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

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October 13th Letter

Hola Padres!!!                                           October 13, 2010
Well I don’t know where all this time here has been going, today is start of week six! I only have about 2 and a half more!!! Ridiculoso!!! Well this week is kind of hard to remember I am just going through the days and they are starting to blend together more, but I will try and pick out the highlights for you.
Well this week since the temperature dropped outside, so did the one inside. I don’t know if they just didn’t turn on the heater or what but our room was about 69 before we went to bed and we woke up and it was like 55 in our room, we assumed it would get better so we just let it go for a while but it still was only about 60 for a week. So on Friday we tried to duct tape the vent of but that failed cuz it would just make noises and such. But then we opened the vent itself and filled it with towels, needless to say our room is much much much much warmer.
Oh Saturday, it was BYUs homecoming and the game was so ridiculously loud we could hear it for the whole night. It kind of bummed me out to know that I wouldn’t be able to watch College Football for two years but I can still keep up on the scores.
That same night we pulled a prank on our teacher, he had been kind of bummed the whole week because he had gotten dumped by his girlfriend so to perk up his spirits we changed a few words in a song. He taught us about command form in Spanish and he told us "besa me" is the command form to kiss me.  Elder Vance asked about it so it wasn’t like he just teaches us those things. But we took those words and threw them into the end of ”God be with you till we meet again” and needless to say, it made his day a whole lot better. I still have my prankster skills a little on the mission.
The Spanish is getting so much better.  I am understanding a lot more and also being able to talk more.  If I had to guess I would probably be about the skill level of a 4 or 5 year old. Our big task this week is to teach in Spanish. So we will see how that goes. Yesterday I went about 4 hours speaking only Spanish. It was actually good. But I still have a long way to go.
Last night was also our devotional, it was so legit! It was by Richard C. Edgeley. He talked about missionary work, who would have thought!! I love these devotionals, they are always exactly what I need at the right time! They help strengthen my testimony and why I am here. The main thing that helped me was this quote by James E. Faust, I absolutely love it! It says "Faith is the power, obedience is the price, love is the motive, and Christ is the reason." I know that I am out here to help other and bring the to Christ. It is because of Him why I have a work to do in the first place. I love you both and all!

Live it, Love it, Preach it!

With much love,   Elder D

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Two Letters Oct. 4 and 6 and pictures!

Elder Davis and Elder Wood, CompanionsMTC District

Hola mis Padres!!!        October 6, 2010
Yes, conference was absolutely amazing!!!! I don’t think I have ever gotten so much out of conference before. The talks were so amazing. I took like 20 pages of notes; I don’t even think I have taken that many notes in school before! My favorite talk was probably Elder Packer’s or Nelson’s I think, both on agency.
I did see the Scrimsher’s, it was pretty awesome. I was walking back from the Provo Temple and something said to look out for a big red suburban.  And sure enough, it was pulling into the MTC parking lot.  It was cool to see Jett.  I took a few pictures with them. Elder Scrimsher didn’t end up in my zone but I think it might be better that way. I have seen him around a few times since and have talked a little here and there. Honestly, I am learning a lot of Spanish and a lot of Gospel Doctrine, pero I am really anxious to get out of here and be out helping real people. This place kind of takes a toll on you when you are here for a month!
I was planning on starting the email talking about the weather, but I’m not Grandpa Swoboda. J But the weather here is pretty nice it is only around in the 70s and 60s, it has been overcast and raining basically the whole week and is a nice change.
        But like you said, I am getting some crazy new Spiritual insights here. I think this is the only place that we can receive some of these insights. I look forward to the time each day that I have to read the BOM or LDM in Spanish and PMG. It is truly changing my life! The other day Elder Gunter and I had to teach the Plan of Salvation to some other guys from our district and I am truly learning how to become a good teacher and feel what the Spirit is telling me to say. It was one of the most Spiritual experiences I have had since I was here! It was so awesome! I also learned that even if we think that we aren’t teaching well that the Spirit does most of the teaching through us anyways, so it is the Spirit that takes our message into the investigator’s hearts and testifies of the truthfulness of our message.
Can you believe that your little boy has been here at the MTC for a whole month!!!!  The time is just cruising by and I am loving the time I have here. One spiritual thing I would like to share is from the last chapter of Luke. In this chapter Simon Peter and some other apostles are fishing again after the death of Christ. They weren’t having any success and Christ says cast the net on the other side and they do and they catch a TON of fish!!!! Then Christ asks, "lovest thou me more than these?" Peter answers and says " thou knowest I love thee Lord." Christ then says "Feed my sheep". To me this just meant that by giving up my two years I am showing my love for the Savior and that I need to forget about "fishing" or the things of home and that they will be there after I am done "feeding his sheep".
We had an awesome devotional last night by Elder Neuenschwander. Everyone was amazed that I knew how to pronounce and spell the name but I had to confess I was familiar with it before I was here. (Thanks Brother Neuenschwander, from Burbank Ward!!) He gave an awesome talk on how to improve our mission, he talked about how we make our missions what they are, and that it truly depends on us. Another topic was honor the title we hold, not too many people in the church have the chance to be called Elder and people notice us wherever we go and are and we should be representing Christ wherever we go.
        Well I love you both so much! Everyone else who reads this as well!  I have sent home some pictures.  Enjoy! 
Live it, Love it, Preach it!
Love,           Elder D!!!

