Friday, July 5, 2013

Another Week

Date: Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 5:43 AM
Subject: Another Week

I don't even know how I should start this. So this week has been very different from my last transfer. My last companion had us working all the time but then I get a new companion and we don't do nearly as much and it's a little bit strange. I'm still a junior companion and I don't really want to step on his toes but we need to start doing work. However we get along very well. He's into the same kind of stuff that I am and so we end up talking a lot just about n'importe quoi. This week I get to see all the people in my zone again which I'm excited for because one of the sisters that came in with me is now here so it'll be really fun to talk to her. There are so many sisters coming in! This last transfer the people who just got there were with people that came in with them and everyone else was training. I imagine it's about the same now too but there is just a huge influx of sisters coming in. We also watched a broadcast that I imagine the missionaries there have talked about or shared or done something because they're working on changing the whole idea of missionary work. The way they put it is that if we continue in the way we always have then we'll get the same results so it's time to change according to the new times. It's really cool and I hope we can get the members here on board.
So there's a family here that reminds me so much of our family. They're name is Diaz (they're from Chile) and they're so funny. It's a mom, and then three daughters one a little older than me, one my age, and one a Ryan's age. They were talking about a band called Daddy Yankee the other day and I realised that I know that band. They about flipped out and started talking very fast at the same time. They are innactive but they love the missionaries. We're working on them.
Not a whole lot going on right now. IT just started something called soldes where everything goes on sale and so it's been super hectic around town and I just find myself feeling grateful I'm in a small town otherwise it would be absolutely crazy. Well I can't think of anything else but I am excited to hear from all of you soon about new things in your life. =)
Lots of love,
Elder Davis
PS... (I asked him how the church was going and if he understood the people better) I understand church now and actually just gave a talk last Sunday. The theme was Psalms 147:3. They aren't feeding us here as much as they did in Brive. Last transfer I got fead once and then once so far too. I've had some pretty cool stuff though. Like some french salami stuff which was very good and for salads here they do super simple stuff but it's super good. Like they take lettuce and mix oil with it or just tomatoes and oil and salt. It's really good. =)
PS... (then I asked him what he was making for himself) As for us we eat like college students. Rice, pasta, sauces. I figured out that sour cream and bacon make a tastey sauce...but that's just missionary food and if you took that somewhere where they cook seriously they'd get mad at you. ;) Oh and I will probably buy something today on my personal card so don't be shocked when a large some of money leaves (I don't know how large because I haven't gotten it yet but It shouldn't be more than a hundred euros if I can help it). Have fun at work. =)

Citadelle de Besançon

Citadelle de Besançon

Last Week of Another Transfer

Date: Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 6:38 AM
Subject: Last Week of Another Transfer
Time goes by so fast. It seems like one minute I'm meeting someone new and now all of a sudden I may have to say goodbye to him. I've really enjoyed this transfer. I love the town and the branch here (except some just tell us how much they want sister missionaries). I wouldn't mind staying another here but my companion thinks that they're going to have me be a zone leader next transfer. The reason he's saying that is because the zone leaders came here and did an exchange and one of them asked me how I felt about my leading abilities. Apparently they give a letter of recommendation of what they think should happen for transfers so that the president has something to look at to get other points of view. Apparently they don't ask that question to people and the guy I replaced here was asked that and then went zone leader. However my comp has a tendancy to tell little lies to keep a joke going so I don't know how much he's told me about that and then talking to another zone leader about it was. On vira.
This week I discovered what real dark chocolate tastes like. Let me tell you, Hershy's got nothing on this stuff. It is the best dark chocolate I've had in my life but I found out that even though it's good you can't eat the whole package. When you do you really don't feel very good. However if I'm not careful then I'll get to buy groceries and discover I have no money. But I'm doing pretty good on money. I won't tell you how much they give me but have no fear, it's more than enough for someone who grew up looking for the cheap off brands. ;)
Did I tell you that one of the seventy came and talked to us? It was really cool. He talked about using members more and that if we continue to do the same missionary work then we'll keep getting the same results. Missionaries everywhere are going to start counting more and more on the members to help them out and start doing some work too. Just a heads up to try to help the missionaries back home when it comes time for them to struggle for it. You understand how hard of a time missionaries have once you get out there and do it.
From time to time I think back on the movie The Best Two Years (fun fact the main guy is actually less active now as well as the guy who plays Christ in the Finding Faith in Christ movie. Ok not so fun) and I can think of missionaries I know that fit those categories. It's really really funny.
So I'm running out of things to say as usual I'll probably think of them later. I got to go to the citadelle today. They turned it into a zoo which was really fun.
I love you all and can't wait to hear from you soon.
-Elder Davis
PS... (I told Nicholas about riding a Tandem bike in the church parking lot the other night and I asked him if he got the letters the primary kids sent.) That's awesome. I tried to get the mission president to let us get a bike like that but he said no. I'm glad that you had fun doing service. Here we just help people move. I did get the letters and laughed because everyone said something about rain, snails or both. It made me laugh. =)
(then I told him about What I said to the primary kids about how people's moods change in France according to whether or not it rains) Oh ok. I thought maybe it was raining there. Hahaha. The letters from the adults were fun. I meant to bring the ones from your coworkers to respond to them but I forgot because we went to the citadelle earlier. Sister Bernard was kind of funny because while everyone said something about how great it was that I was serving she talked about how Aaron's doing. Which was nice. I bet you two just have a feild day when you two talk.
(and here's an extra PS for all you science majors) So I have a rather strange request, how long does it take for the sun to make a revolution around the center of the galaxy that we are in?
See if you can spot Nicholas. I'll give you a hint... he has the BRIGHTEST purple tie - which.... in real life... is blue! 

An Interesting Week

Date: Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 4:09 AM
Subject: An Interesting Week
So this week has been very eventful. It starts with the sun being out all week. The clouds went away for a bit just in time for us to do some work in the outer villes. The sun makes everyone happier but then it gets really hot. I think it was in the thirties this week. I also noticed that there is an inverse relationship with sn and amount of clothes worn. For those who don't remember back to the math they don't need that means the more sun the less clothes. Which leads to the story of the first little ville. It is called Dole and we were going around knocking on houses when we walk up to one with the door open. We don't want to freak out the people living there so we ring the bell and stand back. There's then a sound from the side of the house where we look around and here is the owner, sun tanning without any clothes on. Instead of freaking out that she's naked she seems to not remember that fact and just turns, sees us and goes inside to put on some clothes (I think). Luckily I am the junior companion so I was not in the lead and therefore did not get the full view of what was going on. I did see enough to realize how much she was not wearing though. After that we decided not to stick around and find out what happened next but we turned and just got out of there.
We also did work in a place called Maison Neuve which is a cluster of maybe fifty houses out in the middle of absolute nowhere. However we ended up passing through a field of long grass and suddenly realizing that not too long ago German soldiers made that same walk with much different news. It was kind of cool to think about that. I'm excited for tomorrow though. We get to listen to Elder Richards for Zone Conference (Second quorumn of the seventy). That's going to be very exciting.
I am really close to my six month mark now which is very very strange. It's flown by and it's weird to think that the sisters that go into the MTC then will be going home with me. Crazy right? I thought I was going to have more to talk about in this email but I seem to be running out of things. Hm. Well I love you all and wish you all the best. As summer is starting and you can have lots of fun soyez sage.
-Elder Davis

PS... As for French one of my favorite sayings is when someone says something and you want to say that they're right you say they have reason. For example "What way should we take?" "This one because of this." "Oh you have reason." You can say that to one person by saying "Tu as raison" or to a group with "vous avez raison." I will try to send you some pictures but I don't have my camera right now and we won't be in Besançon until Wednesday but there's a cool picture of the citadelle that we can see from our balchony that you might like. For food that's good, they eat a lot of salad with vinigrette and there's a cool little salad where you cut carrots, fennel and some lettuce into match stick shapes and then put in vinigare enough to coat everything which is very good. If I think of anything else I'll let you knowWednesday.
Love you, Elder Davis

