Sunday, February 28, 2016


Such an amazing week in Korea!! First...MARINA WAS BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!! Happiest day on planet earth. It was slightly scary at first because she finally got her work schedule and would be working that weekend 10-9 every day - with an hour of traveling. We were all worried because since it was her first day of work...she couldn’t ask for time off: doesn't happen. But then Wednesday, she asked us all to fast with her and she knew Heavenly Father would answer her prayer. She said not to just fast for her to be able to adjust her work schedule, but to fast that she would be understanding with no matter what happened...she is literally amazing. The next day we found out she could work at 11!!! Miracle. Early, early Saturday morning we had her baptism with the ward, missionaries, President and her friends who were also able to take off work (miracle). We sang the Primary song "When I am Baptized" in Spanish for her while Elder played guitar, all crying when we looked at her...literally glowing. So happy!! After her baptism, she shared her testimony and it was hilarious (not the testimony but the three-way translating situation). She would say one sentence in Spanish, then our other friend translated to English, followed by Elder translating to Korean. You probably had to be there, but if you can picture it, try!! So funny. 

At the end of her baptism we sang Marina's favorite song, "I Stand all Amazed." I kept thinking about how that was my favorite song when I was a beehive. I had no idea at the time that 7 years later, I would be singing it in Korean, IN Korea, at a baptism with all these new incredible people that I love. After the baptism, we were able to go to the temple to watch our other recent convert do baptisms for the dead for the first time. Sister Willcox and I went upstairs to the chapel and were reading the hymn, "I Stand All Amazed" again in English. It just hit me how perfect God's plan is and how much He loves us. He sent us our Savior who allows us to change our lives, restart, and continuously progress every day. It's amazing how the Savior is there for each of us, every day at all times. No matter what. To help us change our lives, become more like Him, and be happier than we even thought possible. So true! I promise that as we remember Christ and strive to be more like Him, even with trials, challenges, stress, worries, discouragement...I promise we will be happy. It is possible! I can't even picture my life without serving a mission...really it makes me sad to think about. I am grateful to be here and SO happy every day. 

My favorite quote this week was, "A true faith in Christ is more than just knowing that His Atonement is real, that its purpose is to transform us, and that it will be available as long as that perfecting process takes. We have a Savior who covers us, a Redeemer who changes us, and a Good Shepherd who is willing to go in search of us again and again - continuously" - Brad Wilcox.

 Have a good week!!!!
Sister Davis

Marina’s Baptism!!!

Translating testimony from Spanish…to English…to Korean

Our first Seoul temple day!!

Reunited with Sister Lee from the MTC!!

Monday, February 22, 2016

One month in Korea!!!

Hello! I can't believe I have been in Korea for one month scares me because time is going so so fast. This week was full of so many miracles...I have random sticky notes with stories and quotes on books, planners, everything I can find and it is starting to make up a very dysfunctional journal. So first good news...I have my first baptism this Saturday!!!! It has been one of the most rewarding, faith building and genuinely happy moments of my life to watch Marina progress over the past 3 weeks that I have known her. She is amazing, amazing! One thing I loved that she said this week was that her favorite question to ask people is, "What do you like about being a member of your church?" She said she loves to look in to their eyes and watch them light up as they talk about it and she can instantly tell they sincerely know it is true and are happy. Her eyes do the same and I feel my own testimony strengthened every time I talk to her. She is my first little miracle and I can't even explain how much I love her.

One thought I had this week. I hit my one-month mark and was really excited! Then I read my goals from my first day in Korea and....was really disappointed and felt I needed to be giving more and working 10x harder. I read Jacob 5:47 that says, "What more could I have done for my vineyard?" I was really hard on myself and kept thinking I don't want to leave any area or spend any day not giving everything I possibly can. I don't want to regret any time I spent here by not living up to what God knows I am capable of or miss any opportunities. It says at the end of that chapter that as they labored with all their might and kept the commandments, the Lord labored WITH them and according to God's will they saw the fruits of their labors and found joy. This week I defined what serving with my whole heart, might, mind and strength individually means to me, because only I can hold myself accountable. I loved in Ether 3:4 where the brother of Jared asks God to touch the stones. He first recognizes all of his weaknesses and then humbly asks God that if it is His will, He would "touch these stones with thy finger that they might shine forth in darkness." Being a is hard for me to let go of all those tendencies, but I know that when I give my whole heart and mind that despite my weaknesses, God will create me into a light that can help the people in Korea. He doesn't ask for perfection and I know that when we work diligently and are obedient, God will "labor with us" always.

Other random story: This week we were at a member's house and I was cutting an apple...they cut their apples and pears very specifically where you shave off the skin, cut in half and then into smaller pieces. I said, "Oh let me! I need to practice and it's not that hard" (honestly it probably isn't for normal people). I waste almost half the apple shaving the skin...then cut the apple in half on the table...which made a really unusually loud noise. Not realizing, I keep cutting until Marina screams: the plate is on the table in 3 pieces..... ALSO, Sister Willcox and I cooked fish today with its full eyes, head, scales everything on it. Fun adventures of Seoul, Korea! 

