Monday, December 30, 2013

Week Forty Eight!

Hola!

So yeah! Christmas and stuff! Fun talkin with y'all...even though it wasn't Skype. Psh.
 

THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL THE PRESENTS!!! It was cool to be able to still open presents and stuff. Made it seem more like a normal Christmas. And the Christmas decorations too. Because it's hot here. Actually today it's raining so that's nice! Me gusta.

Christmas night we went to an investigator's house. He's a 17 year old who is going to get baptized in like two weeks! His parents aren't members, but they're way supportive of his decision and they're encouraging everything! The parents are Dominican, but the dad was raised in NY so he has a NY accent and everything. And the last time we went over we were eating and he was telling us about all these nice restaurants in NY and pastrami sandwiches.
 

No plans for New Years here. Just the same! Teaching the gospel! It's fun stuff. We'll see if we can get a dinner somewhere.

WELL...that's about all I got! Until next week I guess!

P.S. I hear BYU got destroyed in their bowl game? Bummer.

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies

Week Forty Seven!

Hola!

This will probably be a short one! Why.....oh because it's Christmas in two days!! Yeah...It's still like 90 degrees here...NICE. But a ton of people still decorate their houses with lights and all the blow up things and what nots. So it feels like Christmas...kind of....Close enough!

Today is our Mission Christmas Party! Except only the north part of the mission. They did two different parties, one for north and one for south. South had theirs last Friday. Ours is on P-day...but hey it's on the beach! Everyone I know was at the south so we'll see who I know up here in the north! It'll be the Tampa, Lakeland and St. Pete Stakes/zones. Should be pretty fun!

Nate sent me a pic of him in Germany in coat and hat and snow and ice for days...

Another friend said it's -35 degrees in Russia...

WELL WE'LL TALK ON WEDNESDAY!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!! FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies

P.S.! Thanks for the presents!! Can't wait to open them Wed. Morning!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Week Forty Six!

Hola!

FROM TAMPA! So far I love it here! I love the city! So many people and so many houses and neighborhoods and streets and buildings! I'm in the Tampa 5th ward of the Tampa Stake. It's a Spanish Ward! Big and awesome and faithful members that love us! That's a nice thing to have. 

So yeah Tampa. Pretty cool. We go to church at the church building I went to on my first day in Florida! Can't remember what street it's on...But it's big and nice. The Carrollwood English Ward meets there as well. OH I'm in a trio! I'm with Elder Rodriguez and Elder Fitzner. They're way cool guys. Rod's only got two transfers left and Fitz has like 8 months so we all know Spanish well and we know how to do missionary work. So Fitz has only been here a transfer and me and Rod are new so we basically all don't know anything about this area. We just switched area boundaries with the Sisters in our Ward so we cover a big area. Again...no idea what the streets are. There's so many here! It'll take a while to get to know it. I'm just happy to be in the city!!

Oh yeah and I'm on Facebook now! It's weird. But way cool.

Hope all is well this week for y'all!

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies

Me feeding a sheep at the Night in Bethlehem. (get it? "feed my sheep...") And me eating like a six layer pb and nutella sandwich.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Week Forty Five!

Hola!

WELL I'm dippin from Arcadia! Yep that's for real this time. Got the call Saturday. They did a giant conference call with all the Elders in the mission and the AP's just went through every companionship and said if they're staying or going. And I'm on the list of leaving! Maybe I'll go somewhere where I'll speak Spanish! I've come to enjoy this place. It's a nice little town with really amazing and faithful members.

Did I ever tell you that Arcadia is part of the infamous Bible Belt? Yep. It curves down into Florida, but it only goes through the middle of the state. Guess where Arcadia is? OH! Right in the middle of the state! Bible bashing for days here. Fun experiences.

So yeah I'll be going up to Tampa on Tuesday. I don't know where I'm going until Tuesday!


We had to drop the date for Joann and her kids.They didn't come to church and when we went to check up on them after, we talked with just the kids, they had bottles of sweet tea on their table.... something's not clicking and something's not right there. So the Elders here will continue trying to get them to keep commitments and follow the commandments better. Kind of really disappointing. 

Should be on Facebook this week! Moving to a new area and new companion!

Thanks for everything and all your prayers!

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies

P.S. It's 90 degrees and sunny today....

P.P.S.

Cool sunset on an exchange up in Lake Placid. OH and we were in the Christmas parade here! Literally thousands of people...the whole town was there. We rode around on our bikes while some members passed out cards and held and banner and had a lit up truck with kids in it. We got bike bells too and I wrapped my bike with tinsel stuff. So sweet! 



Monday, December 2, 2013

Week Forty Four!

Hola!

Yep. This is 20 year old Elder Davies reporting here in Arcadia.

Yeah! Birthday yesterday! It was super fun! Got the packages earlier in the week and had to make myself wait until yesterday to open them!!! Woke up and got ready and such. Then opened presents before our meetings! THANKS SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING!!! The Miracle Notebook from Brandon and Brooke is exactly what Pres. Cusick wants us doing! So that was perfect! And the BYU cards are great, and we used all the party stuff and hung it up! We hung up some Christmas stuff. The cupcakes....were still at least good enough to stick candles in! and have it sing to me! And the workout book!! Nice! We used it this morning and destroyed ourselves. It was awesome. That books got some nifty ideas and stuff in it how to work out crazy hard, but using the stuff you have around you or your own body! THANKS SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING!!

So that was a fun birthday for sure. Even in church (only in Arcadia) they announced that it was my birthday over the pulpit at the beginning of Sac. Meeting! Even the family that's progressing scarily fast and amazingly towards baptism gave me a card! It was way cool. I got a lot of Happy Birthday's yesterday from all the members. And then I made myself a cake after church! So super good. It's called the "Casey Cake" because E. Casey showed it to me. You bake cookie brownies, layer of sweetened condensed milk, layer of ice cream, layer of whipped cream, sprinkle on crushed up candy bar. SO GOOD. SO UNHEALTHY. 

