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.
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:

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, November 27, 2017

Don't Be Lukewarm!

Multi-Zone Conference
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! This past week was a good one. We had two baptisms! Woohoo! Heavenly Father has really blessed us. We have been blessed with people that we can help a little along the way but they also help us through their faith and examples. We have been blessed with such great people and investigators! You can see the hand of the Lord in the work here in this area. I am so thankful for it.

We had Yasmin's baptism this past week on Friday. She came to the church all excited and invited all of her friends & their families to come see her baptized too. We are teaching some of her friends and their families also. I wish her parents would come around. It is sometimes hard to understand. They really want the gospel in the lives of their children because they see the blessings that come but sometimes they are not willing to make the changes themselves so they can enjoy the blessings together as a family. As we keep inviting I hope their hearts will change and they will see they need it too. Saturday was the baptism of Mayara. Holy cow, I have never seen a person more prepared than her. On Sunday, the day after her baptism she went to the bishop to have her temple recommend interview done. She was interviewed and this Saturday she will be going to the temple with a member family (the member that baptized her). President has decided that he would like the baptisms performed by members of the ward so they have connections with them when we get transferred. So we no longer do the baptisms. I think this has been good and has connected new converts with members in a great way. I respect and admire Mayara for her decision. She is a great example of faith and of integrity. After she was baptized she went home and some of her family began to criticize her badly and say horrible things about her and the decision she had made. Told her not to go back to the church etc...but instead she came the next day and was confirmed. She was in Relief Society and said to a member that she was feeling something way different then before and that she knew it was the Holy Ghost comforting her and confirming to her that she had made the right decision. Then she went and had her temple interview. She pushed onward. It was awesome to see her stand firm during her challenges and trials.
Baptism of Mayara

Baptism of Jasmine
Gina, Renato and Mayara & her boyfriend Vitor

We had a Multi-zone Conference this week which was awesome.  It is always great to see everybody and learn a little more about how we can serve better.

One of my Trainers - Elder Sander

Our zone with Pres. & Sis. Bangerter

With Elder Hugo at Zone PDay activity - love this guy!
The spiritual thought I wanted to share this week is from Revelations 3:15-16.
"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot."
"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."
As I was studying this past week I came across this scripture. Sometimes I think we get comfortable and think it is okay to be "lukewarm", or "more or less good" or "somewhat a good person". But the Lord has told us that He will not accept lukewarm. We need to choose whether we are going to be "cold or hot". Are we going to be obedient or disobedient, righteous or wicked. To Him there doesn't exist this thing of "I kept the sabbath day holy 50% of the time" or "I will obey this commandment but not this one because it doesn't make a difference for me" This isn't how the gospel works. We cannot have one foot in and one foot out. Of course we all will make mistakes and are not perfect but when we keep choosing to only obey partially or follow Him halfheartedly then we are on the wrong path that will lead to unhappiness. The Lord would love to bless us and has many blessings in store but we have to be obedient so He as a just God can bless us with them. If we have gone down the wrong path or made choices that aren't good we are never to far to come back to Him if we have a contrite heart and humble spirit and true desire to follow Him. That is what the atonement of Jesus Christ is all about. But we need to make sure our hearts and our will is one with Him. I love that video "Because of Him". I know most of you have seen it but it is so important to remember all we have been given. It reminds us of all the sacrifices He made for us and all that is possible because of Him. Because of Him, we are here and have the opportunity to return to our Heavenly Father and Him one day. I love my Savior and hope to honor that sacrifice and remember Him as I choose to follow Him with my whole heart, might and mind. Here is the video link if you would like to watch it again. (Video "Because of Him")

Hope everyone has a great week.
Elder Davis

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Plant and Nourish

With Elder Araujo in Piracicaba a few weeks ago
Hey Everyone-
We had P-Day yesterday but most things were closed because it was a holiday so today I can only write a quick email to you and one to President. Sorry about that. I will try to catch up next week. We had a great Zone Pday yesterday though. We did a paintball activity, which was a lot of fun.

