Tuesday, December 31, 2013

WEEK 23

  Happy New Year's Eve as well!! I am glad that you are still so happy with the call that we were able to share.  It brought peace and more of your love to my heart and I am very glad that you enjoyed it so much. 
 
  The rest of my Christmas was great.  We spent some time with some members and as a district. I shared a little Christmas message at district meeting and we just had a pretty good day.  Sounds like you all had a fun rest of Christmas as well.
 
  I am doing great this week.  This week has been really tough but we have made the best of it and are keeping our heads up high.  We are actually having a really hard time seeing our investigators.  Other than that, the members are really warming up to the Shermanator and I and we are doing well in that area. We are also doing pretty well with teaching in unity so that is always a bonus.  I have learned a lot this transfer and I am glad to be here doing this. 
 
 My mission has molded and is still molding me into the man that Heavenly Father wants me to be.   I am so grateful for all that I have learned and that I am learning.  As for things you can do for our investigators, I think all you can do is pray. The prays are working when they are in tune with God's will so just keep doing that :)
 
  The ward party was awesome! There were over 100 peeps there and most of them were non-members! J***** came!! AND brought a friend!!
   
  Estoy muy bien!! Y vamos a tener una fiesta en nuestra casa y antes eso, vamos a ir a la "bowling alley", haha. Cosas con nuestros investigadoras son muy feos.  Es dificil a verles.  Y No pudimos ver las luces actualmente :( no tenemos suerte en esa area de cosas. Pero, Estamos teniendo mas exito con los miembros.  (sorry this computer does NOT do spanish, haha.)

  As far as goals come, I have made it a personal goal to become more physically fit.  I want to come home all "ripped" and what not.  Yah it may sound far-fetched but I think I can get there if I really try during my morning exercises.  I think that it is great that you are going to set goals as a family.  I hope to set some better goals to better help my investigators as well.

  Sounds like the reunion was a hit as well. How great it is to hang with so many family members and their extended family. I bet you had some great times and enjoyed seeing everyone.
 
  Thanks for the sports updates!!! Niners are actually kind of impressing me. Plus, don't even get me started about Matt Asiata!!! He is the man!  Best of luck to the Steelers!
   Pops, you are such a boss and I love you so much. Keep up the good work you do.  You amaze me every Tuesday with the stories you share with me. I will share a story about an investigator in my letter today. I love you so much Dad.
 
  Mom, I got the pills by the way. Thank you so much for being so good at taking care of me even when I am not even near you.

 Congrats on the new calling!!  I love you with all my heart and I hope that you have the most wonderful day and week EVER!!
 
  Love,
  Elder Davis

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

CHRISTmas PHONE CALL

I commented to my husband last night and this morning that I don't think I have been this excited about Christmas morning for quite some time.  I have had butterflies in my stomach for days now!  Christmas has been different this year and it's not because I miss my son or because he isn't here.  It is because I KNOW that he is serving the Lord.  It is because I KNOW that HIS Christmas is focused on the Savior, as mine should be.  As I think of the sacrifices he is making, I can not help but try and find more ways to serve the Lord and to focus on the real meaning of Christmas myself. 

We were blessed to have our oldest son and his wife spend the night with us last night so they would be here when Taylor called.  We carried out our usual Christmas morning traditions.  Everyone piling onto our bed, family prayer, discussing our gifts to the Savior, reading "Don't let the love escape", opening gifts and eating Christmas casserole.  But nothing was more anticipated than the telephone phone call from Taylor. 

The phone rang at exactly 11:07 am.  LDS missions.. the caller id announced.  I was so excited I felt like I was going to throw up.  Hello?  "Merry Christmas," said the voice on the line.  "Merry Christmas," I replied.  "Mom, it's me, Elder Davis!"

Although I knew it was him, his voice sounded different.  More soft spoken, more gentle.  Everyone attempted to get on the phone and we caught some interference.  We quickly changed over to speaker phone and we all gathered around the phone.

Here are a few things we talked about:

You look skinny...Yes, I am growing and I don't have a lot of money for food.

Don't you get invited to eat with members?... Yes, but we can only stay one hour.  In the Spanish culture they are usually still preparing the food when you arrive, so some times we are there for an hour and the food still isn't ready and we still have to leave. 

Where do you live in proximity to where you teach?... We drive about 15 minutes to the areas where we teach.  The areas we teach in are a little "rougher" than where we live.

What was your favorite thing you received for Christmas? ... The money that was folded to look like a dress shirt.  My companion and I went to McDonald's this morning and fed our faces!  I LOVED the 12 ways of Christmas.  They really helped me to feel the spirit.

Where did you put your Christmas tree?...  I put mine up on my desk and put my 12 days and 12 ways under it.  Elder Sherman had a tree too so we put his on the floor and put the rest of our presents under it. 

How did you spend last night and what will you be doing today? ... Last night was like any other night other than opening my jammies.  Today we have two dinner appointments.

How was your mission Christmas party?... It was nice.  We went to a church in the area and got together.  I got to see Elder Karlinsey.  He looks great!  He has lost like 15 pounds.

Have you been taking many pictures? ... No, I loaned my camera to a sister missionary so I haven't been able to. 

Taylor also wanted to know about his baby niece (who should arrive in May) and what her name will be.  He is very excited to be an uncle!

We told him we had received an email from the mission president's wife saying he was a very hard working missionary and his response was, "That was nice of her, but I bet she tells all the parents that. :)"

Time flew by so quickly while talking to Taylor.  In no time at all, our allotted 40 minutes was nearly up.  As the time drew near, Taylor asked if he might be able to share his testimony with us before we said goodbye.  He testified that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints IS the true church.  He testified that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and restored the church to this earth.  He testified that the Book of Mormon is true.  He testified that he knows he is where he should be.  He testified of many other things.  Too many for me to remember.  But I DO remember the feelings I had when he bore testimony.  The spirit touched all who could hear Elder Davis' voice and brought us each to tears. 

We are so grateful for being able to speak with Taylor today.  We are grateful for his willingness to serve the Lord in the capacity in which he is.  We are so grateful to the Lord for allowing his body to function and be healthy so he may serve him.  We are grateful for the example of obedience and humility that Taylor has always been.  We are grateful that through Taylor others may be given the opportunity to learn about the gospel and the true meaning of this life.  There is no greater gift we could give our Savior this year and always, than to follow his example.

MERRY CHRISTmas EVERYONE!

Earlier this week we received a heavy envelope from Taylor marked "DO NOT OPEN UNTIL CHRISTMAS!"  We excitedly placed it under our tree.  We saved it as the last thing to open Christmas morning.  Inside was a letter addressed to each member of our family and a personalized Christmas photo for each of us.  What a wonderful Christmas gift!


 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

FOR EVERY MISSIONARY MOM

The hands I washed, the hands I held,
The hands I taught to pray;
Now knock on doors to find the ones
Who will listen to what he'll say.
Because I know Christ needs him,
Until His gathering's done...
My gift has taken years to make,
This year...I'm giving Christ my son.

-Author Unknown

WEEK 22: Merry CHRISTmas Eve!