Oh! Another good one is Sois sage for just one person and Soyez sage for more than one. It means be wise and is kind of like saying make good choises. =)

Another Week in France

Date: Mon, Jun 3, 2013 at 6:16 AM
Subject: Another Week in France

This week has been good. Full of laughs and sorrow. First starts with the news we just got last night. We have a lady who was ready to be baptised. She had a testimony, she read more than I did before I came out. she even was reading the Gospel Principles book and was talking about stuff we had just sat down to teach her. Then she wasn't at church yesterday so we give her a call. Turns out her husband thinks the Book of Mormon is Satanic and that she's following satan by wanting to join this church. The thing I can't understand is that when we're over there he's very nice to us. He's a member of another church but when we talk to him about his beliefs he just says that they follow the Bible exactly. So what do we do? We ask about things in the Bible that other religions don't seem to completely grasp. Baptism by immersion, authority, baptisms for the dead, Sunday worship (they worship on Saturday). And each one of those he has a dumb excuse from authority from just reading the Bible to that certain verses are translated incorrectly. You want to talk about a hard nut to crack I've got him. So we talk to her and she says she is going to follow what her husband is telling her. It was frustrating and incredibly sad.
Later that night though we had a short lesson with a guy that we found knocking on doors. Last Monday he said he was busy so we said "Another day can we come back?" This guy says yes but in his mind he's thinking something like we can come back when hell freezes over whereas to us that means come back Sunday. So we went back and when he opens the door you can see in his face that he's thinking "I didn't think you'd actually come back." But he said yes so he lets us in and tells us that he's catholic but we have five minutes. We explain to him the first lesson and then my companion starts headed somewhere that'll just end in arguing which goes nowhere. So in order to stop it I have to jump in there somehow so I start talking about the Book of Mormon and what it's about and the cool pictures in the front. In the end we leave him with a book and a prayer (we didn't explain prayer so he wasn't expecting this kind of prayer). I cracked my eyes halfway through to see his face and I had a hard time not reacting to the confusion that I found. But moral of the story he has a Book of Mormon. By their fruits ye shall know them. He has the fruit now.
And then the other story I wanted to share was about our apartement and how it's situated. So across from us is a nice little park with trees and benches and nice grassy feilds. However this makes for a local spot for high schoolers during lunch time (they get lunch time from noon to two here in France). Now as we were all high schoolers with all of the chemicals raging through our artteries you can imagine what's going on. This is very weird for two missionaries trying to have lunch on the fourth floor across from them. Luckily we have found a way to benefit from this and my companion and I have become very profitiant water ballon tossers. If we ever have a primary activity and one of them is that thing when you toss the balloon back and forth they better look out because we've become somewhat of an expert.
So that has been my excitment for the week. I can't wait to hear from you all soon to find out how your lives are going back in the states. Until next week,
-Elder Davis
PS... Here we're doing much more cooking for ourselves. The branch is really small (only about thirty people with twenty five regulars). Everyone who lives close is old ladies who have lost husbands so we can't visit them alone and everyone else is really far out of town. Bikes were just in Brive. They had been left from elders before so I didn't take them. It's actually very rare for bikes. I was on exchange there and the district leader who had been out a year had never riden a bike in France so it probably won't happen again. I'll talk about teaching in the big letter. There's been some great stories and a sad story this week.
I love you mommy and pass the love to the primary kids too.
-Elder Davis
PS.... You're going to have the best time with that group of people (at Girls Camp). There may not be a more fun and entertaining group out there. Tell the Hawes that I say hello.

A Better Week

Date: Mon, May 27, 2013 at 6:24 AM
Subject: A Better Week

This week has been very good. One of the most interesting things that happened to me was during contacting. I talked to a Jehovah's Witness about gospel. You know the secret so they don't spend all their time trying to convert you? Talk in the language they use for work and don't know a lot of spiritual words. He wanted to show off a bit of his english I think. To make me realize that other religions learn other languages and communicate things about church through it too but it really worked in my favor because then it was even harder for him to try to bible bash. We talked and I told him what we believed. Some things aren't too far from what they believe however there are other things that don't make any sense that they believe. The next day we actually found their church here in Besançon which was interesting. We also found a couple other potential people to talk to which was great. There is a noticable difference between people's attitudes on sunny days and on rainy days. Today is one of those sunny days which is great. This week we had a zone training and I'm sorry to have gotten your hopes up but I don't get to go into Switzerland for things like that. For two reasons, one is they just don't want Americans there for some reason and two is that it is super expensive over there. They also use the Franc instead of the Euro. So we had it here in Besançon. It was very very good and I'm in a zone with one of the guys I played four square against in the MTC. So I knew one of the guys. There's also a sister that came in with my trainer that's over here. She and my trainer have never been in different zones for more than a transfer so I know her pretty well. She's form Oregon too but she's up in Portland. And then there are three équipes of sister missionaries here and each one of them is training one of the sisters that just came in. I also realized that I'm about to hit my six months. That's really weird to me. It doesn't seem like that long. It's tradition to burn a tie at that mark but I don't think I'm going to do that. First because I like all my ties too much and also I was with a missionary who did that. It was terrible. He did it in the sink because they didn't have a balcony and so smoke filled the appartement. My clothes then smelt of smoke and you want to know something hard? Trying to teach the Word of Wisdom in a smoke smelling suit. The bright part of that experience was that they discovered that they needed to change the batteries in the smoke detector. I guess everything happens for a reason right? Well I love you guys and I'm sure I'll think of more things to write after I get off as that is the curse of the once a week emails. Just know that I think of you all. Family to friends to acquaintences. I think of you.
-Elder Davis
(Additional letters from this week:)
PS... And now the last one I just remembered, have Kristina and Chris got the letter I mailed when I got her package? I want to make sure that it didn't get lost somewhere.
And also I need to apologize for what I said about Jehovah's Witnesses. I didn't mean that to sound bad about them just that it's interesting meeting someone doing the same thing I am from a different belief.
-Elder Davis

Besancon - The Tooth Fairy Story

Date: Mon, May 20, 2013 at 7:03 AM
Subject: Besancon

Another week goes by and I find myself wondering where it went to. The beginning of the week was really great with the sun so everyone was happy but then the tail end of the week was on a down slope. We talk to tons and tons of people but everyone has the same answer that they don't need God. "Why should I follow someone who takes away all my fun?" is what people say if you can get them to talk to you for more than just a "No I'm not interested" or that "I'm pressed for time" except for the fact that they're just strolling along without purpose. I did have one cool experience so far though. Spoiler alert, if you're reading this to little kids I'm talking about the toothfairy and so you may want to change it a tad. We sonnetted a man's house who said that we were like little children who believed in the Tooth Fairy because we believed in Christ. I now have a testimony of the promise in the Book of Mormon that we will not be confounded before men because I looked that man in the eyes and said Sir, I believe in the Tooth Fairy. It is my mother. The one who has been with me through everything. I believe in her and will always believe in her even after death because I know that I will live with her again after this life. To this he had nothing to say and sent us on our way. I don't know what it is that he was thinking after that but I was glad to have been able to share my testimony to a man who is trying to get us angry. It's a little bit weird sometimes when you talk to some people and they have no reservations telling you what they think the purpose of life is and Jesus Christ is not in there. You also then find a love of the boogy man, for when you are climbing into bed and you hear a bump in the night, you certainly hope it's the boogy man under your bed. So that's my news really for this week. I love France with all my heart but there are times, and I think this happens to every missionary no matter where you serve, that you feel trodden down into the dust. There's a lot of sayings that are there to try to help pick you up (and nowhere has giving up ever come into my mind) but it's still very difficult. However you have no need to worry about me. I am where I am needed and I know that I will feel better in no time at all because I am doing the best thing I can right now. So here's taking it one day at a time. I love you all and love to hear about the things going on back in America. Until next week.
-Elder Davis

