Tuesday, December 30, 2014

WEEK 75

   This is kind of weird emailing you because I feel like I just talked to you, but at the same time, I feel like it's been forever.

    I am feeling pretty good actually. I feel almost completely back to normal and I feel like the z-pack actually helped quite a bit. I don't think the bronchitis is completely gone but I think it is for the most part.  I am doing pretty good.

   We actually were able to get out a lot this week but nobody was home because of Christmas.  But it was a good week. We were able to see Josefina and had a pretty good lesson with her so that was pretty good.

   Christmas day was pretty nice. We had a pretty good breakfast with some members, then we went to the Shaw's and I got to talk to my beast of a family!  Then we had lunch with the Shaw's.  Then we weekly planned and then we went to dinner with the Mecate's and that was nice. Then we went out caroling for the remainder of the evening and that was pretty much it.  Since then we have been just trying to see people like normal.

   For New Years Eve we don't have much planned. We are going to go help at the food bank again that morning  and then there is a member that we are pretty good friends with that's leaving to go to Utah for school, so she's taking us out to dinner that night. Then we have to be in the house at 6.  But it will be alright.

   I have to agree that it is pretty mind blowing that there are only 2 days left of 2014!!!  Holy Poop!

   I have been really fighting trying to think about when the time comes that I will come home and all that, but I've learned on my mission that it's better to "work with the end in mind." Yeah sure I'm gonna be excited that I'm coming home and I'll be ready for it, but I'll still wanna work hard and get things done so I don't waste my time, other people's money and most importantly, the Lord's time.  I've learned from some of my mission friends that if you spend too much time trying not to be "trunky" that it makes it worse and you just drive yourself crazy and end up even more trunky.  So that's my motive and I am confident that it will work.

   Things with Elder Shoup are going great.  My relationship with him is pretty much like any of my other companions. We get along pretty well and we both want to get work done and all that. He's just a little quiet and not that emotional.   So you can imagine that we get along pretty well.  Haha!  He's got a really big heart though and he and I have had some pretty good talks.  His mission has always been kind of like mine so we relate to each other pretty well.  Our relationship with the other Elders is pretty good as well.

   As far as the clothing comments I made, I just meant that some stuff died but I am totally fine and will be golden for the rest of my mission.  I would like some sweats though.  As far as sweaters, maybe one more might be good because I only have two and one is just a vest and doesn't do much for me.  I didn't think I would actually get cold on my mission but here I am...   Other than that, I don't really need anything. :)  I think I am doing great besides that.

   You know what, I thought that talking to everyone would make me homesick and all that this time, but it actually didn't. That still has never ceased to amaze me for my entire mission. I just hope I can make it 6 more months without getting homesick or short timer syndrome.

   And please do not worry about the whole room thing. (During our Skype he asked to see his bedroom and we had to break it to him that Jonah was using it until he got home.) I noticed that you were a little worried about it but I want you to know that everything is fine and it actually didn't bother me at all.  It seems like it was pretty convenient for everyone so that's all that matters. :) So please don't feel bad or anything. :)

   Anyway, our email time is really messed up today so I have to go for now.  Know that I love you and I am thankful for all that you have done for me. You are the best and I look forward to chillin', messin' up some zombies and having those deep spiritual convo's that you know we're gonna have.

   Love you!

   Love,
   Elder Taylor C. Davis

Taylor opening his gifts on Christmas morning.  He said other than the watch his companion gave him, the ties were his favorite gift.  He said he looks like a little kid in the pictures because the ties made him cry.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

WEEK 74

 
  Hey there, what's crackin?  So sounds like things are going well over there.  My week wasn't super great because Elder Shoup and I got sick... and have been sick since Wednesday, which happened to be the day of zone conference.

   But it's ok because zone conference was actually really good! We had Elder Nielson of the 70 with us and it was actually a really good meeting.  We talked a lot about going back to the basics and I have been trying to do that for a while so that was kind of nice.

   The best part of it was easily the spirit that was felt there. It is incredible how much more I can feel the spirit in places like that.

   I learned that you have to be good at the small and simple things before you can be good at the big ones.

   The drive was okay. Our legs were super sore after sitting for so long but overall, it was worth it.  

   Unfortunately we were not able to do much this week because we both got super sick and are finally recovering.  I talked to Sis Schmitt and she had me go to the doctor.  I am picking up a Z-pack today to get better.  (I might have Bronchitis.) I have a sore throat, runny nose, congestion, deadly cough, head ache and I had a fever a couple days ago.  I don't think it's anything with being cold though. The doctor said it was probably just something viral.  The valley isn't too much colder than everywhere else, which is nice.  Plus I have plenty of warm stuff.  :)  But I have had some some good studies while I've been sick. :)

   It really is crazy how fast this year has gone! I can't believe that a year and a half ago I was just starting my mission! That just blows my mind.  I feel super old (as a missionary) when I tell people that this is my second Christmas away from home and I have already had 2 birthdays in the mission.  It really has been a good experience and I am glad that I still have 200 days left.  This week has been a bit of a disappointment because we have been sick all week and have not really seen anyone. :( But that just means that this coming week is going to be insanely awesome! We're going to baptize the world and set it on fire!

    So our plans for Christmas Eve are helping with a food bank in the morning, and dinner with a member, then caroling! Our plans for Christmas are pretty cool.  We're having breakfast with members, then we're going to another member's house to call home! :)  Then we're having lunch with them, then we're going to help feed the homeless and then have dinner with someone else.  Then we're going to probably go caroling. :) So it should be a good day.

