Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 21

What a week.

This weekend, we got a surprise mini missionary. The Surrey stake for the past few years has their youth ages 16 and older go on mini missions with the missionaries. So Friday night after a lesson we drove down to Surrey to pick her up! The mini missionary we got was Hermana Ramirez. Wait for this crazy coincidence. Remember how I told you that Ivan had some friends in Surrey who he went to the YSA conference and the temple with? Well, those friends were the brother and sister of Hermana Ramirez. It was such a great experience having her with us! Even though we had to cancel a couple lessons to make it happen, it was definitely what the Lord wanted us to be doing. When we dropped her off last night, all the mini missionaries had a chance to bare their testimonies and tell about an experience they had over the weekend. Their little testimonies were the sweetest thing and I loved hearing it! So much more motivated! Love it.

We saw so many miracles this weekend. And Hermana Ramirez helped me with my Spanish. So that was super awesome.

I had to translate a little bit in church yesterday. Esperanza, our deaf investigator, wants to be baptized! We had to get her to church. The Osorio family offered to give her a ride, and they know ASL because their daughter is deaf. Esperanza came to our ward and the ward absolutely loved her. Everyone had happier spirits. It was so cool. I translated from Spanish to English, and then Hermana Wilson translated into ASL. Boy.

And then I had to teach Gospel Principles. All. By. Myself. The lesson was on Eternal Marriage. There were so many people in class, too. And we had 3 investigators there. Fernando, Margarita, and Esperanza. I was dying throughout the lesson. It was so rough. But near the end, Esperanza said that she felt the Spirit and wanted to cry but was too embarrassed. At least someone felt it...

We pretty much finished teaching everything to Fernando. And then passed him to the Elders... Yup. I'll let you know when he gets baptized.

On Saturday we had a really cool lesson with Daniela*. She is from Mexico. She is going through a pretty rough time right now. She had been taught previously by some Elders, but they both left the area, and then went home and no one had contacted her until we did a few months ago. Every time we go over, she says she feels so much peace in her heart and she feels calmed. We taught the Plan of Salvation. It was such an amazing experience. As we talked about how the lesson went afterwards, Hermana Wilson, Hermana Ramirez, and I felt the Spirit so strong. We would start saying a sentence, not knowing where it was going to go, and then the Spirit took over! Oh my goodness! I can't explain. Such a cool experience. Our primary goal after that lesson was to get her to church because in the past she would say she wasn't ready. Hermana Wilson and I kept waiting and waiting. We kept passing the opportunity to the other to invite her to church, but we kept avoiding it because it didn't seem right. We testified and talked and just let things go where it felt right, sometimes waiting in silence. Then she asked about church! She asked what happens at church and what should she expect. We got to explain what it was like and the importance of it all. She loved it, and we told her she would be able to feel the Spirit even stronger there and receive an answer to her prayers about what we have been teaching her. She wanted to come, but told us that yesterday she most likely couldn't because of work. But it was such a great experience! The Lord is so gracious!

We visited Elena a couple days ago. She was sick, so we did a little service, and then caught up. We then read 3 Nefi 11. She LOVES the Book of Mormon. We read the whole chapter with her and she was sharing her insights and her favorite parts with us throughout the whole thing. She has such a great spirit about her! What a sweet lady.
We taught a lesson to a man we found on the streets. He's from Iran and his name is Farshid*. He was so excited when we texted him to see if we could share more of our message with him. We met in Subway and shared the Restoration with him. He loved it. He said he knows our church is the most true church, but he just doesn't want to leave his religion because he has grown up in it and has had so many experiences with it. But, he said he would read the Book of Mormon and pray about it to know if it's true.

Loving the missionary life! It's so good! Vancouver is keepin it cool. Cloudy, and humid:)

Con amor,
Hermana Lewis

PS Everyone pray for me cause I have to translate for someone today.  2:30 our time:)

I look like a man. Lesson with Esperanza and Andrew.

Hermana Ramirez was SO tired!

Las Hermanas:) Yo, Hermana Wilson, Hermana Ramirez, Hermana Moro, Hermana Hoth, Hermana Johnson. Bad picture.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Week 20

We got standards. We got standards.

Thanks for all the prayers! They sure do help!

This past week was super crazy!

Happy Victoria Day yesterday!

On Tuesday morning, we dropped off Hermana Williamson at the mission office. It was so sad. Then afterwards, we went and finished studies. It was so sad. All day Tuesday, we didn't talk very much. We just felt like 1/3 of us was missing. It was a weird adjustment. We talked a lot about how we felt through out the day, but other than that, there wasn't much conversation.

Wednesday was a lot better. We were a little adjusted, or more like we made ourselves adjust so we could focus on the work. We got to do service for the Fajardo Family in Richmond! I mowed the lawn!! It was so fun! And the weather was overcast, but not cold. It was perfect. And then they gave us the most delicious sandwiches: toasted bread, sliced hot dogs, tomatoes, and avocados galore! It was so good! And then we had fresca (this version was cucumber) to drink. So much fun!

