Monday, October 10, 2011

Beunos Tardes mi amors

Querida Familia
Como estan?  Les extrano mucho.  How's Utah? the Weather? The Family?  Anyway....  Life here on the island is good stuff.  I can't believe another transfer has come and gone.  Lots of exciting things are going to happen this upcoming transfer.  I think President and the AP's love to spice things up and keep the dynamics rolling.  They definitely have a sense of humor.  Anyway so Sister Jewkes is leaving our lovely trio.  Sister Nelson and I are staying here on the island but president is going to split us and the area up so we will be receiving 2 more sisters.  I will be recieving a new companion and opening up the area again.  That's pretty exciting.  The way that the area is split up we will have to build a new pool because all of our investigators are still in the old area except Mirna and she should be coming back at the end of the week. And like always we will find new people to teach.
Speaking of.  Mom that means that I am in charge of an area that I am not familiar with.  Finding a street is like finding a needle in a haystack.  I have a good map I bought this last week but I have a huge favor to ask you.  Can I borrow our GPS for 6 weeks?  Would you please send it to me?  I could use it as soon as possible.  I know I owe you so much but if you could send that to me I
would be forever grateful... the sooner the better....what do you say?
Last Tuesday we did sister exchanges and Sister Jewkes and I went to Hampton Bays with sister Smedley.  Sister Smedley looks and acts exactly like my sophomore roommate Sydney Lewis.  She is super awesome and i am really grateful for the day we were able to spend with her.  I had some really cool experiences as well.  Monday night we drove down and went to a dinner appointment with her ward correlator. Marco is their ward correlator and a convert to the church.  He shared his conversion story and such of the book of mormon .  He talked about sister winterton and how she had written him a letter after she left and told him she knew he was ready to get baptized. So after praying about it he thought well it's very good advice and did it.  He was introduced to the gospel through his girlfriend Sheila.  Just so you all know the majority of the baptisms I see come through the members and the referrals.  The atmosphere was only one you would find in New York.  Marco and Sheila are from Italy and had 2 friends visiting from Italy that don't speak english.  However, these 2 Italian friends did live in Costa Rica for 3 years so they spoke spanish. But Marco and Sheila don't speak spanish so during dinner we had Spanish, Italian, and English going on amongst us talking about everything inbetween.  It was quite fascinating and there are actually quite a few similarities between Italian and Spanish I decided.  The meal was delicious.  Marco used to be the owner and head chef of a 5 star Italian restaurant in Manhatten.  As you can imagine the food was really good.  Culture is a huge factor in lifestyle and switching from El Salvador to Italy gave me a little for a loop but I loved it. 
Tuesday we had some really good lessons.  Something I love about teaching is all of the different perspectives and feedback you come across.  We went and visited a lady that was baptized some years ago but was never really taught the significance behind any of our values or teachings.  She is having a lot of persecution from family members and such.  We also went to go visit a recent convert that introduced us to her catholic mom. Just so you all know, I hear "Catholics make the best mormons."  It wouldn't surprise me at all.  We had a nice lunch of Chinese food and her mom seemed to warm up quite nicely.  We sang "Abide with me" and the spirit was there. After we went to look up 2 referrals both really funny and the other sisters were getting a kick out of me and my quirky ways.  Not going to lie I felt like a little fish out of water in the English Program.  So the first referral was really funny.  Her name is Star....she's white..... and we found her the Elders area book but she was in our area so we decided to go look for her.  We drove to and area of Hampton Bays that had lots of wood and this womens house was set back a little bit in the trees. We had to walk her long twisty driveway to get to the front porch. Sister Smedley is rather new in the mission of 2 transfers and so she was like oh no... what are we going to say? What's our objective.  So I just said.  Okay, well our objective is to get in the house because we are not going to convert them at their door.  We look for clues or something that will help them connect to what we are trying to share with them. etc. We couldn't find the exact house number so I knock on the door and some lady comes to the door.  I ask her if it was the right house and if her name is star.  I'm a little skeptical because the lady is probably 50 and has a blue streak and feathers in her gray/blonde hair, yet she answers affirmative to both. Great. well we found star.  Well I introduce us as the missionaries from the LDS chuch and she politely tells me that she is Buddhist and actually has 3 traditional Buddhist monks in her living room and that we are interupting their movie pajama party. Obviously thinking that she isn't going to let us in. Evidently they were watching a documentary about a Buddhist monk from Asia.  Ya you don't get that scenario walking down the streets of Utah do  you? lol.  Both my comps were a little bit in shock so i just went a long with it trying to think about what I had in common with this Buddhist lady.  So Thailand came to mind and I asked. "Oh cool, your buddhist. That must mean you have a buddhist room and shrine?"  She was a little surprised that a little utah girl like me would know all about that stuff so she said well of course.  I said "awesome.  I used to live in Thailand for a couple of months.  I loved the  Buddhist rooms can we see it?"  So she warmly invited us in.  Awesome cool, we are in. So she showed us a bunch of stuff then we started quizzing her on how she knew the missionaries and what she knew of our church.  She introduced us to her 3 buddhist monk friends. 2 of them were from the UK and then the other from Malaysia.  They were really traditional, shaved heads and tunics.  All that jazz.  Super nice women though and it was very fascinating.  Anyway their documentary movie really was going and they wanted to get back with her but she invited sister smedley over again.  Pretty sure sister Smedley was in shock as she was walking back to the car but it was really funny and quite the story.  She just said, Wow what are the chances that Thailand Buddha girl is with us when we decide to look up that referral.  That is inspired!  hahaha... i don't know about that but I dont believe in coincidences.  Only in New York...
The next referral had moved and it wasn't as big but it was still one of the better door approaches.  It was fun because after the door had opened and he told me the family had moved I just right on to try and tell him what we did as missionaries and interest him in the message of the gospel.  It went quite well.  We got his number and a return appointment for his family.  I noticed sister Smedley slide in a line about his statue of the fox in a kilt and ask him if he was scottish.  He replied, yes and then she went off on his connection there.  It was cool and I also decided to come home after exchanges and make a list of all the countries I have met people from in New York.  It was a quick list and I just did it off the top of my head but I made a list of 51 countries.  That doesn't happen in every mission now does it.  Werd. :)
Lets see what else?  We were able to go to the temple with Sister Nelson's recent convert Sandra Salinas on Saturday to do Baptisms for the dead. That was a very special experience.  It was a little  chaotic as always but it all worked out in the end.  It was special to be able to go there and do baptisms for the first time.  We had gone earlier in the week to help Sandra find family names to do at the family history center.  She was so excited to find out that a lot of the names of her family had already been done by someone else that is related to her in Peru.  She didnt' know that she had familiy that were members.  So she was excited.  Sandra has been through a lot and just like many she had many challenges and struggles placed on her as she was preparing to get baptized last transfer.  I loved going with her to the temple.  the Majano's came with us as well and we all had a great time.  I feel like the Majano's take care of us like their own kids.  They are so good to us.
Anyway love you all.  The other sisters are done so i g2g
Hermana Lewis

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