For Thanksgiving we went to a lunch appointment and ate a TON and then went home and did weekly planning and then went to a dinner appointment with some less actives and ate BEYOND A TON, and then we had to drive to Lake Placid and back and that was our whole day....not the most productive day ever....eh.

Right now it is in the 60's which is actually pretty darn cold! And it's been pretty cloudy here the last couple days. No huge storms or anything though. 

So Joann and her 3 kids are progressing and taking everything incredibly easily and fast! If I get transferred....I won't be here for their baptisms.. .But that doesn't matter! What matters is they're getting baptized! And coming closer to Christ! Finally found out the purpose of coming to Arcadia in the last two weeks of being here? But yeah that's awesome.

Hope y'all have an awesome week! Transfer calls on Saturday!

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies






Monday, November 25, 2013

Week Forty Three!

Hola!

Yep it's my birthday! So yeah I got that B-Day thing coming up on Sunday. Not a teenager. Finally the age of most people out here who are serving. Can't tell you how many times, pretty much everyone we end up teaching, says I look like 28. They ask if I have kids and a wife back home....no....I'm still a teenager....and then they laugh and freak out and go off about how young I am and then don't believe anything I say after that point since I'm too young to know anything!

This last week...nothing insane has happened...well kind of. We did another exchange with the Elders up in Lake Placid on Wednesday. Elder Joshua Walker came down here with me in Arcadia. He's a way cool Elder. He's been out like 14 months or something. We did lesson 1 with a brand new family that we met like the day before. We went to try to contact a potential guy and his wife answered the door and said he just moved out because they were having problems...AWKWARD....well anyways we're missionaries! And she said we could come back and we did and left the Savior's peace and blessing with them and come to find out she had learned from missionaries up in Maine like 10 years ago and attended church and everything and then she moved and lost contact and didn't know we had a church here. So that was nifty! She's about mid thirties and has a 14 year old daughter, 11 and 9 year old sons. So Elder Walker and I went back with Brother Summerall (branch mission leader) to teach them on Wednesday. It was AWESOME! The Spirit was way super duper strong and we flowed off of each other perfectly and focused on their needs and taught all the principles. We had left them a 3 Nephi 11 to read the day before and when we got to the BoM introduction she brought up that she read it (Joanne the mom) and it talked about being baptized and stuff. And she's like "I know it's important to be baptized, and other religions do it as a baby, but I think that it needs to be your decision and if you're going to devote yourself to Christ you should be aware of it.." We're like...."GREAT! So do we!" So they accepted to be baptized! Tonight we're going to set a date with them. We're hoping the 15 of December. And they even all came to church yesterday for all three hours! Exchange miracles!

The next transfer is in two weeks from tomorrow, so the calls are in two Saturdays, the 7th. We'll see what happens! We had interviews with President Cusick this past week which was awesome! Got some advice on how to be more awesome! AND I totally got approved to do online proselyting because we're obedient! So you guys should be getting some rules about that and we're getting some training coming up here soon. So within the next two weeks or so! And Ipads about the end of the year. But at the interviews, which were in Sarasota, I got to see Elder AP Casey! Got to talk to him a lot which was way way cool and fun. He's my papa out here! Love him like crazy. I was telling him about the lack of Spanish work here and he said that we probably don't need Spanish here then....so we'll see what comes of that?

Oh and yes we actually are allowed to run 5k's out here! There's actually a lot of missionaries that are doing that in the next couple weeks. We're just in the middle of nowhere so nothing really goes on here...Oh well!

Hope all is awesome and good this week! It's getting breezy here. Still about 80 ish to 90 degrees everyday. The nights it gets down to about 60's which is freezing cold here! So it's fun.

THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT ME BIRTHDAY WISHES!!! LOVE IS FELT!! ONE LOVE!!! 

And yes Michael did email me! So awesome to see that in my inbox. 

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies

Finally saw GATORS...and boar carcasses. And...swamplife in Florida!






 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Week Forty Two!

Hola!

Well this last week was fun! Went on an exchange with Elder Tueller, who I've already gone on an exchange with in my old area, ZL, taught some sweet lessons, got some sweet trainings on how to work with members better and help them desire to be involved and what not. Some good stuff! Only one Spanish lesson this week.....so who knows if they'll keep me here after this transfer! It's hard to focus on Spanish when there's so much going on with English and members and stuff.

So the exchange was fun! We were going to an appointment and drove past a road that our Branch mission leader took us down the night before and showed us sweet animal carcasses and the road is all sand so it was like offroading. He said that'd be so sweet to check out. I thought...hmmm that's probs not the best idea with this tiny little car...oh well! So we went down it and saw the carcasses, got some sweet pics, and continued the off roading...until we got stuck in like a foot of sand....Well 45 minutes later with the help of some random hippy kids we got the car out! We were out in it by ourselves for like half an hour with bare feet and pants rolled up sweating like crazy. It was awesome! And then we went to a part member family's house for dinner and had some amazing lemon peppered steak with baked potatoes. SO GOOD. So that was fun.

Besides that we didn't do much this week. We're really focusing on what's called To The Rescue which is a program to clean up the rosters of the units and make a huge effort to reactivate or even at least contact all inactives and less actives on there and either reactivate them, forward their membership if they moved, or remove their name if requested. We don't like doing that one. Erasing a baptism? Not the first priority. But that's a huge thing our mission has been doing and we are continuing to work hard on. 

Well I'm outta time and can't think of much more! Thanks so much for all you do for me! I really appreciate it. Love you all!

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies


Oh check out thebookofmormon.org!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Week Forty One!

Hola!

