Monday, September 26, 2011

Hay 3 bautismos!>
Date: Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 10:06 AM
Subject: Hay 3 bautismos!
To:, Janette Lewis , David Lewis , Jael Lewis , Jenna Lea

Hey familia!
I can’t believe it’s another Monday.  We had a really good week this week!  We had 3 baptisms this last weekend on Saturday!  Two were ours (Christian and Maurice) and the other was an Investigator of the Elders (Maria) so it ended on a pretty sweet note.  Sunday Jennifer and the other 3 all got confirmed.  Ya it was awesome.   and then Jennifer and the other 3 were confirmed on Sunday to resulted in 4 confirmations.  The baptism was a really sweet experience.  Maurice and Christian are 11 year old boys of part member families that have been inactive for a few years.  WE have some really cool things that just fell into place with both of them.  I’ll start off telling some cool stories about Maurice.  Maurice’s family is from el Salvador.  They were introduced to the gospel through a family member that introduced them to the missionaries.  They fell away for a while due to some circumstances and missionaries have been visiting off and on for years.  We are the first sisters Franny, Maurices mom has let teach in the house in a long time and she has always told maurice before this that he couldn’t get baptized.  My first week  here we started teaching him and Sister Nelson and I talked to her shortly after that and for some miracle or another she gave her consent.  So they’ve been coming back to church and its been really cool to see the small little differences over the last couple of months.  On Saturday we had the General Relief Society broadcast after the baptism so the relief society made refreshments.  There was a fruit dessert that just happened to be the Recipe Maurice’s mom taught to the Relief Society back in the day.  I guess it had been a dessert recipe she had taught when she was really active.  She got all tender hearted over it and said I guess I do still have a place in this ward.  It was really cool.  What are the odds after all the years that fruit dessert would be made by the lady that needed it most?  I don’t believe in conincedences.   It was awesome! 
Christian has a cool story too.  So he just moved in with the Benditez family about 2 months ago with his mom and other sister who are both less active members.  We started noticing him around the house when we would come and teach Maurice.  Finally we invited him to listen in on one of the lessons and he was more than eager.  We found out that the missionaries had been teaching him back in the day when he lived in Pennsylvania.  He was very excited to get baptized but then the family moved and he lost contact with the missionaries.  He had always wanted to get baptized and asked us if he could get baptized here.  We said, Claro que si! J He is a sharp little kid and he knew so much from the elders.  He would say the best answers.  I was teaching him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the importance of Faith, repentance, baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost , and Enduring to the end.  I asked him what the steps are to live back with heavenly father.  Not only did he do it but he said don’t worry sister lewis, I’m going to live them for the rest of my life so I can live with god.  Then he has this huge interest in temples and living with his family forever.  One of my awesome friends sent me a package of silly bands in the mail last week and I’ve been using them to teach these kids the lessons.  Christian wears his silly band of the temple every day to remind him where he wants to end up.  He is so awesome! Then we had his date planned and everything we showed up last week and he was gone.  He and his mom had moved over night  last minute back to New Jersey and they were going to put him into school over there. All of us sisters were pretty sad.  We didn’t have other information for him or anything to send the missionaries over there.  So you know what sister Nelson did?  She went home that night and she prayed him back to New York.  She prayed herself to sleep that night but you know what happened?  The Next day we got a text from his cousin Saira telling us that they decided to move back to new york despite all odds.  How cool is that? Yep, God works in mysterious ways.
At Christians baptism his mom came up and sat by me and told me a cool moment that she had with Christian the night before.  They had been talking about his baptism and the wonderful  moment it was going to be.  Christian pointed out to her that when she had been taught and baptized it had been 3 sister missionaries just like us.  After her baptism they had never seen sisters again, just elders but now he was getting baptized and once again it was 3 sisters.  She teared up and just thought it was so special as did I J
Maria was the other baptism that took place on Saturday.  It was also very legit!  Her daughter will probably soon follow after her.  Her daughter is going to seminary at 5 a.m. every morning even though the she isn’t even a member!  Maria is so sweet.  Elder Lauke baptized her and it was his very first baptism of the mission.  He is in his second transfer so pretty new to everything and it was really rewarding for him to be the elder that started teaching her and saw the fruits of his labors.   After she came out of the font I was on the steps to hand her towel over.  It was really a special moment.  I asked her how she felt and she just stood there for a second trying to take it all in and said, “Estoy muy feliz”  It was a very emotional moment for both of us.  We both cried and she grabbed me in a big embrace while she cried and enjoyed her special moment of Salvation.  It was really awesome.  The Elders were across the stairs watching their new convert and how happy she was it was cool to be the observer of it all. 
So ya definitely the highlight of my week but don’t worry.  There’s more.  So this last week I have been watching these grand DVD of Preach my gospel with sister Jewkes during comp study.  I don’t know how many of you know but the church has given DVD players to missions world wide to train us on how to be more effective missionaries through the preach my gospel DVD’s.  I think they have some really good principles behind them.  Anyway, so we were watching a segment on teaching powerful lessons and the elders were teaching about the word of wisdom and planning to commit her to baptism. It surprised them when their investigator interrupted the lesson to ask, “How soon can I get baptized?”  I just kind of laughed and said, Wow, I wish my investigators would do that.  How nice would that be? Anyway, no joke so we went to this appointment later in the day with this new lady.  We found her while doing service with the ward a couple of weeks before.  The Hurricane did a lot of tree damage out here on the island so we’ve been doing some helping hands. She juked us and the other 2 were a little frazzled but I said don’t worry we’ll come back so I called her and left a message.  She called like 10 minutes later to say she had gotten home late but that she would really like us to come over if we had time. So we went and taught her the restauration.  We were in the beginning maybe 5 minutes into the lesson on how to begin teaching when she stops us and asks.  “How long will it take me to baptized into your church?”  Then she explained how she just was really impressed with the whole service and the church that she came to on the Sunday before.  She just feels the difference and knows that it’s good.  Anyway, I just thought that was so awesome. She told us a lot of other really cool stuff but if anything comes from her I’ll let you all know.  She seems pretty legit but she just left for cali for the next 2 weeks.  I’ll keep you posted.
Sister Jewkes got her flight plans today and she started bawling in the middle of the library.  She is so funny I love her to death.  Mom when sister Jewkes gets home in December you have to have her come visit at the house!  She said she’s going to knock on your door someday J She lives like 5 minutes away over there in lovely taylorsville.  Anyway this email was long!  I g2g to zone activity but hopefully I’ll fill iyou in on more details later.  Transfers are flying by!  Tomorrow I will have exactly 6 months left as a missionary.  That is so sad!  I guess I just got to enjoy it while I can.  Love you all.  Have a great week.  “Make the world a better place”.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Service in Jersey

