Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 52

This week was so crazy. 

We started out by teaching Beatrice on Monday night! She is super cool. The lesson went pretty well, and we ended up teaching Gospel of Jesus Christ trying to explain to her God and how he can bless her. And then we taught her again first thing Tuesday morning. We went back over who Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were, trying to help her understand why she needs them in her life. The whole lesson was inspired question after inspired question, silence, and testifying. So often we were at a loss of what to say, and then the Spirit would prompt us to say something. We are slowly figuring more and more out about her, which will help us in the long run. It is definitely a work out, and we are leaving almost exhausted. But a very good, very nice exhausted. We are for sure relying on the Lord to help us out. She is reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and leaving to Iceland for 3 weeks. So we'll see how she's doing when she gets back:)

We got to teach Reagan on Tuesday, and we talked about judgement and the Plan of Salvation and suicide because of the law that Montreal recently passed about physician-assisted suicide. It was a really cool lesson, and we just brought our scriptures and we all read from the Bible and Book of Mormon and came to a conclusion together. 

We had a really sweet District Meeting on Wednesday! Elder Petersen (who came out with me) is our District Leader and he is really good at what he does, and he gives us commitments every time he calls us to help us improve in our missionary work or to push us out of our comforts zones, or asks if there is anything he can do to help the other sisters in our district or us. Anyway, it was a really amazing meeting. The Spirit was super strong, and we just talked about the meeting throughout the rest of the day and did our best to apply what we learned. Afterwards, we had lunch with the West Bank Sisters (Sister Heward and Sister Wright) at the church. And we finished off the night with contacting!

We had to feed the cat of a recent convert in one of the family wards over Christmas. The cat's name is Cookie. And so we had to feed her 3 times a day. 

On Thursday, we had planning, and it went pretty well! Then we headed to Earl's, where a member got us reservations for a Christmas Eve lunch and gift cards so we wouldn't have to pay. The view was right over the lake, and it was snowing. Man. We are blessed. Then we went finding some more, and then went caroling with some of the other missionaries in the zone (Sister Lai, Sister Tripp, Elder Maurer, Elder Ellis, Elder Robinson, Elder Ushio, Elder Gleed, Elder Coomans). It went pretty well, and then I got to talk to the cutest old people and didn't even get bashed (Sister Madson did...)! Merry Christmas Eve!

On Christmas morning, we exercised and then opened presents! A member gave us socks from Roots, and bookmarks. I got a black barbie, and Sister Madson got a white one. And I got your gifts full of stuff to keep warm! Thanks! Then we got ready for the day, had studies, and fed the cat. And Cookie left us a present as well. She pooped all over the floor. And guess who got to clean it up. Merry Christmas to me.

Then we drove to the cutest little area, to the Gibbon home (Bro Gibbon is the second counselor in the branch presidency) to skype! And we skyped, which was awesome, and while my companion skyped, I got to write my essays. Then we went down and had a delicious Christmas dinner with the Gibbon family and shared a message with them about Christ and his Atonement, all under an hour and were out hitting the road, ready work. We went contacting for the rest of the night, and fed the cat again. Everything was closed, though. People were few, but we had great conversations with them!

It was such a simple Christmas, and really the only thing that felt like Christmas was the focus on Christ. And it was awesome!

And it was a white Christmas! It's been snowing for 4 days non-stop or something like that. Woo! The rink downtown has a constant 2 inches of snow on it at least!

For walking day, we headed downtown. We had lunch with Sister Lai and Sister Tripp, and then did mini exchanges. I went with Sister Lai in their area, and we knocked doors and had the coolest conversations that were really like lessons. And this lady freaked out that we were knocking doors on a statutory and Christian holiday. And we got chewed out by a rabbi, and engaged in an awesome conversation with a Jehovah's witness. Pretty successful day! And then we ended our mini exchange. Sister Madson and I planned on grabbing something quick, but everything was still closed. So we were going to have pizza or something delivered, but even those were closed. Then we thought Chinese, and almost every chinese place was closed. We had to feed the cat and get all the way back to the church for correlation. We were covered in snow, and finally found a place to deliver. We got the most expensive chinese food ever, but it tasted good! 

And yesterday, Sister Madson and I got to give talks! And I got to lead the music. It was a great day at church, and then we went finding at night! 

