Monday, May 27, 2013

Photo Feast (part 2)

We were working on our area map! So tedious.

 I <3 Sister Hart:)

Canada is so beautiful

On our drive to Salisbury


Sister Hart workin on the map... Isn't she cute?:)


Gangsta comps
 The river in Salisbury (after a lesson with Isabelle.)

 Yeah, I'm artistic, get over it.

Supa cool companions

 .....I'm embarrassed by this one.

Quinn's letters always come with a kiss hahahaha. I love my wife.

More of the river in Salisbury

Photo Feast (part 1)

Francais, puking, the atonement, and ribs

WHAT UP!!!!!
So, awesome week. I'm losing it here and I really can't remember any birthdays other than THE BEST DAD'S EVER!!! So I apologize if I'm forgetting anyone, but hey, I like my daddy better than you. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PIPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!! You old man:') Wish I was there to make jokes about your white hair, but know I'll be killing myself all day with my hilarious jokes I make up in my head throughout lessons and such. LOVE YOU!
And Elder Savas... Good freakin luck in Korea!!!!! Give Quinn a good hug for me and pretend I'm there in the middle of it.
Quote of the week now. There were two really good ones that I couldn't choose between, so I'll just do both.
1. Elder Nzojibwami--a conversation I had with him in French, after I just told him how hungry I was: "(laughing) Soeur Lewis, tu es un peu bizarre....! Tu auras la chance de manger beaucoup de nourriture chez les Calls'!"
2. Sister Hart--I refuse to give context for this one: "I feel like we should go back to the casino."
Hahahaha my life is great.
This week was a week of a lot of firsts:
1. My first investigator(s) came to church. Isabelle* and the Choret* family. I was so happy.
2. I played the organ in church for the first time. Sigh. And the regular organist is about to move, they better not get any ideas here.
3. I said my first prayer in French. Poor Heavenly Father was probably confused by my weak verb conjugations.
4. I listened to sacrament meeting en français for the first time. I actually understood a lot, so that was a pleasant surprise.
5. I went to St. John for the first time! It is beautiful there, and people there have great teeth, but I was TOO happy to be back in Riverview. Sister Hart said that it was like I was getting out of jail when I came home. "Look at the river! It is so beautiful! Oh my gosh, I missed Riverview soooo much. Oh I love Riverview. Let's baptize that man from Moncton! I love Riverview! I missed you so much, Moncton!"
Okay, a lot of people have been asking about the real status of my French haha... Okay, I'll be honest, I get stage fright whenever someone expects me to respond in French, and since just about everyone here knows English anyway, I always chicken out and respond to their French in English. So that's something I'll need to work on. On the other hand, I've been studying my tail off. Reading the BoM from the beginning in French out loud and referring to the English BoM whenever there's a word I don't know. I made French flash cards, so that's nice. I also prayed in French finally, so I can say a little bit, but the prayers are always really short. On the other hand, it's really, really hard to teach myself French. I don't have a companion to help me with it, and I didn't spend 6-12 weeks in the MTC learning it. I'm relying on a few years of high school French, which is pretty weak. So it's a little discouraging, and I found out I'm seriously the most qualified French-speaking Sister here, which is overwhelming and stressful, but I'm working really hard and hey, at least I can understand it! And now I can pray for help speaking French IN French, so heh heh heh, I'm awesome.
I was so happy when Sunday morning I woke up without a cough or a headache! But Elder Waldie's been really sick, and I guess my weak stomach was around him too much, and both the companionships in Moncton ended up spending all Sunday afternoon and evening in our apartments while Elder and Sister Call ran around bringing us gingerale for medicinal purposes... What sweethearts. We're spoiled. I haven't thrown up yet, but I really hope I can start eating again because sleeping in the apartment for 13 hours instead of getting 6 less active visits in was a blast... Not. Haha.
In Preach My Gospel, we're promised that as our understanding of the Atonement increases, so will our desire to share the gospel. And I guess if you know me really well, I'm almost manipulative when it comes to getting something I want really bad. If I want it badly enough, it'll happen no matter what. And I want to share the gospel and find more investigators, but I think if I had a real, pure desire for it, I would kick into gear and get it done. Obviously, even though I want all these things really badly, I don't want it enough, otherwise I would've found a way by now. So I've been studying the atonement a lot so that as my understanding of it increases, my desire to share the gospel will as well. Doctrine and Covenants 16... Wow. Go read it and when you get to the last verse, read it over again and ponder. That is so powerful. And Doctrine and Covenants 19:16-19? WOW. Christ went through more than any person has ever gone through, and he still gives all glory to God. And in Mark, I was reading about the atonement obviously, and I got to the part where he says, "Abba, Father,..." and I remembered that Elder Holland gave a talk once and he explains that "Abba" is the equivalent of "Daddy" (go look it up in the Bible Dictionary too). How profound is it that through Christ's most difficult hour, he calls on his Father and says, "Daddy, Father." He doesn't have a formal relationship with Heavenly Father: he has a personal, real, deep relationship with Him. I feel like I've worked really hard on my relationship with God for a long time, and I feel like I definitely know Him a little. But I'd like to get to the point where I know He is my Father so perfectly that I could say, "Abba, Father, help me" through the difficult times.
Every Saturday now, we have dinner with the Choret family. Last Saturday was hot wings (that's when I cried from the spice) and this past Saturday was RIBS!!! So delicious. Ryan put out some hot sauce and I was going to town with the tears. But I had to accept every challenge, so I ate through the pain haha! It was really funny actually. One day I will be a man when it comes to spice. This week we're having steak... Bless my soul.
It was a really cool night because the people who were there were Sister Choret (Rachel), Ryan, their sons Lawrence (12) and Benjamin (8), Elder and Sister Call, Elders Nzojibwami and Waldie, and Sister Hart and me. We're working really hard on getting the Spirit into the home whenever we go over. So even though we can't bring up the gospel when we're there (except when Sister Hart and I teach the boys), we've started singing songs at the end of the meal. This time we sang "Nearer, My God, to Thee" and holy cow. The Spirit was sooooo strong. We didn't know it before we started, but it turns out all 6 of us missionaries are musical and singers haha, so it was surprising when we began singing and all these amazing harmonies came out of nowhere... It was incredible. When we finished, there wasn't a way you could deny it. The Spirit was thick. You could feel it. It was amazing.
And some bad news now... Elder Nzojibwami's getting transfered tomorrow morning:,( He's goin' to Bathurst, where he spent the first 6 months of his mission before coming to Dieppe for about 2 months. We're all REALLY sad (and I don't know how my French will react to this--he's the one who answered all my French quesions and translated Sacrament meeting!), so all the young missionaries from the district are together today--the Elders from Amherst came over and we're going to spend the day together. It's kind of a bummer because Elder Waldie, Elder Nzojibwami, Sister Hart, and I were going to go to Bay of Fundy (wink wink nudge nudge Baba, BitBit, Daddy...) next week or the next, but now our zone leader won't be there! So it's pretty sad. Sister Hart and I wrote him a song to the tune of "I Will Survive" so he'll have something to remember us by hahaha.
Story time. Every Friday, we have missionary coordination meeting at the church. It's with the Dieppe Elders, the Riverview Sisters, Elder Call, and the ward mission leader (who is INCREDIBLE), Brother Despres. And as a sidenote, I hate saying his name, because it's obviously a French name, and he and his family are all French speakers, but everyone in Riverview Americanize (Canadianize) it and just pronounce it Dih-pray. So I don't even know, I wish I could call him by his first name all the time, my life is so hard. Anyway, at the meeting I was feeling all great because I was wearing my hair down for the first time since being in the field, and I was having a happy day, and I was laughing and smiling and looking like a psycho. Well, after the meeting, we went out to the car and I saw my reflection... NOOOOOOOOoooooooo! I forgot about the dang humidity here! People, it was Mufasa hair. It was horrible. I was laughing so hard at what an idiot I must've looked like through the whole meeting--my hair was HUGE!!! It was so great. I love my life. It's in a Mufasa ponytail this morning, and shall be forever after.
Alright. This is a lame e-mail. But I love the work, I miss you all, the gospel's true! Hey, God speed:) Promise next week will be more spiritual haha.
Love you!!!!!
Sister L

