Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Week 7 - Happy New Year / Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Hey everyone!!

How was everyone's Christmas?! Thanks so much for all the letters, I loved it! And it was so sweet to get to talk to you on Skype Family!! XD
So Christmas was exactly the same here as it is at home, just without my family, not the same music, and I'm just kidding it was nothing like Christmas at home! But I loved it! It was the best! :)

I sang at 3 Christmas parties this week, so that was cool! My body and voice got better each day, so my activity was last so I was glad I was feeling pretty much better by then! I love singing. I feel so blessed that I have been able to continue to share music which I love so much to share messages about Christ! That's really what this season is all about, and because of Christ, every day we should be celebrating his birth. He is the greatest gift of all time and a gift that wasn't given, but a gift that continues every day in our lives. I invite you all to come closer to Christ by reading the Book of Mormon and praying. He literally can and should be your best friend! I have learned so personally the reality of this relationship as I've been here, working all day to serve him.

Alma and Omar were ready to be baptized Sunday, but Saturday night conflicts with the family arose and to keep the peace, Omar (10 years old) went with his godparents to Queretaro which is in another state! Alma really wanted to be baptized with Omar who also really wants to be baptized, so please pray for them that all will work out! They are so ready and want it so bad, just need hearts to be softened in the family.

My companion got really sick the 24th and because of the extreme pain he had, he went with President and another missionary to the hospital. It was raining so much on the 24th, so that didn't help at all! I went and skyped my family and then after teaching a lesson went to switch the Elder that was with my companion in the Emergency Room. They got his pain all under control and turns out he had an infection from food he had eaten, but they were able to give him medicine and he is doing so much better now! We left the ER at 11:45 and there were NO taxis!! It was just raining and I was just loving life, honestly! I loved it. It reminded me of so many memories with Skylar when we would always just go walk around and talk in the night, rain or snow, and it really was awesome. That was my frist Christmas present this year, that beautiful experience! At 12 I told my companion Feliz Navidad and we both just kinda laughed as we were in the middle of nowhere with no taxis (that would take us home anyway) in the rain, but eventually we payed one a ton and he took us not to far away to the house of one of the Zone Leaders of another Zone. We spent the night there, that was cool to have a bed and not be in the ER for the night like I thought might happen!

On Christmas day we went to eat with a Recent Convert of the other Elders in the Ward and that was AWESOME too! The light went out, so by Candelight we ate, talked, and I got to play with Legos! One of the little boys that was visiting there got this sweet Lego car and he had no idea how to build it so I helped him! Actually, I built it twice, so that made me happy! I received one package before Christmas and that was from McKayla so that night I got to open that and that was awesome! Thanks so much for that, made my day! :) Also mom sent some stuff when I left including a pillowcase with Frozen's Olaf which my companion and I are now using and loving! Thanks Ma! Elder R. Printed a cool picture of us and I got him a little speaker he can use with his flash drive :) Great day!

Christmas kinda didn't ever stop...so that was weird a little at first...then I realized they have a day of the three kings and some people actually don't get presents from Santa, they come from the 3 kinds like the night of the 5th of January to open the 6th. Sweet! I am waiting on a couple other packages so I will hopefully get them and open them then :)
Today for Preparation Day Elder R and I went to the only really "touristy" type place in our mission, and that was so cool! I was dying though...because they have this giant square that is JUST outside the mission and they had AN ICE SKATING RINK! And it was FREE! I could actually see it from where we were eating in this tall building, I'll send pictures.Haha I'll get to do that in 20 months I guess....Yeah this area though we visited was SUPER cool, I loved it!

Randomly got interviewed in the street because I spoke English by a student and so that was fun! Apparently that's really common, they always look for white missionaries! Also met two guys from New York, not LDS but asked if I was from SLC! They had clearly seen the BOM Musical but thy were so cool and really respectful and wished us luck in spreadin' the good word!

Contacted a family on the street and they asked what we could do for the sick so we I got to give my first blessing in Spanish and that was so cool! I had no idea what I was saying! After the son offered a prayer and he was pretty emotional and thanked the Lord for some of the things I had said and I can honestly they just weren't from me! So cool. I love the mission!

Well I hope you all had a great Christmas. I love you all and think about you lots! Have a very happy new year!