Reagan texted us and told us that her mom bought her skirts for coming to church with us! 

The week was filled with lots of miracles and it was just a great week of missionary work!

That's all I got for you! Sorry it's so long! 

Happy New Year!

Live long and prosper!

Hermana Lewis

Ogopogo- like Nessy

Beatrice's giant bear

At Earl's! When I ate this, my tongue got all numb and started tingling. But it was good!

Christmas Eve!

Drive to the Gibbon home <3


The Gibbon family gave us slippers after skyping:)

Our creepy dolls

After caroling at the old folks' home!

Mini exchange with Sister Lai! It snowed a lot!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 51

Buenos dias... y Feliz Navidad! 

Monday was pretty normal this week. Tuesday was crazy! President and Sister Burt were coming up for the Kelowna and Vernon Zone Meetings on Wednesday, so we had to prepare the church with the Elders and then we also had to find someone to teach because Sister Burt wanted to come to a lesson with us. 

Okay. Back up. The past almost two months, we have had the hardest time meeting with anyone because finals were on their way, and then they came, and are not finished until tomorrow. So no one wants to meet up, and so we have been doing a lot of finding. Not that that is a bad thing, but if we could be teaching, we definitely would. 

Reagan had asked us on Monday night to pray for her because of some problems going on, and we asked her if she wanted a blessing. She said yes, and we set it up for Friday, after we would get back from Kamloops for the Vernon Zone Meeting and exchanges with the Sisters. And all of a sudden, we had no one to meet with when the Burts arrived. So we told Reagan we had someone she wanted to meet and asked her if we could meet on Tuesday night instead, and she could get her blessing. She said it would work! 

Tuesday night, the Elders (Ellis and Maurer) and us, were setting up the church and then our investigators showed up. Reagan brought Melinda with her (Melinda is still having phone problems so it has been almost impossible to meet up with her). The Elders had two investigators there, two members, and then we had Reagan and Melinda, and we were all excitedly waiting for the Burts. They arrived and it was so fun.

We planned on teaching about obedience and baptism, but things kept returning to the Atonement. It was a really spiritual lessons, and we definitely taught to her needs. At the end, President Burt came in to give her the blessing. We hadn't even told him what it was for and didn't realize it until he was starting. In his blessing, he addressed every concern she had. It was so powerful. The room was so silent, as we listened to Heavenly Father talking to his daughter for the first time since she came to earth almost 20 years ago, through a worthy servant.

On Wednesday, we had a leadership training done my President Burt and Elder Maurer and then right after, at 10, Zone Meeting in Kelowna. It went really well. Sister Madson and I trained together on the talk "The Atonement and Value of One Soul". 

After our Zone Meeting and getting to eat a quick Christmas lunch, we sped off to Kamloops, a 2.5 hour drive, for the next Zone Meeting. 

We had a great Zone Meeting there, as well, but it was a little pressed for time. But afterwards we enjoyed a nice Christmas dinner. And began exchanges with the Kamploops YSA Sisters, Sister Cosman and Jenson. I went with Sister Jenson. This is her last transfer, but she is not trunky! She was just inspiring the whole time.

We ended the exchange with free A&W and came back to Kelowna. 

We met with Reagan on Friday and she told us she knew the Priesthood was real. It has been a focus for our last few lessons, and she was unsure, but after the blessing, she knew it was real and was so amazed that the blessing answered everything for her. We had a cool lesson with her, and when our member was driving her home, she brought up baptism and how she is preparing, and he invited her to church and offered to pick her up.

And she came! All 3 hours! 

I got to play the organ for Sacrament meeting yesterday, as well as the piano for a musical number. The Elders Quorum sang "The Nativity". And Sister Madson lead the music, and we taught Relief Society. And next week we are both giving the talks. 

We met with a really sweet former, Beatrice*, from China. We really focused on teaching her, and not a lesson, and taught God is Your Loving Heavenly Father, and about Jesus Christ, prayer, and the Holy Ghost. We asked inspired questions and felt the Spirit so strong! 

She was going to come to church yesterday as well, but got lost at the wrong church and turned around. 

But we have been finding so many miracles as we are cleaning out our Area Book and going through our phone.

You should all read the talk we did our training on. I have the strongest testimony of the Atonement and it kills me that I can't just express it all to you. But I know Christ lives. And I am so grateful for the love and mercy he gives us. 

