Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hey!!! SO things get better every week here, probably because my Spanish gets better every week... haha. Thanks grandma Davidson for the letter, it really helped me a lot this past week. So I can really understand more and more Spanish everyday, but I’m still not too close to conversational Spanish, which is sad because I want to speak so badly! haha I can convey what I want to pretty well now, not perfect, but I can usually say what I am trying to, so that is nice. About the investigators, we get most our new investigators from tracting and just talking to people. And we really make the most out of the people we do talk to. We visit people a lot and visit the new converts to so it helps them to stay active and continue to gain a stronger testimony. We really just work really hard and literally try and talk to everyone and help anyone out that needs it. We usually do not track too much because we are lucky to have so many investigators and coverts to visit. The ward members in one of our ward are really nice and help us out a lot so that is good. We have 4 baptisms planned for this next week so I’m really excited! Things are going really well here! I feel so very privileged to be a missionary! It’s very rewarding and when I realize how much I am learning, it’s definitely worth it!People here are almost always very nice to us, since EVERYONE believes in Christ and understand that we are really just trying to share a message about Christ, a lot of people help us. Like people stop and give us rides or the bus driver says we can ride for free, so just little stuff like that. The Christian world (Catholics, Mormons, and other Christians) like us and knows we are just trying to honestly help anyone we can and so they are all helpful. Catholics help us out a lot too! Haha There are a lot of Catholics here and they are way nice. I really love my area and the members and the investigators, I’m really lucky to be where I am at right now! We have these two investigators right now who are amazing! They have changed their lives so very much and have such strong testimonies! It been amazing for me to see them grow and change and gain such great testimonies. They have stopped smoking and drinking and live the law of chastity and everything! I’m sorry I cannot say more because of time, but they are amazing examples of what is possible through the lord. I am so impressed by them and they motivate me to work harder and learn more while I am here. I love being here and as hard as it is sometimes, I am always learning so much about life, and especially the gospel! A mission is truly an amazing thing! It has been a huge growing experience for me! Sorry I cannot say more. Hope to hear from everyone soon!Sorry that I cannot say more right now, there is so much to say but I have so little time... haha I cannot wait to hear from everyone! Sorry this email is lame... haha.