So this was a fun week.  A little bit different and really interesting.  The mission as well as the wards and branches in New York were asked to make time to go and help New Jersey clean up from the Hurricane this last week.  So President split the mission up and sent us different days of the week.  We went to New Jersey on Friday to help with clean up.  It was really surprising to me to see all the damage that was done.  When we arrived to New Jersey i wasn't thinking it looked too damaged and i wondered why we were there but in the end, it I was so wrong.  The flooding really did some damaged.  These people lost their homes and really are starting from scratch.  The outsides look fine driving down the streets but when you go in there is pretty much nothing left.  We were ripping out walls, carpets, floor boards, door frames, cupboards etc.  I never knew all the levels of wood and flooring in a house.  I took one apart, I think that I could probably build one up now. A lot of the electrical and pipes had been ruined so there has been sewage and power outage in a lot of the homes. The water level in the homes was about up to my chest which meant anything from countertops down was ruined and needed to be taken out.  Dad you would be so proud of me I wore a dust mask! I thought of you in the process.  It was this funny lookin  thing that reminded me of a duck.  Everyone thought it was halarious but it saved me a few particles of dust ect.  It was fun to work with the missionaries in the other mission and hear what types of demographics work in their area.  We took a big tour bus down to Jersey and wore the big helping hands yellow t-shirts. New Jersey asked 2000 volunteers from the church and they received 3000 which was cool becuase it showed a lot of support and love. 
We also did some service with the ward this last week around the area and found some new investigators.  We will hope to see some good stuff to follow.  We are teaching some really fun good people right now.  I'm a big fan of this area and i love being in the car and being able to teach 7 or 8 appointments in 1 day no sweat.  So sweet!  our goal is to hit 50 lessons for the week.  We probably will be able to get that for next week.  It's pretty sweet because in the trio we can do member splits.  One of us goes with a member while the others go to a different appointment.  That could be like 4 member presents in like 2 hours!
Okay peeps! So this is what I'm deciding on my mission.  No one needs to go on a mission to help people have conversions in Christ.  In fact I think that the members are the most awesome and key part in the member's work.  There is nothing like member work.  When the members are involved the retention of the converts are better, more people get baptized, and the ward pulls together to be stronger.  So if you want to help the missionary work, pray for missionary experiences that you can be a part of.  Give the missionaries referrals, pray to find someone that is ready to receive the discussions and invite non members into your homes for activities and discussions.  We all have a huge impact on the lives of other people.  Sometimes people feel like the missionaries aren't real because they view them more like angels or something. When they meet the members they see it's a way of life and that it really does bring true joy and works to bring success into our lives personally.  So get out there and do it.  Mom, your awesome! It's a beautiful thing.  I am so impressed with the wards here in New York and all that they do  to strive and build up the kingdom of God.
Love you all
hermana Lewis.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Jammies