Monday, May 20, 2013

Je suis missionaire de l'Eglise de Jesus-Christ


Ok, so before we get to birthday business, you have to understand that my mind is everywhere right now, so I'm sorry that the only birthday I can remember at the moment is...

CHRISTOPHER FREAKIN LEWIS!!!!! Holy moley bro, you're almost as tall as I was when I was your age! Hahaha crack myself up. But seriously what the heck! My Cry Baby is growin up... You're a TEACHER, HOW COOL IS THAT?! I wish I could be there to spoil you, Row-Row. I love you.

So, Happy Victoria Day! I have no clue what it is, all I know is that the grocery stores are closed today...:( Which means I have another day to pig out on all the food in the apartment. Let's just say that the people of Moncton, New Brunswick know how to feed the missionaries!!!

Wow. I read almost all my e-mails before writing this one and I am so overwhelmed right now. In a good way. This past week has been by far, no question, the best week of my entire life. I have never been so deeply happy or more at peace. I love being a missionary. I love this work. I love Jesus Christ. This is exactly where I'm supposed to be, and I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. So this morning I was already feeling the best I could feel, then I came here and got to read about home, and I'm feeling even better. Wow.

So in response to what friends and family told me today:

1. John-John, I love and miss you like crazy. None of the Elders I work with get me quite like you do. I tell hilarious jokes all the time and they're just not gettin it! Maybe it's a Canadian thing, but all I know is that I miss my big/little brother John.

2. Umm Matt Savas?! Goshhhh I want to hear about your farewell and your whole life, so could you please write me a dang letter?!?! Is it weird to say I'M SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!! Sheesh, I mean Korea isn't as cool as New Brunswick, but I'd still love to hear about how you're doing right now... I mean it's not like we hung out everyday before I left or anything.......