Love, Elder Andrew Davidson

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So this past week has been one of the greatest learning experiences I have ever had in my life! Oh and first off Congratulations Mom on graduating! I'm sorry I could not be there for it! I love you! And thank you Larissa, Paula, and Kali for the letters! We had zone conference this past Thursday and I got the Dearelders for the first two weeks in March. Thank you! its always amazing to hear from home!
So I had my first baptism this past week! It was completely insane and everything that could go wrong did... I was the craziest day of my life, but we had two baptismal services and baptized 3 this week. And we have 4 planned for next week and then 2 the next week. So its going really well. We have an amazing area and have the opportunity to baptize a lot here. We are leading all of Juarez in baptisms right now, and there will be even more baptisms next week. SO that is exciting. Juarez is 5 zones and each have about 5 districts with about 7 missionaries per district.
Oh and I was very grateful for the area I get to work in this past week. I thought it was ghetto until we went and worked in the Alta Vista area for a day. Like it was the most impoverish area I have ever even seen a picture of in my life, no joke. Like when you see commericals trying to get you to donate money and they show pictures of WAY impoverished areas, this was those areas. Like houses were made out of mattress springs and wood pallets and tires where used to build up foundations on hills for the houses! Nothing is paved at all and its all dirt and sand. There are a ton of hills too and some of the really steep ones have stairs made out of old car tires! I actually really liked it though, it adds an extra bounce to my step!!! ha ha Oh and there are tons dogs every where and they're all nuts and sound like they are going to kill you! That is for all of the areas here though. Getting chased by a dog will get your adrenaline going FAST. Like when I'm really tired from walking so much everyday and want the energy to keep going I end up getting chased and then I'm WIDE awake! ha ha But yeah, after Alta Vista I was very grateful my area has way less hills and a lot more paved roads! The people are so amazing and so humble! They have so little and yet they are willing to give so very much! I love the Mexican people and learn so so very much from them everyday!
My companion have been getting along really well, I really got lucky with getting such a good companion. It is hard sometimes because He just expects me to learn all of the lessons so fast when I am still trying to just learn a language. But the language has come a long long way. I can almost always understand everything, unless they speak extremely fast, which is usually just the 15 to 18 year old girls... ha ha. And i can speak much more now and am much better an pronouncing things too! I still can not wait to be fluent tho... I day dream about it so much.
Right now we have a ton of investigators!We are busy all day everyday! We get up at 6:30 everyday and get ready and study til 10:30 and then work and visit investigators and teach until 2 and then have lunch until 3 and then work and teach until 9:30 each day, We don't get dinner here so that is an hour more of work for us... haha "Comer" or Lunch is always amazing with the members tho! I love it! Oh and we email from a cafe about 7 blocks away so it is close. We walk a TON each day, like TONS, like probably 7 to 10 miles a day or more. I want to get one of those step counter things so I can see how much I really do walk a week.
And its been tough to get rides for everyone for church because we have been getting about 10 investigators to come to church each week, which is really good. Oh and all 10 have baptism dates too! And I think another family is going to commit to baptism dates this week as well! The Lord is truly involved in this work! I love it! It has been so amazing to see that here especially! I love that we are not the ones convincing them or converting them. We teach them the principles and then invite THEM to pray and for THEM to find out on their own. It has really strengthened my testimony of prayer, I love being able to promise some one that He will answer and I know it! We still have to teach them the doctrine and provide the material for them, but after knowing so little of the gospel they pray and really start to gain testimonies for them selves! I love it! People change their lives so much! Its crazy! It has been amazing to see the changes people make for something they know is true! I love the gospel and I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve!I am really starting to get used to life here and really starting to enjoy everything more, especially because I can understand what people are saying! ha ha Thank you so much for your support and prayers! I really appreciate it!
Love,Elder Andrew Davidson

