Mission Map

Mission Map
Central Eurasian Mission: Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan


October 2, 2017

Week 84

Burda Vaktim Su Gibi  Geciyor

(My Time Here is Passing Like Water)
Week 84

*Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) all of the Istanbul volunteers are meeting at President Davis's house.  First, there will be breakfast then the priesthood session of general conference!  All volunteers are watching it with their respective districts. "A lot of people said conference was really good, so I'm very excited to watch it!" (It's the last one of his mission!)
*Email from Shea! "your notes from conference resemble hers, I can tell you two are sisters."
* Heard of Elder Hales' passing
*Thinking about humility! "That's why Alma 26:12 is one of my favorite scriptures. "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak, therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
*The move to Umraniye (Istanbul Asia side) went well. "I like it a lot better than I thought I would!" The area has quite a few investigators. There is one who has a lot of potential and one who is kind of "tricky" "but he's still very special!  Working with Yasli Grover is way nice! He is hard-working and is a great person." 
* Heading into a very busy week: zone conference,( going to Gaziantep. and helping to train a sister from the branch who is going on her mission in Turkey! (visa issues)
*Did an exchange with Yasli Nattress, the Istanbul Asia district leader. "he is a great elder and I love him a ton!"
*"I was also able to go to Ankara and I worked with Yasli Earl, who took my place as district leader there. I also got to the see young man who Yasli Kanongata'a and I taught and who had a pool party right after I left. He is doing so well and wants to go on a mission next year!"
* The half hour difference in the schedule is working out very well, it's actually a huge benefit for the whole mission. "We'll see how the rest of the zone feels about it at zone conference."
*Love you! thanks for all of the support 
Some more food :) A fat Turkish version of a tortilla called lavas (lavash), and of course Ayran 

Vapours are my favorite part of Istanbul!

The mall!
Landing in Ankara!


September 25, 2017

Week 83

*The email rules have changed-- emails throughout the week are allowed to be read, but must be read at the end of the day instead of the beginning of the day. It's an awesome way to show support!
* "Yasli Puff and I found some new potential friends who seem so solid! Although---President thought it would be best if Yasli Grover and I are companions...that means I won't continue working with the people Yasli Puff and I have been teaching as well as the recent converts (who are all soooo amazing!) He and Yasli Copia will take good care of them."
*Yasli Muncy and Yasli Grover have so much to prepare and to do and it makes perfect sense that they are companions now. "I'm packing today and moving to the Asia side of Istanbul! I'm assuming that this may be my last area before the end of my mission.?"
*Going to Ankara soon and going on exchanges!!!!
*Also going back to Antep soon (don't know if Mom wants to know that one because of the location) "so grateful for the approval to go back there!"
*MLC was this past Friday and it was "amazing." It was an hour late because Skype wasn't working, but finally got hold of the Kazakhs. "It ended up being very spiritual."
*The schedules are pushing back a half hour, just to see if it works out better. It will be better to wake up at 7 now! "We'll see how it goes for a couple of weeks."
*Thinking about schooling and what to do with life.
*"Got the Gatorade and I"m only having a couple of scoops a day. :)"
* Five months and counting!!!!!
Some of the best kabap on the planet

Exchanges with Yasli Rasmussen--this pic is especially for his momma!

September 18, 2017

Week 82

* Trying the email on the phone for now (Volunteer Puff likes to do it that way). Glad to get the emails through the week! "I still have the hardest time waking up and it helps if I have something to read and it gives me the energy I need to wake up and work out."
*Perspective of when people get upset and have feel like they have to blame somebody, but it doesn't have to be that way. Turn it inward and try to understand instead of attack!
*Testimony of the Holy Ghost has been strengthened! Something that wasn't even expressed was known at home!
*"Antep is definitely a special place to be.  The food that was in the picture was: meat, peppers and spices, chick peas (served almost every meal), more peppers, and part of the lamb they "sacrificed" the week before."
*Enjoyed learning a little bit about the history of Nauvoo and the temple there, the temple then and now! Really cool quote by Brigham Young!
*"Yasli Puff and I spent a lot of time together this week--to be honest, it will probably be the most time we spend together the whole transfer."
*Thinking about the challenge given to him, still hasn't done it, maybe waiting until later, but has an idea about it. (The challenge is to tell somebody that he wouldn't normally tell how much he cares about them, it's my challenge too!)
*"Appreciate and love more than you know!"


