Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Manti Pageant!! Legit!

Manti Temple At Night

Hola Padres!!!              27 June 2011  

Well as you can tell, it is Monday, so that means another letter/email from your son in the mission field. This week was pretty interesting, it was accompanied with a few changes and we are just rolling with them as the week continues to move on. 
Well I guess I can start from last week and work back to today. Last Monday for our fun activity of the day, we went and played 9 holes of golf. It was pretty legit. Golf is still a frustrating game, but it was a little more relaxed playing as a missionary. So we got to go play for free with the Zone Leaders, because of some guy that they know. So we went and played, I still got a little competitive and I end up only shooting a 12 over par. I don’t think that is so bad for not having played golf for over a year. 
This week I also went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. I went to the English area with Elder Booher.  I learned a bunch of things on this exchange. One, that once again, English work is so much different from Spanish work. Everything is just tweaked a little bit, and it is a little more political. The another thing is really weird, but I don’t know if it is a good thing or a bad thing. If you remember at the beginning of my mission I would get headaches from being around all the Spanish and because I wasn’t used to it, I would have a headache all day. Well now it is the reverse effect! I was out with Elder Booher and speaking in English was pretty hard, it was especially difficult to try and remember the vocabulary about the Gospel. I have just forgotten so much about the Gospel lessons and I usually don’t spend that much time speaking in English during the day. So my head was just pounding the whole time as I was trying to speak English to all these people. Well I am thinking it is probably a good thing that I am at that point since I have been called in Spanish. I still speak good English, but most of the English I remember is just the slang and daily language I speak with my companions or other missionaries. The Spanish is just starting to over run the English.
Another new experience for this week is that I have two new roommates. They are the new English Elders for the stake that we used to cover in English. They are just living with us "temporarily", but they may end up staying with us for good. It is a little different to have some more people there to talk to when you come home at night. It feels a little like we are back in the MTC when there were so many people around you and in your room. 

Pageant - Savior Visit

The biggest event that happened this week is that Elder Leguizamon and I were asked to go up to the Manti Pageant, or the official name is the Manti Mormon Miracle Pageant. It was super legit! It was the farthest north I have ever been on the mission, and it was probably the longest car ride I will take on my mission. We went up there because before the show, we go out amongst all the people and talk to them and ask them for referrals for their friends and family. I felt kind of like a salesman, but it was pretty crazy to meet and talk with all these people. There were people from all over too. The show itself was pretty cool, it was a cool story line, but I heard that it doesn’t compare to the Hill Cumorah Pageant, but it was still a good experience. I think it is pretty funny that the whole town of Manti is only 3000 people, but that night at the Pageant, there was a total of 18,000 people! So that is quite a crowd!

Seating for 18,000!  Wow!
WEATHER . . Well the weather here is just one thing HOT! The days just keep getting hotter and hotter, earlier and earlier. It hit about 112 here this week, but I guess that is just one of the things that I will deal with. At least I know that there are a few more Elders that can share the experience of walking in the heat.
Well I hope everything is going great back at home, I didn’t get an email this week, so I don’t really have anything else to reply to, but take care and have a good week! (I am the WORST MOTHER EVER . . .  I just got busy with life and did not send a weekly email.  However, to make up for it, I am writing to him every day this week via regular postal service.) 