Love you all!!!!

Sister Davis

When you can fit in the Korean elders shoes....or even more awkward when they can fit in yours



Prepping the Fish

Monday, February 15, 2016

박도비 (Park Do-bi)

Happy Valentine’s Day friends!! We spent our Valentines weekend with Stake Conference and a Valentines party with our English class that included friendly letters, chocolates and cake (I'm clearly not a chef....and the Korean people agree - our cake was untouched). Valentines is different in Korea. On Valentine’s Day here, the girls give chocolate to boys. They have another holiday called "White Day" on March 14th where the boys give candy to girls. Fun, fun! This week we hiked 북한산 (literal translation: "North Korea mountain") and it was so beautiful the entire way. We only made it to the middle top, which was a daylong event - but we want to go all the way next time for round 2. We met a friend at the top who looks at Sis. Wilcox and says, "Three of you are strong hikers....then you have 3 friends. I suggest on the way down go good, bad, good, bad." Sometimes Korean people are very blunt...and literally dragged us to follow that order. So funny! Also this week for New Years, one of our investigators took us to a 고기 buffet (meat buffet). We all sit at a table in front of tabletop stove thing, while she gets plate after plate of raw meat to cook for us. I promise you, we each singlehandedly ate an entire pig that night and more. I lost the table game of rock, paper, scissors and became the lucky person to try fried pig skin and cow guts.... Literally they come out in their raw form, cooked in front of us...coiled up like sausage. This probably goes without saying, but I was very very sick the next day. I also haven't thrown up in 5 years so as you can probably imagine, it was a very traumatic experience for me. Also, this happened a few weeks ago, but our friend 윤성희 gave me my Korean name and I would like to be known by this from now on: 박도비 (Park Do-bi). She knows I like Harry Potter and Dobby was the closest to Davis. Every Korean name has a meaning in Chinese roots, and whenever I tell people my name they either laugh or look at me apologetically and say yeah, Dobby doesn't mean anything sorry. I still love it!!

Both of my parents in their letters to me this week talked about 1 Nephi 17, so I decided to read that chapter this week! I have been trying to think of how I can become the missionary God intended me to be. I was worried that my own limitations with language/confidence/experience would affect how many people I can influence and meet at this time. I loved how Nephi was always courageous, bold and obedient. He never questioned his capabilities when God commanded him to do something, he just quickly obeyed. It's amazing how Laman and Lemuel saw miracle after miracle, yet continued to always go back to their doubts. I loved in 1 Nephi 17:13 it says, "I will be your light in the wilderness and I will prepare the way before you if it so be that you shall keep my commandments." Nephi was always strengthened by the Lord because of his faith, willingness and 100% obedience. He also always recognized their blessings from God, even during trial and challenging times. My goal this week is to be exactly obedient, continue my gratitude journal as I recognize God's hand in my life every day, and not limit the Spirit's capabilities by my own fear and doubts. All God requires is "the heart and a willing mind" (D&C 64:34) and He will shape us into the people he intended us to become.

Hiking 북한산

Pre-hike in the parking lot

I Love Korea!!!

I love Sister Lee and Sister Willcox

Overlooking Seoul

Hanging with the Sisters

Beautiful "North" Korea Mountain (not in North Korea)

Valentine's Party with our English Class!

Monday, February 8, 2016

설날!! New Years!!

Happy New Year!!! I am celebrating my first 설날 here! The Chinese Lunar New Year is huge in Korea - comparable to Christmas. Everyone gets together with their families..eats LOTS of food and pays respect to their ancestors. They also wear traditional clothes called 한복 (which we are currently wearing). It was so funny as we were late for conference this morning...picture three foreigners, dramatically sprinting in Korean traditional dresses to catch a taxi across the street - literally like a movie! Seriously what is life. This week we are celebrating the holiday by going to Sis. Willcox's grandfather's house tonight, cleaning day tomorrow (woo!) and a huge hike on Wednesday!

So I'm almost at week 3 in Korea...what! Time continues to go so fast. Probably because I love Korea. Everything about it - the people (Especially!), city, food, Sis. Willcox and Sis. Lee. I love being here!! Which leads me to the life changing lesson I learned this week: "the world does not revolve around Caitlin." Maybe 60% joking. This week I felt like I was constantly questioning myself...what am I doing wrong, how can I learn the language faster, how can I teach as well as my trainers do, how can I become friends with the members.... While at the same time going to sleep every night thinking, how can I feel all these things and still be SO happy - what is wrong with me? I realized looking back at my week that I really can't really remember many of the times I have cried or have felt so frustrated with myself after that exact moment. Every time, I wake up the next morning happy and excited for the next day. Why?! Then I realized it is because for the first time in my life, I am not preoccupied with my own life. My focus is solely on others. We are constantly planning for them, studying for them, running (literally) through Seoul to meet with them! There isn't time to write in my journal, read an ensign, look at pictures, unpack (much needed cleaning day tomorrow) - really to think of myself. For the first time ever, I feel like the happiness of others is more important than my own worries, problems or needs. Focusing completely on others really helps me to know that I can do this and be happy in Korea. It is still hard - I stress about the language every day, my inadequacies, my faults. On Tuesday, someone we had been meeting with told us she is not interested anymore... I probably cried the entire taxi ride home wondering why I couldn't say anything to help her. But then, the very next day, Heavenly Father sends us others who recognize His love for the first time or pray for the first time and no matter what, I am always so happy. It's all worth it!!

