Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 33 - Ukulele! Greenie, & Motorbike taxi in the rain :)

With new "Greenie" Companion in their new apartment in a new area.
So pretty much "new" is a theme here :)

Hola familia y amigos y otras personas!! (Dad Translation: Hello Family, friends & other people... so who are the other people? not friends? HAHA)

How are you all?! This week was FANTASTIC!

So my companion and I have just been running around like crazy trying to get to know the area, the members, the investigators, and contacting new people! It's great! We spent a little time on the phone yesterday just calling members from the list to go visit, but now we know enough people and places to get around! Our area is the best. There is a nasty canal here too, just it doesn't usually have water unless it rains, so I took a picture of that delightful canal that I have the wonderful opportunity of crossing every day. #Mexico

Tour of their new apartment

Church yesterday was great, the ward was happy to see us and we had a pretty good turn out. There are two other Elders in our ward, Elder Maluia from Utah and Elder Perez from Campeche, Mexico. Two Elders in my district have been really really sick so we have been running around and their comps have been on divisions working in their two areas and it has just been a wild experience, but lots of fun!

We got a text reference last week and we went and found a guy named José! He is a great guy! He was super excited to listen to us and we put a baptismal date with him for the 26th of July and he said, "Okay perfect. And what time will the baptism be?" He said this is his 3rd baptism (the other two were in other Christian churches)...so we are gonna have to really work hard to help him understand that it isn't something you just do a bunch or whenever you have sinned a little, but it's something you just do once with the right authority and you're good to go if you keep the promise you're making to be baptized! He couldn't come to church, but we are gonna go visit him today and see how he is! Pray for him please!

Stinky Canal - Centro & MotoTaxi in the Rain!

So I realized something...with every new companion I've received I've gone to a new area...I'm kinda used to starting from nothing but I actually really like it because I really like the organizational part of the mission so I'm working on make some good maps we can put on the wall and also updating the area book, CLEANING THE STINKING HOUSE! Wow, there is so much stuff here that other missionaries have left! There are over 50 ties. I feel like I'm in DI when I walk through the closet, and no, that wasn't a typo, I literally have to walk through the closet to get to the bedroom. #Mexico

Kitchen in new apartment
But the coolest thing I found in the house was a RUGBY BALL the other Elder left when he went home! It was under the stove....so not sure if it was intentional or what, but I'm stoked. Just need to pump it up!

Today for P-day I went with the Zone Leaders, the Secretaries, and two sisters in my district to the Centro to buy a ukulele. I am super duper stoked, I have always wanted one of these! Our Zone Leader, Elder Hicks, also bought one and his companion already had one, so I think we are gonna start a ukulele band and get famous. Oh! And Elder Maluia who was born in Somoa also has one, so there ya go! The centro is SO cool, I took some more pictures! The main road where everyone walks is the mission boundaries, so we see other missionaries from the West mission that are on that side and that's the only part where we can both meet haha but we saw a few from the West mission! 

We had to come back RUNNING from the Centro because it starting raining and we took a long time picking Ukuleles so my companion and I took a MotoTaxi, it was nuts. It's a motor cycle with a little carriage on the back. It's like a BiciTaxi but with a motorcycle. I don't know WHY we don't have those in the states. Someone get on that!

Well I love you guys hope you all have a GREAT week and I look forward to hearing from you all soon! The church is true!

-Elder Davies

This is the "Stinky" canal they have to cross each day (open sewer)
Their walk in closet they go through to bedroom
Kelson says this is his biggest apartment so far!
Their study room
A trip with their district to El Centro (downtown) to buy the Ukuleles

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Week 32 - Training! A transfer and a flood

Kelson is Training!  This is his new companion - Fresh from the MTC
(I wonder if he still has that new missionary smell? HAHA)
Hey everyone!

So nothing really has happened this week.

Except our house flooded during church, I spoke in church, a member made me apple pie and hot dogs, I took a shower with a giant jug of water because we had no water, and I had transfers. AND I'M TRAINING! Okay, this week has been eventful.

