miles. Well the one major thing about Christmas Day was that we all went out in just "regular" clothes. Let me just say, it threw a bunch of people for loops. They were expecting us, but didn’t really know that we were there when we first got there. When we went to eat with the Spendloves, we went in and sat down and were there for about 5 minutes before anyone really recognized us. When we were introduced as the Elders, people just started laughing. Before they knew that, they just thought we were family friends or boyfriends that were brought over for Christmas. But we set them straight. I started to make everyone look at my tag on my shirt. We also ate with the Law family. We rolled to that house 6 Elders deep. Well while we were there, it was just mayhem! When you have 3 Elders that are just crazy, (Springer, Booher, and I) Things are bound to get a little crazy!
I discovered that I still have the ability to make people laugh. In Spanish it’s a little harder to tell jokes, or quote movies. But overall Christmas was incredibly legit! It was a lot better then what I expected! Yesterday the Branch was a ghost town! Just as our investigators were gone, our Branch members made the same trips too! We did our best, but still only had one investigator at church! Bummer! Well last night, I made one of the worst mistakes of my life! I decided to eat a jabenero!!! (sp) We went over to Bro. Felix's house to collect a tie before Perez left, cuz last night was transfer calls. But he ate one to get the tie, so they asked me to eat one too! Well needless to say I did it, but the after effects sucked!! Luckily I got it on video! But I drank too much milk trying to cool off the pepper that I ended up throwing up! I drank a half a gallon of milk in like 10 minutes. So 1 jabenero, half a gallon of milk, and 30 minutes later, I walked out of the house a proud owner of two new ties!!! The things missionaries will do for ties!! But my collection has begun to grow!! Better start thinking of a way to make that quilt Mom!
But last night was also transfer calls! I am staying in Hurricane for at least another 5 weeks. But I will be getting a new companion. His name is Elder Hernandez. He is from Spain. So I will be required to speak a lot more Spanish, but it will help me out a lot! 
Well that is my amazing Christmas week! I hope that yours was just as eventful as mine was! I love you so much!!    Live it, Love it, Preach it!!!         Elder D

Monday, December 20, 2010

Feliz Navidad!