Elder DaviesInline image 2Inline image 1

PS So this is Sari and she is 8. She painted this. Wow. I got to witness her baptism a few weeks ago! She is awesome!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 6: Merry Christmas from Mexico! (Off Deathbed, New Piano & FAQ's)


Read that on Christmas and be happy about it :) Christmas time really is the best time! It even is starting to feel like Christmas in Mexico! I don't care what anyone says, I'm listening to Christmas music until I get my Christmas packages, even if its till February or March!

This week was pretty awesome! I got sick again, this time with a throat infection and subsequent fever so I was in bed for a couple days, that was pretty terrible. Wow when I write it like that it doesn't sound that bad...haha well really it was pretty awful but I learned a lot! On Thursday I was getting really sick and the fever was kicking in and towards the end of the day it was all I could do to put one leg in front of the other, but I made it and the last lesson we had was super great so totally worth it! We are preparing Alma and her son Omar to be baptized on Dec 28th, next Sunday! Hopefully all goes well there!

So on Saturday we went to the Visitors' Center with Alma and Omar and some members, and on the way back my Companion and I stood up in front of the bus and told everyone about Jesus Christ and gave everyone a Dadiva card! (Greg: "Dadiva" means a gift or in this case the new LDS Christmas pass along card "He is the Gift" or "El es la Dadiva" See here) We actually forgot to give one to the bus driver and he asked for one so that was pretty cool! The members with us took a picture right after so that will be attached!

I bought myself two presents for Christmas. One was a calculator (because I'm a nerd and I'm always doing math), and the other is a surprise and I'm not gonna say what it was, you'll just have to look at the picture attached. Okay it was Piano. I couldn't hold that in. I need to learn to play so I'm starting get going!

Oh while at the Centro para Visitantes (Greg: Temple Visitor Center) I got introduced to a random guy who turned out to be in the Presidency of the Area 70 here, so that was cool.

On Friday we went to another area in our zone where they have a giant market and sang hymns and contacted like crazy! We got lots of referrals and we are planning the same thing in our area this week, so hopefully all goes well! That was super cool.

My companion told President I can sing so now I'm singing in all the Christmas Parties (we have 3 in the mission for different groups). I did one today and have on Tuesday and Wednesday. I sang Oh Holy Night and it was pretty fun! I was really worried with how sick I've been but it turned out okay so I was happy!

Okay now I'm going to answer some questions I get asked like all the time!

Bucket showers, real thing. You don't actually use the bucket though, you just fill it up whenever you have water, then the morning you want to shower you boil some, pour it in the bucket, then use a smaller dish to scoop the water out of the bucket. Good fun, really.
(Greg: See PBS Documentary - Mexico City Faces Water Crisis)

The houses are like sometimes 20 houses here (Greg: I think he means they are divided up into households? Or the address is a block of houses or "Manzana"), so that's fun. They are split up based on Streets then Manzanas (which also means Apples) and then Lots. So an address might be This street, Manzana 20, Lt 4. But most the time they aren't in order so it's an adventure finding houses.

There literally are dogs with dread locks EVERYWHERE. That is not a joke.

(Greg: It is estimated that from 500,000 to 3 million stray dogs roam the streets of Mexico City!  City officials catch and euthanize apx 20,000 stray dogs EACH MONTH! )

The temple is in my mission, but not in my area. It's about a 20-30 minute trip to the temple!

We have some good progressing investigators! Please pray for Alma, Omar, Margarita, Daniel, Lluvia, Janete, and Martha! I love sharing the Gospel here and was sad not to get to work a full week! Merry Christmas everyone! And remember, it's not about the Piñatas!

Elder Davies

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Wow this week has flown by!

I LOVE MEXICO! I seriously can't believe how fast the weeks are. This week on Tuesday I ran into Elder Daniel Patterson, a friend from Bingham who is headed to LA on his mission but is in the MTC here. That was CRAZY! He was shopping at the store on temple square and I heard his voice and I grabbed his shoulder and was like "Elder Patterson?!?!?!?!". That was awesome.

I've learned a lot this week, like I do every week. This week I'm grateful for tender mercies from the Lord. He gives them to me EVERY day. Whether it be a sunset, a friend, a scripture, or simply a feeling, the Lord knows exactly what I need and gives it to me exactly when I need it.