3. Daddy, please let yourself heal dang it. Don't make me worry about you. Sending prayers to you, Pippy:)

4. Bell. I love and miss you. I wish I could see you.


Yep. Thank you for letting me do that. Now back to my mission haha.

Quote of the week:

Sister Hart--walking into the kitchen where I was: "SISTER LEWIS!!! Third lunch?! Seriously?!?!"

Haha... Guys, I have never eaten more food in my life. It's become this huge joke with the missionaries I work with--I have become known as "Hobbit" because of second breakfast.... I really don't know what the problem is. I'm eating waffles, french toast, eggs, oatmeal, toast, sandwiches, pasta, crackers, pizza, pudding, soup.. So I'm eating really good foods.. Just all in the same meal haha. Don't worry, I'm not planning on coming home a chunk haha, and I'm working out since I have to, but I'll just say that my work-outs consist of mostly crunches hahaha. But really I have no clue why I'm suddenly eating like a pig. Seriously people, 6 or 7 HUGE meals everyday. Aye aye aye, Fast Sunday's gonna be fun.

YESTERDAY I ISSUED MY FIRST BAPTISMAL INVITATION (my favorite of all the invitations). Let me tell you the story.

Isabelle* is 18. Her mom is a devout Catholic, and her little brother is 14. That's her family. She decided that Catholicism wasn't what she wanted anymore (after having attended a Catholic school her whole life) and started looking for another religion. On YouTube, she found a critical documentary on the LDS Church, and as she was watching it, she realized she loved the Church. She got super interested in it and studied LDS beliefs and doctrine, and started developing a testimony of it. She requested a free Book of Mormon online (oh, you referred yourself? Want to just baptize yourself too?) and after a few days, when it still hadn't come to her, she decided to call someone about it. So she called the only LDS meetinghouse in Moncton--mine--on Wednesday. It's a miracle that someone happened to be here, and the relief society president, Sister Leger (AWESOME lady), answered the phone. Isabelle explained that she requested a Book of Mormon and no one had brought one to her yet.

I was working on creating a wall area map in the church library with Sister Hart when I said, "I'll be right back" and opened the library door and stepped out in the hall (still within sight and sound of Sister Hart, don't worry:)). I noticed Sister Leger on the phone down the hall and she turned to me and said, "Sister Lewis! Someone on the phone needs to talk to a missionary." I was really confused and I answered the phone. Isabelle explained to me her situation. I was practically worshiping her and trying not to scream out of excitement!! I got her address and number, the next day we brought her the Book of Mormon and gave her a mini lesson about what it is, and on Sunday we had our first real sit-down lesson with her.

She came prepared with questions about temples (YES!) vs. meetinghouses, what it means to be sealed (she loved that), tithing, the law of chastity, fasting--all these questions that are sometimes tough to explain because they're not easy commandments to follow. But she LOVED our answers and was so willing to live them!

Then she asked, "So what are the steps you need to take to be baptized?"


We taught the restoration to her. I got to tell the First Vision (best part), and the Spirit was so strong. Then Sister Hart asked her, "What do you think of that?" Isabelle answered, "Obviously Joseph Smith was called of God. He's the real prophet and has the priesthood." OH MY GOSH.

So then I said, "Isabelle, as you come to know that things we've been teaching you are true, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?"


"We will be holding a baptismal service on June 22. Will you prepare yourself to be ready by that date?"



After the lesson, as we were walking back to the car, I kept whispering, "Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh." Sister Hart said, "Not now, Sister Lewis. Not yet." And since I couldn't stop freaking out she said, "Fine. Go run to the car." So I ran about 200m in a skirt and a huge bag to the car, got in, and screamed my head off. "THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!!! I LOVE THE GOSPEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Haha guys, this is my life!!!!! We have another appointment with her tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One more story and then I'll wrap this up. Last week, Sister Hart and I went to a part member family's house with Elder Call. In the Choret* family, the mom is less active, the dad is non-member, and their sons are non-member (Benjamin* is 8 and Lawrence* is 12). We got to know them and played some music with them (apparently there's a video of our mini orchestra--violin, clarinet, viola, flute, and me singing--on Facebook now haha). I got to know Rachel* (Sister Choret) really well while everyone else was rehearsing, and I LOVE her! Seriously, an incredible woman. She loves the Church, and knows she needs to go more, but it's tough with a non-member family. So I asked her questions about her husband. Apparently he LOVES missionaries. Loves them. He wants his sons to be baptized. Long story short, it turns out Ryan* (Brother Choret) has had all these competitions with missionaries in the past--he invites them over for hot wings and sees if the missionaries can handle the heat! So Rachel called Ryan and told him that there were new Sisters in Moncton (Moncton hasn't had Sisters in years) and he said to invite us for wings! Then he said, "Tell them to bring some towels--they won't be able to handle the SWEAT!" And I said, "I can do it without the towels! BRING IT." And he said, "IT'S ON!" Haha I'm gettin into this story.