So this past week was good! Lots of work with the members and investigators! Yasmin, Maria, Maria Vitoria, Mayara and Igor/Eliane are doing very well! Maria Vitoria is having some people saying things to her and kind of getting in her head. This past week we did our best to be pro-active and check up with all of our investigators every day so that we can help them keep their goals of reading and doing the challenges we gave them. We have been working with some of our newer investigators to help them understand the importance of attending church and honoring the Sabbath day which went well. We also continued with our plan of having our investigators help us find new people to teach and this week one of them led us to a friend that was actually part of a less active family! It was awesome! They are also a part member family, not all of them are members so we are going to work hard with this family to reactivate those who are members and teach those that are not members yet.
Elder Silva goes home this transfer! 
Saturday was a pretty busy day but a lot of the appts we had at night fell through. And it was raining too. So we started knocking a few doors while walking through the street we were on. We knocked quite a few but were not very successful in finding people home. We were on our way to another house that was in a street close but we ended up stopping and talking to a woman at her door. She was the one that started talking to us and she talked to us for a long time. But it was good because it gave us a background of what she believes and what she is going through. We were able to relate the blessings of the gospel to her life personally and talk about the Sabbath day and invite her to go to church. It always is when you make a little more effort when things get tough that the blessings come. We had a few appointments fall through but the Lord helped us through that to find this woman. As we were talking it started to rain hard and guess what? Because it was raining so hard she asked us to come in and talk more. So we went in and continued to teach, and we were able to met her daughters and they also listened. Before we left we invited them all to go to church with us the next day. The daughters, Bruna and Barbara said that they have always wanted to come but they have never been able to because every time they passed, the church was closed. They all accepted and said they would go to church! On Sunday guess who was there? Bruna and Barbara! The members were great and they made a lot of friends. They intend on coming to church next week! What a great miracle it was that we ended up going down their street right at that time so we met their mom and we were able to teach them. One of our investigators, Mayara, who has been introducing us to her friends and helping with other investigators even commented to us that she wanted to make a group on WhatsApp with the members and the investigators that are coming to church to help them get to know the members and to be more firm!

One of my goals on the mission has been to study the Book of Mormon more closely and deeply. Elder Araujo is a good missionary and it has been great to work on this together. We study it personally but also as a companionship. Not just reading but studying it with purpose and applying what we learn to deepen our testimonies. It makes a difference for us individually and as a companionship as we teach. The promises that the prophet and apostles have given us that we will have more peace, tranquility and happiness in our lives as well as guidance and strength, we have experienced that. I testify of the truthfulness of the promise that if we study the Book of Mormon every single day we will come to a better understanding of what the Savior has done for us and feel His love for us. We will want to follow Him and do what He would have us do. It will change how we see people and how we interact with them. I have seen a lot of that in my mission as I have studied and really strived to get deeper understanding. I already had a testimony of the Book of Mormon and knew it was the Word of God but I am grateful that I have come to a better and higher understanding of the blessings that come from the Book of Mormon. Take the challenge in Alma 32 and plant and nourish that seed.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.

Elder Davis

Monday, November 20, 2017

Recognize His Hand

It was great to have Mayara at church! She is awesome
How's everybody? We are doing great . My new area is super awesome. My week was good. Our ward is awesome! Ward Amizade. I am also seeing many people here who are from Hortolandia where I served for 6 months. Today, I already saw 7 from Jardin Amanda ward. That was super. They are pretty close in location. Also the Leadership Pday last Monday and the meetings on Tuesday were pretty great. It was good to unite all of the leaders in the mission to discuss how we can become better leaders and disciples of Christ. I learned a lot. We had a Family home evening altogether which was super cool too. We had to do skits and got in some good laughs. I love doing the Lords' work and serving in this mission.
With Eudes Da Mata & his family, members from Jardin Amanda ward in Hortlandia
Teaching is also going well, a lot of great things happening. We have been teaching a person named Isabel who came with a friend to church. She is a youth and is super interested. Her brother is too. We have taught the Restoration lesson to her and she has already started to read the Book of Mormon. She cried when she spoke to us about reading it. She also recognizes the importance of having prophets, apostles and the authority of Jesus Christ (Ephesions 2:20). She felt the spirit really really strongly while we told her about the 1st vision. She recognized the fact that Joseph Smith as a youth was seeking truth then like she is now. She and her brother would like to be baptized but her parents will not give permission right now so we will have to be patient and pray that their hearts will be softened. That they will see the good come into Isabel's life. I know the spirit and love of the Savior can change anyone's heart. She is pretty awesome so we are going to keep inviting and working with the parents. It is a tough thing but we aren't gonna give up! We have also been teaching Yasmin, Maria and Raissa. This past week we taught them about the Word of Wisdom and Chastity. They agreed and don't have any problems with any of them. They too shared that they feel a good spirit as they read the Book of Mormon. They set a date to be ready to be baptized in the next two weeks. Friday we found some new people to teach and made initial contacts. We also got to visit Igor and Eliane which is the couple that has dates marked for the 9th of December. They will marry on this day and also be baptized! It will be awesome. I love them so much! They are a awesome couple. We are trying to do something that we haven't really tried here in Sumare before. I have done it a few times in my other areas and it always worked out, so Elder Araujo and I started to do it here. We ask our investigators to share what they are feeling and learning with our other investigators. Igor has been going to church for about a year now but has never married and so he never was baptized. But he will marry now and will be baptized so we invited him to come along and visit some of his friends to teach. It was awesome. We were able to mark a few appts with his friends and he helped teach and bear his testimony. He was able to strengthen his own testimony as well as help his friend receive the gospel! It was super awesome. We will be visiting his friends again this week.

