Monday, December 26, 2011

Flor gets baptized- the best Christmas present ever!

Well family it was very nice to talk to you.  It's weird to think next time I talk to you I will be there in person.  Weird.  I just want to say thanks again for all of your thoughtfulness and your goodness to me.  All of you!  Friends, family, and relatives.  I would name names except for I know that I would leave somebody out without meaning to and I just wouldn't want that.  Anyway it was a very merry Christmas indeed and I want to thank you for all your love and support you send my way.

Anyway, it was a really fun week.  Packed but really great.  I know that I kind of told you this on the phone but Alondra/Flor, she did get baptized yesterday.  I think that is a pretty good gift to give Christ for Christmas.  It was really great.  Its just so cool how God prepares people's hearts and one experience leads them to the next step in your life. I don't know if you already made the connection but Alondra is one of the very first people I ever met in Brentwood.  She had talked with missionaries in the past but never got baptized due to personal issues.  Her novio recently died and it has led her to some soul searching.  It was a really cool baptism to be a part of.  We just had a sacrament meeting yesterday because of Christmas.  Wendy, Rey, and Anderson, Justo, and Flor all received the Holy Ghost during the meeting. Wendy was crying from joy as she went back to her seat after receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.  It was pretty cool to see all of them standing up in front of the congregation.  A very special moment for all of us sisters.  Some of the most special moments of our mission.  Life is so good as a missionary.

Well it's been so long since I've talked to you all.  I guess I'll just tell you what we did as a summary.  Christmas Eve was beautiful.  We had a mission conference in Rego and all of us missionaries got to meet together to enjoy a very nice Christmas dinner and musical program.  It was really fun.  There were a few elders that went all out to make sure it was a nice Christmas for all of us missionaries.  President Nelson bought all the sisters pepper spray.  I actually think that was a very sensible gift to give us.  lol.  The chapel and cultural hall were all decorated very nicely.  I was able to play the violin for one of the musical numbers.  I'll try and send you a recording of it. 

All the Hispanics celebrate Christmas on the 24 and then the 25 is just kind of relax day so we went and visited families for the 24th. All 6 of us missionaries were invited over to the Familia Montenegro from Ecuador for a noche de hogar and and navidad cena.  It was really wonderful then we all went over to Rey and Wendy's for Honduranean Navidad Tamales which were also really delicious.

Christmas day I had the privilege of talking to my family.  We exchanged gifts and then ran to the church to get the baptism underway for alondra.  Sacrament was really good. Hermana Gray played organ, Hermanita myra cabrera played her first piano song in sacracment and me on the violin.  Myra was so excited she was acting just like a  little kid.  She is so funny. She is Dominican and a little bit wild.  I absolutely love her to death.  She let me borrow her violin so that we could play a little duet trio thingy.  We played venid adoremos.  I think that's oh come all ye faithful ;).  It was really cool. 

After church we went to the Majano's and they entertained us and gave us Christmas dinner.  Pan con pollo.  Rico!  I'm just telling you now, I don't know what I'm going to do without Hispanic food when I get home.(probably loose a few pounds-chiste/but seriously.) but I have come to love it a lot.  It's super good.  We also went to wendy and Rey's.  Their girls are the  cutest things that ever walked the planet.  We also visited with the family lee.  The lee's grandkids were over and they are darling.  I will try and attach a few video's today.  Hopefully it works.  Their little girl Elizabelly was singing Santa Claus is coming to town for us. 

Oh mom just so you know. ... the tea ring didn’t turn out to be a complete disaster. I let it rise for about 3 hours and then decided to bake it and it's good. Or at least I think it is. ... i barely got to try it before the other sisters had consumed all of it!  They seemed to like it and they were impressed. I'll try and attach the clip of sister gray making bread.  IT was pretty entertaining.

Love you all

Hermana Lewis.

Flor got baptized yesterday. Nothing could make me happier than a baptism every week!