               Hola Padres!!!     20 December 2010
Feliz Navidad!!!!!!     The time for Christmas has come to be. It is way different then being back at home. Back at home, I hardly even knew when Christmas was, or what it meant. My time was always filled with basketball practices, or games, hanging out with friends/girls. Being on my mission has really opened my eyes to what the true meaning of Christmas is. It is tough to be away from all the family and friends, but it is going to be okay. I have no worries about that. I know that I will be blessed and the people I hold most dear will be blessed.
Well the weather here has been extremely outrageous! It has been raining for the past 5-6 days. It has been raining constantly for the last 12 hours or so. It has been coming down pretty hard too! I have gotten a lot of "Oh you are from Washington, you should be used to all this rain." or "Oh you are from Washington, now we know where all this rain came from, you brought it with you!" Oh if people only knew that it doesn’t rain in B-Town all that often.
I am glad to hear all is well with Pops and the news about being "out of the woods" for now. (Chad is referring to Darin’s cancer concerns) I hope that it will continue that way. And don’t worry about the praying part that is something that happens everyday, multiple times a day. That is also cool to hear about the Missionaries up there. How did that happen? (the local full-time missionaries asked to spend Christmas Eve with the Davis Family!)  Did you basically cry and say "I have a boy on a mission, I need you to come over!" I just am making jokes about it. I do still think it is pretty funny that they are spending time with you guys, because we have never had missionaries over on any holidays before. (the Elders even came over and shoveled our walks after the recent snow because they knew Darin was recovering from surgery and couldn't shovel the walks.  They have been great and gave him a blessing prior to his surgery.)  But they times are definitely changing, huh? Now that you both are getting old and what not.   J
Being in a "regular" companionship is definitely different. It is a good learning experience. I am having to teach more and be more vocal so it is definitely helping the learning process. This last week seemed like it took forever, and at the same time it didn’t. I have been dealing a lot with the thoughts of not being home for Christmas and it is a hard fact to deal with.  I love being out on a mission and wouldn’t trade it for anything. This is exactly where I am supposed to be, and I just need to keep losing myself in this work!
The worst part of the days are always in the middle of the day from like 11- 5. They are always slow and boring. Mostly because all the people we are trying to contact or teach all work during that time. So we mostly spend a lot of time walking during that time. But the nights are usually jam packed full of lessons and teaching. It is extremely rare to have a night where we don’t have a lesson scheduled. Well once again I experienced how different English missionary work is then Spanish work. I went on exchanges with one of the ZLs, Elder Pressgrove. He is a legit missionary. He is from Kansas. Well English families are definitely different too.
         We also had a huge training in St. Geezy (St. George) with the Mission President from until . It was pretty good, just very long! We have been applying what we learned into our teaching. That night I was feeling pretty sick and down, and then we watched “The Testaments” with Ricardo, and it changed my night. As much as our message is for others, it is for us too. Watching that movie really helped me see a bunch of things that I can do better and some truths that I really need to know and focus on. One major thing, was the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It definitely opened my eyes to once again see how real and how big of a sacrifice it really was!
We had the Branch Christmas Party and we were able to have a bunch of Investigators come. It is amazing what some free Mexican food will do! Well I also truly learned what it was to be a bold missionary! This is something that I haven’t developed yet and that I truly do need to develop. This one thing will change my mission from being an average missionary, to being a great missionary.
This Spanish thing is coming along a little bit. I am beginning to understand almost all of what is said. And can pick up and understand Spanish even around English now and before I couldn’t do that. The major problem I am still having is speaking it! That is probably the hardest part, understanding is one thing, but speaking is another. It will come with time, I still have 20 months to perfect my Spanish!
I hope all is well back in Burbank and enjoy the snow and this Christmas Season! But don’t forget the true reason for this wonderful season of gift giving and gift receiving. That reason is our Savior, Jesus Christ!!!

Live it, Love it, Preach it!!!!!!       Elder D

Oh! “The 12 days of Christmas” is pretty awesome.  I like trying to guess what the gift inside is going to be by the scripture!!!  Give the kids a hug and kiss for me!! Did you make me CDs??? Just curious! (He asked for copies of our church CDs – we are working on it!  It takes longer than we thought!)
love you!

Monday, December 13, 2010

FACEBOOK UPDATING (Naughty or Nice?)

Hola Padres!         13 December 2010  
Well to start off, I am going to answer the question that has been on your minds the whole week!!! I actually had permission to get on Facebook from the Mission President. We all did, we were all allowed to get on and see if there was anything we needed to clean up. But sorry for all the confusion. Just know that I wasn’t breaking any rules or anything. I am being obedient to the rules here, don’t worry about that.
Well this week has been all over the place. Just hit and miss with all the investigators. We have been out walking a ton this week. We have been just walking during the day and going all over Hurricane. It can be quite a hike sometimes, but it is good to get out and get some exercise. While we were out walking and knocking some doors, we had the opportunity to meet Ken and Barbie. Well not the dolls, but a husband and wife. They are very devout Baptists and pretty hardcore.  We just talked and talked and talked for like an hour. It didn’t go anywhere, just a fun little fact to be able to say I met Ken and Barbie on my mission.
Well I can already tell that Christmas out here on the mish, is going to be way different then back at home. Back at home, it was always filled with basketball practices and games. Here it is filled with eating and we actually are being permitted to watch a "worldly" movie, Toy Story 3. I don’t know if that is really that worldly. Sometimes all this Christmas thinking makes me miss home and wish I was there, but I know that it is just a phase and that this is where I need to be.
Well I am in a normal companionship now. Well weird for me, but normal for everyone else. Elder Carter received his visa. So this morning he headed out to catch a plane back to Salt Lake. This is really weird. Elder Carter was able to teach me a ton and help me grow. He is an extremely solid missionary. He will “do work” down in Mexico City.
Well I went on some exchanges with the Zone Leaders for a night. They are pretty interesting characters. The work is so much different teaching in English than in Spanish. It's beginning to be hard to teach some things in English, just because I am so used to them in espanol.
Well the one funny thing we did this week, we went to a house that has their Christmas lights coordinated with some music and we did a full on dance session in front of it. I will try and send you the video. It was pretty legit. (See Chad’s Facebook page.)
Well I hope that all is well in B-Town. And don’t forget the true reason for the season!!!
Live it, Love it, Preach it!!!

