Monday, February 23, 2015

Vancouver Spanish

Hola! There is so much to say! And no time to say it in! I haven't written for over a week and a half. Where do I even begin.

The week leading up to heading out to the field was amazing. We had some wonderful classes and devotionals. Our teachers rekindled our fire to go out and serve and we felt the spirit so strongly.

Last Wednesday, Hermana Cobb and I got to go to the temple for the last time together (for a long time). It was so beautiful. What a blessing that we have temples!

Last Friday, we had our in-field orientation where they got us ready to work with members of the wards we would be serving in, and other skills that are needed for the field. Missionaries who went before us talked about how long it was and how it was boring, so Hermana Cobb and I went with the attitude that these things were what the Lord needed us to know and that we really wanted to be there. We loved it so much and I really do think it prepared us so well for the field.

On Saturday, Hermana Cobb and I made Valentines for our Zone and for the teachers and the ZRT teachers, and we decorated our room. It was the cutest. We took our last pictures as a district with our teachers.

Sunday was good. Hermana Cobb had to give a talk and so did Elder Arce. I didn't but I think it's because I had to play the piano. For the movie, we watched a talk by Elder Holland. I think it's called "Missions are Forever" or something like that. It's amazing. If you can figure out what it is really called, I would suggest reading it. It applies to life just as much as it does to missions. We said bye to Elder Passey and Kaze  because they were leaving early in the Morning on Monday.

Monday was different because There were so many people gone. For one of our last classes, the first hour and a half was just Hermana Cobb and me. Everyone else was getting ready to leave. We cleaned our residence during gym on Saturday, and we finished backing in the morning so that Tuesday wouldn't be crazy.

Tuesday was filled with doing everything we needed before we left. We tried to fit in  as much as we could. We said bye to friends and had a great night. The devotional was a good one to end on.

Wednesday. Oh my goodness. We woke up at 2:45. We got ready and carried, or dragged if you're Hermana Cobb, to the travel office. Her suitcases aren't much smaller than her, so it was hard. Poor Hermana. We checked out and met some of the other missionaries leaving. We expected there to be no food for us, but then we rationalized and thought that would be inhumane to not provide one last snack for the missionaries leaving, so we expected there to be food. There was no food. Ah. We waited until about 4:10 for the rest of the missionaries to show up. They say every week that the buses will leave with or without you, but they wait. We drove to a UTA bus, and we rode that for about 45 minutes until we got to a station downtown where we switched to a frontrunner. We took that for just a little bit until we got to the airport. We dragged all our luggage, for the 5th time and checked our bags. Then we headed to the gate. We made calls home, and then waited for our plane. It got delayed though. and so we waited. Hermana  Cobb and I were just about to go talk to someone when they started boarding. I hope they get the gospel soon! We got on the plane and flew to San Fransisco. I studied various things on the flight over. When we got to San Fran, we had no time to waste. Because our flight was delayed, we only had 15 minutes until our next plane left, and we had to walk to the opposite end of the airport into the international gates. We were hurrying so fast. When we finally got there, they had the flight delayed for 40 minutes. So we sat. Took pictures. Talked. Then after those 40 minutes, it was delayed for another 30 minutes, and then they started boarding. 20 minutes later we started driving down the runway. Now it is lunchtime. On the flight to San Fran we got no pretzels, no peanuts, no nothing. This flight we got nothing. The flight to Canada took about an hour and a half. Elder Erasmus and Elder Fitamant (France/Quebec--going to my mission English speaking) sat next to a woman and they had a discussion about the Book of Mormon and pretty much everything else. Later, Elder Fitamant and I talked about French, English, and food and anything else to fill the time. A line I guess I was saying was "I am starving". He asked me what it meant and I said it means you are really really hungry. At the end of the flight, we had to fill out an immigrations paper. We unloaded and felt the humidity, although it's not that humid here right now. We grabbed our bags and went through the immigration line. Elder Erasmus and Elder Fitamant had a really short line because they are Canadians and went out to meet the Mission President and the others, but the rest of us had to wait in a really long line and then go and get our visas. We were in there about 2 hours and 45 minutes. The lady getting me my visa was asking me why I was serving a mission and how it all works, except not in a curious way, but in a bothered way. She also asked if I had ever been arrested along with other questions. Was anyone else asked that? No. We made it through finally, although for about 6 of us, they only gave us visas for 1 year, so we have to renew those later, we went out and met the Mission President and his wife and some of the Senior couples, as well as two of the APs. They are all great.

President and Sister Burt are amazing. I cannot picture a better President to be leading me for the next 16 months. I cannot get over how wonderful they are! Honestly. I am super blessed.

We drove to the mission office. There we had some meetings and President Burt talked to us. Then we got to eat! First meal of the day!!!! I ate three plates full. It was so good! Then we had various people talking to us for the rest of the night, and President took us out, one by one, for interviews.