September 11, 2017

Week 81

Antep Benim Ikinci Memleketim Oluyor (Antep is my Second Home)

* Talked about personal things that happened while in the MTC
*Concerned about the hurricanes and especially since they happened back to back.
*"Thank you for that verse in D&C!" (D&C 75:3-4 "Behold, I say unto you that it is my will that you should go forth and not tarry, neither be idle but labor with your might--Lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, proclaiming the truth according to the revelations and commandments which I have given you."
*Personal study is in Alma 26 "one of the best chapters in the Book of Mormon!"
*Personal challenge between E. Muncy and mom-he accepted it!
*Two very eventful things happened this week-- trip to Gaziantep and trip to the airport to meet new volunteers! "We weren't prepared for the way they were dressed--we almost missed them, this new group is a solid one!"
* Only worked with E. Puff one full day because of all the demands of being a ZL and the trip to "Antep." 
*"Gaziantep ("Antep") was awesome!  We taught 8 lessons, each of those with a member present! Also, the member plans to go on a mission in a couple of years!;) One of the friends we met with is a referral from the website and he is way chosen! He has so much potential and is such a nice guy!" The members don't have to meet at a hotel anymore, they have their own building! "it was also nice seeing the couple who had a pool party back in May, but unfortunately their daughter wasn't with them, she had moved away."
*Love and appreciation--Yasli Muncy
Yasli Muncy and Yasli Puff (Poof)
Turkish Delight overdose~ (picture courtesy of Yasli Johnson)

President and Sister Dogan--Antep food is literally the best food in the world!

The sacrament meeting room in Antep--very nice


September 4, 2017

Week 80

Dogru Yola giden Hep Yokustur (Stay on the Straight and Narrow Road)

*Punch cousins  so that they will write; other members of the family are looking good after seeing some pictures (Gran). Always love getting pictures!
*Pretty slow week in terms of teaching.  Everyone went out of town for the holidays (sacrifice)
*"We had our first mission 'Harvest Day'. We save a day every transfer for just finding people to talk to; we set goals. We were all so excited!  We would put a phone number in our group chat when we got one. Although at the end of the day we only got about half of our goal, every single volunteer's testimony was strengthened, and we saw so many miracles!"
*Was not able to witness any of the sacrifices during the holiday, but some in another country were able to. One in particular was watching a lamb get its head chopped off and he fell straight to the ground, stiff as a board. "I most definitely would have puked or passed out if that would have been me."
* The Turkish Eye or "Nazar" is very popular here and they are everywhere. It is both decorative and superstitious. 
*New transfer coming up this Wednesday! "This time it was basically E. Grover and I choosing who goes where because President still doesn't know everyone that well except us."
*No longer companions with E. Heck, he is going to Izmir with E. Johnson and E. Muncy's new companion is E. Puff (Poof), still in the Florya area! He's from northern Italy.
*"Thanks for the song lyrics!  now it's stuck in my head-(I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ.) I appreciate the insight!"
*Starting to think about the future, what schools to apply to. Thankful that E. Nahle gave some good tips!
*E. Grover and E. Muncy are going to Gazientep again this coming weekend! "So excited to seem them all again!"
*Sure do love you guys, have a great Labor Day!
Me and my super nice, brand new purple shirt. I bought it so that the Rox will make the playoffs!

This is a GOOD day on the metro bus

Sarma beyti!!! Turkish version of enchiladas

Some kids in our complex knocked on our door just to wish us happy holidays

We saw this cat just chillin' like this!


August 28, 2017

Week 79

(Kurban Bayram Kutlu Olsun!

(Happy Sacrifice Feast!)

