Monday, January 8, 2018

Miracle on 2nd Street

Baptism of Caroline and Leandro

How can you describe a week of just miracles? Miracle on 2nd Street? Because it was just that! haha We have some investigators that live on Street 2 of Virigilio Viel (the neighborhood). Their names are Caroline and Leandro and they have a daughter Angelica who is 5 years old. They got baptized this past week! Pretty awesome! I am so very happy for them. They are growing so fast, learning so much and loving it. We all felt such a strong spirit during their baptismal service and the ordinance. They are super special. This week also was a blessing on the zone Sumaré; everyone had the opportunity to mark baptismal dates this week for the end of the transfer! The Lord's has blessed us immensely in finding those who are seeking Him.

Every week we have experiences great and small that make me realize the Lord is there and mindful of us. He is merciful. He is loving and He is all-knowing. Our investigator Cleonice that we started teaching this past week had a lot of questions and a strong desire to be about doing good. She told us she had left her church because no one wanted to work! She felt that not just certain people should be doing the Lord's work that everybody should be involved. so she asked if she could go out with the sisters of the church and visit people to make them stronger and give a message to them to help. We jumped right in there and said we had a message that would help her accomplish just that that she was wanting to do. So what do you know, Cleonice comes to church on Sunday! I went to the Relief Society President, Lúcia, and I told her about Cleonice and asked if she could talk to her about the things she was asking about (including visiting teachers) at some moment during or after the class. You know what she said? "How great is the Lord, am I right Elder? Our class today is about visits and visiting teachers. How we can strengthen the Spirits of others as well as our own along the way of life." Pretty awesome! It is a small miracle but it is a reminder that the Lord is always aware of His children and what they need. It also reminds us to follow promptings because what we do and say may be what someone has been praying for or needs. As I said, The Lord is loving and all-knowing!

President Monson passed away this week as you all know. As I thought about Him and his passing, my thoughts were not sad but instead were thoughts of the many good things that he did for us and for the world as a prophet of God. He was and is a great man who served the Lord and everyone with all He had. He held nothing back. I remember when I went with my family to my first session of General Conference when I was about 12 and they played "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet" when he walked in to take his seat, everyone stood and the whole Conference Center became quiet. I felt the Spirit so strongly. I knew then He was a prophet of God. I turned to my mom and said "Did you feel that?" She was already crying of course. But that is an experience I will never forget. I am thankful for him and for who he was and the example he set on how to serve the Lord. I pray for comfort for his family. I also pray for the 12 apostles. I know that they will have guidance they need to guide the church in this time.

Thank you all for the prayers, support and love you all show me, I really do appreciate it and I can feel it strengthening me every day.

Elder Davis

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year

Christmas Multizone with Elders Toebe, Dickson, Mitchell, Hainsworth, Silva, Christensen and Sister Ribeiro
Happy New Year! Sorry I wasn't able to write an email last week. We had a leadership meeting in Piracicaba on Wednesday so I traveled there on Tuesday which was P-Day because of Christmas on Monday. Hope everyone had a great Christmas!
With Elder Cifuentes! Miss this guy! What a super comp. he was!
With Elder Kleinkauff, Sisters Nascimiento & Costa from my old Zone in Sao Joao da Boa Vista

With Elder Almeida

With Sister Peres
It is rainy season again - with Sister Januario 
Anyway the past two weeks were good! How can last week not be super, with it starting with Christmas Eve and ending with New Years Eve. How cool was that! It was super great to talk to the family on Skype and to see them finally! How great is the joy we receive from our families right? Heavenly Father is so merciful in that He blesses us each with a special family and with wonderful moments that we share with them to cherish for the rest of our lives and beyond. All that ties us and binds us together with our families and with our Savior and Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for eternal families.