Dear Mother,
   
   I cannot believe that it is CHRISTmas Eve already either!! I also want to know that it is AWESOME that you have been doing what you have been doing this Holiday season. I don't have to be there to know that you blessed the lives of many this year!
 
   Things in San Diego are great.   I enjoy the nice sunny weather but it is perty hard to feel like it is Christmas out here.  But the gifts that I have received, the spirit I have felt, the people I have seen and the Love I have, has really made the difference this year.  I too have been focusing on the Savior this year and it has had a HUGE impact on me.   Thanks again for the 12 Ways of Christmas.  
 
    As far as today and tomorrow are concerned, we have an appointment with a member tonight and 2 dinner appointments tomorrow for Christmas. It is going to be so much fun!
 
    Glad to hear that everything got worked out with Christmas and I hope that you all enjoy yourselves.
 
     It makes me happy to hear that Pops is being such a big help.  I have really seen a change in him and I hope to be like him someday.  His spiritual strength and drive amazes me.
 
    The mission party was great! We had a devotional, gift exchange, and we socialized a while. I got to talk to Elder Karlinsey and he is doing well. He has lost like 15 pounds and it was fun to talk and chat it up.  It was just held at a stake center here in Cali.
 
     My back is actually doing awesome! I have not had any problems with it really and we have been working all day, every day so that has been great.
 
I received packages from Auntie Kristin, the Floyd's, Paula and the Young Women of our ward.  I have not opened the one from Paula yet because it said, "No Peeking!"  But the package from the young women was some cards and A LOT of candy.  I hope I have enough time to write everyone thank you notes today.
 
    Mom, thanks for being such a boss and a great member missionary.  You inspire me with all that you do. You never think of yourself without others' needs above your own.
 
    I will be calling tomorrow morning.  Depending on who calls home first, between my companion and I.   I can't wait to talk to you all and I love you all so much and wish you the best Christmas Eve Ever!
 
    MERRY CHRISTMAS Mom!!!
   
    Love,
    Elder Davis

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CHRISTmas PACKAGE

We sent Taylor's CHRISTmas package out weeks ago.  Allowing plenty of time for delays so it would still arrive at the mission office a week before Christmas Eve, as the mission president had requested.  As of 4 days before the cutoff, it hadn't even been logged by the post office since leaving our house.  Finally after many prayers, it was logged in at the Denver, Colorado post office. (The black hole of the postal system.)  It proceeded to California, where delivery was attempted on a Saturday.  (The Mission Office is closed on Saturdays.)  Then it was attempted again on Monday.  This time it was logged as "no one to receive it, they left a note."  Which now meant that someone would have to go pick it up and quite frankly I wasn't sure that would happen.  I was in tears!  Most of the items we had sent him had been carefully picked out or hand made and would not easily be replaced.  Especially if it had to be done quickly! 

More prayers were offered and I contacted the mission office.  Sis. H said she had received over 200 packages today and she really didn't think she would be able to locate Taylor's package even if it was there.  I described it to her and she said she would look.  Seconds later she got on the phone, laughing.  It was there and easily recognizable.
I apologize, I didn't realize this picture was so blurry and it is the only one I have.  We sent Taylor the 12 days and 12 ways of Christmas.  The 12 days were fun little gifts to open each day, letting him know how much we loved him.  The 12 ways contained a story, a scripture, an ornament with Christ on it and a challenge for each 12 days leading up to Christmas.
My good friend's niece custom made this stocking for Taylor. 
It was very hard to part with.  I loved looking at it. 
Even the name tag was pretty authentic looking.
 We decorated the outside of the box.  This was Jonah's side.
 Mom's side
 Mom's side
 And Shane drew this!

 We were so relieved his package got there safely and in time!  Not only were his Christmas gifts in the package, but it also contained the remaining half of his 12 days and 12 ways of Christmas and his favorite San Francisco 49ers t-shirt.   

WEEK 21

Momma,

     I am doing great.  This week has been good because once again, I was able to work for the whole week and my back feels great.  We were actually able to meet with members this week and we have had some pretty cool lessons.  The other night we had a lesson with a member family about Lehi's dream and we were able to relate it to a Christmas tree nonetheless! I had never thought of that before, but it was super cool and the members loved it.

     Do not worry about the package. I am sure that everything will turn out alright.  :)  But yes, I did get the first 6 days of the other package and I am really enjoying them!! Thank you so much for putting so much thought into things like that.  I really appreciate the little "Ways of Christ" and ornaments.  I also did receive the tree from the Floyd's and I am going to send them a letter of thanks today.  I am very glad that I was able to make your day and I can't thank you enough for the packages!! They mean so much to me and they have really helped me feel like it is actually Christmas!

     As far as me sending letters, I did send one to you after thanksgiving but I guess it never made it there. But don't worry, I am sending you all Christmas presents today that I hope you will all enjoy.

     I will most likely just call from home right after studies on Christmas day.  We don't have any plans for Christmas yet but we are planning to meet with members and what not.  But, we are going to go Christmas caroling this week as a zone and as a district.     

     Yes, the Zone Conference Sis. "H." was at, was for my zone.  It was amazing.  Basically what zone conference is, is the zone gets together and President Clayton, Sister Clayton, The AP's, and a bunch of other leaders teach us. It is basically just a training meeting and we talk about how to better ourselves and the work.     

     I can't believe I have been out so long but I am glad that it isn't going by faster than it is.  I still have so much time and I still have so much to do. But saying that, I am sure that after I blink I will be home again.      

     Glad to hear that you had fun at the party and that Colton and Shannon went with you as well. That's awesome! Happy to hear that they are doing well.

    Thank you for what you shared about you going visiting teaching and your experience.  That is really cool and I really love it when others share what they learned about the Gospel with me.

    We actually are going to have a Branch Party at the end of the month. It's going to be a talent show and there is going to be a lot of food and what not. I just can't think of a talent that I could share.  Ha ha.

    Momma, I love you so much. Thanks so much for taking all the time you do to make my P-days better. I hope that the family enjoys what I am sending to them because I thought it would be fun and I wanted to send something from the heart. I love and appreciate you lots!   

   MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

   Love,
   Elder Davis
 
 
 
Dad,
   
      I thought I had sent a letter a week ago so I am wondering what happened to it. Oh well, I am sending another one this week that I hope you will all like :)  I hope things with work slow down for you soon because that seems pretty tiring. But glad that you are pushing through it :)

     About investigators... We are actually having a hard time with that.  We weren't able to see ANY of them last week.  This week has been better though.  We saw J**** for like 5 minutes but that was about it.  Last week we did have a VERY cool lesson with her about Joseph Smith though. It was funny because we were just talking about the Book of Mormon like we had planned but I received a prompting to ask if we could watch the Restoration video (that we had given her months ago to watch and she never even opened) with her. It was SO powerful.  She actually started crying and we FINALLY got her to pray in front of us.  I feel like she can be baptized next month!   Things with J*** have not really improved. We do have an appointment with him on Thursday and we had a super cool practice that we are going to use on him.  We didn't see E*** though.  :(  L*** hasn't made much progress either. But we finally saw her again!!!! Last night was the first time we had seen her in 4 weeks!! The spirit was there as well.  AND...... We saw J***** and have an appointment with him tomorrow!!! I hope that things will go well.  I just hope that we can find more people to teach as well.