FIRST of all!! Let me tell you about my Hijo! My companion, Élder Arenas, is from Saltillo in the Mexican State of Coahuila! He is super great! He loves singing and he is just super stoked to be here! They called me on Wednesday and said I was gonna train and I was SOOO stoked. We came to an area here in the Azteca ward in the Aragon Stake, which is the stake where the TEMPLE is! I´m finally in the Federal District! It's a bit of different world here. Mom, you don't have to worry about me anymore. Haha just kidding Mexico City is like the safest mission I know of. No one say anything.

So a family here, the Pliego Perales family, loved Elder Pesantez and I. We had worked a lot with their grandson David who wasn´t a member, and they made me APPLE PIE! I felt like I as in America. That was crazy! They also made us some cool paper shirts with our nametags, that was awesome! Gonna miss that family!

The Perales Family made them shirts and nametags :)
So our water went out on Saturday and Sunday morning there still wasn't water...and we only had the jug of drinking water which was super expensive (not really, $2 USD but that is a fortune for a missionary)...but I wanted to shower so I used it to shower hahahaha I felt like a rich man! Haha!

Hanging out their wet stuff from the flood. OOPS!
I gave a talk in church about the Sabbath day and while the Spirit filled the chapel, water filled our apartment. :/ Apparently the tap was left open where we wash our dishes.  Neither of us remember opening it...but we missed a call at 10:30 and at 11:30.  We finally saw it and called our Landlord (a member) and she said, "Your house is full of water!" That is a fun thing to hear hahaha! We ran with the Ward Mission Leader (not ran, we went in his car) and sure enough the street was just full of water hahahaha.

EVERYTHING was wet! There was like 8 inches of water, and our suitcases were just full of stuff. I had to throw out a few things, but not much. We put everything on the roof to dry, so everything is fine now but it was definitely a fiasco. I just laughed the whole time.  There is something the mission does to you. Nothing makes you upset. I can literally remember TWO times when I was SUPER angry, and one of them was when I was breaking the ice our of our old  Fridge hahahahaha good times, life is good. I finished the Book of Mormon Saturday night in the 40 day challenge I did with my family and friends, and good thing because I was VERY busy Sunday getting everything dry and organized!

We had to leave our investigators in church because of the flood, but we had FIVE this week! That was so great! Diana, Francisca, Sergio, David, and Bertha! They are all probably gonna get baptized this month, I'm so excited for them! I didn't get to baptize a single person in the 2 and a half months I was in Jardines, but I know I did good, hard work. There was a moment when I looked back and thought I had failed, but I know this work isn't mine, it's the Lord´s, and to him it doesn't matter who is the servant. I am just glad I got to know some of these great people!

This guy was wearing Kelson's mom's favorite shoes. Noni
has a pair exactly like this that she loves (for years!)
HAHA funny story real quick! So my mom  has these white Reebok shoes that she has had for like 15 years and she LOVED them and wore them in the house like they were slippers, so that's like a part of my childhood and I have seen them 4 times here on the mission. One was with an old lady in Jardines that brought them from Utah, one was a young lady walking in a market, and TWO WERE DUDES! I literally started LAUGHING when I saw this guy wearing them in a combi I was like THOSE ARE CLEARLY WOMAN SHOES!!!!! This last time I was in a Micro (bus) and I HAD to take a picture and I'm a NINJA. I was on divisions with the Zone Leaders and he was laughing with me and I was like maybe I should tell him, "Hey, I LOVE your shoes! My mom has the SAME ones!!" Haha!! Love you mom, and I miss your shoes! Haha!

So on Monday we went to the temple to get my Hijo! (Dad Note: Hijo means 'child' or 'son' and that is what they call a 'Greenie' or a new missionary just starting their mission)  They all came and they announced the companionships. I was behind the Assistant (because we were in a big circle) so I saw my name and next to my name "Abr." which I knew meant "Abrir" or "Open Area". I told Elder Gallardo after I saw his paper and he just laughed. I'm pretty stoked to be opening and area again. The Elders who were here both went home a week ago so they closed the area and gave all the area to the other Areas here in the ward, but last minute they decided to open it again and threw us in here!