Baptism of Rayssa with Bishop Alves and Elder Aruajo

Christmas Dinner with the Oliviera Family and Mayara
"Felz Natal" Photo from Multizone
Christmas was great. It is always a special time to remember Christ and His ministry but feels even more incredible when you are a missionary. We had a baptism on the 23rd and that made it even more amazing. I am grateful I had the opportunity to pass another Christmas as a representative of Jesus Christ. It truly is amazing to be a representative of Jesus Christ and focus on only His work each day. It is great to feel His spirit guiding us and to feel a little of how He felt when He was here on earth preaching His gospel. I am thankful for the gospel and the scriptures that tell us of His life and the true path He showed each of us that we need to follow to have His spirit. Each day I feel humbled and honored to carry His word to those that are in need of comfort and who are seeking purpose and truth. This Christmas season we worked hard as a companionship to teach with the powerful spirit of Christmas. To help others ponder on what they want to accomplish in life and what gifts are most important and how they can have the spirit of Christ or Christmas every day. I know that it is only through Christ that real changes can happen and our will to do good is strengthened. He leads us from bad to good and from good to better. It is only through letting Him and His gospel into our hearts that we have a true change of heart and miracles happen in our lives. I want you to know that I love Jesus Christ. He is my Brother, my Savior, my Redeemer and my Rock. He is who will keep us strong and rooted through the storms and challenges of this life. We can always find peace in Christ even when there is not much peace in this world. He is the way, the life and the light. May we all seek to have the Spirit of Christ more fully and consistently in all of us this year. As we make goals this year I hope we all focus not only on the things of this life but what will matter in the next. I know that will truly bring us more happiness and peace as well as bring us closer to our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Thank you all for everything that each of you have done for me this past year. I love you all and wish you the best for 2018!

Elder Davis

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Call

It took about 2.5 hours, 3 different computers and many generous & kind members of the Sumare ward running to the church on Christmas Day  but we were finally able to hear and see Elder Davis on skype. It was definitely the best gift of the day! He told us of his love for his mission, the people of Brazil and bore a strong heartfelt testimony of the Atonement and the Savior. How grateful he is and we are for this experience he is having serving as a Disciple of Christ. We took a couple pictures while sharing laughter, tears and some profound moments of testimony. How blessed we feel to call this young man our son.



Monday, December 18, 2017

Pure Joy


With E. Christiansen and E. Hainsworth - part of our original CTM group
This week was good! We're keeping up the work and the miracles just keep coming! Hope everyone is lighting the World with the Light of Christ and enjoying celebrating Christmas.

We are still working with Luis. It is going to take a little more time. He was doing so well, we taught him and he accepted baptism. He has been attending church every week. He was having a hard time setting a date but we talked to him about doubt and fear and how those things aren't feelings that God gives us. I shared with him one of my favorite scriptures, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7. At times I feel a little like Alma and Amulek felt when they were testifying with their whole soul, trying to get the people to not only open their hearts and listen but to have the courage to change. Elder Araujo and I work well together and felt the spirit strongly as we testified to him of what we knew to be true. The spirit was strong and he set the date of the 23rd. So this past week we went to see how everything was going and to accompany him with the reading and answer questions. When we got there he told us he was not going to be baptized anymore but he would continue to accept us in his house but he didn't want anything to do with baptism. This broke our hearts of course because we knew he had received confirmation and felt the spirit about his previous decision to be baptized. But what kept us going was the Spirit and the stories of the missionaries like Ammon, Alma, Alma the younger, Amulek, Helaman - everyone has challenges and obstacles. Those kept coming to my mind and the thought that we needed to not give up. The fire was burning in our hearts and we knew Luis also had felt that fire in his heart. I can testify that the promise really is true that the words will be given to us in the hour that it is needed if we are constantly fill our minds and hearts with His words. The thought and scripture came to my mind. "And I will show until the sons of man that I am God, the same yesterday, today and forever." (2nd Nephi 27:23) I explained to him how Satan works. I shared some of my experiences with him as well about this subject and then asked him. "Does God tell lies?" He responded "No. Only the truth" I then said "Then why would He tell you to follow the church and be baptized and that the Book of mormon is true but then say 'Scratch that, I was wrong, go back to what you were doing.' He does not give confirmations of things and then change His mind. It is usually our doubts that get in the way. We need to doubt our doubts and fears rather than doubt what has been confirmed to us through the spirit. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The truth will always be the truth and false will always be false." He then stopped and thought and said "Thats true...." We invited him to pray and ask God about it again. He accepted and felt it and said he wants to continue moving forward so we will continue to work with him to get him where he feels ready.
With Sister Nascimiento and her companion