    Thanks so much for wanting to know what's going on. It really means a lot to me.  And yes, I have a lot of chances to use personal experience with my investigators. It is so powerful and I love it.

    As far as Christmas is concerned, I don't really know how I feel.  Before the package of the Days and Ways of Christmas, it was really hard for me to feel like it was Christmas.  But thanks to my sweet mother and all she does for me, I am able to feel more like it. :)  I sure do love that woman.  I am so lucky to have been taught daily by yours and her example.  You both are such Bosses!
 
    The Shermanator and I have no plans for Christmas yet.  But we hope to set things up this week.

    I gotta say, I'm lovin' the sports updates this week! The Jazz, 9ers, Utes and Alex are all making me very proud.
 
    Well Pops, I just want to say that I love you so much.  Thank you for being concerned about my investigators and all. It really means the world to me and makes it easier to be focused on the work.  Plus, thanks for the Christmas pic!!

     Love ya Dad!!
 
     Love,
     Elder Davis

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

WEEK 20

Dear Sweet Mother,

    I am doing fantastic! This week was very hard in certain ways but it was also a very fun week.  We had exchanges with the zone leaders yesterday and that was super fun!  It's nice to be able to work in English sometimes but at the same time, I appreciate my Spanish work.  I was able to get to know the zone leader that I exchanged with a lot and he is such a funny guy.  I am so glad that I get to do the Lords work with good health again! :)
   
  Me and my companion are doing great! We are really becoming great friends and building companionship unity as well.  The members and others that we teach are really starting to take a liking to us.   I just love the members down here and never want to leave, haha.  Sadly, we do not have any new investigators this week.  We actually lost two of them (one of them being ****) so that was of course hard and sad. But!... we saw **** again and we had a super powerful lesson with J***** about Joseph Smith!  We have been contacting all the referrals we have and trying former investigators like crazy. We actually were able to contact every single referral we had this week! No luck with any new ones yet but we are definitely busting our legs for some! I know we'll find someone soon.
 
     For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we do not have many plans.  We are going caroling as a zone on Christmas day.  I will also be calling home Christmas Day. I wanted to let you know that there is a rule that we can only talk to our parents when we call. Unless everyone is there on a conference call or something.  I will probably be calling sometime after studies Christmas morning.
 
    I actually was able to watch the Christmas devotional! and it was of course super great!  We watched at the stake center and it was awesome. 
   
    It will definitely be different spending the season without you! But you are very correct when you say that this is where I need to be!  We are getting together as a mission but that is happening on the 21st.  I am super excited and glad to be able to do so!
 
    I love you with all my heart and hope that your week is the best week ever!!
 
    Love,
    Elder Davis



Dear Spiritual Giant Pops,
 
    This week has been great. I am great.  I think it's funny how you tell me to not start letters with an apology but you just did the same thing, haha.  Don't even worry about it though.  I wasn't worried or anything. But I did send you a letter last week so you should of got one....? Maybe it just is running late or something. 
 
    Things with **** are not much different unfortunately.  :(  We are having a hard time finding materials in Spanish about how to quit drinking.  But we are still giving it all and hope to see progress soon.  Things with **** are good. We actually saw him this week with the intention of seeing **** and the lesson went very well.  We ALMOST got him to church on Sunday and he was actually very happy to see us.  He and I have really built a friendship and I think that he could be baptized soon. We saw **** for like 5 minutes and he seemed alright.  More sober it looked like so that was good.  We have plans to see them both this week though.  As for ****, sadly, she dropped us.  :(  We were dropped by two of our investigators and that was hard but we believe that will find more soon.  We STILL have not seen **** for more than 10 minutes.  We have appointments scheduled with her this week though!
 
    Me and the Shermanator are doing well.  We actually get along very well.  Things we have in common are that we like food (no surprise), Sports and Pokemon!!  We mostly talk about the work but when we aren't, we usually talk about things like that. Not much though.  He is actually a decent cook.  You should tell Mom that she should be pretty proud of me because I made us "Tater-tot Casserole" the other night and I didn't even know the recipe! It was super good and it turned out really delicious!  Our companionship studies are good. We just focus on who we are going to see and how we can help them.  He is actually pretty different from Elder Karlinsey but I don't have any complaints.
 
    NICE WORK on the Christmas lights!!! They look pretty nice! Glad you could find some lights and get it all worked out. 
 
    Gotta say that I miss the snow but I am glad I don't have to deal with it while doing the work. 
 
    I love you so much Dad.  Every one of your letters and emails hits home with me and makes me more proud to be your son.  You really do what you should and focus on others during Christmas time and all the time otherwise. Thank you.
 
    Love,
    Elder Davis

Monday, December 9, 2013

TENDER MERCIES

This morning I was sitting at my desk working.  The phone began to ring.  I looked up from my work and glanced at the called ID.  It was Sis. "R".  My heart skipped a beat and my mind began to race.  Was Taylor having problems with his back again?  Had he been in a car accident?  A million other emergencies passed through my head. 

Turns out she was calling to tell me how wonderfully Taylor is doing.  She said he is working so hard and accomplishing so much and she is so impressed with him.  What a happy thing to hear and what a sweet lady to take the time to call me. 

Tender mercies.  I am so grateful!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

WEEK 19

Thanksgiving was great!  It was fun eating with someone that I kind of knew.  The food was super delicious!  I loved the turkey and the ham but I missed the Jennifer potatoes!  Oh well, it was still great!

I did receive my Thanksgiving package and I am very grateful for it!  The pie did make it in tact and it was super delicious!!! As far as what you send, I am completely happy with everything and have no complaints!

My companion's name is Elder Sherman. He is in tune with the spirit and that's what matters.  We get along pretty well actually.  He's a nice kid.  He's been out for only two months more than me, so we are both pretty young.  But I really think that we can help this area explode.  The Lord is really helping me out a lot with comprehension and what not because I have been in this area longer.  Elder Sherman is from Utah.  West Jordan.  I don't really remember what he said about his family so I don't really know what they are like.

As far as my health is concerned, I am doing great! My back hasn't really been giving me problems and we had the best week that I've had on my mission last week! We taught half as many lesson as all of the other weeks put together!

Yes, I did get a shoulder bag.  I found it in the apartment and I switched to it because I wanted to try it out to see if it would help my back.  We do not us tablets.  But we have heard that we will eventually here.

Our investigators are doing well.  I think it would be great id you could pray that ***** will act on the message and that **** (our new investigator this week) will be able to stop drinking.  We actually got to see **** on Tuesday and it went pretty good.  She talked to me personally a lot and I think she really trusts me.  But...we had two appointments with her this week and she buffed both of them.  :(  We tried to contact like mad men, but we had no luck.  I hope we can see her again.  We have not seen **** or **** in a week.  :(  They keep buffing us too.

But...we had a super sick miracle this week!  We added a new investigator!!  His name is ****.  Bet you can't guess where he lives?  At ****'s house!!! And we saw **** too!!!  **** gave me a super big hug and said he would call us this week!  Nothing is happening with **** and ****** but we have an appointment with her on Thursday so we hope for something to happen.

No idea as to what's happening for Christmas.