    So were the letters to the families okay??   I think you should show the new nativity video instead of the he is the gift. You can just go to YouTube and type in Piano Guys Nativity and should find it. Plus it's a perfect opener for the he is the gift video.  :)

    So I am going to be calling around 10 o'clock here so whatever time it will be there, around that time.  I will have about 40-45 minutes so be ready! :)

    I can't believe Christmas is such a short time away!!  It has really come and snuck up on me fast.  I hope that your gifts will make it to you in time but it looks like they will make it after Christmas.
:( 

   I haven't gotten any mail since the 12 days of Christmas package but I should get the rest tomorrow.  :)  

   Other than that, I am super excited for everything. I love you and hope you enjoy this email. :) I love you and am grateful for all the things you do for me each day. I thank you for giving me life and helping me know what the gospel is.  I am not sure what to say other than I love and appreciate everything you do for me. I am so glad for your example and everything you have taught me. I sure did enjoy home teaching the Higbee's. Make sure to give them and the Randall's my love.

   I love you and can't wait to talk to you on Thursday! :)  I will talk to you soon. :)  Love ya!

   Love,
   Elder Taylor C. Davis

Thursday, December 18, 2014




   As I thought about what I would send Taylor for Christmas this year, I  tried to think of something meaningful, that would help him feel the love and support of those who mean so much to him. Worldly things have never had much meaning to Taylor and I truly don’t know that they ever will.
  As I pondered what would express this to him, I found myself missing his smiling face at the sacrament table. I thought of him blessing the sacrament. I thought of the example he is to me, of all that is good and true. I thought of all the men who have influenced his life and helped mold him into the man he is.
   A few days later, I was sitting in sacrament meeting. I once again, noticed the 1st counselor in our bishopric (Jeff Perry's) tie. (I swear every week I think, "He/his wife have good taste! I bet Taylor would love that tie!") That's when the thought came to me, "What if I collected a few ties from people who mean a lot to Taylor." And from there the idea snowballed. I put out word to his grandparents, cousins, YM leaders and a few dear friends, asking for a tie from their closet. I also asked that they attach a favorite Christmas Memory, missionary moment, a Christmas thought/quote, Christmas scripture, or why the tie had special meaning to them.
   The very next day I was blessed with a tender mercy. Apparently I wasn't the only mom who had this idea. I found an amazing poem online to go with these ties.
    I wept many tears as I put the finishing touches on this Christmas gift for Elder Davis. I am humbled by the love shown to this sweet boy and to our family through those who made this gift possible. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for sharing your love with us! This gift will mean so much to him!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WEEK 73



 So you are never going to guess where I am right now......  Got a guess?  Well guess what? I am in the Imperial Valley!!!!!  About 100 miles outside of San Diego.  It has been quite the change to say the least.  I have to say that I am happy though.  

   My companion's name is Elder Shoup and he is a really good guy.   Elder Shoup has been out for about 10 months and he is from Texas.  We are in a car and we live with two other Elders  so that is kind of fun to have that again.  It's kind of super weird though because I am in an English ward........ What the heck?  But our ward has Spanish translation so thank goodness I am still teaching in Spanish.  Phew!!!  Other than that, I can't think of much to report. 

   We are super rushed today because we have like no time to email because the computers weren't working earlier. But at least I get to email for like 10 more minutes. :) 

    After transfer meeting we drove for two hours out to my new area and that was fun in itself.  We even get to make that 2 hour trip four more times this week!  Twice for tomorrow for zone conference and twice for the Christmas party.  So that should be fun.  

    As far as my responsibilities in this area, I am just a regular missionary. It's kind of nice so far.  But I will miss the perks that come with being District leader.  Right now we are a district of 6 and we are pure Elders.  Everyone says the Valley is super awesome and a great place to serve so I am pretty pumped. They have also said that I will probably finish my mission here since everyone here stays here forever.

    As far as disobedience goes, yeah things like that are common in most missions. It happened here a while ago. The Valley used to be a place where they would send all of the disobedient missionaries.  But it has since changed and is now just another area in the mission where everyone wants to go.   Elder Shoup and I both agree that we are going to be exactly obedient and work hard.  So we'll see how well that goes.

    Things are pretty interesting out here.  We don't have many investigators yet but we do have a dude named Rafael that we saw last night and we have a lady named Josefina who is the mother of a super solid member of ours. We have done a lot of service this week though and that has been fun. We helped a member put up her Christmas lights, swept an old lady's house and we are going to help set up for a garage sell today. 

   Looks like everything is going well back home.  How is Beechop??? 

   I  did get both packages you sent.  :)  Our apartment is decorated and I am feeling the Christmas spirit and am super pumped for Christmas! I will be sure to actually take some pictures this week so you can see the greatness of the valley!!!!!!!!!!!

   I can't believe that Christmas is so soon!! It has been hard because I have been thinking of what I can send home for everybody and can't come up with anything. Mail is super sketch here.

   Don't really have any highlights from anything though. I am sure that will change tomorrow .  :)   I gotta go for now. :) I'll send a letter with more info tonight. :) 

   Know that I love you and appreciate everything that you do.  You will never know how much everything means to me.  :) 

   Love you!

