Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 56

Jina langu ni dada Lewis!

This week was so full of miracles. God is eternally good and I can't even begin to try to express how loving and perfect He is. 

I love the experiences I am having as a minister of Jesus Chris sustained by the power and authority of God. I am grateful for my "right and privilege to represent the Lord" and that he has trusted me to bring his lost sheep back to the fold (PMG, 4).

Heavenly Father trusted us this week to teach so many of his children. 

We taught Angela the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on Tuesday. We taught her about God's hand in restoring the plan of our eternal salvation and happiness. She had been reading from the Book of Mormon and praying. She loved the feelings she experienced as she did so. She told us how excited she was for her baptism and told us all of her plans. We taught her a few days later and went over the Word of Wisdom, praying daily, and studying the scriptures daily. She testified of it all and accepted it. She told us she was going to home to Penticton over the weekend, and so she would go to church there with the Elders if she couldn't get a ride back in time to come to YSA. Saturday, we got a text from her telling us this church wasn't for her. The timing may not be right, but "our message, which is centered in Jesus Christ, is of great value and importance" and that "no matter what [her] needs or concerns might be, the Savior and His teachings-the gospel-will help" (PMG, 176). I know that when she is ready, she will remember, just as Alma did, what we have taught her as well as the witness she received from the Spirit, a member of the Godhead, that these things were true. And when she is ready, she can grasp hold of the Savior and remember how close she felt as she read the words of his chosen prophets that testified of him.

Alma 36

 17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

 18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

 19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

 20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

We went finding on campus at UBCO (University of British Columbia) and testified of the power of Jesus Christ to everyone we talked to. I loved it.

We met one guy named Chad*. At the end of our conversation, he had to run to class, and we only had time to give him our number. We thought we would never hear from him again because that is just how it goes. The next day, we got a text from him telling us he wanted to hear more. We set up a lesson with him. We got to know him and taught the Restoration. He was so excited to be able to have his own Book of Mormon and to try out the promise given by the prophet Moroni, that he could read this book and know whether it was of God or not. We left him with 2 Nephi 31 and the introductionHe asked us when we could meet again to learn more. He came to church yesterday and enjoyed himself. He told us he read 2 Nephi 31 and the introduction and he loved it. We pray that he will continue to "come to know Him by reading, pondering, and praying about the Book of Mormon" as the Elders continue to teach him (PMG, 105).

On Friday night, some of our lessons fell through, and we didn't know what we should do. We decided to pray. Sister Schroeder and I both got the answer that we should go to Wal-Mart, even though that was the last place we wanted to go. 

"Pray for the Spirit's guidance, and valiantly follow the promptings you receive" (PMG, 91).

And we drove to Wal-Mart. We got in and we cleared our mind. Who did Heavenly Father need us to meet? We both felt a man. And we cleared our minds again. Old or young. We felt that it was an older man, but not an old man. We cleared our minds again. Where should we go? We pondered and waited a minute. We felt the electronics section. We walked to the back of the store and there was no one there. We began to walk around and tried to rely on the Spirit. We walked past an isle that had a man in it. We both paused at the isle divider. It was him. We walked down the isle, took a second to look at some power tools right next to him, and then said hello. His name was Norman*. We quickly got to know him just enough for him to feel comfortable and we began talking about Christ and our role as missionaries. We exchanged numbers, and we said we would contact him. On Saturday, he texted us and told us he wanted to learn more. 

Last night, we met with him and taught him the Restoration. He was amazed that we have a prophet of God on the earth to lead and guide us today and wanted to know for himself if he was a true prophet. We gave him a Book of Mormon and extended him the invitation to read, ponder, and pray to know if it was true. He was so excited and said he would be baptized as he came to know Thomas S. Monson was a prophet of God, that Joseph Smith was called of God and the prophet who restored Christ's perfect church on the earth again, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. He asked when we could meet again so he could continue to learn.

"When individuals... feel the Spirit working with them, or when they see the evidence of the Lord's love and mercy in their lives, they are edified and strengthened spiritually and their faith in Him increases. These experiences with the Spirit follow naturally when a person is willing to experiment upon the word" (PMG, 93). 

If we had not acted, we would not have had that experience. If we had not asked, it would not have been given us. If we did not seek, we would not have found. If we had not knocked, it would not have been opened unto us. But we did, and like always, God kept his promise.

“But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not. (Mosiah 4: 29-30)"

We have been given everything we need to have happiness now and joy in eternity. It is up to us if we use those blessings from our loving Heavenly Father. Through our agency, we decide if we are happy, we decide if Christ has power in our lives, we decide if we return to live with God again. Continually "feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do" (2 Nephi 32:3). We need to remember how good God is and remember to do as he has asked, and "Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven, and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all things which the Lord can comprehend" (Mosiah 4:9). 