We went contacting Wednesday night. It wasn't very busy, but the first person we talked to was Doug*. He was from China. We told him what we did as missionaries and he said he was so excited! We told him we had friends who spoke Mandarin and that we would give them his number. The Van Chinese Elders got in contact with him and taught him the Restoration and committed him to baptism. His date right now is June 7th! The Elders keep telling us how golden he is and how he accepts every commitment. 

We taught Fernando the Word of Wisdom and 10 Commandments on Wednesday. While we were going over the things that we don't eat or drink, he seemed a little held up on tea. After explaining it, he pretty much bore his testimony to us about the Word of Wisdom, and how tea is bad for you. Alright. Sweet. Then when we committed him to living the Word of Wisdom, he committed without hesitation. So awesome! This weekend, from Friday to Sunday, he went to the YSA Conference in Langley with a friend. He said he loved it! We are passing him to the Elders today, even though there are only a few parts of lesson 4 left to be taught. He's so prepared for baptism.

I finished the Book of Mormon again for the second time since I left on my mission on Thursday! What an inspired book! Everyone, the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

We taught Esperanza* on Thursday. We had Andrew, a member of YSA who is deaf, come with us. We taught the Restoration and how we pray in our church. It was such a great lesson . The Spirit was so strong! And now I can pray in ASL. A very simple prayer. We showed her how to watch the scriptures in ASL online. We taught her again last night. She had her family re-arrange her living room so it was easier for us to teach and so she could have a special spot to watch the Book of Mormon. 

Celeste did another mini mini-mission with us this weekend. From Saturday afternoon until Sunday night. What a blessing.

This week was a week where a lot fell through. We were so exhausted by the end. It's nice to say we have it in the past. We did the best we could, and are looking forward to what this week has coming!

We had a lot of investigators and potentials committed to church this week, but only 2 came. But they didn't even come to our building, so we didn't even see them. It was really sad being there and not having them there. We also lost a baptismal date because one of our investigators didn't come to church. BUT, it's all okay because it's all in the Lord's hands.

Because so many lessons fell through over the weekend, we really needed some miracles to be able to meet standards. We went knocking around the area where we knew one of our investigators lived, to try to find him. Haha We knew what street it was, but that was it. We just started knocking. We hadn't been in contact with him in a few days, which we found out later was because he lost his phone. I saw someone in the distance and I had the feeling to talk to them, but we weren't in a situation where we could. Later, that person wasn't there anymore. We knocked a few more doors, and just as we were walking up to one of our last doors, we ran into Pedro! He is the friend of Cristobal, from Venezuela, who we taught the Restoration and both committed to be baptized. We saw him and started talking to him. He had to run off to work, but said we would talk later, and told us that Cristobal wasn't home. We walked to the back to knock on the door. A woman answered and was saying to us that she spoke Spanish. We started talking right back to her in Spanish and she let us in after a few seconds:) Her name is Elena*. She is the mom of one of the people living in the house. Two minutes later, who walks in? Pedro! We talked and got to know them, explained what we do as missionaries, explained what the Book of Mormon was, read some scriptures from the Book of Mormon, and prayed. Miriam LOVED it. She said we could come back on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We're super excited! Now Elena, Pedro, and Cristobal are all being taught! There is just one more in that household to teach. Pray for them all!

Yesterday we taught Sumon*, from Bangladesh. He was a potential we found from a week ago. We taught the Restoration. He prayed and is excited to find out, just like Joseph Smith did, if these things are true and if this is Jesus Christ's church.

Vancouver note: An episode of the Walking Dead was filmed at the high school right by our apartment the other night. Anyway...

Hey! I finished Doctrine and Covenants this morning! What a great book. I have now read the Book of Mormon twice, the Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants. Now onto the bible:)

Have a great week! I hope it is as great as my watch tan line.

Have a conversation with God. It's the best! It really works!

Hermana Lewis

Poutine! First time!

With Andrew after a lesson with Esperanza!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 19

Hey (Canadian line).

Two Fridays ago, we had our Ward Activity that we were so excited to do! We had prepared so much for it and we really felt like it would help the ward so much! We had to make a few last minute changes since we didn't have a Ward Mission leader, but we coordinated with Elder Francis and Elder Gurr, and it was all going to work out. We made the coolest missionary tags for the members, and got all set up and ready to go. The Elders called the first half of the ward to personally invite everyone and we called the second half. It comes to 7:30 and you would never believe how many people were there. 0. Yup. 10 minutes later we had two more people show up. It was super rough! We didn't have a good sized group until after 8, and it was still so small that we had to change everything. We just felt like it was going so bad. At the end though, we had some people in tears, and then for the next couple days, we heard good things about it. But it was just not great. Man.

