Monday, September 28, 2015

"Here you go"‏

Well, this was a pretty slow week.. but it was great because we got to see President Wright THREE times this week! That's a lot. I think on average we see him once every month or two, so that was pretty great. We had interviews with him this week which I pretty much look forward to like christmas so that was a good day. Then he and the APs and the tech elders came to our zone thursday and trained us on how to better find and contact people. It was so helpful because sometimes I get into this robotic routine and I feel like a terrible missionary haha but after that we've been able to really work on talking to people like real people and just loving them so it's been so great.

As far as our week goes, like I said it was pretty slow. But one thing I did love about this week was seeing how there's so many little things that just show me that God loves us and is watching out for us. I feel like sometimes he's sitting up there watching us ask for stupid little things or need help with something small and I think he just laughs and says "here you go" and gives us whatever it may be that just shows he is watching and listening and wants to help us. For example, the day after our training with president, it was 8:45 and we still needed 2 more contacts in order to get our 20 for that day. We had planned to go downtown (which, by the way, is like a whole 15 square feet), but we didn't have much time and didn't know if it would be productive because it's usually white drunk people who aren't interested. But, we decided to be brave and stick with our plans cause we've been trying to work on that. So we pull up, and that's when we saw our little "here you go" miracle from God. One, there were exactly two people sitting on a bench a few feet ahead of us. Two, they were hispanic. Three, we tried our absolute best to apply the things president taught us about contacting and it TOTALLY worked and they were so receptive! So, we're going to be teaching them this week and hopefully picking them up as investigators :)

On a less spiritual note, let me give you another example of God handing us a miracle this week. So, we got locked out of our apartment (yes, we've been struggling lately. We're not the smartest hermanas out there.) After a series of calling people, trying to break in with a credit card, my companion scaling the fence to our second-story deck to try and break in through that door, we had no success. The management office said that any lockouts are on our own dime and we have to call a locksmith. We were so bummed because the maintenance guy, who is actually our good friend, has a key and we knew he would let us in, but he wasn't at the complex. We sat down for a minute trying to figure out what we wanted to do, when the maintenance guy pulled up! We just felt like God was saying "here you go" one more time and helping us poor little stupid missionaries out. He really does love us!

Well, we also got to go to the womens conference on saturday and of course it was amazing! General Conference has officially begun and I couldn't be more happy! I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity we have to listen to a modern-day prophet who leads and guides our church. I hope you all get a chance to watch it this weekend and get something out of it! If you go into it with problems, questions, and a true desire to recieve help and revelation, I can PROMISE that you will. Love you all, have a wonderful week!

Hermana Lewis

P.S. we saw a guy this week carrying a bag of what we thought were groceries, so we offered to carry it. Turns out it was his urine bag.... I've been very hesitant to offer help carrying things ever since!

Okay, pictures:
1. Me and Sister Wright
2. We were sad cause our favorite investigators just got back from mexico but they weren't answering their door
3. at dinner with peter!
4. random lady we saw holding a sign haha
5. basically what my companion's camera roll looks like. She takes constant stalker pictures of me haha so I had to add one in here

Monday, September 21, 2015

"I don't wanna be catholic"‏

First off, I'm sure many of you have heard about the fires coming back and all the damage that has been done. I know there's a lot of relief efforts and that all the missionaries in those areas have been safely moved somewhere else, but we did have a set of sisters get emergency evacuated last week, and now their apartment and pretty much their entire area have been burned to the ground. So, it would be greatly appreciated if you could keep all those who have been affected by the fires in your prayers! Thanks, you all are great :)

On a happier note, we had my absolute favorite experience this transfer happen the other day, so I have to share! My companion and I were contacting, and she just says "you know what I want? I want someone to come up to me and say 'I don't wanna be catholic anymore' but that just doesn't happen with hispanics in northern california." We kind of laughed about it and moved on, but then fast forward to that night. We had an appointment that fell through, and we started talking to their neighbors across the street. She told us she's catholic and wasn't interested, just like usual, we invited her to our church and gave her our number. We got in the car and were looking up an address when she knocked on our window. So, we rolled it down, and she said "on second thought, I honestly don't even like being catholic. I want to hear what you have to say." We were so shocked, we couldn't help but laugh as we followed her into the house. We had a great lesson with her and taught her about the restoration, and she invited us back! She still seemed a bit skeptical, so we'll see what happens there, but we were just grateful for the fact that God granted our random little wish.