"Trust in the Lord: he is [your] help and [your] shield" (Psalms 115"11).

 "Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength" (Isaiah 26:4).

That is just a touch of what I have seen and felt this week. 

On another note, Sister Schroeder and I play "What are the odds..." as we are going about. We were walking down this street downtown, and there was only one man. I asked her what the odds were that she would bring up the hokey pokey in our next conversation. And we guessed the same number. 

Us: Hello! How are you? 
-Old man breathes hard, bent over in pain after shooting himself up... (No we didn't know he was before we started talking).
Sister Schroeder (nervously talking): We were just wondering if you had ever heard of the hokey pokey. You put your right arm put your right arm out... you put your right arm in and you shake it all do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself about... that's what it's all about...
-As Sister Schroeder was talking, a car full of guys our age pulled up in an alley behind us and were watching. I was wondering what they were doing, and they just sat there. 

And then the old man says "That's what it's all about" as he lifts up his head and gives us the creepiest look. And just then the guys in the car shout something and we quickly take the out and they speed off. Pretty much just saved us from the creepiest man. 

One more miracle.

Love you all! Have a fantastic week!

Hermana Lewis

Most of the Zone after Zone Meeting. We got our Christmas present from the Burts.  Sister Lai, Sister Tripp, Me, Sister Wright, Elder Maurer, Elder Coomans, Elder Gleed, Sister Madson, Sister Heward, Elder McNabb, Elder Pectol, Elder Petersen, Elder Haase, Elder Ellis)  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 55

This week lasted an eternity. So it's a good thing it was a good week! 

Last Monday was good. I don't remember too much of it.

On Tuesday, we had a leadership meeting with President and Sister Burt, the Zone Leaders, and the two District Leaders in the Kelowna Zone. It was a super good meeting. And right after, we had our Specialized Training for the Kelowna Zone. It was also just awesome. This zone is pretty great and we are unified for sure! 

Right after our awesome meetings, Sister Tripp and I split on exchanges and we went to her area, the Kelowna 2nd ward. We taught a lesson to one of their investigators with a baptismal date, Aimee*. She is amazing. Oh my goodness. Her baptismal date is January 30th and she is so ready. I wish you could all meet her! 

We knocked doors, had a delicious dinner with the Rider family, and then did a little 12 weeks while eating Ice Cream. We had so much fun. 

Wednesday morning, we tracted and had so many strange conversations. Especially the time when we walked up to a house, knocked on the front door of one apartment and they weren't interested. We then knocked on their neighbor's door, waited for a response, and then rang the door bell when no one came. A couple minutes later, the husband comes out and tells us it's the same house. -_- 

While on exchanges, Sister Lai and Sister Madson set a baptismal date with Angela! It's for February 21st! 

On Wednesday night, we got to teach Stacy and have dinner with Jamie*. During dinner, we got a call from a branch member who shouted at us telling us they had a huge chicken with gluten free stuffing they had just made and we were late to pick it up. They then realized they were a week early. Haha not getting over that one:) And then we got to teach a lesson to Elise*, a girl from Quebec. The Elders found her and set up the appointment for us. I got to try to use my French. Let's just say it was a good night. 

On Thursday,  we had planning, and then afterwards, I got to teach Nikki*, Star* and Macy* in West Bank (a.k.a. Snow Bank)! They are so sweet! And we finished off the night with some contacting. 

Friday, we had Zone Meeting! I got to train by myself on opening matters, our new mission baptismal goal, and our new mission 9:00 am prayer. I accounted with Elder Ellis on how we have been doing as a zone with our baptismal goals for December and January, and looking ahead to February, and then I did a training on our mission/zone/personal culture with Elder Maurer. It was a good meeting! 

Afterwards, all our lessons had fallen through at UBCO, but we decided to stick to our backup, which was finding there. Which is really weird because it was at an unproductive time of day and it costs a lot for parking. But we did. We ran into Hala, and we had a really awesome lesson with her, which turned into baptism! We were just talking about God making sure she understood who he was, and it turned into baptism. Everyone! Baptism helps us understand who God is. It helps us come closer to him. I just love it. 

Then we talked to more people. They were few and spread out. And it was freezing. Then we got a hold of Angela! And she came outside in the freezing to talk to us for a second and was so excited. Before we could even say anything, she started talking about her baptism and how she wants it to go. She said that this past week, after going to church, she has been the happiest she has ever felt, and she knows it's because she went to church. She told us her cute conversion story, which isn't that long yet, but she was so grateful the Elders found and talked to her. God loves us.

Then we peaced out. 