Missionaries Rock

Zone Christmas Party

Mendoza Family gets baptized- It was the best day ever (sorry I am not smart enough to rotate the picture)

Christmas in New York

Christmas Dinner at Majano's

The Lee Family

Hot chocolate cups for Christmas

Great things are cooking

Mom and Dad- & fam first off I just want to say Thank YOU, before anything else.  Thank you for all your prayers and faith that you have sent my way.  I know that they truly help and that they really are part of the many miracles that I have seen on my mission.  Mom you remember that email I sent you of that family of four I have been looking for with Sister Gray?  Well we found them and we've taught them, they've been married and they all got baptized yesterday as a family and are now on their journey towards an eternal family.  Remember how I told you big things were building up here in Brentwood?  Well you should have seen all the white suits that were used yesterday. It was pretty awesome.  I think God is just so clever in his grand scheme of things.  Both sets of sisters here in the ward had a baptism on the same day. I think I told you that president just put sister gray and I as the new companionship of sisters in the ward?  President was debating whether or not 6 missionaries was too much in one ward but Elder Carnahan told him it would be good for the area and that it is the gold of the mission.  So that is why we sisters ended up staying.  I think that God blessed both us sisters with baptisms to show that he approved and that it was indeed the inspired decision.  He is just the best you know that?  I love God.  Justo is an investigator that the sisters have been teaching since the beginning of the transfer.  He showed up to church one day and told them he was ready to get baptized.  He is pretty legit and the sisters have been teaching him over the last month.  Evidently he had worked for the church in construction in the past and every time he was doing the a job in one of his churches he always felt so good and so he became curious and has been investigating over the years.  Like always god gives us experiences that prepare our hearts and help us want to change and he decided to take it a little serious and introduced himself to the sisters when he decided to start coming to church.  He is so awesome.  Full of faith and hope for new and brighter future.  What better gift to give to Christ than to be baptized and promise him that you are going to follow him.

Now for the miracles of the week.  So, this is a short summary of what has happened over the last week.  There are so many miracles that happened and many that I'm not going to share over paper but I hope that we have time to talk about it on Christmas.  SOOOO COOL! So sister Gray and I have been teaching the Mendoza's for a little over a transfer.  It truly is amazing to see the miracles that take place as the atonement touches the lives of these people and you can see how the love of their savior softens their hearts to lead them to the desire to make changes. They are one of the greatest blessing of my mission and every other experience I have ever had on my mission was all worth it just to see this family enter into the waters of baptism fully understanding the importance of it and the great step it was in order help their family become unified and to return to live with our Heavenly father.  Wendy and Rey are from Honduras.  Rey does not have a strong religious background but believes and has a strong foundation in our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He hasn't ever gone to a particular church regularly because he felt that all of them were lacking and that they were churches of men (which they were) until he heard the story of Joseph Smith.  Wendy on the other hand is unlike any other investigator I have ever had.  She is very strong and has the testimony of a giant.  She had been taught by the sisters 3 or 4 years ago but was also taking lessons from several other religions. After visiting many churches and listening to different missionaries of other religions she had become frustrated in her journey and had decided to close her door to all religions.  Any time any one knocked on her door she turned them away and told them never to come back.... until Sister Gray and I. It took us several tries to get in the door.  We knew that Wendy was a former from other other sisters that had left a record of her yet every time we went over and knocked, her 13 year old son Anderson answered the door and told us to come back another day.  One day as we were walking off the porch we noticed a man getting out of a car and decided to go and talk to him.  We were kind of bummed that Wendy had turned us away yet again so we neither one of us "felt like it" but we decided "talk to everyone" right?  Well its a good thing we did because honestly I think that was our ticket in.  After the fact we found out that this man was Wendy's marido (boyfriend) Rey.  And he is the cabeza of the family and that was our ticket in.  We talked to him and broke the ice.  He told us we could come back the following week.  We did and we came back but found that they had once again forgotten about us but Rey was out of the car so we approached him and he told us we could come back.  Yet we also saw Wendy inside the car.  She was "talking on the phone" - but really later she told us that was just to fake us out because she didn't want to talk to us. lol.  Rey dragged her out of the car and told her that she needed to meet us.  When she finally met us she saw how much more open Rey was and decided to give us a shot.  We went over the following day and taught their whole family and it was Awesome.  There are no words to describe that lesson. At first she told us she only had time to have us over once a week but pretty soon we were going over almost every day.  Wendy told us how now she wishes we could be in her home all the time. The big barrier that was keeping them from being baptized was the law of chastity.  yeah it’s a kicker.  She has never been married before and when she did get married she wanted her mom from Honduras to be here etc. etc. etc. but through the power of the spirit, testimony of members such as the Majano's that helped us teach them, and other spiritual experiences they decided there was nothing that was going to hold them back from being married.  We arranged that wedding in a little less than a week and a half.  I think Sister Gray and I (with the help and support of the ward leaders) planned a pretty good wedding.  It turned out pretty good. The relief society president got a hold of some really pretty decorations for us to set up the church gym.  She happens to be a professional cake decorator.  Hermana Majano went dress shopping with her.  I did her hair and Hermana Gray and I made the invitations and bought her a wedding bouquet. We went with the Mendoza’s to go and pick up their marriage license from the Town of Islip. Bishop did the actual marriage ceremony and everything was just really nice.  We had the big Christmas Party for the holidays right after the ceremony so all the ward members came and it just made it seem like a big reception with lots of cool people. It worked out really nicely.  Wendy told us while I was doing her hair for the wedding that Hermana Gray and I are the best thing that have happened for this year.  She talked about how she knew she was doing the right thing and that this was an important step that was going to bless her whole family.  She knew that through those steps the blessings of the gospel were going to change her family and help them on their journey together. After the wedding ceremony Wendy pulled us two sisters aside and told us that the wedding was better than she had ever imagined it. You should have seen Rey.  He was grinning from ear to ear.  I've never seen a happier man in all my life.  I thought the wedding was the best day of my mission but then Sunday it got like a 100 times better.

