Monday, June 29, 2015

Farewell to President and Sister Alba

We get our new mission president today! It's kind of a weird feeling because I feel like I'm getting new parents today who I've never met before.. but I'm excited! We had our all-mission conference on wednesday to say our goodbyes and it was such an amazing day. It was super weird because we literally got ready in the morning, drove straight to santa rosa, and got back home at 8:30 that night so for the first day in my mission, I only did missionary work for about 30 minutes... crazy! It was a long day but so much fun. President and Sister Alba both spoke, then we had lunch and skits, which was hilarious. The theme was supposed to be "a walk down memory lane with president and sister alba," so we all got to re-enact all the hilarious things they have done over the years. We all got a good laugh out of that. Then we had testimonies for the remaining few hours, which was also a really cool experience because there were a lot of returned missionaries who came and bore their testimonies. I loved being able to see the growth from everyone throughout the mission and how much it really does change you. At the end, we all lined up and gave president and sister alba one last hug goodbye, and that was that. It was really hard, because they truly have become second parents to me, but I am so excited to meet our new president this week! We will be meeting him on thursday, so I'll let you all know how it went next week!

So for miracles this week, I'd have to say the Cerda family. The wife is a member but her husband isn't, and they've been in Spain the past few weeks so I didn't get to meet them until we had dinner with them the other day. They've been through a lot of complications in life but are such amazing people who I've come to love so much in the short time I've known them. They both have a strong testimony and all she wants is to be sealed to him for eternity. He comes to church every week and essentially is a mormon.... But he won't really talk about why he hasn't/won't be baptized. He also apparently tries to be out of the house or busy when the missionaries visit, but we had a miracle this week where we were able to teach him twice! He stayed for our dinner message, which made us so happy. Then the next day we went over to do service for sister cerda, and when we were done we were about to share a message with her, and he walked in the door and joined us! And he even promised us at the end that they'd try their best to read the book of mormon and pray together every day :) In my opinion, it's just a matter of time before he lets us baptize him!

Well, that's all I have for you this week! Love you all and have a great fourth of july!!!

Love, Hermana Lewis 

1. Me with President and Sister Alba
2. Okay, so this is like my mission "family" that's my dad, me, my sister, my grandma, my mom, and my brother. I don't know how to even begin to explain how that works so I'm just gonna not. Haha sorry.
3. Here's me and my current roomies throwing it back to high school See-no-evil monkey
4. And all the mission! Honestly, I can't even find myself in that picture so good luck. Haha someone took one from up high where you can see everyone so I'll try my best to get that one!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Awkward Hugs

First things first, PRESIDENT ALBA HUGGED ME. Don't worry, it was totally kosher. And basically the highlight of my life. So, let me explain. President and sister alba will be released this week as mission president, and we will be getting president and sister wright. I'm super excited to meet them and I know they will be amazing, but it's really hard to see president Alba go. I can just feel the love he has for me and each of the missionaries here and I have learned sooo much from him in the few months that I've been lucky enough to have him. So before they leave, they wanted to have departing interviews with each of the missionaries. We had our interviews on Wednesday and it was very bittersweet. At the end of my interview, we got up and shook hands, and he asked if I had any last questions. I thanked him for everything and then asked what the possibility was of me being able to hug him at the all-mission conference next week when we say goodbye. He looked me in the eyes (which let me tell you-he can stare into your soul in an instant. So that was somewhat terrifying) but then he threw his arms up in the air and said "why not now?!" I was so happy/surprised/confused that when he started to hug me I didn't know what to do with myself. Haha ya I've definitely become awkward already. But anyways, it was the best. Despite my awkward missionary-ness. I seriously love president alba more than words can tell you. I have been so fortunate to have met him and sister alba and had their influence on my life and on my mission. And now I get to look forward to meeting our new wonderful president next week!

So, as far as the work here in Dixon, we're still doing a lot of finding! We have been doing a LOT of tracting. The good thing is that with how hot it is outside, people let us in their houses more cause they see us physically melting so they let us in. Haha and we get offered water every 10 minutes :) so all is going well!

For miracles this week, we had a pretty cool experience this weekend! So we handed Lamar, that guy who came to church, off to the sisters cause he's English. But the sisters called us the other day and said they'd been to his house and searched for him all day and couldn't seem to find him, so they were just asking for help on where/when they might be able to find him. Well, guess who we saw no later than two seconds after we hung up? LAMAR! We stopped and chatted with him and he was really excited that the sisters were looking for him. This guy is the best. He even flagged down a Jehovah's Witness while we were talking and tried to get her to come to church. He's practically a missionary already :)

So, random notes of this week: I went on exchanges to yolo county this week. We saw some j-dubs walking and thought they were the elders so we honked and waved... They did not appreciate that. Haha. So I'm a part of the Davis zone, which is also called the relief society zone cause it's mostly sisters. And everyone calls us the "Davis divas." Not sure how I feel about that but it's fine. Well, that's all I have for this week. Love you all and happy late Father's Day!

Love, Hermana Suzanna Lewis

P.S. My new address is:
1225 Linford Lane #D3
Dixon, CA 95620

Here's me and my roomies! My comp, Hermana navarro, me, sister tucker, and sister peterson. I love these ladies more than those elders in the background love to photobomb Face with tears of joy haha sorry I only have one picture today, enjoy!

Monday, June 15, 2015


Well, I made it to Dixon! This place is HOT. Haha but, I love it! This has been such a crazy week, I don't know where to start!

Okay, let me back up to my last day in sonoma. We had a family night with the Hispanics in the ward and guess who showed up? The morales family! They were super late but I had really really wanted them to be able to come, and I know that God knew how important they are to me so he definitely blessed me and made it possible. Smiling face with smiling eyes it was super hard to say goodbye to everyone that night, but it went so well and basically all the members and investigators who were important to me were there, so I got to finish up my time in sonoma the best way I could have asked for! I held it together pretty well the whole night, but before I left I shared my testimony with them and they gave me the cutest little parting gifts and at that point I lost it. I never realized how hard it would be to leave these people that I've only known for three months! But hey, now I'm in Dixon meeting more incredible people and I know I need to be here!

So, transfer meeting was super fun. First off, all the newbies were there and I wasn't one of them! I can't tell you how good that felt. I loved my greenie days, but it's nice to not be "the baby" anymore :) so anyways, I got to see my MTC companion, Hermana burton at transfer meeting! We're actually switching zones which is kinda funny. I also got to see my old Sonoma Davis county crew too which was fun. A recent convert actually took a bunch of us to lunch after which was basically the best meal of my life cause we went to 5 GUYS! I didn't even know they had those here in Cali so I was stoked. Then after that sister peterson and I took off on our 3 hour drive to Dixon (traffic. Ew.) Although it was surprisingly like the most relaxing 3 hours of my mission. Oh ya and I'm officially driver now! (Wish me luck!) my companion is Hermana Navarro, and we live with the English sisters- sister peterson and sister tucker. There's no elders here in Dixon so everyone calls it the sisters city. Haha although I don't think I'd call Dixon a city... It's more like a cute little community :) either way, we are having a blast here!

Let me tell you about Dixon. To be completely honest, coming here from sonoma was probably the hardest trial I've had on the mission so far. It was hard because sister nimmer and I spent the past 3 months working as hard as we could, and just in the past few weeks we started to see the fruits of our labors and our area was on fire. We had some super solid investigators who should be getting baptized soon and everything was going great. Then I got transferred here, where the area was essentially dead. I replaced a missionary who was sick a lot so they honestly didn't go out and work much, and we had nobody we were working with. But, that means we've gotten to do a whole lot of finding which I love! And Hermana Navarro is ready to get out there and work, so we've definitely got a good transfer ahead of us! Dixon is like a goldmine that's just been waiting to be discovered.

We found a lady named Beatriz the other day who also happened to be a former investigator. We had a great lesson with her and it was a miracle because at the end of the lesson, we asked her to pray. She said no, and usually it's really hard for me to be insistent and try and get people to pray, but this time I was determined. I didn't know why, but I was not leaving that lesson until she prayed. So Hermana Navarro and I walked her through it until finally she said she would pray. In her prayer she said "thank you for sending the missionaries back to my house, because now I know that this church is true." Ahh yay! She's totally getting baptized, now we just need to pick a date :)

Another little miracle from this week was church yesterday. So my first day here I was feeling frustrated and didn't feel like we were making progress. So we made a goal to get someone to church, and we started inviting literally everyone we talked to. Most people say no, and the few that say they'll come never actually do... But Sunday morning came and 3 random people we'd talked to on the street showed up! I was super surprised. Sadly they're all English speakers so they won't be our investigators, but hey, a soul is a soul and their salvation is important either way! (even if they don't speak the celestial language. Aka Spanish.)

Well, that's about all I've got for you this week! Oh, I almost forgot! Thanks so much to everyone who sent me a birthday email/card/package! I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for all the love and support I have back home Heavy black heart I couldn't ask for better friends and family!

Love, Hermana Suzanna Lewis 

Alrighty, pictures:
This first one is at my last family night in sonoma! In a nutshell, these are the people who have my heart and I love them all sooo much!
Then the next one is basically the definition of awkward. Haha I never realized how difficult it is to take a non- awkward picture with elders. It's essentially impossible. But anyways, here's me with elder butterfield and elder tooley at 5 guys!
Then there's me at zone meeting on my birthday. I thought I would get away with nobody knowing it was my birthday but then everyone came in singing with cupcakes. It was super nice of them though, I've got a good zone! But yes, they made me wear that birthday pin all day. Awkward.
So the other day I saw this FC Barcelona logo on someone's driveway so of course I had to take a picture with it! #gospain
Lastly, there's me and my new comp, Hermana Navarro! Excuse the fact that it's a bathroom selfie. You gotta do what you gotta do though.

Monday, June 8, 2015

So long Sonoma you have my heart‏

Well, we got transfer doctrine this weekend... And I'm leaving Sonoma! This place truly has my heart, so it's really hard for me to leave. But, I know God has other plans for me! Tomorrow I'm headed off to Dixon! It's actually quite comical but also extremely sad because I kept telling everyone "I'll do whatever God wants me to- I'll be with any companion in any area. I'm just praying I don't get sent to woodland!" (Because woodland is as hot as a frying pan and I would be spending the summer there) good news is my prayers were answered! Bad news is, Dixon is essentially woodland... Smiling face with open mouth and cold sweat haha so now I'm just praying I'll be able to handle the heat! And also learning to make my prayers more specific Winking face. Haha truly though, I know it will be incredible and that it's where the Lord needs me. Also, I have one of the best companions ever Smiling face with smiling eyes I get to be with Hermana Navarro! She was my STL last transfer who I wrote about. She is so amazing, so I'm definitely stoked to be able to serve with her. 

It was also really incredible that transfer week fell on a fast Sunday. One of the things I fasted for was a spiritual confirmation that I needed to be in Dixon. In this mission, we have "hour of prayer" before we break our fast where we essentially pray for an hour. After praying, I had a scripture reference come to my mind. I had no idea what it said, but I decided to look it up. As soon as a read it, I knew that I needed to be there and that regardless of how hot it is or how hard it gets, there is a reason God is sending me there and I know he will give me the strength to endure it.

So, considering that I'm leaving, I want to dedicate this email to the things/people I love about Sonoma! There's a lot, so here we go.
1. My companion! Hermana nimmer is basically the best trainer I could have ever asked for. I lucked out with that one. These past two transfers we have worked so hard together and had so much fun at the same time. We have also found some pretty elect investigators, which brings me to the next thing in my list!
2. OUR INVESTIGATORS. I can't tell you how hard it is to leave those incredible people. We have four amazing families with baptismal dates right now that it kills me to leave. But, I'm super grateful Hermana nimmer is staying here and I know they're in good hands! I truly have come to love these people so much and I want nothing but the best for them. And I have complete faith that I'll be back here after the mish to see some of them sealed in the temple Smiling face (black and white)
3. The people. Just all the people. Basically everyone here is either rich & white & owns the vineyards, or they're poor & Hispanic & work in the vineyards. There's not much of an in-between. Haha but regardless of what end of the spectrum they are on, I sure do love them!
4. Vineyards. Vineyards everywhere. Sure, they're not the best thing when we're trying to teach the word of wisdom... But they are so gorgeous! 
5. The garden we volunteered at! I don't know if I've ever had so much fun doing service! If any of you ever visit Sonoma for whatever reason, be sure to check it out :)
6. My district, Noma Nation! I've got the best neighbors in town, no doubt about that Information desk person (haha we live next door to the elders)
7. The plaza. Oh man, we had so much fun there! Definitely where you can find your most shallow contacts... But I met some pretty cool tourists from all over the world there! Also it's filled with cute little restaurants and shops that I like to pretend I have the money to come back to after the mission Face with tears of joy
8. Living in the Napa valley with the beautiful scenic drive we took every p-day. But, everyone here says that if you're born in the Napa valley, meaning you start your mission here, you're "Napa trapped" and you'll come back later on in your mission. Fingers crossed!! Haha

Alright, onto pictures. These first two are the number one reason why leaving Sonoma is so hard- the morales family. I can't tell you how much I love these people! I've come to love them as if they were my own family. They are truly incredible and I am so excited for everything that God has in store for them. They have a baptismal date for July 11 and are working so hard to get there. So the first picture is super low quality, sorry. But that's David, Jackie, and Marina. Their dad is named Javier and works a lot so sadly he wasn't there. And the second picture is me with marina! 

Next is aida, Jeremias, and Ashley. I've talked about them before but aida is a member and Jeremias is really close to baptism. He has a strong desire to be baptized, and honestly could be baptized today if he wanted, he just hasn't felt ready yet. But, his day will come!