   Love,
   Elder Taylor C. Davis

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WEEK 72

 


  So I am doing pretty good this week. Things have gone pretty well actually. It has been hard to feel the Christmas spirit but I am really feeling it lately! How cool it is to be a missionary serving around this time. With the "He is the Gift" initiative that the church is running, it has made it a lot easier to get people to open up and feel the Christmas spirit.

  The investigators are doing alright. Last night we had a pretty sick lesson with a Lady named Elba that we added. It was super sick because she said she knew we were sent by God, she felt the spirit and she wants to go to church this Sunday AND the temple to see the lights!! Super sick!! I sure hope that comes to pass and that she can progress really quickly. Especially if I get to stay another 6 weeks.    As for Josh, we aren't teaching him or Pam anymore. The other missionaries are since the ward split. But I am keeping tabs on both of them. Josh wants to know if the church is true but he hasn't got an answer yet. We think he is waiting for some big sign or event to happen before he can decide to be baptized. Josh and Francisco are still kind of just trucking along on the verge of being dropped, Yadira actually called us a few weeks ago and told us that she wouldn't be able to meet with us for a few weeks but that we could call in December so we will of course be doing that this week! Andres is doing really good though. He has been to church the past two weeks for all 2 and half hours! His mom brought him last week and his Grandma brought him this week. We saw him last night and he is doing great.

  Sad to hear that Bishop is doing so bad... I have been praying for him every night and I even fasted for him as well. Please make sure to tell he and his family that I love them and they are in my prayers!!

  Glad to hear that Dylan is doing better as well. It sounds like the family is finally growing up and learning to love each other like family. That makes me very happy that Auntie Julie and Colton and Shannon came down for the devotional. I have been praying very hard for them too. Could you send me their address so I can send them something?

  I did enjoy the Devotional. It was actually really good. The Church is doing a great job at helping others focus on the TRUE meaning of Christmas this year!

  Pops - Thanks for what you shared about the devil being bound. It's actually kind of funny because that's actually the exact topic that we discussed in gospel Principles on Sunday so that was really cool.

  For Christmas, we do not have plans yet as it is still pretty far away. But we have gotten a couple soft invitations and of course we will be calling home so that will be cool. As far as a time, I am clueless right now but I will know next week.

  The calendar has actually been really nice. It has brought a great spirit into my studies and I am so grateful for that. Thank you so much! I can't express how much it means that you always go way above and way beyond to make sure I feel special. You're the best Momma!

  We were hanging on the edge of our seats for transfer calls! So we just got calls.............. I am getting transferred.... It will be hard to leave here because it's like home now... but I am super pumped to see where I'll go now! I'll find out where I'm going tomorrow.

  Know that I love you and that you are awesome!!! I am so grateful for everything that you do for us boys. I hope this week bodes well for you and that you enjoy it and feel the Christmas spirit!!

  Love.
  Elder Taylor C. Davis

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

WEEK 71

 

  It's good to hear that your Thanksgiving went so well and that you enjoyed it so much! Mine was pretty good too. We were invited to two families' homes and it was sooooo good! We had a lot of traditional foods like mashed potatoes, turkey, rolls and of course ham. What was a little different was what we had at our 2nd appointment... We had chicken chocolate mole.  It is actually normal and common to Latin culture but is a little odd for Thanksgiving. But, it was still delicious and we were definitely stuffed!! 

   The thing that I liked the most was oddly the ham. It was super delicious!!! We didn't do any manual labor type service but Elder Strong and I made brownies and took them out to a bunch of people that night as well.  

   I do have to say that we did enjoy our meal that you sent us! Holy moly are you creative!! I almost thought it was a real turkey wrapped up!  I made sure to take some pictures.  :)



  I did get the Calendar. It is actually really nice and I am really enjoying it so far.  So thank you very much!  Thank you for being so on the ball and I could never thank you enough for all that you do!!
 
   What the Poopsicle it's December!!!!!!!!! I am glad to hear that you are already getting into the Christmas spirit. I am trying to do so over here but it's been kind of hard. But it is coming a long a lot better now. It being December helps a little.  
 
   Not much to report on the investigator front for this week. We haven't been able to see a lot of investigators due to the thanksgiving break.  But we have had a lot of luck with other people! Josh is doing well.  He still wants to find out if the church is true and he says he'll get dunked when he does. He just needs to get that answer.  Yadira is doing alright. She has been super busy so we haven't been able to see her, but she says she might be free next week.  Pam, one our investigators from a while back has a baptismal date though!! She also said she'd commit to coming to church! SICK!!!  The branch is actually doing pretty good.  All the auxiliary leaders have been called and set apart and things are moving quick. Every Thursday the leaders come out with us and we visit less actives. It's been pretty cool.
 
  The companionship is as good as ever.  I really do love Elder Strong and I am kind of sad but I feel like I will be transferred next week. I have really enjoyed our time together as companions and he's a good kid.  As far as Elder Strong goes, I am not ready to move on from him. But I think I'm ready to move on from Chula Vista. I have been here for a while and I have learned a lot here. I am glad that I have been here so long and experienced so many great things here. I am very confident that he is going to rock it after I'm gone. He is a beast and already is doing a lot. He came to me almost perfect.  But yes, transfers are next week. I am feeling like my days of Chula are over. *tear* But I know that wherever I go next will be where I need to be.

   We still are cooking a lot.  We have been trying to keep the apartment clean as well and that has been tough since we've been so busy but somehow we are managing to do it. Thank you so much for helping me gain a need and desire for cleanliness!!