It was so cool to see their whole family walk into church Sunday afternoon.  All dressed up and you could just see the excitement on their face. they sat in front of us.  Anderson sat by Hermana Gray and I and he was even excited/nervous.  It was the best!  Hermana gray and I were in charge of teaching gospel principles and the class was packed with investigators.  The topic was the last chapter in gospel principles that just happens to be exaltation. Perfect topic for the Mendoza family that was just married the night before no? Anyway it was wonderful.  It was cool because we have a couple of permigators in the class that know a lot more than most of the members but are in the process of organizing their lives to get baptized.  their son is actually serving a mission in Brazil right now. The couple pointed out how The Mendoza's were on their way of being a celestial family and receiving the greatest gift that god had prepared for them. The baptism went well.  Each one of the Mendoza's picked a member of the ward that was special to them to baptize them.  I thought that was really special because that creates a bond between the ward member and the recent convert that will help them remain strong and fellow shipped.  All the missionaries of the ward sang the primary him when Jesus Christ was baptized.  I remembered how we sang that at my baptism and the spirit just touched me so strong I could barely get through the song.  Wendy's little girl Ashley who is 6 came and sat by me after because I was crying and she was worried about me.  "Hermana Lewis, don't cry it's okay." She is so sweet.  She has lost all her front teeth and has the cutest little dimples you can imagine.  She is super sensitive to the spirit.  All the other churches her mom visited and took her to in years past Ashley was the one that told her mom no mom this isn't the right church. “No mom I don't like the way I feel here, or no mom lets go someplace else.”  Until a few years later when we invited them to Christ’s church and Wendy told us that Ashley loved it and from then on out was begging her. Mom, when are we going back to the church?!  Anyway that's the summary of my day yesterday. Yesterday was the greatest day of my mission and the day I have been looking for the last year of my mission. The bishop got up and gave a welcome to the ward for the new converts. He talked about how they were la familia de oro or the gold family and how it has been a long time since a whole family had gotten baptized together in the Brentwood ward.  President came to support us and then had to run out but he told us how proud he was of us.  We are so lucky to have him as our mission president.  He is amazing. God not only blessed us to be a part of a family baptism but true converts; converts that will work to build up the Lord's kingdom on the earth.  I think it was a pretty good Christmas present. I love this work and this is Christ’s church.  There is nothing quite like it.  There is nothing in the whole wide world that could replace these types of feelings of gratitude, love, appreciation, and the power of conversion.  I love you all Merry Christmas. 


Hermana Lewis

Monday, December 12, 2011

Feliz Navidad

December 12, 2011
Wow December is flying by yet then again it always does.  We have some REALLY awesome stuff cooking up here in good old Brentwood so send all your faith and prayers this way.  :)  I'm hoping next week I will have lots of cool stories to tell you.  Pues, I have lots of cool exciting stories to tell you from this week too.