Con amor y felicidad ;)
Hermana Lewis

P.S.  Pictures aren't working because the converter isn't working. Sorry I'm so far behind! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 50

This week was insane. 

Last Monday, we went to the Kelowna 1st Sisters apartment and cleaned it out to close it for a while, and helped Sister Magleby pack (She's left for Port Moody). The Kelowna 2nd Sisters, Sister Christensen and Sister Cendreda, joined us, and we ate pizza, crazy bread, and cinnamon sticks to celebrate our last moments together. It was a pretty good day!

On Tuesday, we finished cleaning and packing, as well as figured out how we were going to get all our sisters to their new areas, and pick up the new ones, all while finding, teaching, and baptizing. Actually, just finding:) But then we met with the Pimiskerns. They are a super sweet family. Sydney is in our branch, but the family was in Sister Magleby's ward, so it worked out perfectly visiting them. I got to hold their dog and their snake, and Brother Pimiskern did a magic trick for me. We had an amazing member visit with them, and then stopped by Bonnie, who was baptized my first Saturday here. It was a good day.

On Wednesday, we started by walking all the way to the Kelowna 1st sisters apartment so we could get their car to the church. We walked there, and then the car wouldn't start. So we had to call the Kelowna 2nd sisters to come jump-start us. We made them lose their time to eat a delicious salmon lunch, but we were able to get the the church just in time. We caravan-ed to the airport after weighing bags and getting rid of non-necessities. We dropped the sisters off and said sad goodbyes. We picked up Sister Wright, who is now Sister Heward's new companion. We headed at the mall around 3:30 to finally eat some lunch. We ran into Greg*, a LARC, and his sister at the food court, and so we sat and talked a bit, before running off to go visit Melinda at UBCO! We found out that she had trouble with her phone, but that we could contact her through Facebook, which is almost pointless and impossible. But anyway, we got to meet with her, and then we headed off to a dinner with our Branch President, President England, and his wife. The food was great, and they are always sharing with us their own missionary experiences from their missions or from the week. It was super uplifting. Then we went finding again. It was a long day.

On Thursday, we had weekly planning first thing in the morning. Then we went finding all over. It has been finals season for the past couple weeks, so it's rough finding and meeting up with anyone! We then had dinner with Charlene, the Relief Society president, and had a great lesson with her, and then took care of some car problems with the Kelowna first car. Greg called us and asked if we could meet him the next day and teach him about tithing, as well.

Friday! It was a good day! I made myself sausage, which is the first sausage I have had since I got out to the field, and I also had chocolate milk. The morning started off on a good note. Then we cleaned out the other sisters' cars to get them ready for the other sisters. Then we had a quick lunch and then headed to the mall to teach tithing to Kaston. We couldn't get a single female from the branch to come with us, so we decided to ask Reagan. She hasn't been able to come to lessons recently because of finals and all, but she said she could meet us at the mall for the lesson! We taught tithing and it was a super good lesson! We hadn't even taught Reagan tithing yet. We told her what it was, and she told us that she had read about it in the bible, and that people sometimes paid it in her baptist church. She testified with us and explained the importance of it. It felt like she was part of our companionship. She taught doctrine and you could definitely feel the Spirit. So that was so awesome. And he bought us cinnamon rolls. Then we went finding for a second and found out the Kelowna 2nd Elders, who were driving up from the training meeting, Elder Robinson and Elder Ushio (trainee from Japan) were going to get to in early. They were driving up my birthday present! President Burt got me a 2015 Nissan Rogue! We headed to the church to leave our car, get our new one, and give the Kelowna 1st Elders the Sisters' old area book. We had an extra minute and helped set up for the 1st ward's Christmas party. We did the car switch, and headed to the airport to pick up our sisters! Once we got there, we saw their plane was delayed, so we did some contacting in the airport by baggage claim. I had some awesome conversations. I saw this mom with her cute girls and started talking to her. She said she had some questions she was going to ask me. She was referred by a friend to us last Monday (I got a call during email time last Monday from a member in Alberta, who has a friend, Margaret*, who has a brother who is struggling with some problems and wants us to help), and it was Margaret I was talking to! We had a great conversation, and she will be contacting us soon! Then we got our new Kelowna 2nd sisters, Sister Lai, who I came out with, and Sister Tripp (her trainee from Bountiful, UT). We grabbed their luggage and drove them to the church, got their car, and showed them where their apartment would be. Then, we went out for a late dinner at 8 at Kelly O'brians, where I got a free birthday dinner! It was super good! I ordered Jerk Chicken Fettuccine. It wasn't very spicy, but it was free. 

