Monday, June 20, 2011

A little surgery and big miracles

NOTE: Molly had some plates in her jaw removed that were placed there a few years ago to hopefully straighten out her jaw using her braces. The braces came off pre-mission last summer, but the plates have never been removed and have been causing problems for months now. We are very grateful they are now replaced with dissolving stitches and that Sister Bullock was there for the surgery, that Sister Lovell has some medical training, and that it was done free of charge. Many miracles. We feel tremendously loved!


This week was so different than any I've experienced on my mission! I hardly know what to report on, except for the fact that we are well and I am recovering from the surgery smoothly. Like I told Mum on the phone, I had a few opportunities to share the gospel at the hospital (being in a hospital gown didn't throw me off like I expected...just goes to show you really don't have to wear a tag to be a missionary!) and bless their hearts, all of the geriatrics in the waiting room loved me! I'm sure that wasn't influenced at all by the fact that most of them were drugged up : )

The surgery went smoothly as far as I know. They said I'd be pretty wiped out and they were right! I've slept the majority of the week. The funny thing is the doctors say that--but the pain medications say something else. They have this weird tendency to make me feel like I can do anything! What usually happens is I take them, take a nap and then wake up on top of the world! Ready to go out and convert the entire city of Manchester! The enthusiasm usually wears off when I am at the bottom of the second flight of stairs in our flat and feel like I'm going to collapse. At that point Sister Lovell drags me back up the stairs and puts me to bed. She finds it funny that I think I'm supersister.

We actually managed to go to church yesterday, though! It was so exhilarating to feel back in the work a little. I feel my strength building every day, and I fully expect to be back in the work full-time by the end of the week. Sister Lovell has shown great diligence through this whole experience. She has risen on time every day and done her exercise and study on her own. I'm so proud of her! I know that it is partly because of her diligence that there has been a peaceful, protective spirit in the flat. Every time I start feeling anxious or guilty for how little work is getting done I just get this calm feeling, like Heavenly Father is giving me a hug and reassuring me. It has been a beautiful experience. I have also really felt your prayers! Thank you. The Lord blessed us, despite my incapability, and we had two investigators at church! We were very pleased.

This morning I read Mosiah 24, where the people of Alma are strengthened through their burdens. The thing that stuck out to me was the Lord's explanation in verse 14.

"And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses of me hereafter..."

The reason that the Lord is allowing them to have trials is so that they can be more powerful witnesses of Him to others. This is such a great analogy of the covenant of baptism and our life here on earth. As members of the church we aren't exempt from pain and suffering but we do have someone else now to help us carry the load, if we allow him to. Then we can stand as witnesses to others that Christ is truly their Saviour as well.

The story also helps me come to terms with some of the trials we face as missionaries. The fact is that our trials make us more powerful witnesses and therefore more effective tools in the hands of our Lord. Any trial I've had on my mission or in my life can be turned around and used to help others through their own. I've seen it many times before, and I'm sure I'll see it the rest of my life.

This transfer is literally flying by faster than any before! The Bullocks are leaving in a week. I cannot believe it! I will miss them so very much.

The Church is definitely true. This is the best work to be involved in!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Lord is in this work!

This is going to be an amazing transfer. Sister Lovell and I are having a blast together! We've really bonded. She full of fire and focus and just wanted to hit the mission running; and we are running! I've been praying for several things over the course of three transfers. She has already blessed me with 1) a greater vision on how to motivate members and 2) a sense of humour. She really knows how to laugh in every situation. She is a perfect combination of Annie and Kelly (two of my favorite people) so you can imagine how much I love her. She's extraordinary and I feel so blessed to be serving with her.

Sister Lovell's second day in the field we felt prompted to tract a street called Nightingale Gardens. We saw it on the map and just thought, "Yep. We need to go there." Well, it turned out to be a senior citizen community. Hmm. Some missionaries give up with them, but you know me and my elderly people. I've already had success with two over-eighties! Why not one more? I was not deterred.