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hey! So I wrote for about 20 minutes and then my palm bumped the keyboard and it deleted everything, so I am sorry this email is so short... hahaLife has been okay here, there language is tough, but i have come to learn so much tho all of the struggles. I want to be able to talk so much more and help people and be the missionary I have the potential to be, but the language slows everything. So it get frustrating sometime, but I have learned to rely on the Lord so much more and trust so much more in His timing for me and that I would not be here if He did not need me to be here. It has been an enormous testimony builder for me to see His help in my life constantly though out the day. I have learned so much about prayer and how aware the Lord is of our lives. He truly cares about us and loves us, I know it. Being able to share the gospel is an amazing feeling! I love it! It makes everything worth it! When we teach we share a small portion of the restoration and about Joseph Smith and the BOM and then invite them to pray and to ask God FOR THEMSELVES. We are definitely not the people who convert anyone; it is always Him through the Holy Ghost. Always! I love that! It does not matter how much information we teach them, what matters is that they ask for themselves and receive an answer for themselves, that is it... haha We do teach them all of the lessons and such, but what really matters is when they pray and when they read on their own. It’s amazing to really be able to share the gospel with so many people and then follow up and talk to them every day about how life is going. No worries though, Mexico is safe! Haha I am with a native all the time and all of the church is native and all of the mission leaders are native so although I am an American, I am okay here. Most people know who we are and know that we are and what we are doing and know we don’t have money, so know body ever messes with us. It’s weird walking around with no wallet and no money at all... haha I like it! Haha The church is all Mexican and they would know if it was not safe for me to be here. Plus I’m with Mexicans ALL the time hahaI have been getting along with my companion great! I love Mexican people! Haha Most of them are so easy going and non judgmental about everything like everyone in the states is, I love it! People are so kind and willing to drop everything to help us out, it’s amazing! I’m sorry this is not longer or more in depth, I deleted the really long email I was going to send... haha sorry! I love you all and miss you so muchLove, Elder Andrew DavidsonP.S. oh and the address to send me letters at right now is the PO BOX in the last email. Packages and letters can go through that and I will get it much faster. Thank you! Oh and dearelder WORKS and is FREE to here too, just to give you the heads up. I will let you know when not to send letters and packages to the PO BOX anymore. Love you!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hey Everyone! So this past week has been the hardest week of my life! For sure! I laugh atthe thought that the MTC was ever hard at this point!! Haha, we are literallybusy every second of the day... that is no exageration either! We literally haveevery moment planned and never get enough sleep or study time. It has beenextremely hard to adjust to working all the time and understanding littlespanish. Well I can understand most of what they say, I just can not speakenough to really resond to the people's questions, and that is the hardest part forme. I really want to be able to help people and talk to everyone and help mycompanion but its hard when I am not fluent yet. I help with teaching thelessons and contacting people and such, but my companion is the one who has to doall the answering questions and conversational stuff. Its really hard for me tojust watch when I know how to do everything and be a missionary and such and yetI just can not speak enough spanish to do it all. Its my personality to betalkative and talk to everyone and get to know lots of people, but because ofthe lanuage barrier, I have to just watch my companion, which pretty much killsme... haha. It has been NUTS here in Mexico. Like 10 times a day, I have to stopthinking and be like "wow, I live in Mexico"... haha. Like today when I sawsomeone in a carriage being pulled by a donkey... haha. There are tons of crazythings that happen everyday. I wish I had more time to be able to tell you morestories. My companion is a convert to the church, 4 years ago, but he is AMAZINGat teaching and talking to people. Everyone loves him and he does so well, Ithink that is why I want to be able to talk so badly because I am jealous he isthe only one who gets to talk to people and share the gospel.. haha. He is anamazing help though, and NO he does NOT speak any english.... well besides like"take it easy", and "whats up baby", haha. He is fun to be with though. I like theMexican people a ton! I have never seen more humble and kind people in my life.There are so so so many ridiculously kind people here. Oh and one of the thingsI love the most is that people are not extremely judgemental like everyone inthe states is. I LOVE that! I have loved getting to know so much more about theMexican culture. Espescially because I am talking to people ALL day, and livewith one too.. haha. It has been an amazing experience!Two days ago in the morning, I was struggling a lot with being in Mexico and notknowing spanish and having to only watch my companion and thinking that I couldbe so much more effective somewhere else where I could speak the language. Andall morning while we were walking (which is a ton by the way), I was thinking alot about it. I talked to my companion a little too and he always cheers me uptoo. But I realized that the Lord would not have sent me here if I did not need to be,and it also helped me to realize how very important knowledge is and the value ofit. I also realized that the Lord needs me to know spanish to help build Hiskingdom later in life as well and how many things I am learnng each day. I ambeing taught the two most imporatant things that I need right now, humility andmost of all patience! Haha, everyone knows how very impatient I am, and thistruly has been the ultimate test. I am so very grateful for it though, and IKNOW that through learning to rely more and more on the Lord, he will bless meand allow me to become a better person. It has been an amazing lesson onlearning to rely on the Lord, because sometimes I do feel really alone and ithas made a huge differnece as I have learned to rely on the Lord.So people keep asking me how Juarez is with the saftey and such, well right nowthe government sent 5,000 troops up and everything has cooled off a lot. Also keep inmind how crazy the media is, and is it not half as bad as the media says it is. Butwe see like 40 trucks full of troops with giant guns drving around everyday,haha. They look so legit and there are always like 3 trucks and they are usuallyHummers too.
Oh and about the whole mailing thing. So there is the El Pasoaddress where you will mail me stuff my whole mission, but while I am in Juarez,there is a member in the ward who has a PO box in El Paso because she worksthere, so she will send my mail for me and it is MUCH quicker to send mailthrough her to me. I will get it everyweek.