   I am sorry to hear about Dan.  He means the world to me and I am really worried about him.  I will be sure and pray for him!
 
   That's about it for now. I'll send you some pictures! Love you!!!
 
   Love,
   Elder Taylor C. Davis

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

CHRISTMAS ADVENT & ORNAMENTS

We made this advent calendar as a family to send to Elder Davis.  He said he has a hard time feeling  like it is Christmas time when it is 70 degrees outside. We hope this will help.
The advent has a song, scripture and quote from a General Authority regarding the birth of the Savior for each day.  Once you have read done these, you take the card out and there is a picture of the Savior.



Transfers will be the second week in December so Elder Davis won't know for sure until then where he will be for Christmas.  We sent these paper ornaments with the names of Christ on them in English and Spanish for him to hang up until he knows where he will be.  This way he won't have to transport a tree.  We will send his tree once he knows where he will be. 

 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

WEEK 70




 
 The zone.
   It is pretty crazy to hear how nuts your week was! Dang! How on edge it must of been. How crazy it must have been to be so close to moving.  I actually have to smile at the results because I knew it would turn out that way. :)  I said a prayer on Tuesday night because I wanted to be a part of the spiritual process of the moving and knowing if we should move or not.  As I thought about it that day, I had the same feeling come over me and I heard my own words from a while back when I was talking about my family moving to Elder Sherman... I said, "they're not going anywhere anytime soon." These words gave me comfort and I was able to not think about it anymore and I have felt good about it ever since.  I would have told you but I got that feeling after we had emailed last week.

   Pops - Sounds like such a spiritual/painful week! I am sorry to hear that you threw your back out again. I think it is really cool that you are able to be so diligent in making sure that you do your exercises as well so you can heal faster. You really do amaze me in that regard. Especially that you still went to sacrament meeting. That alone shows that you know what the sacrament really means. I have really learned a lot in that regard the past few months.  I have learned that when we take the sacrament, it is almost as if we were literally going up to the savior and feeling the prints in his hands and his feet. As we partake of those emblems, we are like the Nephites... how cool is that!?

   So yeah your week was pretty cool. Ours wasn't bad either.
  
1.  I have not done anything yet for this act that you speak of. All I need to do is enter my social security number into my missionary portal though so it should be easy.

2.  I actually don't have MY Christmas tree but there is a small one in the apartment that we will probably use. I feel super bad though that I wasn't able to take mine with me. The Floyd's put so much thought into that and I feel bad I had to leave it.  I actually just remembered that I probably won't be here for Christmas anyway (in the apartment he is in now).
 
3.  Our week was pretty good. Andres didn't come to church so that was a little frustrating. But 2 less active members that we have been working super hard with, came to church.  So that was pretty cool.
 
4.  The best part of my week was probably when I went on exchanges with one of the missionaries in our district. It is so cool to be able to do that and to be able to get to know them better. We are pretty good friends now.
 
5.  I have a couple pictures from pday.  So you will get those. :)
 
6.  For Thanksgiving we have been invited to eat at two family's homes so will probably be doing that. Plus since it's Thursday, we will be weekly planning as well.  I will be sure to take pictures on Thanksgiving and during this week. You should also be getting something from San Diego this week so hopefully it arrives before Thanksgiving.  But it might not.  Don't get too excited about the mail though.  It's what I could do.
 
7.  Right now, the things that I am thankful for are many. More than anything I am thankful for the Savior and all that he did so that I can be clean and worthy to be on a mission and help others repent as his representative.  I am of course eternally grateful for the family that I have been blessed with in my life.  I'm grateful to have the opportunity to be on a mission and to learn so much. I'm thankful for the scriptures and the light they give us all. 
 
8.  Yes, I did get the meds and cookies. One word................... DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for that. MMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
   Well I love you!!! Thank you for everything you have done and for everything you continue to do for me! You are the best!  :)  I am very grateful for all that you teach me and do for me. I thank you for parenting me the way you have because I know it has molded me into who I am. I always have and always will have a very high respect for you. You have no idea of all that you have taught me.  If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't be here. More importantly, I don't think I would have learned the real power of the atonement like I have so far.
 
   Love,
   Elder Taylor C. Davis 

Friday, November 21, 2014

THANKSGIVING PACKAGE

We had lots of fun putting together Elder Davis' Thanksgiving package this year.  Last year he wasn't sure he would have a dinner appointment, so we sent him dinner in a box.  Last year we took a chance and shipped him a pumpkin pie (his favorite) and it arrived safely, so we knew we wanted to do it again this year.  I can not tell you how happy I felt as I purchased that stupid pie!
 This was so fun to make!  All of the items pictured above (other than the pie) were inside this turkey!

Holidays are a big deal around our house and holiday meals usually include an elegantly set table.  Taylor expressed that he missed that so last Valentine's day I sent him a tablecloth and cute paper goods to set his valentines table.  It seemed to mean a lot to him, so I have tried to send tableware for holidays.  I found this fun tablecloth at Wal-Mart and had to laugh as I thought of he and his companion coloring on it!  Totally included a new package of crayons in this package.
 Any of course you have to "cute" up the inside of the shipping box!  I didn't get to make it as cute as I wanted, because I was in a hurry, but hopefully he will still enjoy it!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

WEEK 69


 
   Wow what a week!! It has been crazy, fun, insane, powerful and just completely sick!! Andres our investigator was baptized on Friday and that was probably one of the best experiences of my mission so far! You are right that it is kind of like when Luis got baptized but it is very different at the same time. 

