Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 30

Hola! Y feliz dia de independencia, Columbia!

Funny quotes of the week:

1. While waiting to meet up with Cassandra, we were watching this squirrel. I think I have already mentioned that the squirrels here are black, but in case I didn't, now you know. So it's already just a different experience. But this squirrel was in action, jumping from trees and onto the fence, and it started to worry Hermana Wilson out a little. She couldn't decide if it was a giant rat or a squirrel. She thought it was staring at her and that it was trying to get her. Cassandra showed up, but we were still in the car.
Hermana Wilson (terrified): "It's looking at me!!!!!! Oh my gosh!!!!! GET IT!!!!!!!!!"

2. After our lesson with Cassandra, we started talking about "pets". 
Cassandra: "Ya. My friend has a pet she found. She brings it to school and puts it in her sleeve and every once in a while, a tale pops out. It's so gross. It creeps me out!"
Las hermanas: "Does it have a name?"
Cassandra (in a serious voice): "I prefer not knowing"

Haha are those even funny for you? We were dying!

We did a drop-by of a former we have planned to drop by my whole mission, but it never worked out. Her name is Miranda*! We found their house by a miracle, and they were home! We talked and she introduced us to her husband and new baby boy! And we have an appointment with them tonight! They are so cute! And we are super excited!

Ariana has a phone, now! We are working on strengthening the relationships we have with our investigators, and we decided we would go out to lunch with Ariana. We went to a Mexican grill on Saturday. It was so awesome. Everyone was speaking Spanish, including Hermana Wilson and I. Do you know how powerful I felt being in there with all of them? We were gringas, but we were speaking Spanish and having conversations! Then there were the other people who spoke English. But we spoke Spanish! It was really good food! We got to talk and just relax. She showed us a picture from their wedding as well! Then we taught about temples and eternal marriage when we got back to the church. She kept saying "Woooooooww" the whole lesson. After the lesson she sent us a text that said she was going to tell Alfonso all about the temples, and then said they are going to prepare to enter the temple!

Ariana came to church yesterday, as well! She loved it once again! She can't wait for the time when Alfonso doesn't have to work on Sundays anymore so they can come together! She said he would love it!

We were riding the skytrain back from downtown yesterday and I saw Christina! She's been sick and in bed for the past couple weeks, and it's been hard to keep in touch, let alone set something up with her. I went and talked to her and she explained how she had been sick and super sad that we haven't been able to meet for a while. We got off the skytrain with her and then she started telling us about the Book of Mormon! She has been reading it over the past 2 1/2 weeks and is now in 2 Nefi. She loves it! She saw in our first lesson how my scriptures were marked, and said she would mark hers, too! She told me that she had been marking her scriptures and sharing her verses and chapters with her boyfriend. She explained how every time she reads, she just feels so good. She said "it is just so pure and powerful!" She bore one of the most beautiful testimonies of the Book of Mormon I have ever heard! And she started explaining her favorite principles and doctrine she has been learning and reading about! We've only taught the Restoration! The Book of Mormon has so much power! When we met 2 1/2 weeks ago to teach her, she had never set foot in a church before, didn't know much about God and Jesus Christ, and had never prayed. Her first prayer, she used "usted" instead of "tu". But after 2 1/2 weeks, she was reading and applying everything she learned, and was so happy! I wish you could have been there!

So many other awesome things happened this week!

Hermana Wilson and I have been trying to scare each other for the past few weeks. Just switching things up a bit. Last night I scared her so bad! I wish I had it recorded. One of my biggest regrets! It was almost 10:30 and I was in our room with the lights off, and Hermana Wilson was coming into the room. I decided I would kneel in her spot and see what happened. She asked me where I was before she turned off the lights and I said I was in our room. She turned off the light and came in. It was super dark. She came and started to kneel, when she felt me and screamed so loud! Oh my goodness! When we are in heaven and we look back on our lives, I hope you can all watch this one in slo-mo!

Also, heads up! Next Monday is a holiday here in Canada and from now on, we are going to have our P-days on the Tuesday if Monday is a holiday. So I wont be writing until Tuesday! Wish me a happy Holiday! Not to sure which one it is...
Also, transfer news comes this weekend! Better get your guesses ready! 