I talked to our friend from Mexico about this and she says she feels the same. She packed up a week ago, left her friends, family and life behind, because she had a feeling she needed to move to Korea. She met us her 2nd day in Korea and she says she has a feeling of peace and love when she learns about Christ that fills any hole in her heart of missing her family or what she left behind. I shared Moroni 8:26 with her and we decided it is "her" scripture. It talks about after we follow the Savior through faith, repentance and baptism, we receive the comforter, which FILLS us with hope and perfect love. I put a heart, her name and the date in my scriptures that night because it is so perfect and applies to all of us. MORAL of the story: "forget yourself and go to work." I'm so grateful to be learning this on my mission: that the world does not revolve around me and that we can find so much happiness through helping other people. I promise as we serve others we will be very very happy and be doing exactly what Christ wants us to be doing. I love you friends!!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Davis Chamae

Korean traditional dress...한복(Hanbok)

Sister Wilcox and I under our 삿갓(satgat)!

Celebrating the Korean Lunar New Year in traditional Korean dresses!!!

Found Acai bowls!!!!

Our beds – I have the hedgehogs and Hedwig pillow pet!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

최고!! The best!!

Hiii another amazing week in Korea! Don't have a ton of time today and I honestly cannot remember what happened because this week was SO crazy, but I will try my best. Ok so first, we are seeing miracles in 신촌!! My companions and I read this talk called "Purification" (everyone go read it). In the talk, Elder Cook tells a story about one of his missionaries in Uraguay. They taught an entire lesson to someone and at the very end, a member said one sentence "I know Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God." With his one line, the spirit was so strong and investigator cried and said he wanted to be baptized. The missionary didn't understand how he could have taught the same principles as the member, but the member's words brought the spirit so powerfully. He went to a conference where they received a challenge: Go home and fast from food and water for 24 hours. During that time, make a list of 10 things you want to change - natural man tendencies - things that distract you from your calling. Fast from those things for 40 days. Every morning pray for help to avoid those things and every night go over the list. Ask for strength to do better the next day. Just like in a fast from food and drink, we show our willingness to give up our physical limitations and weaknesses (hunger/thirst) and do the Lord's will. As we sacrifice our personal weaknesses and take the focus off ourselves, the promise was that we would always have His spirit with us and that God would tell us what to say and where to go. I know that as we sacrifice our natural man inclinations and focus on others, we will see miracles here. I have SO many weaknesses already that are very very obvious, but I also know that as we prayerfully make the lists, God will tell us what is more important for us to change and give up in order to be the people He knows we are capable of becoming. I loved this quote, "There is no limit to what you can do if you and the Lord believe that you can. If you look to Him for your strength and are willing to make the sacrifice, all things are possible."

So this week, we decided to fast and make our lists and we are already seeing miracles here! On Saturday as we were teaching our Book of Mormon class, two Korean ladies came to the church, said they are having problems with their church and just happened to walk across our building today. Sister Wilcox taught them part of the first 2 lessons and they want to come to church and keep learning more! Then yesterday as we were greeting everyone at church, our three new friends came in. They just moved to Korea 2 days ago from Mexico (here to open a Mexican restaurant - YES!) and were looking for a church service. They stayed for church and came to FHE and they are so so awesome! We are so excited to talk to them (ps. they speak English!!) and help them to get settled in Korea. Everyone we meet in Korea is so kind and cute - I promise I am personally learning more from their examples to me than I am even teaching them. I love Korea!

Other funny stories
---we were doing street boarding this week and I passed out a sticker to these college students. This guy takes the sticker, looks right at me, smiles and says "여기" (here), puts the sticker on my cheek - SO red. So awkward hahah
---this other member wants to set up Sister Wilcox and me with her son. She went off for forever about how perfect he is! There are so many accounting opportunities in Korea, we would make more money, or could be a secretary for big companies. Also, because Korean's don't get married young...he will wait for us. Awesome!! 
--We were teaching a lesson and she pulls out pictures of her kids at a concert. It was a picture of them in front of 5 male kpop stars - I barely glanced at it but said, "Oh! No way! One Direction!?!!" - Oh gosh, not even close!
--We were teaching English to our friend Gerard and playing the game "Never have I ever." The Loser has to sing a song for 30 seconds. So our friend 윤성희 sings the cup song from pitch perfect and all of us start singing along and patting the table - Gerard looks at us so confused and says in English = "wow, culture shock." 

Have a good week everyone!!!

Davis Chamae

Happy Birthday Sister Lee!!!

Exploring Seoul on Pday!!!

Korean Food > MTC Food

Ice skating on Pday!!