With Elder Almieda

With Elder Waters

With Sister Azevedo

We are also working with a few new families. One is Aline and Elizabeth. We found them at 8:45 at night two weeks ago when we were just about to go home. It is always that way right? Fourth floor last door! Got to work to the end and the miracles come. They actually visited the church one time a long time ago but then didn't return after because the missionaries who contacted them were transferred and the new ones never came back to visit them again. They were lost in the shuffle. They were really receptive and we taught the first lesson (The Restauration) and it was great. It went really well and they understood perfectly. When we shared the First Vision and asked them how they felt they said they felt like something was burning within them. We explained that that was the Spirit testifying of the truthfulness of it to them. We then explained what the Book of Mormon was and marked Moroni 10:3-5 for them and talked about the promise that is given. Well they have now read, pondered then prayed and asked if it was true.They said they both felt the spirit really strongly and felt like it was alleviating/lightening the weight on their shoulders, like they were being carried to the truth. So we invited them to be baptized and they accepted! They both responded "Yes it is true and I know it personally" Caracaaaaa!! How glad I am that we found them again. When they said that, I truly felt the pure joy that comes with missionary work. It is that joy Lehi felt when he partook of the fruit of the tree of life and desired to share it with others. it is the joy of sharing the gospel and seeing others grow in the truth. There is nothing else like it. No better Christmas gift to give the Savior, yourself or others than sharing His light and gospel.

This week was a great week and I couldn't thank the Lord enough for the experiences that we have daily as His representatives. I love Him and would like to testify of Him to you once more because there never is a moment when I am not grateful for Him and His love for us. He is our master and our King. The King of Kings, the Master of Masters and the Son of God sent to save us each individually through His Atonement. Jesus Christ was born and was crucified in our behalf. He was then resurrected and lives today to be by our side and to support and love us. If at this time in your life you do not feel of His love, kneel down and pray. I have not one doubt in my heart that He will fill your heart with His love. I know with all my heart, spirit and all of my being that He is our Savior, our Redeemer and certainly, our best friend in which we can always trust and count on. I love Him and am so grateful for Him. So this Christmas season may we serve as He would serve and be as He would be. Let us #LightTheWorld

Merry Christmas!
Elder Davis

I finally got some pictures to upload from the multizone a couple weeks ago. Attached a couple of the missionaries that I do not get to see very often.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Seek & Invite



Baptism of Igor and Eliane
This week was great as usual. The Lord is so merciful with us, always blessing us so much! The words to the hymn "How Great Thou Art" come to my mind. We are truly blessed by His hand everyday.

Transfers are today. I am staying in Sumaré with E. Araujo for another transfer. I am happy to be staying. I have only been here one transfer but you never know sometimes you leave quickly but luckily I am staying here at least one more transfer. I love working with the members here and love the people we are teaching. Elder Araujo is super cool and we work well together. This week we have been working with a few members and less actives. We were able to give a few lessons to some of them and it all went great. I love seeing them start to feel with the spirit of Christ again and remember of their testimonies and the feelings that they had! Sometimes as people we get a little off track and then we just need someone to come along to help us get started on the right path again. We all need a helping hand some time in our life. One thing a mission reminds you of is that it is important that we be Christ's hands here on earth to serve others and do His will. It is one of the greatest feelings to see someone remember about what they felt and what they know is true. I love the verse in the Bible in Matthew 18:12 "How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?" Being the Christmas season, what greater gift can we give our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ then to seek after the lost sheep. So everyone there is no better time than now, start seeking and inviting!
With Igor & Eliane and Elders Araujo and Pontes

I love this family!