Yeah we like barely heard about the storm in the Philippines! That's crazy, but we didn't hear like any specifics or anything. I know a girl there on her mission! Are they still there or did they have to evacuate? 
So with all this change and stuff it's fun! I'm teaching a lot in English and less and less in Spanish....so we'll see how my Spanish goes. But we do still teach Spanish a couple times a week, we just don't have much time for Spanish finding and stuff. And it's a solid rule that we cannot knock doors for tracting purposes, only street contacting and other things we think of doing! REFERRALS! 

So our area.....our zone is all of the Bradenton Stake which is huge, but my personal area is Desoto and Hardee Counties. Desoto is both English and Spanish, Hardee County is only English because there's Spanish sisters up there. We're still on full car, we're using the one the english elders used when there was four of us here. Every Wednesday we go up to Sebring for District Meeting. Once a month we go to Sarasota for Zone Meeting where the Zone Leaders train us on stuff. We went there last week and guess what they said! FACEBOOK AND IPADS ARE COMING!!!!! Ah yeeyah! Facebook's already being used by the leadership (ap's, zl's) and their going to test out the ipads in the next couple of weeks and then after that we get ours! And the way they're doing it is each missionary would get their own personal ipad mini and take it with them no matter where they go so it's THEIRS and then at the end of the mission we can pay a certain amount and KEEP them!!! Ah snap! So we're not on Facebook or anything yet, but it's coming in the next month or two. 

I'm definitely teaching a lot more! Just in English though...ha ha but hey it's teaching and testifying! Pretty cool and fun stuff. A lot more of  a variety of people in the english world and different things I'm totally not used to, like people hating us and bashing. Woohoo! Not fun. Every Sunday we're picking out certain members (like 7-8 per week) to set up appointments with them to teach them how simple missionary work is, how they need to only invite, how they can, and then ask for referrals like crazy. It's been working so far! And it helps the members know us and trust that we're doing our purpose and working hard and understand what we do as they do it themselves. We have to be pretty straight up and bold with them a lot of the time when they are aprehensive and "too shy" or "don't know anybody". The Spirit is a great guide!

We do service like twice a week, one with a member who's building a corral for his cows, and one for Habitat for Humanity with houses and building stuff. I'm learning building and construction skills and painting skills. Lots of skills! So that's new and fun. So the member who we help with the corral, Bro. Moe, we stopped by his house to talk with him outside while he was working on it and then he got a call that said there was a dead cow in his field! So we totally drove out with him and sure enough, there was a giant dead cow with its legs straight out and stomach was hugely inflated so it ate something bad. So what does B. Moe do? Oh he gets a big rope, ties it around the cows neck and drags if off in to the woods.....one of the most disturbing things I've seen in my life! The other cows weren't happy. They were hollering and yelling and stampeding. Scary cows.

So yeah some fun stuff right there. Too bad I couldn't get a picture of any of it. 

Well have fun with early Thanksgiving! Tell everyone I say "Hola and Howdy!" Not really any specific messages to pass along...."DO MISSIONARY WORK! INVITE EVERYONE YOU KNOW!" That's basically it.

Well hope all will go well this week! Enjoy the seconds!

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies

Veteran's Day Pics!






Monday, November 4, 2013

Week Forty!

Hola!

Well dang diggy dang dang! Arcadia! Party! Halloween!

So this week was cray cray. Went to Tampa on Tuesday and went to the Transfer Meeting. That meeting was like one of the craziest dang meetings ever! There was like at least 3/4 of the mission there being transferred or training. We filled an entire chapel completely full! It took like an hour and a half to assign everybody. But during the whole thing there was like whooping and cheering and clapping and laughing like crazy as people were assigned. Probably the most insane and fun meetings ever. And most of it was because of Pres. Cusick! That guy is freaking awesome and a boss. Soooo fun that meeting. So obvi I'm with E. Kenyon here in zebra. And zebras are now all over the mission...even with the AP's! Oh guess who is now the newest AP....MY PAPA ELDER CASEY! Everybody flipped out when they announced that one, and so did he! Nobody ever even thought spanish going ap was possible! Well the norm is now tossed out the window here! There is nothing that's like "what usually happens" or "normal" here. Pres. Cusick basically dropped a bomb on the whole mission. In a good way! Just everything's completely different, but it all just makes sense and it's perfect. E. Lids is now in Apollo Beach with an elder just as old as him (mission-wise). No idea where that is! We're not zone leaders here anymore. Our ZL's are in Sarasota, so zone meeting is totally in Sarasota this week. Yay! Road trip! We're part of the norther district now though and E. Kenyon is the DL. We're with people from Seabring and Lake Placid and Peace River. So we'll be going up to Seabring for District Meeting each week.

CRAY CRAY!!! Fun and good though. Change is awesome. If change didn't happen...I'd defs not enjoy this nearly as much. like at all. ha ha

Halloween we worked normally throughout the day and then went to a trunk-or-treat thingy that night at the church. We got SO MUCH DANG CANDY! Like a bazillion pieces and bags and then 3 pizzas and 4 liters of soda and an apple pie and we got a giant chocolate cake yesterday with a whole pot of chili....i'm gonna die this transfer! This branch does really good with feeding us and they get us groceries and stuff every week. But there's only two of us and we can't eat it all! We like literally don't have time to eat it all. We have to have like 3 meals per meal. (isn't it funny i'm complaining that we have TOO MUCH food when there's missionaries that are like starving? FML! (Florida Mission Life))

Yeah hopefully Michael emails me or something....i don't have his address anymore....so can't write him. We'll see how that goes with him!

RAGNAR!! And Donny and Marie! Lucky. Go run your hearts out! Not literally though...that'd be bad...and gross...and a mess. 

Me and E. Ken are getting along really well (as usual). He's from Washington state and he's been out about 18 months almost. I've been living with him for like 3 months already so we're basically not changing much with that. It's now just a lot emptier house since there's only two of us. We stacked the extra beds on top of each other so now my bed is four mattresses high. Woohoo!