But Saturday was the dinner appointment with them. We got to invite the Elders too. I met Ryan* and he was not opening up very well. Kinda quiet and reserved. He's really stalky--a big, shorter guy--and he's in like, his late 50s. So I decided that if I wanted him to like the missionaries, and get to know us, I'd have to get cheeky with him haha. So when we started eating dinner, I finally got the guts to try these bright red wings and immediately started crying. They were SO HOT. I was sitting in the "hot seat" right next to Ryan and he started cracking up and said, "What? Too hot for you, Sister Lewis?" And I said, "Are you kidding me? This is nothing, I thought your wings would actually be spicy." Hahaha he gave me the best death glare then started laughing really hard. Then later Sister Choret said, "Ryan's always loved having the missionaries over. They're fun and young!" And Ryan said, "Don't say young, that makes me seem old! I'm not old, am I?" Sister Hart and Elder Nzojibwami said, "Noooo way! So young!" And I said, "You are so old. I didn't know people got that old until I met you." or something stupid like that. And thus came my new nickname: "Motormouth" hahaha. He's cooking something spicier for me this Saturday, and every Saturday after that. Ryan doesn't know it yet, but he's getting baptized this summer. I'll make sure of that. Love him.

Okay, wrapping things up. AKA why do I write long letters.

Last week I got really sick and I'm still not over it--I would love the extra prayers so I can get back to feeling my best. I really don't want to miss a day of work, and this is day 8 of feeling like this, so any prayers people have would be SO appreciated:)

And no, I haven't gotten your letters yet! This morning I got my first letters since I've been in Canada (Quinn and Erin Clegg!!!) and they're dated May 11, so I think it takes about a week to get to me (they really arrived Friday or Saturday).

And lastly, I was tested on my French this week by a Quebecois Elder, Elder Morin! It was terrifying, but I guess I passed because he said, "Thank you Sister Lewis, I am definitely recommending you to President. Your Frens ees very gewd." Haha. Elder Nzojibwami told me this week that President's dream is to have French-speaking sisters, and that I'm top of the list right now. Which is really scary because I have no gospel vocabulary at all, and I feel like I couldn't have more than a 10-minute conversation with someone, because after 10 minutes it would start to get too deep for my vocabulary! And it's hard because all the French-speaking missionaries spent 6 weeks in the MTC and have French-speaking investigators and a French-speaking companion, but I'm completely teaching myself. It's tough. But my favorite sentence this week has been "Je suis missionaire de l'Eglise de Jesus-Christ des Saints des Derniers-jours." I hope that's correct because I've said it 80 times a day.

PS I got to go to Amherst next week, and I get to go again tomorrow! It's the cutest little town until you see the statues. Everyone turns their trees into giant statues of people and they paint them... It is the creepiest thing I have ever seen in my life. I am so glad I'm not serving there hahaha. I'll have to take some pictures.*morrow.

ANYWAY, I'm really ending this now. See ya! LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!

Je t'aime,

Sister L

Link to see examples of creepy Amherst tree statues.

Monday, May 13, 2013


Let me start off by saying this keyboard is so confusing and I keep hitting the wrong buttons (stupid French, right) and I can't find the question mark key to save my life, so I apologize in advance!
BUT HEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First things first... Birthdays! I know Aunt Bonnie's was sometime this week, right (question mark). If so HEY I FOUND THE QUESTION MARK??? That's confusing, you have to press shift+6. Great, I can't even type in Canada. But HAPPY BIRTHDAY BONNIE!!!!!!!!!

And Happy Mother's Day to the best mommy in the world. Seriously, how did I get so lucky to get that babe. Mamacita, thanks for giving me food, and giving me the best 7 younger siblings in the whole world, and thanks for sending me camera chords when I get to the MTC and realize I never packed one. HEY EVERYONE I LOVE MY MOM.

Okay, since I didn't do this last P-Day, and then my P-Day got skipped last week, I have 3 quotes of the week for you:

1. Sister Starkie--at dinner in the MTC: "I wish I could actually eat! Like Sister Lewis! Sister Lewis, how do you EAT that much?!?!" (my face was seriously too stuffed full of food to answer her. Fun fact for future missionaries: there's a scale in the gym under building 2M. Do not use it, because you'll realize on the anniversary of your first week in the MTC that you gained 10 pounds in 7 days off of cafeteria 19-year-old boy food. Seriously 10 pounds. True story. Guys, this is real.)

2. Sister Falaula--in dorms, pillowtalking one night, arguing about snoring: "No, no, snoring only happens when your mouth is closed, because the snores come out your nose and ears." The rest of us: "........HAHAHAHAHA WHO TOLD YOU THAT."

3. Elder Fortier (from Quèbec, so he speaks French)--at dinner with President and Sister Leavitt: "Oh. I need to go get something from the kitchen (comes back in wearing an apron)." President Leavitt: "What's that for?" Elder Fortier: "It's to protect my skirt from my food." Sister Starkie: "Protect your what?" Elder Fortier: "My skirt." He told me he always confuses "shirt" and "skirt" in English hahaha, I've never heard Sister Starkie laugh harder, she adores the "Frenchies".