Hey family! 
How ya'll doing? :)  okay so this week was really fun and trio is actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be.  I'm quite enjoying it.  Sister Jewkes and Sister Nelson are cracks and a half.  Guess what they made me do this week?  Yes we went and we bought onesies at Target this week!  You know those little jammies you put on the little babies with the footies in them?  Yes I bought one of those and it fits me quite nicely actually.  My comps just think they are the best thing that came to town since who knows when.  We've even talked the rest of the elders to buy them in our district I think.  How? I dont' know but I have pictures to show you of my wonderful jammies.  They are blue with little frogs and so forth.  Mom, your going to love them.
Lots of interesting stuff happened this week.  I had a very interesting experience with one of the recent converts that we are teaching.  My new fascination in life is the Holy Ghost.  The Spirit is pretty legit.  Sister Nelson made a little joke that missionaries are kind of like x-men with super powers.  I think that's true. If you are in tune with the spirit it will tell you exactly what's going on, be your comforter, as well as warn you of danger. When I was in this lesson I knew exactly what she was thinking and I was able to tell her exactly what I needed to in order to fulfill my purpose with that lesson. No one else in that lesson could have possible known what was going on besides me and her.  I can't tell you how grateful I am for all the experiences that I've had on my mission.  I have met people from all different  countries, cultures, backgrounds, lifestyles, and beliefs.  I mean EVERY thing, good and bad.  New York is crazy and i think its pretty much amazing gods journey for each one of us and how the gospel applies to everyone's lives because it is centered around the atonement of Jesus Christ.  HE is the Christ and this is his work.  We will be saved only by and through him.  I know this to be true.
Jennifer got baptized yesterday!  As always there are always a bunch of things that tend to go awry but in the end it all worked out and it was well worth it.  I'll have to send pictures as well.  It was so rewarding.  Sister Nelson and I decided all our hard work from Rego Park is starting to pay off.  We worked our butts off in Rego and were so dissappointed when we weren't able to baptize together but now it all paid off and we can say we had a wonderful baptism together.  Jennifer is 11 and reminds me very much of Symbria.  She is beautiful and has long long think hair that I braided for her in a crown for the baptism.  All the missionaries sang that arrangement of Teach me to walk in the light.  I messed up on the accompaniment a lot but I think it all worked out in the end.  You could just tell her whole family was so happy and that she felt so special. she was just glowing.
Sorry this is short but the libraries are down and not being very cooperative today.  I love you all.
Mom my address is.
22 Woodlawn Ave
Central Islip, NY 11722

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lost on the Island

You would not believe all the stuff that happened.  All in this last week... it's funny how things all work out in the end. I'm in the ISLAND! So, lets just start at transfer meeting last week shall we?  So, here is what went down.  I arrive at transfer meeting with Sister Young. She is just nervous beyond belief to train and so excited at the same time I think she almost made herself sick.  She was training this girl from Hawaii and they are beyond perfect for each other.  We have a couple of Baptismal commits for them to work towards in flushing so that should be exciting for her.  Eduardo is awesome and I talked to him right before I left and he said he was going to sort out his life so that he could become closer to god.  He is pretty legit but needs some time.  Pray for him please. :)

So as we walk into the mission office President calls me into his office before transfer meeting.  President tells me that they are sending another set of sisters to open a new area up on the island and that he is going to blind me and sister Porter in to open the area.  Say what?! That was pretty exciting.  I have ALWAYS wanted to serve with Sister Porter. She is an amazing, spiritual, hard working missionary.  She came in the same transfer as Sister Jasso so she has just about 9 months in the mission.  Yet sister Porter is so hard working that she overworked herself in Midwood last transfer and got heat exhaustion pretty bad.  She was training last transfer and so she felt in order to keep the work going she needed to work through it.  I know the crazy sisters that sometimes don't think logically.  So ended up making herself pretty sick and president heard about it and called her into the mission home to rest.  So she has been at the mission home recuperating for the last 2 weeks and seemed to be getting better.  President thought that a car area would help her not have to exert so much energy walking all day so that meant he would be sending her there. How would be her companion.   THat's right, Yo (I). Sister Porter had 2 more nights that she was supposedly going to rest at the mission home before she came out to the island with me so that meant that I would open up the area w/o her.  President said he was going to pull Sister Jewkes, from the english program to come and help me for a few days while I figure my way around the area and sister porter is recuperating. Great. Where do I start? She has been in a trio for the last little while and so she offered to come and help me.  I guess President was talking to her about it 2 weekends ago when everyone from the island got evacuated and was hanging out in the mission home for the hurricane. 