On Saturday, it felt like it lasted forever. It was park-your-car day, like usual, but it seemed like it wasn't ever going to end. And it was snowing buckets. But it was beautiful! We ate lunch at Smoke's (shout-out to mi hermana) and it was so good! Also a blessing that we were walking all day so that the poutine wasn't too damaging. All our plans fell through today, but we did see Reagan at the mall with her mom and got to have a good talk with them. Her mom, Nancy*, asked us to pray for her to get a specific job, so that was awesome! We ended the night with coordination. And transfer calls! I'm staying another transfer here and Sister Schroeder is going to be my new companion! Sister Madson is headed to Abbey YSA. I'll miss her!

Sunday was great! Roxanne came to church and loved it, even though it was a worst nightmare for missionaries. The two speakers we had were both Stake high council speakers. They talked about baptisms for the dead, endowments, and initiatories. The Elders explained it perfectly in a text: "That moment when you wish you could report 0 at Sacrament..."

Afterwards, the Elders had a double baptism! Paul and Chao! It was super awesome! I love baptisms! They were both just so happy! The Spirit was super strong! They both worked so hard to make it to baptism and it paid off, of course!

After the baptism, we had dinner at the Wilson's home. It was exactly what I needed. We laughed and talked and felt the Spirit, all while eating food with the equivalent nutritional value of everything I have had the past two transfers. 

We went contacting the rest of the night and saw quite a few miracles. 

God is so real and this is so His work. I love it. Every single minute. 

Hermana Lewis

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 54

This week was so great. Or as Julian, a member of our branch likes to remind us all, "Everything is awesome".

Campus was alive this week. Starting Monday, we went back to campus and talked to so many people! And so many people gave us their numbers and we set up return appointments for the next two days. 

The other week, I called through about 250 potentials and formers in our phone, and got to meet some cool people, and delete the numbers of the angry-at-life-and-the-missionaries people. Haha anyway... I got to meet some cool potentials as well! On Monday night, we got to meet with one named Hala*! She is from India and is so cool! And she also brought her friend (boyfriend?) to our lesson. And they are both so truth seeking! It was a super cool lesson!! We did HTBT and God is our Loving Heavenly Father! All the questions they were asking at the end lined right up with the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! We left them with the pamphlet and told them to read it and look for their answers, and then we would meet again and talk about it (which was going to be yesterday, but they didn't make it to church). But they are still cool!

We had every lesson we scheduled fall through this week. So that was super sad. 11 lessons in just 2 days! But the awesome part was that as we set them up, we felt good. And we felt successful. And we were just so happy that we got these numbers and they were truth-seeking people!

We had MLC this week and it was just amazing! Crazy to see Vancouver again! And the sky was clear at night so you could see the grid of streets. I could still trace my way through the streets of Vancouver as we were flying in, visiting formers, members, and potentials with my mind. But the meeting was so good! I received so much revelation! And I'm putting it into action!

I got to see Hermana Wilson!!!!!! She is now a Sister Training Leader in Nanaimo! I missed her so bad! And I got to see Sister Ditto! She is so amazing! Man. I am so lucky.

I don't even know how best to explain this week, except through the quotes and scriptures I liked. A lot of times, it wasn't new information, but it is true, and it just sticks to my heart and soul!

First things first, the Elders taught Sunday School two weeks ago and it was on the Priesthood. It was so great. I just love the Priesthood. And my ponderize scriptures have been all about it! It was a really good lesson, though.

Elder Maurer: The Priesthood authority is the power to do what God would do if he was in this room, right now.

They explained that the best way to know if you have repented of everything is to try to use your priesthood, and you immediately remember everything you've done, and know if there is something you need to fix before using it. So cool. So then I asked what it felt like to use the Priesthood.

Elder Ellis: It is part of the purpose of man to perform in the priesthood, so when you use the priesthood, you feel whole. 

I think I got the most out of that lesson, for sure! 

And we watched this video, which I had never seen before, but I love it!

Our District Leader called us to see how we were doing and check up on commitments we were given. We talked about the goals we had for ourselves and our area. 

Elder Petersen: We're going to have to white-wash Kelowna YSA because you are both going to be translated.

I was studying Bruce R. McConkie's life. And I felt so inspired. And I love him. 

"He has permitted me to suffer pain, feel anxiety, and taste his healing power."

"I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears.

"But I shall not know any better then than I know now that He is God's Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that Salvation comes in and through his Atoning blood and in no other way."

"It is now all in the hands of the Lord."

I'm obsessed.

Highlights from MLC:

President Burt: Waste, wear out, and kill yourself. 

A sign: Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is that you're stupid and make bad decisions.

President Burt: It's no coincidence that you serve as mission president for only 3 years. It ends right before you die.

Elder Ricks: Put Christ first, yourself last, and others in-between.

President Burt: I don't care what we have to do, but are we willing to do it?