*This week in the Muslim world is the sacrifice holiday. They remember Abraham and his almost sacrificed son, who they believe was named Ishmael. by slaughtering a bunch of animals. They eat the meat or give it to friends, family, or people in need. Pictures? Maybe, but no promises.
*"Today I got permission from President to start researching schools and start applying!"
*Another quick week!
*"Last Tuesday we went to a hamam (Turkish Bath) and it was soooo nice!
*Answering a question: Elder Martino is from Texas, full American
*Our area (Florya) is pretty way out west, at least an hour and a half away.  The very uncomfortable mode of transportation is the metrobus, "which is exactly what it sounds like: a metro and a bus having a baby, It goes along the highway and has at least 40-50 stops.  It runs from super far west Istanbul all the way to the Asian side. It's always super crowded, stinky, and very hard to talk to people on.  It is my LEAST favorite thing about this city by far! I'll show you guys when we all come back."
*Been trying to work on looking at trials as refining processes.
*Personal study is in Alma 18.
*"The other day a random young man on FB added ans messaged me. He had an English name so I was super confused, but I added *and messaged him back. He said that he had been looking for our group for over a year now, wants to meet us and get a blue book!. I'm glad that I listened to the Spirit and messaged him back--now I know why!
* Seeing so many miracles with all of this technology!!!!
*"i'm learning a ton from Yasli Heck! He is so dedicated!"
*Love and appreciation

The heart is softening--CATS!!!


August 22, 2017

Week 78

"While the Day Lasts"

*"It feels like yeatersay that I was emailing you all,these last 6 months are going to fly by, I know it.. :("
* Zone conference was great! "Elder Martino is an amazing teacher and is hilarious."  He focused on how we need to better at setting goals.  He didn't have to tell the volunteers to work harder because he knows that they all give everything they've got to the Lord; "we all need to work smarter, we need to be specific when we look for opportunities to find and teach."
*Elder Martino went out into the streets with one of the volunteers, and they went finding together, and the volunteer's companion went with President Davis.
*The Martinos also spoke at Church on Sunday and praised the members here and told them to be patient and diligent. "This land isn't quite ready yet, but once it is, it will grow as fast as it did in Brazil
* The apostles of old (including Paul) are waiting anxiously their best on the other side of the veil to further the work here."
*Volunteer Muncy:"It is very humbling to be in a land that is so chosen and beautiful."
*The volunteers sang their own version of "I Hope They Call me on a Mission" 
* "I hope they call me as a volunteer, where colored shirts are what we wear,
I think by then I will be ready, to ask the four different questions and hope that
they don't scare.
We like to walk through city parks, we make friends everywhere we go.
We try to keep our voices quiet, 'cause people might be listening, you know.
We spend a lot of time on buses, finding out way around the town, we split up
to talk people, but we always make sure to stay in sight and sound.
I hope that I can share the Gospel, after they ask me what I do. I love to work
as a volunteer, we meet with people in cafes and try to teach the truth." (written by Yasli Blair)
*Personal study is in Alma 13; "Elder Martino told us to read Alma 8-12 before zone conference, so I really took some time with that."
*HUGE tender mercy: My friend from Ankara who read the blue book in under a week, came to Istanbul to visit relatives. "He wanted to meet up. He came to the branch activity with the Martinos, came to church ANNNND he blessed the sacrament:) Also the other friend that go dunked back in January passed the sacrament! That was a huge tender sercy, seeing my two strongest from different cities become friends and share experiences together! Wow! that was awesome.
*Starring to feel the intensity of being zone leader. haha
*Love and appreciation!
*"What my subject means: Elder Martino opened up D&C 11:4 . It's just like one of the 7 verses in section 4 that we recite every day in Turkish, except in section 11 it adds the words "and reap while the day lasts." That really struck me.  Keep thrusting mi sicle and reaping while I have my time out here. I have to cherish it out here!"
Yasli Heck and I with the Dogan Family

Yasli Grover and me before zone conference

Stupid cat thinking he owns the place

My amazing friend from Ankara, who read the blue book in a week!


August 14, 2017

Week 77
Cagrilanlar Coktur, ama Secilenler Azdir
Many are Called, Few are Chosen

* E. Russell was dropped off at the mission home today, he's headed home tomorrow morning, so it's just E. Heck and E. Muncy in Florya "it was pretty rough saying good-bye to him, E. Havens, and E. Yazzie. I grew pretty close to them and hope to see them after my mission."
*A very interesting Saturday--it was the night of a pool party and the friend has been a friend for over two years and the party dates have changed a lot, and he didn't show up to the party right before the ship out to Germany last year. So, 30 minutes before this pool party was to begin, he hadn't shown up and E.Havens was crushed- he's been helping him the whole time he's been in Turkey. So, by a miracle, some of the volunteers were able to remember where he goes to think when he's down. Five of the volunteers went to look for him and he was there! He came back with the volunteers and the pool party happened!  Back at the pool while all of this was happening, President Davis explained what was happening and bore his testimony.  E. Muncy and E.Mattress were put on the spot to talk to the congregation and talk to and teach them, "on the spot, no warning, no prep. It was a very special night and a testimony builder."
*Exchanges in Izmir went really well--great to work with E. Johnson! "It was suuuuper hot, but I love Izmir!" This Thursday is the 18 month mark!
*Thanks for all of the love and support.
E. Muncy and E. Havens

