Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Hey everyone!

So this week was great and as usual I learned a TON to say the least.

I LOVE teaching. I love teaching the gospel to everyone and anyone, I love teaching the missionaries and I love how much I learn when I get to teach. This week I realized how much I have come to love sharing the gospel. In the beginning it was hard because of the whole Spanish thing and so I was always nervous and always thought I did not do to great of job. But now my testimony has grown so much and I have learned to put my heart into teaching and now I love it. I love helping people see the light and the truth. I love seeing the way their face and posture change as they hear the message of the restored gospel and FEEL that it is true. It such a great experience each time and it’s helped me to be a much more confident teacher.
This week we had divisions twice, once an elder from Chihuahua came here and then the other time I went to a little town in the mountains called Madera. It’s like 4 hours away in the bus. Since our zone includes the entire Sierra so we have to travel a bit more. It reminds me of the little mountain towns that you see as you drive up to the ski resort… It had snowed a lot the day before, but when I got there on Friday a Little bit of sun was out so it was not too cold at all. It was great to be able to talk to and teach someone different the whole day and share the things that have helped me so very much with them. Plus I learn a ton from them so it’s a win-win situation. There is always something to learn from others as long as you stay humble so I really enjoy the divisions. I do not like to be away from my area to be honest, I put my heart into how I teach so it’s sad to not be able to keep visiting my investigators and help them progress. Plus I also really like the people we teach so I’m disappointed when I don’t get to see them for a little while. This week I had divisions with Elder Boone and Elder Baldwin, two Americans. They are both younger in the mission than me and are going to be great missionaries some day so I’m glad I was able to help. Plus it makes me realize everything I do and it has helped me a lot to step up and be a leader. But at the same time a leader is not the "best" by any means. If I am going to be a leader in the mission it means I need to learn to forget about myself and serve others and have a selfless attitude and give everything to our missionaries. The best leaders are those who serve with humility and love NO matter who it is or how the situation is. I am trying to do all I can to really learn and APPLY the principle, but obviously I have a long way to go still :) But I’m growing and improving a lot so that is what counts.

So I have had a number or cool experiences this week and I want to share a couple with you. The first one is about an investigator I contacted like a week ago. We were walking in the streets one day 2 weeks ago and were headed to an appt and I saw a guy standing outside of his house just doing nothing and I felt the need to contact him. Sadly, I didn’t do it. We were in a hurry and we had passed him quickly. Two days later we walked past the same house on the corner and I saw him outside doing nothing again. Once again I felt the need to contact him and that he was waiting for us. So I tell my comp and we walk over and start talking to him. His name is Ramon Moreno and just got back from Juarez. He has had a lot of struggles recently and was WAY receptive to all we taught him. He has now come to church and loved it and has shared the gospel with all his family members who live in the same house, which is a couple of cousins and an uncle. AND he has a baptism date for next week and is way determined to be baptized. He has FELT for himself the truthfulness of our message and has no doubts. He has received an answer to his prayers and has felt the spirit countless times with us. He wants to do everything to get to the celestial kingdom! :) He is going to have surgery next week so we are hoping all goes well but he is awesome. This has helped me to realize that the lord really is preparing people for us to teach and will ALWAYS guide us to them. He will tell us and all we have to do is listen. But you don’t have to be a missionary to do it. You ALL can share something with someone and the spirit will tell you who the Lord has prepared for the gospel, all you have to do is LISTEN. This is something we forget to do so very often. It was a great experience for me and it has helped me to be more humble and listen to the spirits voice.