This week a lot of people celebrated the Virgin Guadalupe so there were TONS of fireworks...They are all like mortars so like shaking all the houses and stuff so it's kinda nuts how accustomed I am to random giant explosions really close to me. They do them all during the days too...not sure why. Actually, yes I am because they are FIREWORKS! They are AWESOME!

I got to go on splits twice this week, and that was cool. It's fun to get to work in other areas and get a taste of each missionaries unique approach to missionary work. That is one thing about the mission I love and am still discovering. We all have rules to obey, but within the rules we can use our personalities, talents, and creativity in the work. Still working on figuring out what my techniques are, but I'm getting there!

Sooooo I accidentally talked to my parents on the phone this week...So I got to go with all the new Elders to Polanco to get our Visas for the next year and after we were finished we returned to the Mission office. The phone rang and the Elders that can speak both Enlgish and Spanish were still in Polanco doing some paperwork, so a Spanish ONLY speaking secretary answered and after he realized they were speaking English in desperation handed me the phone! It took me a second of talking to them to realize it was my parents! Woah crazy. I answered their questions as quickly as I could (they were asking about what they could send, my companions first name, etc.) and then I was off! After they asked me who it was and I said it was my parents! We all got a good laugh, it wasn't a problem though because I took care of their questions and hung up so I didn't even need to repent ;) Sorry I didn't say I love you back, I do love you parents I just had to run! Haha! I'll talk to you on Christmas or Christmas Eve :)

When we went to Polanco, which is like super nice downtown area outside of our mission, we contacted EVERYONE with the cards! We took the metro which is like a giant old frontrunner FULL of people that need the Gospel so we just started singing hymns in the frontrunners then talking to everyone! It's sometimes hard to talk to everyone because it's pretty clear it's awkward for them or they think they don't wanna hear, but McKayla sent me a quote from a great Elder, Elder Tyler Brown which says, "I have learned that the person's salvation is so much more important than any rejection or feeling of shyness or whatever else would stop us from sharing." How true those words are! I even translated that to Spanish so I can share it with other missionaries! Thanks Elder Brown!

Along with the fireworks they had some CRAZY parties just set up in the streets! Huge speakers and our house was literally shaking hahaha it's always weird to here popular American songs remixed with mariachi, but I'm starting to get used to it! Haha :)

It rained for the first time this week...and it didn't smell better after the rain which was super weird...the streets are super dangerous here because there are like holes everywhere so in the rain it is even worse hahaha love this place!

I tried tripe dad! That stuff is crazy and wow right this very moment there is a random dog in the internet cafe and it is like licking my pants but its cute so I'm gonna let it stay here. His name is now Frederico. Oh, he's gone now. Goodbye, Frederico...

Hahahaha so something super funny here is when we talk about Christmas and the true meaning (Jesus Christ) we have to explain that it's not all about the fiestas and piñatas. Wow. I never thought I'd have to explain Christmas as now being all about the piñatas hahahaha.

Wow I just can't write all the things that have happened this week! Lots of people are willing to hear some of what we have to share, so we just pray their hearts will be open to recieve this message of happiness! That's really what it is all about it. I got to to the Visitor's center with some investigators Sunday night and while looking at the Christus and the universe painted behind it I saw the little earth we live on, and it was just behind the hand of the Savior. I felt so comforted in this moment that, yes we all have problems and struggles, pains and disappointments, but it's alright. We are in the palms of the Savior. Isaiah 49:16, "Behold, I havegraven thee upon the palms of my hands" I think think this has a very literally part in reference to the Savior's atoning sacrifice, that the marks of nails in his hands signify his love for each and every one of us! The Savior loves you all, I hope you know that!

Well I'm off for a another amazing week! I love this place. It is so different than home, but grateful for what you have, but more importantly remember what is waiting for all of you in the Kingdom of our Father.

Elder Davies

P.S. Remember, Christmas isn't all about the Piñatas.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Week 4 - 1st Sickness & other such fun

Date: December 8, 2014
Area: Bosques - 1st Area
Companion: Elder Rodriguez from Mexico

Hey all you lovely people!

How are you all?? Wow things are so great here. I absolutely love the mission!

Elder Rodriguez is from Mexico - Trainer
So first off I got sick this week. Every single Elder from the states just smiled when we talked about it because they remembered the days! I don't think I got sick from eating something specific...I just think just kinda everything all togther. It's SOOO hard because I love the food here ALLLLL the food but my companion has wisely had me take it easy on the foreign food so I can stay better. I was only sick for like 3 days, I feel lots better now so don't worry mom :)

Soooo weirdest thing I've eaten (which isn't even that weird) is fried pig skin. I guess that's like a common snack here. They fry it in oil till it expands like a sheet of popcorn and it really doesn't taste bad, it just doesn't taste good either! Haha.