After we were all done, we went to a hotel 15 minutes away where we stayed for the night. I stayed with Sister Lai (Australia) and Sister Zundal (Utah). We were finally able to go to bed around 11.

In the morning we woke up, got ready, and ate breakfast at the hotel. It was so good. Then we drove over to the mission office where we had study time and President finished interviewing everyone. Then it was time for companions! We said one last prayer as a group before we left to meet everyone.

We got into the meeting and President Burt shared a message with us, and then he announced companions. There were only two Spanish speaking sisters, and they announced Hermana Cobb and her companion first, so I knew the other one was mine. I went over to her and we hugged and sat down. Once President got to my name, he saw we were already sitting by each other and made a joke. 

My companion is Hermana Williamson. She is from Mapelton, UT. She has been out for almost a year and a half. This would be her last transfer, but she got an extension, which is super rare, but President Burt said he needed her to train. She is absolutley amazing and I love her! Hermana Cobb is with Hermana Lee.

One of the things President Burt shared with us was Mosiah 18:30.
 30. And now it came to pass that all this was done in Vancouver, yea, by the waters of Vancouver, in the forest that was near the waters of Vancouver; yea, the place of Vancouver, the waters of Vancouver, the forest of Vancouver, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever.

We had meetings for the rest of the day. The APs are amazing. Oh my goodness. Can't even explain it, so you'll just have to believe me. After the meetings, we got back to our apartment around 7:30. We unloaded our things, went to go get our area map, and then we had to go to the grocery store because we had no food. It was about 8:30 when we got there, and we contacted 3 people before we went home.

The past few days have been super busy. I'll be able to write about them more another time, but I'm pretty much out of time. I'll also write about the more spiritual part of the mission next time, too. Promise. Cause there is a lot.

Friday, we had a ward fundraiser for the young women and young men. They try to go to Utah for conference, and they made pupusas and they were delicious. 

The ward mission leader is Juan Pablo and he is from Chile. He is great and him and all the members are really dedicated to helping with missionary work. The ward has a lot of inactive members right now, so we have a lot of lessons with less active members. There were about 12 people, including 4 missionaries, at the beginning of Sacrament meeting yesterday.

This week we had a couple lessons. One of my favorites was when we met up in downtown Vancouver. My area is Vancouver Spanish, which covers so much area because it is Spanish speaking, and the Spanish speaking people are spread out. We have a Chevy Cruise as a mission vehicle. Anyway, we went downtown to meet with Jennifer*, who is an investigator. She brought a friend, James*. As Hermana Williamson talked to Jennifer, I talked with James and we talked about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the similarities between our faith. We were sitting on the steps of a busy street center, but we were just talking about things that really mattered. It was beautiful. He is a member of a different church, but we both were able to talk about the love God has for us and how we have seen the Lord's hand in our lives.

By the way, Downtown Vancouver is beautiful. The whole area of BC is gorgeous.
I heard the Bruins won the game! Although I don't know what the score is. On Friday night when we were contacting, I used it a couple times to start a conversation about the Canucks, but people don't like to talk about hockey with random strangers in skirts, I guess.

A lot of people are really quick to just reject missionaries here. It is really sad and they have no idea that we are sharing with them how to get salvation, but it just increases my desire to find those people who are ready now.

We got 62 contacts from Thursday evening until Sunday night. I love doing street contacting. We have actually contacted 4 separate times in Spanish, which is really rare. Last night I also had one in French. And you'll never believe this one, and we didn't count it towards the total, but I had one in Russian! Turns out trying to learn Russian is paying off. I said hello and that it was nice to meet him, that I was Sister Lewis and that I was here for Jesus Christ. That was it. And my accent, I'm positive was horrible, but I loved it so much. I really just felt, what I think is pretty close, to Godly joy. I have felt so much simple joy out here. It's the best.

Side note. Since I am Spanish speaking (<3), I have the additional hour of language study in the mornings. And since it is the first 12 weeks of my mission, we also have the extra hour of 12 week study. It's a lot of studying.

Love you all!
Hermana Lewis

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sister Lewis has arrived!

Dear Bro. and Sister Lewis,

Thank you very, very much.  Your daughter, Sister Moriah Lewis, has arrived safely this week in the Canada Vancouver Mission and I am thrilled to have her here.  She is very much needed.  There is a great work to be done in this marvelous part of the world.  Your daughter will be an instrument in the hands of the Lord and a fellow servant with us and over 260 other faithful missionaries to accomplish His sacred and holy purposes.  Attached are two pictures of your wonderful missionary, one with myself and Sister Burt and one that also includes your daughter’s new companion.