    To see someone from finding them yourself, teaching them, and them repenting and making all the changes necessary to be able to come unto Christ and be baptized in his restored church is better than anything yet that I have experienced in my life.  Andres is such a beast and his baptism was super sick!

    There were so many people there that we had to bring in like 3 loads of chairs from other rooms! I had the privilege of baptizing that young powerhouse of a little spirit and it was so sick!!! It took me back to my baptism and made me feel super happy knowing that I am helping other people be able to do this.

   It gave a strong confirmation that I am doing what's right and that this is where I need to be.   I still can't believe how much of a beast Andres is. He was confirmed on Sunday and that was yet another cool experience.  President Martinez ( the branch President) confirmed him and it was so cool. I felt the spirit so strong that it brought tears to my eyes. His family filled the entire first 3 rows of the church and it was amazing to see that happen. 

   Josh is still looking good for his baptism and it sounds like he is really gonna make it this time.  Pam is doing well too. Francisco however is kind of faltering a little.  He hasn't been reading, or praying, or coming to church. It makes me really sad but maybe it's not his time yet.  We did invite Yadira to the baptism but she has been super busy lately and she might be moving so we're hoping she just moves to another part of Chula. We'll see.  

   Sounds like things are going pretty well over there! It's sad to hear that everything with the house is still kinda lame but I know that it will all resolve itself.  We just have to use the 5th step of the Gospel and endure to the end.  It's the most difficult and takes the longest but it's the most rewarding. I know things will work out. :)
 
   There has been a scripture in my mind all morning and I thought it was to share with someone else but I feel very strongly impressed to share it with you as well. So here goes. It is: Alma 22:16 this is when Aaron is teaching King Lamoni's father.
     " 16 But Aaron said unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hopewhich thou desirest.  "
 
    I know things probably suck right now and that it's hard. But I know that you are being prepared by the Lord for something big. The worst thing you can do is give up. 
 
    I really love you and am grateful that you are such a solid member of the church and that you are converted.  Thank you for always being an example of faith and of love. I would be a sack of nothing without your example. I love you dearly and hope you enjoy this email.  
 
   This week we are going to go to a place called Sunset Cliffs up in Ocean Beach. It should be a lot of fun.   Our next transfers are in about 3 weeks.  So they are coming fast!
 
   Love you!
 
   Love,
   Elder Taylor C. Davis

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

WEEK 68



The "Comfy" couch.


    Not usually am I this excited about the sports updates but for some reason I am feeling pretty pumped!!   I feel like this week is going to be a good one.  You did a great job with your updates too because I was able to read them and basically live the game. So thanks for always doing that!! It really does make me happy!!

   So today I don't have a ton of time so I am going to just get down to business.... This week has been sick! Andres passed his interview and is ready for baptism!!! Ever better.... He's getting baptized on Friday and he wants me to do it!!!  So Sick!! Man it really has been cool to see him learn and grow so fast! It's crazy seeing such a giant spirit inside such a tiny body!!It's cool to think that he is one investigator that I have found, taught and am going to baptize.  How cool it has been to see him progress in the Gospel! He's such a champ!

   They haven't took the couch away yet so we are really enjoying it.  I am actually having to use it here and there because my chair that's at my desk really hurts my back. But hopefully we'll get new chairs soon.

    My last zone conference was about 2 months ago and we met in a stake center at Sweetwater. There were about 30 missionaries there.

    So far we don't have many plans for thanksgiving but we have received an invite so we'll hit that up for sure.

    Haven't really heard anything about iPads. We suspect that we will get them next month but nobody seems to know. 

   If I can find a member that will let us Skype on Christmas, I probably will.  Otherwise it will be a phone call.

   Elder Strong and I have cooked thinks like burritos, biscuits, french toast, pasta, all that fun stuff.
    
   Josh Has a baptismal date for the end of this month! I was so pumped when I found out. I love that kid!

   Today we are emailing from the Family History Center since the libraries are closed.

   The funnest thing I've done on P-day would actually probably have to be playing sports.  Yeah I have been to Ocean Beach and the Mormon Battalion and stuff like that but it's always so rushed since we have such little time.

   We can go to recreational places like museums and parks and bowling and that's all that I have done. 

   We are seeing  a lot of change in the branch. People are stepping up to callings, more people are coming back, and it is really taking off. The branch has more attendance than the ward now.
   
  As far as Christmas goes, I don't wanna ask for anything because I don't think I can haul anymore around than I already have.  My clothes are holding up fine.  Everything's good. I wouldn't mind a couple more pairs of CTR socks though. They're starting to get wholes in them and I might have a couple casualties before I go home.

   So yeah that's my life so far. Oh yeah! And we added a GOLDEN investigator named Yadira last night!! She is super cool and committed to reading the introduction of the Book of Mormon and pray about it! Ahhhh Yeahhhh.
 
   As always, I love you so much and I hope that you enjoy this email.

   Love, 
   Elder Taylor C. Davis

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

WEEK 67

 
 Mine and Elder Strong's Pumpkins
 My pumpkin
  Sporting the mustaches that were in his Halloween package.

     Week 67...has been crazier than crazy!!!  There has been so much going on and we have been super busy! But yes it has been good too.  :) 
     The continued training of Elder Strong is going really well. He's taking the lead in most situations and he says that he is finally understanding people.  So that makes us happy. 