This week we made cookies for Ray because he didn't drink coffee all week long!  Yeah!  He told us in the beginning he didn't think he was going to be able to do it but little by little he is proving he can do a lot more than he thinks he can.  So we made him home made Oreos on his request.  So we went to go pick up the stuff on an odd day.  I just wanted to get in and out but as always sister gray is so good and is constantly talking and contacting people even in stores and such.  So, we were walking out of the store and there was a 19 year old young man taking donations for a program he was in.  I rushed by to get to the car and then reached the car only to realize sister gray was still back talking to the boy.  So naturally, I run back to be with my comp. She has started in on a contact message and was trying to get his info to go and teach him and his family.  It ends up that this boy has been through a lot.  Granted I live in an area which isn't your cozy little Murray UT and so most people grow up thinking that it's "normal".  Anyway this boy had grown up in the streets of Long Island and had started drug dealing at age 11 to bring in a little extra money.Shortly after that had started using some of his own products and became subject to his addictions.  He was thrown from program to program in and out of Jail and very rebellious not wanting anything to do with anyone or God. He talked about how alone he was and how upset and frusterated he felt inside.  He related how after one hard night in jail after being kicked out and having trial the next day to determine his sentence he finally knelt down in prayer.  He poured out his soul for hours and prayed to know if there really was a god in heaven and if he really was there to get him out of there and he would dedicate his life to God.  He related a little bit of his spiritual experience and how he will never deny God again. Over and over he prayed until he went to court the next morning.  The judge released him the next morning and sent him to the program that he was now currently taking donations for which is a Christian based program that teaches things centered upon God and Christ.  He had been there for about 5 months.  I just kind of thought about that and how different my circumstances were at 11 years old.  I think of Symbria and I can't even imagine her going through the things that this young man had participated in at such a young age.  It really gives me a deep sense of gratitude.  At the same time I think its amazing at how the Lord's hand plays a role in each of our lives and he will reach out for us whenever we look to him.  This young man had found a truth that will help him change the rest of his life.  God gives us the tools and knowledge that we need for the circumstance and as we use that well he chooses to expand and give us more.  This young man found God, is increasing his faith, now he has met the LDS missionaries that gave him a book of mormon.  We bore a powerful testimony of how the Book of Mormon contains the power to change lives, bring us closer to the savior, and help us understand the great plan of Salvation.  He was so excited and I am excited for him to read it. 

All of the missionaries in Long Island have been practicing the last couple of weekends to perform and put on a Christmas Devotional.  It is kind of like our Christmas Present for the members, investigators, and leaders here in New York.  I know I'm a  little bias but I really feel like I have the Best mission in the entire world.  Obviously for more reasons than just one but one of those is because of the high caliber of missionaries that I've found here.  These missionaries have some serious talent and of course like everything else in the mission when you use it to build up God's kingdom, God magnifies it a hundred fold.  So this program was pretty spectacular last night.  Elder Josh Wolfe was there and he was singing in the choir.  I actually bump into him a lot more than I thought I would.  He is currently serving in the neighboring zone and so he is at activities and such.  I see him now and again.  President and Sister Nelson came to support us missionaries last night.  All the other leaders and such went and sat by their families to enjoy the program but President and Sister Nelson came up and sat on the stage with us.  I liked it because to me it was kind of like they were saying you are our family.  We are her in the journey with you.  It was all just really nice.  We probably had 30-40 missionaries put on that program last night and the spirit really was just so strong. I was asked to play a special violin part for Away in a manger and it was just gorgeous.  Hermana Gray sang a solo and then Elder Kim and Elder Hall played the piano and organ to go along with it. Mom some of the elders introduced me to a website that i think you would really like. All of the music is free and that is where I got the arrangement of away in a manger.  It turned out really nice. You should take a look at it.  Elder Kim is from China and he let me borrow his concert violin.  I felt privileged to have a few thousand grand resting on my shoulder.  It was really nice of him to let me borrow it for a night.  I had several parents come up after the show and introduce me to their children and tell me their son/daughter also played violin.  It made me think back to the days when my mom would take me to a concert and then tell the violinist of the show that someday i was going to be performing numbers like them. We had some investigators come which made it all worth it.  The place was packed all the way to the back of overflow.  We had a few people on the stage.  All 4 of us sisters were on a spiritual high last night driving home.  It definitely was a night to remember.