Elder Reynolds: Our desires to not bind our actions.

President Burt: Everything we do as missionaries is Celestial. We are not Celestial yet, so just keep going!

We had a couple missionaries who were going home (2/3 were my Zone Leaders at one point), and these were parts of their dying testimonies:

Elder Buchanan: I am a servant of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I cannot go back to who I was because this is who I am.

Elder Bonfield: I'm not the same person I was, and I can never go back to that. You can bet I'm going to work hard when I go home and I'm off this council to baptize monthly and help others come unto Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.

Elder Cottingham: We came from somewhere, we are here on our missions for a specific reason, and we'll go somewhere after. And if Joseph Smith really saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, it's enough motivation.

President Burt: I'm trying to be like Jesus. I'm trying in every way.

Church yesterday was exactly what I needed. 

The Elders gave talks yesterday and they were really good.

Elder Maurer: You are enduring to the end if there is opposition to living the Gospel, and you still decide to live it.

Elder Maurer: It's a game of patience.

Elder Ellis: Our journey is going from humility, faith, conversion.

Logan Morris (in his farewell talk): The more you read (the Book of Mormon), the more you learn.

Last night, we had a YSA broadcast. Elder Nelson is the coolest. Same with his wife!

Elder Nelson: A prophet had given me an assignment, so I set out to do what seemed utterly impossible.

As we were watching the broadcast, we had a couple streaming problems. It would play a little, freeze, buffer, rewind, and then play again. 

Elder Nelson: I was with my wife Sally, my wife Sally, and my grandson (or something like that).
Steven (one of the Elders investigators): Haha that's weird. Both his wives are named Sally.

A really cool girl came to church yesterday that the Elders found. Her name's Angela*! So keep her in your prayers! 

Stacy is back! And she came to church! And she's now practically best friends with Angela! Great member missionary right there.

That's all for this week. Transfer calls come this Saturday... Sorry for how confusing it might be! 

Love you all!

Hermana Lewis

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 53

Hey hey! I had so much to say this week, and we worked so hard! And I left all my notes for what I wanted to say. So we'll see how this goes.

Happy New Year, fools!

This week we got to watch Meet the Mormons with Reagan! It was super awesome! She loved it. She had a couple concerns about Mormon culture and was able to have a lot of questions answered by watching it.

We did exchanges with the West Bank Sisters! I was with Sister Wright in our area and Sister Madson went to West Bank to be with Sister Heward. I don't know what it is but we had such an interesting exchange. It started with a lesson with a potential investigator who we met the night before. We had such a solid conversation with her and explained our purpose, she liked it, and we set up the appointment for Monday night. Let's just leave it at "extremely uncomfortable". It was so strange. Haha and of course the member we brought was very comfortable with bringing up interesting topics. We had to quickly clear up a truck-load of messes and then ended the lesson. Which did clean up nicely. Like fresh mud tracks. But ya. Let's just say that her going back to Calgary for school is definitely part of the Lord's plan.

Then the rest of the night and the next day, everyone we talked to was crazy, drunk, both, or just rude. We had the weirdest reactions to everything. Needless to say, we were just smiling and laughing! 

On Thursday (?) we got to do a finding blitz with Sister Lai and Sister Tripp! It was so fun! And so cold! 

District Meeting was super awesome again! 

New Years Eve was pretty fun! There was a huge party going on at the skating rink downtown with a live band and free skating. And it was SO cold! We left though before it really got started, and came back for weekly planning! Ashley was texting us and said it was -16. We believed her. The cold just seeps in through the boots. It's the 21st century, folks. Why can't we make things that keep you warm? 

We went up to West Bank again from lunch until dinner and worked with Sister Heward in her area because Sister Wright got sick. We went tracting and it was awesome. And freezing. 

I finally got some Five Guys!

We had a super cool lesson with this one lady, Anna*. I have run into her a couple times since I got here, and she remembered me, and this time she wanted to meet up! We had a great lesson, and she asked about church. She said she would come, too! In the end, she didn't show up, but she wants to next week! 

Canadians: Give her!

Sister Pimiskern: In Pullman, Washington, we were in our first apartment, and that shag carpet... just grabs you from the back of the knee! It was just CREEPY! It was like the Twilight Zone!!! I had to cut it back! And a week later, it'd be grabbing at the back of my knees! Gross. It creeped me out!


We had lots of Spirit-filled conversations, and we've endured well because UBC's campus is back open this week! Welcome to the new semester! We're determined to help all of those students come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ!

And Stacy gets back this week! We're excited to hear how her mini mission (she called herself a mini missionary) went!

I think that's about it for now! Live long and prosper! 

God lives!

Hermana Lewis


These are the coolest, most mission specific Star Wars shirts! And we got the hats for Christmas (today) from a member!