Elder D

Monday, December 6, 2010


Well Hello My Dearest Parents!!!              December 6, 2010 

Well it has been a pretty good week here in Hurricane, Utah. I am glad that everything went well with dad’s checkup and Dr. Golden is amazing. Mom, what movie are you going to go to with Marilyn??  Yes, talking with Bro. Demille was pretty legit! (Chad was having dinner with Brother Demille's cousin in Hurricane, and his cousin called Brother Demille in Burbank so Chad could talk to him!) He is an awesome guy and his family here is just as great!!!!
But I will kind of respond to your email as I go, with everything I have planned out.....
        Well this week has been a lot of up and down everyday. Which is to be expected but it kind of gets me down sometimes. We talk to a lot of people, but it’s a lot of the same people every week. There isn’t a whole bunch of new people to contact around here. So needless to say, we get shot down by a lot of people. On the downside, I too have been sick. It just seems to get me when I don’t need to be sick. But I think I am getting better and it should continue. Don’t worry Pops, I am doing all I need to be doing. Well now to the good things of this week.
Well I went to the 12 Step Addiction Recovery Program. Being on a mission really makes you realize the certain addictions you have in my life, so President Leonard told me to go take care of them. Just kidding!!! Gotcha!!
 Elder Carter and I went the the meeting with our investigator Ricardo, to help him feel more comfortable. (to the 12 step addiction program) The cool thing about this program is that it helps you just be a better person. I know that I learned a ton of things and I am sure Elder Carter did as well. With that being said, I would just like to apologize for everything bad I have done. I know that I haven’t been the best kid or best son, but I am on the right path now and just want to say sorry for all the tears and grief I have caused you over the years.
We were also able to go teach 5 lessons in one night. That is pretty awesome, because the previous high for me was only 3. Another other cool thing was that all the lessons were with a member present. That is a hard thing to do. We also had some pretty funny things happen to us this week. We had a lady try to pawn off her daughters on us! I have heard of this happening in other countries but not in Utah! She was extremely persistent too! She came up and asked us the typical questions, where are we from, and stuff like that. But then she just came out of no where and started throwing out questions about girlfriends and what kind of girls we like and it was so weird!! She then started telling us about her daughters and giving us all these details and showed us pictures on her phone, Elder Carter and I were like wow lady, you just need to take it easy!!!! This is by far the funniest moment I have had in the mission. She was so persistent that she wanted us to meet her daughters and come over on Christmas and everything. She even took down our names and said “they will right to you!” Seems a little desperate to me... but I am guessing that this won’t be the last time that this will happen.
The other really funny thing that happened, was on Saturday. So we were out walking around to try and visit some people all in the same area. A little background is that most people here just honk and wave. And that is pretty much everyone here. So we were walking and we heard a honk from behind us, so we turn around to see a guy hanging out the window and screamed "Hail Satan!" We were all caught by surprise to hear that, but especially since we are in the good ole state of Utah. After we all realized what had happened, we all enjoyed a good laugh on the sidewalk.
As you know, we ate dinner will all Bro. Demille's cousins. They are all super caring and kind people. Their dinner was pretty amazing too. The cool thing was that they ate Ranch Dressing on pretty much everything, so I felt pretty much at home.
Now to the craziest part of my week, SUNDAY!!! This day was jammed packed of stuff to do. We had to attend like 5 Sacrament Meetings, 4 Correlations, a dinner, and a BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!! We were basically running around like chickens with our heads cut off from one building to the other. The Baptism was my first here in the mission! So I was pretty stoked!! It was from Ingrid Castro. She is married to a member and they moved here with their family from El Salvador about 8 months ago. The Baptismal Service was super, super spiritual. The actual baptism itself was kind of awkward, but it got the job done. We should be able to baptize her two sons here shortly as well.
Well this week has been jammed packed with things to do. Time here just flies by so quickly! I hope all is well. I love you so much!
Live it, Love it, Preach it!        Elder D

Friday, December 3, 2010

MAILING SOMETHING TO ELDER DAVIS? Here are some guidelines!