So on Saturday, the powerful day of confirming with everyone that they will go to church the next day! hahaha. So this day was just great. We got to teach some of the people that we found in the week and invite them to church. Almost everyone said they would go. We then went and visited Yasmin & Maria again. Guess what? Yasmin had a friend with her there waiting for us! We taught them about the importance to church. We always talk about the Sabbath in every single lesson we teach and how important it is to go to worship the Lord each Sunday because that can be a challenge for some people. We also found 3 people just by stopping them in the street to talk to them and they accepted our invitations to visit so we are going to teach them during this next week. The Lord really does bless us when we "talk with everyone" so just do it! You will be blessed!

Leadership activity in Piracicaba

The Mission Leadership activity was great!

Blessed to be serving in a faithful zone.
We have a great zone!

Sunday. We were able to bring 11 people to church! So cool! They are all progressing too. That is something we are trying to focus on. Helping the investigators progress but also not depend on us. Every single investigator has a member or another investigator that is showing them around the church explaining everything. We are there to make sure that its all right but it's super awesome because they are helping each other and themselves! Yasmin brought her friend and her friend's mom too. Yasmin showed the baptismal font to them and bore her testimony to them about how important baptism is and invited them to her baptism.Our investigators are missionaries already! Hahaha! It was awesome.

I want to share with you a scripture from Alma 10:4-6.
"Now these are the words which Amulek preached unto the people who were in the land of Ammonihah, saying: I am Amulek; I am the son of Giddonah, who was the son of Ishmael, who was a descendant of Aminadi; and it was that same Aminadi who interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was written by the finger of God. And Aminadi was a descendant of Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren. And behold, I am also a man of no small reputation among all those who know me; yea, and behold, I have many kindreds and friends, and I have also acquired much riches by the hand of my industry. Nevertheless, after all this, I never have known much of the ways of the Lord, and his mysteries and marvelous power. I said I never had known much of these things; but behold, I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power; yea, even in the preservation of the lives of this people. Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know;.."

Sometimes we can be as Amulek and think we don't know the ways of the Lord or that He doesn't have a hand in our life. But I want to testify to you that He always does. We just need to take the time to recognize it. As we pay attention to all of the little things we sometimes take for granted we will see we do have a knowledge of Him. Sometimes we just don't know that we do. Harden not your hearts, open them up for Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to enter in and heal you of whatever is inflicting pain, and let him lift the burden weighing down your shoulders. He is the Christ. He is the way. He is the life. He is the living bread and water. He is our Savior and our Brother. Love Him and receive His love. He is always there for us. I testify that He is the only way back to our Heavenly Father and to find joy and peace. I know that with all my heart and see it in every moment in my life as a missionary. Follow Him and focus on Him. The things of the world will pass but that which is of God is eternal. (1 John 2:15-17)

Elder Davis

Monday, November 6, 2017

Breaking Me In

With Elders McAllister, Araujo and Silva athe the Corinthians Stadium

Hey Everyone-
Hope everybody is doing great. I am in Piracicaba today. We have a leadership P-Day today and have to be at a park in about 30 minutes for some activities so this will be short. We are having leadership meetings tomorrow so we will be here in Piracicaba for a few days. My first week in Sumaré has been great but crazy. My companion is Elder Araujo and he is really cool. Elder Costa who was my zone leader when I was a district leader is now in my zone. He goes home in 5 weeks. He is the best and it is awesome to work with him again. Now we have switched roles - kind of funny.
Sumaré Zone
We are trying to build up the teaching list in this area so when I got here we visited ward leadership to try to get some referrals. The Relief Society President has helped us a lot in giving us referrals and some potential investigators. We have also been going through the area book and contacting EVERYBODY. So after a lot of work this past week we have found some great people to teach. We have marked two baptism dates for the end of the month with Raiza and Yasmine. We are also teaching this guy Vitor who is 16 and is pretty cool. He has a sister who is a member but his mom is not. He is really interested and wants to be baptized but his mom is not for it. His sister is 22 so she did not have to get permission. Hopefully the mother will see the change in her daughter and see the blessings that have come to her life by drawing closer to Christ and will want that for her son also. He is already changing alot too and you can see the blessings of the gospel making a difference for him.
With Elder Araujo