Elder Andrew Davidson o-o Edgar Flores Prieto
1650 Sioux Dr. CH. 44781
El Paso, TX 79925

Edgar Flores-Elder Andrew Davidson
2220 Bassett Ave
PMB 106
El Paso, TX 79901

The address that goes through the PO box for the lady in my ward that I will ONLY BE ABLE TO USE WHILE I AM IN JUAREZ FOR A COUPLE MONTHS is
Juliana Orozco o-o Elder Andrew Davidson
P.O. BOX 971802
El Paso, TX 79997
This address is good and much much fater while I am in Juarez. I will tell youwhen I leave Juarez and you have to use the other adresss, but for now, thisaddress is the best one to use to send me things, both packages and letters cango to the PO box and she picks it up every Friday. Sorry if I was not clear andit is confusing, please let me know.Sorry to go, but we have very little time to read and send out email here. Wehave very little time for everything... haha. We are so busy and work extremelyhard. It has been very tough, but its coming along much better now. Hopefullythe next week is faster... haha.I love you all so very much and I can not wait to hear from all of you!
Love, Elder Andrew Davidson

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

So I have really loved Mexico! It’s crazy! haha I am sorry I am not going to be able to write much today but usually I will get to email on Tuesdays, but yesterday we had to drive to Juarez, which is my area, so that took about 5 hours and we did not get the chance to do our pay stuff. Sorry ahead of time for my terrible spelling and lack of caps because this computer is weird and not working very well. So sorry. So we flew in on Monday morning and then we were picked up at the Chihuahua airport and went back to the mission home and had our orientation and such and met up with the new native companions too. There were 12 us between the Americans and the mexicanos. They were amazing though! I loved them! They were the most fun people I have ever met before! It was the longest day of my life, yet one of the very best. I was way nervous at first but I got much more comfortable really quick once I met President Flores and Hma Flores, they were extremely nice and welcoming! The new elders were too! And the Mexican ones. We stayed the night at the mission home and then the next day we had our study time and then we had much more orientation and then our new companions came. Sorry to go through the story so fast, I just do not have much time today. We also had the best meal ever on the first night. Real Mexican food is amazing. It was just so so so weird being in a foreign country the whole time and seeing no English at all. It was kind of a culture shock for a little while, but it’s mostly a language shock.Anyways, we had more orientation with the older elders and then found out who our companions were going to be. Mine is elder Juarez from Tampico Mexico and does not speak a bit of English, and I really mean that. All he can say in English is, whats up baby... ha-ha he is way fun to be with and is an expert about everything here. He is patient with my Spanish learning too so that is nice. oh and side comment about the 2 days of learning what to do, it was almost all in Spanish... ha-ha very few people speak English around here. We then took a 5 hour bus ride to Juarez where my current area is. We got in real late and mainly just went to bed, but today had been packed full of all kinds of crazy thing. I love living in Mexico, but mainly I just love living with Mexicans! Ha-ha they literally are the nicest people I have ever known in my life! It has been amazing getting to know so very many of them, I love it! The members down here are great too! A ton has happened to today, but will include it in next week’s email because I ran out of time. All the mail goes though El Paso and is just USA to USA mail so you can use USA stamps and send it to that address. I forgot the page that tells me what they are, but I got to write a letter to my family yesterday and I included that so maybe Danielle will be able to post that for me. But it is very simple, all mail goes to El Paso, there is a package address, and a letter address, and you send it just USA to USA and you do not have to worry about anything else. oh and I think dearelder works really well too already got a dearelder on day 1 from Larissa, I don’t know when you sent it Larissa, but it was extremely nice to get that on my first day! So the last 2 days have been the most adventurous days of my whole life! I could literally tell you about 15 hours worth of crazy Mexico stories already! Oh and something funny, so if 15 year old girls in America talk fast, you need to hear the 15 year old girls here speak! Ha-ha at lunch today at a member’s house, there was a 15 year old girl talking to us and I have never heard faster spans in my life! Ha-haI love it so much here! My house is crazy ghetto and I love it! Ha-hait’s been amazing to see how international the gospel is! It’s amazing! I’m sorry I can’t write more!I will write more next week, sorry again for the spelling errors, this keyboard is messed up.I love and miss you all so very much! Cant wait to hear from you soon! Love, Elder Andrew Davidson