Monday, June 27, 2011

Flushing is Good!

This week was good. Don't have very much time at all but know that Flushing is good.

I can now say that I have seen fireflies! I was walking in the park with sister Harry last week and I started noticing all these little green lights. It was so weird. Then pretty soon I realized they were around me too and they were bugs! Weird but actually really pretty to see at a distance.

Last monday we cooked with one of our investigators Marianna. She is amazing. She taught us how to cook empanadas from scratch. Mom, I know you have always wanted to make tortillas. Youre going to be so happy when I get home and we can make them together. These things are good.....

Mom do you have any advice for colicy babies? I taught this member the I LOVE U massage for her baby but I was wondering if you had any more ideas for her?

Anyway love you all!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Mission Conference

This week was good. Slow but good. Dad you would be so proud I'm doing jujitzu(how do u spell it?) with all the Chinese people in the park during the week for morning exericise. It's so funny to go exericise in the morning and see all the chinese people working their chakra's and patting their legs and gathering their chi. It's great.

Ward is still good. The activity went well. Thank you so much for sending all that music mom and jenna it worked out perfectly. The relief society president told me to make sure to tell you thanks. Did I tell you our relief society president has purple hair? Ya its pretty cool. I'm being serious.

This week we had an amazing mission conference with Elder Gong and Elder Christensen from the first quorom of the seventy. It was so wonderful and I really felt a deep sense of gratitude and the spirit testify of the truthfulness of the things that we were talking about. I really enjoyed all of it so much. It's interesting because sister Harry and I had talked a couple of weeks back about things that really bring the spirit into a lesson and what gives us passion to teach. We agreed that the atonement and bearing pure testimony of Jesus Christ you can't go wrong. We talked about how he is the center of our message. He is the one that we are following and teach about. As missionaries we extend and invite others to come unto him. So, it was really cool when our 6 hour mission conference was all on the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. It was very personal and we got to ask them many deep questions and have the questions of our souls answered. I also learned that there is a reference to the atonement of Jesus Christ at least every other page in the book of mormon. That's a lot of Jesus talk right there. but then again, it is another testament of Jesus Christ.

We had lunch at the conference and had various tables set up. I sat on the table with my companion and a few of the other sisters, including Sister Nelson and Sister Gong and sister christensen. It ended up that Elder Gong came to sit by his wife which I happened to be sitting on his other side. So it was kind of cool because he naturally started up conversation with us missionaries. He asked me what makes New York a unique place to serve. Well, there are many things that make New York unique. You won't find another mission quite like it. But speaking to a general authority I didn't know quite what to say at first so I turned to the other sisters and let them speak their thoughts. We decided to relate it back to the diversity aspect of New York. I then related the experience I had back on the bus a while back where I met a girl from the middle east ( i think afganistan), Jewish, and she believed that Jesus was the Christ. You don't get that combination very often. Find one other place in the world you bump into those types of combinations. I don't remember totally what was talked about on that bus ride so maybe it was a bad example to bring up because then Elder Gong asked me what I asked her after I told her that. I don't remember. So it kind of ruined the point he was trying to make. But, i started in on asking him about the atonement. The atonement of Jesus Christ is the crucial part in the plan of salvation. Without it, we aren't really going anywhere. It is the power to heal us physically and spiritually. It is the power that bridges the gaps between our spiritual and physical death from God. The majority of mankind believes in a savior. All of Christianity believes in Jesus and that he died for us. But at the same time there are so many people that don't know how to apply that to their lives personally. Maybe to a small scale. We can't really comprehend it because it is an infinite atonement the utimate sacrifice. So, sometimes I feel its a little gray for people even though they understand that Jesus is the Christ. Right? So Elder Gong naturally told me that what I was here for. To teach people how to come and use the atonement of Jesus Christ in their lives through repentance. Then I asked him if we need to do everything we can before we can access the atonement of christ to bridge where we fall short. During one of my lessons I've heard the perspective that God lets us go through our own getsemani a little bit in order to become more like him so we can't just lay it all at his feet before we've started our problem. I wish you could talk with this guy. His whole countenance just reminds me of a Chinese Yogi Master with all this wisdom and his words always just ring such wisdom in the way he says it. He is so kind and very humble with all this wisdom he seems to have in his sleeves. He then asks me. " Do you breath sister lewis?" I say, "Do I breath?" just making sure I heard the question right. Yes. "Yes I breath...." He says. "How?" I'm kind of stumped for a minute. Trying to decide what answer he is looking for. Uh, with my lungs? He says, "Yes isn't every breath we take a gift from God? I think the atonement has a lot more to do with our way of being and existence than we think." Point being yes we do use the the atonement to bridge our gaps but it's a lot more on the side of mercy than it is on judgment. We use the atonement every day and it is the power by which we exist and are able to progress. I think I really don't think I explained that very well in an email but I really liked the conversation that we had. It was so cool! He is really nice and so was elder christensen.

