Monday, April 30, 2012

Sister Davis's Weekly Post

Family and Friends,

Don't ever underestimate your influence in the lives of others. Just the other day a young lady came in that had recently referred herself on after watching a mormon message on a friend's facebook profile. Technology can be a tremendous blessing if we use it! Do you all have a profile? If you make one let me know and I'll show you off to a guest or two :) We had a wonderful zone conference this last tuesday that seemed to be all about working with the members. Members really are the key, especially in our efforts to find and more importantly retain. My companion and I are trying to work more with the members and have already seen a difference in less than a week. I think that organizing activities and service projects is a great way that members can invite their friends and neighbors to learn more about the church in a non-threatening way and I'm sure it will prove more effective than simply asking for referrals. We obviously don't have the time and means to organize those on our own, but that's where the members come in. My vision is that the less-actives we are working with will become truly converted and excited about the gospel because quite honestly they probably have more associations with non members than anyone. We also learned at conference a lot about how we can more proactively sustain our leaders, especially our bishop. This week we are planning to make up a list of all the people we have visited or tried to visit that have moved or are now practicing different religions so that he can have a better idea of where everyone is at seeing as we have a very large ward and a low percentage of activity. I think(call me crazy) I'm going to offer to speak in church as well. I think it will help make us more visible and help the members know that we really care about this work and that we value them as our key to success! I would like to invite you all to call the full-time missionaries in your area and offer to go to lessons with them or even have a lesson in your home. The members bear powerful testimony and not only is it important for investigators and new members to make connections and form friendships in the ward, but I also think it is nice for them to hear the testimony of someone that isn't a missionary. Someone that can relate more easily in that they have the same every day stresses and challenges of work and family but are fully committed to living the gospel. I know that Matthew is great at this and I'm excited to hear what experiences he and Aubrey will have now that they're living in a new place with new opportunities. I think that everyone has at least two callings and sometimes three: 1. Visiting/Home Teacher 2. MISSIONARY 3. other ward calling. Joseph Smith said "After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel." Always remember that every member is a missionary. Make a little time to get involved in the missionary efforts in your communities and I know that you will witness miracles and receive blessings in your own lives. I love you all! I couldn't ask for better examples.

Sister Davis

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Zone Conference Picture

The California Los Angeles Mission blog posted pictures from zone conference.  Sister Jenna Davis is serving in the Marina Zone.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sister Davis's Weekly News

Dear Friends and Family,

Things are going well here in California. We had the opportunity this weekend to have a mini-missionary. I have never heard of the program before, but youth get to come be missionaries with us for a weekend and it's a great experience. Our mini's name was Victoria. She is from Huntington Park near downtown and her first language is Spanish so she was able to help my companion with her language studies. She even taught her how to pronounce my name correctly which I just never worried about and I think Sister Bustamante felt a little bad that she was saying it wrong for a transfer and a half. I didn't mind though. Anyway, we had a great time and she left us a note saying that she didn't want to leave and that after spending a weekend with us she is sure that she wants to serve a full-time mission in the future. I hope she does because she is a great missionary. We have zone conference tomorrow and I'm putting together a musical number. Music is so much a part of me, and I've always known that, but now that I don't get to do it everyday I have come to realize that on a deeper level. We're singing "I need thee every hour" and really only have today to practice, but I think it will be great. We were also able to do some service this past week at the convalescent hospital which was also nice for because it was just like working at the Homestead. Volunteering is even more fun because you have time to really talk with them and in this instance we took them all down to the farmers market on Santa Monica Blvd. My humorous tidbit for the week is the fact that people are meeting their "LDS Singles" friends here at the Visitors' Center for the first time! Instead of a rose in a book at your favorite coffee shop it's exchanging pictures via cell phone and deciding to meet at the Temple Visitors' Center I guess. At least for the online dating pool of LDS singles here in Southern California. More than once this week I've gone to ask someone if they would like a tour and they reply that they're just waiting for someone and then proceed to tell me all about how it's their first meeting etc. Anyway, never a dull moment. We have a lot more time in our area this coming week so I am hopeful that we can make some progress with the less active people we're teaching and that we'll find someone new to introduce the gospel message to! Thank you all for your support and prayers. 