E. Muncy and E. Grover--Colorado boys!

Your package came, mom!  Thank you so much!


August 8, 2017

Week 76

*This week FLEW by!, met with a ton of people, had an AWESOME "pool party" and sweated a TON, "It's sooooo humid here, holy cowwww!" 
*Yesterday(Monday) was a visit to the big island of the Asian side of Istanbul.  All volunteers went together.  "The actual island wasn't all that great, but we still had a ton of fun and got closer to each other." Went sight seeing, not to meet with people.
* Happy to hear about mission calls in home ward, also happy to know that friends on missions are letting those missions change them for the better
* In the works- to have a Turkish branch and an English branch--there are enough people to make it happen in Istanbul now.
* (if you can believe it) "I really enjoy eating cucumbers and tomatoes together--with a ton of salt and lemon, though."
* Personal study: Alma 5
* A suuuuper big tender mercy: "At Christmas time there was a guy I told you about, an investigator that E. Blair and I had back in the day; he was prepared but just dropped us and never told us why. We were at the church on Saturday preparing for a pool party and he just showed up! I was soooo taken back and I had never felt so happy to see someone since on my mission. He said that he lives outside of Istanbul now but was visiting and wanted to stop by and say hi while he was around. I'm so glad I was at the church at the time he decided to drop by! I thankfully took a picture with him and got his phone number.   I KNOW that wasn't a coincidence-God knows how much I love that guy and think about him every day, just seeing him made me so happy."
*Going to Izmir tomorrow for exchanges!  Will have the opportunity to work with E. Johnson for the first time since the MTC!
*Love you guys so much!
Alma 3:27
"For every man receiveth wages of him whom he listeth to obey, and this according to the words of the spirit of prophecy, therefore let it be according to the truth."

What a view!

Fun with all of the volunteers

Lesson in a Graveyard

"We have a friend who lives in another city, so we Skype him for lessons.  Our apartment has horrible service and the guy was ready for us to meet.We had no idea what to do! Then, E. Russell was like, "I know! There's a graveyard like two minutes away!" So, we headed over there, found a safe hidden spot and Skyped him. He asked us where we were and E. Russell said that we were in a park.haha. It also got dark so I had to use the flashlight on my phone so he could see us."


July 31, 2017

Week 75

*The elder whose mom you talked to is probably going into the MTC to replace another one who was sent to Germany.
*So excited for Alli to go on trek, can't believe how old she looks!
* Keep talking about primary lessons--don't get tired of them! Wanting to study D&C more in personal study.
* So far, not any big responsibilities, although the next Zone Conference is planned.  This next one will be with our Area President, Elder Martino!
* Able to fly to Istanbul, didn't have to take the bus!  E. Earl had to get his residence permit that was never delivered to him (that is the most important thing to have on you here in Turkey).
*The pool party that was  missed in Ankara, was made better by a phone call! "He called me after and said his mother came and that it went really well!"
*There was a pool party here too, a Nigerian friend.  There will also be one the next two weeks, and both are in the Florya area!!!!" E. Russell and E. Hech have been puttin' in the work!"
* For personal study, am reading Jacob, skipping chapter 5 because it's very long and deep and needs to be pondered more. So, in Mosiah and The New Testament. "I love Paul!"
*Gave a talk in sacrament meeting yesterday on prayer. I told them about the challenge that was given to me to say a prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude only and challenged all in the congregation to do the same.
*Tender Mercies: "Having to run in the pouring rain to an investigator's house and feeling the love that God has for him, while getting absolutely drenched."
* Please pray for our friend who is preparing for his big step
*"Working with E. Russell and E. Heck is super fun; trios are so crazy!" E. Russell is from Washington and lived in Turkey when he was a kid because his dad was in the Air Force. E.Heck is brand new. He's from Alaska. "They know how to work!"
*Love you sooo much!!! 
Mosiah 15:18: "And behold, I say unto you, this is not all. Fo o how beautiful upon the mountains are the fee to him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of peace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people; yea, him who has granted salvation unto his people;"
Yasli Heck, Yasli Russell, Yasli Muncy

Yasli Heck and me-- drenched after running to teach our Nigerian friend.


