Tuesday, August 26, 2014



So today has been AMAZING so far! We started off with going to the temple and it was super cool.  As always!  We felt the spirit super strong and it was nice to have that experience again.  It amazes me every time I go how amazing the spirit is in the temple. People that can go every week are so darn lucky!  Anyway, the week has been pretty good.  We did a lot of service and were pretty busy with the move.  The new apartment is actually pretty cool.  I do enjoy it a lot more than our last apartment.

   Elder Sherman, me and 2 other missionaries are part of a guinea pig test, sort of thing. That means that the 4 of us are living together.  We are the only missionaries in the whole mission that are doing so, because President wants to see how effective it is.  So as you can imagine that is a lot of pressure but at the same time, it's a lot of trust.  It is kinda cool to know that we are trusted enough to be provided with this opportunity.  At first I was a little worried, but it's going to save the church a lot of money if it goes well so I'm gonna do everything I can to not mess that up.

   There are some pros and cons to the situation. The pros are that we're already good friends, we get a long well, it's not too crammed, and most importantly we're saving the church money.  We laughed it up like crazy last night.  The cons are that studies are kind of weird since we have completely different areas and different languages but it's all still good. :)

    It is truly crazy to think about!!! I have less than 11 months left! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! But I am super pumped to make all of them count and I am confident that when the time comes I will be ready to come home. That being said, I have made it a HUGE goal to not end up with STS!  I want to be one of those missionaries that you can tell worked till it was done. I hope to be like that and still be focused on what matters, the Lord.

   Other than that it has been an interesting week.  We had a super cool experience last night! We went to go contact a less active that we found and they invited us in, fed us, and want us to teach their 9 year old grandson so that he can be baptized!!!!  Super cool!  His name is Andres and he is a super cool kid. We are stoked to be working with him, getting him baptized and reactivating his family too.
   We actually saw Francisco but I wasn't there because we were on exchanges, but it went well.  We also saw Pam when I was on exchanges and apparently it went pretty well.  We are going to see her again this week and try to get her to church.  They said that she didn't get offended as far as they can tell so that is pretty good.  Pam is a 15 year old girl and her parents are both catholic.  She reads, prays and will hopefully come to church this week.  We will see what happens!  She's super nice and surprisingly open with us missionaries actually, so that's pretty cool.  As far as Hermano De Los Monteros is concerned, we haven't seen him again.  We called and his daughter said that he had a problem and left.  She said that he will call us when he gets his phone back.  We are kind of worried but everything will probably be ok.
   Being District Leader is amazing.  I never thought I would learn so much from other missionaries and I feel super lucky and blessed to be able to do all that things that I can do.  This week we had district meeting and that was pretty cool.  In my studies I came up with a tool we can use as missionaries and related it to basketball.  So in basketball,l as we all know, there is what is called the  "triple threat."  So in basketball of course the triple threat is that you can either pass, dribble or shoot.  Well, in teaching, while your companion is sharing something, there are usually 3 things that you can do to follow what your companion has just said. They are as follows:
     1.  You can Testify of what your companion said. (Pass)
     2.  You can ask an inspired question. (Shoot)
     3.  You can expound on what your companion has just said. (Dribble)
   Not everyone appreciated it as much as others because of the basketball factor, but afterwards we did a practice with it and it went really well.   The district is doing pretty good.  Everyone seems to be super stressed and I am just trying to make everyone happy and pumped to do missionary work. :)  
   What sets us apart as a district? Well, 4 out of the 8 of us are from Utah.  We also all have district t-shirts that are pretty cool.  I don't know what else to say other that.  As a district leader I hope to help our district become unified and obedient.  That being said, the most important thing to me is for everyone to be themselves.  :)
   So good to hear that Logan and Michelle are going to the temple!!  Make sure to congratulate them for me and give them my love!  Also happy to hear that Colton and Shannon are closing on their house!
  I don't have any special requests for my birthday. :)  Maybe a giftcard to Buffalo Wild Wings.  We do plan to go out to eat somewhere maybe Thursday or Friday to celebrate so that'll be cool.  We actually have an invite for Sunday dinner at a member's house so that will be super cool!  Oh and I bought myself a new journal today. It's actually pretty nice and it was only like 11 bucks!

  I love you and I thank you for making it possible for me to be here.
  Elder Taylor C. Davis

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


   So it has been a pretty good week! I was surprised out of my mind when I got your packages and the cookies!!!  Oh my goodness are they delicious!  I planned to take a picture of me and everything so I could send it to you but it turns out that we got called and we are moving apartments.  So pretty much all the time we have been in the house we have been packing.  I actually have plenty of room in my suitcases. :)  I haven't even touched my biggest suitcase and I am already almost all the way packed. :)  I honestly feel like what I came into the field with was just about the right amount. 