Sister Jenna Davis

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sister Davis's Newest Post

Friends and Family,

It has been a great week! Yesterday we had Stake Conference(Santa Monica Stake) and Elder Oaks came! I was able to meet him briefly. He asked where I was from and when I said Rexburg he smiled and said, "You know I've heard of it." It was wonderful to hear from him as well as his wife. My favorite part was when he told a story about an area seventy saying that the church was not a retirement home for the righteous, but a hospital for sinners. Apparently a woman that had been a convert about ten years approached him after his talk and said that he had answered a question she'd had since she first started to investigate the church. When he asked her what that might be she said, "Why the church is organized into wards." Everyone got a pretty good laugh :) After the conference we had a little time before we needed to be back at the VC so we were tracting... not abnormal, and everyone was jewish... once again, not abnormal. BUT we saw a woman walking and she was a little ways off which can be mildly awkward because it's sort of like you're chasing them down. Anyway, we went to cross the street but I felt guilty, especially because we rarely see people walking in our area so we went to talk to her. Here comes the abnormal part... She actually listened! We didn't talk for long and she couldn't set an appointment right then, but she gave us her number and address and said that we could come over anytime. I don't know what will come of it, but I'm hopefull and it caused me to have a realization. If every person that I saw was guaranteed to be pleasant, listen, and perhaps in the long run even come to accept the gospel, would I hesitate to talk to them? Not a chance! I would be runnin around talking to as many people as I possibly could. While that is unfortunately not the case, I have to look at it that way because I know that it's worth the countless rejections to find that one person that is prepared. John said "there is no love in fear." These people are my brothers and sisters. I'm excited to approach people with more enthusiasm this week. I know there are miracles waiting just around the corner in Malibu. Please pray for us to find those people whose hearts are being prepared. As for Visitors' Center news.. I don't know if our dear cousin Tim realized that he would instantly become a part of the VC when he agreed to make an "I'm a mormon" video. Now I can show people his profile with extra enthusiasm because they're family! Also, I was able to see my good friend from high school Justin Eaton this week so that was fun and a little crazy. Just as a random side-note- I like asking people in Malibu for referrals because it's like. "Hmm well... there's the Crystal's across the street, but I really don't know that they would be interested." - "The Crystal's?" - "Ya you know like Billy Crystal." I was tempted to try, but those darn gates get in the way. I love you all so much. I don't know what I did to deserve so many blessings!

Sister Jenna Davis

Sunday, April 15, 2012


We just found this picture on Facebook from one of Jenna's high school friends Justin Eaton who must have stopped by the LA Visitor's Center.

It was a pleasant surprise and thanks Justin for tagging Sister Davis's picture!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter from Sister Davis

Family and Friends,

Happy Easter!

We had a wonderful Easter here at the Visitors' Center. We hosted a musical fireside put on by the single adult wards from USC and UCLA. Among them were a couple of people I knew in the music program at BYU-I that are now here for Grad School. At least once a week someone comes in that I either know, or that knows someone that I know. I love talking to people and playing the connection game. It is amazing how the Lord places us where we recognize our weaknesses as well as our strengths. I don't know exactly why I needed to be at a Visitors' Center, but it is challenging in different ways than I think I was expecting and therefore I'm sure will be rewarding in unexpected ways as well :) I have one favor to ask of all of you. If you are ever in a Visitors Center and a sister missionary approaches DO NOT say "Oh I'm a member." Because they will simply be thinking(at least I do) "Well fancy that, and you know what? I still care about your spiritual growth." I shouldn't be sarcastic... but this response does make it more difficult for us to help people have the experience that the VC is designed to provide them. As Visitors' Center sisters we are not fulfilling our purpose if we only share the gospel with the non members that come in, and if you have served a mission you know that you are the happiest when you are fulfilling your purpose. Well, that goes for everyone and for life in general! I'll step off my soap box now, but I AM gaining a testimony of Visitors' Centers and I know that miracles can happen here for members and non-members alike.

