Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Elder Davis & President Schmitt
   I am glad that me having a year under my belt makes all of you all so happy. I have been reflecting a lot lately and I have changed a ton in the last year.  I look back at the person I was at the beginning and can't believe how much the Lord has changed me. 
   Well this week was a pretty good week for me. Guess what!?!?!? I found my camera!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) Turns out I wasn't irresponsible.  You'll never guess where it was..... Yep! In my backpack!! The whole freaking time! Except to this moment I have no idea how that was even possible! I emptied it 3 times!!!! I am super happy that I found it! :) I was kind of upset at first when I realized that I had it the entire time. But yes, I know it was an answer to so many people's prayers and I thank everyone that had a part in that. :)  I am super glad that I found it and can use it again. You will be getting more pictures this week in the letter that I send home.  
   My "hump day" was pretty good. It wasn't much different than any other day. Elder Karlinsey texted me to say congrats and we had district lunch, but that was about it. I didn't feel the need to burn a shirt or anything either. But I did get your package and I loved it!!! I am still enjoying all the goodies and I think the camel idea was really cool. You are super crafty and smart as to coming up with things like that!!   You are super cool with the things you do. I know you probably feel like I don't appreciate all the little things you do, but I do. I am SUPER lucky to get a package every month and have a mother that loves and cares for me so much.
    My interview went well with the new Pres. He didn't have much to say. Just that he wanted to know a little about me and that he wanted to know how long I had been out, how long I've been in my area and all that jazz. Nothing too big or exciting.  I basically just told him how I used to not be able to talk to people very easily or study, hardly at all. But now, because of my mission, I can do both those things. :) The Lord has changed me so much in the last year.  But it is comforting to know that I am still the same person and have the same personality. :)  
   About the scans, I do not have to have 6 month scans anymore. :) Now it is every year. :) It is crazy that in September I will have been 3 years free of cancer. Dang have I learned way too much in the last 3 years to even comprehend.  It blows my mind. I am going to be 20 in a little over a month! So long teenage years!
   We had a hard time seeing everyone this week but we were able to see Josh and tonight will be the do or die lesson with him.  If he doesn't read or anything then he will have to lose his date. It's scheduled for this Saturday so keep your fingers crossed. He came to church and he seemed really happy so we'll see how it goes. :) I think he just might be ready.
  Proselyting is going well.  Not too many updates to report actually.  Francisco is still progressing and he said that he might even want to start seeing us 2 times a week so that is super sick! We actually saw Pam last night and she was pretty happy that we came by. She has been reading and praying like we committed her to do and she asked us to come back tomorrow! So that's pretty good. 
 Not much to report on all the others.  Hopefully everything will line up this week. :)
    Everything is fine with me.  I don't have anything to complain about or anything right now. I am super excited for P day and for transfers to see what is coming up.  Transfer calls are actually next Tuesday. Scary huh? It will be interesting to see what happens but I am not too worried about anything.  Like you, I am not sure what I would like to happen.  I am looking forward to whatever it is though. :)
   Elder Karlinsey goes home this transfer!! Super crazy. I am going to miss him a ton. He has become one of my best friends.
   Pops. something I've had to do is instead of praying to be better at recognizing promptings, I have prayed for me to have opportunities in which I can serve others and feel the spirit.  It actually helps me out quite a bit.  At the beginning of my mission I would always pray that I would be better at street contacting but Heavenly Father is never going to just change us instantly. He gives us opportunities in which we can learn, grow and develop those attributes. So, I know that as you fast and you look for those opportunities, God will bless you with them and it will be up to you to act on them and "Just Do It".  That has become the theme of my mission and it has never failed me.  
   As active members of the church, our instincts and thoughts become more like spiritual promptings because of how familiar we are with doing good things.  So sometimes we may think it is just our own thoughts wanting us to do something but it is actually a prompting from the spirit. That is where my "Just Do It" comes from.  If we have the thought or idea to do something good for someone, Just Do It. The worst that could happen probably doesn't even matter because we did something good. 
   I love you Pops and your example amazes me every week. Your hunger for the spirit blows me away and I love that. I hope my blabbing can help you in some way. I also hope you enjoy this email and feel my love. Oh and that you have a good week!

