Thursday, February 23, 2012

Somos 3. Tengo 2 companeras de Mexico

OHHHHHHH!!!!! MAN!!!!!!!! COOLEST WEEK EVER!  I just have to say this is the coolest transfer ever!  So mom you asked me what we did for Valentine’s Day.  Well, Sister Harry and I went to transfer meeting where I received 2 new companions.  So we went to transfer meeting on Tuesday and guess what I'm in another Trio.  Guess who President put me with?!  Hermana Tapia and Hermana Alvarado!  Let me tell you about them.  They are the most legit missionaries in the entire mission!  Hermana Tapia has about 6 months in the mission.  Hermana Harry was the one that trained her.  She is from the same part as Hermana Jasso in California.  She grew up speaking Spanish because both of her parents are from Guadalajara Mexico.  She is so fun.  She is full of energy and love for the mission.  She has this really funny sense of humor and the members just absolutely love her.  Hermana Alvarado came directly from Durango Mexico.  She has about 2 transfers left and she is an amazing and talented missionary.  This girl is a powerhouse.  She eats more food than me and Hermana Tapia put together and she maybe weights 100 pounds.  She's just a little thing and she eats Chile with everything!  She loves picante!  Every time we are eating with a member...  Hermana tiene chile? hahaha she makes me laugh.  She is learning English and she prefers Spanish so guess what.....  Because I have 2 Mexi's for my comps we talk Spanish ALL THE TIME!  This is my dream come true!  Something I've wanted my whole mission but my other comps are either not developed enough in the language or not dedicated to do it.  But we do all our studies, street talk, lessons, and visiting in Spanish.  It's the best.  I’m learning that I actually am pretty comfortable in Spanish which is nice and because we are talking more than just lessons I'm learning all sorts of other vocab besides the gospel language.  It's awesome!  We had an amazing week full of miracles and memories.

So we are a trio in Richmond Hill.  The other 2 Spanish elders got blinded out and President put 2 new completely missionaries in.  So guess who president sent?!!! My long lost district leader from Rego Park, back in the day.  I don't know if I tell you remember me talking about an Elder Carnohan?  It’s weird to think I served with him over a year ago because it seems like just yesterday.  But he just recently got out of the office serving as AP.  He is serving his last 2 transfers in Richmond Hill and he’s training a new bee named Elder Lebaron.  Elder Lebaron is a little fireball and full of enthusiasm.  I think that we will see a lot of good things happen in the ward and lots of miracles for the transfer.  It’s crazy to see how much Spanish I've learned since I came into the mission. 

So let me give you the update on our investigators.

We are still teaching the mite family.  We are teaching Hermano Mite the lessons again.  Hermana Mite seems to be as hard as a rock and she isn't really progressing.  She says she knows she is going to get baptized but she will not set a date with us.  She won't even give up an idea of when she wants to get baptized.  I'm pretty sure she doesn't know when she wants to because she's not thinking anytime soon.  Sometimes I don't understand these people.  I know the spirit is there when we teach so it’s up to her now.  There is still hope though, let’s take Charbyl for example.

We are teaching the Costa Rican tico singer dude.  He is pretty awesome.  He recently just married his wife Marisa who is a member.  When we first started teaching him he was nice but definitely not progressing.  We extended a date to him for February and he rejected it.  He always had so many questions and he wasn't reading but we could tell that he knew we were serious when we extended the date.  His wife was so excited but after that he ignored our calls and our visits for almost a month.  A couple of weeks ago Hermana Harry and I decided to stop by the house.  Charbyl invited us in nicely and we sat down with him and his wife.  We began to talk and I told him, Charbyl what happened?  Your baptismal date passed and we haven't seen you in forever!  He looked at me for a second expressionless and then leaned forward and announced, actually, I had dream and God told me I need to get baptized the other night.  When is your next baptismal service?  Everyone in the room just kind of looked at him shocked and then his wife said, Charbyl!  You never told me that! It was pretty cool but then in the same sentence he said I will never give up the virgin Maria or his wine so... we have some work to do with him and lots of changes to make.  It's hard to meet with them so we aren't going to baptize him until next month to see if his desire is sincere and not just spur of the moment.  Definitely has some good potential.  Yet he is reading everyday and he came to church all by himself for 3 hours so he's off to a good start.  Pray that he will have a humble heart and a true conversion.