We had some new faces at church yesterday. We had a new family that we have been teaching all come to church!  WE knocked into them  a couple of weeks ago and it ends up that while we were at church with them a member came up and started talking to them like from times of old.  I guess they are family and haven't seen each other in a long time. Weird no?  Small world.  We also found 2 new investigators.  They are 18 and 21 years old.  They live in the upstairs part of the house of a referral that another investigator gave to us.  It ends up that their mom is a long lost member of the church from back in the day.  It was kind of funny because the two girls invited us in and then we hear in the middle of our beginning of our conversation, "SOY CATOLICA!" come from the kitchen.  I guess the mom was in the kitchen listening to us and was telling us that she was catholic.  that's what they all say. lol.  Anyway we invite her to come in and sit with us but she politely says no.  Then a little ways into the lesson she pokes her head in and asks, "ustedes son Mormones?"  Which means are you the Mormons? we told her yes and then she says oh I used to go to your church all the time in the DR.  I asked her if she ever talked to to the missionaries over there.  She said of course!  Then I got the gold winning question and asked her well did you ever get baptized over there?  She looked at me for a second like if she wanted to really tell me the truth and then admitted, yes I was baptized over there!  Oh snap this lady's a member!  Bahahahha. And she thought she was catholic.  She can't fool us!.... Anyway so we are going to try to activate her and baptize her daughters. The lesson went really well.  Liony the younger daughter explained how her sister and her used to be Jehovah witness but didn't agree with a lot of their doctrine so they got out.  We explained to her the restoration and why there are so many churches.  She accepted a soft baptismal commit and in the closing prayers she says, "thank you for sending the hermanas to bring me the truth that I've always been looking for."  OH SNAP!  Too legit to quit now!  Right?  Ya I know.  She so going down-with the lords help :)

It was a really good week.  We also stopped by to visit this referral of a member that just returned to her country in Puerto Rico. Ana is the referral and from Panama.  She hasn't been returning our phone calls but she is pretty legit.  She is a sweet heart and has a lot of faith in Jesus Christ but just doesn't quite get it yet. She has a 23 year old son that means more to her than  life itself.  She knows that we sisters are about the same age and she just can't quite grasp our mission life.  She doesn't think she could let her son go to some foreign land for a couple of years where she could only talk to him 2 times a year.  She can't understand how a church so centered on families could do that to their children and parents.  She also thinks that we are so young and beautiful, if we don't go out and "live our lives to the fullest" we might have regrets looking back on life.  She just didn't want us to "miss out" on any opportunities.  Man does this lady have a weird way of thinking....  I mean I get it but she has no idea what she is saying.  I could think of no better way to live my life to the fullest and take advantage of every opportunity than to be serving a mission in New York in Long Island city.  There just is no better thing out there.  I have never felt so happy or rewarded in all my life.  Is it hard? Yes. Is it discouraging at times? YEs. Do I meet crazy people? Yes. Did I make sacrifices to be here? Yes.  Is it worth it? Completely and fully.  I just want to give a special thanks to all those parents out there that have sons or daughters serving full time missions right now.  We are on the Lords errand. This is the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life and I feel like I had a pretty good life before I came on the mission.  It's hard for me to have thought how it could get any better. On my mission I do miss my family to Answer Ana's question but i do know that I have come to love and appreciate my parents and family in a way that I never have before.  If it is a sacrifice for us think of how much greater the love of our father was when he sacrificed his only begotten son in our behalf.  I know that each Worthy missionary that decides to give their whole heart and soul to God for the very short time that they are here has a change of heart that will affect many generations to come.  I know that missionaries that come and serve touch many lives in a way that no other person could and as a family you receive blessings in way that you never have before.  I know this is the true church. I know that god is a god of miracles.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  Conversion to Christ is beautiful thing.  I love you all very much and I hope you have a great week.

Lots of fun stuff.  Didn't you say Hermana Cowley comes home this week?  Weird... well give her my love and a big hug and a kiss.  Let her know that I'm proud of her and that she means the world to me.  Best of luck this week friends.

I love you all very much. Have a great week.

Love hermana Lewis

Hey mom!  I just want to thank you for all you do for me.  You have been such a dear faithful support for me in the mission.  I love the letters you send me.

Hey mom, I was just thinking I really want to get the majano's(that we live with) and one other family that we are teaching a gift for christmas. I was thinking like a picture of christ/temple or something like that.  What do you think?  Do y ou have any other ideas?

Anyway let me know what you think.  Am  i including enough details in my emails? Are they a good length for you? Not too long?  Is there anything you want me to write about in particular? Sorry the grammer is bad.  I read it and want to die sometimes.  Did I really go to school?  I 'm just going to blame it on the spanish. lol.

