Tuesday, December 31, 2013


  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!!
  Elder Davis

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


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.


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


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!
    Elder Davis

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


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.   



     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!   


   Elder Davis
      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!!
     Elder Davis

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


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!!
    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.
    Elder Davis

Monday, December 9, 2013


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


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!

Elder Davis

Monday, December 2, 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!

Elder Davis