I apologize for this last one cause it's not the best picture, but it has a good story behind it. Haha so I've gotten some birthday packages that I told myself I wouldn't open until my birthday. Well, when I got the news that I was leaving for Dixon, I'll be honest I had a mini-meltdown. So I decided, that's it. I'm opening my birthday presents. Haha so the first one I opened (from the lovely Callie Klotz) totally cheered me up and it even had perishable food items that wouldn't have been good if I waited until next week! God is always watching over me :) haha needless to say, I decided after that one I could wait until my birthday to open the rest. Haha well that's all I've got for this week, love you all! 

Hermana Suzanna Lewis 

P.S. I don't know my new address yet, so any letters this week just send to the mission home and NOT sonoma cause I won't get it! Thanks a bunch Heavy black heart

Monday, June 1, 2015

Too many to count‏

I couldn't put everything that happened this week into one subject line... But i'm gonna try my best to put it into an email! This week was so amazing! Looking back on it, I can't even believe that everything that happened since last week was only seven days. First off, one of the most amazing thing that happened this week was that we found a new family who is so ready for the gospel. It's a mom and her two teenage daughters, who told us they've been so confused with all the different churches and don't know how to find which one is true. Um, golden! I love when people ask questions that we have the answers to :) so ya, I'm really excited about this family. They have a lot of potential. And speaking of potential, our awesome investigator Ricardo is still going strong! Sadly he wasn't able to come to church yesterday because he still hasn't been able to get work off, but we're really hoping he can in the near future!

So, we have this investigator that is super lazy and doesn't really ever do anything, but it's always hilarious to me because his mom sits in on the lessons and she says the funniest things. She's catholic and isn't interested in our message at all, but she really wants him to become a member of our church. She always gets mad at him in the lessons cause he'll say he can't meet with us a certain day or something, and she'll say "Ernesto, that's just cause you're meeting with the Jehovah's witnesses that day! You don't need to block out an entire day for one visit!" Haha oh ya, he's also openly cheating on us with the j-dubs (Jehovah's witnesses), but he told us he likes our church more so it's fine. Haha anyways, ya his mom has no filter and it's hilarious. And I'm pretty sure the only words she knows in English are "oh shoot," only she doesn't say shoot. And that's all I have to say about that. 

This week we had a really cool experience with Jeremias. He's been taught everything, is super ready to be baptized, has a super strong desire to be baptized, but just doesn't feel ready yet. He's had a hard time accepting that he doesn't have to be perfect and know everything. So we visited him the other day and he hadn't been reading in the Book of Mormon since the last time we visited. Since that's super important, we decided to read a little bit with him. We asked him to just open his scriptures to a random page and pick a verse to start on, to see what God wanted to say to him today. Well, guess what chapter he ended up in? Alma 32. We definitely had to have faith that he would turn somewhere that would help him (like who knows what would have happened if he ended up in one of the war chapters), but I honestly can't think of a better chapter for him. The second verse we read with him was verse 26, which starts out by saying "Now, as I said concerning faith--that it was not a perfect knowledge." I know for a fact that was inspired, and to see the change it made in him was amazing. God truly spoke to him through that scripture and it addressed his exact personal concerns perfectly. Miracles are real!

Here's my few random notes for the week:
-We ran into some people the other day and Hermana nimmer started talking to them in Spanish... They glared at us, said "we're ASIANS." And walked away. Flushed faceGrinning face with smiling eyes
-A member gave a talk in church yesterday and said her dad wrote the song la bamba? Don't know if that's legit or not, haha but I thought it was cool.
-Speaking of famous people, one of our investigators used to be a pro soccer player for Peru/Argentina (both? I don't remember). He said he was one of the best they had but had to give it up because of a bad injury. Don't know if that's legit either haha but his name is Silvio Diaz. Look him up for me. He is super solid though and loves the bible more than probably anyone I've ever met!
-Last p-day I napped in the car for an hour and a half while Hermana nimmer ran up and down the street. It made me so happy I had to share.
-I just want all of you who live in Utah to be grateful it's not humid there cause I've been trying to dry out my peeps from Easter (they're a million times better that way) for a month now and they won't do it! It's so sad. Fluffy peeps are no good.
-I got to go blitzing this week with one of my favorite missionaries in the CASRM! So a blitz is when the entire zone works in one companionship's area for a few hours, and you exchange companions. We went to Hermana Gonzales' area on Saturday and I got to be with her! It was a blast. I seriously have so much fun with her! We're totally gonna be companions one day Winking face

So pictures: 
1. My homegirl Hna Gonzales 
2. Me in the beautiful garden we volunteer at! Sorry family, I didn't wear my rice farmer hat that day Pensive faceFace with tears of joy
3. The pro jugador de fĂștbol, Silvio! Don't mind my awkwardness.
4. My zone at the blitz! Well, half of them.