I pledge to you that I will do all I can to build upon that which you have taught your daughter, and to build upon the standards you have established for your family.  Please know that I desire to sustain you in your sacred parental role and to never do anything that will detract from or interfere with that eternal relationship.

A missionary’s success is dependent upon the active role of many people including you and us.  I pledge that I will do everything I can to provide her with meaningful experiences to give her an opportunity to maximize her growth and potential.  I also need your active support to help your daughter become the kind of missionary whom the Lord can use to accomplish His purposes.

Our Mission Motto is “Love, Serve and Obey.”  Sister Burt and I will do all we can to ensure that this will be realized by your daughter in all of its various forms.  We invite you to be companions with us to ensure that this happens. Thank you for everything you have done to prepare your daughter for this glorious work in which she will be engaged.  With your help and prayers, Sister Burt and I are confident she will be a great success.

Respectfully yours,

Ronald P. Burt
Mission President

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Week 5

This past week has gone by so fast! I'm not really sure where to begin. 

This is my last email from the MTC! I'm going to miss this so much, it's unreal!!!!!!!

Last Thursday, instead of the normal member TRC lessons in person, we skyped natives. Hermana Cobb and I got to skype Hermana Perez*. She is from Brazil but is living in Costa Rica right now. She had a different accent, but it was really cool. We had a really good lesson with her about commandments, their importance, and how they are for us, to help us become better, and not to restrict us. We told the story about the boy and his kite, and what happened when he cut the string so the kite could go higher. The Spirit was there, but the coolest part was el don de lenguas. Man. It was crazy. But I could understand what she was saying, but I was also able to talk to her in unbroken Spanish. Once I stopped thinking in my head what I was saying, I was able to just talk. And talk fast. It was such a cool blessing and experience. Can't wait for our next one tomorrow!

Your weekly Spanish joke:
*Por qué José Smith tenía las ropas arrugados?

-Porque el angél Moroni sacó las planchas. 

Also, what pet did Lehi's family have?
Flea. Take your family and flea into the wilderness.
You're welcome.

I was listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir 24/7 music stream during personal study the other day. You will never guess what song came on. "Concerning Hobbits" except the version with the words. But I don't remember what it's called. But it totally threw me off. Jajaja

Today Hermana Cobb and I did a 40 minute run around the MTC. I feel so proper fit, RN. So proper fit.

We also met an Elder and a Sister who go with us to Vancouver next week, English speaking. Is this real life?

Hermanas Bagley, Ramos, Thompsen, y Hollander, y Elders Larsen, Lawson, Anderson, y Cary left Monday morning for Uruguay. I keep seeing their phantoms all over the place. We miss them, but on the bright side, I started unpacking today. Glad it only took until week 6. 

And, I am officially a Sister Training Leader. I got called last week, but this week it is official. Hermana Cobb and I are also the last sisters in our zone. 

Guess who came in last week that I forgot to mention! Hermana Rachel Howard! From Oakridge! And yes, she remembers "Mother, May I" and brought it up before I could even ask about it! She is going to the California Anaheim mission, Spanish speaking.

This week I also saw Sister Miller - Portugal, Sister Kindt - Romania, and Sister Kennard - Ukraine (?). So that's pretty cool! 

We had great lessons this week. As we usually do. One of our lessons was just talking a chapter of scripture, going in with questions, and then searching for answers. Boy, was it great. I challenge you all to do it. Even if you have before. Everyone can use personal revelation. Another class was about getting as much as we could out of this last week here, and then out of the rest of our missions. Some of the points our teacher made were focus on the work, don't let the little things tempt you, use exact obedience, seal your heart to God, be diligent, be consistent, and that God is intimately involved in both things we can and cannot control. Trust Him. 

There was a great devotional last night on helping investigators understand the Book of Mormon. It was straight forward and so simple. I love the gospel. 

We got our travel plans last Friday! We are out of here next Wednesday! We have to be at the Travel Office at 3:25am.  Then we get to the airport, fly to San Fran, and then to Vancouver! We are super excited for it all, but we are going to miss el CCM so much! 

We had some great lessons this week. And also one that was not our favorite. But we had so many good ones. The spirit was there and we followed it. Baptismal dates down! And we made our teacher cry. So bonus points to us. 

I love you all. I love the gospel. I love the church. I love people. I love cookies and milk. I love running. I love to share the gospel. I love to read the scriptures and receive personal revelation. I love Heavenly Father. I love Jesus Christ. I love that Jesus Christ atoned for me. I love that I have second chances. I love MoTab. I love being a missionary. I love being set apart to help others come unto Christ. I love the MTC and I love Canada.  

Sorry for the lack of details. I'll get better at this. Promise! 

Hermana Lewis

This is our friend Alex. He is in charge of the service in our Spanish building and we are buddies. We had to take pictures before we leave. 