We also are teaching this cool girl named Kati.  She was looking for something to change her life and wanted to find out more about god.  She said that she wanted to find out the truth.  Well one day guess who knocks on her door?  Sister Harry and me. She is super awesome and progressing nicely.

We are teaching Lisette and Suzi.  They are sweet and have already been to church 2 times which is about the same amount we have met with them.

We had 2 new people show up to church yesterday so I'm super excited to meet them and start teaching.  They are both member referrals so it should be super good.

Anyway, I love you all.  Mom I don't have a preference on when we come back to New York.  I just want to go to the upstate church sites and I want to go see a Broadway show.  I think it would be fun to wait for Jaci.

Mom, thank you so much for the package!  I love you so much and I felt so special.

Anyway g2g don't have any more time.

Love Hermana Lewis

Monday, February 13, 2012

Donde se va?

February 13, 2012

Well we finished another transfer.  Come and gone and seriously has passed by so fast.  Don't worry I still have 1/12 of my mission left but I'm scared to blink the time seems to be just slipping through my fingers.  I can't believe that this is my last transfer. This week in studies I read such a wonderful talk in the conference issue of last October.  It was about missionary work and the Elder talked about how one of the missionary’s milestones is a departing interview.  A missionary is called to serve in the mission that will help them grow according to their needs and situations.  The Lord knows exactly who your companions will be and the people you are to serve in specified areas.  It gave an example of a missionary from Spain that was called to Arizona.  While there he met a member that was actually returned missionary that was the missionary that baptized his father in spain.  His father was the only person this returned missionary was ever able to baptize on his mission.  The returned missionary had felt like he had failed not knowing if he had really ever done any good on his mission.  This missionary then turned to the man and said do you have any idea what significance that one baptism has had on me and my family?  My father soon met a wonderful woman of the church which he married in the temple.  I am the 4th of 6 children to serve a full time mission.  All of those married were in the temple.  They are now starting their own families that are sealed under the covenant.  My whole life was changed because of the 2 years of service you gave as a missionary in my home city. 

I was so touched by this talk.  I shared it with Sister Harry and we both just cried as we talked about what a marvelous work we are a part of.  I cried as I looked back on all the wonderful people I have met and how they have changed my life for good.  I know that I have been called to serve as a disciple of Jesus Christ here in New York.  I have had so many sweet and tender experiences.  The spirit is such a real thing.  The spirit is such a real thing and it’s beautiful to see it heal the wounds that have been hurting for so long.  God truly is a God of miracles.  I know that my decision to come on my mission will be a decision I will treasure the rest of my life.

We received transfer calls on Saturday and Sister Harry is leaving for bigger and better things.  I will be taking over the area.  We will be going to transfer meeting on Tuesday.  I think that we might be having a trio here but if not then we will see what other surprises President Nelson has up his sleeve.  lol.  I cannot think of a better way to finish the transfer.  Hermana Harry and I have really seen some wonderful miracles here in Richmond Hill and we have some really great things going on here in the area.  I'm excited for next transfer and to see the things that will fall into place.  . 

Mom can you email me some questions that you would like me to talk about for next time?  My brain is pretty fried.  You will be happy to know that I have written in my journal the last 6 months. You can just read parts of it when I get home. lol.  I don't know....well I g2g we are eating breakfast at the squires.  Know that I love you all and that you are in my prayers. Pray for us and our investigators.  Pray that we will be able to use the powers of heaven to create miracles in the lives of these wonderful people and help them realize the infinite love of their savior.

Peace and Blessings for you all.