Live it, Love it, Preach it!   Les amo!    ELDER D!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Hola Padres!                   20 June 2011
          Well it is that time of week again! The weeks just continue to move faster and faster. It was a good week with ups and downs, but these are the joys and struggles of a mission.  I have learned that trying to keep up two different areas really sucks! (Since beginning his mission, he has covered both an “English speaking” area and a “Spanish speaking” area at the same time.)  Every time we would try to focus on increasing the English work, the Spanish work would decrease. Then every time we just focused on the Spanish work, the English work would plummet. It felt like we were always going back and forth with trying to get them both to increase at the same time, but it is just basically impossible. Now I won’t have to worry about trying to get both of them to increase at the same time -- I am now back to being just a Spanish Elder. The mission is bringing in two new Elders to cover the English area that we had, so it will be a change once again to just being Spanish speaking.
I guess the HOT topic this week is the weather. It definitely got hot this week. It was in the triple digits the whole week until Sunday. SEE PICTURE You can see it from the picture the it was 106, but after we took that picture it did get hotter. The one thing that is ever changing is the humidity. There isn’t too much humidity here, but when there is a little change or increase, you can definitely feel it!
Well my son, Elder Leguizamon is definitely progressing. It is cool to see all the changes that come when you first come to the mission. It is weird to think that I was that "greenie" about 10 months ago. He is really keeping me on my toes though; he is making me really be the best I can be. This week we had another Zone Training. It was a little different typically we just practice with our companions. This time we asked members or investigators to come in. It was definitely a lot different to teach someone who wasn’t already on the same page as you. We also gave a seminar in the park to a bunch of Spanish speaking people. It was put on by a school for kids that had Spanish speaking parents. We talked about how we can come closer as a family and also about all the Daily Dose classes that missionaries teach, or basically the English classes.
I want to say thank you for the package. It was a pleasant surprise.(See PICTURE of NEW DAD t-shirt.) I will definitely use all of that stuff. I also received another package from Uncle Howard and Aunt Robin. It is definitely nice to have all that support from family. THANKS EVERYONE FOR YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT!
Sunday here was absolutely crazy! We had meetings all day. They started at and they didn’t end until about . Most of those meetings were Sacrament Meetings. I went to four Sacrament Meetings. So I think I may take a break from going to Church, because I went to a month's worth of Church in one day. What do you think? (That was a joke!  J)  Then our last meeting of the day was a Spanish Fireside. It was super powerful. The Spirit was there and the testimonies given were super strong. It made me realize that the things that I went through to obtain my testimony weren’t as bad as others. I didn’t have to travel 7 hours to listen to the missionaries or travel 2 hours every Sunday to Church, or even disobey my family and leave them all to gain my testimony. It just humbled me a lot and made me realize how blessed I am. This Gospel has truly changed my life, and I will always be grateful to those people that helped me straighten my life out, to them I am eternally grateful!
Well I am sorry that I didn’t send anything home for Father's Day and I am sorry that Pops was sad because it was his first one without me being there. But it will be just another one and I will be back in no time. But I am grateful for my father and everything he has done for me!  
I am still here loving every minute of my mission! The time is going by way to fast, but that is just something to deal with. Thanks to everyone and make every day great!  (See picture of Chad and Elder L holding up Mexico (Chad) and Argentina FLAGS.)

Live it! Love it! Preach it!   
  Con amor,   ELDER D

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Elder D is a "New Father" of a Greenie

Buenas, Beunas Padres!               13 June 2011 
      Here we go to find out another week in the life of me, Elder Davis. Well this week was one of the strangest weeks I have had since I have been on the mission. (Actually, Chad says that A LOT!!)  It was just because so much was going on and so much happened in such a short amount of time. I wasn’t in my official area for two days because Elder Lopez left on Tuesday, but I wasn’t going to get my new companion until Wednesday, so I had to be with different Elders who didn’t have companions either. So I basically ended up with 5 different companions for 2 days. It was a pretty crazy thing.
Well I am officially a father. (Mission Lingo: Training a brand new elder from the Missionary Training Center.)  I am a proud father of an Argentine. Yep, he is from Argentina, but he came to his mission from the huge town of Clearfield, Utah. His name is Elder Federico Leguizamon. I know what you are thinking, it is a really long name and it is hard to pronounce. Almost everyone here has trouble trying to say his name, but with practice I am sure it will come along. He is definitely burning with that "greenie fire". He is a really solid missionary and is ready to work, so that is what we are doing, work, work, and some more work!

Elder D says HOT SAUCE
 is eaten on everything!