His new Apartment. Not the Pink or Green, darn it!

THE HOUSE IS SO COOL!!! There are 2 floors and a half covered third floor, the first floor isn't ours and is in renovation. The house is HUGE! It is literally 10 times the size of our old house and we have it ALL to ourselves. Upstairs is super awesome, we have a place to hang out laundry inside and outside and we have a giant driveway and I wish I could play hockey there...I looked at hockey sticks today but they were WAY expensive so I decided against that hahaha!  The house IS really big..but it was FULL of things...because the Elders went home they left like half their stuff, there a lot of things there.  We have just been cleaning and cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. It´s great. I'm good at cleaning now mom!

Well things are just fantastic here! I am the District leader here and there are 4 other companionships in my District...It´s pretty crazy! And ELDER HICKS is my Zone Leader! I'm super stoked. Elder  Hicks and I were District Leaders in our other Zone and we get along really well. He had a great testimony and he is hilarious. He knows how to teach and how to bring the Spirit. We are gonna have some fun here!!

-Elder Davies

Here´s a picture of my Hijo, Élder Arenas!

And a picture of a bunch of our stuff drying on the roof....

Kelson's old District in Jardines. Elder Pezantes is the bottom Right.
Being Goofy

Paper Shirt & Name Tag made from a family in old Area
Flooded apartment - Hanging clothes to dry!

Either his old or new apartment - we aren't sure :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 31: The Fair, new phone & football sized Torta

Just in case you forgot who this is...

Hey family and friends and fans!

This week has been CRAZY! Just really busy and a lot of fun! Hey and next week we have changes and so P-day will be on Wednesday, so don't freak out if I don't right, the chances are pretty good that I'm not dead, it's just that P-day is Wednesday. REALLY good chances of that.

Night picture from the web of "La Feria" in Mexico City
A quick search on reviews shows many concerns about the age of the
rides and safety concerns :P
So I don't know why but in our area right now there are two fairs. They are the scariest thing I have ever seen. You know the creepy abandoned fairs in every single scary movie ever? The one with the ferris wheel? That is exactly what it looks like, it is horrifying. Haha! I saw it at night with all the lights and a million people and it actually looked pretty cool, but the rides are SO sketchy, they are all super old and I would never EVER put my kids on those rides, but I don't have kids.

So we went to the offices to get our phone fixed because it was always just turning off and we were missing calls and it didn't let us know, so we got a new one. While we were there waiting, I got to help the Senior Couple there (Elder and Sister Anthony from Utah!) do some work and Elder Anthony bought us Tortas. It was the biggest Torta I have EVER seen. I am SO sorry I didn't take a picture, I will go back and take a picture of one. It was like the size of a football but not as round, but there was SO much meat, I don't know how I ate it. And it cost like $3 USD. I love Mexico.
A Mexican "Torta" which is a huge sandwich like creation
with meats, eggs, cheese and... whatever!

So this week is FATHER'S DAY! Happy Father's day to the best dad I have ever had on this earth! You are so great and you're sense of humor is amazing. Thanks for that, the sense of humor you have always had and have made me have in my life has helped a whole lot in the mission. When things are just terrible I can just laugh about it and that is the best! But things never stay terrible, because I'm on a mission and I LOVE MEXICO.

So Diana. I talked about her last week in my letter. She is super escogida (translates to 'chosen' which means 'golden" in other missions & languages). She came to church and stayed for all three classes and was like LOVING it! All the talks were about Temples and Family History so we got her going on that! She is so great. I'm super excited for her!
Oops!  Broken umbrella. Now that is extreme weather in Mexico!

We are going to have to let a lot of investigators go this week. I'm not good at that because I always have hope for them, but I'm seeing that I need to leave the people who are not willing to progress for OTHER missionaries in the future and just work with the people who are willing to make the changes now. There are people in all stages of learning and willingness, and I'm learning that the key is to work with the people who are progressing and make sure to leave good information for the next Elders so they can teach the ones that just aren't ready yet. We'll see how this goes! We haven't had a single baptism here in this area, so we are taking a big step back to see what we can do better.