We have received a few calls about sending Chad letters and/or packages.  ALL MAIL NEEDS TO BE SENT VIA UNITED STATES POST OFFICE to the Mission Home address No UPS, FedX or any other private company.  USPS mail can be forwarded to missionaries without any additional charges.  This will apply for his entire mission.  :Q
      Chad loves your letters!  Thanks for keeping in touch!  If you would like to send him a package, you know he would love that too!  However, keep in mind that he cannot have any HUGE items that he will have to carry with him for 2 years!  He CAN have MUSIC -- hymns, Mormon Tab, inspirational CDs.  We will be sending him a individual CD player, so if you would like to send him an inspirational CD, he would love that!  The Mission President also sent a note encouraging us to follow mission rules and do not send any reading material other than the approved list (which he already has) and no distracting toys or clothing. 
    This is such a fun time of year and Chad is enjoying his experience and growing closer to the Savior of the World and His mission.    May you all have a blessed holiday!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Two Letters from the Mission Field! Nov 16 & 22!!

Hola Padres!!!!!!!    16 Nov 2010
Well it is my first P-day here in the good ole mission of St. George. As you probably figured out by this email, my P-Days are on Mondays now. It was good to get here and actually be a real missionary, instead of one who just sits and learns in a class room all day. I have had a pretty eventful week. I am sure that my mission will continue to become that way. Well you are probably wondering where my area is and about my companion and all that stuff huh? Well my first area is in Hurricane!!!
Yes, Bro. DeMille called it before I left, he said my first area would be in Hurricane, and sure enough here I am. My area only has one little Spanish branch in it. But we cover 3 different stakes. We cover about a 30 mile area from one side to the other just because we are Spanish. The zone I am in was that most successful zone last transfer. I find myself lucky to be in this zone. The other good part is that we have a ton of investigators to teach and a bunch of inactive/part member families as well. The only bad thing is that a lot of the time we have to end up sharing baptisms with the English Elders. That is because the parents of a family may only speak Spanish, but most of the kids are able to speak English. So they will go to the English wards instead of the Branch. That only sucks because we end up finding about 3/4 of the baptisms for the English Elders, their only job is to teach a few lessons and then commit them to a date. (If only all missionaries could have it so rough!! – the mom)
Well my trainer is Elder Perez. He is a tall blonde kid from Miami. He is pretty cool. Once again not someone I would particularly choose to hang out with but he is a good Elder nonetheless. But wait there is more, for the second time I am in a Trio. The other companion is Elder Carter. He is technically not part of this mission; he just was reassigned here while he is waiting for a visa to go to Mexico City. He is from Bakersfield, California. The language is definitely a lot different out here then in the MTC. Everyone speaks so fast, but I am beginning to adjust to the speed of it all. But I still kind of just sit there during lessons just soaking it all in. I have been opening my mouth a little more and talking in our last couple of lessons. But I know that it is not my words being spoken, but they are the Lord's words. I am just trying to embrace the language and study as hard as I can to learn it quickly so I can communicate with the people I have to teach.
The weather here is basically a lot like home. It may be a little bit warmer here then at home but still a lot of the same.   The scenery is definitely different tho. The rocks and dirt is definitely something you have to see to believe. I am glad that I was able to serve in an area where it isn't to the point where I am freezing the whole time I am outside. I still am able to go out in just a short sleeve shirt in the mornings, it does get a little cold once the sun sets behind the mountains here. One of the really cool things that happened yesterday, was one of the recent converts that was only baptized 3 weeks ago, was called as the executive secretary of the Branch. So that meant that he had to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. It was pretty awesome to stand in on that, but also to hear it done in Spanish. That was definitely an experience. Church was also another one, instead of just half of a meeting being in Spanish, I had 3 whole hours to try and understand what people were saying. It will definitely be nice when I understand what people are saying to me all the time.
 At the end of the week, we have a BAPTISM!!!! There is a family that has been taking the lessons and is supposed to be baptized at the end of the week. The father was inactive for a long time but now they are back in the swing of things. That should be a really exciting experience to go through.
 It was nice to hear about Dyllon's mom and that she got baptized. That is an awesome thing. I love seeing how the happiness of the gospel truly changes the lives of people who apply the principles. Well things are going good here, and I hope that everything is going good back up in Washington. Well I love you so so very much!!
Live it, Love it, Preach it!     Elder D