     I am still the district leader and yes it is going great! I had been praying and talking to President about getting more missionaries in the district to help the work and it happened on Wednesday! So we have had a lot of meetings to help them get their new area and change things up a little.
    
     Our new apt is just me and the Terminator. It's pretty nice though.  The apartment that we moved out of is still a 4 man so I think you can say it was a success. :)  We didn't move too far from where we lived before but geographically we are in a way better place and it has actually become really nice! It's very roomy in some aspects and not so much in others.  Overall I think it's nicer because it has it's own washer and dryer.  So we will be saving like 40 bucks a month now!!!! It also has a lot of dining space. I will take more pictures this week to send you next Tuesday of what it looks like. 

      Pretty much every apartment is different. Ours right now has a comfy couch but the mission office informed us that they'll be taking that away soon. :(   You asked what we take when we move, usually we just what we can fit in the car to go.  Down here in Chula, most of the apartments have dishwashers so that has been nice. :)  Our apartment has a crock-pot, but usually that isn't very common. It pretty much all depends on who was living there before.
 
     We actually have been trying to cook more lately.  Elder Strong likes to cook and I do too. I was wondering if you could somehow make me a small, portable cook book of easy things to cook.  I know you have suggested it before but I think I'm ready for it now.

      On Halloween we had to be in by six and they gave us an assignment to study and it was pretty good. Once we were finished with that, we carved pumpkins and put them out on the porch. :)  

     I did get the package you sent and it was super cool. Thank you so much! I can't decide what my favorite thing was but I'd probably say the Reese's Pumpkins, the Reese's cake mix, or the tie. :)  How are you so creative!?!?!? 

     Things  with Andres are going pretty good. He came to church with his grandma on Sunday! Which was actually stake conference. SO SICK! Plus we saw him yesterday and he is SO ready to be baptized. We are going to schedule his interview today. :)  So yeah he's looking good for the 15th. :)   We are starting to see a desire of his grandma to take him to church. So that would be really good!

      The new branch is going along pretty well. I am super good friends with the Branch President so that always helps.  We have actually been having more attendance in the Ward so far, so that has been pretty good. Church is now at 9 so of course that is great for us. Minus the 7 am branch council meeting.

     We are still working really hard reactivating peeps - yes. There is a family that we have been working really hard with that is almost considered to be fully active again and it has been a lot of fun working with them! 

     What else is new? Hmm.  Well as you know, I have been in Chula since February so you can probably imagine that I am struggling with that.  But I actually have been loving it here. Yes, a change would be nice but I would be okay if I stayed here for another 3 months if that's what the Lord wants.  Anyway, last week at transfer meeting (Wednesday), President invited all the missionaries to pray to receive personal confirmation that we were where we needed to be. Well, this made me feel kinda cool because the Monday before that day, I had actually had a feeling that I was staying for sure and I prayed to know if that was actually what was going to happen and if it was where I needed to be.  But.... I had not received any type of answer yet. This experience seemed all too familiar... So since that day, I have been praying and still had received nothing. I started to doubt, I started to worry.  But when I was sitting there on the pulpit as part of the choir for stake conference, President Schmitt got up on the pulpit and said how there are 36 missionaries in the wonderful stake of Chula Vista. At this moment, I was overcome with the spirit. I felt the spirit so strong that it was the strongest I have felt the spirit in a LONG time.  I can't even explain how it felt, but it was almost like Nana was giving me a giant bear hug of the spirit. I hope to never forget that feeling. I know I need to be here and I am glad to be here. Chula is where it's at!

    Mom, I love you to death and appreciate all you you do for me to the very core of my being. You mean so much to me. 

    Dad - What a joy it is to read how well you are doing! You really have amazed me with your conversion. Especially since I have left home! It's just a testimony to me that Heavenly Father really does take care of you while I am away. Thank you for always sharing your powerhouse experiences and for sharing what you have learned from the Gospel. I hope to be as temple thirsty as you are when I get home!  Don't get me wrong, going to the temple once every 3 months as a missionary is unexplainable. But I'm not sure it competes with going every week.  Well Pops, I know you know I love you and I hope that you enjoy this week and feel that love for you.

    Love, 
    Elder Taylor C. Davis

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

WEEK 66

    May the force be with you! 
Sis. Todd, Elder Agnew, Elder Davis, Elder Strong, Elder Avery

     Mom, It makes me very happy that your birthday package pleased you so much and that you love it as much as you do. I thought you would like those things and it made me very happy that I was able to do more than just send you a "Deeds card."   From the looks of everything, it looks like your week was quite eventful and that you had a lot of fun!  It must have been cool to see the deer and everything! Did you catch a lot of fish?

    Dad, It must have been cool to be there when Uncle Auby and Grandpa killed the deer and to help gut it.  I wanna do that someday. Did you make like Red Dawn and drink the blood?  So I do have to say that I really like the blackout jersey's for Utah and I am blown away that they are doing so well! Maybe it's because I'm unable to watch them at all!  Wish I could say that about the 49ers though.  I might have you send me my 9ers tie to wear while I'm studying on Sundays. It really does make it easier that you give me updates every week though.  That makes it so I don't worry or feel "Homesick for Football" or anything like that.  So definitively don't stop giving sports updates!!!!