Besancon Week 1

Date: Tue, May 14, 2013 at 7:32 AM
Subject: Besancon Week 1
To: Melissa Davis <>

Hello everyone you'll be happy to know that I made it safely to Besançon safely. It was quite the trip. I did an hour to Perigueux, and hour and a half to Bordeaux, four hours to Montpillier, stayed the night, two hours to Lyon, one hour to Dijon, and one more to Besançon. Lots and lots of trains. I have come out of it realizing something, Missionaries don't need a lot of the things on that list because missionaries before them have left them and I too will end up being one of those missionaries as well. As for the hair cut it turned out great. I would have had a strange looking pony tail in the back if I didn't have a companion to make sure I did ok. That's why you go two by two...for one to make sure the other dosen't look stupid. I think I missed the beginning of Survivor however I'm sure that Cochran is doing something fun with all that money. The problem with all those kids thinking that when I get back is that I'll be 21 and probably have to find someone a tad closer to my age and convince them that I'm that handsome returned missionary. As for Besançon I absolutely love it already. It reminds me so much of home (the scenery anyways, I don't know where there's any real French styled houses in Eugene) because there's hills that look exactly the same all around us with a big river running through that would be so great to go kayaking down. My new address is:
34 Rue Gabriel Plançon
2500 Besançon
We are on the fourth floor so i'll be trimmed in no time. The change of scenery during the train ride was interesting, it went from vinyard after vinyard after vinyard to feilds of golden flowers (I want to guess mustard plants as we are very close to Dijon). I really love France. Some of the people who have been here longer complain about things they miss from America sometimes (Taco Bell, Walmart, Little Ceaser's, clean roads, etc.) but those haven't hit me yet. Granted those things are great and there are times, when I'm hungry especially, when I miss them too but as of right now I absolutely love France. The people here are different than Americans in a way that intrigues me. The way that they think is different and so going from learning about different cultures to being in a different culture is something that I am loving every day and will continue to love it. When I talk to people about them as a person and see that they realize that I'm genuenely interested in them is absolutely fantastic. Oh which reminds me, Mommy I thought of why conversation does not equal fluency, French conversations consist of you asking what they like to do, give these coals a little poke here and there and then stand back as all of a sudden the fire roars to life and they just talk about themselves. You add in an "uh-huh" "oh wow" or even "qu'est-ce que c'est?" and they take care of all the rest of that conversation. It's perfect to get better at comprehension and getting over an aprehension of talking to people. There's a cool story in the mission news letter this week, I'm going to copy it here:
A truly remarkable person.
There was once a person who found themselves in circumstances of helplessness. They were too weak to stand up or feed themselves or even take care of their own sanitary needs. Another person who was filled with unexplainable love and kindness took the responsibility of caring for this person.
They brought them food that had been reduced to a liquid since they could not chew. They put it in their mouth and literally kept them alive. They spent all day and all night every day caring for them and talking to them and singing to them and resolving their sanitary issues. They taught them and encouraged them and did what they could to help them become happy and healthy.
This went on for weeks and then months and to some degree, for many years. The level of dedication and sacrifice was beyond any reasonable explanation. They often needed to tend to them in the middle of the night and they were forced to forgo most of their personal desires and dreams in order to keep them alive and progressing until they could care for themselves. They were not paid. They were not even thanked for a number of years because they were too weak to express themselves.
Finally, many years later, through the selfless, miraculous care given, they became strong and capable and filled with ability, hope and happiness. The caretaker was not perfect by any means but they were literally a savior to them. They never forgot the caretaker although they were some distance apart and busy. They knew it was not an adequate showing of gratitude for the priceless sacrifice offered but nevertheless, one time per year they Skyped and expressed their appreciation to
their Mother. 
Hopefully we will all express gratitude more frequently to our mother while we can, not because she is perfect rather, because she is our mother. Hopefully we will all show constant gratitude by using all that our mothers helped us to become in following the Savior and vigorously serving our fellow man.
Mothers are human beings who perform an inhuman service.
Thank you Mothers, thank you!
That story I thought was really neat and so I'll end this by saying I love you all and can't wait to hear what the other side of the world is up to.
-Elder Davis

Last Week of the Transfer

Date: Mon, May 6, 2013 at 1:36 AM
Subject: Last Week of the Transfer

This is the last week of the transfer. On Friday I'll know if I am to stay or if I'm headed somewhere else. This week's been pretty interesting, we played frisbee golf last Monday and that was really fun with my district. I found out that I'm am very good at hitting trees and not the baskets. The day after that we did our district meeting which was super powerful followed by a fun Chinese Buffet. My father here had to do his legality this week too because he's been out for a year. It's really good to see him try to figure it out because that way I can figure out how to do it when my time comes for that. Saturday we did a day of missionary work with the jeunes gens in Perigueux and the missionaries in the district. That was really neat because we helped to change some of their lives I think. Some of them may have had doubts about a mission but we showed them how great it feels. That was really special. And then Sunday I was chosen to give the prayer in priesthood and afterwards one of the members came up to me and told me that when I pray he feels good and that the spirit touches him. That was really special to hear. We then went and knocked some doors most of which had people that told us no. There was an indian girl at one house that had something wrong with her eyes that they just couldn't stand still so it was very hard to talk to her without being distracted. There was also some very old guys that were very nice to us and talked and said things along the lines of I applaude your courage and that we're doing a great thing here but that they're just too old to worry about changing religions. They were very nice to us and they were those kind of people that you just walk away smiling. I love people like that and love being a missionary. About every day it hits me that I'm a missionary in France. This thing that they've talked to me about since I was in Primary and I've been preparing for since then and it's here. After nineteen years of telling everyone I plan to go now I have gone and it is more than I ever expected. More everything, more exhausting, more stressful, more happy, and more satisfying than I ever expected. I work for the most powerful man in the universe here in France and I am watched over because of it. I send you all my love through this email and say that I can't wait to see you soon.
-Elder Davis

Almost the End of Another Transfer

Date: Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 1:27 AM
Subject: Almost the End of Another Transfer

Another week come and gone. My exchage went well actually. I found out I'm much better than I was afraid of. There was some people I just went and talked to, they weren't interested at all but they just talked to me about whatever. I talked to a lady about traveling the world and halfway through it hit me like a truck, I'm having a conversation in french in france! I'm understanding the bubbles coming out of this lady's mouth and then responding in turn. It was a really cool feeling. There's a man here (the guy from Algeria who only has two teeth) that reminds me of Uncle Phil. He has the same point of views, the same way of explaining his views and the same way you just have to laugh at how crazy he is. I love going over to his house. Then there's another member here that is preparing for a mission and is a better missionary than any I've seen so far when he goes out with us. He's so awesome and I hope he is able to go on a mission. Yesterday church was really good. After the meeting we had a meal all together and then watched 17 Miracles. It is such a powerful movie. Takes you back to the play that our stake did all together. I thought it's be all in French but it was actually english with french subtitles. That was interesting. I'm so glad for the opportunity to be a missionary here in France. As I'm reading Jesus the Christ there are words that I've never seen before but they're latin based so since I'm learning french I know what James E Talmage is even talking about. Stuff just popping up all over the place. I'm also reading through the Book of Mormon in French (now that I can tell what is going on) and it's very interesting to read because there are some parts that use different words than it does in english so the point is the exact same but there's another word to reach it. It's fun making different bridges to the same understanding. The church is true even in french. So that was my week. Is there anything else you all want to know? This week was pretty quiet so there's not tons to write about. Just remember I love you all and can't wait to see you all again. Until next week. =)
-Elder Davis
On Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 10:34 AM, Melissa ... <> wrote:
Hi honey. I can't sleep tonight. I'm so glad to get your letters. Tell us how you get around on a daily basis. Bikes? Walking? The train? And tell us about your apartment and the neighborhood you live in.