We bus contacted here a couple days ago! Got on a bus (that's the size of like a big van, arcadian bus, seats like 12) but talked to everyone that got on and invited them all! Our branch mission leader drives it so we just stayed on it the whole route talking to everyone that came on. Probs something we're gonna do again! 

We also had a "week of the family" activity thingy for the community where a ton of different people put up booths for a few hours saturday morning and there was entertainers and stuff. So we put up a table and handed out a ton of family proclamations and pass along cards! It was way fun to just talk with bunch of people. Oh and by the way i'm teaching in English now....it rocks. And I'm totally not used to it. At first it just felt like i was on an exchange. NOpe! It's legit! I'm a zebra! 

Well gotta go! Hope all is fun and safe with Ragnar and the other boss stuff y'alls gots this week! Have fun!

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,
Elder Bryson Davies




Monday, October 28, 2013

Week Thirty Nine!

Hola!

Well this week was okay. Stake Conference was great! Got to hear from the stake presidency and Pres. Cusick on Sunday. Everything was on hastening the work (because that's what everyone in the world is learning about). They announced their creating a new Spanish branch in Sarasota and a YSA branch there too. Pretty nifty! 

So! T-Calls came on Saturday. The ZL's we live with called the AP's for the transfer info and we totally just sat in the same room and didn't say anything so we could here the news earlier than everyone else. So they said everyone else and we were last, figures, and I'm totally LEAVING ARCADIA!!!!!!!!!!!............to go to Tampa on Tuesday and get my new companion and then coming back to Arcadia. Yep sir I'm staying here. The ZL's got released and now there are only 6 zones in our entire mission (1 per stake) and we combined with my old zone! So now I'm part of the same zone I was! That'll be weird. But it's spread out like a bazillion miles...We'll see how zone meetings go when the whole zone gets together! And Elder McKenna is transferring too. And the AP told us they're taking our Ford Fusion. And that only two of us would be coming back..........and they said that me and Elder Kenyon are both staying.......ruined that surprise! So I'm like 99% sure gonna be put in a zebra companionship here in Arcadia! I will probably now be teaching English and Spanish (with me being the only one that knows Spanish). So that'll be interesting! Elder James told me that back in Bradenton they just took over all of west Bradenton from Sisters and are now teaching English and Spanish as well. Zebra is the new thing I guess! Either Spanish and English elders will be put together, or the Spanish ones together will teach both English and Spanish. We'll see what that does to my progression of learning and using Spanish! That'll be tough. But fun! So we'll find out FOR SURE tomorrow. but that's most likely what will happen

I got to see the Santos at Stake Conference! That was way cool. I got to see basically my whole old branch! Way fun to see past families and people.

Hope you guys have fun prepping for Halloween and Ragnar! Eat a lot of candy for me! And thanks for the package! Heaven sent that was. Indeed.

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies
 

 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Week Thirty Eight!

Hola! 

Hey it's stake conference for us this next week too! We're going to Sarasota on Saturday and Sunday for those meetings. Should be good! And it'll be nice to meet in like...a...regular sized meeting house.

So this last week we put off Saturday (because we didn't have like....anything else planned) as a day of complete inviting all day. So we walked around for like 6 hours (got a sick tan) and talked to every Hispanic that was visible outside their house and gave out a ton of pamphlets on Joseph Smith and Family Proclamation thingy and such. It was pretty fun. I think that's more people than we've talked to since like we've been here and we did it in one day. We met a few people that were crazy drunk or high. That was also fun. Always good conversations with them. This one guy (spoke english) asked us who mother nature was and if we work out. He straight up told us he was high and drunk but totally coherent somehow. That made my day! Funny people out here. 

We went and talked to a guy that was a referral from a member. Tano. We went to his house and he was outside cleaning a birdcage. He spoke enough English to talk to us in it. We told him what we do and if he'd ever heard or read from the BoM. He told us he'd heard of our church and how we believe a different Christ, not the one from the Bible, came to America and we receive revelations from stones to start church. So he went on to tell us we couldn't possibly be able to teach him anything about life since we're so young (he said pointing to me "what you're probably only in your late twenties"......I think correcting him would've made things a bit worse) and went on to say how we're wasting our lives and such. But the whole time I felt comfortable and I thought of my patriarchal blessing which says stuff like that will happen, a lot, and I thought of the story from some general conference where the missionaries knock on the door of the pastor and he tells them they can't tell him that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and then the greenie wants to go back and bear testimony that they can do that. So I just stood firm and told him look we don't claim that we can teach you the ways of life and we understand that we're just young still, but what I do know is we can teach you the ways of God and the Spirit can as well as you read this book. And I went on to bear my testimony, not letting him interrupt me when he tried, and then E. Lids did the same after me. After that his countenance changed a lot and he stopped bad mouthing us. He still rejected us in the end, but we left him a BoM and invited him to read it. Good stuff!

Transfer calls are this Saturday! The word is they might shut down the Spanish area here and put in a Zebra companionship as Zone Leaders. Which means an English and a Spanish together as companions. That's something that's not in this mission yet so we'll see if they do it. But yeah I'll find out if I'm staying or going this Saturday!

Yep! Nothing much else going on here in old Arcadia. We got some lessons planned for this week and a lot of inviting again. (By inviting I mean tracting) 

Hope all is well! I actually just sent you the article from the Arcadian today....so now you'll have two I guess! Oh well. Another thing to get in the mail!

Have a good week! Do some good! Serve the Lord!

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies

Monday, October 14, 2013

Elder Davies (and companions) in the local news!


Adapting to life in DeSoto County involves far more than substituting “footballs” for soccer balls, Michael Liddle has discovered. Liddle, a native of Doncaster, England, has spent the last month adjusting to the cultural, culinary, political and economic environment of the United States, the country that will be his home for the next two years. Liddle arrived in Provo, UT for training as he began serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, and was then was sent to Florida. Liddle will serve for two years at his own expense, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of the Tampa Mission, of which the Arcadia Branch is a part.     