On Saturday, we walked all over and talked to a bunch of people, and then walked back to the church for our stake YSA Christmas activity. On our way, a hitchhiking guy, Peter*, asked us for directions to a cafe. He was getting ready to go to Vancouver for a seminar/training. We gave him directions, and then I invited him to the activity. So instead of going to the cafe, he walked with us the rest of the way to the church, and came. We had dinner, speed dating, and a dance. Peter loved it, as well as Maire*, who was someone I invited over the phone. We had never met her before, but she came, and although she was shy at first, she started opening up. It was a pretty successful night! And then Greg had cut us down a 7 foot Christmas tree. So now we have a Christmas tree! 

Yesterday was great. 

I'm out of time. I didn't even get to talk much about what I wanted to. Time just ran away! Hopefully I can get this right soon! Pictures next week...

Love you all!
Hermana Lewis

Add caption

The last zone transfer

These are from a while ago.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 49

Good tidings!

This week we got more snow, and we also got warmer weather! I guess it's a win-win! The Christmas spirit is settling in, and pleasantly enough, Kelowna has multiple nativities set up! I think I have seen more nativities on buildings and streets than I have Santas.

We had our huge Nativity event this week from Wednesday to Saturday. Sister Madson and I helped to host on Thursday, and enjoyed the sweet, sweet songs of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as we stared repeatedly at cute little baby Jesuses from all over the world. 

Reagan and Melinda are the sweetest. We were able to meet with them both this week a couple times. On Tuesday, we met with Melinda right before Reagan, and she asked us some questions about where she was reading in the Book of Mormon. We explained what it meant, and then read the next chapter. When Reagan showed up, Melinda just started explaining everything that we were talking about and added her own insights. It was the coolest!

We had transfer calls this week! I'm staying in Kelowna for another transfer with Sister Madson! We are going to kill it this transfer!

We got to teach a former investigator this week, also named Reagan. Reagan #2 lost her Dad within the past year, and then her brother within the past 5 months and hasn't been able to talk to anyone about it. She invited us over and we had a beautiful lesson about the Plan of Salvation. I love being a missionary!

We took Sister Tingson to the airport on Saturday because she's going home! She was such a great missionary! We have had Sister Magleby with us since then, and we love it!

Melinda and Reagan don't really get the hole Sister/Hermana thing followed by a last name, and it's super cute. They insist on calling Sister Madson Sister Madison. And they call me plain Louise. It's so funny!
I think that's all this week! Out of time! I'll try to catch up next week!

Love you all! 

Feliz Navidad!


Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 48

Buenos Dias! 

I was going to write a pretty good email this week, but I forgot my sticky note of things I was going to mention, so now you get this email. 

While Elder Lewis is enjoying the beautiful islands or French Polynesia, I am enjoying the freezing winds that go straight to the bone, snow, and ice. It's getting cold, folks. 

In Gospel Principles yesterday, our WML, Brady, asked Elder Green to tell the story of Alma the Younger. 

Elder Green: ...and he became one of the most amazing missionaries of all time.
Devon (their recent convert): Kind of like you!

The whole class awed. 

A couple members in the Branch and some of the other wards here got called into the LDSSA club for UBCO. And this is important because this Friday, we went on campus with some members and did a free hot chocolate stand to inform students about the nativity event we have going on at the church this week, as well as to try to find some new investigators. It was pretty successful and a lot of fun! 

We met with Reagan, Melinda's friend, a couple times this week. She is doing so great! She is baptist and has put off baptism her whole life because she has felt that to be baptized she would have to be perfect, and didn't want to make a commitment with God if she couldn't keep it. We have been teaching her a lot about the Atonement, and taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and invited her to be baptized. She said she would pray about it, as well as talk to her mom and her pastor. But keep her in your prayers!