Como le va?  How is it going?  I got your package today – technically I got it on Saturday but couldn’t pick it up until Monday - the place was closed because of conference.  I am extremely grateful for the package.  I was not happy for all the dots though!  They were all over my desk and floor!  The candy bars were awesome!  Thank you for the book.  I am sure I will use it on my mission.  Thanks for the stamps!  I did need them!  I enjoy writing people back, it shows that I really do care for them.  I know I don’t have to write back all the time but I want to!  (As a Mom, I mentioned to Chad that it is nice to write back but sometimes he may simply not have the time and those who write him will understand if they don’t get a letter back for a while.)
The pictures you sent were awesome!  I have them posted  up so I can see them a bunch and show them off – my dog, my niece and nephew, my parents.  It is so crazy that Chay Chay will be 2 next week!  Make sure to give her a hug and kiss for me.  Keep sending pictures, I love seeing everything back home.  I don’t miss it, I just like seeing things back home! 
I haven’t lost any weight.  I am starting to eat better.  I highly think black beans and rice will ever by my favorite!  I really want some soyu Chicken and rice!  I think I have gained only about 4-5 pounds.  The mail is great!  (I asked if he was receiving enough mail or too much?) It would be nice to know some of the local high school football scores if you can send me some.  Maybe even newspaper cutouts? 

I LOVE YOU BOTH SO SO SO MUCH!  Tell Dad his baby will be home before he knows it.         Love,        Elder Davis

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Letter #4 - 9-29-2010

Letter Number 4!  September 29, 2010

Hello Family and Everyone else!

My cold has gone down a little bit, I am still congested a little and have a cough every now and then but I can go to sleep most nights. I did get your letter or puzzle, I should say. Jett, or Elder Scrimsher should be here today and I’m pretty sure I will be able to find him; he will be the only kid with the last name Scrimsher! Well that’s cool you got to see Shelby. I wish I would have got to see her before I left but it is what it is.
I am glad that you are staying busy, I wouldn’t want you both to moping around the house all day just crying your eyes out. J  I am supposed to be here and I will be back soon enough. That is crazy that Elder Gibson is going home. I heard from (Elder) Lunceford a few times and it’s weird to think he is coming back to Utah the same time Gibson is.
What BYU class did you take? (I told Chad I have started my first on-line BYU class in an attempt to “finish what I started at BYU”.) I can see the Y from my room window. It’s pretty crazy to be so close to so many people I know but yet be so far away.
Things happening here.... well we had two elders from our district leave. But before you jump to conclusions, they went to a different MTC in Guatemala. It’s weird how you grow so close to people in just 3 short weeks. its nuts to think I have been here for 3 weeks already, but I still have six weeks left! I am ready to just leave and head out with the little Spanish knowledge I know. The days are blending together and it’s hard to pick out the certain things that have happened. We have a new teacher now, his name is Hermano Synder. He is from Utah, but served in Mexico. He is pretty cool. My Spanish is expanding incredibly. I love how you learn so fast here. It is kind of mandatory.
My companions and me are becoming really close. They are the kind of kids I would usually choose to hang out with but they are becoming so really good friends. Elder Wood may even end up becoming a roommate at BYU-I after the mish.
I am sorry if these letters are short it’s just hard to remember all the events to enlighten you. We had an incredible fireside on domingo. aka Sunday. The speaker kept me awake and was super entertaining. He had some awesome insights and gave us a ton of advice to be better missionaries. Every speaker throws out a few comments about obedience and being worthy to have the Spirit. I think the Lord wants to stress the points a little bit.
I do love you and miss you pero my place is here and soon will be in St. George. I want you to know that I love you guys so much and know that these two years will go by fast! I will be home before you know it and then you will have to get used to living with me all over again. Thank you for being there!