So when I was sick they said to drink something with electrolytes so I was ordering Gatorade at one of the tiendas and I ordered it all in a Spanish accent then I just said Gatoride like a white guy and he looked kinda confused but reached over and told me it was $8 (like 50 cents) so I was pretty stoked that it was cheap, but he brought out a little can of Gerber's baby food hahahaha so we all laughed awkwardly because we weren't sure who's fault is was for the order not being understood correctly and it was like twice as much but it's cool :) I thought that was funny!

Greg here: I actually pulled this off of Google Maps
from the street Kelson's Apartment is located. HAHA!
So I have had so many super cool super spiritual experiences this week! I can't even begin to tell them all so I will just share one cool story. We eat lunch with the members (HA! I don't feel good about calling it lunch because it's at like 3PM) and it's always super great, might I add. On our way to meet the Sisters in our Ward to eat with a family in our area my companion and I were passing a mom and daughter putting up their little tienda to sell Candy and the daughter was trying to tie up the tarp they use as a cover on the bars over one of their windows and couldn't reach, so I asked if I could help! I tied it up and I my companion looked over and her mom and she was crying! He asked her why she was crying and she said, "We're members..." Apparently thy were baptized a few years ago and had felt neglected and forgotten and said the missionaries had walked passed many many days and never stopped so we quickly made an appointment to stop by later that night to share the "He is the Gift" video the church has put out and invite them to come back to church. Anyway, long story short we started sharing and teaching and found their 13 year old daughter isn't a member! So we invited her to be baptized and we have a date for her on the 21st of December! I was stoked. I was pretty much flying on my home with my companion, it was awesome. It really strengthened my testimony of following promptings of the Holy Spirit and how it's not always a matter of a voice in your head yelling at you what to do, but more often being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing and just follow your own little thoughts, no matter how simple, because if you are living right, these little thoughts ARE the Spirit. David A. Bednar teaches us a lot to stop worrying about if it's the Spirit or not. If it's good and you're living good, it IS the Spirit.

Sunday morning was SUPER foggy, like my companion has never seen here! It was FREEZING and you could hardly see across the street. We had investigators (Alma and her son Omar) that were going to come with us and we were worried they were going to bail on us because of the cold, but sure enought they came! And they had been traveling home from another State last night until 3AM and still came to our 8AM church! I am excited for them!
Leaving the Apartment... Smog much?

In the Taxi last night the song Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton came on and I started crying a little bit because that is the song my Dad used to play to me and my brothers all the time! They were happy tears :) Gosh do I love that song!!!

So there are power lines just hanging everywhere here and people sometimes splice the power lines straight to metal wire making their own electric fence and that is super sketchy! We are told not to touch ANY and it's kinda hard because they are hanging everywhere in the street! Sketch!!

I am starting to print off everyone's emails so I can read them during the rest of P-day and email back hopefully soon! I read ALL of your emails and I will try to respond to as many as possible! Thank you all so much for the love and support, it really does help more than you could ever imagine!


Elder Davies

Week 3 - Bosques - 1st Area (and Mission Home)

Date: December 01, 2014
Area: Bosques - 1st Area (and Mission Home)
Companion: Elder Rodriguez from Mexico

Hey everyone!

How are you all? Fair warning, this keyboard doesn't let me backspace most of the time and punctuations marks work about as often as the water in my apartment, so work with me here! And also I'm forgetting English.

Trip with Investigators to the Mexico City Temple
I LOVE MEXICO! Thank you all for the encouraging and supporting emails! What a week it has been! This work is VERY hard. Like I said earlier, we are starting basically from scratch here and there are some hard feelings so it is hard to find people to teach. Those who actually listen seem to like our message, but most are busy and unwilling to read and pray about what we teach.

Before I came to this mission someone told me there would be dogs everywhere and I thought thy were exaggerating...but nope they are literally EVERYWHERE. These two dogs were trying to kill each other and it was seriously horrifying, I thought I was going to die! I guess that trick is if you bend down and pretend to pick up a rock the dogs will be quiet or run away, so that's a cool little trick I'm going to try sometime.