The picture of the burrito is actually quite funny.  The story behind it is that since I almost went home, one of the members that we work with, Kevin, got us a giant 2 foot long burrito and a huge thing of Carne-Asada Fries and it was delicious!!  Oh man it was so filling and good.

I love you so much!

Love,
Elder Davis

Monday, December 2, 2013

LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 26, 2013

So much has happened in the last week but I have done I pretty good job at letting you know everything in my emails.  I am doing much better this week.  Tomorrow morning I will take Elder Karlinsey to the transfer meeting and pick up my new companion!  I am sad that he is going but it will be a new adventure to have a new companion.  It will be interesting to see how things turn out though.

It is sad that so many people were released from such great callings on Sunday.  Let me know what the new Young Men's president is like!

Thank you for sharing what ***** wrote.  I'm not going to lie, it's hard sometimes because I feel like I will never live up to the reputation everyone has set for me.  But they always say such nice things about me so I guess I'm doing something right.  Thank you for always believing in me.  You are the reason why I am who everyone sees me as.

For thanksgiving we plan to go to Bishop Jorgensen's house.  Other than that, we have no plans. 

I am glad that things are calming down there.  It has been hard for me because I know how worried you all can get. Hopefully now that I am better, things will be a lot easier.  Thank you so much for all the prayers and fasting. I hope you know how much it means to me.

As far as investigators are concerned, almost nothing has changed.  We have an appointment with **** tonight and we hope to see ****** on Thursday.

My scripture study is getting better.  I haven't been able to do much before now because of my back.  But now that it is better, I am going to study my brains out.  Something that I have been doing to help is I write down references about certain gospel topics in the back of my scriptures.  It helps me a lot!  About my favorite prophet...I'd have to say that it's a toss up between Mormon and Abinadi.  They were both such bosses!  They weren't afraid of anything!  I want to be like that.  I also want to be trusted by the Lord like they were.  My favorite non-prophet is also a tie between Moroni and Ammon.  They were so bold all the time and such great leaders.

I am so grateful for the Primary Book of Mormon Project.  It amazes me!  I feel so special to have it.  I am so proud of the Primary for what they have achieved.  I am not gonna lie, I kind of really would like to keep it for myself.  Ha ha.  But I will give it to someone that needs it.  Please thank the Primary for blessing me with the opportunity and tell the kids how grateful I am and how cool I think they are!!!

I love you all so much!

Love,
Elder Davis

Thursday, November 28, 2013

THANKSGIVING

Taylor and his new companion attended Thanksgiving dinner at the Jorgensen's home in Poway.  Bishop Jorgensen is a bishop in the stake Taylor is serving in.  He is the brother of our dear friends, Scott and Paula Jorgensen who live in our neighborhood.  We are so grateful they invited him to dinner.  We received these pictures of he and his companion from our friends here.  Happy Thanskgiving Elder Davis! 


Pie by the pool.



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

WEEK 18

I am happy to tell you that I am feeling better than I have felt in months!  I have actually been able to work this week and it has been great!  About the blessing:  before it, Elder Karlinsey and I were talking about me and Elder Karlinsey shared scriptures with me from D&C 42 about healing.  He then asked me if I would like another blessing.  But this time, it would be for healing everything. Basically it was a miracle status blessing.  He asked me if I had the faith to be healed and I told him yes. I knew that going home was not the answer for me.  So he gave me a blessing.  It was one of the most powerful blessings I have ever received!  I KNOW that it was God talking and not Elder Karlinsey.  I was promised that I will be made completely whole again if I remain faithful and have the faith to be healed.  Then immediately after that, I was blessed with faith.  WOW.  Then I was told that I WILL return to Utah someday. But if I remain faithful, it will be at the end of a mission worked with mighty miracles.

Immediately after the blessing, I stood up and bent over and what not and I felt SO good!  The very next morning I was able to go to morning sports and I felt normal again.  I know that this was because of the blessing and nothing else.  I know it happened because this is where Heavenly Father needs me.

As far as transfers go, Elder Karlinsey is being transferred.  We will find out where tomorrow but I feel like it needs to happen and that God needs him somewhere else.  Yes, I am sad that he is going.  But I know that it is inspired of the Lord.

For Thanksgiving we have been invited to be with the Jorgensen's and I am actually going to call them today.  I think it will be fun and pretty cool.

Thank you for sharing with me what happened with ***.  That is so cool!  I know that you needed to be there as well because I know how in tune you are with the spirit. Thank you for your example and for your cool story.

As for investigators, **** lost her baptismal date.  Again.  But she is moving things along and we hope she will be married soon.

It would be nice to have my dry-fit 49ers shirt because I would enjoy it and I need another shirt because I have more shorts than shirts.

I want to tell you that I love you and appreciate you so much and I am finally feeling good.  I hope to still give it my all and help all I can.

I love you so much and am grateful for all that you do!

Love,
Elder Davis

 Elder, Elder Karlinsey & Taylor
A dinner Taylor and Elder Karlinsey made together.

Monday, November 25, 2013

MIRACLES

On Saturday Sis. "R" told us not be afraid to ask for miracles.  On Sunday I gave a lesson in Relief Society wherein Elder Holland said, "Believe in miracles.  I have seen so many of them come when very other indication would say that hope was lost.  Hope is never lost.  If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior's own anguished example :  if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead."

After speaking with the doctor, hope was not lost.  We were prepared to drink the bitter cup if need be.  The bitterest would have been if Taylor's cancer had returned or if the results would end his mission and neither of those are the case.  But we still have a son who was dealing with pain that is causing him to not be as effective on his mission as he would like to be and preventing him from serving to his full ability. We still have no answers how long it will be until he can fully function again and that is worrisome.  After the phone call with the doctor my husband and I held each other and expressed our feelings that we didn't know how we could go another month or two having Taylor in so much pain and worrying incessantly about how he was.

As we were preparing to go to bed, we got a call from Sis. "R".  It was about 10:30 pm MST.  She said Taylor had just called her.  She said she had never heard him so happy.  He told her his companion had given him a blessing and that he was feeling normal.  Better than he had in months.  He didn't give her all the details, he said he would share them in his email tomorrow, but that he believed a miracle had happened!

PHONE CALLS

We have been on pins and needles all day waiting to get the results from Taylor's MRI.  At about 3 pm MST we left the house to run some errands.  Apparently right after we let, the spine doctor called.  His message said he had Taylor in his office and wanted to go over the results with us.  It was about 4 pm when we got home and received the message.  We immediately called him back, but he did not answer.  We left a message and once again resumed waiting.

About 8 pm our time he called back.  He began the conversation by relaying the fact that when he had called earlier Taylor was in his office and he wanted to put the phone on speaker phone to give us the results.  The ever strict adherer to the rules "Taylor" told him he could not do that.  The doctor told Taylor he could just listen, not talk and Taylor still objected.  Although it would have been awesome to hear his voice, I love his conviction to obey the rules to the letter.  He is an amazing young man!  Through all of this, one of the hardest parts has been not being able to communicate with him.  We have had to rely on our communication with our Father in Heaven to see us through this.