So whoever told me Canada is just like America is so full of it!!!!! I am experiencing culture shock here like crazy. I can't get used to it. Everyone speaks French all the time, when you buy food at the store it's in French (like my stinkin biscuits à la crème oatmeal... disgusting), and everyone's ENGLISH accents are weird. But I'll talk about the language in a second. Back to culture shock. One of the weirdest things is the streets and driving. Canadians here think of traffic lanes as merely "convenient". Seriously, they're nice if the streets are busy, but hey, don't use them if you don't feel like it. The drivers here are super nice (which means I have to stop being a rude Utah driver haha), and everyone drifts all over lanes in the road. It's crazy. And on my first day in Halifax, this less active we were teaching said, "It was 20 degrees, and I was outside all day, so I got sunburned." WHAT ARE YOU SAYING WHO ARE YOU YOU MEAN YOU GOT FROST BITE. Yeah, I'm having trouble converting my head to Celcius. Also I had a heart attack of excitement when on my way to Moncton, the speed limit sign said 110 and I said to Sister Hart (new comp) "WHY WON'T THEY LET US DRIVE LIKE THAT IN UTAH." Ohyeahthatsinkilometers.

Ok the guy sitting next to me in the Moncton library just flipped off his computer and now I'm scared.
Our first day in Halifax (Wednesday), we got to go to the Halifax temple!!! It's not actually in Halifax, it's in a town between Halifax and Dartmouth called Cole Harbour. In fact, go Google map it--you'll see the stake center right next to it. Try to figure out which is bigger--the stake center or the temple hahaha. Seriously, it's this huge debate amongst missionaries here. No one can figure out which one is bigger! So maybe if you Google map it, you can tell from your angle:)

So I don't know if anyone outside my family knows this, but I'm in Moncton, New Brunswick!!!!! And it looks like I'll be the first French speaking Sister in the history of the mission! Right now I'm studying this MTC French book Elder Call gave me (senior missionary in my area) and reading the BOM and Bible en français. Elder Fortier gave me the French Bible as a gift. "Seesterr Lewis, I want to give to you a, umm, cadeau (I can't find the circumflex accent for that... there is one, right?). Thees ees a Bible, umm, en French, and you keep it and learn to speak, umm, French." What a sweety yo. So I've read the first part of Genesis 1 haha. It's actually really cool. Elder Fortier explained to me that already in French, he has a hard time comprehending things he reads because, as he says, "French ees umm, compleecated but when I read the umm, Bible, I understand nothing." Haha I am experiencing a similar feeling... But yeah. On the plane from Dallas to Toronto, we were seated next to each other and he gave me this giant Canadian French lesson, which messed with the French in my head, and now I'm just confused about life. But now I know some good slang words. Ugh I was just about to put an evil smiley face in here, but I can't find the right buttons, hate my life. Just kidding I don't hate my life, I'm in love with it.

So no one told me there were 8 kinds of French in Canada! Quèbecois, Acadien, Shiaque (actually I have no clue how to spell that, I just threw in some French-looking syllables to make myself seem smart instead of spelling it "Shee-ak" like it sounds haha). But Shiaque* or whatever is the French version of Spanglish--just throwing French and English words together to create confusion and distress for semi-French-speaking Sister missionaries, who are too busy to buy good food, who have to live off of cookies and cream oatmeal:(
The Elders I work with are French-speaking (but it's their second language) and they're incredible. So I'm in Riverview, the Calls are in Moncton, and the Elders are in Dieppe. Their names are Elders Nzojibwami and Waldie, and we get to teach lessons together and work together a lot. In fact, we're all about to go to Quizno's for lunch, I bet you wish you were us!!!!! But seriously, they're incredible missionaries. Elder Nzojibwami is from Alberta and he's been out 9 months I think, and Elder Waldie's from Colorado. He's been a member for 17 months (LOOK AT HOW COOL HE IS) and he's been on his mission for a total of about 4 months (so he's not done being trained). Love working with them. We feel lucky we get to be so close to them and the Calls.

The New Brunswick accent. Is so cool. "Everywhere" is really pronounced "everrwers" with really hard Rs. Everyone sounds either Irish or Scottish. It's especially hard to understand seniors because their accents tend to be thicker. But they also pronounce "pasta" like a hick haha, which I'm trying to get used to because EVERYONE talks about pasta, all the time. And they say "aboat" and "oatsiiide". And you know our unreleased Ts in words like "right"? They pronounce it "rrauiightt" haha I don't know how you'd spell that. But it's weird. Lots (which would be pronounced "loats") of people are difficult to understand sometimes. Especially when they throw weird French vocab into the Scottish English. This place is crazy, people.
Oh! Before I forget, here's my new address:

Sister Amber Lewis
712 Coverdale Rd #108
Riverview, NB E1B 0E2

So SEND ME LETTERS, PEOPLE. I have an always-reply policy, so I swear I'll reply, even to creepy love letters from my fan club of men at home. It might take a while because there are a few mission rules regarding writing letters, but I swear I'll always respond:) So let me hear from you!!! I was so blessed in the MTC... My final tally was about 32 letters and 6 packages. I'm one lucky girl. But have I received a single letter since I got to Canada? No sir. Not one (that's what Uncle Vernon says in Sorcerer's Stone. No post on Sunday). So people, write me, I'm a missionary and ah miss mah howme.