Finally the day came! Igor and Eliane got married firstly in the Cartório (the government building for documents) then they got married/got the blessing of the Stake President in the church! It was super awesome! This all happened in the morning and then that night we had the baptism! I love their family and am excited for the progress they will make now with the blessings of the gospel in their lives. This is what life is all about. Something a little funny - anyone who knows me well knows how I hate to decorate or do anything like that, probably because I am horrible at it. But Araujo and I were asked to help the Relief Society do the decorations for the wedding. Haha They put great trust in us I guess. And a miracle happened it turned out super well! It was a great day seeing them married and then baptized! It was the highlight of the week.
zx
Igor and Eliane with their son at the Cartório

All set up for the ceremony at the Church

With Brizzy, one of the ward members, who helped with the decorations and Elders Araujo and Pontes

Another miracle. We were walking in the street and a boy was sitting at his doorstep. I felt prompted to talk to him. I talked with him, he said he lived there with just his mom but she was taking a shower and so we said we would come back another time. We continued going up the street, talking to a few people along the way and then we turned the corner and went up the street going to our other appt. When we got halfway up the street, there was a boy at the door of another house, we felt prompted to go talk to him even though we were trying to get to our appt on time. As we approached him we realized that he was the SAME boy that I saw in the OTHER street in the other NEIGHBORHOOD. How he got there so fast, I do not know. He said this was his cousins house and he had come to visit but that no one was home, just him and his little cousin. We set up another time to come back and we continued back on our way up the street. Then we saw a teenage girl coming down the street and we felt prompted to stop and to talk to her. We stopped and talked with her and she wanted us to come teach her so we marked her address and phone number so we could come back the next day. Would you believe it if I told you she lives in that house where we stopped and talked to that boy? The second house which was the house of his cousins, she is part of that family. It's so great how the Lord works. He had prompted me 3 times about this family, at 3 different times and 3 different places. I am glad we listened. We went there on Saturday to teach the family and she even brought her friend. We taught the first lesson and asked them to pray. They agreed to come to church and we will continue to work with them this week.

Luis and Francisco are doing well! We invited them both to be baptized. Luis also accepted and we marked a date for the 23 of Dec. Francisco is not quite ready so we are going today to see him and answer some questions. I am excited for Luis. That will be a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas and what a great gift to give the Savior!

Hope everyone is doing the #LightTheWorld challenge! What a great way to help us come closer to our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ through serving. Helps us follow His example and become more like Him one day at a time! Link: https://www.lds.org/blog/25-ways-to-lighttheworld-this-christmas?lang=eng

Have a great week!
Elder Davis

Monday, December 4, 2017

Always Let the Spirit Guide

Hey Everyone-
This week was a good one! Every week I feel like I am always saying the same thing but it was a great week! I guess it is okay to repeat things if the only thing that changes is the miracles that the Lord does in our work as His representatives! It is always good to see how He uses us for good as we work to serve Him.

We are trying very hard to work with the members here because like it says in the scriptures, Zion isn't just one specific place, it is a place made by the people who are pure in heart. So we are trying to help the members have the DESIRE to do the work, not just do it because we ask but help them have the experiences that they need to so they will have the desire to do the work by themselves. It's a lot like what we do with an investigator. We teach/review with them what is the spirit, and how to feel it or recognize it, and after that we help them experience all of that and then give them opportunities to do it themselves. They are starting to give us references and we even got a calendar made of divisions for December! This month will be a good one!

Monday we did a Family Home evening with a few of our investigators and it all worked out well! Igor and Eliane will baptize this week on Saturday! Everything is set. They will be married in the Cartório at 9:45 and then be baptized at 4:30! I am very happy for them. We are also teaching Maria which is Yasmin's grandma but her health really stops her from doing a lot of things such as going to church. She wants to be baptized and said that she feels that it is the right thing to do but she hasn't been able to go to church because of her health. Through fasting and prayer we know the Lord will bless her.