Our other topic of conversation was how the quorums are set up. I always get so confused in D&C when they talk about it so it was just good to have it from someone that knew what was going on. So there are 8 quoroms right now. The first 2 quorums of the 70 are called as general authorities and are called to serve world wide. The first quorum of the 70 serves until the age of 70 and then the rest of the quorums serve usually for a period of around 5 years. Quorums 3-8 still have areas that they are assigned to.

Sister Gong had us make up these Psalms for part of the conference. It was really fun to get it all done. This was mine.

Praise y the Lord for he hath enlightened my mind with light.
And given me the strength and means to build his kingdom
The Lord he is omnipotent. My master and companion through the fight.
And I will always serve him as my Lord and Savior. For through him we find our ourselves.

One last part of the mission conference that I just absolutely loved was when a young sister missionary that I used to serve with got up and asked the question. I know that these things are true. I've grown up in the church. Yet sometimes as I'm teaching or I hear about the conversion of others I question my own conversion or my worth because I haven't ever had experiences like theirs. Yet I still know that they are true.

President Christensen explained that the stories of others conversions become part of our own as we teach them and as they share their experiences with us. Elder Carnohan then got up and shared a very powerful testimony of how the greatest miracle in the whole world is true conversion and that as some of us that have grown up in the church there is no greater blessing or miracle than to have the conversion of our parents. I really liked that. I know its true. I have been blessed with a home of the gospel. I 've seen its blessings. People can say it's not true but it is. And it works and it is evidence enough that it is true. You can deny the talk but you can't deny the results. Doesn't mean it is easy but it is definitely worth it.

Love you all,

Much amor, Hermana Lewis

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Flushing is my new Home

So I'm here in the middle of little China Town. Aka Flushing, New York. My trainer, sister Stephens would be so proud to know that I'm serving in the place she spent the majority of her mission. She loved it here and there is no doubt why. it is so great. I love this area so much. So my gut feeling was exactly right I'm here in Flushing, another part of Queens and my companion is the sister I did exchanges with a little bit back, named Hermana Harry. She is a doll love her and she has already taught me loads. She is from Arizona Utah and just finished her first year of law school before the mission. She took leave after her first year so that she could come on her mission and then she will be going into Immigration law? ya... ironic but good. She will be perferct for the job. her birthday was yesterday so that was fun. We are basically the same age.

This area has a lot less Hispanic folk, no surprise since it is in the middle of Chinaville but we have the most darling branch you could ever imagine. This little branch gave me the warmest welcome you could ever imagine. They are so kind and I feel super blessed to be here. The accents are a little different because there are a lot of people from Salvador and Columbia.