Well I love you all so much! Here's some P-day pictures I took today, they are pretty sweet. Mom, it's not as dangerous as it looks, honest!

-Elder Davies

Dad Note:  Apparently Elder Davies & Pezantes decided to do some one arm hand stands... or maybe they have taken up break dancing on a roof? HAHA But I am not complaining. Love pictures of him and Mexcio!  Not sure of the context of some of these pictures. I see the new phone he spoke about... but here they are!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 30 - National Elections and Umbrella Street Contacts?

Hey everyone!

How are ya´ll?? Things are just so great here in Mexico. I LOVE Mexico. It's just like the US really, just completely different in every way.

So this week my companion and I went and helped a brother in our ward lower a 225 pound gas tank from his roof along with a bunch of other old iron to sell to the recyclers. And how is it that we took a giant gas tank, 15 foot by 12 foot sheets of iron, and a bunch of other random iron car parts to the recyclers? Davies style. That's right! With a MINIVAN! I was so stoked because my companion was obviously a little confused how we were gonna get ALL that stuff in and on that minivan but I had no doubts. I know how to minivan. I felt right back at home with my daddy!!

So they have rules that we can't call Elders outside of our own District, but this week I called a lot of people outside the Zone and the mission. It rained REALLY hard on Friday, and I have all the Elders´ numbers saved in our phone, so I called the Elders in the ward Estrella and they answered and I asked if they were in their house and he´s like who are you?! And I was like who are YOU?! And turns out I talked to some other Elders in the mission...well long story short every time I tried to called the Elders in Estrella someone else answered, and yesterday the Elders were from another mission in Mexico hahahaha the Elder was from Sandy though so that was cool! That was a bit of an interesting experience haha!

National Police officer stands outside of polling station on
street in Mexico City. 8 Candidates have been murdered and
9 Campaign Officials have been killed in election violence
We got a reference a couple weeks ago for someone named Diana and finally found her this week at her house! She is so awesome! She has already been to church once and she is so down to come with us church! I'm really excited for her and I am hoping and praying she progresses. Yesterday were the national elections here in Mexico so a lot of people had to go work at the voting booths for their political parties, so Diana couldn't come this week but she said she will this week and we have an appointment with her on Friday! Also met a guy knocking doors named Guillermo and he said he already had a Book of Mormon that belonged to his dad before he died and we were like do you wanna get baptized? And he said yes. So we will see if he comes to church! We put a baptismal date for him for the 5th of July, but we will see if he is willing to come to church! That is the hardest thing...please pray for our investigators that they can get all their work and family stuff worked out so they can come to church!

We talked to a member's husband who isn´t a member about the Restoration and after we told him he had to find out for himself by doing what Joseph Smith did and asking God. I asked him what would keep him from praying and he said he is afraid to get an answer and then get baptized and then just stop going to church...we explained that our conversion and testimony were like seeds that needed to be cared for but if we receive an answer and keep working at it, we will NEVER fall away, and he still just didn't want to pray. He said he is happy where he is at, but I was REALLY direct with him and I think one day he might just pray and get an answer if he is willing to pray and listen! We'll see!
Umbrella Sharing: A new way to street contact?

So I discovered this amazing new way to contact and give service at the same time. I call it the rain contact. When it all the sudden starts raining super hard some people just hide under whatever they can to keep dry so we just come along with our umbrella and we are like, "Hey, where do you live? No way! We are going that way right now!" Then we just go with them! It is amazing and they get to listen to us the whole time we walk! Haha! There were two teenage girls the other day stuck like that, but I gave them my umbrella and shared with my companion so that wouldn't be weird...but we still contacted them and they were grateful and maybe we will get to visit them again some day! This type of contacting reminds me of what we did in Nauvoo when it started raining hard and everyone went under the tents and we just got to get so many references from them hahaha!