So the other thing I want to share is about Marisela de Cisneros. We contacted her husband the other day at his work and he was receptive. So this past Wednesday we taught their family, his name is Walter. He is 25 and he has a 24 year old wife, Marisela, and 2 little kids. One that is 4 years old and the other is like 2 years old. When we got to the house Walter welcomed us in and we started talking. His wife was on the other side of the room and tried to look occupied so we wouldn’t talk to her. When we saw her the day before with her husband, she went into the other room as we talked to her husband. SO I invited her to come talk and she gives us a look like, don’t talk to me. I act like I don’t understand and urge her to come over. She says she is shy and not interested much. We talk a little to gain confidence and a friendship with them and then start teaching. So at first she doesn’t listen too well but as we continue to teach she feels the spirit and starts to change. By the time we start talking about the first vision she is WAY focused on all we say and even turns to quiet her kids and says "hey, shhh - I can’t hear!" Then I shared the first vision and we felt the spirit so so strong and they both were just starring at us. A lot of people have never felt the spirit so strongly before and so it’s something new to them and they are a bit confused and KNOW there is something different about us. We taught the remainder of the lesson and they committed to come to church and pray to know if it is true. They also said that if they got an answer from God they would follow it and be baptized. THEN at the end we invite Walter to pray because he was so much more open during it all and he is like.... uhhh... and is nervous, then Marisela says she will do it and said a GREAT prayer! The one who wanted nothing to do with us in the beginning was excited to pray for the first time in her life! Then after as we are walking out she walks us to the door with her husband and asks us again when church is on Sunday and where! Cool huh! I love the power the truth brings! She FELT the spirit and the truthfulness of our message and wanted to be in our presence. It has almost nothing to do with who we are as missionaries, but the message we share is what is so powerful. It was so great to see such a big change is someone because they FELT the truth. It’s something really new to a lot of people and a lot of them do not understand it all, but everyone can FEEL it. No matter who you are, how old you are, or how smart you are. They all can feel when something penetrates their heart and illuminates their soul with a love that was not felt before. How cool is it to be a missionary!!!!! :) I love it. I recommend sharing the gospel no matter who you are, I promise it has the potential to bring you more joy than any other thing in the world!

Something that has helped me so much to change and to really love the gospel has been the DAILY study time we have. When I began to take it seriously and really study diligently, my whole mentality about the mission began to change. This has been a process since I have had like 4 months in the mission. But I feel like it is why I have come to be so happy and so willing to share the gospel. I love the spiritual experience I have each morning and it’s what allows us to really teach by the spirit. I don’t think anything can change someone faster than DAILY gospel study. I feel like DAILY study is what has turned my life around and the way I see things. As imperfect as I am, it gives me the strength to be stronger and have the ability to accomplish all I set my mind to. I have come to love it! I love studying and an hour and a half each morning seems like so little and flies by. Although it may seem hard or even impossible at first, over time if you TRY it will become possible. And what is possible over time then becomes a habit and something normal to do. One of the apostles said something like that in this past general conference :)

So we also have been teaching a less active family. Both the husband and wife are members and were baptized as kids but have never came to the church much at all, and have been inactive 17 years. They are both around 30 years old and have 2 kids, a 8 year old and a 3 year old. I love their family and they have been to church twice since we started teaching them 2 weeks ago and are progressing a lot. The 8 year old will get baptized this next week and they are going to get sealed in the temple some day. I KNOW it! :) They are the perfect little Mormon family and will be another strong family in the church here - so I’m excited. They both are way ready and we are helping them with all the changes that are required to live the gospel. We are going to have a family night this Wednesday :)

Oh and yesterday some missionaries went home and one of them was Elder Rodriguez. He was currently the assistant to themission president, but we have been good friends for the past 7 months. He is the one who helped me so much in Juarez to be a better missionary because he was the first leader I knew in the mission who practiced what we said. He was obedient and he was the one who helped me to have the strong desire to be obedient and to see the power in obedience with exactness. So we have had a number of opportunities to work together since and he helped me to prepare to be a zone leader. So on Monday morning at like 9:30am when we thought he had left for home already he called us and gave my comp and I some great advice. He talked to my comp Elder Montero for a little bit and then to me. He gave me a lot of great advice and told me to stay humble and obedient and to give ALL I can to the other missionaries even if I get left with nothing. He is a great missionary and will be missed in the mission. I feel like the lord gave me so many chances to work and learn from him for a reason. If I had to choose one missionary to pick as the missionary who has had the strongest influence on me it would be him. So it was great to hear from him again after we thought he had left. :)

The work goes well in Cuauhtémoc and yesterday we started a new cycle. We have not had changes yet, but my comp might change so I have to know how to do everything already. This is good because it will help me to realize all I have learned and to put it into play.