22 Nov 2010 from Hurricane, Utah

Hola!!!                                                             22 Nov 2010

     Well it once again is time for me to write my email home. It is nice being able to actually feel I have time to write what I feel I need to, and not be rushed. There has been a ton that has happened since I last wrote.
The joys of being a missionary huh?
     Last Monday was probably one of my favorite days in the mission field. We just seemed to have an extremely good night. We were able to just go and teach and I felt super good about it all. It felt like I really connected with the people that we taught and affected them for the better. But all good things come to an end; the last few days have been pretty tough. A lot of people have just been canceling our appointments and going out of town. Not very many people are progressing.
     We see some pretty funny stuff on the mission. One guy we are teaching named Cesar is probably one of the funniest of all. We invited him to be baptized and he said he wanted to, but he had to ask his mom first. Well most of you think well that is reasonable and that he is probably about 17 or 18. Well he is about 35 and has 6 kids of his own, but still has to ask his mom permission to do something that he wants to do.
     Well the one bright spot this week, was that we picked up a few new investigators. There is one that is practically golden! His name is Ricardo. He has definitely had a rough past and he is a UFC fighter. He has been threw a lot, but recognizes the happiness that comes from the Gospel. It's definitely weird to be around him. He gets really emotional and he doesn't like it because his whole life he has been told to not cry, but when he is with us he always cries. He is really awesome and enjoys having us over to help him and teach him. He is probably one of my favorite investigators. That is probably because he is the only one that we teach in English and I actually understand what is going on!! Like I said this week has been pretty tough. I know it is not about numbers, but our numbers this week, definitely don't reflect our efforts! Hopefully these improve.
      On Saturday, I had my first real day of walking. We walked about 6-7 miles. Which is really unusual for us, since we have a car. But we are trying to save our miles so that we don’t go over at the end of the month. But it was pretty tough, my legs were definitely sore! I even have a blister on the bottom of my foot. I didn't even get blisters from all the practices for basketball.
    Another funny thing, is here it seems that everyday more and more family of Bro. DeMille comes out of the woodwork!!! Like yesterday, we were just going to a correlation and a family that we ate with about a week ago, comes up and asks if I am from Washington, so I say yes??? Then she says did you have quite a character as a Sunday School teacher, and then says that they are related. It is ridiculous how small of a world it really is. So you can let him know, that his family has committed to taking care of me while I am here.
     Well it is weird that I have almost been out for three months. The language is still extremely humbling!! I am almost able to make out what most people are saying and can say little phrases. But being able to talk and respond is extremely hard. It’s hard just because most of my vocabulary is about the Gospel, not really outside of that. So I am really striving to work on, is being about to understand things outside of a Gospel context in SPANISH.
     Well I hope everything is going good back at home!! I hope that you have a good Thanksgiving and truly be grateful for everything that the Lord has blessed us with!!!
I love you all a ton
!!     Live it, Love it, Preach it!!    Elder D

Monday, November 15, 2010


Elder Davis with President and Sister Leonard  And a MAP of his mission area -- He is in the bottom LEFT corner!!  Hurricane, UT