We had an in-depth conversation with the doctor regarding Taylor's results.  The MRI showed it is NOT cancer!!! Hallelujah!  Apparently Taylor was born without the lowest disk in his spine.  Why no one has never noticed that before, we don't know.  The next disk up is trying to compensate for the lower one being gone.  However it is deteriorating due to the chemo and radiation treatments.   The doctor said Taylor will basically deal with this off and on for the rest of his life.  There will be times when it is totally fine and there will be times when it will take him down.  There is no indication of how often it will happen.

Next we discussed treatment options.  He said Taylor looked a little more comfortable today, but that it could take weeks to months for him to feel normal again.  The doctor does not want to push more steroids because of the side effects.  He is going to give Taylor two weeks to see how this hit of prednisone has worked.  If he does not see marked improvement he will do an in-office injection into the area and wait two weeks.  If he does not see improvement in two additional weeks, they will do an epidural injection into the site.

While it is GREAT news that it is not cancer, it is still very concerning and discouraging that there will be more waiting, hoping and praying that one of these treatments will restore his health.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

PRAYERS

So many people have been concerned about Taylor and want to know what they can do for him or us.  The only thing we can say is, "Pray."  Everything is in the Lord's hands and he will be the one to determine the outcome.

On Sunday our Bishop gave a brief update of Taylor's condition and asked the members of our ward to keep Taylor in their prayers...and they did.  In every meeting we attended, even in an evening planning meeting.  The members prayed for Elder Davis.

Not only the adults, but the youth (young men, young women and especially the Primary children) are always asking us how Taylor is doing.  We have heard countless stories of how little tiny children are praying for him.  The young man who is the usher for sacrament meeting never fails to ask how he is doing.  And we can feel his genuine concern for Taylor.  We are blessed to live an area where we can draw strength from our ward family and today we really felt that.  I cannot express the comfort we have felt through your prayers.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

HEALTH UPDATE

I spoke with Sis. "R" this morning and it was not the best news.  She relayed to me that Taylor is still in as much pain as he was before.  He feels that the prednisone is not helping much at all. She told me that Elder Ballard had visited a few weeks ago and spoken with the missionaries and he had told them not to be afraid to pray for miracles.  We have decided that is just what we will do...Pray for a miracle!!!


LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 19, 2013

I am sorry to write you all together, but you were asking the same questions so I figured it was appropriate. :)  As for me and how I am feeling; I am doing a little worse pain wise, but mentally I am doing SO MUCH better!  Now that we are actually making progress and I am hoping we will be able to fix things soon enough. :)  I am glad to know a little bit of what is actually going on.  I will just talk about missionary work since my emails expressed everything that's going on with the doctors.

So with the time that my companion and I are actually able to work, we are actually doing pretty good.  Yes, it has been very hard, but I have learned a lot.  As far as our investigators go, we have four right now.  They are ****, *****, ***** and *****. ****has decided that she is going to ask ******to get married and work on their relationship so she can be baptized on her date; the 30th of this month.  We still haven't been able to see **** so sadly we might have to drop him.:(  As for **** she is a new investigator.  We gave her a Book of Mormon and she made us put our favorite scriptures in there for her to read and we did.  But we weren't able to see her last week because she was sick. :(  But we will see her this week.

As for *****, we had a pretty cool lesson with her! Here's the story....so as you know, I haven't been feeling very well.  But on Friday night we exchanged with the zone leaders, Elder Casey and a non-Spanish speaking Elder came into our area with me.  As you can imagine, I was pretty nervous.  But I had trust in the Lord that I'd be alright.  That night before we started the exchange, I prayed super hard that I would be able to work the following day.  The morning came and I felt pretty good.  In our weekly plans we had something planned to teach ****.  But as I was leading our studies, I had a prompting to change what we were going to study to the pre-earth life and life after death sections from Preach My Gospel.  So we did just that.  As we were studying Alma 40:11-12 popped into my head.  So I asked my companion (Elder Casey for the day) if we could read it together.  As we were reading, verse 11 really stuck out to me and I felt like ***** would really like it, so we planned for that.

Now *****is a single old lady that lives alone and rule as a missionary is that you can't go inside a home of a woman if you don't have another person that is a mate with you.  (Usually a member.)  Well, I had been calling member after member that day and no one could come with us.  So I called her up and said that we were still coming but we couldn't go inside her house. When we got there, she said that it was to cold to sit outside.  So she said, "You know what, I need to runs some errands, why don't' you meet me at this shopping center and we will go from there."  I turned to Elder Casey and we thought it was alright.  So we met ***** there and she said, "Ehh, it's still too cold.  Can we go inside that Wendy's over there?"  I questioned the idea for a second but it seemed okay.  Granted I was doubting that the spirit would be very powerful there.  Silly me!!!! We opened with a prayer and started following up.  The week before we had left a talk with her to read.  We asked he how she liked it and she said she didn't have time to read it.  So I asked her what was going on and she said that two of her aunts had died.  We shared Alma 40:11-19 and talked about where her aunts were.  She was really intrigued by this and I know that the Lord prepared us for that lesson.  Plus the Spirit was super strong there...in a Wendys!!!

This just strengthens my testimony of the power of the Holy Ghost  and God micro-managing the work.  Plus she told us at the end of the lesson the it was exactly what she needed and that it was beautiful.

Okay back to things with my back.  As far as what I think should be done; I have an MRI on Friday and an appointment at the beginning of next week.  I feel like I will make my decision after that follow up appt.  I will have Sister "R" keep you informed.  I feel like things are finally moving along.

As for a Christmas list, I would just like the CTR ring that I requested and maybe some ties that aren’t striped.  Preferably paisley.  I don’t really need anything.  I just would really like the CTR ring.  I love you all so much and grateful to have you in my lives.
   
Love,

Elder Davis

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

WEEK 17

     I am doing alright today.  I am feeling a lot better mentally, knowing that something is being done and that we kind of know a taste of what is going on.  Yes, this week has been really hard and I want you to know that I am SUPER grateful for all that you have done to speed things up. I know that without you, I would be nowhere!! I want you to know that you are a great example and I love and appreciate everything that you have done for me.  I have definitely felt the prayers and fasting!  I am so grateful to have such a boss family and I will never take you guys for granted again!  I love and appreciate all of you so much!
   
     I am glad that Sister "R" is keeping you updated. She is such an awesome little lady!  
 
    So yes, what you heard about my bottom vertebrae is growing incorrectly is correct.  But it is making it impossible for the disc below it to move.  That being said, my lower vertebrae is starting to connect to lower part of the cluster of bones in my back, making it hurt because the bones are touching and causing me TONS of pain.  This is why it makes my back hurt the most when I am sitting down.  It does hurt like crazy but I have learned a lot these few weeks and I know it is happening for a reason and that it will all be fixed sometime, hopefully soon.
 
   I have an MRI scheduled for this Friday morning and the Spine doctor said that we will meet again after that and go from there.  I think this doctor actually knows what he is doing and that comforts me a lot.  The doctor did not mention any treatment options yet but I am pretty sure the only option is surgery or Prednisone, or both. I really do feel like we are actually making progress now and that makes me feel a lot better.  Besides praying for me, I don't know of what you can do. Just keep doing everything that you are and hope for the best.  We will know what is going to happen in the next week or so.  
 