We have been trying to get the members more involved in missionary work here (when are we not?), and this week we have felt thins start to change a little bit. Last week, Brady and Kristina and their family invited us and Reagan over for dinner, and this week, President and Sister England invited us, Reagan, Melinda, and a couple other members of the branch. It went so well and we felt the Spirit so strong being in their home, and Sister England made delicious spaghetti for us all! 
Thanksgiving was great! We had dinner with Rachel and her parents. We ate teriyaki bowls! And we kept the tradition alive of going around the table and saying the things we are grateful for. I'm grateful for you! 

Adam, a member of the branch, invited us over to decorate his apartment! We decorated with lights and over 100 feet of tinsel! It was sweet!

That's all for this week, I think! Running out of time. 

Don't have a ponderize scripture yet, but I know it's true! 

Love, Hermana Lewis

I burned my grilled cheese.

Chillin on preparation day, eating my burnt grilled cheese.

I will choose college, thanks. 

Decorating with Angelina at Adam's apartment!

Lady Liberty. And she's a Mormon. 

Leftover tinsel

Meeting with Reagan and Miranda

Favorite sweater

End of park-your-car Saturday

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 47

Happy American Thanksgiving! May your week be filled with amazing food and company!

This week was a long week! It was a good week filled with lots of great things, I just can't believe it was only 7 normal 24-hour days!

We had Zone Conference on Tuesday with Elder Teh and his wife. It was so good! Beforehand, he met with us, the assistants, the zone leaders, and district leaders for the Kelowna and Vernon zones, and President and Sister Burt. Elder Teh talked to us about how we can change the mission culture by who we are, and how we really have the influence, ability, and responsibility to catch this mission on fire. For Zone Conference, we talked about what more we can do to be missionaries who do missionary work as opposed to missionary things. It was so good! 

I went on exchanges with Sister Cendreda this week! It was super bomb! I loved it so much! We had tons of fun, and just spoke in Spanish. She is the best! I love her to death! 

The next day, I went on exchanges with Sister Hawke! Sister Hawke is super cool and from Idaho. She played volleyball in high school, and is such a ball of energy! It was super fun! And we did some cool candle stuff at a relief society activity. She's such a great missionary!

I've been thinking a lot about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what it really means. I love that it is a living gospel, as I have said before. I love that it changes you and changes your perspective. 

We have to have faith. "When we have faith in Christ, we accept and apply His Atonement and His teachings. We trust Him and what He says" (Preach My Gospel, 61). Meaning that we are willing to believe in Christ and all the powers of the Atonement, and allow ourselves to be strengthened and have hope. We don't need to know what he looks like, we don't need to know his favorite color, we don't need to know how he was able to perform the Atonement. But what matters is that we are humble enough to see how he has blessed our lives, and that we cannot do it on our own. Someone, who I can't remember, maybe President Packer, said something similar to this, but I can't find the quote: "If all you hear and all you see is what you know, you will not know very much".

That made me think a ton. Faith kind of seems like an abstract thing to me. Sometimes I say I have the faith for something to happen, and it doesn't. Other times I say I have the faith that it can happen or not, and that whatever does happen is Heavenly Father's will, and usually it's not exactly what I had in mind. And sometimes, I want something to happen, but I don't think it's very realistic, so I just go on, and then I see a miracle, and sometimes I see those miracles when I am least expecting. So what I'm trying to say is I am no expert on faith, but I am an expert at trying to have faith and to understand it better. I love that faith is based on those things that you don't hear and see. It's based on experience through obedience and testing the Lord on his promises. 

I have so much faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They motivate me to be better and to do better. They lift me when I am slipping or falling, and comfort me when I'm sad. They strengthen me when I am just exhausted, and give me a good laugh, day by day. I have not seen or heard them or their voices, but I have seen them in my life. I've seen them bless me and those around me in ways the world can't. I have heard them answer prayers and talk to me, in my own voice during prayers, or during scripture study. I may not be able to move a mountain or give a size to my faith, it may not be perfect, but I know that my faith is enough for me. I work on strengthening it every day. I have a love and a need for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They are my all. 

My ponderize scripture this week is Psalms 139:23
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts"

Hasta escuchar,
Hermana Lewis

Reagan and Stacy came to FHE and we did skits!

Their skit was hilarious

He's got good style.

On the way to West Bank!

She's mighty fine.

Sister Cendreda stole my camera.  And I love her.