I love you all so much and thank you for all the love and support. It really does make a big difference! I love the work and the gospel!


Elder Andrew Davidson



So another week gone by and it was again a super fast week.... I feel like I should stop saying that because all the weeks seem to go by super fast these days.

This week was an eventful week to say the least. I like being a zone leader because things seem to be so much more eventful and exciting. Plus we move around a lot more and so we have lots of different experiences.:)

On Wednesday of this last week we went to Chihuahua to have divisions with the assistants to the president. That’s when we change companions for about 24 hours and one companion goes to the other's area and the other stays in the same area and works with the other companion. It was a lot of fun and I went to the area of the assistant for the day. I was with Elder Gollaher, an American, and it was cool to be with another English speaker. So quick story, so one of the elders got ran over by a car like 3 weeks ago and is now living at the mission home, but he is much better now and was able to go out and work with us. So we were 3 Americans working together it was way fun! He is about to go home, the elder that was in the offices for medical reasons and so he had a lot of experience in the mission. He was actually my first district leader in the mission in Juarez when I got here. So it was fun to talk and see how much we both have grown.
On Friday we went to a little town in the mountains. Oh and by the way my comp and I are the zone leaders over the Sierra zone, the mountains with all of the little towns and such. So we went to a little town to get a couple married on Friday! The sisters work in the same ward as we do and have half of the ward boundaries and we have the other half, so we had to go to help them out and be the witnesses to the marriage. They go to a little town where the mayor is a member and does not ask for much documentation about the whole thing and does not charge too much as well. It was great to see them get married as then they were able to be baptized on Saturday. I baptized the mom! :) Also the sisters are in my district and so I did my first baptismal interviews! It was a family of 3 and it was amazing and such an uplifting experience. It was amazing to feel the immense guide of the spirit and all went well.

So on Sunday we had a regional broadcast for all of the members in Mexico. Cuauhtémoc does not have a satellite so we had to travel to la Junta, which is a little town like 30 minutes away. We had the Cobos family all ready to come with us, but they ended up going to Chihuahua and so now they can’t be baptized this week... sad. But Esteban went and really liked it and he is WAY ready to be baptized this Saturday! He is so humble and excited for all that he is learning. All goes well with the other investigators, they have their struggles and so all is not as perfect as it was, but we expect them to come to church on Sunday. I’ll keep you all posted.

So President Monson spoke in the regional conference along with Elder Anderson, Elder Gonzales as well as Sister Allred. They all spoke Spanish except for the prophet. I was surprised that Elder Anderson and sister Allred spoke Spanish! I didn’t know that Elder Anderson knows 4 languages! Crazy huh!? It was filmed in Utah in a little chapel without people. But it was great and I felt such a strong impression that they are servants of the lord and that they are in fact called by the Lord to lead and guide us. It was great to have our investigator listen to the prophet.

Also the mission president was there with all the missionaries from the Sierra as well. La Junta is like the stake center and so we all came there. The mission president is like the stake president in the Sierra and so he always comes. We got our mail and had our interviews with the president as well.

My comp and I continue to get along great and I am learning a lot. We have become good friends quickly and it’s made a big difference in the way we work together. We are moving ahead in a very positive way.

Oh and thanks Larissa for the package for Christmas and also thank you Bryan family for the package as well!

So today the other district leaders and I here in Cuauhtemoc planned a trip to the Mennonite museum. The Mennonites are from Germany and there are a lot of them here and we went to take a tour of the museum today. It was very educational and I learned a ton! There are way cool and it’s cool to see white people with blue eyes - ha-ha! It helps me to not feel so left out! I would tell you more about them, but you could just look for info on the internet if you wanted too. It was a lot of fun and very interesting.

Well all goes well and I love the mission! :) I have never been happier in my life and I’m so excited for all I know that awaits me. The gospel is real!


Elder Andrew Davidson

Hey everyone!