   I hope this email and week finds you healthy and happy!
   Elder Taylor C. Davis



Tuesday, July 22, 2014


  This week has been pretty good. Heck, this year has been pretty good! I now have less time left in the mission than I have been out! Scary thought!!  But it has been an amazing year and I can't wait to see what happens this coming year. 
   It feels really good to know that I will not have to have scans again until I come home.  What a relief! In September I will complete 3 years cancer free and I will no longer be a teen-ager. What!? 
   For hump day tomorrow, I am super pumped because we will be having our interviews with President Schmitt and afterwards we are eating lunch as a district to celebrate. After that we have service so it will be a prety good day.  Plus the picture that Heather sent (a picture taken at the San Francisco 49ers new stadium, wishing him a Happy Hump Day) is super cool! Make sure to tell her thanks for me!
   I am fully recovered from my illness and doing well.  We actually did have to push Josh's baptism back a week but he came to church this week and he seemed to enjoy it.  Last week we asked him if he had a testimony of the Book of Mormon yet and he said that he knew it was true! And that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. His only hang up now is believing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the one and only true church. But we had a good lesson and promised him that if he came to church with that concern in mind that he would receive an answer. It is super cool to be able to have the power and authority to be able to promise those blessings to people as a missionary.  Hopefully he received his answer. We will find out when we see him tonight :)  
   In other news, Michael was not able to make it to church but we met with him and his brother.  , Richard (his brother is 21) and said that he was going to get the day off so they could both go this week! Super sick! We have an appointment with them to see how everything goes tomorrow! :) Francisco is still progressing. :) We invited him to be baptized but he said he wasn't ready and he's going to explain why this Thursday.  He said he'd come to church next week and he is still keeping all of his commitments that we give him.  We have still not been able to see Cindy. She said she'll call us when she isn't busy.  So we'll just keep trying with her. We also added a 15 year old girl named Pam and she is super cool. We have an appointment with her and her older sister tomorrow night as well.  So not a bad week.
   I am doing well today.  I still have not found my camera but I am learning to deal with it. Elder Sherman lent me his old camera so I can at least still take pictures. :)  So I will be sure to do that.

   So now to answer your questions:
1.  How do you feel you have grown or changed?  
     I feel like I have grown or changed because I am not as quiet and to myself as I used to be. Plus I have also learned how to not be bothered by little things as much.  

2.  What stands out the most from the past year? 
     What stands out to me the most is my relationship with the Savior. I know that if it weren't for my mission, I would not be as near close to him as I am.

3.  What is the funniest thing that has happened to you in the last year? 
     It's very hard to pick the funniest thing that has happened because there have been so many. But I guess right now the only thing that comes to mind is when I got Emergency Transfererred to be companions with Elder Sherman again. It was super unexpected and I don't know why, but it seemed so funny.
4.  What is the most spiritual thing that has happened to you in the last year?  
     The most spiritual things that have happened to me were probably the times I've been in the temple or at Luis' baptism.

5.  What would you like to see happen in the coming year and what are you going to do to make it happen? 
     I would like to see myself be able to just talk to everyone and be able to really be good at street contacting people. I am going to make it happen by just doing it. I don't think there is any other way.

6.  If you go back and do one thing over what would it be?
     If I could go back and do one thing over, I don't think I would, because then the outcome would be different. I love everything that I have seen and am grateful for everything that has happened so far.