We have running water very inconsistently and when it is there, it's extremely cold, so we take BUCKET SHOWERS! My life wasn't complete until I took one of these, and yours shouldn't be either. Basically when we do have water we fill up this bucket and this pan and then in the morning we boil the water, mix it with the cold water, and it's just like magic. Bam. Still pretty cold water, but hey I'm grateful!

Nobody uses their signals while driving here, and it reminds me of you dad! Haha. Except you only do it when there is no one around...literally the only signals I see are for NO PURPOSE! I have seen 4 signals and been in a car twice that used them once each. Of the 4 signals one was a parked car, one was just driving straight, one wasn't even pointing the right way, and the other was legit, I was pretty stoked about that.

I got to go to my ward for the first time yesterday and it was awesome! There are two other Elders and Two Hermanas in my ward and thy both had baptisms yesterday! My comp and I got to witness them and that was so cool! There were two young girls and one lady, all of them super awesome! The rule is before someone can be baptized that have to come to
church 5 weeks, so we are really pushing for investigators to come to church and follow up on their committments, pray for them and us and our success!

Last night (Sunday night) my comp and I got to attend this meeting of the Stake Presidents, Mission Presidents, and a few Seventies on Temple Square! That was way cool. They asked me and a few other Elders to Usher so that was super sweet! Then we got to see the temple lights go up for Christmas and that was beautiful! I think Christmas time will be a good opportunity for us to teach more people and share our message.

This has been an incredible week, but also the most depressing and hard week of my life. Nobody wants to listen; this is exactly the opposite work the adversary wants me doing, and he is working hard on me to try and get me not to do it. It is literally a constant struggle to move past these feelings and to work my hardest, which is so crazy because I want it so bad. I have to use my will to work against the constant depression and opression of the adversary. I have to pray so hard all the time and not let all these people get to me. I'm very grateful for my sense of humor because I seriously don't know where I'd be without it, but I'm even more grateful for prayer. I have gained such a knowledge and understanding for it's importance as a constant thing because I need help all day every day. Please pray for me as well to feel happy and motivated to do this work which I love so much and want so badly to do!

So this one time Elder Rodriguez and I were teaching these two old ladies on the street after dark and they didn't really want to hear what he had to say but we talked for like 10 minutes and I got most of what they were saying...but I missed the little part where ONE OF THE LADIES WAS BLIND!! So I was trying to give them a card inviting them to the temple but my comp whispered to me in English, "She's blind!!" so the rest of the time I was just trying to figure out which old lady it was so that was a pretty good time.

Haha our neighbors have some crazy parties. We are on floor 3 and someone below or beside us had this party and they played this one song for literally over a half hour and it was really catchy...but it still got annoying haha they did it again this morning that was pretty great.

Bishop Brown back in St George, Utah adding Kelson's
Picture to the Map of missionaries Serving from the Ward
We have 3 baptismal dates but I'm not sure they are really committed at all, so we will have to see how that goes. Pray for them! This week we are just contacting like crazy and contacting old investigators to try and get them moving again. Everyone who actually understands the Gospel wants it so bad, so the trick is just getting them to really get the big
picture. I mean seriously, Eternal Families, there literally is nothing better! All we gotta do is not do bad stuff, it's easy!

Well I sure do love it here, I'll try to get some pictures soon, we can't take our cameras anywhere really because we'll get robbed, so I haven't taken many but yeah! This place is nuts and I love it. It makes me so grateful for the family I have at home and the opportunities we all have too. Literally I get frustrated with the people in my area because they live in these little tiny places and not because they are poor but they are just bad at making decisions! They have money, they just blow it on TV's and cars and a bunch of other stuff, there are actually awesome church programs in the ward to try and help them be smart because any of them make enough to be living in a nicer area, but yeah I don't tell them that it's just frustrating because they could live so much better!

Haha funny story, a recent convert named Jonathan lives like alone and is only 16 his dad is just all over I'm not sure but the phone company here pays him like 20,000 Pesos a month because they built a cell tower (like a straight up 100 foot gigantic tower) on top of his little house which has got to be so unhealthy...haha but he is a good kid he just needs to be active in the church! Pray for him too. It's crazy because I can see his tower from anywhere in our area!