My ward is amazing. I got to meet a ton of people yesterday and I was overwhelmed with love for them ("I felt an overwhelming feeling of love..." If you get that, smile at the computer, and if you don't get that, just move on). A lot of the members have a lot of serious emotional problems, but it just makes me that much more excited to serve them. I got to speak in church yesterday and I expressed my love for them because I'm sittin over here bouncing up and down in my seat dying of love. Okay this doesn't make any sense. But we're really excited because the Elders came up with an idea to reactivate the YSA here (only about 5 of 25 are active) and this week we're starting YSA activities for them. They're all awesome! (Even creepy ones who don't treat you like a Sister missionary!)

I MISS MY FAMILY. I MISS MY FRIENDS. A lot. I miss the MTC. So a couple shout-outs here... If I have brilliant nicknames for you like Q or Am1 or Lover Boy or Pat or Reese-Reese, and especially if you're leaving on a mission this month... Y'all better e-mail me or something dang it. And good luck serving!!!!! It's the hardest thing ever, and also the best.

I miss the piano too. Someone go play songs for me, I miss it like crazy. And the violin while you're at it. Thank you.

There's a bunch more to say, but this is already 3 miles long. LOVE YOU ALL! And sorry, family, since I rambled about a lot of this stuff yesterday already:)
Sister L

*  Chiac.  We looked it up.
** Here's a video example of some French Sister Lewis might be hearing.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hey Guys!

9 May 2013

So P-day isn't until Monday, but I got permission to write a quick e-mail about Mother's Day. (I won't be able to read any of my e-mails right now.)

I am able to Skype! 3PM your time this Sunday. I get an hour:) Hopefully that works for you guys!!!


Okay I love you! Hopefully Sunday at 3 works for you--I couldn't do it any other time.


Make everyone send me letters please. I know it's expensive, but I am dying to hear from friends and family. Tell everyone I love them. Give Elise a giant hug and kiss for me.

Sister L

Hey Guys!

9 May 2013

So P-day isn't until Monday, but I got permission to write a quick e-mail about Mother's Day. (I won't be able to read any of my e-mails right now).

I am able to Skype! 3PM your time this Sunday. I get an hour:) Hopefully that works for you guys!!!


Okay I love you! Hopefully Sunday at 3 works for you--I couldn't do it any other time.


Make everyone send me letters please. I know it's expensive, but I am dying to hear from friends and family. Tell everyone I love them. Give Elise a giant hug and kiss for me.

Sister L

A Mes Parents:

May 6 2013

So I'm leavin in the mornin!  And I thought I'd send one last letter while postage is still cheap.

It's 10:55am and I just finished packing.  Both my bags are 63 pounds combined haha so I don't think the overweight fees (they have to be 50 pounds or less) will be aproblem.  Tonight I'll go to bed at 10:30 and I'll wake up at 2:30 to hit the travel office in 2M and get on my shuttle to go to SLC.  And yeah, my flight leaves at 6, which you already know, so this is pointless.

The mail still hasn't come today (it usually comes around 5pm), so I won't know about any mail or packages you send me until later.

I wanted to send my camera memory card home before I left the MT, but...I lost my camera a few days ago.  I finally filed a report for it this morning since I've been checking the lost and found every day.  Pretty stressed and bummed and upset with myself.  So if you could send any prayers my way, that would be awesome.

Now that all the crap's outta the way, I'M SO EXCITED FOR CANADA!!!  This time tomorrow I'll be in Dallas or on my way to Toronto--can't remember.  I'd have to stand up and walk 3 feet to grab my flight schedule.  But I have some BoMs I wanna place in airports and some passalong cards!  You guys, I'm pro, so don't be surprised if my first converts are from Dallas or Toronto  ;)

Yesterday, for fast and testimony meeting, our branch (which is just the 2 districts in my zone) all bore our testimonies.  It was so powerful.  Afterwards we were all bawling because teh closing song was "God Be With You Till We Meet Again."  YO.  Why would they choose such an evil song to sing days before leaving the MTC forever?!  I will miss the spirit of the MTC, but not much else haha.  And I'll miss my district.  Last night Elder Terry  gave me a letter and told me in it that I've been like a sister to him and that he loves me...AWW!  So I miss my brothers!!!!!  You know, the ones I'm related to.

Speaking of which...Moriah, John, Chi, Calvin, Malcolm, Lydia, and Elise...How are the chores goin'?  MWAHAHAHAHAHA  SUCKAS!!!!

So I realized how lightly I pack when I've been done packing and doing my laundry for 1/2 an hour when all the other Halifax Sisters have several hours ahead of them still...Yeah.  It's okay to judge them.  Plus they all have to pay overweight fees for their luggage.