   We are just moving apartments in the same complex because right now we live in an ASL missionary apartment.  It's a long story.  Awhile ago their area got shutdown but now it's opening back up because there's new ASL missionaries.  So we're moving so they can have their apartment back. No worries, I still live in the same complex :)
   I loved the groceries!!  I still love them!  Did you not get my letter from last week?  I am still enjoying everything and I plan on taking pics in our new apartment. :)  I like the cookies and the Gushers most.  But that's really the only thing that I have eaten so far because I want it to last!
   We made tatertot casserole yesterday and it was DELICIOUS! The best part of it was that I totally made up the recipe and everything. It went surprisingly well!
    So yeah we have been packing all week and yesterday we had 3 hours of mandatory apartment cleaning.  That was fun. 

    It has been a good week.  MTE's were pretty good. We talked and learned a lot about how to get our investigators to church more successfully and it went pretty well.  We LOVE our new area!! There is so much potential that it is insane! We found these less active recent converts that are super cool and got them to come to church for the first time in a long time!  Heck yeah!  Also, Elder Sherman and I were out of ideas for what to do the other day so we prayed and we felt that we should try to find a former investigator that the area had and we struggled for like 30 minutes.  We could not find this lady for anything! But...just as we were about to give up and try another address, an older man stopped us in the street and told us he was Mormon and that he had just recently moved into the area and wanted to find the church he needed to go to.  Then... he noticed we were Spanish missionaries and asked where the Spanish ward meets.  He told us it was a miracle that we ran into him and he invited into his home and shared his story with us. He is super cool and was a ward mission leader for 2 years. He is a super cool guy and missionary minded too. He asked us for a blessing because he has been struggling with health lately and it was super powerful. The spirit basically exploded that room. Then... he went with us to contact the lady and helped us find her! What a beast!!! I know this church is true without a doubt and that we were lead to where we needed to be that day!

   No new investigators yet but we are feeling like this week is going to be super good!! Josh still really isn't making any progress, Francisco hasn't been answering the door or our calls but we think he might be in TJ so we're not too scared just yet.  Pam on the other hand has made some progress. We got her to commit to coming to church and everything! They (Pam and her sister Karen) called us Sunday and asked us what time they needed to be ready so the members could pick them up. Super sick!!! But, the members that were supposed to pick them up fell threw and didn't come through for us :( So Pam and Karen didn't make it to church and they are now not answering the door or the phone either. So we are hoping that they are not mad at us.  But I was praying during sacrament meeting, you know me... stressing myself out like I always do, when I was overcome with the spirit and the words, "this isn't your work" came into my head. So I feel good about it all now and know it happened for a reason.  We don't have any active award missionaries right now but there is a member that comes out with us twice a week all day so that is pretty cool! Fortunately, we have not had to result to tracting. :) 

   As for speaking in sacrament, I have shockingly enough not spoken in Sacrament meeting yet so I fear that my time will come soon. Usually Bishop likes to have the missionaries be the last resort type of thing so that's kind of nice.

   It sounds like you had quite the week as well!!! So many good and fun things that you got to do! I am so glad that you go to the temple and everything else while you were here! It really is a special place! We as a district are going there next week and I am super pumped!
    I love you so much and I am very grateful for your emails and everything you do.  I sure do love you to death!
   Elder Taylor C. Davis
P.S. Here's a pic of me at the library emailing! No judgy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


   Thank you for your very thoughtful email, as always. That's super cool that you got to meet missionaries that knew me and do all that fun stuff here in California. You should have taken a picture with the sisters you toured the Mormon Battalion with, because I don't think I know who Sister Owens. I do know Sister Stephens though!  She was in my last district when I was with Elder Nickel.

   Plus I am sure that realized that Sister Soffe is like the sweetest little lady on earth!  It's kind of  weird seeing pictures of you all because you all look like such a young family.  Jonah looks super tall, Pops looks super skinny and fit and so do you!  So good to see you all so happy!!  :)

   So I am doing pretty good actually. Yesterday was the start of the new areas that I talked about last week. We no longer visit with Cindy, Richard or Michael. :(  But I know the other missionaries will do a good job with them and that the change was inspired of Heavenly Father. 
    As for anyone new, we now have an investigator family named the Schact's. They are super cool and are pretty much ready to be baptized. They just want to wait until their son turns 8 so they can all be baptized. That will be in about a year and a half.  So we are hoping this week that as we talk to them about being sealed in the temple in a year and the dad being able to baptize his son it will help them move the process along.  Not much other news to report other than that!  We should have more super stories later though. :)  Oh and tomorrow we are going to have MTE's so that should be fun.
   I really am glad to hear that you are here safe in California and you are living it up!  It really is a special place. I hope you enjoy the rest your trip and I look forward to my package and cookies! :)
   As always, I really do love you to death.  You are the best part of my life and I hope you never forget that.
   Elder Taylor C. Davis
P.S. I just realized that I am going to run out of space in my journal at the end of this month.  We will be going to the temple in a couple weeks, should I just buy a new one there?   Love you!!!