    As for transfers, they are next week.  I am pretty sure that Elder Karlinsey is going to be transferred.  I am actually kind of okay with it because I know that he has been here for a while and he has other things to do other than take care of me.  He says he has learned a lot from me and that he is grateful for the chance to serve with me.  I kind of feel like I will be getting a new companion and I really don't mind that to much to be honest.  Whatever happens, I know that it is the Lord's will and I will do whatever I need to do. 
 
   I am able to work sometimes.  Other than that, I am able to lay down and sleep and think of our investigators. I also have been trying to think of ways to help the area while I am down.  
 
  Other than my meds, I can't think of anything that I NEED. You have done a great job at making sure that I am covered in that area :) 
 
  No plans for thanksgiving yet, but we will see.  
 
  As for *****, we had a "sick" lesson with her the other day and I hope to tell you all about it in my letter this week.  ***** has decided to marry her boyfriend as well, so that is great.  We are going to see her tomorrow to see how it is going and how we can help her.  
 
  As for sports, I am not surprised that you weren't too excited to give updates.  I know that the 9ers really pooped on themselves and that Alex lost and that Scott got spanked too.  But I am okay with that because I know that it doesn't really matter right now.  Yes, I like hearing about what's going on but I know where my mind needs to be during the week. Thanks for always sending the updates though.
 
  Thanks for the picture of the baby! I am so happy to be an uncle soon! Plus I knew it was going to be a girl!!  I am so happy for them!
 
  Thanks for ALL that you do sweet mother. I love you so much and am very grateful!
 
  Love,
  Elder Davis
 
P.S.  I am so sorry to say it but I wasn't able to get any pictures taken :(
        But I promise to take some this week!

Monday, November 18, 2013

THANK YOU!!!

We wanted to thank everyone who has fasted and prayed on Taylor's behalf for the last several weeks. It has been quite a roller coaster ride for he and our family!  The problems Taylor is experiencing are not from cancer!!!

Today we were told that the bottom vertebrae in his spine is growing outward instead of inward. He also has a disc that is growing into this vertebrae. He was FINALLY given some medication for the pain which he has valiantly endured for the past 7 weeks. He will be having an MRI this week and then the doctor will decide what to do.

While his pain is not over, we know what is causing it and can look for solutions to fix it. We will take this over cancer any day!

We couldn't have made it through this without your prayers and support. Both he and our family have definitely felt your love. Thank you so much!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

WEEK 16

Dear Momma,
   
     I am doing alright. I am still in a lot of pain but I know that everything is going to be ok.  I am working when I can and sometimes when I can't.  Don't worry, I am doing alright and I am being helped a lot by the Lord.  
   
     I have been taking Tylenol every so often and I haven't been able to talk to the doctors about anything like steroids yet.  I signed a release form so that you can know everything so I'm pretty sure you should be able to know everything that they do.
    
     An Elder Davis CTR ring means that it's a nice CTR ring from Deseret Book.  And what I mean exactly by "Elder Davis" is just that it is a ring that you could see me wearing and that would look nice on me.
  
     I was able to do a little bit of work this week.  We had MTE's this week and very fortunately, I was able to work the whole day and we were able to see a lot of cool things and find some more people as well.
 
     My back is actually pretty bad. Even with my high pain tolerance, it is still pretty painful and hard to do anything besides standing and laying down.  But I am still doing everything I can and more.  The Lord is really helping me a lot and it is really cool to see that.
 
     I have not heard anything from the doctor yet.  I have been drinking a lot of water so I am pretty sure that it is not kidney stones.  I drink about a gallon each day.  

     I don't really need anything right now that I can think of.
 
    Elder Karlinsey actually doesn't get much from home because his parents live in Costa Rica and can't really send him anything through the mail.  I think that he might some might like some candy or something like that  or maybe something that has to do with the Major League soccer team: Barcelona.
 
    The next set of transfers are at the end of this month! My companion and I feel like he is going to get transferred since he's been here like 8 months already.  I pretty much feel like I am staying here in Poway for a while because Elder Karlinsey is probably leaving and they most likely wouldn't send both of us because they need a missionary that knows the people in the area and what not. 
    
     Our investigators are doing alright.  We just added another one on Thursday and we have an appointment with her tonight!
 
    As for my testimony:  I know that this church is true.  I know without a doubt that this is the exact place where I need to be at this time, in this state, in this area, in this zone, in this district, and with this companion.  I have seen so much increase in my testimony and my stature as a man.  I KNOW that without the Lord's help, I would not be able to do anything even close to what I am doing with the language now.  I know with all my heart that the Book of Mormon is true and because of that, Joseph Smith was and is a true prophet and that the church is true as well.  I know that the power of the priesthood is real.  I know that I am definitely being watched over by angels above and especially by Nana. I know that without my parents, I would be nothing.  I know that with the trials I have gone through and am going through now, I am being made a better man and will some day be the man that Heavenly Father wants me to be.
 
    As far as spiritual experiences this week, I had an interesting one last Tuesday.... I was on the phone with Pres. Clayton and he was telling me that I would probably have to go home for the scans and then come back. It was interesting because right as he said this, I was overcome by the spirit. I still don't know why exactly that happened because me going home didn't even happen.  Maybe it was just the spirit of the comforter telling me that everything was going to be okay and that things are actually being done.
 
     I love you so much mother and am so glad to have someone so AWESOME and special as you. You are my rock and I am super lucky to have you in my life.  I know that all this with my health right now is happening for a reason and I know that it will all turn out sometime.  I just need to hang in there and do what Heavenly Father wants me to.
 
     Sorry for how this has all made you feel.  I know it must be hard for you.  But I also know that everything is going to be fine and you will be comforted as well.
 
     I love you with all my heart dear Mother. You mean the world to me.
 
     Love,
     Elder Davis
 
P.S.  And as much as it hurts to say this.... I can't send any pictures this week because I have not been able to take any new ones....... :(
 
 
 
 
Pops,
   
     As for things with my scans and what not, I am not at all worried about it being Hogkins again but I just have this feeling and am pretty sure that it is nothing to do with muscles or anything like that. Something is happening back there that just isn't right.  But the doctors office said they'd call me when they knew more about what's going on with the scans.  I gotta say that I am not very happy with how things are going.  I have been dealing with this for about 7 weeks now and it has been getting worse.  I don't feel like the doctors have done much to help the situation.  It is hard for me because I am in a lot of pain and I want to be out there working and helping the people but I can't because my body won't let me.  I have had a really hard time lately Dad.  I feel like I am not fulfilling my purpose as a missionary and I fear that my back will get worse and they will send me home.  I am super stressed and worried all the time.  I also feel bad because I have been very prideful and gone out and worked even when I know that I shouldn't.  I want to know what's going on so that I can fix it and do what I came out here to do. 
 
     Wow, sorry for that whining session... With all that I have just told you, there is of course still some good things that have come out of it all.  For one, I have had a lot of time to rest and study. Another good thing is that I have been gaining a better knowledge of the scriptures and that I am progressing in the language as well.  I also have learned a lot about pride and have become a lot more humble.   I feel like I have grown a lot since I've been out on my mission and I am grateful for that.  I know that I will finish my mission. Whether it be here in San Diego and all at the same time, I don't know.  But I do know that I will finish.
   