I have a trillion letters I wanna send off today before Canada makes me pay a million bucks per letter, so I guess I should end this.  But I LOVE YOU and will be thinking of and praying for you from Canada!!!  Thanks for saving my butt 3 times with packages  :)  (My comp just left to weigh her luggage and on her way out said, "I think this will weigh about 30 pounds..."  Yeah, she couldn't even lift it.  And she had to sit on it to zip it up hahaha weirdo, I love her.)

Oh and daddy, I've been thinking of 19 year old you here like you told me to!  Dang Pippy, I talk to everyone about your mission.  They're probably sick of you!  MISS YOU!

And mama, today I was telling everyone stories about you and how you're in love with the chiropractor...I an't imagine how much you miss me, because I miss telling all your friends on facebook you call me an idiot child and well, we all know you just got pregnant again.


Couldn't stop looking at your pictures this morning!!!  Alright, I really gotta go!  I'll talk to you again FROM HALIFAX!!!

Love love love,
Sister Lewis

PS.  I brag about my siblings to my roommates all. the. time.

Letter From the Mission President

8 May 2013

We received a letter from Sister Lewis' mission president telling us that she and the other missionaries arrived safely in Halifax about 8:30pm on May 7th.  They arrived on time, as scheduled and only lost one piece of luggage which was apparently some kind of mission record!  They took photos, tracked down luggage and went back to the mission home where they ate a late dinner of chili, buns, and ice cream.  In the basement of the mission home, there is a huge dormitory that sleeps 14.  For the second time in the history of the mission, there were more Sisters than Elders.  So the six Sisters stayed in the basement dorm and the Elders stayed on the top floor near the mission president and his wife.

They got up in the morning at 6:30, ate breakfast and were interviewed and given their assignments before going through the Halifax temple.  During the interview the temple president found out more about Amber, our family, and her feelings about the Canada Halifax mission.  He explained to her about the different areas, how the mission was organized and gave her some information about her first area and who her companion would be.  She will be serving in Riverview, NB which is near Moncton.  Her companion's name is Sister Hart.

After the temple, they went back to the mission office to finish the orientation and to eat dinner.  Then they were sent out on their first proselytizing experience!

The mission president expressed his feeling that Amber arrived prepared to serve the Lord.

Call from the Airport in Toronto

(We got a call from Sister Lewis the day she was travelling from the MTC to Halifax.  We're just making some notes of some of the things she told us in that phone call.)

7 May 2013

On the plane form SLC to Dallas she talked to a Salt Lake Bees player who was interested in learning about missions and missionaries.

On the plane from Dallas to Toronto she talked to a Quebecois Elder who taught her some Quebecois.  She commented on how strange the accent was--that the vowels were all pronounced differently and that they used a lot more slang.

She was very excited and tired.  She finally fell asleep at 12:30 but had to be up at 2:30 to get to the travel office and head off to the airport.  She hadn't eaten anything all day and was starving.  When she finally got off the phone with us, she was going to scarf down a donut before boarding the plane.

She noted how ethnically diverse Toronto was and that she loved hearing the French.

Sister Starkie yelled hi to us and Amber teared up when she heard Sister Starkie greeting her family on the phone because of how sweet it was.

She mentioned to us that she had lost her camera.

The total letters she received in the MTC was 32.  And six (?) packages.