Monday, August 11, 2014


   The last three years have been really hard on our family, especially Elder Davis' littlest brother.  He has sacrificed a lot for his two older brothers.  Most of those sacrifices seemed to take up our summers.  As the close of summer drew closer this year, we felt that Elder Davis' little brother deserved some time dedicated just to him.  In talking as a family we decided a small vacation was in order.  We looked at all of our options, but in the end, we decided to go to California.  It's close, the weather is great, it fit into our budget and there is plenty to do. 

    We found it interesting that people thought we would seek out Elder Davis or try to get in contact with him because we were in the same state in which he is serving.  We would never do that.  He is on a mission.  Serving our Father in Heaven.  We love him and we love Elder Davis.  We honor and respect them both.  There are rules in place for a reason and we intend to obey them.  We planned not to tell him we were even in California until we returned home. 

   However, we did want to drop off a care package at the mission office for him, so we are sure he realized we were in California before we returned home.

   When we arrived in California, we called the mission office and inquired what would be the best way to handle dropping off our care package and the rules regarding such.  We were assured that Elder Davis would NOT be near the office and encouraged us to come by.  When we arrived at the office we were welcomed by the mission staff and given the grand tour.  We met everyone but the mission president and his wife (who were not in the office that day.)  We even got to meet some Elders who knew Elder Davis. 

Jonah sitting in the package area for Elder Davis' area.

One of the highlights of the office visit was witnessing Elder Gillespie open a package from home.  I was able to take pictures and send them to his mom.  It was an amazing experience!

We did end up telling Elder Davis we were in California in our Tuesday email since we figured he would know once he received our package. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


   So guess what!? I survived yet another transfer call. So did Elder Sherman! He and I are staying!  Yeah it's pretty weird that we're still together, but it feels right.  At the end of this transfer, we will have been companions for 7 months, almost a 4th of our missions.  I actually okay with it too because I have really grown to like Elder Sherman and we work well together.  If I can last 5 months, why not 7?  It will be another good 6 weeks.  Maybe even better than before. 

   There are only two changes that are happening in our district.  One missionary went home and the other is getting transferred tomorrow. So that means that there will only be 2 new missionaries in our district. So I will wait to tell you about who they are and what not, but I can tell that there is me, Elder Sherman, Elder King, Elder Moreno, Sister Aquino, Sister Fairbourn, Sister Sanchez and Sister Kolman (she went home today.) Sister Fairbourn is the one that is getting transferred tomorrow.

   Elder King and Elder Moreno are like my two best friends right now.  They are the 2 studs in that pic that I sent home. Sorry there weren't very many pictures. My camera was gone for a while. But I have it back now and I promise to be better at taking pictures. :) 

   My secret letter was the lettter to the family that was tucked in Colton's envelope. Nothing too special.

   About the bag, I am good with the one you sent pictures of or you can keep sending options. I just want something that will last a year and won't ruin my shirts.
  It sounds like you have had quite the week! I am very glad to hear that you are doing alright and that nothing is broken.  You need to stop falling! But I am glad that you are alright.
   I am also glad that Christine is spending a lot of time with you as well. You all seem like you are just living it up without me. 
   It is truly crazy that my teenage years almost over. I will be 20 in less than a month! I am blown away at how fast my time as a missionary has gone by and I know that it will only go faster from here. I just hope I can become the man/member that God wants me to be in that time.
   So things went alright this week. We actually didn't see hardly any of our investigators for some reason. Except for Francisco, we saw him and he is super anxious to know if one of us is getting transferred or not. It will be super cool to see him though. I kind of feel like he is one of the reasons why Elder Sherman and I are still here. I feel like we might be his missionaries, if you know what I mean. He has just progressed so much and we have seen a change in him.  He's such a beast. 
   Even though we didn't see any of our investigators, we did see a lot of our less actives and members. :) Guess who came to church this week!?  The Rodriguez family!! They are the super old family that  I told you about a couple weeks ago.  Josh wasn't able to come to church because he was with his mom and out of town.  But he says he's coming this week and we have an appt with him tonight. :) He told us he wasn't exactly ready to be baptized but he still wants to learn and try to get his answers so we'll see how it all goes. He'll get there someday.
   My best spiritual expereince that I can think about this week so far is the following:  So lately as a district leader I have been feeling that we need to sit together and talk about our areas. So we did and we have come to an agreement that the area needs to change. Before the meeting, I prayed for several weeks as to what the change should be and I kept getting the same answer. So during the meeting, I was kinda scared because things were way different than my feeling at first but it was super cool because at the end, we arrived to the conclusion together of how the areas would change. Well guess what that conclusion was? It was the exact same thing that I had felt the whole time.  So that was super cool! The church is true. We will see if President agrees with the changes. And fortunately almost all of our investigators will still be in our area so don't worry about that. :)  And I think that might help with Cindy because she does like the sisters a lot more than us. So who knows.
  As of right now I can't think of anything that I really need. But I did remember that I forgot to answer one of your questions...If were to have a big supply of something, it would probably have to be cookies or oreos (homemade or storebought) or something like that. That's all that I can think of right now. 
  I got's to go now, I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  Elder Taylor C. Davis