Churrasco is os sooo good!
A funny experience this past week. Araujo took me to a house, and told me that this investigator called Renato was very interested in the gospel but that he had many questions. He then told me that he likes to especially ask questions for the new elders coming in the area. So we entered the house and Renato started asking these crazy questions which were pretty tough but luckily I was able to answer them. So after I answered his questions he said he wanted to get baptized but only if he could do it that day. So in my mind I was trying to think fast of how we could make it happen and get his interview done, font filled, etc... Then Elder Araujo and Renato start laughing and told me that Renato is actually a member. They were just breaking me into the area. We all got a good laugh. I love the people here in Brazil. They are always up for a good laugh and have happiness despite tough times.

I want to share with you a bit of my testimony that I know Jesus Christ is our Savior, our Redeemer, our best friend, our brother and the Son of God.I love Him with all my heart. His grace is sufficient for all people. He will always be in our lives to support, love, cherish, safeguard, protect and strengthen but ONLY if you let Him in the door to do that. I know that no one is ever out of reach or too far from the presence of God to return. No one. I love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is my Master and I will always serve Him. I am grateful I have this opportunity to be His disciple and be a witness of Him. Always remember the love He has for you and know He has many blessings in store for you as you choose to come to Him.

Elder Davis

Here are some additional pictures from my last zone Rio Claro that I did not get uploaded before leaving there last week.

With Robert

With the Bishop of Limeira Ward 

Love the members of Limeira!

Last P-day with Elder Cifuentes. He is the best!

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

Monday, October 23, 2017

A Place of Peace and Revelation

On divisions with Elder A. Silva
This past week was very busy. We had little time and lots to do in the zone. We did three divisions this past week. One with Nova Italia which we had to do a few things there with the elders, then one with Araras A and the last one with the elders here in Limeira B (we are Limeira A). It was awesome to go on divisions with the elders. I loved it. Its something I have not had a lot of opportunity to do because of the districts & zones that I have had in the past have been mostly sisters. It's such a great learning experience and I have been truly loving it.

We did a division with Elder A. Silva. I was able to go there in Araras and stay with him for a day. We did a little of everything there. We found new people to teach, contacted references, as well marked a baptismal date with someone named Patricia. We also visited a few members and working with them on gaining some references and we ended up doing well. Elder A. Silva and I had a few great talks and conversations together, it was super cool to get to know him better. It's amazing how we all have something that we can share with one another and learn from each other. Everyone has something that can bless another. As we learn from each other we gain knowledge and wisdom we can use to become better and also bless the lives of others. Elder A. Silva showed me a lot of things in a different perspective and I am grateful that I could learn those things from him.

Packing in some calories with Elder Cifuentes
It has been a great week where we have seen the Spirit work and guide us in our work as missionaries. We talked a lot about temples this past week, with our investigators and also with the missionaries in zone. I gave a talk in our ward on Sunday about temples also. So that is what I wanted to share with you guys in the spiritual thought this week. There is a part in the Families and Temples pamphlet that we use that I really love. It says,

"For members of the Church, a temple is the most sacred place of worship on the earth. It is unique from all other places of worship. It is designated as the only place where families can be united forever and where the most sacred gospel ordinances are performed. It is also a place where you can feel closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, a place of peace and revelation, a place where family relationships are strengthened, and a place to seek direction concerning life’s challenges."

We should always take advantage of the times we have to go to the temple and participate in sacred ordinances or in seeking our Heavenly Father's guidance in our lives. The temple is the holiest place on earth. It is literally the house of the Lord and you can feel His presence and His peace in His house. He is willing to love, guide, heal, or comfort anyone in need, we just need to seek Him out. I know that Jesus Christ is our Master, Teacher, Savior, Redeemer, and of all, my best friend. He is the Healer of all diseases, infirmities, illness, weaknesses and of all that is bad. He is willing to bless and guide anyone and everyone who has sufficient faith. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you.