Paz y bendiciones para siempre!
Hermana Lewis

The blurriest picture. Taken before the mango mishap last week. Starring Hermana Kartchner, yours truly, and Alicia!

A ward member gave us this <3

To celebrate having my camera back, I decided I would take a lot more pictures. But, I didn't. It's a goal this week.

Dinner last night after an awesome music devotional. Potatoes at 10.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 29

This week was a long one!

We'll start with last Monday! For P-day we went to Stanley Park and rode our bikes around the whole thing. It was so pretty! And it was awesome to wear pants and to ride bikes! At one point I was taking a picture for Hermana Wilson and this guy came up and said, "Get in there sister. I'll take your picture". It was a member! We never see members! Ever! And he was from Saudi Arabia and here with his family. I fell in love with that family. And then as they were leaving, he said "Thank you for your service". Oh man. Good day.

From Tuesday to Wednesday, we had exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders. Sister Schroeder came to our area. It was a really good exchange! And I got to help a YW in the ward with math!

From Thursday until Saturday, we had exchanges with the Surrey Hermanas! We had to get special permission to do them since they are no longer in our district or zone, but it was such a great experience. I stayed in Vancouver and Hermana Kartchner, who has been out for 3 weeks came here! I learned so much from her as well! She is such a great missionary!

On our first night of exchanges, we were visiting a recent convert, Omar. We had a really great lesson, and afterwards, he gave us mangoes to eat. We were eating the mangoes and they were super juicy, so our hands got really sticky. He didn't have any paper towels, so he gave us toilet paper. By the time we got it though, it was no long wet, but mostly dry, so the toilet paper stuck all over our hands in little pieces. Hermana Kartchner and I tried so hard not to laugh but we laughed so hard! At least it was at the right time in the conversation.

Ariana came to church yesterday! And she now has a phone so we can be in touch with her! What a blessing! Liliana also came to church, the mom of a ward member who is not a member, and Sabrina! All the talks and lessons were exactly what our investigators needed to hear, and it was so cool!

I officially named 3 guitars this week. Hermana Lewis, Dexter, and Gloria Luis.

I think that's about it!

I love being a missionary with all my heart. I'm so grateful for the chance I have to serve! Wouldn't trade it for anything. Nope. Not anything.

Hermana Lewis


Stanley Park

 like to ride my bicycle. I like to ride my bike.

Sister McKee, Hermana Wilson, Me, Sister Schroeder

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 28

We had so many miracles this week! So I guess that's nothing new...

I saw my first bear in Canada this week! Thursday in Coquitlam! It was so cute and little! Ah!

Hermana Wilson got proposed to this week. Last Monday, actually. She said no.

I was offered to smoke a peace pipe on Friday by a security guard of a building going up half a block away from the church. Thanks, but no thanks.

We had a lesson with Sofia*. She is 22, from Mexico, and was baptized Catholic, but has not practiced at all. She was a potential of the Elders, who came to church last week. We taught the Restoration, as well as answered some amazing questions she had. We invited her to be baptized, and she committed to August 2nd! She is so willing and ready to learn, as well as excited to be baptized!

We had a lesson with Liliana*, who is the grandmother of Ricardo*, a recent convert. She's from Peru and has been to church twice already. We taught her the Restoration as well, and she committed to be baptized August 2nd as well, although the date might be sooner by a week or so!

They are both so prepared!

We got to teach Law of Chastity this week to an investigator who is not living the law. We prepared for a long time because we wanted to teach it well, but also teach it so the Spirit could be there and that she could understand and apply the commandment. We role-played and studied to prepare for it and it went so well. The Spirit was there, and she agreed to live it. It looks like we'll be planning a marriage soon! It's crazy. Ever since we began to plan to teach her the Law of Chastity, every lesson would be set up, confirmed, double confirmed, and then it would fall through just before. But we finally got to teach it! 

On the outskirts of downtown, there was the Carnaval del Sol this weekend, so naturally, Hermana Wilson and I went. Oh. My. Heavens. Latinos are so cool. I already knew that, but wow. There were so many miracles!