Bryson Davies is Liddle’s companion while they serve in Arcadia, and they will teach in Spanish, a newly acquired language for both (one they admittedly are still working to master). Crosscountry running, exercising and staying fit were important to Davies in high school in Pleasant Grove, UT, and the discipline he learned then is helping him now. “When you ‘hit the wall,’ you have to reach in to find that motivation    – that ‘go-to thing’ to help you through difficult times. But it’s just momentary. My go-to thing now is Jesus Christ and His Atonement.”     

Arriving a few weeks earlier in Arcadia, Devon Kenyon and Layne McKenna serve members and non-members alike, giving service and teaching the gospel in English. Kenyon comes from Washington state, the eldest of eight children. He worked in a motorcycle dealership before following a mission. He said it wasn’t easy to leave that life for two years, but it became clear to him that serving a mission was what he needed to do. Now he doesn’t regret that decision at all, and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. He calls Arcadia his favorite area of the five in which he has served, but don’t tell anyone he said so.     

A soft-spoken yet powerful and dedicated McKenna is from Farmington, UT, where LDS meetinghouses are in every neighborhood with several Stake Centers in every town. He finds Arcadia and the Tampa Mission far less “compact.” He is the youngest of six kids, and he watched his brothers serve missions before him. He saw the changes in them when they returned, how they had matured and had life experiences. He knew that serving a mission when the time was right would be the right thing for him, too.     

The decision to drop everything is not easy for any young man or woman in the Church. Yet more young people are deciding to do so. Since last year’s announcement that women can serve missions at age 19 and men at 18, unprecedented numbers of young people continue to fill out missionary applications. Women comprise more than half of the applicants.


Week Thirty Seven!

Hola!

Well oh well oh well! Things is all good heeuh in duh Ahcahdeeuh Citay. (spoken with a jamaican accent. Have Bryan say it for you or something.) But yep we just be chillin doing that missionary work thing on the daily. It's a lifestyle. Ya know.

SO! Since not much happens here....(and still not much has happened to change that) I can just tell you random facts! 

Random Fact #1: After my training I started to read the BoM in spanish without anything else but a dictionary. And now, after 3 and a half transfers I'm in Ether! So I'll hopefully finish reading it by the end of this transfer so that'll only be 4 transfers! Yeah...6 months...but it's in Spanish okay! I can read about as fast in Spanish than in English though so that's fun. 

#2: I gave a talk in church yesterday! It was about repentance and baptism. Pretty fun. Totally in English so not bad at all. Spirit was awesome during that meeting. The lady before me did way good about the Atonement and reaching out to others. And the Sacrament was blessed by a kid who's family was inactive (but now reactivated) and he just got the priesthood two weeks ago. Pretty cool meeting! Maybs I'll send you my talk through the mail. Not gonna do anything else with it!

#3: I went on an exchange with Elder McKenna (one of the ZL's we live with) on Saturday. It was pretty fun, he came Spanish with me. E. Lids went English. He saw how much the circumstances here are hard and he told me that they had talked with the AP's about that it would be better if there was only one companionship in Arcadia. So...area closing in two weeks? We'll see what happens there! 

#4: We were in the newspaper! The Arcadian. Maybe can find it on the internet? If this place has internet capabilities? But yeah a lady did an article about us four missionaries.

#5: I did get a haircut! Elder Kenyon took a buzzer to me. It was shorter than I'd ever seen it. Like 5 year old Elder Davies status. But now it's growing back.

#6: I have now converted from the deodorant with mixed deodorant and antiperspirant to just normal nice soft and smooth deodorant!

#7: I got a new nice journal out here for my study journal where I take all my notes. I've just been using a spiral notebook. I'm steppin up my game. Makin it so it'll last a while and I can go back and read and study my notes from conferences and meetings and studies.

#8: I totally ate fried okra out here. Probs something I'm never going to eat again. 

#9: Every time I've had real legit mexican food out here I've wanted to barf, whereas in my other area I couldn't get enough of it...."Arcadia"

So yep! Just some fun facts! We go out to eat a lot here. Wendy's, Taco Bell, Dominos, McDonalds, Burger King, Arby's, Chic-fil-a, Checkers. Needless to say.......I'm fat. 

Sounds like y'all had a boss awesome week! And are gonna have another one! Keep informing me of your missionary experiences each week! It's awesome to hear about them. 

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Week Thirty Six!

Hola!

It was nice to go two straight days of feeling the Spirit after being put down and rejected a lot of times. Real spiritual booster right there! Even though I just found out that I have so many things to change about myself as a son of God and a missionary for Him. Lots of quotable stuff! But all in all I think it's like Elder Hales said, we come to conference to learn and we return home to live what we learned. The hardest part for people is to actually have the courage and the ability and the strength and willingness to apply the things we learned and make the necessary changes. People get "comfortable". There is no plateau in this gospel! There is never a point where you're "good" for the rest of your life! It is constant progression! The Lord does not expect immediate perfection, that is impossible, but He does expect immediate progression! We must use the Atonement, repent for not doing our best, and move on and do better! We must never dwell on the guilt of our past sins, we must learn from them and MOVE ON. SO...try to really apply that which you learned this conference. Do not let it just be like, oh that was amazing and they said a lot of great things and people need to really change...but I'm good. NO! I know I'm afraid to change, I've gotten comfortable in the groove of my mission, but I know I NEED to change to truly show my love for Him through which is it possible.

Oh! I wanted to ask! How are your missionary efforts going back home?? Since every member is basically doing the same thing we are as missionaries, what has changed that you guys do? Have you seen any miracles from helping invite others to hear and learn about the Restored Gospel? I wanna know your experiences too! 
   
Nothing else much going on here! Me and Elder Liddle are doing solid. 

Good luck this week! Enjoy every second! 

