Sunday, April 14, 2013

 April 11, 2013

Buenos Dias! 
This week has been so wonderful! I don't have a lot of time to write so I will get to it! We went contacting and doing service at the University and both times Hna Page and I talked to 2 wonderful people. If you all know me, you know that I love to talk! Probably too much. So these people didn't know that when they said hello to me we would have an hour long discussion! The amazing thing was to see how these two had been prepared to listen. They were both catholic and both very intersted in the Book of Mormon. When I explained to they young woman that families can be together forever her face lit up and she smiled so big. The Lord helped me a lot to know what to say. Usually, in normal story telling or conversations, I say a lot of needless things. But I felt strength by having my companion with me and the Spirit. Hna Page is still really shy when it comes to speaking spanish so I have taken the lead so far. It has forced my spanish to improve and my knowledge. I usually turn to her and ask her in english what the scripture I am looking for is and she turns to it. Or she knows a random spanish word I can't think of. I am so blessed to have her! I couldn't have asked for a better companion. General Conference flew by so fast! We sit in our desks in a classroom to watch it and we all loved it. Many of us cried seeing the conference center and knowing that our families were there or watching it too. It was nice to see home! It looked cloudy! Sad for you guys, because let me just say I am getting a bit of a tan down here. Actually my freckles are just covering me and getting darker!(: I love the weather unless I am working out in it. You sweat so much! It is kind of gross! I have felt my Heavenly Father's hand in my life so much this past week. I have felt His love for me and for each one of you. I know that He lives. He truly Lives. I know that our Savior, Jesus Christ, will come again. I know that He lived and died for you and for me. I LOVE this work. I have so much to improve on. As I listened to a devotional by Elder Bednar I realized that I have to lose myself in the service of others in order to become who the Lord wants me to be!
I know this part is random but 4/15/13 will be one year since I met one of my best friends Elder Taylor. I look back on the past year and many of you have come into my life in that time. I hope you each know how grateful I am for matter how long I have known you. God bless you all and remember that you are each a Son and Daughter of God.
I love you all!
Hermana Davila

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hola a todos! Como estan!

Number one mama I forgot my patriarchal blessing. Not sure what to do about that or how I forgot it but I did! So yeah. :) Anyway this week has been so crazy full of everything! I have been called to be the Sisters coordinator, so basically if any of the sisters need anything or have anything they don´t feel they can talk to their companion about...they can talk to me. (please forgive the bad writing, the keys are all set up for spanish no grammatical lessons needed!(: I feel blessed to have that calling and to be able to take on the task of getting to know so many wonderful women! We just received 17 new sisters from the US last night at 11pm. I have yet to talk to them all but they seem so wonderful and excited to be here! Yesterday at 5pm we received 3 Haitian sisters and 10 Haitian Elders. They all speak creole and french. So this is where I am so grateful that my companion knows french! haha we balance each other out in so many ways!

Now...let me make this next part very clear. I wet the bed. I am not sure if I can make it any more clear than that. I drank so much water before bed and had a dream that I was going to the bathroom....woke up after my dream became scary and thought it was odd that I was sweating but my feet were cold. Yeah...I SOAKED the bed. Brand new mattress too. Needless to say, everyone in the MTC knows and we all have good laughs about it! haha So moving on from that...The cook, Alex, is trying to make our food more American since all of the Americans cant seem to gain a love for sucking bone marrow out of bones in our soup! haha I am normally a very picky eater, but i have tried plantain, bone marrow, huge mangos, huge avocados (for you mom), and a ton of other things that I really could not tell you what was in it. I am slowly liking it, but now they are trying to make it better. The avg weight gain at Provo MTC is 35lbs and here is 15lbs. I have stayed at the same weight the whole time, thank goodness. I have tried to work out hard for 30 minutes each day and then play basketball or volley ball for the last 30 minutes. It seems to be doing good.

Some of you will be getting letters soon because our friend Reed and his parents are going up to Salt Lake this Friday. Reed has Down Syndrome and is amazing! He is very intelligent! More on the mild side of DS. He figure skates on his roller blades, plays bball and vball really well. Can have a very normal conversation with anyone. So he has offered to take everyone's letters back to Salt Lake to send them there so they don't take so long! He is a wonderful example to us.