1. We saw Fernando! He hasn't come to church recently and the Elders dropped him for a while, but he introduced us to two of his friends as his friends from church, and told us he wanted to learn more and meet up this weekend when he has time.

2. We saw Sabrina*, one of our investigators. She is good friends with a member in the English ward who speaks Spanish, and met her when she came to church the other week. We got her number and built a really good relationship with her!

3. We saw Abril*, a girl we met contacting back 2 transfers ago. She didn't have a phone then, so we just invited her to church! She came once, but the YSA sisters didn't know she was ours and took her to YSA. Then we got her number a couple times from other missionaries who ran into her once she had one (What's App number. Everyone uses that here. IPads will be so handy), but it was always wrong. But we got her number!

4. We talked to a bunch of people from all over the place in Spanish, met some amazing people, and got some potentials!

I finished the Book of Mormon this morning! What a great Book! I have read the Book of Mormon more than any other book, by far. It's pretty powerful!

Almost forgot! We had another lesson with Daniela on Saturday! It was a good lesson! And she is still working towards baptism! The date as of right now looks like September!

That's about all I can think of for now!

No pictures this week! My card was full!

Con amor y mucho animo,
Hermana Lewis

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week 27

What a week! I know it's late, but Happy Canada Day. And Happy 4th of July! 

This is the wonderful story you all had to wait for! The Richmond English sisters, Sisters Mathialagan and Sister Shahamati texted us two weeks ago with the number for a potential and set up a time for a church tour later in the week! When we were finally able to get a hold of them, we had to switch our appointment a couple times because he worked.

His name is Alfonso* and he was coming with a girl, Ariana*. They are from Mexico. He got here 3 weeks prior, and she came just one week before.

When we got a time scheduled, we met them for the tour. BUT WE WERE LOCKED OUT OF THE CHURCH because we don't have a key (someone explain this to me), and no one else was near to open it. So we walked to a park as we got to know them better and did some How to Begin Teaching, and taught the Restoration. They were so cute. They asked so many questions, and they asked the questions because they wanted to know answers!

At the end, Ariana told us that everything we taught was more or less what they already believed, except there were a few things that were different. They were excited to read the Book of Mormon. She said that what we taught added on to what they already believed and that what we taught, as well as the Book of Mormon, help them see the bigger picture and understand so much more.
Ok. So they are super cool.

Afterwards, we found out they are married! Blessings! They got married about 6 months ago! They loved the idea that as each of them put God first in their lives and marriage, they would grow closer to each other.

We hope to be able to see them soon! He's busy with work and they are trying to move right now.
Painting last P-day was so awesome! We read a little bit in 3 Nephi 12 with Lucia before we started. Then we got to work! She set up the cutest little area for us to paint, overlooking Lonsdale and Downtown Vancouver. It was so hot, but so worth it. She also gave us agua or fresca, lime flavored. Man it was good. We ran out of time to finish, but we are hoping we can finish soon!

One thing Lucia kept telling us as we were painting was "No tengas miedo!!". Hermana Wilson and I were being unsure and timid about color usage or brush, or how much water to use, etc. She just kept saying over and over "No tengas miedo!". Hermana Wilson and I had an amazing teacher who was teaching us how to paint! What an opportunity! All we had to do was do as she said. It wasn't easy at times (1. We didn't really know the vocabulary for painting in Spanish, 2. We had never done it before). It made me think about life. We have Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father has given us the opportunity to come here so that we can become like him. He sent his perfect son, Jesus Christ to the world, to teach us and show us how to live life. We are here on the earth, and although Jesus Christ is not living on the earth right now, we have his example and his words, written by prophets during his life, as well as words prophesied before and after his birth. We are hear to learn, but we cannot learn without action. Without trying, we will not gain experience. I would have gained or learned very little if Marisol had just painted the picture for me. It would have been an interesting experience, but I would be left wondering what would have happened if I had tried.

Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you (DyC 86:6)

The Lord is telling us not to fear! We are hear to learn and gain experience! We need to act, and trust. We have the perfect example. And what is even better than stinking acrylics is that in life, our mistakes can go away! The Savior, whose perfect example could have justly been enough, gave his life and performed the Infinite Atonement, and through him we can be perfect. All our mistakes can go away. All we have to do is "look unto [him] in every thought; doubt not, fear not" (DyC 6:36). We need to act in faith everyday. If we fall short, turn to the Savior and Redeemer, and repent. Become clean, and then try again! 

"Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts" (Malachi 3:10). Try and see if you cannot better reach your potential as a child of God.


The rest of P day was great! We went on a little hike in Lynn Valley with Hermana Andrea Valderi, a recent convert as of November. It was so pretty and fun! And steep.

We had a really cool lesson with Daniela on Monday night! She is reading the Book of Mormon, and also praying over a baptismal date! She knows baptism is what she needs in her life. She knows she has put off not going to church and progressing too long and that this is what her Spirit has been looking for! Such an amazing lesson! 

Zone Conference was so good! It was Friday from 8 until 4! The focus of Zone Conference was to be more consecrated missionaries. I was super excited because that is what I have been focusing on personally, too.

First off, President Burt is so amazing. Such an inspired man. I'm so grateful to have him as my mission president, as well as Sister Burt for a mission mom. They are wonderful.
Here a just a few thoughts, highlights, and quotes I loved:

"As you go about your days working in the 32 degree heat, yeah, you are going to be uncomfortable. But think of the great, warm drops of blood that the Savior gave. Those weren't comfortable" --President Burt

"The blessings are already there, we just have to do the work to receive them. With so many rules, there are so many more chances to be blessed." -- Elder Nielson, talking about living the standards of the white handbook.

There should be no question as to whether or not we are obedient. We just need to do it.

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21) If we focus on what we should be doing as missionaries, or members of the church, that is where we will receive blessings. As I work to help others receive eternal blessings and perspective, I will receive eternal blessings, no matter how hard it is in the moment.

We need to give up good for better for best. At home, I tried to go to the temple weekly. Prophets, Apostles, and other church leaders stress the importance so much. Since I have been out in the field, I have not been able to go. But that is because for me right now, this missionary work is more important than temple work.

"If you are wondering where God is, he is as close as you will allow him to be" --President Burt
All that is asked of us is to be the best we can be!

We were just living off that Spirit on Friday, and brought it straight into a lesson with a potential I met on the skytrain. We met her about 2 months back, and I had the feeling as I was talking to her that she was going to be baptized. It was stronger than just "I want her to be baptized", but really "She has to be baptized. She's ready". We contacted often over the past two months, but she wasn't able to meet up. We were going to meet with her earlier in the week, but then she had a problem come up so it got pushed back. Then on Friday, we got that text that you read while we were heading into lunch, and she asked if we could see her that night, and that she really wanted to learn more! So after conference we miraculously got a member and walked with her to the church. It was her first time in a church. She is almost 40 and was raised Atheist. We gave a tour of the church (including the baptismal font), and then we taught the Restoration. She asked so many questions, and asked to understand. She was so interested and the Spirit was so strong. We invited her at the end to be baptized and by the time I got to the word "baptism" in the baptismal invite, she was already saying yes and I couldn't even finish the sentence. We set a date for August 1! It was so cool! Afterwards, we walked into the Sacrament meeting room, and she said there was a strong feeling of peace and she felt calmed. She said she wanted to come every week! Then as we were leaving, she asked if she could mark the Book of Mormon we gave her. She told us she would be texting us the insights she had. We are so excited to help her come closer to Christ! She said her first prayer ever at the end of the lesson, and it was beautiful. I love investigator prayers!

Sorry for so many crazy thoughts! It's a scattered email! Hope you made it through!
Love you!

Hermana Lewister

Hermana Wilson's is the one on the left. Mine is on the right. Almost done...

Lynn Valley

View from West Vancouver

Happy Canada Day! (From the 2015 Canada Day Photo Shoot Album)

Shout out to Celeste, my faithful follower!<3 El quien quiere Celeste...

We didn't start the fire! It was always burning...But really. Orange sun and smoke for 2 days!