Love you,

Good evening. It's morning here, almost eleven. We get around by walking mostly. Bigger villes have metros and trams and busses but in Brive anywhere the bus takes us we can walk in about fifteen minutes. We only really ride the bikes to go to the church building because it's hard to contact people on a bike if you're headed somewhere. The train is only if we have to go to another city in our area or to one of the areas in our district for exchanges and meetings (and the occasional P-day). There's an old lady that lives underneath us who only ever gets out of the house to go to the doctor and to buy pain au chocolates for us (it's a roll with some strips of chocolate squirted in). They're pretty good. And then the only other people we really see is the lady that owns the cous cous place below us. She's really nice but then there are restaurants around us and other stores we can't go in to. So there's not a whole lot of neighborhood around us. =)

Monday Already

Date: Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 1:44 AM
Subject: Monday Already

Good morning everyone. This week has been a great one. I'd like to first share something I learned that made me laugh in the Book of Mormon, in 3 Nephi 4:1 it uses the expression "sally forth." That made me laugh. I hope that it'll do the same for you. So on Friday we did more service (last week four out of the seven days were service) but this time we were laying down the foundation for the guy in our ward. This means we took wheelbarrow fulls of wet cement (not the kind of stuff I did with Uncle Phil) about twenty five yards down hill to dump in a big pit. This was a very bumpy road and If you've ever done this with very full loads of sand rock and water all mixed together you'll know that every bump in the road makes it feel as though your arms are being ripped out. Needless to say I'm still super sore from that. Then the next day we started a thing called Samedi Sportif. This is where we played soccer or basketball with the youth and young adults in the branch. I discovered I was better than I thought I was, however then you remember that I'm in Europe where rugby and soccer are like a religion and so just because I was better than the past the eight year old kids who came too were better than I was. But that was really fun. Something about chasing a little round ball in nice weather just means the best time ever. We were then trying to get a rendez-vous with a less-active and when we called he was like, how about some dinner? So we ate with him and it was so good. It was some duck and rice and some kind of awesome stew broth thing. It was great and I ate too much. Oh that reminds me, the lady that owns the restaurant below us invited us to eat cous cous there. It was to die for. It was a plate filled with cous cous and vegetables and great stuff, I'll attach a picture of it. It was so good but it was so much there. We were both a little prideful in our eating and were thinking that we need to finish but at the end I just couldn't eat anymore and there was still quite a bit left. Now imagine feeling like you're about to explode and walking up a few flights of stairs. After some time we made it and just about died but it was so worth it. And then Sundays are always great. There was a family visiting that is from Seattle and so I was talking with them. The little boy was so funny, I start talking to his mom about what brings them to France, how often they visit and stuff like that and their son just pipes in and starts answering my questions so I'm talking to him. He was so funny though, he talked about how he already saw the video about Joseph Smith in the states so he didn't have to pay attention. He then goes on to say he just wants to skip primary to young men's because he feels like he's ready for "heavier stuff." I told him that in young men's you continue to learn the same things but he kept saying that it was different where he lives so I gave it to him and I'll let him realiwe it for himself. He was funny though. and then I ended up keeping their little baby entertained during Sunday School by making my hand like a spider that chased his hand around the chair. Every time he'd pull his hand away real quick as though it'd bight him and laugh and do it again. If there's anything that will chase a frown away it's the laughter of a little kid as you chase his hand around with your spider hand. Overall a very good week. Tomorrow we're doing a three way exchange with my district so it'll be me, a guy who came in with me, and a guy who just got here. You know that saying of the blind leading the blind? It'll be something like that. Well I'll talk to you all later and have you figured out my riddle? Until the next week.
-Elder Davis.Inline image 1
PS: French Tongue Twister - So this one might be fun for you all. I don't know if it's really a tongue twister but it's funny, Le ver va vers le vert verre. I'll let each of you translate that yourself and then go around and say it to people. You'll get a lot of blank expressions which are the best! Love you. =)

Crazy Week

Date: Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 1:54 AM
Subject: Crazy Week
So as you have seen, this week was a bit different. We had zone conference on Monday and then busy all week until today. Normally this kind of case would have meant the email comes on Tuesday. I learned an interesting word this week, it's the word for hurricane. The word for hurricane is ouragan and yes you guessed it, pronounced exactly like Oregon. When you meet some people and they're like "woa man where are you from?" about half the time (since they have no idea where most of the states are) they think you say that you live in a hurricane and get really confused. It's really funny though. So Mommy you asked about the countryside and stuff like that and it is exactly like Oregon. One section of five minutes you can practically swim in the air, the next it's a fine mist like those rooms in Six Flags for when you're getting overheated and need to cool down, then it's sunny and beautiful only to start pelting you with hail. However I love it here. The land is hilly like Western Oregon is and if you replace most of the evergreen trees with oak trees you have France. Sometimes we'll be on the train and I'll think, "this is exactly like the drive to the coast." I think it was last week but I forgot but I saw flamingoes. Real alive pink birds in the south of France sitting in a marsh eating the stuff they do. Now you may think you must have been going past a zoo or they're fake. however you'd be wrong on both accounts. They were real live pink flying flamingoes. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me for that. I love service here. You never realise how much service is wanted from the missionaries until you become one and just want to help everyone any way you can. So we're out here cutting peoples trees that need to be cut back and even helping someone dig a trench for the foundation for the house they're building. We do a lot of work for our DMP too. He does something where planting things is his job so he works from home and we go over and help him plant tomatoes or cucumbers or repare his green houses. It's so much fun. And now going back to the helping build a house, I spent an entire day with a pick axe and a shovel trying to dig a trench around a huge hole already made (this will be their storage facility) through rock. We were about seven feet below ground level and right about there the earth is rock hard. If you ever want a quick way to have a sore lower back hack at rock with this pick axe for a day. It was great though. Something about seeing this huge pile of dirt that you've excavated at the end of it is just so satisfying. I would and will gladly do it again. This transfer is going by so fast. Today is my father's year mark on his mission and it's a little strange. He said that it happened in a blink of an eye and in another he'll be home. We keep joking about how he'll be married with a kid by the time I get back which is always followed by "figure that one out" as if you do the math he's only eight months older than me. Well I'll let you go now with this riddle I heard this week, I am strong and I am weak and I know every language having never learned them, who am I?
-Elder Davis =)

Hello Everybody!

Date: Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 1:35 AM
Subject: Hello Everybody!

I loved conference. It was really good but sometime this week we need to watch the Sunday afternoon session. If we stayed and watched it it would have ended at midnight here and I didn't have the thumbs up for that. This week has been spent a lot on the train. It was for what is called the Bleu's Conference. Also called conference for new missionaries and come-back conference. It was so awesome to see everyone that I came in with again. Some of them were transfered to my Zone so I'll see them more now. It was great to hear stories about the other areas in France. One of the other Elders had to be emergency transferred because they were getting death threats. Before anyone starts thinking that France is crazy, that doesn't happen here in little Brive. It was up in Lyon but if you look at the map it looks like it may only take a few hours on train to get there, however there is no train from Brive to Lyon so we have to go down to Toulouse, stay the night there, go up to Lyon, head back to Toulouse and stay there and then take a train to Brive. So that's mostly been my week. Up in Lyon I discovered that the mail system sucks. There was a letter that probably got to Provo the day I left but then they sent it to the Mission office in Switzerland and then sent it to the one in Lyon so I got it two months after it was sent. That's the only one like that I've seen so far but it was a little frustrating. I am getting better at French. There's a family here that their goal is to feed the missionaries once a week (no joke) and so this last week it was funny because the hours and hours spent on a train my companion and I pretty much laughed the whole time about how this last week they couldn't feed us. However they made sure to get right on that yesterday. I love their family. There's this cool stuff that everyone gets called Syro. It's flavored syrop that you put with water to make flavored water and no joke everyone has it. We'll be porting and someone will actually be interested so we'll go in and as we sit down out come glasses syro and water with maybe some little crackers too. The French are very nice, for the most part, when you knock on their door. There's not a whole lot to write about this week. I had a great Kebab in Toulouse though that had melted cheese lining the toritlla that it was in. That's the most exciting food story for this week. Well I can't wait to here from you all again. Find out what's going on back in Eugene. à la prochaine.
-Elder Davis
PS... Oh and one thing that I liked about conference is that it gave the missionaries a new name, we're Soul Healers. President Roney has said stuff like that to us in that we're Gatherers of Souls or we're the Black Ops out here in France. Pretty cool when you think about it. I saw a picture that represents missionary work. It's the first vision but from a different perspective, you're seeing it as a person who's falling off the cliff but you're looking up and this person is jumping after you. You then see that he's attached to a rope that is connected to the rod of iron. You then notice that there's a tag on his shirt as he's coming after you. I like that picture but I don't remember what it's called. If you happen to run across it let me know. I may try to draw it too but let's just say I hope you can find the original. ;)