So on Monday it was our shopping day. Our first time out of the walls of the MTC and Temple grounds. We cant see too much outside of here because there are just tall buildings. We are gated in here and in our own little world. The sisters and Elders loaded into two vans and we drove to the store. At the store we met a man named Manuel Angelino from Italy. He spoke English, Spanish, and Italian. He was commenting on how this was the week for us to fast with bread and water like Christ did and the Elders had carts FULL of junk food. haha he was only half joking. My companion scared me when she said Well I am not Jesus I cant live off of bread and water. I couldn't tell if she was being contentious or funny. I quickly jumped in and explained our beliefs briefly and who we are. That turned into a thirty minute conversation in the store. He now wants to know more about the church and was very interested when I told him about the Book of Mormon. He thought it was our bible and I explained that it goes hand in hand with the bible and it is a history of the Americas and Christ coming to them. He gave us his information and we gave him the church websites. I hope he finds the joy in the Gospel. 

 It was a whole new world to see outside. People walking in between the lanes selling things, kids wearing rags and playing, garbage filled the streets. And this is the better part of the DR. An old man (late 70s or early 80s) came up to our van window holding three huge avocados and asked if we would buy one for 50 pesos. Hna Stevens was getting her money out when the traffic started to move. The man tried to run and catch up to us but the van was too fast. Hna Laureano (our young sassy teacher) had the driver stop. This old man ran all the way through two intersections to our van so we could buy one avocado. He was so happy. I couldn't stop seeing his face in my head. When we got into the apartment I laid on the floor and cried and cried. First time crying here. Hna Laureano came and laid by me and talked to me about it. She told me that many of the people become so happy because that means they can take some food home to their family or they can keep their home a little longer. I told her I felt bad that I had only a message for them. And all I could do was tell them that this message will be enough and it will fill their hearts with so much joy. I learned that, that is all I can do for now. I must help these people receive their Savior and His Gospel, make it to the temple, and have eternal life.

I am so blessed to be here. I am so excited for this opportunity. I love my Savior and the strength he has given me to be here. I have felt the Spirit touch my heart while being here. I have come to know many things by the revelations I have been able to receive. I am grateful for a companion who loves me selflessly and who helps me learn and grow each day that I feel I cannot teach right or say the right things.

My scripture for you all to read is 1Nephi chapter 1. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all in that Chapter. That one Chapter speaks of God speaking to his prophets, personal revelation, our Savior, prayer, faith, and so much more. Read it again and feel the Spirit speak to you. Work on the things that you may be lacking in. Little by little. I keep forgetting to bring my scriptures and notebook to the Computer lab to send you my other scriptures and thoughts. Next week will be better!

I love you all so so so much! Thank you for being so wonderful and helping me be here!


Hermana Davila

Mom put any Davila family emails on here too. as well as Joshua and Dallas. thank you! I love you!