Anyway just let me know. Love you

Hermana Lewis

Hey this is a photo from after the fireside last night with President/Sister Nelson and the other missionaries.  It was a lot of fun.  Can you find me? I'm in the middle.  There aren't very many sisters to choose from.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mom, I think some of these pictures are the same but a couple of them are new.  I'll give you the narrative on them.

Helen Rojas is a member from Peru.  She just recently came a couple of months before I got here.  She is so sweet and loving and kind.  She has a testimony like a rock and she came out to teach with us for a day last wednesday.  She has a heart of gold and came here to help her mom and her three little brothers.  She misses her ward back in Peru and misses her family there but came to New York because she loves her mom and wants to support her.

Then this is a picture of the turkey bowl on Thanksgiving with all the missionaries.

This is the Mendoza family that I have just come to love with all my heart.  I can't tell you their whole story right now but they are so wonderful.  I have seen so many miracles with them and their family since sister Gray and I were led to them a couple of months ago. Right now Wendy and Rey are working towards marriage as their next step.  Rey has never participated in any church before and never felt the need to until now.  He has been to church a couple of times since we started visiting them.  Wendy is unlike any investigator I have ever seen.  Her faith and dedication to God is just incredible.  For instance last night she called us after church.  Sister Gray was talking to her on the phone.  We haven't even brought up/talked about tithing yet and she called us to ask us where she can get the forms to pay tithing.  She told Sister Gray that she feels like she is robbing God.  She was pretty dissapointed when we told her that this is a blessing she can receive after she is baptized. She is pretty legit.  We had a very special last night.  She had invited the elders over because she had wanted a blessing.  The elders came over with a member for the blessing.  Wendy was very touched and I think as well as her family.

There are two little girls that are pretty much the cutest things that you could ever imagine.  Ashleigh is the daughter of Wendy and Rachael is the daughter of Ada and the 2 have them have grown up like sisters but the 2 girls are so close in age they are also best friends.  The girls just run to the door when Hermana Gray and I come to visit.

Mom we loved the candy necklaces/count down calendars you made us.  Thank you so much for your love.

This is at thanksgiving Dinner at the Fuentes Home.  Fuentes are some of my favorite people in the whole world.  Hermana Fuentes just had a baby about 3 weeks ago and she didn't want to be in the picture so she put her baby in front. lo..

More pics

The Hermanas Gray, Simplicio, Nay, Lewis

Christmas is Here!

Yea for december!!!!!
This is my district that I'm apart of right now on the island.
2 elders from Utah, one from Argentina, and the other from Hong kong.  then there is sister nay and i from Utah, sister gray from Arizona, and Hermana Simplicio from Brazil.


Well this week was really good.  We had many miracles and I had many experiences that just really meant a lot to me and I felt like they were real faith building experiences. 

Sister Gray and I knocked into this lady named Carola.  She is form Peru and we scheduled a return appointment with her.  When we went to her house she wasn't going to let us in but when we went back for our appointment she was waiting for us and graciously welcomed us in.  She has had many hard experiences with her family, marriage, past religious life etc that have made it difficult for her to open her heart.  She has built a wall and the door doesn't easily open.  She would talk about not wanting anything to do with us in one breath and in the next breath say that she knows that she needs to make a change in her life and the life she is living isn't giving her what she needs.  She knows that there is more and that if she doesn't do something she will loose the things that she hold true and dear.  We were making some huge progress with her when her husband found out and called her a traitor for reading the book of mormon and paying attention to a religion beside Catholicism.   We scheduled an appointment to meet with her and her husband but she called us the night before to tell us that she had talked to her husband and he refused to listen to anyone.  We were super sad.  There are all these people we run into and they say they are praying for God to lead them to the path he would have them take. So what does God do?  He leads them to the missionaries.  Then when us missionaries offer them eternal life they tell us and God that they don't want it anymore.  It's quite silly and honestly super sad.  They are looking for something so hard and are determined its a particular place that they don't turn their head to realize it's been under their noses the whole time.  It's a good life lesson to be applied in many situations.  Take a step back to look at the bigger picture.