Second Transfer

Date: Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 2:12 AM
Subject: Second Transfer
So the news...I am...drum role...staying in Brive with my father. I'm so glad that I'm staying here. The people and the city here is just fantastic. We just found a golden investigator. For anyone who knows the Preach My Gospel videos (if anyone, if not this doesn't really mean anything) then the two that are living together one being a less active and they're not married at the beginning then that is who we found. He was baptised in 2005 but then fell away and she is a non-member. We called them a few weeks before I arrived and asked them to come. Last Saturday they called and asked what time out of the blue. They were then invited to a soirée familiale (Family Home Evening) with the Villians. The Villians have us over about every Monday just about. There we just shared a message about Moroni and the Title of Liberty and that that was why we are on the Earth, to fight Satan for our God, our religion and our family. We then tied in that God is our loving Heavenly Father. We had a rendez-vous planned for that Friday afterwards and when we show up she comes flying down the stairs to tell us that she prayed (before the missionaries even engaged her to do this) to ask if this church was true and that she got a powerful answer. The only thing standing between her and baptism is the lessons, attending church three weeks, and them getting married. It is absolutely wonderful. The people here are funny sometimes. French people pretty much don't hug, they bise (that kissing on both cheeks) and in fact when you go for a hug they're kind of awkward and don't know what to do. The people who served missions have no problem though because they served with people who hug so it's one of the funniest things to see them give a hug to someone who's not used to it. It's about all I can do to not start busting up. The people who don't realize that missionaries aren't allowed to bise are a little funny too becase you offer them your hand and they're like no I don't mind bising and you have to explain that it's against the rules so it's a little like those movies when someone goes in for a kiss and they lean their head back and offer their hand for shaking instead. It's funny in retrospect. The Friday that the President called everyone to say stay or transfer was interesting because phones were ringing off the hook to know where people are going. In my district there are three areas, my district leader just found out he's training this next transfer and the other area is getting a guy from my MTC district so this is a bleu district. Everyone is still a blue with a trainer for now. It'll be interesting when we do the exchanges for this district because at some time I'll be put with the really new guy and if he's not a native french speaker we're in a little bit of trouble. I'm so excited to see how I do when I don't have an experienced shoulder to lean on though. It should be fun. My DMP and his wife are probably some of my favorite people. They make it a goal to feed the missionaries once a week but this last week they were going around with us and all of a sudden they take a weird turn and say that they're kidnapping us and then laughed maniacally. Turns out they wanted to buy us some rain ponchoes. They took us in as we're as a stubborn donkey and dragging our feet trying to say no it's fine or that we can pay or stuff like that and they just wouldn't accept any of those excuses. I love them though. There are people in the ward that gave us candy for Easter and so now we have like five little bags filled with chocolates. These are really the greatest people ever. Well I love you all. There are people here that remind me of people that I love back home which is really funny. You all are in my prayers daily. Toujours et à jamais.
-Elder Davis

Last Week of the Transfer

Date: Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 2:46 AM
Subject: Last Week of the Transfer
So this week was pretty good. We found a miracle in a lady from Tahiti and a member that passed by at the perfect time to invite her to an activity with the sociatée du secours. And then she came! It was so awesome. We were also contacting and I found probably the only hippy in France. I never thought I'd find someone here that had the exact same mindset as Eugene but voila here she was. She was swinging these balls on the end of strings like fire dancers do but without fire. We walked up and started talking to her about those and next thing I know they're in my hands and I'm making a fool of myself as she's doing everything she can not to laugh at me. She wasn't super interested but she respected us and what we stood for which means some other missionaries will find her and teach her when she is ready for them. I also went to a member's home to eat with a less active and non member with a recent convert there too (lots of numbers that day) and one of the guys brought some spicy stuff that he likes. We actually ate at his house for lunch and he mixed it with ketchup and mayonaise for French Fries (you may be saying that no French person would prepare this in this lifetime and you would be right because he's from Reunion. That island off the coast of Madagascar) and I thought it was good so I took a little spoonful of it and actually thinking that it wouldn't get around to everything but just going to call it good. I start eating and it's all good, a little hot but what's life without a little spice. Well about halfway through I start trying to put moisture back on my lips so I start to lick them and next thing I know my whole mouth is on fire and I'm sweating like a dog in a Chinese restaurant. I then look at the sauce to discover it is habinero sauce. Ok so it's a little hot but I took it and I'll finish it as long as I don't draw attention to myself. No such luck for me, turns out I am bright red and my eyes are like niagra falls. Needless to say I finished it and if not for anything else that family will remember me because of that. It was fun though. I also figured that here in France I wouldn't have everyone tell me that I look like an actor. Of course there's a Frenchman running around with my good looks too. He's a French comedian named Dan Boony I think? I have no idea but I've had just about everyone in the Elder's Quorumn tell me that with one of the amis as well. Oh well. Maybe I can take advantage of that somehow. Oh so you didn't answer my question about my unicycle. I hope that's because you just forgot. Happy Birthday Amber. I sent you a card today so be expecting that. It's pretty cool and I liked it. There's also letters in the mail with responses to letters. On Friday I'll know it I'm being transfered to a different area or not. My trainer keeps joking that I'll be sent to a chinese branch or be made assistant or something but I don't think so. They wouldn't send a bleu there however I asked President Roney his pattern and he says to me "It's simple, I look at a picture of them and ask the Lord where they're needed...that's it." So meaning there is no pattern that one could follow and try to guess ahead of time. I'll know after his call on Friday though. Church on Sunday wasn't very bad, I felt I understood most of it. It is kind of like how I felt halfway through the MTC where I kind of understand but there's still lots I miss and it's hard to express myself. It'll get better though I know it will. Well I love you all and hope that all is well in the english world. I look forward to finding out all the other new things that happen to you. à bientot. =)
PS... So I think you'd all be interested to know that we just got word that the First Presidency gave the thumbs up for emailing friends other than just family so all of you who haven't gotten around to writing a physical letter you can also email at However as always physical letters are loved by missionaries everywhere.


Date: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 2:26 AM
Subject: France!
Yes I can receive pictures to this email and that's a great idea. My mistake, yes he's from Hermiston (however it's spelled) which is eastern Oregon. My routine is that I arise at six thrirty and then do half an hour of exercises. We then spend half an hour getting ready for the day and then an hour of personal study, two hours of companionship study (I have two hours while I'm still a bleu but after that I get one hour) and then an hour of language study. That takes up the time until lunch so after the hour of lunch the real work begins. We visit members and proselyte and stuff comme ça until about eight when we come back and eat dinner and at nine we plan for the next day and then we hang out and listen to talks or something until ten thirty when we go to sleep and it starts all over again. The ami that we have right now used to be Muslim but now he's just searching for himself I suppose. He's an ancien ami actually and he wasn't interested before but I think he is now because he asked us to bring a Book of Mormon in Arrabic for him which is great. Then we have another lesson today with a guy we called on a whim and then another with the friend of a family in the branch during soirée familial tonight. This week has just exploded with members wanting us to come over and people to teach. It's great. This week I had some cool experiences. First I got to give a blessing for my first time in French. It was terrifying but it was super cool and fortified my testimony. It was as though the window into his soul opened and I could see the worries in his life and knew the things to say to make him feel better. The power of the Lord is absolutely amazing. And then I was porting (which no missionary really likes doing) but the second house we ran across the guy was there until Sunday and had never met the Mormons before. He was one of those guys that has read the Bible, the Kurran and so we told him if he wanted to complete his study of other religions it was necessary that he read the Book of Mormon too. Now he's back in Paris though. We left their family with a prayer and we blessed them and also their son who is autistic and that was really special for them and since they're Catholic it was not what they were expecting. There really are people prepared for us, we just have to find them. Church is good. It's getting a little better so I can get the general gist of things but I still miss quite a lot of it. I hope I can either watch General Conference in English or I can understand what's said. since the time difference the morning and afternoon sessions turn into evening and late at night sessions. That ought to be interesting. It's weird to think that my first transfer is almost over. I only get sixteen transfers out here and they'll go by fast. Is it like that for you too? I got your letters this week and I think I'm going to respond in a written letter too. That was this week, I love you all and pray for your happiness. My mission president is very big on prayer, we all have a list of some of the things we should pray for as a mission to receive the blessing in Doctrine and Covenants 29. He told us the first day that God loves and hears everyone's prayers equally but he loves and hears the misionaries a little more equally. And then he went on to say other things about this mission to give us a healthy amount of pride. ;) Well I still want to hear about everything from you all. Lots of love.
-Elder Davis