The work that is happening in this area is a little different though, now that we are a bilingual area. Now that I have to try and teach people and contact them in English as well as Spanish, I seem to be getting the two more and more confused and have trouble switching back and forth. But I don’t know why we inherited this area or why we were placed here, but there must be a reason or a person that we were sent here to teaching some or meet someone important.
This week I had some pretty strange events go on. I learned just how generous the Latino people are. We learned this when we were tracting in a trailer park. We were just knocking some doors and we smelled someone cooking some carne asada and then we happened to find the house and we just started to talk to them and see how things were going. The first thing that we found out is that there was a guy there that was trying to get to Denver for a job, but he couldn’t pay for a bus yet and needed some help, so this family picked him up and took him to their house for the night. (Charitable act #1) Well after that we were just talking and we were about to leave and go back and knock some doors, but they asked us if we had eaten, (we had not and didn’t have a dinner that night either) so we tried to play it off and say that we were okay, but they wouldn’t have it so they gave us a bunch of carne asada and chicken. (charitable act #2) This just surprised me a lot because a lot of times people have an opinion on Latinos thinking that they are rude and all of that, but they are really some of the most humble people that I have ever met in my life. I am grateful for the opportunity to come here and learn Spanish and also learn about this culture and people. It has definitely changed my opinions on a lot things and it makes me appreciate a lot more of what I have.
This week we had to go to a bunch of Sacrament Meetings in English. It was weird after going to Sacrament Meetings in Spanish for 9 months and only going to about 5 in English in those 9 months. They each just have a different feel to them, but I have been more accustomed to the Spanish ones. I guess change just comes with time.

Glasses?  Who is HE Foolin?

This week we also had a BAPTISM!!!! We baptized a guy named Efrain Roman Lopez. I had been teaching this guy since the first day that I got here, so it was a good thing to finally see him get baptized. Baptisms are always some of the nicest things that you can see on a mission and this one wasn’t any different. It was also cool that in the first week that my companion was in the field, he had his first baptism! Well this was a strange week, but a good one. This transfer will definitely be filled with some crazy experiences and some learning opportunities.
Well Mom I am sorry to hear about everything and I just want to let you know that everything will be okay. I know it is tough and hard to handle right now, but the Lord has a reason to everything. Put your trust in Him and He will provide, that is something that I have learned very strongly here. I always have you in my prayers and I am sure that part will never change. Stay faithful and all will be well!!! Always remember that I love you! (I have been working for a school district for 5 years and found out this week that my position is eliminated.  I am without a job. Shock!)
Well I am grateful for another week here in the Lord's vineyard and love all of you!

Live it, Love it, Preach it!     LES AMO!!!!      ELDER D

Monday, June 6, 2011

Elder D will be Training a Brand New Elder!

Hola Padres, y todas las otras!                 June 6, 2011  
It is that time of week again, and this time the email comes on the right day of the week. (No Holiday!)  This week was very up and down. We had a lot of struggles and we saw a lot of things not go our way. For instance, we had one night where we had 4 teaching appointments set up and they all seemed to just have some random thing pop up and so we had all of them cancel. We also had two baptisms planned for this Sunday, but both of those didn’t happen either. One didn’t happen because the lady we have been teaching for a long time decided that she was going to try going to another church for a while. This got me pretty upset, because she has had some crazy experiences and she knows the Church is true, but chooses to keep holding herself away from it. The other baptism we were supposed to have was a guy that we have been teaching for a while as well. We finally put a firm date for baptism and we were getting everything set up and he goes to Provo so we couldn’t do his interview last week. Then this week he doesn’t show up to Church and so hopefully we will fix the problems and get them scheduled back up for baptism. I guess these struggles are just part of the work.  Lehi said "there will be opposition in all things", I guess I am just really finding that out for myself. 
I continue to change little things every week. This week I started to carry a hardback cover of the Book of Mormon with me everywhere I go. I have found that it tends to spark little questions and thoughts when people see me with it. It also makes it easier to use and explain the book to people that we contact. 
He didn't eat the whole thing,
 but sure tired!

