Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Investigators

Hey familia,
Always good to email you.  I am doing so well.  Life is good.  Hmmmm.....
Well I guess I'll just give you a summary of the cute people we are teaching right now.
Carlos- has lots of addictions and is fully aware of his weaknesses so he found us and wants to change.  Hopefully we'll see real soon how serious he is about changing.  i've seen the power of the atonement change people's lives.  IT's real. I know it is and anyone that wants it bad enough and will work for it can see it change their life too.  It is a very real thing indeed.
Familia de Blanca-  They are a little family from Puerto Rico. Super cute.  We really want to start teaching them more and seeing a greater desire to change. They have had many hard things happen in their lives and it's going to take a little bit of work to get that to start to heal in regards to the atonement but they have great potential.
Familia Leon-  Mom, this lady seriously reminds me of you in looks.  Lina is pretty energetic and always on the go to.  She loves the mormons!  Always has wanted to be one and sees that they are super happy people.  Her sister, Mariela was the first one that started talking to the missionaries.  She walked into the church a couple of years ago to watch general conference.  Sister Harry and I have extended a couple of baptismal dates for their family which they have been working towards but we haven't baptized them yet because they aren't coming to sacrament.  They will come to the other 2 classes but they always come at 2 instead at 1.  For some reason when we tell them they need to come to sacrament it they always come late and say they had to eat breakfast? lol.  So Hopefully they start progressing a little more. I love their family!  So mom, since she is like you and she hasn't quite grasped yet that the gospel is EVERYTHING, how can i tell her that her business needs to go AFTER church? lol It's crazy to think as missionaries we are asking to change their lives, the way they think and the habits they have that they don't see as bad.... just not great. lol.  Her husband likes talking to us, but he always says "i have my own beliefs" but he started reading a little in the BOM, if he keeps reading it always hooks them so hopefully that will be good. 
Marianna Montes- She is the mom of a Sister Harry's recent convert from last week. They are another family from Columbia and Marianna is the one that loves teaching Sister Harry and I how to Cook. She says she wants to get baptized but her dream is to get baptized with her autistic son so that her husband will start coming to church with the family.  The husband Ismael is super nice to us but always excuses himself or walks out when we start teaching.  Andy the 12 year old autistic boy is absolutely amazing but he has a hard time wearing pants in the summer for church and also has a hard time around a lot of people so I can see why Marianna wants to wait to bring him to church.  I really hope Sister Harry gets to stay here another transfer because she has a pretty special bond with their family.  Pray that Marianna will be able to understand the importance of the restoration.
Johana-  She is super awesome.  We went to a BBQ for the 4th of July at a member's home. She is the only member in her family and she had about 15 other family members there so we had some good times talking.  We talked to Johana the most.  She is late 20's from Columbia. She has only been in the states for about the same amount of time that I've been in New York.  She loves studying other cultures and traveling.  She actually went to thailand for vacation a while ago so we had a connection there. She has a heart of pure gold. She loves learning about religion but hadn't ever learned anything about the mormons so she was the one that eventually ended up inviting us over to come teach her.  She wanted to go to an institute class with us so we went with her on Tuesday and then we went to teach her and her mom with the Presidents wife on Thursday. They cooked this big columbian meal for us after the lesson which was super nice.  Really nice family.  One of my favorite people that I've met on my mission so I pray that God will give us the opportunity to keep teaching them. It could go either way at this point.  Pray that she really finds a testimony through the book of Mormon and that she will be able to change her work schedule so that she can come to church.
Anyway love you all.
More next week.
hermana Lewis.