March 21, 2013, 1:04:41 PM

Hola! From the Dominican Republic MTC! It is crazy to think that I have already been here a week! I don't even know if I can call it a week yet though! A bunch of us missed our connecting flight to Miami on Wednesday and so through all the other flights we didn't get into the DR until about 1am. We didn't get to the MTC til about 2am and got to bed by 2:30am on Thursday. And yes, of course, we were up at 6:30 am! The first few days were hectic trying to unpack and get everything organized, trying to figure out classes, getting used to the food, and so much more. It was a blast though. So let me tell you about this DR food. They don't lie when they say we eat rice and beans EVERY single day! There is always a scoop of rice and a bowl of some sort of bean soup and then one or two pieces of meat. I have liked all the food about 90% of the time. Last night we ate plantain soup with a type of rood that had the texture of potato but definitely not the taste. I have learned to be a lot less picky about the food that I eat. There are ALWAYS fresh bananas on a cart for every meal and pineapple for lunch and dinner. There is a secret stash of pb & when we don't like Alex's(cook) food we just go make a sandwich. The bread we have is like a mini loaf full of air. haha it has a 'waterproof' top and I think everyone, but me, loves it! haha
The weather! It sure is hot and humid. My feet and legs got burned a couple of days ago while I was sitting outside with my companion. Gotta love being white!(: It feels great most of the time. It does get really hot when we play volleyball outside. The guys here are awesome! There are about 14 American guys and 20 Latinos. The Latinos love to help the sisters with their Spanish! I am not sure how but I got sick and today is the first day that I feel great! My nose is still stuffy but I feel so much better! I feel so blessed.
I only have 8 minutes left before I get kicked off so let me get to the most important parts. I have been very humbled this week by a number of experiences. The first one that comes to mind happened on Saturday. In my districo there are 2 elders and 6 hermanas. They were all talking about how they wanted to learn the doctrine first and then the Spanish. I didn't know what to say but then our 'sub' teach(who is quite intimidating and quiet...but really nice) came in and for some reason I said what they had been talking about. I never would have guessed what came next but he asked us if we had faith. He spoke in a very quiet way. and had us open to Moroni 7:33-34 I think. But he told us that we needed to be more diligent and that there was great miracles happening in Puerto Rico and that if we were diligent the Lord would allow us to learn the way that has been set out for us and all would be well. He testified and I cannot tell you how strongly I felt the Spirit. I buried my face in my hands and tears came out uncontrollably. It was such a blessing to have him testify to me. Sorry I don't have time to write more about that.
Then on Monday a girl who knows a little less Spanish than I do, transferred over to the Latinos classes and therefore will be leaving on Tuesday with them. She talked to me and told me that she had wanted a challenge because class was way too easy. So she got it. She told me that I knew so much and that I could go into the field. It got me thinking. So I prayed and then an Elder came over to the MTC(he is sick and staying at his miss pres house right next door) We spoke for a while and he said that I needed to be in the field. So I decided to just talk to President Freestone. He told me that he knew I was ready and I could do it. He emailed my mission President and he said that he would take me whenever I felt ready. And so I told him I thought that would be a good idea and to go forward with the process. Well, I felt off after that. The more I thought about it the more selfish I felt. I had wanted to go into the field for ME. I had wanted to learn Spanish faster to better MYSELF. I asked one of my teachers, Hermano Rodriguez what he thought. He pulled me aside and spoke to me really fast in Spanish so my companion couldn't hear/understand. He said he knew that I could do it. I would be great in the field and learn all the rest of the Spanish that I needed to learn, out there. He then told me that the only reason he would tell me to not go, is for my district. I answer almost all their questions with or without a teacher, I love helping them, even though I really don't know a lot, and they are so loving towards me and are comfortable asking me questions. My companion is Hermana Page, from Laramie, WY. She knows English and French, but no Spanish. She relies on me a lot. The first discussion we gave to an investigator was all me talking because she gets so nervous. I am so happy and blessed to have her as my companion. BUT anyway! He wanted me to think about her and the district. He said either way I would be blessed and it would be okay. After he told me that I prayed again and got the same feeling that I feel about almost everything...IT IS UP TO YOU ALEXX. My Heavenly Father doesn't like to tell me what to do. Another Hermana in my room said "how great is it that God trusts you enough to make your own choices." She is very right. I have decided to stay for now. I still have the option to leave to Puerto Rico when I feel ready, if it is before the 6 weeks mark. But for now I will stay with my district.
A little more about my companion. She is 21(22 in May). She is soooooooooooo smart. This girl spits out random facts about EVERYTHING! She is a primatologist/psychology major. She loves loves loves anything small and cute...and cannot wait to have babies! She is funny and makes me laugh all the time. When she learns something new she always says "Huh, interesting." I laugh every time and she says "You know what!? *Random fact!" haha I love it! She is so great!
We are told to ONLY email family unless approved by the mission President, so this will hopefully reach everyone just for today and the I will have my mom forward them to you all.
I have felt the Saviors love for me all this past week. I have come to LOVE this place! (We are fenced in haha) I want you all to know that I love this work with all my heart. My companion had to go see the doctor today and he let us come in while he was on a worldwide conference call with SLC headquarters and people around the world. Missionaries are overwhelming every single MTC in the World. Provo is filled to it's MAX and by summer the expect to see over 5800 missionaries in the Provo mtc if they can make it happen. Last Friday there were 5 apostles working to get the mission calls done. And on Tuesday they sent out 1800 calls. There are almost TOO many missionaries hahah(: I LOVE IT! and we are all a part of it! Elder Holland gave a talk at Provo MTC in Jan and he said that he cannot tell us WHEN the second coming but he wants to make sure we know we are IN it. It IS coming. I know my email is ALLLLL over, but you all are in my heart! I hope to get letters from you all soon!(: I love this Gospel! I can Testify with all my heart that it is true!
God bless you all!
Hermana Davila