Elder Davis

Monday, October 16, 2017

More Holiness

District Meeting in Rio Claro
It has been a great week. Highlight of the week was on Saturday when we taught Gabriel and Ana, we talked about the temple and sealing their family. We had already taught them about that stuff but we revised our lesson and reviewed it again. Their hearts were touched and they have decided to get married so they can be baptized and then sealed as a family forever! Pretty awesome! So they will get married in a few weeks and then they will get baptized. I don't know if I will be here in Limeira for it but I am super super happy for them! One of the great moments of the mission! I love that family and want to see them grow in the gospel together!
P-day activity with some Elders from the Zone
Last Monday we had a district pday and played soccer at the church. It was super fun and it was a great activity to have together to excite everyone in the district. Its been a while since I have played and I realized my soccer skills are not what they used to be! haha Here in the mission we usually aren't allowed to play because it can get very competitive here in Brasil and people can get injured. But every once in awhile we get the opportunity but not very often. When I get home I will have to practice I have definitely lost a little skill . haha.

The week got off to a slow start on Tuesday and Wednesday Elder Cifuentes was really sick so we had to stay home. It knocked him down for a few days. So I got some good study time in and a bit of exercise too. Thursday we had a district meeting in Rio Claro. We did a cool activity based on Alma 24. Just like they buried their "weapons of war" and promised to God that they would be "peaceful". We buried our "sins" or our "weaknesses" and promised God that we would be obedient and faithful. So we wrote "our weaknesses" on a paper and then buried it outside. We also did a plan of salvation for our missions, before the mission, during the mission and after the mission. So we took a picture we had from before the mission and took a picture we had of during the mission and then Sister Azevedo drew everyone after the mission. We thought/wrote the goals of our mission, how they would be accomplished and then how others & ourselves & our families would be blessed by the mission. Was super cool.

Our weaknesses

Burying our weaknesses & committing to overcome them.

Our Plans of Salvation for our Mission

Sister Azevedo's drawing of my future after mission goals
Friday was my Bday but it was pretty much like any other day in that we worked. But that is what made it great! haha Thanks to my family for the great birthday packages. The chocolate chip pancakes and syrup were a great birthday breakfast. And thanks again to everyone for the birthday emails. I apologize I am still trying to answer a few. We do not have a lot of time in the LAN House on P-days. But I appreciate all the messages. Maria Diogo who is like my Brazilian mother from Hortlandia wanted me to come to Hortlandia to have lunch together because she has the same bday as me. But as you can guess President didn't give us permission to go. So what did Sister Diogo do? She said if you cannot come here, the mom will go to you! So she came here to Limeira on Friday and ate lunch with us! I love her and I am thankful for her kindness and the love she gives us as missionaries. It was super awesome. We also had cake at the house of Mara and Adilson. I love them so much. They are awesome. They made me a cake and sung happy birthday which was super cool. We also had a cake that the Bishops wife gave me and we ate that in our house. But before we ate the cake my companion and the other elders that live with us were singing me happy birthday and then at the end, snuck up on me and broke an egg on my head! That's a tradition here as well as to throw flour on top. I was happy we didn't have flour in our house! hahahaha It was super funny. Tried to give my companion a hug after to share the "love" that was shown but he didn't want a hug, I wonder why? ;)

Celebrating our birthday with Sister Diogo
For the spiritual thought this week I want to share the lyrics of the Hymn "More Holiness give me"
1. More holiness give me,
More strivings within,
More patience in suff’ring,
More sorrow for sin,
More faith in my Savior,
More sense of his care,
More joy in his service,
More purpose in prayer.

2. More gratitude give me,
More trust in the Lord,
More pride in his glory,
More hope in his word,
More tears for his sorrows,
More pain at his grief,
More meekness in trial,
More praise for relief.

3. More purity give me,
More strength to o’ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom,
More used would I be,
More blessed and holy—
More, Savior, like thee.

That is what we are all striving for to become more like Him. Sometimes we can get overwhelmed or feel we can't make it or do it anymore. If you get to that point where you don't have desire to improve, don't have a desire to read the scriptures, pray, go to church, or continue onward, - get down on your knees and say a prayer. Ask Him to give you a little of that great desire that He has for you. He will "loan" you a little, give you "a seed" so you can begin to nurture that into a big ole tree that will bear many fruits! He is there for us if we but ask for His help.

Have a great week!
Elder Davis