7.  Who is person who has influenced you the most over the past year?  (Besides the Lord)
     The person/people that have influenced me the most besides (you) would probably be my zone leaders. I have always made super good friends with them and we always seem to get along pretty well.
   Well Pops, I want you to know that you are a great part of why I have done so well this year that I have been gone.  I learned from you how to keep my priorities straight and I saw you change a ton as I was growing up. Thank you for being the faithful member you are and for enduring so well.
   Dear Momma, oh how I just love you!! Thank you for sharing your powerful testimony with me.  I definitely felt the spirit and you never cease to amaze me. I sure do love the heck out of you and I am glad that your week is going well and that you have seen a change in me even though you aren't around me.  I can assure you though that I am still the same person. :) I am just more grown up and what not. :)  Thank you for the giant influence you are in my life.  I know without hesitation that if you weren't a part of  my life that I wouldn't be here.  Thank you for never failing me and for always being one of my best friends as well.  You have never let me down and you have ALWAYS been there for me. I thank the Lord for all the time that we have been able to spend together. I love you with todo mi corazon!
    Elder Taylor C. Davis
P.S.  Oh yeah and just so you know, I guess I have an infection again so I had to by some medicine to get rid of it.  The rash is a mix between stress, the climate and milk... wierd. So this month I will be cutting milk completely out of my diet and the creme I got for the rash is making it go away.  I will keep looking for my camera and I appreciate all the prayers! Love you! Have a great week!!

Friday, July 18, 2014



So we sent 52 of each of the following:

Rootbeer Barrels:  We hope you are having "Barrels" of fun on your mission!
Caramels:   Take out the "R" and the extra "A' and you have got "Camel."  The hump day symbol!
Banana Runts:  Don't go to "Banana's" on Hump Day!
Cry Baby Candies:  We promise not to be "Cry Babies" while you are gone!
Tootsie Rolls:  Here's hoping the next year "Rolls" by!
Rockin Rods (like a Jolly Rancher):  You have "Rocked" your first year as a missionary!
Pieces of Focus gum:  We are so proud of how "Focused" you are!
CERTS mints:  C-Choose E-Everything R-Righteous T-Thing to be S-Successful
Swedish Fish: To celebrate all the baptismal water you will be in this next year!

We also sent a:

New tie
Half a batch of his favorite cookies
Half dozen new socks
A stuffed camel with poem attached.

As you come to the one-year mark of your mission, I am sending you this camel to remind you how far you have come, and where you are going.  There are many similar characteristics of a great missionary and a camel.
The first is the "hump". Yes, you have crossed the mark and now are over the hump of the first year. But remember the hump of a camel is used to store food for the long journey. Camels can go for long periods of time without food, but he must store his food in his hump. A Missionary has learned from so many experiences, but a wise Missionary will store the knowledge he has gained, and put it to greater use the second half of his mission.

Another important symbol, is what the camel does to be prepared to carry his load for his Master. A camel sometimes protests his heavy load, but he drops to knees for his Master, and once started, he patiently carries his load. Asa missionary sometimes the load seems heavy and difficult to carry. But when you drop to your knees and succumb to the Master's will, he will carefully lead you and you can bear the load patiently, and do your Father in Heaven's work as he would have you do. This is why the camel's knees are heavily padded, as a Missionary, your knees are calloused from the many hours of kneeling in prayer.
The camel has high set eyes, that enable him to see long distances. A Missionary has his eyes set on higher things, he follows the Spirit that enables him to see the Children of God, those who are seeking answers, and he teaches them the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The camel has broad, two-toed feet, that keep it from sinking in desert sand. A missionary has a broad knowledge and a firm testimony of the Gospel. This enables him to teach with boldness and stand firm in his testimony. The people you teach do not yet have the blessing of such a sure-foot, but as you teach with love and the Spirit, you will help them gain their own testimony that will help them walk on firmer ground. One that will lead them back to their Father in Heaven.

So you see, a Missionary has a lot in common with a camel. Put this camel where you can see it often. Dedicate yourself to do as the camel does. Serve your Master well and patiently over the long journey. You have come a long way, there is still much ground to cover. Continue to move forward, serving with love, until your mission is complete and your Father in Heaven will say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

By: Cheryl K. Carpenter

And a photo album with pictures of friends, family and ward members holding "Hump" day signs!