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Few More Pics of Elder Davies...

Both of these pics are right after a nice little rain storm...

He is drenched from head to toe!



Week Thirty Five!

Hola!

Yep. Still here! We had Stake Priesthood meeting last night. It was cool to see a ton of priesthood holders in one room! I haven't seen that many on my mission! Filled the whole chapel and overflow of a real normal sized chapel! And I got to see the Santos! And a bunch of other members of the Spanish Bradenton Branch. That was pretty cool stuff.
 

We had a zone conference this last Thursday with Elder Teh from the Seventy! He came and trained us for a few hours along with President and Sis. Cusick. It was basically one of the most spiritually edifying times of my life. Elder Teh talked to us about how any meeting we have in the church, or it could even be any study time, can be a revelatory experience (quoting Elder Bednar). We just need to do our part to invite the Spirit. So....DO THAT WITH CONFERENCE. Prepare yourself spiritually and physically for conference. Go into with questions in mind, spiritual or temporal, and if your ears are "tuned in" you will receive your answer. Take notes on what the speakers say, but not only the words said, but the things said to YOU in your heart and mind by the Spirit. We need to be attentive and listening to the words, AND the thoughts and write that revelation down and ACT upon what we receive. The words of our prophets are exactly what God and Jesus Christ desire to be said, and they are perfectly given and presented to help us in our lives physically, temporally, and spiritually.

Just some thoughts. Cool conference though!

Besides that nothing really happened this last week...Still struggling to stay busy with productive things. It's awesome to realize what I'm a part of! Behold, a royal army!

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Eight Month Mark!!!

Elder Davies celebrated his 8 month mark this last week! Way to go Bryson (Elder Davies)! One third of the way! We love you!

Week Thirty Four!

Hola!

So this week was so much different! Ha joke. No it wasn't. Gotcha. Same old same old Arcadia Florida. We're really struggling with staying busy. Because there literally are times where there is absolutely nothing to do. We're discouraged from door knocking and that's the last thing we want to do anyways because that's what we did everyday for a whole month and absolutely nothing came from it. So that's a rough thing. WE're still like enjoying it and stuff, we just feel worthless a lot of the time and like we're wasting time because we can't do anything. Fun way to start out a letter!

Me and Elder McKenna are starting to do P90X from his ipod every other morning, so hopefully I can get back into some shape. I weighed myself at a grocery store the other day while we were posting up english class flyers and I haven't gained or lost a pound since I've been here! I think I've just converted muscle into fat. Lots of that southern food. The branch feeds us every now and then. Every week they get us a couple of big walmart bags full of food for all four of us so that ties us over for a while. We're doing well with food for sure. 

The weather here hasn't changed much. It rains like once a day for about half an hour or so. But when it rains it pours and you don't want to be outside when that happens. But not anything out of the norm. Yesterday in Sunday school the teacher talked about Mormon Helping Hands and how they're over in Colorado helping a lot....Me and E. Lids look at each other and say what happened in Colorado???...goes to show how much we find our about anything out here and to add onto it we're in Arcadia where people hardly even have tv's to watch the news!

Nothing crazy really went on this week. Nothing new. We'll see if we can't get our investigators progressing  more this week. And maybe find some new ones through referrals, not knocking. And there's just not really anything we can do with the members  either. Maybe try to stop by and see them and we ask for service every time, but nothing. And the english members don't know a single hispanic in the area, just hispanic areas that we already know. They don't intermingle here. Sad day.

Some cool thoughts from this past week from apostles. Elder Christoffersen, don't know if I already told you about this, but he said a lot of people focus on how the world's getting worse and worse and how it's going to get so dang horrible before Christ comes again. But the real matter is the world doesn't have to be wicked enough for Christ to come, it has to be righteous enough. The church is growing day by day very quickly and this is so the world is righteous enough when He does come. Adds more positivity to the end of the world. Nifty.

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies

MORE PICS of Elder Davies...

Here are a few more pics of Elder Davies (and others)...

Hope you enjoy?!?

First one - Elder Davies and Sister Beck

Second one - Elder Davies and Elder Liddle

Third one - The room

Fourth one - The Chapel

Fifth one - The most successful door knock of the week!






PICS of Elder Davies...

My Bad...we have received some pics of Elder Davies (and others). We just haven't posted them. Elder Davies emailed us this last week...and said...PLEASE could you post some pics. Yeah...may bad! Here are some cool pics of Elder Davies...

First one - Abi and Angie and Elder Davies

Second one - Two dudes on a bench

Third one - What missionaries look like behind closed doors

Fourth one - Brandon Guzman and Elder Davies

Fifth one - Elder Davies and his "3 Bros Away from Home"






Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week Thirty Three!

Hola!
 
"Arcadia". Yep yep yep just truckin away here. Well actually just driving. Full Car. I'm gaining some poundage. But I've totally had severe diarrhea for like the last 4 days....so I lost quite a bit of the weight I was carrying around there! Maybe I could just do that everyday to lose weight...maybe make myself throw up too? That's not a bad thing is it?........
 
Oh...my guess...33-24 BYU.
 
I had my first dog attack this past week...probs one of the most traumatic experiences of my lifetime. I might've cried. NOT. But I did almost have a heart attack. We were just walking up to a guy outside his house and he just ran inside with his two dogs. Normal, most people run away from us. Then the front door to his house was left open and the two dogs come running out, Elder Lids says "Dogs are out", they skip him completely and run straight to me (figures) and one smaller one started jumping on me and a big fetching pit started going for my leg. I couldn't quite kick it in the face because the owner was right there, so I ever so gently....kicked it in the face, but it kept biting at my leg. Never punctured, just lightly bruised. Then the owner comes running up and screaming at them to get inside, cursing profusely as he does so. Yeah. Not fun.
 
