Friday, January 13, 2012

Back in Queens

January 9, 2012
Well, do you want to know something ironic?  I am sitting at the same computer lab right now that I was my very first p-day when i was in Rego Park. Bah!  Crazy huh?  Yes i am back in Queens!  While I am not serving in the same ward I cover the area that happens to be closest to it which is the zone right above and this just happens to be the same area.  So I was dead wrong.  I am not going to be serving in Brooklyn in my mission life but ya know what I love Queens and I'm happy to be here.  You'll never guess who my new companion is. Well sort of, I mean she was my companion before.  President is so funny and he keeps switching things up on me.  Hermana Harry is my comp. yet again.  Yes good Hermana Alyson Harry from Surprise Arizona that is going to law school after the mission.  It's really fun to be with her.  She tells me that i've gotten a little bit crazier since last time she saw me but rather than that every thing is about the same.  I told her the only reason I'm crazy is because I've been with sister gray the last 12 weeks of my life.  So ya, I'm serving in Good old Richmond Hill in Queens. It's cool to see how the geography and demographic change so dramatically from area to area.  Here there seems to be a lot of Honduran.  Which makes me think of the Mendoza's. there are quite a few people from Argentina and Chile as well which is new.  I haven't found that in any of my other parts.  My district leader is actually from chile, Elder Albornoz? No don't worry dad he's not from your mission he is from further up north.  I've already tried to find a connection with your mission somehow though. It's not quite so concentrated with Hispanics as some of my other areas.  There are a lot of people from Gayana which makes it hard because if they don't look straight Indian they look Hispanic because it's down there in the south American continent but they don't speak a lick of Spanish.   It's great to be back in the city and walking around.  It makes me feel good.  You want to know something else that I realized I love doing now?  I've missed contacting people on buses and trains.  I never thought I would get to that point but I actually enjoy it now.  Call me weird if you want, I know the people in New York think I'm crazy but it's good for them and its good for the work too.

So lets see, I'll start with Monday.  Monday was my last day in Brentwood.  It was really hard to leave the people that i love so much but you know, always good and great things in the future with new adventures.  Monday Ray & Wendy Fam took Sister Gray and I to dinner to get Mexican tacos that have become Hermana Gray and my favorite food.  The were super ricisimo!  I gave them that reflections of christ with a note in the front.  Mom they loved it.  Wendy was crying and it was just a sweet experience all around.  We had a FHE at Bishop and Hermana Duran's house with the Mendozas, Majanos, Lopez, Justo, and the missionaries.  It was some of my favorite people and we had a great lesson on eternal families and the importance of testimonies.  I said my final good bye's and such.  Even Ray teared up when he realized it was our last good bye's.

Tuesday at transfer meeting we had some sweet excitement going on.  We got two new Spanish sisters in the mission and guess who are training the new sisters?  Hermana Jasso and Hermana Nelson.  They are training at the same time!  That's so fun I think.  In the mission there is some mission lingo about training and they become your kids.  So  for instance Hermana Jasso and Nelson are both mi hijas.  Since they both are training that means I'm a grandma! x2! Bah!  I was super excited for them.  Sister Nelson is training in Dyker Heights which is where i wanted to go which is cool and Hermana Jasso is training in Rego Park just like I trained her which is also kind of special.  The 2 sisters that just came in are really awesome and I'm really excited for both of them.  I'll try and send you the family picture that we took at transfer meeting.

My first part of the week we were actually living in Jamaica because one of the senior couples was occupying our pad until their permanent residence was ready.  It was fun because the Jamiaca Pad is the pad that Hermana Jewkes and Hermana Robinson were in before they finished their mission so it made me feel close to Hermana Jewkes again.  She is so awesome and the zone leaders where telling me funny stories about those 2 sisters and their chino ball stories in the morning.   We had a really pretty outlook from our balcony in the apartment complex.  It was just really far from our area so we moved back to the regular area Saturday.  It's right in our area and it s close to the church so it makes it convenient for travel purposes.  This pad is one of the nicest that I've lived in.  It's 2 levels and  very spacious.  It's only me and sister harry so we have a lot of room on our hands.  It's not an apartment complex but an actual house old time house and so it has the home feel to it.  We even have our own washer and dryer.  I haven't done wash in my own pad since I lived in Utah over a year ago.  I have forgotten how convenient it is not to have to go to the laundry mat.  We have a Senior couple that lives on below us in the house, the Squires. they are wonderful people and so fun.  Mom, sister Squires reminds me of you and I think you will be just like her in about 10 years when you and dad go on your missions.  She is fun, bubbly, she served her mission in Argentina and so she speaks Spanish and helps us sister sometimes with lessons.