July 24, 2017

Week 74

*Getting transferred back to Istanbul to be Zone Leader--leaves tomorrow!  "This wasn't expected at all.  I'm a little disappointed that I won't get to finish training E. Kanongata'a, we've grown pretty close."
* Sad to leave Ankara and the strong and faithful people in the branch. Also missing a friend's pool party this coming Saturday.  He's an amazing guy and will do great things.  "This is the second pool party I'm missing because of moving to different cities."
*New area is Florya and will be in a trio with Volunteers Russell and Heck.  Russell was one of the zone leaders and will train me (Volunteer Havens will train Volunteer Grover, the other zone leader).
Both zone leaders will be Coloradans! 
* Mad two whole packs of bacon last night! "Oh, my goodness, it was so greasy and heavenly!"
*Had a branch activity Saturday night so that the Davis's and the branch could get to know each other.
* An Iranian family got moved by the government to another city and haven't been able to attend church, until this past weekend.  They came to meet the Davis's. Their daughter turned 8 just a couple of weeks ago and President Robertson(branch) suggested that she have her baptism! "So, we scrambled to get the pool ready and filled, and Sunday after church, she was baptized and confirmed by her dad! It was awesome and they are one of my favorite families I've met during my time here."
*We wear t-shirts and casual clothes now to go to touristy places and blend in and look as "normal" as possible.
* I love you guys so much and thanks again for all of the love, prayers, and support.
Went to the Besiktas store for a jersey and they had the championship trophy there!

I still don't like cats, but this cat's eyes were super cool!

Kavun season is back!  This is my favorite fruit of all time!

Enjoying the sights in Ankara
Last day in Ankara


The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints
Central Eurasian Mission
Kanyon Ofis Binasi Kat 6
Buyukdere Cad. No. 185
Levent/Istanbul 34394

July 22, 2017

Dear Parents:
Congratulations to you and your son on his new calling as Zone Leader in the Central Eurasian Mission. This is an important calling and comes because of his diligence in studying, learning, and understanding the missionary lessons and doctrines of the Church.  His overall growth and development as a faithful servant of the Lord is evident.
Elder Muncy will need to rely on the Spirit for inspiration on how to conduct the missionary work in his area, for which he will be responsible.  Remember the words of the Lord given to the saints in Missouri found in D&C 58:27-28: "Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them..."As his mission president, I have a great trust in him and know that he is capable and has the power to lead his area in this marvelous work.
I congratulate you for having a son who has prepared himself to receive such an assignment.  I extend my sincere love and appreciation to you and your family for your efforts in rearing such a fine young man.  Although I have been here for a short time, I have already come to love him greatly.
Stephen R. Davis
Central Eurasian Mission


July 17, 2017

Week 73

*This week wasn't too eventful
* Friend is getting super close to a pool party
*Went on first exchange with Yasli Earl since the split
* This week a member offered to translate at church yesterday, "which was way nice. I also made a deal with him--from now on, if the talk is in English he'll translate it into Turkish (since he's a Turk), and I'll translate from Turkish to English. That is wayyy easier on both of us!"
*A year ago this last Saturday was when the coup attempt happened. "That will be a day I never forget...crazyyyy time flies way to fast!"
*When there is an empty day, it is filled by taking the metro somewhere and talk to people on that, also it is filled with exploring.
*Thanks a ton for the words of encouragement. In Mosiah in personal scripture study
* Mosiah 13:1-9 hit especially hard. "I was reassured that we are protected as long as we always have work to do and we do what we're supposed to."
*Challenge-- say a a full prayer of gratitude and thanks only
* Appreciate you guys more than I can express!

1 Corinthians 2:9

"But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
Out futbol squad!

We had a meal with an American family and they had HAWAIIAN ROLLS!!

The same family that fed us also gave all of this food to us!