Happy July 4th

Sorry Library was closed yesterday because of the holiday so email didn't get done.  Love you all very very much and I'm thinking of you. Good week this week.
So I really think I must be in the right area because half the streets are named after people or places I know or very similar.  I live new the Lewis pharmacy.  I ride the bus down Lewis Blvd every day.  And my area runs down Kissena Blvd which sounds exactly like Krisina when the spanish are saying it in their accents.  I am aways wondering how they figured out my first name but then I realize they are talking about a street and not me.  Even our district leader is getting a little bit confused since he found out my first name.  He always calls it Krisina instead of Kissena.  It's halarious.  Anyway good week.  Oh and there is a street in my area that we have an investigator and less active family.  This street is called Murray ST.  It's perfect, ya know? :)
This week was really cool because Sister Harry and Sister Nelson had a Meeting all day on Thursday in Rego Park.  So I went on Exchanges with Sister Nelson's New companion Sister Reed in Rego.  The promised land and my home I was so excited to return for the day. SO MUCH FUN! I loved it.  It was so rewarding because the last couple weeks I've been really frusterated with just the way things were going. We had a set a baptismal date with jonathan right before I left rego before I moved for flushing and I was going to come back for it but once again he backed out last minute saying he wasn't sure if any of it was really true which pretty much wrenched my heart out because I had put so much time into that kid over the last 6 months. Knew that he knew it and so just a little bit weary of the once again back to square one.  I just imagined ya know that I would show up to new york baptize the whole place ya mission accomplished.  Guess what... that hasn't happened... yet.  So I was a little frusterated because yadayada yada.   So I was thinking few baptisms, and what did I accomplish over the last half of my mission in Rego? But I went back to rego and it was so good to see the fruits that have started to take place from my labors. Really awesome and God just reminded me that I never can predict how big a small seed is going to grow until we give it a little time and nurturing.  All of the people that Sister Reed and Sister Nelson are working with are investigators that Sister Nelson and I found found through the tender mercies of the Lord over the last little bit.  3 of those families have baptismal dates and they have accomplished milestones with these families.  I went and visited a bunch of families with sister reed and all of our appointments were so excited to see me.  Sister Lewis your back!!!! hahaha but then sadly i would have to say, no just visiting.  It was fun to know that I had people that still thought about me and were excited to see me.  After we returned to the meeting to pick up our companions. Then after the meeting an Elder approached me and he is now serving in Rego Park as the district leader. Dont know him but he seems fairly nice. Humble guy. He asked me about an investigator I knew that has always been in the other Elders pool that I knew in Rego. I had heard Jackson the Investigator had set a baptismal date but was having some problems with pressures of his other family etc. etc. etc. Anyway Elder Simpkons approached me and asked me what I thought about the whole situation and what I thought he needed. I told him I thought he was a cool kid but I honestly didn't know that much about him didn't feel qualified to give a evaluation of how to save this persons soul, so to speak.  Elder Simpkons looked confused, I didn't know why. He said he had been over talking to the family the night before trying to get a little feedback on how he could help this kid be baptized.  The family had told them they needed sister lewis back! Then I looked really confused when he told me that because I had barely taught Jackson.  Only when we had visited for dinner appointments on rare occasions.  The elder told me that I must have done something right because they told him that I was the last missionary that had an impact on Jackson and that had made a lasting spiritual impression for his conversion.  I really don't know how true that is but at the same time it made me think twice.  You never know when people will be looking for something.  Yes people may reject your words left and right but at some point someone is going to prepare their heart to listen and you better well be doing all you can on your part to help them receive it by the spirit. So I felt boosted up again to know that my efforts aren't totally going to waste and that everyone is on their little journey up to god.  Poco a poco, paso por paso. If people need a little bit more time than 3 weeks it will be okay. I miss Rego Park so much but I know with every new challenge and area comes new adventures and blessings.  Flushing is a completely different atmosphere but i really like it a lot. 
Oh this is something cool that I learned the other day.  So in Matthew 19:24 it talks about it being easier for a camel to enter into the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.  Okay so I always thought it was being literal in the sense of the eye of a needle.  I thought like a pin needle.  Is that silly?  Anyway I learned that on the wall in Isreal.  There are these wholes on the outside of the wall for people to enter.  It's called the eye of the needle but they are too small for camels that have stuff all loaded up on them to enter. So it is a little more realistic.  It was interesting.  So it's not actually a needle needle.  Did you know that? Cool huh? Marissa probably knew that.
Anyway church is true. Love you all. 
Love Hermana Lewis