Last Monday, we taught a potential who we found on the Skytrain the last day before our passes ran out. His name is Cristobal*. He went home and told his roommate about us, and coincidentally, the next day, he met Elder Francis and Gurr. His name is Pedro*. We had the lesson, and Cristobal brought Pedro. We gave a tour of the church and then taught the Restoration. After the first vision, they both sat in silence for a minute and then said, "wow". It was so awesome. I love that reaction. Okay! Love it! We finished up and invited them to baptism. Two dates! But the Elders get Pedro's. They are scheduled for the 31st, although they weren't able to come to church yesterday, so we'll see how it goes.

We were out enjoying the nice weather this week, and all of a sudden it started hailing like crazy. All hail broke loose. Sorry everyone. They were big, cold, and wet. So that was super fun. Got to love Vancouver!

Saturday we had the huge ward dinner for Mother's day. The Hermanos in the ward made the dinner. There was so much preparation into the night and it turned out really nice. We had a lot of potentials and investigators saying they would be there, but in the end, only 2 showed up. Anita* came at the end, so she didn't get to stay very long. But Fernando* came at the beginning. We ate and talked, with the mood set by Spanish music. The primary sang a couple songs, and Andrew (11), the bishop's son sang a song. We had cake at the end. Tradition is that during cleanup, they dance for a couple hours, but we had to leave to be home by 9:00, so we didn't see any of it. 

Transfers are this week! I am staying in Vancouver Spanish and I am finishing Hermana Wilson's training. We're super excited!

We had a potential, Fernando, from last week. He has no spiritual or religious background other than he knows he has been to a church before. He came to church last week, and he came again this week! He fits in so well with the ward and he feels so comfortable there. In Gospel Principles, not only does he pray every week, but he comments and participate in every way. He loves the atmosphere and everything. We taught him Restoration on Thursday last week. He is really open and asks questions and makes comments. And again, after the First Vision he said "wow". Can I tell you enough how much I love that response? Yes! Wow! God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. What an act of love. After the Restoration, he said, "So I was just wondering. What are your beliefs about where we came from and where we go after this life? And why do you think we are here?" Are you kidding me? He is so prepared! We invited him to baptism, but he wasn't ready to commit. After the lesson, we gave him the rest of the Introduction to read. But he asked if there was something he could read about his questions, so we also gave him the Plan of Salvation pamphlet. He also wanted something about faith, so we gave him Alma 32. Then on Saturday, before the dinner, we taught him the Plan of Salvation. He had been reading from the Book of Mormon and praying, and had read the pamphlet. He loved it. While we were explaining Earth Life, he asked, "What about the people who don't have a chance to learn about the Gospel in this life?" Actually, we would love to answer that question. He asked us if life was easy. We said no, it's still hard, we still have trials. Then Fernando said this: "I think that having a knowledge of this plan really does make life easy. You look at those other people out there (pointing out of the chapel) who don't have a knowledge of this plan. They are drinking and doing drugs and think that it brings them happiness. But these are the real things that bring happiness". Are you kidding me?! We invited him to baptism and he said one day, but he wants to know more first before he commits. He came to church yesterday and loved it again. Keep him in your prayers!

While contacting in Vancouver, it is a lot different than in Surrey or other smaller cities. In Vancouver, everyone is living the city life. Everyone is in a rush from one area to the next and it's hard to get anyone to stop and talk to you. We start a lot of conversations with a compliment. Sometimes we are just walking compliment machines because that is all they have time to listen to. But we do whatever we can to talk to someone about the gospel. The other day, we were contacting. It was super funny, and I'm so glad I was able to watch it because apparently it isn't funny if you weren't there.

Hermana Williamson: "I love your scarf! Where did you get it?"
Lady: (In the biggest rush to get somewhere besides Salvation) Thanks, my mom got it for me from _____ (some country I don't remember).
Hermana Williamson: (As the lady is speed walking away) "MOM GIFTS! I love mom gifts!"

Mom gifts?! Hahahaha

We had exchanges this weekend, and Hermana Hoth came here with Hermana Williamson and I, and Hermana Wilson went with Vancouver YSA Sisters. It was fun.

Language Problems 101: I was talking to a non-member at the Mothers Day dinner on Saturday. She is the mom of a recent convert who just started coming to church last week. She asked me what song I was supposed to be playing. It was Love at Home. I knew that that wasn't how you said it in Spanish, but I couldn't think of what it was called so I just decided to directly translate the title. And as I spoke, I realized why it isn't called Love at Home in Spanish. It was so bad. I dyed laughing and everyone tried to play it cool. But lets just be honest for a second and realize how bad it really was.

Me: "Amor en Casa".

Oh my goodness. I can't get over it. Her face was blank. Hermana Williamson quickly tried to fix it all. Thank goodness for companions!

On that happy note, have a fantastic week!

Hermana Lewis

PS I won't be emailing to next Tuesday most likely because the Libraries are closed next Monday.

Not quite 3/$1... :(

Bienvenidos a Port Moody