Thank you to all those who took the time to participate!  He is going to love the pictures!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


   I am doing pretty good.  I was super sick with the flu the past 2 days but now I am doing better. It wasn't terrible but it made it so we couldn't work. Elder Sherman got it too. But I am all better today. :) And no, I did not find my camera. It has really made me feel pretty down this week. I have always done such a good job at taking care of it and making sure I knew where it was but I guess I didn't pay attention or something because I can't find it anywhere. The last time I had it was in the apartment as far as I can remember. Or at District meeting. I don't know. It was marked with my name but who knows if peeps are honest in California. If I find it I will let you know.  But yeah, that means I lost all of my pics too.  :(  I am really bummed but there's nothing I can do now. Sorry to let you down and lose something so special and not cheap. I guess I will just save up money or something so I can get one.  I have felt super bad because I know that it wasn't cheap and that it was a very special graduation gift. Plus it was a super nice camera.

   But anyways, on to happy things!!!!! Luis' baptism was SOOOOOO awesome.  I don't know how to describe it at all. We got there, took some pics, sat down and listened to the prelude, and then it all started.  First we sang a hymn, then his mom got up and shared her testimony, then he was baptized. Elder Nickel baptized him.  The spirit was super strong. Then as we waited for them to change, the spirit was even stronger.  After they were all changed and what not, Luis stood up.  As he was standing up, he broke down and started crying. The spirit just blasted the room with it's power!  Then he bore a super simple and powerful testimony of how he found the right church.
   Mom, the spirit hit me so hard that I cried too.  I know that the atonement is real. This man suffered and struggled through so much and now he is free of it all. Man I know the church is true!!!
   Man I miss your cooking.  I honestly can't choose one thing that I miss more than others. I miss it ALL.  I cook a lot of pasta and sandwiches.  And we don't eat a ton with members,  But there's usually beans, tortillas and some salad or something like that if we do.  Nothing special.   How do you make peach cobbler with a yellow cake mix?????
   Super cool that you got to go the Clayton's Homecoming.  And that you got to meet Sister Pendleton.  She was one of my best friends and she was a beast of missionary.  I hope to stay in contact with her. She's super cool.
   For P day we are going to play sports as a district at the church and eat lunch.  Nothing too big, but it should be fun. :)
   About Cindy and Josh, Cindy has kind of been buffing us lately and we haven't been able to see her for a bit. Josh is doing good. We have an appointment with him tonight that will determine if he gets baptized on the 26th or not. The older guy I mentioned is Francisco. He is super solid and we are making a lot of progress with him.
   Well, I sure do love you. Thanks for everything!  Have a great week!
   Elder Taylor C. Davis  

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Today we were privileged to attend the Homecoming for President & Sister Clayton.  (Taylor's first mission president and his wife.)  The chapel was filled to the brim!  In between their talks, former missionaries of the California San Diego mission were invited to stand and join in singing the mission song.  Nearly 60 percent of the congregation stood and sang.  The spirit was so strong!  It was easy to imagine Taylor's voice and his smiling face singing with them. 
Some of the missionaries who attended the homecoming.

Afterwards we were able to meet President Clayton and even take a picture of him with Jonah for Taylor's "Hump" day!
We also met Elder & Sister Riggs. (The former mission nurse.  She has been so kind and helpful.)  It was wonderful to be able to hug and thank her in person for all she has done for Taylor. 

As we were leaving, we also met Hermana Pendelton (a sister missionary) who served with Taylor and just returned home about 3 weeks ago. 
It was an AMAZING day!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


  I do have to start off by saying that the whole counting thing with my weeks and service left actually doesn't bother me at all. I have always thought of it as a motivator and something for all you back home. I was thinking the other day that I will be out for a whole year soon and it hit me kinda weird. I feel like just yesterday I left and that I haven't been gone for very long at all It is kind of funny though because it is just a testament of how when we are focused and consecrated that home won't bother us at all. I have definitely seen that on my mission. Just a couple weeks ago received an email from a lady friend in high school saying that she had been on her mission for almost 6 months and it was then that it occurred to me that I had been on my mission for almost 12 months. Super crazy. I really have loved my mission and it has been so much fun.