It's really fun to be in a new area with a fresh start. Being in a new area, no one knowing how hard it was for me to pick up the language and now them all be in shock at how well I speak and want to know how I picked up the language that well. Makes me feel so good. They tell me I speak perfectly. It's a lie but its really nice to feel like I know exactly whats going on and have the people think I've spoken it a lot longer than the last 8 months or however long it is. Now please know I am not being cocky about this because this whole gift of tongues thing is a very delicate deal. As soon as I feel confident and try to take credit for how far my language skills have come, i can't do squat. My words get all mumble jumbled and I miss parts of what the people are saying. Its crazy. However, I do have a testimony of the book of Mormon and the power of prayer have helped me loads in order to develop the language. I feel like those two things have helped my language more than anything else. I told god, if you let me speak with the tongue of angels here in the mission, I promise to use it to build up the kingdom. That worked pretty well. One of our investigators Brother Lopez is a husband of a member. Been investigating for a while. He wants me to tell him how I learned spanish so well so he can learn english in the same way. I told him I asked god in prayer and he doesn't believe me. So I told him to read the book of mormon in english and a prophet says he'll be able to speak the language by the end. I think it really might motivate him to start reading. I hope so. Whatever it takes right? lol. God works in mysterious ways. It's fun to be at a point where your not trying to memorize every thing you want to say and not stressing about what's coming out of your mouth. Love it.
We have one spanish companionship of Elders and one Korean companionship of Elders in our district. Somos seis. So I'm picking up a little Korean too. Elder Lee is an Elder that flew in the airplane with me to New York. It's fun to see him again and see how much he has grown. He is teaching me that Korean song that Grandpa Blaine used to always sing. Aryang. It's evidently a very common song.He's still learning his English and so some of the stuff he says I don't think it translates well from Korean to English. We were going around our first district meeting last week and getting to know everyone really fast. One of the questions that we got asked is what is our greatest fears. Elder Lee 's companion, Elder Gillis told us in joking but serious way that Elder Lee can't have the fan on in the middle of the night because Elder Lee thinks it blows all the oxygen out of the room and they will suffocate. Elder Lee confirmed it and told us its true. The rest of the zone is pretty much Chinese Elders so I get to learn some Chinese from them to... basically all you need to know is Nee How & Shi Shi. hello and thank you :) I don't know how some of these sound affects turn into languages.

So mom, I have an emergency favor for you.... Do you think you could send me some music for the violin like today? I need some songs to play to seranade the fathers for the activity this Saturday at the ward. I think I can track down a violin and the ward members are just so excited. I think it would be really cool. Any type of songs are good. Sister Harry and I are going to be going around the tables while they are eating a dinner playing some quick tunes. I'm open for anything you think would be good. Something that I can just throw together quick notice. I was thinking maybe some of those tunes that we play as a family like Let me call you sweetheart, ariang, or something like that something that is short but good. Also any really simple music that Jenna has for Guitar because sister Harry is going to be playing the guitar. Does that make sense we are going to be playing at maybe 5-8 tables while they are eating dinner.

My new address is....

Hermana Krisina A. Lewis
144-11 Sanford Avenue Apt 1N
Flushing, New York 11355

 Alma who prayed to find someone to talk to about Jesus and Krisina who prayed to find someone to teach about Jesus
Birthday Party for Krisina.  The little boy went to his room and wrapped up as many presents as he could for Krisina
FHE with Jonathon and a member family
Claudio Family and Krisina
Letters it's fastest to send them to this address. i don't go to the office very often. Sent the packages to the office still. That would be great.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fare thee Well Oh Rego Park