Through the peephole.

Flight plans.

Practicing Spanish.

Stolen camera.  Again.

Love these mountains.  I'm super obsessed.

Last picture of the zone before 38B left!

Before we went to bed, we said whoever let go first was the weakest in our companionship. We were like this for 1 hour and 45 minutes. 

Our best side.

We're almost out!

Today at the temple.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Week 4

This week has been one of learning and miracles. 

I found out Monday morning at 7:50 after service that the Patriots won!!!!! I may have been persecuted, but I have remained faithful. Just like Joseph Smith. 

So that was cool.

This week we had some super powerful lessons, and then some not so great ones. They weren't bad, but they also weren't our favorite. At the finish of our lesson with Julio*, we felt soooo good. We prepared a lesson about how the Atonement applies to him individually. We really tried to get it in his head that it was for him because he felt like he could not be forgiven for things he had done in the past. Our lesson also applied perfectly to a concern he brought up, and so we focused on how it could help him overcome some challenges. The Spirit was super strong and we just felt good. Afterwards, my companion and I were talking about how it went. Then Hermano Adlish came over and asked if there was anything the Spirit prompted us to say, but we didn't. It did. It was inviting him to be baptized again. We did the first lesson, but we didn't again, and he said he could feel the Spirit and could tell we were listening to it, but if the Spirit is telling us to do something, say it. Another cool thing about that is we weren't even supposed to teach that day, but Hno Adlish wanted us to, so he gave us 10 minutes to prep for the lesson, and we got that experience.

Also, Monday, Hno Kent, who is a teacher who helps out multiple classes in the MTC, was subbing for Hno Adlish, and taught us about how it is a commandment to say the things that the Holy Ghost prompts us to say. I just thought it was cool. Read Doctrine and Covenants 11: 5-8.

We have seen lots of miracles this week and prayers being answered. It might be in the simplest ways, but they are being answered and the answers are miraculous. Heavenly Father answers prayers. He knows us individually. He has a plan for us. Individually. The Atonement is for each of us. Christ experienced everything for us. Individually. They know and love us perfectly and know what is best for us. Submit to the will of the Father. Let Him, who is all knowing, be the author and finisher of your faith. Let Him mold you into who he needs you to be. 

The Thursday after we arrived, we met our Branch Presidency. President Lisonbee invited us to read the Book of Mormon (English) while we were here. As in from start to finish. For a week and a half I was right on track, but then we became more busy with more and more lessons, and so it was hard to find time for it all, so I just read as much as I could. But now, I have been able to start catching up. I am at the end of Alma. The scriptures are the best. I cannot believe how much personal revelation I have received. How much comfort and encouragement I feel every time I read. It blows my mind. I have been marking promises the Lord makes to us, and the things we have to do in order to receive those blessings. READ THE SCRIPTURES. MAKE THEM A PRIORITY. 

I think it was this week that I was reading about the Law of Sacrifice. And I was reading a talk by M. Russell Ballard. A conversation he mentioned in his talk was between Brother Madsen and President Brown. 

Brother Madsen: What are the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?
President Brown: Posterity.
Brother M: Why, then, was Abraham commanded to go to Mount Moriah and offer his only hope of posterity?
Pres. Brown: Abraham needed to learn something about Abraham.

I love that so much. So often, we think what we want is what will be best for us. We cannot doubt that our Creator and the Father of our spirits don't know what they are doing. Don't doubt what He knows. Forget yourself and do His work. Honor and renew your covenants. Follow the Savior and stay focused on Him.Maintain a spirit of faith. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son so that Abraham could learn for himself that he would keep all the covenants he made with God, and not just when it's convenient. God asking Abraham to sacrifice may have been a test for Abraham to see if he would consistently be obedient, but also a blessing where Abraham was able to see for himself how converted he was. You must act on your faith in order to become converted. 

Elder Howard and Sister Goodman came this past week! Woo!

There is an elder from Chile. Today during lunch, we were trying to talk to him, but he was kind of being shy. Then we decided to talk in Spanish, duh. Oh my goodness. It was so fun! He thinks we are crazy, but whatever! 

I've met so many great people here. Sadly, all those great people are leaving and I'm leaving. 

Oh! We got a new district this week! There are 9 elders all going to Argentina except for 2 going to Bolivia. So that was fun. Next Monday en la mañana, the older district than us (they got here the week before us) are leaving. I'm going to miss them so much! That means we are just one week behind them. That means next P Day, we pack. We haven't even unpacked yet because there is no room. So that will be interesting. 

Well, I guess that is all for now. I've got to go. Be righteous! 

Con todo el amor tengo de Dios, el gozo del evangelio, y el queso en mi corazón,

Hermana Lewis

We did cornrows last P-day


The rebel lyfe chose her.