Oh transfer calls were on Saturday. Came and gone. That was the four week transfer. This is the first week of this transfer now, back to six weeks like normal. The two ZL's we live with stayed the same, we obviously stayed the same. But we'll see what goes down in 6 weeks with all that jazz of change. But as for now still aqui. 
 
I talked with Elder James last night. He said the Crew isn't coming to church or letting them come over to teach them. That's just great. Happy news there. And he said Bradenton basically turned into what it's like here. Down to nothing really except trying to work off referrals that hardly come. 
 
We got stopped by a bearded lady in Walmart yesterday. Literally full grown hanging down beard. Basically an inch of dirt all over her body. She said she loved the "LDL" people. The "LDL" missionaries helped her find her old faith......I cried a little. 
 
Nothing much else going on here. Just trying to keep ourselves busy doing the work of Salvation. Pretty dificult right? 
 
Well have fun with this weeks activities! Football games, concerts, cougars oh my!
 
Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,
 
Elder Bryson Davies
 
P.S. We're emailing today because the internet wasn't working in the church yesterday. Hopefully gets fixed by next week. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week Thirty Two!

Hola!

"Arcadia". Yep. Arcadia. That's all that's goin down here. Just hitting up the town of Arcadians.

This last week not much has really happened. Like almost literally nothing. We knocked for days. Literally everyday, basically every hour. It's great. That's why I'm getting super tan and blonde because we're constantly in the beating 100 degree sun! Sweating like pigs as well. People open their doors and see two sweaty dudes asking to share a message....eh we don't have the most success in the world. We had one lesson with each of the investigators this past week which was successful. They're all way cool and way nice. We have a good time with them as we teach them. It's crazy how I can understand basically everything now. 8 months ago I only knew hola! Times have changed definitely. I dream in Spanish a lot of times now too. And I think in Spanish a lot of the time, which is weird and kinda creepy. I just start thinking things and then I realize...I'm thinking in Spanish. WEIRD. I'll definitely want to continue learning it and using it when I get home. It's a useful language to know. All the people we talk with freak out when we say we've only been learning for a few months, and they've been here for 15 years and don't know any english. THE CHURCH IS TRUE!

Oh! I don't think I told you last week....BUT I, Elder Davies, totally did the Spanish translation of the entire Sacrament meeting last fast Sunday! Yep. This guy translated an entire meeting through a little microphone thingy to the headphones that the Spanish people were wearing. Usually a member guy does it, he served in Columbia and his wife is Columbian, so he's basically fluent, but I told him I could try, just to give him a break for a day, and I figured testimony meeting would be the easiest. It was SO HARD! But pretty awesome too. I had the biggest headache after the meeting from thinking and listening and talking in two different languages for a whole hour! I did everything from the announcements, the prayers, testimonies, sacrament prayers, all that jazz. It was way hard because you can't really think about what you're saying in Spanish because you have to still be listening to everything that's being said in English while you're translating the last sentence! Crazy stuff. Pretty cool though. Fun opportunity. 

So...That's about it. Still just livin the Arcadian lifestyle. This week we got....more knocking!

Good luck this week!

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Week Thirty One!

Hola!

First off, yep! It's Tuesday! We had to work yesterday because everyone had work off. It was a perfect day for us to go out and teach everyone! So P-Day got moved to today. It's way weird. It's always been on a Monday, I think even in the MTC?

So yeah it's Elder Michael Liddle from Doncaster, England. He is awesome. He says so many things differently. Everyday I learn a new way to say like 20 different things. And when we go shopping he has no idea what any of the brands or food here (the majority of them) even is. He's getting Spanish real well and he's way willing to do door approaches (since that's basically all we do here) which beats what I was! And he just wants to keep doing the right thing and stay busy so that makes me actually get up and do something and try to lead the way. It's pretty hard in an area I don't even know! But he's keeping me in line, even though it should be the other way.

But we live in a little duplex thingy next to a giant field with a bunch of cows. Yep. Arcadia. We always say Arcadia with the "Activia" yogurt tune after things happen that would only happen in Arcadia. And there are many things that would only happen here. It rains like on the daily right around like 2-3 ish and when it rains it pours! And it's like 100 degrees before and after the rain. Makes sense. So we're like sweating like crazy walking around and then we get completely soaked by rain, and then it turns blistering hot and the hoards of mosquitos come out and eat us alive. "Arcadia". 

We played on some see saws that are in a park right next to our house before walking around an entire neighborhood for 3 hours. We got some sweet burnage on our bodies. Totally gonna turn into a good lookin tan. 

So we were eating with some members this past week and they were telling us some fun facts about Desoto County and Arcadia. Desoto County is the like 2nd to the most poorest county in all of Florida (which is like 67 counties). And is like 3rd or 2nd worst like education results in all of Florida. Like test scores. Like there's a bunch of members that even graduated from the high school here, they can't read. "Arcadia".

We're constantly knocking and finding. All we do. The only people that are progressing are like two young people that aren't wanting to get baptized until after they're married which is in January. Most people are too nice to say no when we ask if they want to learn more so they set up another day, and then they just don't answer when we come again. That's what we had all this week. We had like 12 set appts. Like 1 and a half of them actually happened. The rest just looked through their blinds and saw us waving at them and didn't open the door.


Oh yeah thanks for the packages! And for the one from Brandon and Brooke too! THANKS! We've already gone through the hankies one time and we have to wash them on all of our meal breaks because we sweat and wipe ourselves so much. And yes the M and M's survived...just were kind of on BIG m and m!

Oh and I E. Liddle knows loads of Davies' in England. Our name's popular there.

Good luck this week!

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,


Elder Bryson Davies

Monday, August 26, 2013

Week Thirty!

Hola!