The last door we knocked was a woman baptised in Salt Lake City fifteen years ago, she moved to England and lost touch with the church! We gave her contact information to the ward and they'll be reaching out to her very soon. The timing was impeccable as she just lost her mother. The Lord really does know the sheep of his fold. I read to her Moroni 6:4 at the door and testified that her name had been taken, not only by the church, but by the Lord. He remembers her and he sent us to remind her of that. Powerful experience.

NOTE: Here's Moroni 6:4. And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.

Sunday was so long and so great! The Manchester South Ward was very warm and welcoming to Sister Lovell. One of my main focuses in the ward has been member trust and I can truly say the members adore the sisters now! It is perfect to set the stage for Sister Lovell who has a unique ability to connect with people. We are going to do great work this transfer.

The YSA ward was so great! Sister Lovell and I were both able to bear our testimonies and I think the ward is very excited about missionary work. I bore my testimony about miracles and then right afterward we saw one. There was an investigator sitting with the Elders who just stood up, took himself to the pulpit, and said. "Hi. I'm Albert. I've lived nineteen years and always wondered which church was the true one. The last few months I've been visiting all the churches around, but none of them felt right. I'm sitting here today and I feel Jesus Christ is in this church. This is definitely the place for me and I'm excited to join your congregation. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." We were floored! The whole ward was all smiles. It's amazing to see how the Lord orchestrates things. I bear my testimony about miracles and then they happen right there and then. Incredible.

A counselor in the new Relief Society President is already making missionary work a focus. She served in this mission (from South England) and returned right before I came out. Now she lives in our mission! I really admire her and I'm so excited to work with her! The other YSA's are equally fantastic! I'm really just loving this transfer.

I'm so excited for the Nauvoo cast! My heart longs to be there. Please send everyone my love.

The Church is absolutely true and I'm reminded of that every day as the Lord helps us in this work! I love you all!

much love,

Sister Davis

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Molly is 22 and now training a new sister!

I am training! What a bitter-sweet transfer! I am really sad to see Sister Gong go, but she is going to Liverpool where they are teaching loads of Chinese people. She'll work miracles there. She's with my beloved Sister Lau! I jokingly offered to swap with her (let her train and I'll go with Sister Lau) until I found out I'm training Sister Lovell, who is fantastic. She came a day earlier than the rest because of Visa complications (she went to the Provo MTC). Last night she was at the Mission Home with nothing to do, so she came out with us! We had a less-active lesson, to which she contributed a lot, and tracting she showed good persistence and the Spirit really accompanied her testimony. I feel honoured that the Lord would let me be her first companion. I didn't know officially until today that she was the one, but I think we both felt it last night : ) She is from Seattle but attended BYU. She's done some incredible humanitarian work in her life. I'll write more about it on Monday.

I read this morning in Jacob 5 and a particular line spoke to me. There is a point where the Lord of the vineyard plants a shoot in poor ground and servant questions him. The Lord turns to him and says three cutting words, "Counsel me not." That would sum up how I've felt about the last three transfers. I am constantly battling feelings of inadequacy, especially being asked to train, but this morning the Lord said, "Counsel me not." I know He is control.

Last weekend was Stake Conference, but it was really an Area Conference broadcast from SLC and speakers were President Monson, Elder Perry, Elder Kearon (of the Seventy) and Sister Barbara Thompson. It was wonderful! I wish I had time to send you my notes. We had the miracle of having three investigators there. They were each touched in their own ways. One told me after that Elder Kearon's talk moved him. "I know it was meant for everyone, but I could swear he said those words just for me!" The Spirit was teaching him : ) Another cried during a story of President Monson's about a wayward son. Another came for the first time, too! Three cheers for Zion! He is so sweet. He has yet to receive the positive answer that God is there, but he's coming along. His prayers are sincere and beautiful.

Another exciting development on this end: do you remember the Young Single Adult ward that was formed here last month? Well, Sister Lovell and I will be doing double duty and working with both wards! It will be really interesting, because the YSA ward covers a huge area and we are on buses. Luckily the zone leaders are with us and they have a car, so they can teach the referrals that are far away. We'll see how it goes! Sundays will be straight church from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm!