No es una fiesta sin las Misioneras.

January 21, 2014

 

In the last 8 days, we’ve gone to 6 parties.

Yeah. Real life.

And out of those 8 days I ate chile picante 4 times. And every time my mouth was on fire. But that didn’t stop me. BRING ON THE PICA.

“This isn’t missionary work, it’s missionary fun!”

You better believe it.

 

Me and Hermana Finlayson just look at each other like, “What? What is even happening?” Especially because somehow we’re still getting all our lessons in for the week! It’s super cool. The best thing about parties is that strangers get to see us with their friends and are like, “okay. they’re not just 2 crazy girls on bikes trying to pray with everyone they see. They must be normal people cause my friend is normal and they visit my friend all the time.” And then we get into their houses. There’s this one area we have that we’re pretty sure has been tracted over 50 times. But it’s blowing up right now. Why? Because we’re not tracting. We’re working purely through relationships and referrals. And people are happy to see us and say hi to us instead of looking at us weird. It’s unreal. Especially here because everyone knows everyone and everyone talks. So if we can get on the good side of all that talking, well. We’re good to go.

 

We’ve been able to work with Enrique’s family a lot more lately. Which is cool because his family is HUGE. And they all live in that little trailer park where everybody talks. And everybody loves them. Who wouldn’t? They’re basically party central. His granddaughter Neyva is absolutely amazing and such a sweetheart. She has been looking for this and trying to get closer to God for a long time. In our last lesson she said, “I feel like God has been working on me for a long time and making me the person He wants me to be. And I like the Neyva now a lot more than Neyva before.” We taught her the Restoration and after the First Vision she said, “When you were showing that picture and telling me what happened, it felt peaceful. I felt that it really was true. That he really did see God and Jesus Christ. I feel happy and hopeful.” She loves our scripture of the day and is always looking for people for us to visit. 🙂

 

Enrique’s daughter, Eva, too. She is so strong and is going through a lot in her life right now. She has a lot of questions but really she’s just looking to be happy. We went to help her clean her house [after another one of those parties this week] and got to talking. “Hermana, I know that this is hard for you. Your situation is truly difficult. But can we show you how we find peace and happiness in our lives?” And we showed her the Book of Mormon. We have another appointment with her today.

 

We met Nereda through Enrique as well. She told us she never lets people in her house that she doesn’t know and would always pretend she wasn’t home when the missionaries came by her house. BUT we’ve had a couple lessons with her and she loves it. Now her husband wants to learn more. And she learned our names. Well….kind of…..we’re Hermana Luz and Hermana Fin. Hermana Light and Hermana End. But we’ll take it, most members don’t bother to learn our names!

I want a Veinte Unenera so…..start planning that. Hahaha. But seriously. It’s been nothing but fun this last couple weeks. Everything has felt so natural. We’re comfortable with the people and the work. We’re wondering what the big challenge will be this transfer that’ll stretch us. Because there’s always a stretch. I’ll keep you updated.

But we’re excited. 6 more weeks, here we come.

 

Have a fantastic, missionary-filled week everyone!

I love you!

Love,

Hermana Lewis

xoxo

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I went to my first ever Quincenera!  It was a total blast.

I went to my first ever Quincenera! It was a total blast. 

 

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Two Assignments. . .

January 13, 2014

I have 2 assignments for y’all.

1) If you haven’t read this month’s Ensign….READ IT. Especially the talk by Elder Ballard. Changed my life.

2) If you didn’t watch the CES Fireside last night by Elder Tad R. Callister….WATCH IT. Or read it. You should have seen us missionaries in that room watching the broadcast. “ooooh that was strong!” “Oh yeah he went there!” “Ouch!”

Needless to say, it was an inspirational week. Good way to start off 2014 ya know?

This week was suuuuuuuper great. Remember how I talked about how I’m just a missionary now and it’s not even work? That was manifested a lot in this week. Like we were in this neighborhood [on bike week] and basically stranded because all of our backups fell through and tracting is banned. Our nearest investigator was an hour bike ride away. We sat in the middle of the street for a minute trying to figure out what to do. When around the corner comes Enrique’s daughter Kimberly. “I was gonna text you guys….my abuelo is in the hospital and my mom’s going to go see him. If you want to go talk to her she’s at home. I just had to come get my book from my friend.” Well what are the chances? We head on over to Kimberly’s house and got to talk to her a little about her view on church. Then her mom Eva comes out and says, “I’m going to the hospital to see Dad….do you two want to come?” We looked at each other a little hesitantly….is this okay?…well…. “Sure, if that’s alright with you all we’d love to come visit him.” We accompanied Eva and her brother Arturo to the hospital where we met Enrique and his wife. She previously had not been very nice to us, but that day we went leaps and bounds in our relationship. We sat there, all 5 of us, in the hospital room just talking about what we do as missionaries and answering their questions about the nature of God and showing  as much love as we could. It wasn’t hard. Enrique’s family is amazing. And then they took us to Taco Bell. And I tried the Fire Sauce…and guess what. It’s not even hot. I’m officially Mexican…….right? And then they dropped us off and Enrique’s wife gave us this huge hug and said, “bye hermanas!”

…..what.

Just in time for us to bike to our next set appointment. Wow. We knew that we were supposed to be on that street at that time. Heavenly Father sometimes has different plans for us as missionaries. Sometimes that plan isn’t to knock doors all day, but to build relationships. To show people the love that we have for them…and that their Heavenly Father has for them. He does His work in His time. That’s what I’ve learned most from being a missionary. And when you learn that, the stress goes away and you can just be obedient and happy and it’s great.

Rosie and Gledin got baptized this week! Less than a month after we met them. I could go on and on about that miracle. They literally just were right there in front of us. Prepared and willing to accept the gospel. It was so cool!!! And now they have friends and family that can learn about the gospel. And Gledin is a natural missionary so yeah. We’re stoked.

And now the best news of all…

WE’RE GOING TO BE ON FULL CAR!!!!

HALLELUJAH! [it’s been 5 months for me on car share.]

We are so excited because we know this area is going to absolutely explode now that we actually will have time and resources to get everywhere!  So, it really could not have come at a better time.

Anyways. I love this work.

The church is true. And if you have any doubts….seriously just watch the CES fireside last night. I’m about to go Martin Luther on Bahia B and just start sticking that talk on people’s doors. haha….but really.

I know it with everything in me. And I’m so grateful for it.

Love you all!

Hermana Lewis

xoxo

Gledin and Rosie's baptism!

Gledin and Rosie’s baptism!

Gledin, Rosie, Hermana Lewis, and Herman Finlayson

Gledin, Rosie, Hermana Lewis, and Herman Finlayson

A tender visit to the hospital.

A tender visit to the hospital.

Wall sits!

Wall sits! 

Kicking off 2014 the Right Way. . .

January 6, 2014

Kicking off 2014 the right way. . .

…by serving the Lord.

Hermana Finlayson and I are right about at the same point in our missions. So it’s fun to be going through more or less the same feelings at the same time. And right now we are just so blown away by how blessed we have been in this area. I remember coming here and those first couple weeks just thinking. Oh no. It’s going to be another Tampa experience. Planting seeds and whatnot. But we were willing to work hard. And oh my goodness we have seen the miracles from it. But it’s not just the area that’s changed. We have changed.

The Spirit of Christ truly does change people. I remember at the beginning of the mission it didn’t feel natural. There were times, many times, when I wouldn’t want to leave the house. The mission felt like work. And I was exhausted all the time. Well….I’m still exhausted. But missionary work has become more of a lifestyle. This is just what I do. It’s not work, it’s just life. I’m not doing missionary work, I’m a missionary.

It’s kind of hard to explain the difference. But those who have served missions probably know what I’m talking about. Or maybe you all were just gung-ho about the work from the beginning. Either way. I’ve changed. and I’ve never loved this work more. This full-time friendship stuff. It’s a blast.

Rosie and Gledin are going to be baptized this week. And they are so stoked. Even better, the Hermanas have a baptism the same night. Triple baptism! And the next week….it’ll be the same. We have been so blessed in this ward, they’re not going to be able to keep up with all the new members!

Sonia went to the temple Saturday!! She loved it, and could not stop going on about the cleanness, the peace, the beauty of it all. She and Alberto did baptisms and when they stepped off that bus they were GLOWING. [We were at the church teaching English and came out just as the bus arrived, tiny miracle in and of itself.] She came with us to a lesson yesterday too. As we walked up to the door, she said, “I just was on my way here and I just thought to myself. Wow. I’m a ward missionary!!!” She loves her calling already! Which is great because she’s a natural at teaching. I just want to cart her around with us to every lesson!

We met this new investigator, Neyva this week. Neyva is Enrique’s granddaughter. [Have I mentioned Enrique yet? He’s awesome.] She is a single mom working hard for her sweet son Sean. She works literally all the time, and everything she does, her whole center of focus, is Sean. It’s adorable. We’ve been trying to meet with her for awhile, but like I said she works all the time. She finally had a day off the other day so we went and visited her. She has truly been prepared for this gospel! We’ve been sending out Scriptures of the Day the last couple weeks. It’s kind of a pain sometimes but people usually like them so we do it. Little did we know….

She was telling us how hard it’s been lately because she can’t spend the time with Sean that she wants to. And that she’s felt super lonely. “But,” she said, “then I wake up to your texts…..and….I just know that God is aware of me. That someone is thinking about me. That I’m not alone. And that’s how I feel his love.”

Wow. Who would have thought a little generic text sent out every morning would make such a difference?

Just another testimony to me that the work we do here really does matter! People really do feel the love of Christ through us.

Try that. If someone’s on your mind, send them a little text and let them know. You never know what someone’s going through at that moment!

Seriously this week just held so many miracles. We worked so hard and met [almost] all of our goals! Next week we plan to do the same! And the week after that…and the week after that…

In President’s last email he told us he wants us to double our production in 2014. Yeah. It won’t be easy. But it’s possible. And we’re ready to do it!

Here’s to a fantastic 2014 ahead of us!

Love you all!

Love,

Hermana Lewis

xoxo

New Year's Eve... welcoming 2014!  We were home by 9:00 pm though... haha!

New Year’s Eve… welcoming 2014! We were home by 9:00 pm though… haha!

New Year's Eve!

New Year’s Eve!

Hermana Lewis and Hermana Perez bringing in 2014!

Hermana Lewis and Hermana Perez bringing in 2014!