  I guess my letter got lost somewhere in the world because I am pretty sure that I sent one last week. Not happy that you didn't get it. Oh well. I promise I will get one sent off this week and it will make it to you.

  It sounds like a lot of things are happening down there. It's really interesting that Colton wants to move and that they already sold their house. I wonder what kind of houses they'll find close to where we live.

   I forgot to mention that I might have lost my camera and that is why I don't have any pics to send this week..... But I have been praying super hard and I feel like I might find it. I have always taken really good care of it so I don't know how it happened. Last time I had it that I remember was at the apartment, so I will keep looking for it. I'll let you know next week. No stress.

   So we actually have not seen El Presidente since last Monday when we met him. We probably won't see him again until the zone conference in September either. But it seems like the mission is really picking up.

  This week has been pretty interesting and super cool too. The 4th of July was pretty lame though. To say the least. Our mission has a rule that we have to be inside our apartment by 7 pm so we were just chilling inside. Not to mention that Elder Sherman and I were on exchanges so that was different too. It was fun for the circumstances though.

  So the investigators are doing pretty good. We unfortunately had to drop Yolanda and Maria but we have been seeing some cool stuff. Josh is still progressing and just needs to figure out if this is what he really wants. We had a cool lesson with him last week and we have an appointment with him tonight. His dad shared his testimony and it was super cool. We weren't able to see Michael but we talked to his brother and he said that Michael has been reading the Book of Mormon a lot and he really likes it. What!? Crazy! We're going to follow up with that this week and see if we can stick him with a date! :) We have been teaching this old guy that has been investigating the church for years now and we are really making progress with him. This past week we gave him 2 Nephi 31 to read and we talked about baptism. It was really cool because he mentioned how in the Catholic church they baptize babies because they are born with the sin of Adam but how in this chapter it says that Christ was born for the nature and completing the commandments of God. He thought that was interesting and wondered why the points were so different. So, we pulled out the articles of faith (especially number 4) and explained why we don't baptize babies. He really liked that and said he has never agreed with the catholic church about baptism and he really likes our way of doing it. He is a super cool investigator and is really changing.

   We also have been teaching a lady named Cindy. She is a single lady in her 50's and was referred to us by an investigator of the sisters! Super cool. She is very receptive, she accepted a Book of Mormon and she came to church on Sunday!!!! Super cool!

   Guess what!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Luis is getting baptized this Saturday and I get to be there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is finally ready and is free of EVERYTHING. What a beast! I am so stoked for his baptism!!!

   About the shoulder bag, I am not sure what I want anymore. I still feel like I need to obey the president's rule and "phase out" my backpack, but you are already spending so much money. I think I will just wait until my birthday like you suggested. As to a color, I would probably like just a nice black bag. Nothing too fancy, but something that isn't too big and will last a while. :)

   Okay now I am going to share an experience about something cool that happened last week. So one of the companionship's in our district had a baptism and one of my privileges as a district leader is that I get to interview baptismal candidates and determine if they're ready or not. (Sounds scary huh?) Well I was interviewing this lady who had been investigating for 15 years! Long time. Anyway I was asking her all of the questions and conversing with her and what not. Well, as I asked the final question, and she gave her answer, I was overcome by the spirit as to the point that I trembled a little. That feeling was the spirit bearing witness to me that she was ready. It was a super cool experience and I hope to never forget it. This church is true!!!

   Dad it makes me super happy that you were able to go the temple and that it makes you so happy. I definitely do know the privilege of attending the temple and I am very glad that you do too. As always I thank you for all you do for me and what you are in my life. I am lucky to call you my Pops. I also love the heck out of you.

   Mom, thank you SO much for all that you do for me. I would not be anywhere without you. I love you so much.