Live it, Love it, Preach it!
Elder Davis

p.s. Oh and if you want, you can send me a package with some caffeine! Its like alcohol here. lol Everyone yearns for it. So any goodies from home, homemade cookies? I love you!
Elder Davis
(We were able to send one package that included COLD REMEDIES and some basic supplies. A second package was sent this week with candy bars, excedrin, pez dispensers, missionary stories, etc.)  -- the mom :)

From Father to Son

PREFACE:  As many of you know, Darin served in Hawaii on his mission.  His mom rarely wrote and his dad, never.  Darin wrote to Chad and expressed his love for him and the gospel.  Chad’s reply was….priceless.  Enjoy.  (Both of Darin’s parents have passed away.)

On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at , Davis, Darin L. <> wrote:
Elder Davis,

It was good to get your letter last week. I am so glad to hear that you are finding it exciting to learn and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am sure that as you are learning  and growing in the gospel, You are also growing as a good man.

We attended the open house at the Scrimsher's for Jett's farewell yesterday. They left this morning to drive to Utah. Just think You will see him almost by the time you receive this E-mail. Shelby said to tell you hello, she was here from Knoxville, Tennessee.

As your mother has told you I have been trying to read every night from The Book of Mormon and other church sources. I have felt that I need to have a better understanding of the gospel myself.

Last week Bro. and Sis. DeMille asked when and where you were going to be at in southern Utah, I told them you were in the MTC until the 9th of November, they said darnit, They are going to be in St. George for 3 weeks this next month and wanted to try to find you. We are having Elder Gibson and Ward to dinner on Friday night, before Elder Gibson goes home this next week.

Chad, I want you to know that I know the church is true and that Joseph Smith was/is a true prophet of our Heavenly Father. I know the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on Earth and it was translated by the gift and power of God for us to use in our lives, and to share with those that will except its teachings. What you are doing is one of the most important things you can do in this life, other than being a good Husband and good father to your children when that time comes. Remember we love you and are praying for your success every night. Remember to treat your companions with love and respect, as you would like to be treated.  I love you very much and want you to know that.


From: Chad Davis []
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
To: Davis, Darin L.
Subject: Re: Hello Son!

That sucks that the Demilles will be there right before I will. pero I will be there soon enough hopefully.

I hope you stay strong and love the gospel, and love mom, and the grandkids. Give them all a hug for me! I miss you pops! You don’t even know! I hope that you will continue on this path of reading the Scriptures. I know they will bless your life, just like it is blessing mine! I will be back shortly! I love you so so so much dad! Don’t be afraid to share the gospel if the opportunity presents itself. I was always too scared to follow the promptings I got to share it, but I realized that missionary work isn’t for ourselves but for our Brothers and Sisters, that they are all children of God too; and that he wants to have all of us return to live with him. We need to live worthily to receive the promptings from the Spirit then act on them!

I love you and mom and even Emma! I would like to hear from her, so if she wants to write me an email or letter it would be nice to hear from her!

I love you pops!

Live it, Love it, Preach it!
Elder D