     My investigators are doing well.  ***** is doing great.  We feel like she might actually act and do something so that she can be baptized this week.  We actually added a new investigator this week as well! Her name is ***** and she asked us to come by tonight so we'll see how that goes!
 
     Love,
     Elder Davis

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

ROLLERCOASTER

After receiving Taylor's email today we put in a call to the mission nurse to see why the scans had not been performed.  She seemed quite surprised and said she would start calling to see what was going on.  Next thing I know I received a call from the oncologist's office in California.  They said that our insurance would not give pre-authorization for the scans.  They asked that I call our insurance company and get things worked out.  According to the insurance company it wasn't a matter of pre-authorization. They informed me that the scans had actually been denied based on how the doctor's office had filled out the paperwork.  They said the doctor must call back and speak with one of their physicians and say the exact words they needed to hear or the scans would not happen. 

I was more than frustrated.  I kneeled down and said a prayer.  I didn't know what to do.  I wondered what the possibility of Taylor flying here for testing and then flying right back would be.  I called Shane to see what he thought.  Without me ever mentioning Taylor flying here, he brought up the exact same thing.  I knew I needed to inquire about the possibility. 

I then spoke with Sis. "R" and she said she would check on it and get back with me. A short while later she called and said they were just waiting on approval from the First Presidency and for me to see when PCMC could see Taylor. 

It was after 6 pm so no one was available at PCMC.  I called the minute they opened the next morning and they said they could see him as soon as Monday.  I let Sis. "R" know and she said she would get with Pres. Clayton and see about final arrangements.  I felt a sense of huge relief.  The doctors here know Taylor so well.  He has been going to them for over a decade.  They are familiar with his abnormalities (lymph nodes, spleen, platelets) and I think they will be able to figure out what is going on.

The relief didn't last long.  Within an hour Sis. "R" called and said the doctor had now gotten approval from the insurance company to perform the scans and they were scheduled for Saturday morning in California.  We weren't sure how to feel about this.  In the end it came down to the fact that President Clayton has stewardship over our son at this time and we will abide by his decisions. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

WEEK 15

Pops,
  
I just want you to know how much I appreciate how much you talk about missionary work and the Gospel.  I have really been making an effort to consecrate myself and by you doing that, it makes it a lot easier for me focus on the work in my emails and in my letters.  Thank you for praying for my investigators. It means a lot to me.
 
The reason why I can not use dropbox is because the only websites we are able to use at missionaries are lds.org, mormon.org, and myldsmail. So sorry that you set that up for me and I can't use it.
 
CONGRATS with things with the job!!! That is so awesome that you will be leaving that terrible situation and that you will be so much happier.  That makes me very happy and I super glad to hear that.  I have been praying that you guys back home will be blessed for your sacrifices. It makes me happy to know that you will much happier with work because I know how it has been very hard and tiring because of certain reasons.
 
As for missionary work, you are always in my prayers and I will continue to make sure to keep doing so.  I don't have suggestions really but I can tell you what I have learned.  Sometimes, okay a lot of the time we don't know if our thoughts are the Spirit or just our own thoughts and something I have learned is that if I have a thought to do something good, I just do it.  Over time when we have had the Spirit in our lives for a while, our thoughts start become like the Spirit. So, if you feel like you should do something that is good, just follow Nike's motto and "just do it".  The Lord will recognize your faith and will bless you in your efforts.  That's what I can think about right now. I will tell you a personal experience in my letter.
 
Thanks so much Pops for all you do. I love you and I want you to know that you are the Boss!
 
Love,
Elder Davis




Dear Mom,

Sorry that things have been so stressful lately!  It has been about the same for me.  I am doing alright. I feel like my back has gotten progressively worse in the past week or so and it is really bugging me not knowing what it is.  My companion has had to pretty much force me to stay in and rest because you know me, I always try to work even I know that I shouldn't. 
 
Sister "R" has been a big help and the doctor didn't do a very good job at diagnosing me correctly.  It is not even a surety that I have enlarged lymph nodes in my back.  That is just what he said he "thinks".  Yes my platelets are low and no they are not lower than normal.  And the "fungal infection" is on my arms and my neck. 
 
Sorry that the communication is so terrible. I still have yet to hear back from the doctor saying when my scans are.  I am going to call Sis. "R" after I am finished with emails.  I am really thinking that is either something that could be cured with steroids or the cancer. I actually had what I thought was a prompting to mention anabolic steroids to the doctor the next time I see him.  I have heard of stories with people that had cancer and back problems after and they were given steroids to heal them. 
 
All in all, I am still worried about cancer of course because it is getting worse even with me resting and what not.  I hope to figure out what it is this week so we can stop stressing so much.  I have thought about coming home to get it taken care of. Especially if it turns out to be cancer.  I got a blessing the other night and something that it said was, "You will finish your mission. Whether it be all here or now, your Father in Heaven does not see fit to tell you right now."  Whatever the outcome, I know that it is what needs to happen.

It's just been hard for me because I have been worried about being sent home and it has been hard to look through pictures and be reminded of home. Especially the pictures of me going through cancer.  I really don't want to leave this work but I almost feel like that is what is going to happen.  I want you to know that I do appreciate the pictures and the book of all the written notes from everyone.  I know it must have taken lots of work.  I have been trying really hard to not have thoughts about going home because I need to focus on the work right now. 
 
Onto happy things.... Ideas for Christmas presents.... I have no idea! I actually would like something  in a package or something. I was wondering, could you like not send me a package for a few weeks to save money and then send me a nice CTR ring with an Elder Davis style? That would be awesome!  I have no idea as to how the phone call will take place on Christmas. It is still pretty far away and we haven't got a lot of updates. All I know is that all the missionaries will be getting together for a party.  Not really any plans for Thanksgiving either.  The work is going great and we are doing well.
 
Oh and thank you so much for the packages!!! They were super cool and I will use them when I need them. Of course the candy always comes in handy too.  My 100th day was pretty good. We basically just studied a lot and what not. But we had some really good studies and it was great.  Halloween was the same day and nothing went bad, so that was nice too.

I am doing okay. The Lord and my friends here are really helping me out.

I appreciate all the prayers. I know that the Lord is allowing all this for a reason and I am learning a lot.  I have to go now but I hope you have a great week and I will have Sis. "R" keep you updated on things. Thanks for all you have done to help with the doctors! It's nice to have a Mom that knows what she's doing. I love you with all my heart.
 
Le amo con todo mi corazon! Usted es el mejor Mama en todo el mundo!
Con Amor,
Elder Davis
 
 

Monday, November 4, 2013

LETTER DATED OCTOBER 29, 2013

I am doing pretty good minus my back of course.  And yes, I usually do emails before I get mail.  I will usually do emails around **** on Tuesdays.

The picture of the baby is super cute!  I can't wait to find out if it is a boy or a girl!  I'm so happy for Colton and Shannon!