I'm really excited about the less actives that we have decided to focus on. I think I was getting just a little discouraged that we weren't finding many new people to teach and while I certainly hope we can improve that in the future I am also coming to understand the importance of working with these less actives. It has been eye opening for me to realize that there are many members of the church that don't realize what they have and have forgotten the covenants that they have made. Our goal is to help them gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the prophet Joseph Smith because we know that without that knowledge they cannot become truly converted. I really hope that we can witness them make those discoveries. We are really praying for them. I know that anyone can receive that mighty change of heart if they are willing to put forth the effort and access the enabling power of the Atonement. Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking that I have weaknesses that are incurable and just part of my nature, but throughout the past few weeks and conference especially I have thought a lot about the Atonement and I know that If I have faith in Jesus Christ all things are possible. I know that will be true for the people that I work with throughout my mission as well. I feel that I'm finally really getting adjusted and instead of feeling that I am away from home, this too is becoming a home and the people around me are becoming my new, or rather my second family. This is the last P-day of my first transfer here in the CLAM and it seems that it has been both the longest and shortest six weeks of my life. I'm so sad to see some of my sisters depart. I love to hear them testify and I have sought advice from them as well. They all say similar things: Work hard, be obedient, love the people, and love it! One sister that has known me and some of my struggles agreed with these words of advice, but also reminded me that I'm not going to be the perfect missionary tomorrow, that the Lord is mindful of my efforts and that he is probably more patient with me than I am with myself at times. I'm out of time, but I love you all so much and appreciate everything you do for me!

Sister Davis

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sister Davis's Post for the Week

(Me and Sister Hara from Japan. I don't even know what to say about her. She's wonderful!)

Hey Friends and Family!

It has been a wonderful week here in the CLAM. How could I say anything less after such an uplifting general conference? We were able to watch most of it and I am looking forward to reading the talks that we missed. I didn't see David Archuleta, but I did see a few people that I met in the MTC (can't believe they're still there) and my friend Howard from school. Exciting stuff! Something that really impressed me this time around was the resounding topic of personal responsibility and change. It's something that I have thought a lot about since coming on a mission and I wonder where to start. What is it exactly that I want to change about myself and how in the world am I going to make it happen? I have really come to love studying. It's exciting to be learning so much more about my Savior and have a deeper understanding of what my purpose is. I feel like I make realizations on a daily basis that change my perspective on life which is great, but can also be overwhelming. The more I learn the more I see things about myself that need to be improved and the more responsibility I feel. Sometimes in those moments when I realize what is expected of me I think that there is no way... Maybe sister so-and-so can can accomplish that, but I just don't have what it takes. It's true. I don't have what it takes, at least not by myself. But through Christ all things are possible if we will have faith in Him. I have countless goals for myself and goals are always a good thing, but my companion is helping me understand that I'm probably not going to accomplish all of them by tomorrow or even next week. It's easy to set goals, but if there isn't some kind of plan of action for each one then they each receive a fleeting thought every now and again and never actually get accomplished. I picked one thing that I want to work on and actually sat down and wrote down exactly how I was going to accomplish it through thoughts, words, and deeds. My companion looked it over, made a couple of suggestions and here we are. It's like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that I actually have a plan. Maybe for all of you this is just common sense, but for me it was a revelation. Things are going well in our area. We have a couple of less active people that I'm really excited about working with. I didn't realize that there were so many members of the church that don't actually have testimonies! It has made me understand how incredibly important it is to always be an example and serve others. It's as important in Rexburg as it is in Malibu. Fellowshipping less active members is so important because they have already made that covenant and whether or not they understand it completely it's binding. I'm out of time, but I love you all and I know that there is a powerful spirit that will enrich your lives as you study the word of God, grow closer to Him and His Son, and set meaningful goals to become more like them. Hurrah for Israel!

Sister Davis