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Week Three I Think?
On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 2:47 AM, Nicholas Allan Davis <> wrote:
France is still going great and I absolutely love it here. I've been riding a lot of trains for zone conferences and whatnot this week because of that and then to make things interesting for us to plan around the people running the trains went on strike while we were all trying to get to Bordeaux. It all worked out though so we were safe and Zone Conference was good. Sister Roney had all the bleus (the French form of greenies) and read about them from the things their parents sent about them...thanks Mommy. ;) It just so happened that a couple mornings before that I took out all my Rubik's cubes and so when that came up he made sure to let them know that I "brought like twenty rubik's cubes with him." But they all loved some of the stuff and luckily she only mentioned that she had some funny stories and didn't read them all out. I then had an exchange with the zone leaders and the assistants which is pretty rare I hear and it was really cool to see some people that die soon work with all the experience they've been able to gain. I got yelled at for the first time this week. We were walking around and this English man starts yelling at us as though we had kicked his dog or something. It took a little bit for my mind to realize that it was english he was speaking but it was the first I've heard the F word (that I know anyway) in quite a while and it was very strange. It was funny though because he was yelling about how we're American and shouldn't even be there but as he drove away and talked about it we just realized, he's British, this isn't his country any more than it is ours. Granted he doesn't need a visa and we do but he's still out of his country and out of his own language. So we've been laughing about it.Since I got here I've had the craziest moments of déjà vu. I can't think of anythink specific right now but sometimes when we go along a street or meet someone I feel as though I've seen it before. And it's not the occasional little thing but it happens all the time! It's kind of cool and off putting at the same time. It's been raining the last couple days and I didn't realize that I missed the rain. jMy companion is from Western Oregon so when it first started and it was a bit of a sprinkle he started refernecing it and of course I responded with "this isn't rain." Now of course, ten minutes later the windows of heaven open up and it starts pouring out to which I said "now this is rain;" It was really funny. So I've been thinking, you didn't get rid of my unicycle right? You can borrow it out to people or put it in a good place where it's out of the way but I'd appreciate it if it was still there in a couple years. So I've been reading Jesus the Christ and Talmage is crazy. He's referencing these other crazy books like the Apocrafy and the books of Maccabee and stuff and you find yourself wondering, where do you find time to not just read these things but to study them all along the way being an apostle and writing a book. I can't even imagine it. We taught a non-member this week and that was really cool. So now we technically have an investigator. It was pretty exciting. Well I love you all and love hearing all the new things in your lives still. I'll talk to you again next week. 
-Elder Davis
Second Week
On Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 1:56 AM, Nicholas Allan Davis <> wrote:
This week has been another great week in France. Postage to send letters home from here is only 0.95 euros so I'll be doing that today too. The food is wonderful here. They don't really have anything you just microwave... in fact the once or twice I used ours it's so old I feel like I got some kind of radiation from it. But because of that food is wonderful here. I actually had a fun experience with food this week, we went to that guy I can't understand with two teeth and he starts us off with frois gras (I'm not sure how to spell it) which looks like cat food but it was good, he then brings out a stew that had only carrots and peas in a broth but still really good, then he pulls out a whole chicken and starts getting out the big bones in the center and basically cutting it in half. He then proceeds to set it in front of my companion and I and says somehing along the lines of "Eat up. I can't eat this because I only have two teeth so you're eating all of it." So we each ate half a chicken to ourselves. Try that sometime and let me know what you're feeling afterwards. It tasted good though. I also had a homemade lemon merangue pie at a different member's house which blows any lemon merangue pie bought in a store out of the water and into the blackness of space. I'm going to try to get a recipe. We haven't taught any non-members sadly but we're searching. It's a small city and it's pretty much all been tracted. It's funny, one thing I was disappointed about was that I probably wouldn't be going many places by bike and come to find out, my first area has bikes. We're going to use them to get farther and farther out once the weather gets a little better which will be very soon. The members are taking good care of us though so you have no need to worry. Just make sure to keep feeding the missionaries there in Eugene. Oh! The name of that peanut butter like graham crackers is Speculos. They won't have it in stores so I think you'll have to check online but it's worth it. This week we did a primary activity and it was tons of fun. The kids here are adorable but it's exactly how I remember primary but now from the perspective of the adults. The girls are very helpful and the boys mess around and think you can't feel when they stick tape on your back and laugh histarically. It was fun though. We made boxes for their bibles and triple combonations out of cereal boxes and stuck pictures on that. It was fun. I'm going to fix my bank account online now but I don't really understand how you're cosigned on it yet you can't do anything. Well let me know any other questions you have for next week. I love you.
-Elder Davis
First Week in France

On Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 2:04 AM, Nicholas Allan Davis <> wrote:
Hello everyone! This has a lot of those red lines saying I'm spelling wrong. Well I made it to France safely as you know. I don't know if the email you got told you where my first area is but it's Brive-la-Gaillarde. My new adress for here is,
Elder Nicholas Davis
24 Bis, Avenue Emile Zola
F-19100 Brive-La-Gaillarde
It's absolutely beautiful here! Although it's kind of cold and has been snowing the last couple days. The snow is strange though, it doesn't weigh enough to fall that much so it kind of floats in the air according to the breeze. The people here have been very nice, both members and non-members. I'm going to strart with the new stuff first though, so first thing I do after getting off the plain is to go to the bathroom. The bathroom was both for men and women. It was very strange to have the sisters in my group walk around behind me. Very weird. So then I go outside and one of the first things I see there is this old lady riding a one of those push scooters that you see little kids riding all the time! That was also quite strange. Next is the driving here in France, from what I can tell in cities there's two speeds, floor it and stop. There's not a whole lot in between that. And the other strange thing I noticed was in the first two days in Lyon, I saw more mini skirts than I have in my entire life, in winter nonetheless.
The first day I got here has been my favorite so far, we went up to this really beautiful catholic church (there's a lot of those here) that overlooked the entire city of Lyon. It was gorgeous and I'll have to send some pictures soon. Up there overlooking the city I got the strongest feeling that this is where I'm supposed to be. These people are the ones that I am supposed to be serving. It was an amazing experience.
So my first day here in Brive we went by a man's house and talked with him and I didn't understand a word he said to me. I was so freaked out! Come to find out, he's from the Middle East and learned Arabic as his first language. Further than that he has tzo teeth in his entire mouth. I then talked to some of the members and they're much easier to understand. Especially my DMP (Ward Mission Leader). Him and his familly are so great. His wife is exactly like Whoopi Goldburg I kid you not. If she spoke French this would be her. They're very patient with me and with my French.
Saturday we went porting (the French equivalent of tracting) and we ran into a Témoigne Jehovah. She was nice and we had a nice conversation with her but she's 92 and very unlikely to change. Shortly after that as we were walking home a guy decided to flip us off as he was driving home. Oh! And my first experience with a door being slammed in my face was kind of funny, it was a door that pulled out towards us so it wasn't in our face really and it also had hydrolics so it couldn't be slammed and broken (because it was glass). So as the guy walked off I couldn't help but laugh. My companion asked me why I was laughing and so I told him why I thought that was funny and it was the first door slammed on me. He didn't seem to think it was as funny as I did.
So my second day here we went to a member's home and ate food with them. Guess what we had? Tacos. They decided to make us Mexican food. That was funny too. It was pretty good. Then the other time I've eaten with a member we had lentels which I love anyways plus this really really good sausage. Much better than any sausage I've had up to now.
Yesterday church was good but I missed quite a lot of it. When they speak it's like they have bubbles coming out of their mouth. You hear, "blubblubblubblubblubblubblubblubb" and if your mind wanders for a moment or you dwell on a word too long you've lost the whole conversation and it's hard to catch on again. Kind of like a fish tank that is filled with all of one color fish to it's complete copacity and then they stick in a different colored fish. For just a moment you see the different colored fish but as soon as you're celebrating you saw it it's gone and you are looking at the same color again. But I felt the spirit there so I still enjoyed church.
We went grocery shopping this morning and it was really strange, they don't refridgerate (sorry for that missspelling) except for meat. Eggs, milk, stuff like that are not. I also don't know what to think of the milk here. Going down it tastes like normal milk but then it's over and you have a really strange taste in your mouth afterwards. I like the cereals here though, they are very good and I discovered something else that they have here that I really wish they had in the states, I can't remember what it's called but imagine nutella that's flavored like those honey graham bears things. It is heaven in a jar is what. Next week I'll make sure send you the name so you can order it offline or something.
Across the street from our apartment is two great food places. One's a dessert place that has really big eclaires for two euros and the other is a nice kabob place. Most eclaires in France are kind of small and like five euros but these are big and cheap too so that's nice. Then kabob is a special kind of sandwhich thing where they cook the meat vertical and rotisary style then cut off meat when it's done. It's really good but you have to be careful.
Well I think that's about it, it's really strange using a French Keyboard for English. You never realise how much you use W until it's in a defferent spot. Sometime try changing the language for the keyboard to French and type like that. 
I love you all and can't wait to tell you all of the new experiences of France!
-Elder Davis