This week I had the TORTA CUBANA, Pt. II. (SEE PICTURE) It was just as big as the first time which didn’t make it any easier, but a tradition is a tradition right? Well, I didn’t quite finish it this time, but I think since  I had already finished it once before, I didn’t have the same drive to complete it. (A missionary has to eat!!!) 
Also this week I have figured out that people make it seem like the things we ask them to do are the hardest things in the world. I remember in high school, that if someone said I bet you can’t “squat” that much, I would go under the bar and attempt to do whatever I was challenged to do. However, when we ask someone to read a single page in the Book of Mormon and pray about it with a sincere heart, they just look at us like we just asked them to jump out of an airplane without a parachute.  I guess I am just frustrated with some of the people we teach and they act like they are interested and then just don’t do anything. To read a chapter in a book, or THE BOOK, is not really that hard if we understand what is hanging in the balance. But our Heavenly Father has given us our agency "to choose liberty and eternal life or captivity and death", but it is just something I need to understand a little better. Everyone has their right to accept or reject the message of the Restored Gospel. I should be thankful for what the Lord has let me do, just like it says in Alma 29:1-3.
The weather here too has gotten hotter. Everyone always said, "oh this has been mild for here", but now everyone is saying, "the heat has started to come!" That is a true statement. It has been in the upper 90s all of last week and I think it got all the way up to 99! So it is hot, but I am sure Jett (Scrimsher, a friend from our ward currently serving in Panama) is having a worse time in Panama then I am in St. George.
This week we went and gave a blessing to a guy that had surgery to remove some cancer that he had/has. It was honestly really weird to be back in a hospital, especially visiting someone who just had surgery to remove cancer. (Chad’s father had his left kidney removed that had cancer one year ago.)  I thought back a lot to when Pops had cancer and that whole week and how crazy it was. But this time it was a different feeling, I had a strong feeling of peace and that everything is all set up for us and that God has an eternal plan for each one of us. It is just one of those many blessings of the Restored Gospel.

COOL PIC - We DO send Mail Regularly!

Well I have some good news for you all..... I AM GOING TO BE A FATHER!!!!!! (Ha ha ha Chad Thomas)  Well before you jump to conclusions and get your mind going, I am not going to be a real father, just a “father” in the mission field. It means that I am going to train another missionary who is fresh out of the MTC. It is going to be a really weird experience, but it will be a good thing. I am super excited and grateful for the opportunity. So I will be staying here in St. George for at least another transfer. The bad news is that I will once again have another companion. This means I have had a different companion every single transfer. I don’t know if that is a good thing or bad thing, but we will see if the pattern continues. I am bummed that Elder Lopez is leaving, but he is going to be "follow up training" another missionary. That means he will be serving with a missionary that is going into his second transfer in the mission field. We are both moving on to bigger things. We don’t know if they are better things yet, but definitely bigger things in the mission with more responsibility.
News from HomeI asked Chad what he would like (if anything) for his birthday coming up July 30. Well for my birthday, I don’t really know what I want or even what I need. I am pretty set on everything. I am probably going to send a box home of shirts and things that I don’t need anymore.  I will be sure to let you know if anything comes up.  
I am glad that Kevin (Ireland, from Burbank High School) did well in the Feeder game and that he got some more baseball offers. What schools were they? Be sure to let me know what goes on with that. Well I am glad that you splurged a little and bought a pool, which will be nice to have in the summer. It is really 4 feet deep? Does that mean Bryson stands on his tippy toes? If not, that kid is HUGE!!!! (We sent him a picture of 4 year old Bryson, his nephew in the pool, touching bottom!)  Oh and what ever happened with the bathroom? I thought you said something about it needed to remodeled or a new floor or something??? (Yes, it still needs to be fixed, but we ran out of money to fix the floor and get a new shower/tub.  Life happens!) 
I guess that concludes just about everything I can talk about right now or get through. Well I am grateful for the information and the emails that you send! Take care and make each day a little better!!