    Well not much has happened here in the sunny side of Chula Vista.   Just trying to help the Branch get on it's feet and all that fun stuff.  It's kind of cool though because a lot of less active members that weren't coming to church for a long time have started coming back and it has been super cool to see their bright faces there in the congregation, knowing that we have worked so hard with them over the past little while.  Very Fortunately, Elder Strong and I are both staying and neither of us is getting transferred!!  Heck yes!!!  So I get to finish his training and stay in the area for at least 6 more weeks. 

    We will be moving out of the 4 man apartment though. :( Due to the split and how our area is now.  We live outside of our area so we will be moving to live in our area.  So that will actually be kind of nice. I just don't know if we'll be living with other missionaries anymore.  So we'll see how everything goes. :)

     We did get to see Andres though and his great grandma was there. She is super cool and she told us a lot of stuff that we didn't know.  But a lot that we already know too.  Andres has a baptismal date for the 15th of November.  He is super pumped and everything and he's definitely ready.

    Thanks for your email and for the pics. I am so glad that you appreciated the package I sent home.  I love you with all my heart!!  Have a great week and remember that I love you!   I wish you the best for your week. I love you so much and appreciate all that you do for me.
 
     Love,
     Elder Taylor C. Davis



 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WEEK 65

   Phew! Sounds like you have had quite the crazy week. I guess you could say that our week was pretty cray cray too. But it looks like you had a good time. It was good to see pics of everybody.  It looks like you and pops are both looking pretty skinny!! I hope that Jonah's break goes well and that you enjoy the time you have with him. He needs to stop growing up so dang fast!! I'm going to have to pummel him into the ground again when I get back so he's not so tall! 

    I am not looking forward to having a crapple Ipood anytime soon but at the same time, I am. Apple aside, it will help us out a TON and make things SO much easier.  From what I have heard, we should get them around December. I have also heard that the missionaries that have been out for a while will not have to pay for them since it was introduced way after they started their missions.  So hopefully those rumors are true.

   About my back and my "flare ups", I actually haven't had any problems with either. Of course my back bugs me here and there but not enough to immobilize me like it once did. My stomach/ "shpleeen" has been about the same.  I have a had a couple of days that it has really bothered me but I have always been able to deal with it and still go out and teach. Thanks to the power of God and prayer that is.

    So this week was pretty interesting. Elder Strong and I ended up with a part of the branch that is mostly less active members and a couple really solid members.  That being said, we are super stoked to start this area fresh and add the world! Baptisms for dayz!!! We have already got a few families to come back to church and are trying really hard to get them to church.
 
     It has been hard saying goodbye to the members and investigators that we used to see a lot though. Especially Francisco, Pam, the Perez family (the family that threw me a birthday party), and even Josh tonight.  But we know that only good things will come from it and that they will progress better than when we saw them.  Saying goodbye to Francisco and the Perez family was really hard. I almost cried both times. But I know that everything is happening for a reason and that it will all turn out. It really becomes hard when you've been in an area for long and grow to love the people so much and then it's time to move on. But all will work out. :)  Not much more to report. Other than we are in a sick branch now and I am pumped to see what happens with everything. I actually worked with the Branch President before in my last area so we are already friends. That definitely helps out a lot. So yeah not too much to report. Just been trying to organize the district's new areas and this week should be sick!
 
   I am glad that you got your letter and I hope you aren't disappointed with it. There should be something else in the mail for you as well but I don't know if it will make it there before your birthday. P-day was crazy nuts last week and I barely had any time to do anything. But it's okay because I was able to do something. :)
 
   I am actually loving the new razor!!!!! It's way better than my old razor and I don't think I'll have to charge it for like a month or so.  It sure beats anything I've used before.

 
   Yeah so these pics were taken with our bishop before the split. It was pretty much our "farewell" for him because he is acutally an english attending member so we won't be able to see him anymore. He is super funny though and we wanted to take a silly pic.

    It has been crazy to see everything fly by so quickly!! Next week we wil find out if I'm being transferred or not. Yeah I know what you're thinking.... Already! Yep. It has already been almost 6 weeks since I started my journey with Elder Strong.  I am not sure what will happen because he still has 6 more weeks of training and I would like to be the one to finish it, but who knows. I have been in this stake for 9 months so anything could happen. I really don't want to change because I love this area and the people so much. Especially Elder Strong. He is a beast!!! But that fact in mind just makes me think that it will be reasons that I am bound to change. But whatevs. I'll go wherever he wants me to go. :)
 
    Mom, I hope that your birthday goes well this week and that you get your gift soon!!! Thank you for making me into the man/missionary that I am.  :) You definitely have a giant role in everything I am!  Love you!!!

    Thanks for all you do for me Pops. I sure do love you. I hope this weeek is full of fun and love and excitement. I hope you enjoy the temple and that everything goes well with Mom's birthday.

     xoooxXXOxxxoooooXooO

     Love,
     Elder Taylor C. Davis

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

WEEK 64

    Things have been pretty nuts this week!! Our ward was split into two units and I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off. But even then it has been super spiritual. In fact, Elder Strong and I just got out of a meeting with the mission president on how the new areas are going to be and who will be in the ward, branch and so on.  The split basically cut our area in half but we will inherit parts of a different area. So it will be fun to teach Elder Strong the area again.  It has been crazy busy, but crazy good. 

    I sure do love Elder Strong. He is a really good missionary and his desire to work no matter what just blows my mind. I have no doubt that he is going to make an even more excellent missionary and do great things in this area in the future. I know that a lot of the miracles that we are experiencing are just because of the fact that he is here. I love that kid.