From Chad:      11-12-2010    
Well, I made it!  Who would have ever thought that I would actually be a missionary in the field!  I thought my 9 weeks in the MTC was never going to end!  Well, I am here in St. George eating breakfast at the President’s home. It is nice to have some REAL food! J
St. George is amazing; I have never seen anything like this place before!  The plane was just a little propeller plan that only had 33 people on it!  I got sick right after we landed.  (Chad has always been sensitive to motion sickness while traveling and especially if he gets overly warm.) 
Well, I am here and ready to WORK!!
I LOVE YOU!    Elder Davis

FROM Keith G. Leonard, Mission President; Utah St. George Mission: 11-12-10

We are delighted to report that your son arrived safely at the mission home with an impressive group of missionaries. After a full morning of orientation, I have personally interviewed each missionary.  I was most impressed with the high level of enthusiasm they have for the work and their desire to teach the gospel.  

Elder Davis is well and in high spirits as he contemplates his new opportunities.  We will be watching over him in all his labors while he is here. To help you support his work here as a full-time missionary, we have enclosed some suggestions about how you can best assist with the success of your missionary. (Basically, family and friends remember that he is not to have any in-person visitors, letters are encouraged, no telephone calls, and if you send any care packages, small items are best.  He is limited to the amount of luggage he can haul around for two years!)  You will find a map showing the location of his first assignment. HURRICANE, Utah – Spanish Speaking Area.

We know that you will experience marvelous blessings as you support your son while he serves the Lord honorably and obediently on his mission. We pray for the Lord’s blessings upon you, your missionary and his other loved ones. 

            Sincerely,             Keith Leonard.   

Saturday, November 13, 2010

ARRIVED IN ST. GEORGE....we think!!

Hello to those who are keeping up with Elder Davis in the mission field.  We received a phone call on Wednesday morning saying Chad was at the airport and headed to St. George with 11 other missionaries, 3 others were Spanish speaking as is Chad. 

We had hoped to receive an email or letter stating WHERE he is assigned, but have yet to receive that information!!  He was anxious on Wednesday morning and expressed his joy of serving the Lord and arriving in the mission field.  We will keep you updated once we actually hear from him or his mission president!     Love to you all!   (the mom and dad!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November 3rd letter - ONE WEEK TO ST. GEORGE!

Hola Padres!                                      November 11, 2010 

Well to start off, all the snow has melted. We are completely snowless and it is about in the 50s here.
      Here is something to think about, the next email you will get will be from St. Geezy!!!! At this time next Wednesday I will be in the air flying there!!!! That is so awesome to think about. My excitement is indescribable. The time here has flown by! My teaching skills have increased ten fold since the first week. I would have never thought that my Spanish would be at the point it is right now. If I would have been told that this is how my Spanish would be, I wouldn’t have believed it at all. I can basically talk about the Gospel fluently. But it’s just the common sense stuff for the other part.
     I got to dress up for Halloween.... any guesses??? That’s right, a missionary!
       All the rest of my district leaves on Sunday to go to Chile and then my companions leave on Tuesday, so I am the last person to leave. So since we are all leaving, our district sang Amazing Grace in Sacrament Meeting. It was awesome. It was Spiritual, yet soulful! It was all influenced by Elder Vance. Elder Vance is a musical genius!!! He can play any song on the piano and has a voice like an angel. He actually got to sing at one of the Firesides for the whole MTC! He has some songs on Itunes and loves music but doesn’t know if he wants to make it a career. Look him up Jonny Vance and the SGC.   (Marilyn, this is YOUR area, what do you think???) 
      I got to talk to Elder Scrimsher a lot on Sunday too. My companion, Elder Wood, took some pictures with all the missionaries from his home ward, and Elder Scrimsher was there because one of the Elders in his room was from that ward. It was nice to just catch up and talk with a familiar person. It’s weird to think that in a week I won’t see him or anyone I know for 22 months.
      Last night we were blessed to listen to another Apostle. That’s right, we had an Apostle speak at the Devotional for 3 straight weeks!!! This week it was M. Russell Ballard. He spoke on being a master communicator. It was an excellent talk, I wouldn’t expect any less from an Apostle.
        Well this week will fly by and the next letter will be from St. George. So people need to send all the letters to the other address. I love you all so much!!
              Live it, Love it, Preach it!!
                         Elder D!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 27th Letter Two Weeks left at the MTC!