Boy can I tell you how grateful I was for sister Jewkes. Yes TawnLee I already asked her if she knew any Jewkes from farren yet she unfortunately does not. But she is from Taylorsville and she knows a bunch of people I know like my freshman roomate Breeann Howe, Tyler Bell, Ashley Moutso's, Dallin and Kevin Tye, etc etc etc.  I accidently call her Hermana Tawn all the time.  We had a lot of little heart to hearts during our first few days together.  She was my GPS system thank heavens.  She was located in Bayshore which is the area right next to ours for 5 transfers and she used to live in the same pad as we do  now so that was really convenient.  She knows this area like the back of her hand.  Just not a lick of Spanish. I felt kind of like a fish out of water.

Guess who are the other sisters out on the island right now?  That's right Hermana KoriAnn Nelson (mi hija) and Sister Heiner.  Sister Heiner has been on the island for 5 transfers. I hear they are just killing it out her and it because of them that they asked to send more sisters out her. So that was super fun to come home and see the my favorite people of all time. The only problem is that Sister Heiner hasn't been doing well either so she had to go home on Tuesday.  She was able to say all her goodbye's though.  La familia Majano were so sad to see her go.  They are like parents to us in the mission and take such good care of us. We live in the upstairs of a house of the familia Majano.  They are in our ward and they are just great.  I love them so much.  They are from El Salvador and the cutest family you could ever imagine.  So sister Nelson came in a trio with me and sister jewkes for the day until sister porter came.

So Wednesday Sister Porter comes with President's wife Sister Nelson to drop her off.  She still was feeling just awful. We were going to be operating off the medical leave status until she was fully recuperated.  So me and sister porter went on our lovely way after conquering New York.  She is such a trooper. If you could imagine an angel with blond hair and lights in her eyes,  This is sister porter.  We had a plan to get her better and then go baptize all of new york. Good plan right? Heck ya it is!  Her mom is very much like you mom.  Really healthy, all organic, exercise, pretty, outgoing, full of energy, and all about the gospel.  So naturally her mom had sent her a bunch of stuff in the mail to help her get better.  I was trying to do some light therapy and imaging with her as well as a bunch of other stuff.  I actually think it was working too.  Until Sunday.

Sunday she was so sick.  It was "explosive", just hit her like a rock.  We were inside ALL day, we couldn't leave.  After much counsel and thoughtful pondering she finally accepted that she needed to go home for a time in order to get better and work her best. After a month and ahalf it was getting worse not better. President promised her that she could come back when she was fully recuperated.So she left on a plane this afternoon.  It was all so fast and I haven't had a week quite like it.  I made president promise that I could serve with her again when she comes back.  I feel jipped of a priceless experience.So Sister Porter is planning on giving it a transfer.  I'm just hoping in less than 6 months. She's a champ and I learned so much from her in just the short week that I was with her. She radiates the spirit and is so amazing.  I look up to her a lot and New York is lucky to have her.She so awesome and always serving others no matter what. Always in good spirits, for example: She was laying on the bathroom floor puking her guts out and she was still making funny jokes and we were rolling on the floor from laughter.  Mom she might be coming to Utah to recooperate because Arizona is so hot so I told her to give you a call so she could stop by "when she is feeling" better.

So in the end, I had an interview with President today and he put me, sister Jewkes, and Hermana Nelson in a trio and we are going to put it back to one area. It's kinda cool that sister Jewkes gets to stay and work spanish before she finishes her mission in two transfers. Coincidence that I'm back with my favorite companion of all time?  I think not! :) I'm so excited to work with Hermana Nelson again.  She is quite the missionary.  I'm stoked for a transfer filled with miracles and good spirits.  Baptize! :)Through the help of our loving heavenly father we will.  Island is crazy different from the city but i'm really liking it... :) Siga adalante! Love you all!

P.S. Mom- sorry about the credit card but I was kinda stranded my first days here on the island and so I bought all my new stuff because my other card didn't get refilled until later this week.  So your going to have to check that bill for me and would you pay it off for me?  YOu are the best mother in the whole wide world.  I'm glad that you all liked the package.  :) Thanks for all you do for me.  Mom, my address is

22 Woodlawn Ave
Central Islip NY and I forgot the zip code.  that doesn't work sorry.   or look it up I'm pretty sure it is 11722

Hermana Lewis.