     This week wasn't the best week ever but it turned out pretty good actually.  We were able to meet with Josh and Francisco but that was about it on the investigator front.  Francisco is really loving us and I am super worried for him because he will live outside of our Spanish unit and our area. I really hope he will accept the fact that we won't be able to come see him anymore.  Pam has been struggling with homework so we weren't able to see her but we did have a really good talk with her mom. :) Josh might be able to get a baptismal date tonight. 
 
     On the positive side, we actually have had a lot of success with less actives this week and they are coming back! We have a super good appointment set with two of them tomorrow. Andres is doing alright. His family is still finishing up getting things running again so we haven't taught him but we did see him yesterday and he is very excited for us to come over tomorrow. :)
 
    The apartment is going well. We live with two other English missionaries and it is a lot of fun. You'd be surprised at how well we keep it clean with that taken into account.  We are super close and have not heard anything from President though.
 
     I wanted you to know that I did get my razor but I haven't opened it yet. Thank you so MUCH!!! I will be sure to take care of it so it will last.  I did not however receive the other package/mail. Sister Soffe said it should come in later today so hopefully I can get it before next week.
 
    Not gonna lie, it sounds really weird to hear you say your are pregnant!  But I am glad that you are so excited.  :) I think you'll be even more excited when I tell you that you are actually " Missionary Pregnant" today! :)  I come home on the 14th, not the 15th! :) 
 
    My favorite part of my week besides talking to you would have to be sacrament meeting on Sunday. All the newly called men got up and bore their testimonies and it just blew my mind and the room was filled with the spirit. I know those men are called of God.
 
    As always, I sure do love you and thank you for all that you do for me. Especially how you inspire me every week. I love you and appreciate you.
 
    Love,
    Your Son
    Elder Taylor C. Davis

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

WEEK 63

 
 
 


    

       
    So it was a super good week!!  As you can probably guess, I enjoyed the heck out of conference!  It was really good!  It was so cool to be able to go to each session at the stake center and be able to participate as a missionary.  I think my favorite talk was the talk that President Uchtdorf gave in the Priesthood session.  I think it was titled, "Lord, is it I?"  I really enjoyed it and it taught me a lot.  One thing that I learned from conference was that I can do a better job at making sure that I am doing what is necessary to make sure that I would be able to KNOW that I didn't betray/offend Christ.  I also learned that I could be doing more in my life to make sure I am on track so that the blessings in my patriarchal blessing will come to pass as well.  There are a lot of things that are coming up quick. 
 
    Something else I really liked was how much everyone praised the Prophet. It taught me that I could do a better job at making sure that I am grateful for him and ALL that he does.  I also learned that I don't give you and Pops enough thanks or credit for all that you have and still do for me.  If it weren't for you I would not be where and not be who I am today.
 
     So yeah that was conference.  No investigators came so that hurt, because we got a few of them to commit to come.  But it's alright.  They are moving along pretty well.  Josh is meeting with us tonight so hopefully we can get him with a baptismal date again.  We are seeing Francisco on Thursday and we have high hopes for that one as well. We saw Pam on Friday and are going to see her again on Thursday as well.  We think that everyone is starting to progress and we could see some baptisms next month and maybe even this month.  We haven't seen Andres though but we have an appointment with him tomorrow. :)

     Performing those baptisms was really cool, I have to admit.  I was super nervous since it had been so long since I had baptized someone and the last person that I baptized was a little 9 year old girl who weighed nothing.  But the baptisms went perfect and I felt abnormally confident while I was in the font. Guess praying your brains out still helps me a lot.
  
    I actually did get to see Meet the Mormons last week, for zone conference. It was actually really good.  It was pretty much just a Mormon message on steroids. I highly recommend it though.
 
    I am glad that you asked if there is something you can do for me because I actually was going to ask for a bit of help.... I was wondering if you could some postage so I can mail a box to you with some stuff?  Could that be possible?  Also I wanted you to know that my Razor bit the dust yesterday.
The little guard that covers the actual blades busted and it started cutting me and then yesterday it just gave up.  I am surprised, because I have always made sure to take good care of it and everything.  I don't want you to have to buy another one though.  I can just use disposables for a bit.  My companion gave me a few that should last quite a while so I think I'll be good.  No need for you to spend more money. :)
 
    That's pretty much it to report. Except our miracle on Tuesday night!!! We were waiting that night for Josh to show up at the church and a member grabbed us and asked us if we spoke Spanish. We of course said yes and then she introduced us to one of her non-member friends that she had invited to the church for an activity and we taught her and added her right there!! We have another appointment with her tomorrow! So Sick!
 
     We went to the temple today and it was super good!!!!
 
     Mom, know that I love you more than anything.  I actually had a dream the other night that you and I were hanging out at the house and it really touched me.  It's comforting to know that even though you're so far away and have been and will be for so long, that Heavenly Father can still let me see your face and enjoy a little time with you and not have it hinder the work.  I really have been blessed in that regard on my mission.  Sometimes I think I should feel bad that I've never been homesick but at the same time I know that it's because I try my best to stay focused.  May the Lord comfort you and help you feel peace like I do.  :)  I love you sweet Momma!
 
     I can honestly say that I really am enjoying the heck out of my mission and I have loved every second of it.  It has been the funnest thing I have ever done in my life!
 
     Love your guts and hope this week goes well for you!
 
     Love you!
 
     Love,
     Elder Taylor C. Davis