Our area is really small so we walk everywhere. It's good it's small because my foot is really taking the heat. It really isn't hurting too bad because we don't walk a ton, so don't worry mom :).
Well I love you all and can't wait to hear what's going on back home!

Elder Davies

Dear Elder works for my mission! If you want to write me there, just select my mission (Mexico City East) and it'll print in the office here! I have much more time to read those than emails, I'm sorry I'm so backed up I'll try to get back to all of you soon!

Week 2 - Arrival in Mexico!

Date: November 26, 2014
Area: Bosques - 1st Area (and Mission Home)
Companion: Elder Rodriguez from Mexico


I arrived to Mexico on Monday night around 5pm and was greeted by the mission President, his wife, and the Assistants. And I am so sorry right off the bat this keyboard is crazy! SOOO hard to use! There's not really a working backspace so work with me here... Our
first night we stayed in the mission which is like the nicest house I'm going to see for the next 2 years. My trainer is Elder Rodriguez from 2 hours south of here and he was one of the Assistants that greeted me! He was trained for two transfers and ever since has been training or being an assistant, so he's a pretty great missionary!!
Mexico City is surprisingly just like the MTC except it's full of millions of people who speak a different language then me, it smells different, the food is different, the drivers are absolutely insane, and also it's completely different from the MTC in every other way. Other than that,
it is IDENTICAL! I absolutely love it here! Let me tell you about the drivers for a minute. So pretty much they just never stop and there aren't any controlled intersections. You just push your way through, my kinda driving. People are cutting off buses, buses cutting off people,
and random dogs running everywhere. The bus drivers are literally insane. They just keep going sometimes scraping other cars and buses until they slow down or speed up. We've almost died many a time here, and I have yet to be here 72 hours. Wahoo!!

With Mission President & his Wife
My companion and I are re-opening an area here called Bosquez (Means Groves.) There was a companionship doing a little work for 3 weeks, but they are moving to another part so we will be the only ones here. It's kinda crazy because the area was closed because an Elder kissed a young girl here, so there are definitely some hard feelings here, but we will do our best. The Elders before us had set 2 baptismal dates, so we are just working on
teaching them now. Today we got an Extra P-day to move into our new apartment which is AMAZING! Let me tell you about it. It reminds me a lot of home, the only differences are it is really small, 3 levels up the most sketchy stairs ever seen by the eyes of mankind, there is a
window where we can literally see into the all the neighbors apartments,and the shower-bathroom is one small room with no division between shower and toilet, so it's hard to remember what I went in there to accomplish.

Anyways, we spent the morning cleaning and then we went to WALMART! WAHOO! That exists! It's exactly the same as WalMart at home except for everything is like $300 and I'm like WHAAAAT?! Then I remember it's in Pesos and then I'm like WHAAAT?! That's such a good deal! We bought lots of cleaners because our bathroom smells kinda like a rotting sewer (because it literally is one). We didn't have water but we had enough to pretend to shower this morning, so that was a cool thing.

Okay enough sarcasm this place is great! I'm in a little internet cafe of 4 old computers
and people are kinda watching me type because there isn't much else to do...I hope they can't read English. I've only got to teach 2 lessons since we started working last night, but we have a few planned for tonight. I'm so pumped to do this! It's crazy that we are kinda starting from nothing, but I feel like that'll help me a lot as I learn all this.

My testimony has grown so much in the past two weeks, I can't even believe it. Looking around here if this wasn't true I would be on a plane so fast coming to the States, but I
know it is and because it is, I want everyone to know about it. I want everyone to know that families can be together forever!
I have another P-day Monday (Dec 1, 2014) so you'll probably be hearing from me again then! Love you all!

Elder Davies

Week 1 - Only Letter from MTC!

Date: November 17, 2014
Area: MTC Provo, Utah
Companion: Elder Henderson (From North Carolina)

Hola Amigos!

How are you all?? Things are great here in the MTC. When I arrived on Wednesday (Nov 12th) I was so excited to see that Elder Josh Reid (from my home ward in St George) was my Host! That just made my day. Hey got to take me through to get all my tags, books, etc. and then show me around the dorms and campus! That was such a sweet blessing! I've seen SOOOOO many other Elders and Sisters from home and other places, and it's always so exciting when I get to go and want to give them a hug but then instead awkwardly give them a handshake and try to put all the excitement of my soul into that gesture. Seriously, try thinking of how you can portray excitement in a handshake, it's hard.  The classes here are awesome because they are all in Spanish and all the people in my Class (which is also my District) are latinos/Native speakers. I'm the only white Elder in my district, so that's pretty cool I guess.