On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 6:47 AM, France Lyon Mission <> wrote:

Dear Missionary Family,

Here is a picture of your son extraordinaire and his new companion. Aren’t they wonderful?

Elder Davis’ new trainer is Elder Johnson and his new address is:

Les Missionnaires/Elders
Elder Davis
24 Bis Avenue Emile Zola
F-19100 Brive

We are so pleased to have them serving with us. Thanks for your help and support.

Sister Jeppson
France Lyon Mission Secretary

****PS Sister Davis, Elder Davis tried to call his bank numerous time yesterday and he could not get through. He and Elder Johnson promised they would keep trying and let you know the results.


On Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 7:44 AM, France Lyon Mission <> wrote:
Dear Parents,

We are happy to let you know your son arrived safely in Lyon.  He was met at the airport by President and Sister Roney.  After arriving at the Mission he had lunch, had his picture taken, took care of paperwork, and had an individual interview with President Roney.  Tonight he will have dinner with President and Sister Roney as well as the other missionaries that arrived today.  He will stay at the Hotel in Lyon tonight.  Tomorrow he will meet his new companion who will be his Trainer. Then he will have training with President Roney and the Assistants to the President.  After the short training he will leave with his companion to go to his first area.  We will send you his address and companion's name tomorrow.

Please see today's photo in the attachments.

Thank you for sending us such a fine young man.

Sister Jeppson,
Mission Secretary

Last Email of the MTC

On Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 5:35 PM, Nicholas Allan Davis <> wrote:
Wow this is almost surreal. I'm really excited to hear everyone again! First though I have a cool experience. Yesterday we were teaching our teacher and I finally received an inspired question that was absolutely perfect. I've also talked to a lot of people just about experiences in general. I heard a hilarious story too. There were four people living in an apartement on the tenth floor of a building and they had to get rid of a couch. Now it's like part of the family, you can't just throw it away, so they took it to the balcony and poured lighter fluid all over it and lit it ablaze. Then it starts to melt the lanolium and so they see a snow bank down at the ground so they decide to throw it off into the snow bank. So they all pick it up and throw it. The second it leaves their hands guess who pulls around the corner? The mission president. So he pulls up to see this couch that is turning into a flaming inferno fall ten stories into what I'm sure was a spectacular land in the snow. The missionaries see this and get inside as fast as they can. Next thing they know there's a knock at the door. The president walks in and asks, "So what's going on boys?" "We had to uh...retire a couch." "Next time, just throw it away." I was busting up laughing!! it was hilarious. So Monday I'll call you early in the morning and then in DC I was thinking about calling Kristina. Could you ask what time would be good for her? And I'll have my new address then. Oh and I'll tell Amber how her cookies were then too. I just sent my package yesterday and you don't need to send the shirt back to me. Have one of you wear it for a while. I love you all so much. A la prochaine.
-Elder Davis
Seven Weeks

On Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 4:26 AM, Nicholas Allan Davis <> wrote:
Good morning! This week has been very interesting.  First off hosting was good, I had two Elders and two sisters one of which was talkative and the other not so much. You know something interesting? They allow you to take four minutes at the curb. Anyone that is planning on dropping people off at the MTC just remember that. I've also started to count down some things till I leave the MTC. Such as I'll only teach one of my progressing investigators twice more and I only have two more opportunities to be called up and give a talk in Sacrament. It's really exciting that this is finally upon us.  I am really excited about going to France. Weeks seem so short here. It seems like just yesterday that I got here. All the Zone Rescource Teachers (teachers that can help you with anything you need) are getting new districts too. There are 39 new people coming into the French district on Wednesday and then a couple weeks after I leave then it's 60 new people so that's really cool. I'm hosting again this Wednesday and I really hope I get someone going into the French district. That'd be fun. I taught a girl in TRC that's coming in this Wednesday.  The other day during my personal study time the weirdest thing happened, I was reading in French but then I fell asleep (couldn't help it I'm sorry) but then I started to dream that I continued to read the thing I was reading. I only caught a few words from it every now and then but all of a sudden I woke up and I was back where I started and was really really confused. Life is still pretty great here inside the MTC and I'm sure life goes on as usual back home. I try not to think about home too much. Oh. Thank you for the Elder Holland stuff. That was really really cool. I enjoyed that very very much. Of course the article doesn't do justice to when you're really there but it did a very good job getting everything. His dedicatory prayer was really really incredible and I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't mentioned. But it's still great. I love you all. I only have a couple more times writing you from the MTC before I'm in France.  Good luck and I can't wait to hear about everything.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 8:33 PM, Nicholas Allan Davis <> wrote:
So I had time to peek at the Dear Elder just enough to see about the cookies. Yes they were very good. I shared them with my district and they're much better than any of the cookies you'll find here (which you microwave so they're soft). I love chocolate chip but if you feel like expirimenting I guess I'll take some off your hands. ;) I was confused about the bread at first but then found out how much it helps. Thank you. =)