It's official. I'm moving out. Onward bound. Sister Montes is also leaving. She is in the other companionship that lives in my pad. She is from Mexico and has helped me correct so many of my errores in Spanish. She really helped me with lots of different things. They don't tell you where you are going or who your new companion is until tuesday but they call you Saturday night to tell you to pack up your stuff. I have so many mixed feelings it is ridiculous.I'm excited to experience something new but I'm also so happy where I am at. So weird to think I hit my half way mark and moving onto my second area. I feel like I'm greener and greener every day and somehow time is not a real concept in the mission. It's going to be my first transfer not training, which should be nice. But I think I'm going to be a step mom which is a sister that is just leaving her trainer. So I'll be her companion. I feel like I have no time left and all the time that has gone by has been going and going. pasa muy rapido. The lord has very much blessed us this transfer and I have seen so many miracles. I have come to love people like I've never before loved in my life. I feel so privledged for everything that has been given to me thus far in the mission. I'm going to miss Sister Nelson as well. She has been so good to me this transfer God definitely sent her to me. It was very rewarding for me to go by investigators homes this last week and members as well to say my goodbyes and feel of their love for me. A bunch of the investigators even came to church for their first time just so they could see me off. Hey, whatever gets them there works. I am so excited for sister Nelson next transfer. Mission changes every step of the way but she's got some great stuff happening for her this transfer. I'll be praying for her :) Remember how I wanted a cultural experience on the mission. Just becuase I'm in the united states does not mean that I am not getting my cultural experience. Sister Nelson calls our area mini equador lol. Although I think the majority of our area looks like as if I was walking down the streets of Mexico. We go to the asian markets occasionally when we are close and they have all the fish and crabs swimmin around in their tanks. You pick them out and they cut them right there on the spot for you. So different than good old utah.... lol. Last night we taught some really cool people. I just want all these people to get baptized already. It would help them so much. We had exchanges this last week with all the sisters in the mission. That was really fun. Sister Nelson went to Flushing with Sister Reed and her companion Sister Harry came to Rego to serve with me for a day. That was fun. If my gut serves me right I think that I will be going to Flushing to serve with Sister Harry next transfer but I could be wrong. It's just a guess. It's kind of fun because Sister Harry and Sister Nelson were MTC companions. Flushing is still in Queens but filled with Chinese people. I should be right at home. After all I am the white asian. Everyone here asks me if I am part asian. It is so funny. Mom are you sure I don't have Asian descent? lol. Maybe its just because I was named after a Thai Asian person.

So being here in New York in the City of Queens I have the great priveledge of of talking to the 14 million people that live in New York. I think there are almost a million people here in Queens from everywhere. We talk to people on the buses and trains handing out pass a long cards. Well so I had a cool experience with fearlessing this week. It builds my testimony of the importance of fearlessing although you get the rude people inbetween the good ones. But I actually had this Indian Lady named Alma fearless me. It was kind of cool because I asked her how long she had been waiting for the train and then she asked me if I was from Jesus Christ. I told her I represented the church of Jesus Christ. I think she read my tag even though it was in Spanish. She probably could only recognize the jesucristo part. So she started talking to me and I gave her a card about Gods plan of happiness for us and how we can learn more of his plan for us through his teachings. I pray that I can find people and be guided to the people I'm supposed to talk to on the mission since that's what I do all day but she said something that was really cool. She told me, "You know what Sister Lewis, I have been praying to God to send me someone that I can talk about Jesus with. In India I was Christian I'm looking for a church and someone that will guide me." I said well I pray to find people that want to learn more about him and his gospel. She maybe god answered both our prayers today. :) She later went on to explain to me how she had run away from India. Her husband is stuck in India because he can't get his visa. They both converted to Christianity a few years ago as they came to know their Redeemer. Since then, her inlaws have been hunting her. She endured a lot of abuse and harsh treatment in India from her relatives. She miscarried her first child becuase they beat her up so bad. She's here now hiding but she still worries about her husband every day. He is basically in hiding waiting for a way out cause his visa keeps being denied. There is a bunch of other details to that story but I just had an overwhelming gratitude for the freedoms that I so freely take for granted everyday. I have never had to worry about if I act on what I know to be true to influence whether I live or die. She came to church on Sunday and had to sneak out so no one knew where she was going. She made the effort to come and she loved it. She started to cry once I told her that I was leaving on Tuesday. She said, "Why do the good things in my life never seem to last?" Well I don't know if I fit into that category but still some of the sweetest moments in life are not meant to last forever. That's why memories are some of the greatest treasures that we have. Anyway I introducced her to the English Elders. I hear the new elder coming in is part indian so maybe they will have a good connection. It was a sweet experience for me and to feel of her good spirit and sacrifice for what she knows to be true and dear to her heart.

Well anyway, pray for me. This will be a new and grand experience. I hope everything will go well.

Con much amor de mi corazon,

Hermanita Lewis