Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 38

This week was crazy!
Because I was with the Sister Training leaders, all day Tuesday and Wednesday, I was in a car with them, driving missionaries to their new areas and helping them move. On September 15th, I saw my first live cows since at least December.

I got to spend a couple hours doing missionary work Wednesday night with Sister Heward! We came out together and we had so much fun! She's amazing! We spent some time at ESL with a new investigator! That class is so fun! Crazy, but fun.


Sister Stancliffe: What do you like to do? 
Martin* (Elders' investigator from Mexico, learning English): I like to go running on the beach.


Sister Stancliffe: You like to go rolling (she heard rolling instead of running)? Where?
Martin: Uh........ Rolling Stones?

On Thursday we had the training meeting! I drove down with Sister Heward and we were so excited to get our new missionaries! I pretty much knew who my companion was going to be so I took a picture from where I was sitting...

It was a super great meeting. My new companion:

Hermana Polanco Aragon!

She is from Guatemala. She is so amazing and so prepared! That night, we had a super crazy lesson where an investigator lost it, and she handled it so well and testified so strongly. I'm the luckiest.

We were able to help with the Food Drive on Saturday! We spent a good couple hours in the rain helping bring in food, and also sorting it inside. 

A man named Thiago* texted us the other day to come to church! He was someone we met a long time ago, but were only able to give him our number, and not get his. But he came and loved it! He's from Ecuador!
A girl named Stephanie* came to church on her own! She has a friend in Mexico, and her dad is the Stake President, and they told her to come to church here and try it out. She did, and stayed for Briana's baptism!
Briana was baptized! It was a sweet program. Her and Matthew were both so happy. In one year from now, they can go through the temple! Eternal families! Alex was beaming the whole night and everyone could feel it!

Bishop Goetz: Where do you think the happi8est place in the world is?
Briana: Anywhere with Matthew.

I'm out of time. But here is something I learned this week.

I was reading the war chapters at the end of Alma, and I was thinking about how our Spirits are kind of like the Nephites who went to battle. They were out doing what they were supposed to, but there was a problem with the king-men in the cities, and so Pahoran (Haha hope that's right. So many P names) wasn't able to send out the provisions to the armies. As a result, the Nephites were tired and hungry and could not fight as well. It is just like our spirits. The Holy Ghost protects us, and fights against temptation, but if we are not providing what they need like scripture study, prayer, and refuge, they get worn out, and their ability to fight is weakened.

I was also thinking about how the Nephites fought because they were protecting life, liberty, and their families, and that they let the Lamanites go as long as they promised to live in peace. The Nephites immediately forgave them for what they did. That is exactly like us and our Heavenly Father. We are here, and sometimes we fight against him. We think what we want is better than what he wants for us, and we end up making a lot of mistakes. But as soon as we are ready to submit ourselves to his will, he forgives us and lets us go. He gives us another chance to do things right. I'm so grateful that we have a loving, understanding Father in Heaven!
Love you all!
Hermana Lewis

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 37

Hola! This week was so much fun!

Val was baptized last night! She looked so beautiful in her long white dress. And Luis baptized her. The whole service was so special! All the ward members who had such a big part in helping her prepare for baptism were in the program. Brother Taylor conducted, Sister Wiser sang "Once Upon a Time" (I think that's what it's called), and Sister Gasser directed the music. Seeing her be baptized was so sweet. After, the Young Women all recited the YW theme, and then sang "I Love to see the Temple". The Spirit was so strong. It was so sweet. And Val's mom came, as well as her little sister, Gertrude. The Baptism started really late because of a Priesthood meeting in Burnaby that got out late, but it all worked out perfectly!

Briana is looking good for her baptismal date next Sunday! I am hoping with all my heart that I can go!

We got transfer news on Saturday night! After the most crazy phone call, I am staying in Vancouver Spanish for another transfer, and I'll be training! I'm so excited!! Sister Cendreda is going to Abbotsford I believe, and Sister Cobb is staying in Van South. Sister McKee and Sister Ditto are both staying. Elder Salazar is going to Mission, and Elder Zamano is training in Vancouver Spanish. Hermana Wilson and Hermana Kartchner, and Elder Gurr and Elder Kirkham are staying in Surrey Spanish.

Simone is leaving back to Korea early, and leaves this week. I'm going to miss her so much! 

On Saturday, we had the Festival de Maiz! It was so good! I had to leave early, but what I saw was perfect. Christina went and was able to talk to a lot of people in the ward and make some friends. Henry, a guy we met on the skytrain a couple transfers ago came, and he invited a friend, Danny*. Greg*, Regina*'s dad, and Michael*, Rosa's son, came too! The Elders had two investigators there as well. The food was delicious and then the dancing started! Right before I had to leave, I saw Hermanos Puschels do a dance from Chile! It was so fun! And then Rosa and her husband did a dance from Columbia. It was a great night, and all the investigators loved it!