The only hard part about this week was the news of Grandma.  Mom & fam I hope you are doing well.  I knew it was coming and so it wasn't a huge shock when president called but it was still pretty emotional for me. President was really sweet. He took some time to let me talk to him and asked me about grandma.We are so lucky to have him as mission president. He is a great guy. You know me, I just tried to bush it off and tried not to let it sound like it affected me much and then I made Sister Harry do the dirty work and put her arm around me while I let it all out after being chipper on the phone. Death is more of one of those steps in life and grandma was so ready.  There aren't very many women like grandma.  Aunt Cheryl wrote me a really sweet not a couple of weeks ago about what a great woman grandma is.  A woman with character and morals.  It's true. Grandma is a woman who has changed many lives for the better. She lived a very full and rewarding life. I'm sure Heavenly Father has very special blessings prepared for her up there. How are you doing mom?  Know that you are in my prayers and that I love you.  Grandma's in the right place and she is doing what she needs to be doing right now.  I send all my love to you guys and the rest of the family today.  I hope that the funeral and the viewing go well.  Let me know how it goes.   I love you mom, and i know that your mom is proud of you too!  Let me know if there is anything that I can do for you.

Well to leave on a happy note do you want to hear my funny story of the week? So there is this member named Marisa Martinez from Argentina in our ward.  Her husband, Charbyl isn't a member and he is from Costa Rica.  He is funny. I'll just tell you that.  So sister Harry had scheduled an appointment earlier in the week to go and visit him.  We go over there and Hermana Martinez has made us these delicious empanadas de carne and costa rican jugo de pina ( pineapple juice) and we sit down with her and her husband.  He has talked with Hermana Simplicio and Fifeild before and had a pretty good time with them.  He is a professional singer and he has his own studio works a little complicated schedule. Anyway so he's getting ready and first thing he does to greet us when we meet is goes in for the Latino kiss.  I naturally duck like always and he thinks i'm weird and I calmly explain to him the sister don't greet the guys with the regular custom.  All you spanish sisters know exactly what I'm talking about as far as the guys that go in for "the kiss". Anyway he is very outgoing and has a loud personality.  He has these long locks of curly black hair that casually bounce around as he razzes me a little for not wanting to greet him with standard typical hispanic way.  So then we introduce ourselves as Hermana Harry and Hermana Lewis.  He gets Hermana Harry's name fine but for some reason mine just isn't clicking with him so he asks me what my first name is.  Not only do I not tell people my first name but much less can they even say it when I tell them. I'm so  glad the mission uses last names instead of first names.  Otherwise my name would be slaughtered even more that it was before. i can only imagine... lol. Anyway so I tell him my first name is Hermana.  He rolls his eyes asks me no but seriously.  And I say no but seriously.  So then we get into the lesson and he says the opening prayer and in his prayer he says this in spanish, "Please bless the non kissing hermanas en their journey and wherever they may go.'  Bah!  I was having a hard time during the pray and tried not to laugh but I could only help but smile.  Charbyl then explained to me after the prayer that I shouldn't find it humorous because God only wants to hear the true thoughts of our hearts and feelings. So that's exactly what he does.  So now he calls me Hermana Hermana instead of hermana Lewis but he should be a interesting character to teach.  The non kissing hermanas.  Yes, charbyl that is right.  All the cool things there are to learning about the church that would be one of them. :)

Anyway I love you all Tell Marissa i said hello.  I hope you all have a wonderful week filled with much love and miracles.

All my love,  Hermana Lewis

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