My other experience for the week was with Flor. She is a family friend of the Fuentes.  I don't know if you rmember me telling you this but we went to the Fuentes family for Thanksgiving dinner.  Alondra was there and she has investigated the church on and off for several years.  I was talking to Alondra on the side after dinner while everyone conversed.  From what I picked up she hadn't got baptized becuase her boyfriend and her were not married.  I joked with her a little bit and told her how romantic would it be to get married so that they could enter the kingdom of heaven together.  She laughed told me that would be nice but that her and her boyfriend had talked about it and decided that they didn't need a piece of paper that says they were married in order to be happy together.  I thought to myself that true but somehow Gods laws are always the higher laws and there is substance to them. Well tragically this last week her boyfriend passed away suddenly from a freak accident that happened at work.  So fast, So sudden.  We found out rather fast because hermana fuentes was supposed to help us with a lesson that night and just never showed.  She called us the next day to apoligize and explained a little what had happened.  She invited us sisters over to talk with Flor.  Flor was  as you can imagine a little bit of a wreck and fragile.  The first thing she said to me when I walked in was "no hay boda" Which means,  "There was no Wedding".   My heart just ached for her.  We talked a little about the plan and just listened to her for the most part.  We went to the funeral with her on Saturday.  It's strange because both Funerals that I have been to have been to were conducted by LDS members but on a Catholic background person.  I guess the catholics can't let go of their religion but like our beliefs better or something.  It was really good and there were a lot of poeple attended.  Here was this man that had never paid attention to God and had always felt like he would have more time to prepare later.  He was only 24 years old.  Now his time had come and past and he missed out on those opportunities most important in life.  Flor came to church on Sunday and sat by me.  She leaned over to me in Sunday school and asked me.  "If I were to become a member of your church, what could I do to help my Husband (or man that I wanted to be my husband)?"  I explained a very brief portion of the plan to her and told her that God is merciful and if she did her part now she could expect the blessings in the future and for her loved one.  I could tell the spirit touched her and she was very happy with the news that she had found for her aching soul.  We just never know.  I learned another life lesson. It's true, you don't need "a paper to tell you are happy" but you do need to live the commandments of god if you want the type of happiness that will last more than just a few brief moments in comparison to the eternities. Do your part to have no regrets.

One of my tender mercies that made me really happy was that Raquelle called me before church yesterday to tell me she wanted to come to church and that she had helped her 2 boys and they were all ready.  I said great, we will have someone come pick you up at half past the hour.  The only problem was that all of the leaders of the ward were already at church for a big meeting that we ha had. So.... I called every member and their dog and cat and no one was being cooperative last minute.  I was pretty bummed and a little discouraged.  Sister Gray and I were getting pretty desperate.  We had the idea of one of our investigators pop into our head. We are teaching Wendy and her family right now.  She lived in the same area as Raquelle and we decided to call her to see if she would help us out.  Wendy didn't even hesitate or ask where she lived before she willingly and happily accepted to pick up whoever we needed.  Wow.... it's pretty awesome when your other investigators offer to go and pick up other investigators.  Wendy is legit and my hero that for sure.  I've never had an investigator quite like her.  She told the story of how we came to start visiting/teaching her to one of the members in the lesson earlier this week.  She had sat in on lessons of one of her friends taking the discussion about 4 years ago and then stopped because she had felt confused about religion.  She was also studying with several other religions at the time.  She talked about how she just decided to close her door to all of them. She hasn't ever let the missionaries back in until sister Gray and I.  Now she feels so lucky to have us in her home.  We love her so much!  We were so grateful that she went to go get Raquelle.  Wendy was telling us that on the way over Raquelle was so nervous and telling her that she didn't know what it was going to be like.  She wouldn't have gone if her 2 boys hadn't have wanted to go and that she was catholic and she didn't want to change.  Wendy just smiled patiently and then calmly said, don't worry, your going to love it.  Raquelle came and stayed all 3 hours.  Raquelle came up to me after and said this church has something special.  I've never felt this feeling in any other church before.  Thank you for inviting me.    We are coming back.All of that was in spanish of course lol. Her 2 boys also ran in and just loved everything about the church.  The boys said mom whne are we coming back? When are we coming back?!  It was so good!  Wendy then told us on their way home that Raquelle couldn't stop talking about how much she loved her experieince and she hopes that her older girls will come with her next week and that someday her girls will want to serve missions just like us. It was so cute.  Wonderful lady she's had a rough life and it's only through the gospel that it gets better.

Anyway, I love you all.  I can't believe it is the holiday season.  Mom you want to send me the recipe for upsidedown pumpkin pie?

Loves for all

Hermana Lewis.