On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 4:40 AM, Nicholas Allan Davis <> wrote:
Good morning everyone! I meant to bring the letters that I have to answer all the questions but alas I have forgotten so I'll hand write some letters today. This week was good, there's been a lot of lessons about setting goals for myself so that's kind of neat. To set goals for the things you want to do and then follow them through to what it is that you want to get to. So now all of the missionaries that got here before we did have left so my district is the big man on the totem pole. That's kind of weird. When I think back to when I first got here all the Elders here already seemed much older than I was and now I'm that for other people. Tomorrow my district is being hosts to the new Elders coming in so we take them to their residence, get them all their books, and get them to their class after that. It should be kind of cool. There's only one person coming for the French branch tomorrow and she was supposed to get here with us on the nineteenth but her visa didn't go through (she's from Canada). I wonder how it'll work with her being six weeks behind us here though. I don't think I've told you this before but three times a week my district (the elders anyway) do a district bonding activity where someone buys chips and another person buys dip and we destroy the bag as fast as we can. We do that on Monday Wednesday and Friday. Last night our time for doing it was 2:35. That was really cool because it's a new record. It's funny because next to us the elders do shoe shining together and below us they do ab workouts but I think I like ours better. This week I've been really proud (the good kind) of where my French has been going. I can understand the things that the teachers say during our lessons and I can start to express myself. Of course I know that I'll be knocked back down once I get out there and hear that everyone speaks much faster and with a weird accent. One of my branch presidency just got back from Paris and talked to us about that a little. It snowed there! Granted it's not a lot but they don't get snow there except once every twenty years he said so nobody knows how to drove on it so everything was canceled. Before I left I'd hear the missionaries complain about the amount of sleep they'd get and I'd never be able to understand why but now I do. When you wake up at six thirty every single day your body feels like there should be a sleep in on Saturday (which has pretty much disappeared) but then the alarm goes off and it's time for you to get up. I understand why and I know it's a small thing I shouldn't complain about but that's what goes through my mind about every morning. I said that Saturdays have pretty much disappeared because all of the days are exactly the same. I think I probably wrote about this before but there is really only three days, P-day, Sunday and everyday. Two days a week the schedule changes a little but not very much at all. I'm glad I'm here though. Three weeks is going to pass by in the blink of an eye. I thought that the first three weeks went by fast but these last three will be even faster. My teachers are really funny, one of them went to Quebec for his mission and so he has a slight accent called Quebecquoi which I'm sure we picked up on a bit. We found a girl from France on Sunday and she was funny. First we didn't understand most of the things she said and then she remarked that we had that accent. Our teacher has told us some of the ways to say it in a really bad accent like that so we teased her a bit with that and it was funny to hear her opinion on that. And then my other teacher looks and acts exactly like the main girl in Girl's Just Want to Have Fun. I told her that but she didn't know the movie. She's really funny though. She's exactly like a lot of the people I know in Eugene. I'll probably think of more stuff to say after the sun comes out. At that point I'll make sure to write it in a letter. I'm sorry that my letters are so random. Oh! I need you to go on to the profile I started and upload a picture of me onto it. I started to make one but I need a picture to finish so I'd love if you could do that for me. I love you all. I can't wait to tell you of all the things that I discover in France. Until next week.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fifth week I think?

Date: Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 4:42 AM
Subject: Fifth week I think?

Good morning everyone! The deal is that I get thirty minutes in total on my email so if you don't use all of it the first time you can finish up later. Not a lot happened this week. I'm getting used to a French keyboard though so it's feels bizarre typing on an English one. The only differences are in the "a" and "q" placement are switched as well as the "w" and "z" and then the "m" and ";" but it'll be fine. I realized the other day that in four weeks from right now I'll be having my first full day in France. That is absolutely crazy for me. I don't know if I told you this but the people that came in three weeks after us are leaving the same day that we are. That is super crazy too. Especially when I see how far I am and then look at how far they are. They still don't quite understand me when I speak too quickly and we've been helping them out with memorizing stuff like our purpose and the first vision. But yesterday there were more moments when I started to talk about stuff that happened the day before that was actually only a few hours ago. Super crazy. So I decided that when I get home I want to take a violin class or a cello class (whichever one is suggested to do first). On the page I can go to to watch Mormon Messages the first thing to pop up is the song "O Emanuel" I think it's called? But it's played on cello and it's one of the most beautiful things you've ever heard. While I'm here I've realized how important music is to me and what music does to people. Another thing to have helped that is that we got a new MTC presidency and when he got up to speak he talked about his daughters a lot and then his daughters played a couple songs on violins and it was just so awesome. I discovered that on the top floor the people are speaking Russian and so if ever I'm feeling down on myself for the language I go up there and look at that alphabet and listen to them speak and then I feel much better about my French. ;) I still want to learn that language though, as well as German too. And probably Italian. Yah that's my list of first ones to learn for now. However I imagine I'll start to add more on to that over time. I can feel myself growing each and every day and it is the greatest thing. I love when I feel as though I'm learning a lot. I was given a good idea for my personal study too, I bought a journal that I'm only going to use for study purposes and as I read I can write down things that pop out to me so that in the time of need when I'm searching for a scripture I know I've read then I can flip through that and then find it. I'm really excited to go to France but when I get there I'm afraid I'll get a native trainer or something that speaks maybe ten words of English or that it's going to be exactly like "The Best Two Years" and the MTC taught me the wrong language or something. I know that I'll be ok though. I was watching a talk that Elder Bednar gave to the MTC and he said that "The Lord loves everyone equally but His missionaries he loves a little more equally." That made me laugh and so I know that no matter what happens I'll be fine in France. I am so excited to find the person there that I was always meant to find. To say exactly what they need to hear in their life. I love the MTC and how much I learn here and then all the people that are here too. Our district (the Elders anyway) have a tradition three times a week and that's that we get a bag of chips and a jar of dip for all of us and at night we work on just destroying it. We timed ourselves last night, three minutes and we had an empty bag and an empty jar. If you don't know about the power of getting something done when you put your mind to it that is an excellent place to look for it. I've also grown a love for Four Square. You may think it's just a game to play in the elementary schools but no, it's a viscous (not how you spell that) game where only the strong survive. It's fun though. If you do it right you also get a workout from it as well. All the islanders on my floor have left now so the only people up there are my district and then two Elders from the other French district that leave the same time as we do. It's a little bit strange. In a couple weeks I'll get my travel plans. I looked at a paper that had the times and stuff in the French Embasy but I can't remember the times that everything is and so I'll make sure to email about when I'll call from the airport. I am really excited for that. Even though that means that I'll be on a plane for thirteen hours all together I'm still really excited. Well I love you all and just want to wish you all the best.
Elder Nicholas Davis.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

In front of the Provo Temple

Lunch in San Francisco when they went to visit the French Consolate to get their visas.

Visiting San Francisco

We ended up getting a few extra emails from Nicholas on Tuesday.  The main one was after Devotional.  He is so anxious for all of us to read the talk that Elder Holland gave.  It had a profound effect on him.  However, I have since discovered that they don't post the MTC devotionals for the public.  So I have written to Elder Holland at church headquarters and requested the talk.  I'll share it with all of you if/when I get it.  In the mean time, enjoy his extra letters below.  

Date: Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 8:46 PM
Subject: Holland

Elder Holland just spoke to us tonight for our Tuesday devotional and it was the most powerful thing I've ever felt in my entire life. I want everyone who reads this email to do one thing, member, nonmember, young and old alike find the talk that Holland gave tonight the fifteenth of January. For the people that this message gets forwarded to, if you do not do anything that I suggest the rest of my two years that will be ok as long as you look up this talk. Holland is my favorite apostle to listen to and whether you believe in the power and authority that he possesses or not you can't read this talk and not feel how important it is to me. I know that you will feel the power and authority that he has when you read it and if not then when I get back we'll talk and then you'll understand. He then dedicated three new buildings that had been renovated. That prayer was amazing to realize that all the buildings were dedicated like that. After the talk was finished I felt the Spirit so strong that I felt as though I was going to explode. Shortly after I decided that if I was to die by exploding because I was filled so much with the Spirit my physical body just couldn't handle it then that would be better than any other way I can think of if you were to give me all the choices in the universe. I'd like to finish by sharing my testimony that I know without a doubt that these men are called and inspired of God and that they receive revelation for the church but also by what people need. It is hard for me to even think of how people can come off their missions and then go innactive afterwards. I know that this church is true yesterday, today, and tommorrow. I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Date: Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 12:14 PM
Subject: I Remembered!!

So I remembered what I was going to say! I met a guy that knew Chris from France. His name is Durhman I think. My pad's back at my room so if that''s wrong I''ll write you in a letter.

Date: Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Subject: Answers. =)

I'm sorry, I forgot to let you know that yes I am getting your letters. There was another thing that I thought of in the Temple but alas now it has left my mind. C'est la vie. I love you. =)