This is Elder Davies in Arcadia, Florida! Yep I am in Arcadia. The smallest town I've ever laid my eyes and ears upon. Picture the scene in Monsters Inc when they say "mama there's another gator in the house" "another gator?? boy get me that shovel!"......Arcadia. In a nutshell. Good people! The members of the branch here (all 35 of them) are way nice and humble, most humble and nice you'll meet! There's like 5 Spanish members that are active right now in the branch that get a translation during the English services. And then we have gospel principles class in Spanish. Then they just leave because the third hour's in english just with all of the priesthood together. There's one young man and one young woman. Like 7 or 8 primary kids. It's fun! Sunday was funny. The way they do things and everything. The stake president was there and he's like "we just don't have this much fun in the big wards." It's very true. We live with the two English Zone Leaders for this area. Elder Kenyon from Washington and Elder McKenna from Farmington, UT. They're way awesome and fun so living with them is fun. We're still in the Bradenton Stake so no change there. 

Oh! so my companion is Elder Liddle! And guess where he's from? Oh just over there across the sea from a little place called Doncaster, ENGLAND. Yep! My companion is a blonde Englishman! Born and bred! Sweet thick English accent. Says things that we would never say here. Good stuff! And I get to teach him how to speak Spanish with an English accent! It's fun. He's so awesome. He's 20 years old. Should have pics next week of everything. Being a trainer is fun. I was definitely blessed to be put in the house of two zone leaders because they know what they're doing so if I ever have questions I can ask them. 

Right now we're starting from literally ground zero in this area. It just opened up for English like 6 months ago after not having missionaries here for 2 years. And now we're the first Spanish missionaries here in like 3 years! So we started off with two investigators from the zl's because they could barely teach them because they only speak spanish. So we're doing a lot of knocking. A LOT. We spent a whole day this last week just walking around and hitting up every road we could in a small area looking for Hispanic houses. Lot harder than it sounds. But it's all good. We're staying busy with that. We're going to start an English class on Wednesday and a lot of members told us that's a good idea...so we'll see! Oh we're on full car here too! Sweet relief! Nice car too. Brand new Ford Fusion. Sweet doggies. Our area's ginormous. The zl's told us that we'll most likely never leave it if we get lost. They said if you are driving and you see nothing but cow pastures for about twenty minutes, then you should probably turn around. Arcadia! It's definitely a different experience. Tons and tons and tons of trailer parks and mobile homes and what nots. 

Address:
304 Providence St.
Arcadia, FL 34266

Elder Christofferson came to a Stake Conference on Sunday! But it was for the stake above us...And the zone leaders got to go to it and a personal training with him for all the zone leaders of the mission! Freakin lucky. They told us it was insane. They were basically in the presence of an apostle all day. 

Anyways...that's about it!

Have a good week this week! I better have like 5 nephews or nieces when I come home! I'm getting very brown from being constantly walking in the sun! Elder Liddle's getting very red!

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,

Elder Bryson Davies 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Week Twenty Nine!

Hola! 

So yesterday was awesome! The sisters from Sarasota had a baptism of a dad in a nonmember family who I taught back when Casey was here! He's been being taught for a long time. The sisters got them! The husband at least. So that was way cool to finally see. And ya know Jr. Santos? Yeah...I gave him the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday!!!!!!! He came out of his interview with Presidente and was like alright I guess you gonna give me the priesthood now...??? And we did it in front of the entire priesthood in opening exercises. It was in english so it wasn't incredibly difficult...sweet experience!

Not much else has happened this week.....Oh! I finally gave a testimony in church yesterday. First time I've gone up to the pulpit and spoken Spanish so far in my mission. I lasted like 7 months without having to. Oh yeah on the 23 it's my "7 month" mark! Technically according to days. But really technically according to transfers I'm at 7 and a half months right now! Crazy...Oh so I gave my testimony because it was my DEPARTING TESTIMONY!!!!!!! YEP THIS ELDER'S BEING TRANSFERRED!!!!!!!!!!! 

We got our calls on Saturday morning. President Cusick called so we knew it was transfer. And then that's all he said and he didn't tell James who he's getting....we were like that's weird...but then Pres. calls back and tells James he's going to have the opportunity to train! So on Tuesday we go to Tampa to get his trainee and it's weirdly different this time. Pres switched it up so EVERY missionary that's even only getting transferred has NO idea where they're going or who they're going to be with. So EVERY missionary that is getting transferred goes to a huge meeting on Tuesday and they'll be assigned then to their various areas. We don't really know why they're doing it that way..maybe it makes sense to them and we just don't get the big picture. So we'll go to the meeting at 11 on Tuesday in Tampa and get assigned to our areas and then right after we'll both pick up our trainees. Oh did I say we?? Because I meant....we. I am training! Yeah when pres. called he said he had two items of business for me, one that I would be getting transferred out of the area, and two that I would be training! So yeah Elder Davies is going to be training a new missionary for at least 12 weeks. But the thing is I really don't find out where I'm training him until Tuesday, which is weird...There are rumors of like 5 new areas opening up so the chances of me opening one of those areas is pretty high. Training. New area. Bring it. Should be interesting! Pres. made sure to get it in our minds, and he will again on Tuesday I'm sure, that being a trainer is one of the most important jobs there is. He says in level of importance it goes President of the mission, trainers, trainees, ap's, zone leaders, and district leaders. He told us to make sure we realize the responsibility we're taking on ourselves and how impactful it is to be a trainer. He told us how there are family members at home that have been praying that their son gets a good trainer........NO PRESSURE! Nah but it should be fun! I'm excited. I'm kinda one of those people that doesn't get overly excited about things or nervous, just kinda go with the flow. James will be training here in Bradenton. 

But yep yep besides that nothing much been going down! Just saying bye to basically everybody here, but again, not the kind of person that gets overly emotional, so I'm just like whatever and people are like are you even sad to leave?? And I'm like yeah! I just don't let it dominate me ya know? Society man. 

Oh and James is basically all better.....the stitches are out...kind of because he took them out himself with some scissors....

Have a good week! 

Live Hard,
Love Hard,
Laugh Hard,


Elder Bryson Davies