My companion is Elder Henderson from North Carolina and he is the best! He knows a lot about the Gospel and is very obedient. He speaks really good Spanish too! He is headed to the Monterrey East Mission in Mexico. My Spanish has improved a ton in the last 5 days, it's insane. I can understand like 95% of everything I hear and read, and this is such a great blessing!

On Thursday, the day after we arrived, I became Senior Companion (Not that this really means much in the MTC haha) and my Companion and I became Zone Leaders over our district. This is pretty humbling because like I said, I'm the Gringo and my companion is half Gringo, so I don't know how I feel about being a leader to 50 other Elders and Hermanas that can speak so much better Spanish than me! The Hermanas and Elders in my district say I have like amazing grammar, but they can speak much faster but they also speak slang, so that's kinda hard for me to understand. But seriously, the Lord has blessed my Spanish so much. Oh and SPANGLISH! AYYY!! They'll be talking like 100 MPH and I'll be understanding everything and then I'll be like wait what are they saying know?! THEY ARE SPEAKING ENGLISH! It's hard to switch back and forth, and it's hard for me to write in English now, so I guess that's a good sign? Haha!

I am leaving the MTC on Nov 24th at like 3:30AM and I'll be flying to Atlanta and then to Mexico City, so I'm stoked. There are a few other Elders (8) in my travel group, but I'll be flying to Atlanta with a bunch more. So the food here is good but it's super weird, I don't know how to explain it. I miss your food mom! I am always full, but I just feel like my stomach is blown up with a balloon. Haha I don't know, it's not that bad I guess hahaha. It's like a petri dish in here because it's SOOO cold outside so everyone has colds and it spreads like the plague here.

A few of the Elders in my district and a Hermana had to go to the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City on Saturday so we took the Frontrunner up to Trax in Murray and then Trax to the Consulate. It was super weird because we drove right by South Jordan and I could literally see my Old house and Skylar's house from the Frontrunner. Weird! Also I ran into a bunch of people I knew from High School and other places and the people I was with thought that was nuts. We talked to all the people we could on the Train about the Gospel and I have a super funny story haha.

So Elder Silva went to the bathroom and when he was walking back this lady started talking to him. She looked homeless ish and her husband was there with her. He was talking about the Gospel and she had actually been baptized in the LDS church when she was young, and her husband really loved religion and was looking for the right church! He had read to like Alma in the book of Mormon. Elder Silva called me over to share a scripture about baptism but they had to get off really soon. Anyway, while we are talking to him about the importance of baptism he takes off his glove and hawked this GIANT loogie in his hand and then like wiped it on his leg. HAHAHA Elder Silva and I were trying so hard not to laugh/gag/throw up.

Also an Elder named Elder Thomas was with us on the trip and he is in another zone and had been to the consulate before, but had to return to sign another paper. He is from Washington and is sooo funny but he's been here for 5 weeks and speaks like no Spanish hahahaha so the Hermana was testing him getting him ready for the field and was asking yes or no questions. He really likes food, and is afraid that if he says no he will be turning down food hahahahahaha. So this Hermana would ask questions like, Quire casarse con mi hija? (Do you want to marry my daughter?) and before she can hardly finish he answers SI! haha He is going to get engaged a lot on his mission because apparently that is really a question a lot of people ask the American Elders hahaha.

My testimony and conversion has grown sooo much here! Yesterday we watch a talk by Elder Bednar entitled "Character of Christ" that was given at the MTC a few years ago on Christmas, and it changed my life. Seriously. I cried so much and I LOVED IT! It's not online or anything though, there is a similar one he gave at BYU I but it's different I think. I'm gonna go beg the front desk to give me a copy of it and I'll let you know how that goes! Elder Bednar talked about how Christ ALWAYS turned out to others, not into himself. We talked about how after Gethsemane and being disappointed by three of his Apostles and betrayed by one, he still had enough compassion to care for the guard's ear. I could seriously write a million pages on the things he taught, but hopefully I can get a copy for all of you. He talked about how a Testimony is good, but without conversion to Christ it is not enough.

I love you all so much and appreciate the prayers and letters from all of you!
Elder Davies