Just a note from Chad’s mom:  THANK YOU for your comments on the blog and letting us know that Chad has been a very good correspondent – and writing many of you.  Once he gets into the mission field, we all will probably hear much less from him!  He has grown so much already.  Thank you for writing him and letting him know you care!  --Tonja :D

Hey Parents!!!                    October 27, 2010  

    Thank you for the email and the packages. I haven’t received my black backpack yet but it should be here soon. Well, I am going to pull a grandpa (Swoboda – Tonja’s dad always calls and first thing he asks about is the weather!) and talk about the weather because that is what the main thing here is. It has been rainy all last week until Monday. It just kept getting colder and colder and colder. So on Monday we had some snow flurries for about 30 minutes. It was ridiculous to see snow in October for one thing!! and I thought it was just a one day thing, but Tuesday the same thing happened in the morning. It was a clear day for the most part then on Tuesday night after our devotional when we were heading back to our rooms, we walk outside to some huge snow flakes!!!!!! It started to pick up pretty hard and when we woke up this morning there was about 2-3 inches of snow on the ground. And it was still snowing this morning!!! That is ridiculous it isn’t supposed to snow until December like back at home.
    Well I only have 13 days left until I leave for St. George!!! Not like I am counting down or anything, huh?? I remember the time when I first got here and thought I would never get out of here and now the time to leave is just right around the corner.
     Well my studying here has become more and more meaningful. Now I look forward to the time that I have to study the Book of Mormon and the other Doctrine. In the last two weeks, we have been able to watch the Testaments and the Joseph Smith movies. They are so amazing!! They definitely are able to strengthen testimonies when we watch them. Oh our devotional this week was by another Apostle. This week it was Richard G. Scott. He talked on being led by the Spirit. It was an awesome talk, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from an Apostle.
     Well yesterday we also got to leave the "compound" again. Gunter had a check up for his foot. It was nice to be out in the real world and just get away for a while. It’s so weird to think that in less then two weeks I will be in the real world for the rest of my mission!!!
      Well I don’t have too much else to report or share. But I do love all of you so much! I love the opportunity that I have to serve my mission. I have learned things here that I wouldn’t be able to learn anywhere else.
Live it, Love it, Preach it!!!
            Elder D!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Two Letters in one week! Oct. 17 & 20!!

Hola Padres!                                      Oct 20, 2010  
Que pasa? Well I can’t believe I have been here for 6 complete weeks now. It is absolutely nuts!!! I can’t believe how fast time is flying here. This week was jam packed full of stuff, hopefully I can get it all into this email before my time runs out.
Well first off we had the opportunity to teach these two older ladies, whether they were already members or not, it was still awesome practice. We were just sitting down in a courtyard having companionship study and this guy comes up and asked if we could come teach a lesson real quick. I have to say that it was by far the most Spiritual experience that I have had here. The two ladies had completely different concerns but I think we managed to teach to both of their needs. We taught mostly about the Plan of Salvation. Whether they were members or not the Spirit in the room was so so so so strong. During the lesson by bearing my testimony of the Plan of Salvation, I brought a lady to streaming tears. It was extremely weird. But I couldn’t deny the power in that room. I wish we were able to go back and teach those ladies again, but I guess we will just have to wait and see.
I also got my knee checked out. Don’t worry its not bad, just started hurting a little from all the walking and playing sports. I just have to take more ibuprofen and that should do the trick.
This week was also the first time we had to teach in Spanish. I didn’t teach with my usual companionship but it was still a good lesson. I was able to speak a ton of Spanish that I didn’t even know that I knew. It was so awesome. My Spanish is progressing a ton. I feel pretty comfortable with it but there is always more to learn. We had a district leave on Monday, which kind of sucked. Our zone leaders were in that district, they were also my teammates on our 3 on 3 team for when we played basketball. Its still weird how attached you get to guys that you didn’t know before but when you are with them for 6 weeks it tends to make you close to them. I wonder what it will be like when I won’t see anyone from my district for two years. I have been studying super hard lately.  I have finished PMG again. I got a ton out of reading it this time. So much is applicable more here then at home.
Another exciting thing was yesterday we got to leave the compound!!!! Yes, the real world!!! You don’t know how nice it was to see real people and real buildings. We left because Gunter had to have surgery for his ingrown toenails, and we get to leave again sometime next week!!! Then a week after that I am off to San Jorge.
Oh, our devotional last night was so awesome!!! The speaker was Russell M. Nelson, and we had to usher for the devotional so our seats were excellent. We were probably only 20-30 feet away from him. His talk wasn’t that long but super powerful. He used the scriptures for basically everything. It really testified to me the way the BOM will answer any questions we have. I absolutely loved it!
 I love you all so much!!!   Live it, Love it, Preach it!!
                     Love,       Elder D