I am sorry to hear about Pops being so sick! :(  That's no fun at all!  But I know that you took good care of him. :)

I am also sorry to hear about ***!  Her situation is very common because a lot of the time members don't do enough at fellowshipping or the missionaries don't follow up after investigators are baptized.  That why member missionary work is so important.  Just keep doing what you are doing. :) She just needs a friend like you. :)

I can't go to firesides like that because we are only able to go to things like that on Tuesdays and Tuesdays are always super busy.  Sad I missed out, but I know it was good.

I will be sure to let Sis. "R" know how the doctor goes tomorrow. :) Thanks you so much for all that you have done to help things out! :) I know that I wouldn't have an appointment tomorrow if it wasn't for you! :)

Things are going great with ****.  We sadly have not had any progress with him.  We have stopped by multiple time but he hasn't been there.  As for ****  - she has a baptismal date!  Granted, she still needs to *******. 

**** is our only progressing investigator.  She came to church and to the Halloween activity and we have an appointment with her tonight!  **** hasn't been doing anything.  We haven't been able to see him either.  We really thought he was prepared. 

My favorite experience so far was when **** called us up and asked us we were going to teach her.  It was so awesome!

As for dropbox, unfortunately I can't use dropbox due to computer limitations.  But thanks for trying to set that up for me.

Thank you for the packages as well!  I promise not to open them until Halloween!

Thanks for all your help mom and for the amazing mother that you are!  Other missionaries are definitely jealous! And they should be!  I am SUPER lucky!  I LOVE YOU SO MUCH MOMMA!

Thank you Dad for all you have done for me and all that you still do.  I love and respect you more that anything.  I'm glad we are as close as we have become.  Have a superb week!

Love,
Elder Davis

Thursday, October 31, 2013

THINGS ALWAYS LOOK BETTER IN THE MORNING

Things always look better in the morning.  Or in this case, the afternoon!  Last night we asked the mission nurse to find out why the scans had not been performed and when they would take place.  She called this evening and said somewhere along the lines (due to so 3 doctors, Taylor and herself) being involved, that there had been some miscommunication. 

Taylor's platelets are low, but his platelets always run on the low side.  Same with his enlarged lymph nodes.  The fungal infection is common with missionaries serving in humid areas.  The scans were not run because the oncologist believed he was to run an MRI only and wasn't sure it needed to be done.  So that is why the CT didn't happen.

We are still not happy about the scans not being done, but are more at peace with the other things. 

Within a few minutes of receiving this information, we received an email containing a picture of Taylor's district.  It was taken by someone who was friends with a former missionary who served in the are where Taylor currently is.  She sent the picture to her friend, who then sent it to a friend, who sent it to a friend, who then sent it to us.  Taylor looks good.  Even like he may have gained some weight.  (Which would not be happening if the cancer was back.)

We know that the Lord is watching over us and our missionary son.  We know that he is mindful of what we can handle and that he sent these tender mercies to ease our minds this day.   

HAPPY 100TH DAY ELDER TAY!

The only thing that got me through the night (besides prayer) was knowing that today Taylor would be opening his 100th day care package and hoping and praying that it left him feeling loved and happy.

100 days doesn't seem like that long.  Unless you look at it in the perspective that there are still 630 more left until we see Taylor again.  There are days that I don't think I could possibly miss him more than I do. But those feelings ALWAYS fail in comparison, to the fact that he is where he should be!  That I wouldn't want him any where else and that I couldn't possibly be more proud of the work he is doing!

Thank you to the 112 people who contributed to the 100 reasons why we love Taylor book!  Happy 100th Day Elder Tay!













Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WARD FAST AND DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENTS

After receiving Taylor's last two emails, we have been worried.  We have planned to fast for him today ever since we found out about his testing.  As the day wore on yesterday, we felt like he needed a little more help than just our family of five could offer.  We notified our Bishop mid day about our concerns, but he didn't get the message until 8:30 p.m.  Within 30 minutes emails and phone calls went out and we were blessed with the love and support of the Harvest Hills 7th ward.

Taylor's appointment was set to happen mid morning.  Having gone through labs and scans with him more times than I care to count, I knew the process may take all day.  Shane and I decided if we hadn't heard from the mission nurse by 5:30 MST we would give her a call.  When we did, she didn't have any information.  She hadn't heard from Taylor so she said she would call him and call us back.

This is what we were told.  Taylor's platelets are low.  He has enlarged lymph nodes in his back which may be causing the pain and he has some sort of fungal infection.  Low platelets and enlarged lymph nodes are good signs that his cancer may have returned.  We were devastated! 

We were also told that the Dr. did not perform the MRI or the CT.  It wasn't clear as to why.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

WEEK 14

    I am doing good this week. Besides being nervous and what not about my appointment tomorrow, I am doing well.  I hope that it isn't just a big waste of money where they just say that I need to see a chiropractor or something dumb like that because I have tried everything that I can to get it fixed.  I know that whatever happens is what needs to, but I hope that it's at least something that wouldn't be a waste of money. 

    I didn't tell you anything about the doctor because he didn't really tell me anything. He said he doesn't know what is going on but that he would try to get things set up with the oncologist so that we can get this taken care of.
 
   Thanks for all your help and I will call Sister "R" today and ask her to check the things that you have informed me of.  I am really hoping that it all gets worked out because I don't want to be held back any longer.  That being said, I still have been working as hard as I can.  My companion has taken good care of me and has made me rest when I really needed to.  You know me and how I always try to do more than I can.
 
    Thank you for the encouraging words and what not.  I actually kind of do feel like it is cancer of some sort. To be honest, I am scared for what the outcome will be. I know my work here is far from over but I am worried because I feel like my health is hindering the work and I feel bad that I am bringing my companion down because we aren't able to work the whole time.  But that being said, I am giving it my all and I am doing all that I can for what is going on. I hope that tomorrow will solve everything and that I can stop stressing out.
 
    Thank you for being such a great mother and knowing exactly what to say to me.
 
   I am working really hard and doing everything I can to fulfill my purpose and I definitely have been helped a lot by the Lord. There have been times where I have been in super pain but we needed to teach a lesson and I would just go into the lesson knowing that I will have the strength that I need and be able to do what I need. I remember one time in specific that I was really hurting but I went into an appointment that we had and as soon as we started talking, the pain was taken away and we were able to have a very spiritual lesson.  I can definitely feel all the prayers and I know that wouldn't have happened if I wasn't doing the Lord's work and having faith that he would help me out.
 
    The work is going great! We have an investigator with a baptismal date!  The baptism is for *****. Don't get too excited because we don't know how it's going to  turn it but we have the faith that we can dunk her soon.  LOL.  She still needs to take that step to change so that she can be baptized.  But
 
      As for Halloween, I don't know what we are going to do.  We also have to be inside before dark but we might just make a big dinner and study and watch church movies or something like that.
 
      I have been trying really hard to consecrate myself to the work and it has really helped.  Besides my family, the thing I miss the most is music.  Yes, I have an MP3 player with music but it just feels like it's all the same.  But I am working on that.  Of course I am an easy going guy so I don't really struggle with being homesick yet.  The thing I DON'T miss would probably be the drama from high school.  
 
    Thank you for always looking out for me and being the AMAZINGLY AWESOME Mom that you are! I love you so much!
    
    Thank you so much for everything sweet Mother! I love you!
 
    Love,
    Elder Davis