So another week gone by already! I feel like time is only speeding up because these past 2 weeks have gone by so very fast! I do not have too much time to write because we have a couple of things to do before we head to Chihuahua tonight to have divisions with the assistants to the President which I’m way excited for because I know I am going to learn a whole lot.

This week was a great week with lots of ups and downs like always. On Wednesday we had a meeting with all of the zone leaders and the assistants to the president to talk about the goals we reached last month and what we plan to accomplish this month. It was short but it went great and we have a lot of great plans for the month of January. On Friday we had to go to Juarez (which is 7 hours away) because one of the families my comp baptized in the beginning of his mission was going to get sealed in the temple! Cool huh? We are allows to go if we are the ones who baptized the family. We stayed in Juarez in the same zone from when I first got there. We stayed with the zone leaders and it was good to see that they are having a lot of success as well. I had to stay with an elder that.... well.... he was a challenge to say the least. I realized how much patience I have learned but at the same time how much more I need. I will spare you the details, but it was a growing experience. Saturday afternoon we headed back to Cuauhtémoc for Sunday. There are 4 missionaries in our ward, 2 sisters and then us. We all gave talks for the missionary week and it went well. I had little time but I felt good giving the talk.

The greatest part of the week by far was the investigators! When I arrived in my new area, there weren’t any investigators to be honest, but the Lord has blessed us with SO many right now! We met a family like 2 weeks ago that is huge and we are teaching so many of them! We had like 14 people at church and 10 of them are over the age of 8 and are going to be baptized the 30th of January! They are an amazing family and I love teaching them. They are the Cobos family which includes the grandma, 10 kids and they have a bunch of grandchildren. We have also been teaching the Gonzales family, Gloria and Misael are the two that are going to be baptized the 6th of Feb. Then there is Esteban who is about 45 years old and super humble and also is going to be baptized the 30th of Jan. They all came to church this week and we have taught them most of the lessons. We need to review the commandments and help them to really prepare to be baptized. :) They are have their distinct problems and struggles but my comp and I have learned a lot about really applying the gospel to their lives and using it to really help them face and solve the challenges they face each day. It was hard to have to be in Juarez on Friday and Saturday, the 2 days before church, but in the end a lot of our investigators came. Also one of the kids of the hna. elvira Cobos (the grandma) is a member and his wife is as well. They both got baptized when they were kids and they have a son who is 8 years old who is going to get baptized as well. He does not count for us because he is 8 years old and his parents are members, but they are a perfect family to re-activate and they are helping the other members of their family to progress as well. The wife, Nilda, was born in the church and knows a ton! She is a great support and it was great to see them at church this week!

Oh and on Sunday we stopped by to give them a ride and we had 2 cars filled with all the family members! It was crazy and there were so many little kids! We brought like a fourth of the primary! They are all way awesome and the funny part is that kids are helping the adults to progress! Also it’s nice to have a nice big ward that helps us out with the investigators and makes them feel comfortable! It makes a big difference! Between the sisters and us we had like 21 investigators at church! :)

At first my comp and I got along well but we both have strong personalities. I feel like I might have mentioned this last week. Plus my last comp and his assistant comp were both really shy and timid and so we both are used to stepping up a lot. Obviously it was the pride and lack of patience on both of our parts. Plus my companion was way lax on the rules and so there was a little tension sometimes. We have always gotten along, but we were not the best of friends. Then on Wednesday night we had an amazing talk and we both listened and really were blunt and straight forward with each other and talked about the fact that we both have stronger personalities and such. It was great and neither of us was offended at all and we have been GREAT ever since. I mentioned the obedience part and we have been much better since. Plus we talked about the humility that is necessary if we are going to be able to work together well. We also talked about patience and other things we can improve on. It was great because we both are way excited and we have so much potential together. Yesterday we had an awesome day taught with so much more power and unity! There was a big difference and it really taught me the importance of humility and allowing the lord to guide us. It is why I feel like we were really able to address the needs of the investigators we have. We have become better and better friends and we are now succeeding so much better. But the most important thing is to stay humble and all goes well. :) We are both WAY excited to work together.