Live it, Love it, Preach it!     Les Amo!    ELDER D!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Memorial Day!

Hola Padres!                   31 May 2011
       Well it is good that there was no email from a distraught mother. But you guessed right, we weren’t able to email yesterday because of Memorial Day, everything was completely shut down, but here we are today with the permission to email. It is a really good privilege to have.
All these weeks are moving by so quickly. This is the last week before transfers, and it seems like that Elder Lopez and I just were put here as companions. I honestly do not know what will happen here – if I will be transferred -- but I will go where the Lord wants me to go. There are rumors here and there, but by next Monday I will have all that information on where I am going and what is happening.
Well since "the Change" everything has been different. (The “change” Chad is referring to is his desire to be a better missionary, put forth more effort in following the Lord’s plan for him and being more obedient.)  I can come home at the end of the day and feel pleased with what has happened and I can go to sleep with no regrets from the day. I know that I will go out and do the Lord's work and then come home and feel that I did what he wanted me to do. I am really loving my mission more then ever. I am understanding my purpose and what I am here.  It is carrying into my work and work ethic. Because of it, our way of working has changed a little. We have been focusing on people more and numbers less. For the first part of my mission I have looked to numbers as something that needed to be achieved and that was what was expected. However, I learned that if you focus on the people (what is important), then the numbers (what is not as important) will follow. People are what we are called to teach and help and that is what I am going to dedicate myself efforts.  It has made me want to embrace the trait of charity (the scriptures define charity as the pure love of Christ)I have felt charity at times, but I have not really had charity for everyone.  On occasion, I have even felt dislike for some people. So I am really trying to develop that love that Christ had for everyone and make sure that they feel of that love.
Weather.  The weather has been getting hotter and we have been walking a lot more, but that is just one of the little things. I really can’t complain about walking because I know that there are missionaries that never even get cars at any point in their missions, so I am trying to be content with what I am given.
Since we were walking so much, I had to by some new shoes to help keep up with all of the walking. Don’t worry Mom, I got a good deal and went cheap, but they are quality shoes. (Get the idea that THE MOM is the penny pincher and is always concerned about money???) They are really saving my feet from killing me.
The companionship with Elder Lopez is still working well.  We get along like good friends. We have been helping each other become better and really finding how we can improve as missionaries. This week did have a really weird moment. I saw Elder Bravo again, well I guess now he is just Brother Bravo. (Elder Bravo was Chad’s previous companion and he was at the end of his mission and returned home.) He was back down here because one of his old companions was getting married.  We went on splits for about an hour and we knocked some doors. It was super weird; I was having flashbacks to when we were companions. He still had a little bit of that fire and still talked and asked everyone to do this or that. It was some really good stuff.
I did get a little trunky this week, but it wasn’t that bad. (Trunky is a term used by missionaries when they are thinking about home.)  We walked by the public pool here in our area.  I walk by and see all that stuff going on and it just made me realize that I am not going to be working at Memorial Pool this summer. It is weird to think that I won’t be there after 3 summers. But it is just a little sacrifice to make. But it does make me miss the pool and swimming, especially when it is like 96 here the whole time and we walk by about 3 or 4 different pools everyday. (Prior to his mission, Chad was a lifeguard at the local pools.)
Yesterday was a pretty cool P-day. (Memorial Day) It was different because we didn’t have emails, so we had so much more time to do other things. We went out to Snow Canyon, and we visited the Lava Caves. They are these caves that some how work their way down into the ground about 200 feet or so. It was cool, it was pitch black and you had to squeeze through some tight spots and climb a few rocks.  Definitely one of the craziest things I have done on my mission!
I hope all is well back at home. Stay strong and trust in the Lord!  Live it, Love it, Preach it!!! 
    Con muchismo amor,      ELDER DAVIS