Hola Padres!                       October 17, 2010  
This letter is for both of you, but I want to especially thank Dad for the letter that he wrote to me.
Dad, I know things around home and the things we used to do together are weird without me.  But just know that I am in the right place and am doing what I am supposed to be doing. Don’t worry too much about me, the Lord will take care of me. But promise me one thing, okay? Make sure to take care of yourself. I will be taken care of, but you need to be the one to become healthier and strive to live a better life.  Just have faith in our Savior and all things are possible.
I am still in the threesome and we are so far in that I don’t think that will change while we are here. Spanish is coming along, I think I am about the level of an 8 year old Mexican boy. We taught a whole lesson in Spanish and we have been doing this for about a week now. It is becoming easier.
I enjoy writing and receiving letters and am keeping others posted on what is going on and new insights I discover.  So did you ever find out for sure if the Fowler’s are moving to Utah? I wrote Phil a letter last week but haven’t heard from him. I know he is busy but you can give him my email and tell him he can send me mail that way if it is easier for him.
Father, I really enjoyed your testimony. It truly means a lot. I am glad to know that I have support from home. I don’t know how missionaries go forth and serve without any support from home. I am thankful for both of you and the examples you both have set for me in my life! I am eternally grateful to both of you and that you didn’t give up on having more children. (Chad's parents struggled having children.  Emma was born and they thought that would be it.  Chad came along 3 years later!) WelI hope that I am a blessing and not a burden to your lives.
        I know that in my minor knowledge that I have, I have grown to love the Temple. It truly is the house of the Lord. It is a sacred place that confirms the truthfulness of the Gospel that we believe and hold so dear.
        Mom, thank you for being you! I love you so much! Sorry I didn’t email you back last week. (Both the mom and Chad were on the computer at the same time, sending letters back and forth!)  We only have a 30 minute time limit and I had 44 seconds left when I got your email. Oh, I did write Christina this week so don’t be surprised if you get a phone call telling you she got a letter from me.  I did follow through and write her back and thanked her for being her.  It came from the heart and I followed the spirit when writing her.  She has always been very generous with our family.  (Christina has helped by making some financial donations to Chad’s mission fund)
Yes, dad does cry a lot but I am truly his son. I have cried tons of times since being here. I had an awesome experience, but I will write that in the email. It is crazy that Andrew is back! It is weird also that Jared has been out for a year.
I want you both to know I love you so very much. I couldn’t ask for better parents in my life. You both were truly given to me by our Father in Heaven. Don’t forget about the other special spirit He has blessed you both with as well. (His older sister, Emma.) Continue to pray and plead for a miracle in her life. Remember for with God all things are possible. She will need your help to come back to the ways of righteousness, but continue with steadfast faith in Christ. This will truly be able to bless her life and also the lives of Bry and Chay.  Give them hugs and kisses for me. Help them not to forget me!
With extreme Love,
      Your Son,     Elder D