Week 2 in the MTC

1 May 2013

WELL HEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, let's get down to business! (To defeeeat. The Huns.) They switched my P-day to Wednesday, so to answer your questions, yeah, I'll only have one P-day here. next e-mail will be from Canada:) BRING IT. Birthday S/O to JOHN (best 16-year-old in the world, watch out). I'm sorry to all the girls whose hearts he's about to break. And I hope you had an awesome birthday, even though your favorite sista couldn't be there. But I did get you pretty great presents so you're welcome. Also birthday shout-outs to Britney Levetan and Taylor Poulsen.... Will someone please tell that dear Taylor child happy birthday and that I was thinking of him from the MTC?! Miss the primary kids!!!!!
One last piece of business... Totally sounds like I'm conducting a sacrament meeting there. But I need more things haha. This will be it though. If you could send me a camera cord, a copy of my call letter, and my ankle brace I'd love everyone forever (lame promise since families are forever and everything, but whateva). THANK YOU!!! So pictures next week, not this week. But sounds like you already got pictures from the Hendricksons! Cutest couple, I'm lucky they're serving in Halifax with me!!! The people in those pictures were Sister Echols, Sister Starkie, Sister Christensen (companion, me, Sister Weaver, Sister Laxton, Elder James (with the broken hand) and one random Elder who was just a sub comp for Elder James. There are 4 other Elders here headed to Halifax! I have yet to track them down and interrogate them and try not to give them huge hugs.
Soooo, I'VE GOTTEN 17 LETTERS AND 3 PACKAGES. #feelinblessed. Seriously, my district's jealous that I've gotten mail everyday here (except for Sunday). And apparently I have a few more letters waiting for me today, so I'll have to find Elder Bradshaw (DL) and tackle him for the letters (they hate giving me my mail:)). But guys, I love mail, it seriously makes the worst days suddenly the best! So thank you for the letters, and the prayers, and the encouragement... And if you're not religious, then just the good vibes:) I can feel it all and it gives me a ton of strength! LOVE YOU!!
Missionaries I've seen here that people would know... Elders Regehr, Felt, Head... a few Elders and Sisters from my missionary prep class... And Sisters Reese and Ward!! I know I'm forgetting some, but it feels like the week I've been here has been two months, so I can't remember haha.
My flight schedule! My plane leaves to Georgia at 8:30 AM on May 7 (less than a week left say what?!). At 3:35, we'll catch a plane to Toronto, and we'll leave from Toronto to HALIFAX (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) at 8:50 PM, arriving at 11:51:) So that's my life yo!
Every Sunday night, we have "movie night," where you go to 18M and watch old MTC addresses from general authorities. So I sat with my district and watched a talk Elder Bednar gave here at the MTC on Christmas 2011. It was about the character of Christ (turning outwards and being selfless when others would turn inwards and be self-centered, self-absorbed, and selfish) and conversion. Oh man. I don't think a talk has EVER hit me so hard. It was 90 minutes of pure spiritual feasting, and I left so edified.
Elder Bednar had us turn to Alma 23:6. He pointed out that testimony is not what keeps people from falling away from the Church. You have to have a testimony, but you also have to be converted--continually living what we already know.
Growing up, I've watched so many people with testimonies fall away from the Church. And I didn't understand how they could just stop KNOWING. But not I understand it. You can never un-know something. You can't unlearn something. Once you have a witness, you can't undo it. But if you're not converted, you can choose to forget your witness. Elder Bednar had us ask ourselves if we are truly converted.
I am converted. I have a testimony, and I am converted, so I will never fall away. I know I won't.
I'm not trying to be a preachy missionary writing home, but I'm begging everyone to convert themselves--to continually devote themselves to Christ--so they will never become weak and choose to gorget their own KNOWLEDGE. When people say "the Church isn't true anymore," NO. You weren't true to the Church.
I know that God is real. He lives. I am sure of it because I have received real witness of it from the Spirit. And I trust myself, and the things I've felt and learned, more than I trust mankind's idea of "possible" and "impossible". God lives. Christ is our Savior, and only through Him can we find real happiness.
The biggest tragedy to me is learning of people who KNOW God lives, who received real witness and still know it, but who have chosen to forget it because they stopped living according to what they KNOW is right. That is tragic. I pray for them that they can let themselves remember what they know and trust their feelings above man's.
So! Yesterday we (Sister C and I) got our new (fourth) investigator, Pascal! We had our first lesson with him.... And the Spirit was really, really strong for a lot of it, but it was not there for most of it. I left feeling really, really discouraged. We went to dinner right after that, and I was sitting by myself while my companion was talking with our district. I was just thinking and trying not to get down on myself, but I was feeling probably the worst I've ever felt in my life. I'm sorta embarrassed to say that because I'd rather just be soooooo excited and love every moment of it, but I was really having a rough time. Then a Sister in my district, Sister Falaula (she's incredible) came over to me and asked if I was okay. So of course I just started BAWLING. It was so embarrassing. Right there in the middle of the cafeteria. And my wonderful companion came and hugged me, and the Elders came over and started comforting me and encouraging me, and got me to grow up and quit bein' a baby:) But I was really down, so that night I asked the Elders in my district for a blessing.
Let me interrupt myself to describe my district for a second. There's me and Sister Christensen, who is a year older than me and also going to Halifax. Then Sisters Oswald (sister trainer leader, from Austin) and her comp Sister Falaula (from American Samoa). The Elders are Elder Fietonu (ZL, from Hawaii) and his comp Elder Taufa (also ZL, from Hyland), Elder Bradshaw (DL, from Idaho), and his comp Elder Terry (from Provo). Out of the Elders, I've become really close to Elder Terry (NOT in a crushy way obviously daddy:)). So when I asked Elder Bradshaw for the blessing, Elder Terry asked me if he could give it. It was a really simple, short blessing, but as soon as he said my name at the beginning, I felt overwhelming peace and comfort. The Spirit was SO STRONG, guys!!! You know how I start shaking really bad whenever I feel the Spirit? Yeah, all night long I was feeling it. The blessing was immediate relief. I'm grateful for the priesthood and worthy priesthood holders!
I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY. But I'm short on time. Just know that I'll reply to everyone's letters! I won't ignore them, I just have to find the time to do it. It's P-day, P-DAY, and I've only been able to write half a letter so far.... So they're comin, just give me some time.
Again, thank you, friends and family, for the letters/prayers/thoughts!!!!! It all means everything to me and I feel so strengthened whenever I hear of another family who's praying for me.
And thank you to the parents!!!!! I'm so lucky to have supportive parents!!! We had a testimony my second night here, and Elder Taufa said "I've been born of goodly parents, and they deserved to have a son who served a mission." And I realized how lucky I am to have such devoted, hard-working parents, who got me on my way. THANKS, PIP AND MOW-MA!!!!!
Well, I love and miss everyone!!!!!!!!!! The Church is true! God speed guys:)
Love love love,
Sister Lewis