Love Hermana Lewis

Monday, February 6, 2012

All the missionaries that Sang at Ariel’s Baptism

The Paraguayan cake that Hermana Harry and I made. Calories Galore-

Ariel Moringio with his 3 Sister Missionaries that were able to teach and help him prepare for baptism! Sister Fifield is the blond. She is currently in Woodside but she was able to come back to see his baptism. She fearlessed him which means was the one that original went up and talked to him on the street by his house as he was waiting for his cab. They found him the week before I got here. Never know what the actions of one small seed will bring.

Ariel's Baptism
So wonderful!  A week full of wonderful highlights but let’s start with the good stuff!  First off I just want to say thanks for all of your wonderful prayers and the love you send this way.  Ariel Moringio got baptized yesterday!  Yahooo!!! Every baptism like I say is a miracle and it was a really beautiful service.  I really felt the spirit and everything fell into place.  I just love it how God listens to the tiny prayers as well as the loud prayers.  I have seen the atonement change the lives of many people on the mission but often times sin has a way of sneaking back into our lives and it gets discouraging.  I have seen so many people fall through the cracks when the reach the final stage before baptism.  Yet Ariel his intent was sincere and he didn't let doubt or discouragement weigh him down and he completed the task that he set out to do.  His conversion really has been such a blessing and a wonderful experience to be a part of.  The thing that I have really seen in his conversion is the Power of the Book of Mormon.  I know that power truly is the keystone of our religion.  I know that we study and feast upon its words our minds are enlightened and we truly center our minds for the day’s activities.  It is a shield and a protection.  I believe as people are trying to leave sin behind and experience a change through Christ the Book of Mormon is the thing that holds the whole thing together.  He pulled Sister Harry and me away after the baptism and just expressed his great gratitude for all that had transpired.  He actually thanked Sister Harry for nagging him every day to see if he was reading.  He has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and he knows that it is true.  What a great foundation to build your testimony off of.  In the last couple of months he has read and studied through Alma.  He's almost done and he is doing well.

Sister Fifield commented on how he just looked happier and lighter at the baptism compared to the first time she met him.  The funny thing is that Ariel was completely happy with his life before he met the missionaries.  He wasn't really looking for any real change.  He told us in our last cita antes el baptism that he wasn't actually planning on meeting with the missionaries until he opened the book of Mormon that they had given him and he started reading.  He felt something he had never felt before and he wanted the sisters to come over and explain what that was and why the book was different from the Bible.  Pretty cool huh?  From there on out Ariel completely changed his life.  He stopped smoking, drinking coffee, alcohol.  He had several other habits that involved breaking up with his girlfriend etc.  I also noticed a big old tattoo underneath the baptismal jump suit by his neck that he had always covered up for church and such.  It is just amazing to me to see how people will give up everything they know as normal because of the witness they receive of the truthfulness of Christ’s church and his doctrine in order to receive eternal life.  It means everything!  Without it life really means nothing and once you feel that your old life that was so fun just doesn't seem so full anymore.  I loved hearing Ariel’s testimony in our last lesson with him about how he felt the difference in his life.  He loves it and he knows it right.  It's hard and it takes getting used to but he knows if he were to go back it wouldn't make him happy anymore.  It is such a privilege to be a missionary.  I LOVE my mission.  I will always treasure the sacred experiences I have had in seeing the miracles of the atonement work in the lives of the people I teach and in my own life.  I know this is the Lords restored church on the earth today.  I can't tell you how many people asked me the question while contacting on the streets, well if Jesus established one church on the earth why are there so many o n the earth today?  That doesn't make sense."  Your right it doesn't so people let me teach you about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  The fullness of the gospel and it blessing to be received!  It was a great week.

Hermano Mite also got confirmed.  It's so wonderful to see the ward wrap their arms of love and fellowship around him as he takes this new journey in life.  He bore the sweetest testimony yesterday and I was just so happy to see him as one of the Lords newest church members.  I love fast and testimony meeting.

I had lots of really other cool stuff happen but not enough time.  Next time... maybe when I get home in a couple of months.

Hey mom you saw Breeane Howe!? :) How is she?  I hear she got married. How is she doing? Also Jael I'm glad you saw Emily Jewkes! Get her to go out with Spencer!  I 'm telling you it’s a match made in Heaven.  bahahaha. love you all have a great week