Another funny experience we had this week that just reaffirmed to me that God is looking out for us, was when we lost our car. So, we had a lesson one night in the ghetto part of Dixon, but after we were contacting on that street and planning to just spend the rest of the night there. It was about 8:30 and we both just felt like we should go back to the car and go somewhere else. So, we went back. But the car wasn't there. We looked and looked and couldn't find it, and eventually started to think it had been stolen or something. Well, by 9:00, sure enough, we found it! As embarrasing as that experience is, I was so grateful we felt the need to head back to the car so early, because who knows how dark and late it would have been when we found it or not! God is amazing, you guys. Really.

Well, other than that, we had stake conference this weekend which I loved. The stake president invited us to the priesthood leadership meeting as well, which is probably the first and last priesthood meeting I'll ever go to which was cool! As soon as we walked in, everyone was staring at us and I don't know if I've ever felt more uncomfortable, but it was worth it cause we really did learn a lot in that meeting. One thing our stake president said that really stuck with me was "we need to be FEARLESS in builing Zion. Don't be afraid to invite!" So, with that, I want to invite all of you to share the gospel with someone! That doesn't mean you have to send the missionaries over or force them to church (although those are both great things!), it just means share it. It can be in the simplest way, just introduce the gospel to someone! And I know most of you live in Utah, so it might seem impossible, but I bet you could find a facebook friend or a distant relative or someone who needs the gospel. And if you're not a member, go check out today :)

I love you all and I am so grateful for all your love and support. Have a lovely week!

Love, Hermana Lewis

1. Me and Juanito! He was my trainer's (Hermana Nimmer) 3-week miracle baptism and he is the sweetest little blind man and I just love him. I went on exchanges to woodland this week, so I had the pleasure of meeting him!
2. Okay. Haha I am extremely embarrassed to send this home but the story is worth it. Whenever I go on exchanges to the spanish branch, we all have contests at dinner to see who can eat the hottest pepper without crying. Last time I cried like a baby, so this time I came prepared and I ate one of the super hot ones and didn't shed a tear! I was so proud of myself. Well, on our way home that night, I itched my eyes without knowing I still had pepper juice or something on them. Yeah... I cried. My eyes aren't quite as bloodshot as they were before though in the picture haha
3. My companion and I with Sister Kelly, the sweetest member who will do anything for us 
4. Me and the andersens! this family is the craziest one i've ever met, but we love them for it. Yes, that's the mom trying to eat one of their 14 dogs they have. his face kills me!

Monday, September 14, 2015

It's snowing in dixon!‏

Okay, it's not actually snowing. But there's been another fire this past week not too far away from us and a few days ago ashes were falling from the sky all night and it looked just like snow. Except it smelled like smoke and and I couldn't ski in it. But anywho, it made me feel a bit at home in a weird way which was nice :)

On to what actually matters... this week was pretty crazy. Our car had something that needed to be fixed, so we were on bikes most of this week, which was an adventure. It was actually pretty fun, except for the fact that the last time I rode a bike was probably when I was about 12 years old and my siblings and I pretended our bikes were pet horses. So.... it took me a while to get the hang of it. But after running into some bushes and almost killing my companion a few times, we made it out alive! We got to do a lot of contacting when we were on bikes cause you're constantly out on the streets passing people, so that was cool. We found some super nice people so I guess we'll see what happens with them in the future.