So this guy Fernando (that I had NEVER seen before) came up to me in the street and asked me where the Twin Towers were...I thought he was making some dumb anti-american comment about us getting bombed but then he clarified he was talking about two HUGE white Elders that were in the area like a year ago and I just laughed a lot hahahaha! Then he said his wife went to church a few times and listened to the missionaries but was super sick now. We offered to visit him and he said, "No, I have too many dogs. It's impossible." We kept asking and he kept saying no so we said goodbye and then the next day I saw him walking into his house and holy puppies...there were literally like 50 dogs. It was all he could do to shove himself through the door amidst them all barking and freaking out. I have NEVER seen so many dogs in so small of a space. I think he has more dogs in his house than there are in the whole neighborhood hahaha.

Well I love you all so much and I hope you all are doing so well! Thank you so much for the wonderful emails and the support! Means the world!

-Elder Davies

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 29: With wonder, amazement and.... cholera? Hmmm...

A picture of Kelson earlier in his Mission
Hey friends and family and other people!

Yesterday in church they announced that Elder L. Tom Perry had past away, we hadn't heard yet so that was a sad but he left behind a grand legacy of a faithful servant of the Lord. Just recently our Mission President, President Anaya, had us all read and study one of Elder Perry´s General Conference talk on Raising the Bar for Missionaries. It is a FANTASTIC talk, those of you who are missionaries and those of you who are not (that is all of you) should read or listen to this talk! He sure will be missed!
Mormon Newsroom
I had splits with the Zone Leaders and then two Elder in my District, Elder Rios and Elder Guillén (from Bolivia) who I actually knew a lot before because he was Zone Leader with my trainer´s best friend so we did a few things together on P-day like when we hiked that giant mountain in February I think...wow the time flies so fast! It´s already June! The splits were great, learned a lot from all of them and had some fun! It was weird not being with my companion for so long but we have a couple more splits to do this week so we will see how that goes! Funny joke Élder Guillén told it really isn't as funny in English as it is in Spanish but her goes! So a guy wakes up from Surgery and says, "Hey Doctor, how´d the surgery go?"..."I´m not a doctor, I'm Saint Peter." Hahaha not that funny, but hey I'm desperate. Send me a good joke please.

Snow Bros Arcade Machine
So there is this arcade game that my brother Kyler and I used to play on our computer for like hours when we were kids and it´s called Snow Bros, well that game was being played on an arcade game in the street and that took my back like crazy! That game was AWESOME!

So here are some funny things that happened this week: We were going to the Mall where Walmart is and as we pulled up in the Combi (That's the creepy white vans that you put like 20 people into) and we passed a sign that said, "Exclusive Entrance to 'Authorized' Public Transport", so I laughed a lot because there was a website Elder Slade and I used to go onto that just had wrong uses of quotation marks and I think they are hilarious! Haha I remember one said "Pregnant People" please wait "here". Like what?! What are you trying to tell me?!
"Combi" Van in Mexico City. These are like group taxi :)
Another moment sorry about this one it's a little strange...but ya'll know what Cholera is, right? That's the disease you get in the Oregon Trail video game and then you die...anyway, apparently that word in Spanish which means the SAME disease is interchangeable with angry, so in Mosiah 13:8 after Abinidi teaches the wicked King Noah and his Priests that they are condemned Abinidi says (in my Spanish to English translation), "Yea, and my words fill you with wonder and amazement, and with cholera." Those are some pretty strong words...woah...Sorry about that one, just had a moment there.

Things are good here in Jardines, we are working hard and trying to get people to progress which is SO DIFFICULT! We haven't had a baptism the whole time we have been here so we have strarted dropping a lot of investigators that aren't progressing and we are searching for some new ones! Pray for us and the people we will find and teach!

I love you all so much and I hope you are all happy and well! Thank you all for the inspiring emails and I'm glad you are having some cool experiences with the 40-day Book of Mormon challenge!

-Elder Davies
From another missionary's pics: Mexican Currency. Apx $48 US
Another missionary took this picture of the area. Very colorful!
Panaderia: Pan Duro or Hard Bread is a common treat in Mexico City