We also found 2 awesome people this past week. Luiz and Francisco. We are working in a neighborhood called Virigilio Viel. It is a neighborhood that has a lot of members, actives and less actives, as well as investigators. We started working in the street of our investigators, Igor and Eliane. Igor goes with us as we make contacts and teach. He and Eliane are awesome missionaries already. Anyway, we were working in their street and as we were passing by a house, we looked over and saw a man that was all tattooed and looked kind of rough. Initially we passed his house and then we both stopped afterwards and looked at each other and said at the same time "lets go back and talk with that guy". So we went back and talked with him, he invited us in and we talked a little bit and marked a date to come back and visit him (Saturday at 3). We came back on Saturday and we taught him the first lesson (Restauração) and he loved it. Although he had a lot of questions because he had heard a lot of bad information about who we worship and what the Book of Mormon is. After answering his questions he said he felt he now was learning what the truth was and he knew what he had been told before was not true. He said it is unfortunate that people say those things without finding out what is really the truth and he was glad we had come to talk to him. He also said he doesn't like making promises or appts but he said he would make one with us to go to church. At the end we told him that we were sent by God to teach him and that we had been prompted to come back and talk with him. He then said "Yeah, I saw you guys pass by and look at me then continue forward without coming over to talk to me. I thought that it was probably because of my appearance but then you guys returned after a minute and started talking to me. I was thinking why you passed by and then came back to talk and I think it was God that prompted you guys to talk to me because I need the truth". We were amazed when he said that. It is so important that we do not make the judgement in our minds of who we think will accept the gospel; our office and duty as missionaries and as members is to preach to all people equally. He kept his promise and he came to church on Sunday and LOVED it. It was fast and testimony meeting and then we read the scriptures and talked about Jesus Christ in Gospel Principles class. Then we went to the Elders quorum and we taught about desire to do the right and how to strength our testimony through 7 things:

1. Desafiar (challenge)
2. Ensinar (teach)
3. Sacrifício (sacrifice)
4. Estudar (study)
5. Jejum (fasting)
6. Oração (praying)

and the seventh is all of the first letters of the words together, desejo (desire). He loved the class so much that he asked to take a picture of the whiteboard to study at home and he asked us if the book we gave him had the Doctrine & Covenants in it and everything that we studied in the classes. Said that he cant promise to be there every Sunday because sometimes he has to work on Sunday but he will come the next two weeks when he is not working. And then to top it off he took Luiz home, our other investigator that came to church that lives on his same street! How awesome is that right? What a great person he is and how grateful I am for the prompting Elder Aruajo and I both had to turn around and go back to talk with him. We need to always be careful about making judgments about others. That experience reminded me that appearances can be deceiving but the Spirit ALWAYS guides. How grateful I am for the still small voice that can bear testimony of truth and guide us in our lives if we will listen.
Have a great week!

Elder Davis

P.S. Sorry I did not get any pictures uploaded this week. I got a crazy slow computer in the LAN house this time.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Leaving Limeira is Difficult




Dinner & FHE @ Mara & Adilson's home

Oi todos-
This week was good. It was really rushed! The last week of the transfer always is. So today is transfers, I will be leaving Limeira! :( I will be going to Sumaré Zone and serving in the ward called Amizade. My companion will be Elder Araújo. I really don't know much about him. I am excited to get started in the new area. It will be cool to get to know new missionaries, a new area, a new ward as well as just have a change. But to be honest it is really hard to leave this area. I have developed a love for our investigators, the ward members and have great friendships with some of the missionaries here. I will miss them a lot. Elder Cifuentes has been a great companion and I will miss him. It is like leaving family.

With Adilson and his family my last Sunday in Limeira. I love this family!

With Eduardo Luis Taboga

We had interviews this past week with President. I always love the interviews because it is always a chance to progress forward and learn a lot. I always leave the interviews uplifted or having learned something on how I can be a better representative of our Savior. I love Pres. Bangerter and am grateful for his counsel.

So Elder Cifuentes and I were in divisions almost all last week. One of the district leaders in our zone got sick and had to be hospitalized so Elder Cifuentes went to Rio Claro for the week to cover the interviews and things for that district and took Elder K. Oliviera with him. I stayed in Limeira with Elder Jackson and covered this area of the zone and worked with him. It is always cool to see how other missionaries do things and learn from them. We had a great week.


With Elder Jackson

Sorry this email is short but I need to go say some good byes and don't have a lot of time! I want to share a quick quote from Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley about the importance of humility and the purpose of life.

"Being humble means recognizing we are not on the earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others."

I am grateful for the Savior and for all He has done for me. I love Him. I know He lives and loves each of us. I am thankful for all those that have made a difference for me. Let's all make a difference for those around us. Have a great week!

Elder Davis