So on thursday morning, we got a call from one of my favorite investigators. She always keeps her commitments and has been doing well, but in our last lesson we kind of had to crack down with her and see if she really is interested in changing her religion cause she's a pretty strong catholic. So, we invited her to fast and pray about it and let us know what her answer was. When she called us this week, she told us her answer was that she wasn't going to change and didn't want to waste any more of our time. It's definitely sad seeing people like that with so much potential deny themselves all the blessings of the gospel that are waiting for them, but we always have faith that one day they'll change their mind :)

Well, here's the almost comical thing. So an hour after that, we had our first lesson of the day. And... she dropped us. Well, actually I'd say she "friend-zoned" us. As in, she told us she was catholic and never going to change, but she liked us as her friends so we were welcome to come visit any time. Then we go to our next lesson and we got friend-zoned again. Then a few hours later it happened again. FOUR TIMES. Four times in one day we got friend-zoned by our investigators. Haha so that was quite a day. But that night, we decided on a goal for the next week- we call it "date or drop." Since we have a lot of investigators who are potentially in the same situation with us, we decided this week we're going to invite every one of our investigators to be baptized on a specific date, or we're going to have to drop them. It's definitely going to be hard (we've only been doing it for 2 days now and it's already super hard!), but I know it will be a good thing because we're here to find the elect.
I just wanted to share a scripture with you all that I read this morning. It's Alma 57:27 and it's talking about the 2000 strippling warriors and how valiant and faithful they were. It reads "now this was the faith of these of whom I have spoken; they are young, and their minds are firm, and they do put their trust in God continually."
ALWAYS put your trust in God. And have a lovely week, love you all :)

Hermana Lewis

Sorry, no pictures today :( I'll do better next week!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

People actually want to see us...?!‏

I got my new companion this week! Her name is Hermana Campbell. She is from southern california, her spanish is amazing, and she's been out about 10 months I think. She is so obedient and such an example to me, so I'm excited to see what this transfer brings for us!

This week, we had more miracles than I can count. We've had the amazing experience of having pretty much EVERYONE answer their doors this week and let us in, which doesn't usually happen here. It's actually almost funny, because when we're planning at night I always have a million backup plans for people to visit, cause usually the people we have planned won't answer or they cancel or something like that happens. So she was kinda confused as to why I plan so much stuff, and I kept telling her "I swear, these people always cancel" or "our first plan likely won't happen. They're hard to catch at home." But sure enough, just about everyone we've tried to visit has answered the door and let us in. My comp might be starting to think I'm crazy haha but I'll take being crazy if it means we get to meet with our people more!

Let me give you a great example from this week. So we go to these migrant camps (I think I talked about that a few weeks ago) and we have some success there, cause everyone is hispanic, but we never have huge success. Usually we knock on people's doors and they just say come back another day. Well, saturday we went out there and ended up having lessons with 3 of the 4 people we talked to. Ya... we only ended up having time to talk to 4 people cause they were all sooo receptive! It was such a blessing. One of them was an adorable teenage girl who surprisingly was so happy to see us when we knocked on her door and told us how much she's been wanting to learn about God and didn't know who to turn to, but then we showed up. Those are the kind of things that just strengthen my testimony of the fact that I'm here for a reason, and there's people here that NEED the gospel. 

Other than that, I don't think I have much to report on. Oh, I did conquer (kind of. not really actually. but sort of) my fear of spiders this week! The other night my companion had gone to bed already and I saw a HUGE spider on the wall. Not quite the size of the one on our deck a few weeks ago, but still pretty huge. I knew I had to kill it or it would probably end up in my bed that night, so I went to work. I was too scared to touch it, so I went about trying to douse it with hairspray, ammonia, water, etc. but this guy was a trooper and nothing was working. Finally I decided I'd throw stuff at it, and by some miracle (after many tries) I got him! And I didn't even have to touch it! Considering how uncoordinated/terrible aim I am, that's just a testament to me that God loves me and He's got my back. And he's got each and every one of your backs too! Always remember that :) Love you lots, happy Labor day!

Hermana Lewis 

Sorry, I've only got two this week. The first one is me and Hermana Campbell, and the other one is me with the Hollowells. They're some of my favorite members here- the kind that say "we're your parents here, so if you ever need anything give us a call." <3 Their daughter, Caroline, is leaving for her mission next week and I am SO excited for her!