I was able to teach a lot of lessons this week in Spanish! Even thought it was all by myself! It was a sweet miracle! And yesterday, I got to practice a ton with some Mexicans! Love Spanish!

In the mornings for exercise, we (Sister Ditto, Sister McKee, Sister Chen, and Sister Allen) switch off ever other day going to the gym at the church. This week we did interpretive dancing and it was a killer work out!

I'm so excited for General Conference! So excited!

I think that's about it for this week! So much has happened, but I can't think of much more to say!

Stay cool and keep the commandments!
Hermana Lewis

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 36

We had a great week! Lots happened. 

Happy 8 months to me!

On Monday, Brother Taylor invited us over to his house for FHE with his family, and also invited Luis and Val. It was amazing. We got there and we started by making personal pizzas. After we ate, we taught about tithing. Then it was time for the activities. We got to play "Don't eat Pete" and it was so much fun! Then we grabbed a blanket and started swinging the little girls around. Then it was my turn. I tried to convince them otherwise, but they insisted. We all died. That has not happened to me in years. At least a decade. Anyhow, the Spirit was really strong, and it was so amazing to see the importance of families, and for Luis and Val to see it, too! 

One of my companions, got lice from an investigator's that's a whole other adventure on it's own. 

On Wednesday, we had a surprise birthday party for Rufino! Sister Cobb, Cendreda and I made a delicious cake from a box, and then I made home-made frosting! It looked pretty nice! The Taylors, the Wisers, and a couple of the Filipino members came, as well as Kate* and Simone. Val came with her dad, and we all surprised him as he walked in the door of the church. He was so surprised and overwhelmed with all the people there for him, and was holding back some tears. We ate food that different members had brought. Then we played "Trip to Jerusalem", or musical chairs, as well as a relay with spoons and grapes. Everyone was laughing and having fun. Then we did cake and presents. Kate bought Luis a little ham. I love people. Then it was time for Val's present. We got a box and put a baptismal dress in the bottom, with a picture of the temple on top, and then a not from Val. It talked about how proud she was of him for the changes he made in his life. As he was reading it, some members saw what was in the box and started to figure out what was happening. We got it on video and you can just hear gasps. On the next piece of paper, it said, "Will you baptised me?". Luis was caught so off guard. It was so sweet. They hugged across the table and everyone was touched. When we got home later that night, they both texted us for the special night. They are so special!

I went on exchanges with Sister McKee this week and we had a great time! And I got to go contacting at UBC and ran into a lot of students form China. My 3 phrases in Mandarin are down:)

We got to meet Val's mom this week! We were really excited, but also wanted to make a super good impression because we had to get permission for her to be baptised. We walked in and met her, and she said hi, but didn't seem too interested. We sat down and had a lesson with Val and Simone. Then her mom came out a little later and we were just talking. She opened up near the end and showed us pictures of her family from when they were all kids and was so proud. It was so sweet. I had the strongest feeling that she is ready to learn about the gospel. 

The next day, Val's mom, Lucy*, invited us over for dinner! We were so excited! We got there and ate the most amazing food! We had fried milk fish that we dipped in vinegar and garlic, rice, a vegetable soup type sauce. I would tell you their real names, but I forgot to write them down. Then we had ube for dessert. It was so good. All of it. Then we taught Lucy, Val, Gertrude*, and Lucy's friend, Amanda. It was a really cool lesson. Lucy told us that Val has changed so much and she is so grateful for what we have been teaching her. She said that Val now spends more time with her siblings and with her and that she's happier. She also said she would come to Val's baptism! One of the coolest things, though, is that she said that Val has come home and talked about the different member families (the Wisers, the Gassers, and the Taylors) and talked about how happy their families are and how strong the Spirit is in their homes. 

Sunday was crazy! Testimony meeting in the English ward turned out to be some sort of free-for-all in all sense of the term. And we had so many investigators and recent converts there to witness it all... We were so worried. Ask for the story when I get home.

But Jeanette was confirmed! She was beaming! 

Christina came to Sacrament meeting, as well as Hermana Puschel's sister, visiting from Chile. Hermano Puschel (our ward mission leader in the spanish ward) taught an amazing lesson in Gopsel Principles! He's so good!

After church, we got invited to a Filipino party. Which means a Filipino member of the ward invited us over for dinner to break our fasts, and there were a couple other families there as well, all in a two room basement apartment. There were about 20 of us there. We ate delicious foods, and then we had cake and ice cream to celebrate one of their birthdays (Blanche).  We shared a message with them, and they shared their faith with us. It was so sweet. 

I'm on exchanges with my sister training leaders the rest of the transfer. Transfer news is this weekend! I can't believe how fast this transfer went by!

Sorry, but no pictures this week! I'm in a library in Richmond and I think it's missionary proof. I'll try my best!  

Love you all!

Hermana Lewis