Thanks so much for the letters Larissa, Grandma Davidson and the Picket family! Your love and support mean a lot to me! Oh and I feel like I am going to be able to respond better to letters because I learned how to write letters on the bus! We have traveled like every week (which is way more than normal) and so I need to use my time to write letters then and I will be able to do it :)

I love the mission and everyday has provided so many learning experiences. I have NEVER been happier in my life than I am right now and I continue to learn each day what true joy is. There is a peace that ONLY god can give us as we LIVE his gospel. It has been the most valuable thing I have ever learned in my life.

I love you all so much!

Elder Andrew Davidson



So I had a great week this week and I have a lot of things to tell you all!

So New Years was okay... we didn’t really do anything at all... but I’m okay with it to be honest. I like being a missionary better than celebrating and plus I have all of my life to do all I what to. The least I can do is give all of me to the Lord for these short years. I can celebrate New Year’s next year. We went to bed like normal and got up the next morning like normal. It was funny though because when we left the house at 9:30am to teach people NO ONE was out and about. January 1st is a national Mexican holiday and NO ONE works. On Christmas people work and such, but NO ONE does on the 1st of January. It was a slow morning but we taught still and found people and all, it was just funny to see the roads so empty and such.

Church went okay... the ward struggles a bit and we really need to help people take more initiative. It’s tough sometimes but we stayed positive and had a number of great lessons.

Then on Sunday at night we found out we had CHANGES!!! CRAZY! I was not expecting it to be honest and I am now in Cuauhtémoc! Its pronounced Qualtemac in English... I think. Not sure how to tell you how to pronounce it but it’s a bigger city with a lot of members. I moved to one of the best zones in the mission and have a great companion! I am in the city and we have a big ward of about 120 people who come to church each week! Cool huh? When I was traveling everyone told me all kinds of great things about the area and city and I’m stoked. I was also surprised to received a new calling. The mission has all the missionaries organized into groups of elders and every group has a district leader and over about 5-6 districts we have a zone leader and then the next people up are the assistants to the president. But there is always a senor zone leader and junior zone leader together, and the junior zone leader is also a district leader of the district where the leaders are at.
That’s me. I’m the junior zone leader and district leader and I have 6 missionaries in my district. That means I have to do baptism interview, interview the missionaries and also lead district meetings. I also call them each night and help them out and keep track of them and such. I’m their leader, crazy right!? I also have an amazing companion to teach me everything and also teach me how to help him with all the zone stuff. We have 32 missionaries in our zone and we call all of the district leaders to check on them and ask how their districts are going and such. I am WAY excited and feel VERY humbled by the opportunity I have. I have a lot to learn, but since yesterday I have already conducted, lead, and taught district meeting; interviewed some of the missionaries in my district(they had companionship problems) and made calls as a zone leader to the districts. It’s a lot all at once but I know I have so much to learn and am very excited and grateful for the chance I have front of me. To be able to work with and learn from my comp, work with the assistants to president, and work closer to President Flores. I know I am going to learn so much. I know I can’t do it alone, my own talents and abilities are not enough. But it’s taught me so much about humility and allowing the Lord to really make us so much greater than we are. It is the Lord who can make us into great missionaries.

Also I realized how much the Lord has prepared me during my time here in the mission and how many of the current leaders have taken me under their wing and have taught me a lot. But all-in-all I’m just here to buckle down and do my best at where ever I am or whatever I am doing. The only title we have that matters is the title of being a missionary. It’s the title we are here to represent. I have seen a lot of leaders who get so lost in the pride of being a "leader" that they forget who they are here to represent and that it does not mean someone is better than someone else. No matter where the Lord puts me or what He needs me to do, I’m here to forget about myself and go to work. There is not much more to it.

I am very grateful to be here and for all I have been able to learn and for all that a waits in front of me. I love the work and KNOW with a perfect surety that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and real. That He loves us and we are here to share the happiness he has in store for us.

I love you all so much and thank you for all of your love and support!

Elder Andrew Davidson