   Elder Taylor C. Davis

Tuesday, July 1, 2014



   Man I love you!! Your email really touched me and I am so grateful that I have an example like you in my life.  You are such an amazing missionary and I am very grateful for the messages you have shared with me.  You are a blessing in so many people's lives!  I love you to death! 

   I am also super happy that Colton and Shannon were able to sell their house! That just adds to my testimony of prayer!  These past couple weeks have been super spiritual and I love it.
   So I actually did have a chance to say goodbye to President Clayton at our past zone conference. He gave me a big hug and said that I was amazing and that I was doing a good job.  Sister Clayton also did the exact same thing.  So I know that it was what I needed to hear.  

   Our meet the president activity was actually super cool. He brought his whole family and all of them spoke. They seem like a super cool family! We also got to shake all of their hands and meet them.  It was actually pretty cool! I really like the Schmitt's already. Of course it will be hard to adjust but I think it will be super cool.
 Taylor's new mission president and his family.

   So yesterday we actually had a pretty cool experience! We had an appointment set with Yolanda and Maria and we went there but they didn't answer.  :(   But our backup plan if we weren't able to see them was that we were going to walk a little down the street to a park and update our area book. Well, as we were doing so, a dude was walking by and he said, "Hi."  We of course responded and asked how he was doing. He said he was fine and then asked us WHAT we were doing.  This was a perfect time to tell him that we were missionaries and we were updating our teaching records.  He then said that that was cool and we asked him if he had ever talked to missionaries before. He said yes and that it was cool but he doesn't remember anything about it.  We asked if we could come by sometime and he said that he would be super busy all of the time. THEN, he asked us if we had a message for that day. We of course responded with a, "of course we do!" 

    He then sat down and we talked a little about Christ and how he helps us live better lives. Then he asked us to read him a scripture. So of course we pull out our Book Of Mormon! :)  Then he says to just open up to a scripture. So Elder Sherman and I both start flipping through the Book of Mormon to see what we can find. Except this time we just going to open up to a random page. Well,  we stopped at the EXACT same time and opened to the EXACT same scripture!!!  Alma 37:36-37. 

   36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
   37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

   It was super cool! and then we read it with him and he said that it was what he needed, we said a prayer with him and he said he had to go and disappeared.  Super cool huh!?

   I am doing super good and am super pumped for this coming week. Elder Sherman and I are doing swell. We still get along and we are doing great. 

   Not any rain to report actually. There has been a cloudy day here and there but no rain. 

   Super cool that Mr. Christofferson came by! It was mind blowing to see him there and snap a pic with him!!

   Things with Josh are going well. He still has a date for the 26th of this month and he committed to pray about the Book of Mormon. Super sick! We have another appointment  with him tonight.  I can update you more on Michael. He is a 14 year old kid who we met on the street. He is out of school right now and he believes that there is a God. He said he thought it was cool that anyone has a chance at Heaven and that we aren't lost after this life. We taught him to pray last week and he said he'd read about Adam and Eve. So we'll see what happens with him. He doesn't seem too interested but he is doing good.

   Guess what I heard yesterday!? Victoriano got baptized and has been going to church and everything!!!! Heck Yeah!!!! I haven not heard anything about anyone else though. SUPER COOL for Victoriano!!

   We unfortunately haven't seen Hermana Rodriguez yet. We have called but we are going to stop by this week.

   Sister Diaz was actually only in my first area. But, she just got transferred into our zone this past week!  Super weird.  (Sis Diaz seems to be in a lot of the same pictures Taylor is, so we asked if she had always been in the same areas as he was.)

   I am doing very well health wise actually. I was pleased with how it all went down. I did know about the scans but only like 2 days before they happened.  
   I got the package! :) I actually picked it up myself about 2 hours ago :)  I haven't opened it yet.  I like to wait until after emails.

  Well, I love you to death and I will be sure to send a letter home today!
  Love you!

  Elder Taylor C. Davis