Monday, September 30, 2013

This week....

Well, not every week is quite my favorite one, that's for sure! We saw miracles happen this week though, and we like to focus on those. Our French-speaking investigator Edith Veilleux* (the mother of Evangeline and Eustace) is on date for baptism on October 19. It's going to be a lot of work until that point, but we are excited.

Happy birthday to Ty Rosser, Ricky Larsen, and my big cousin Cameron!!! October is a big month for my family, eh?!

I know there have gotta be six 19-year-old girls left in Utah by now or something, but just in case, here's some advice for those who are preparing to serve missions:

Being a 19-year-old Sister missionary is hard. Not everyone's going to trust you and your insights because you are so young. Sometimes you'll feel a little lost in a mission full of Elders when not all of them like having Sister missionaries around. Not everything will be perfect--very few things are, and hardly anyone is. But this week I really learned my lesson that even though the adversary wants us to feel unneeded and useless at times, we can be powerful. The Lord qualifies those whom He calls.

A few days after we opened Riverview for Sisters, the Elders picked up a family of investigators--a single mom (Edith) with 5 children between the ages of 3 months and 15. The girls were baptized about two months later and the Elders continued to teach Edith, taking a third priesthood member with them every time they visited her. Edith is very shy, and has had an incredibly difficult life (and was part of a genocide in her home country). She has a hard time trusting people and opening up, so the Elders were finding it difficult to help her progress. One day, we picked up her good friend and neighbour, Violet*, as an investigator. Violet asked to be taught by us with Edith, and the Elders eventually gave us Edith as an investigator. We taught Violet, who is confident and talkative, with Edith and Elder Call. With all the people there, it was difficult to really understand Edith's perspective and to get her to open up. And so Sister Nelson and I this week decided we needed to make Edith a priority. On Thursday we had a lesson with her--just her. It was the first one we had with her alone. The first part of the lesson was rocky as she dealt with her children, but they eventually fell asleep and the Spirit was welcomed into the lesson. We, as Sisters, were able to reach Edith's heart, and she bore powerful testimony to us that she knows God is her Father and the she loves Him and Jesus Christ. She opened up so well that we were really able to reach her heart and assess her needs. We were able to commit her to baptism.
The Elders had done an amazing job of teaching her. They taught her all the lessons, they helped her get to church. Most importantly, they helped her develop her faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. The Elders are strong, talented missionaries, and sometimes God needs His Sister missionaries to come help others of His daughters come unto Christ fully. There are things Elders can do, and there are also things Sisters can do.

Anyway, back to my missionary life. This morning I studied the Plan of Salvation in my personal study--particularly Our Life on Earth. When I was reading about it from Preach My Gospel, it hit me that I have been developing a strong testimony of trials over the last 5 years or so. After going through a particularly difficult time in my first 2 years of middle school, I had an experience in my seminary class that showed me one of the reasons I had to go through such a hard trial, and I realized that part of my purpose in life was to help other people when they had to go through similar trials. And now on my mission, I find that I'm doing that even more--helping investigators through their trials and concerns because I went through the same ones.

Not only would I be a considerably less effective missionary without those trials, but I would not have been molded more into the type of person God wants me to become. In Jeremiah 18, we learn of the importance of being a refined vessel--or tool--of Heavenly Father's. The potter tries to mold the clay into a vessel that is not "marred," but rather "good." When we let our trials change us, refine us, and make us "[seem] good to the potter," that is when Heavenly Father can work miracles through us. When we are an unclean or a broken vessel (Isaiah 52:11), we are hindering God's work because He cannot work powerfully through broken vessels. In other words, if we are hard-hearted and stubborn, if we do not let our God remold us and change us, if we don't let our trials refine us, we are keeping miracles from being performed. When we call on the healing power of the Atonement of Christ, we can overcome our marred and our broken parts. God will change us into the vessels--the servants--He needs us to be.

I love you all. Be soft-hearted vessels. God is progressing His work through you.


Sister Lewis


I have a good senior companion, because she always pushes me out of my comfort zone to do things I don't always want to do <3 talking to people, knocking doors, etc....

We got to go to the temple again!!! We went with a member who invited us, and we did everything to get permission to go. And then I left my tag in Riverview. So I borrowed Sister Nelson's. Hers was an Elders' tag that only clips on pockets. I was really sad.

At the temple!!! We did 2 sessions and it was incredible.

At a Thai restaurant in Halifax afterwards!

They change their candy to Halloween-y names. Aero bars are now scAero bars!

Awkward second picture that's pretty much exactly the same.
The drive home from Halifax. Right outside of Amherst. Guys, I live here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

I think I'm high from second-hand smoking pot.

I didn't know there were like 40 different smells of pot till I came here. I've probably been high my entire mission.

No birthdays this week that I haven't already mentioned, I think!

I can't think of a quote of the week this week! Shoot.

This weekend was Sisters Conference! It was amazing. Thursday evening we left for the mission home in Dartmouth, NS and spent the night there. I saw Sister Christensen again, who I haven't seen since two days after I left the MTC! And I saw Sister Weaver, who I haven't seen since then as well! This mission currently has 28 Sisters, which is incredible, because this time last Sisters Conference (January), we had 8. We are expecting to have 56 by this spring. How cool is that. It was an incredible conference!Friday morning we woke up, worked out together, then went to the stake center for the conference and breakfast. The Newfoundland Sisters had to fly in, so they didn't show up until the meeting was starting, and when Sister Hart walked in I flew at her and killed her with hugs. It was so great to see her again. The meetings lasted all day. They were uplifting and some Sisters... definitely have really strong opinions about things haha. But it was overall really beneficial and we enjoyed ourselves. For supper, we had fish and chips and Sam's Grill or something like that, then we asked if we could all go street contacting together, which was super fun. Some groups sang, some broke into companionships on splits and gave out pass-along cards and invitations. It was really great. We talked to tons of people. After that, we went to the temple at 7:30 to catch the 8:00 session, and we didn't leave the parking lot until 11! We slept hard, then woke up early to have a testimony meeting at the lake across the street from the mission home at 6:30 the next morning, which was amazing and spiritual. We were all wearing matching Sisters Conference T-shirts that Sister Hart's dad made for us, and we bore testimony on missions and the Spirit and the Atonement and the gospel. It was incredible. The Newfoundland Sisters left shortly after that, so I said goodbye to Sister Hart for the last time--she goes home at the end of this transfer (a month from tomorrow or so). It was really hard and really sad. We got back to Riverview earlySaturday evening. We are EXHAUSTED.

Last night we had a really cool lesson with our investigator named Gwen*. When we first met her, she asked us, "What do you believe?" We told her we had a set of lessons we generally teach about our beliefs and offered to teach her. She said, "Okay, but I'm not going to change anything. I'm not going to read anything, I'm not going to change religions. Do not try to convert me." Well, we've been working with her for about a month now, and it took us a long time to get her to start reading and praying. She refused to do it at first. So finally she was really, really slowly progressing. But last night she actually said, "I was praying about it and I decided I wanted to join your church. But now I'm not sure. The point is.... You two are good." BAM! She's got a soft commitment on baptism now for next month. I probably won't be here for it, it's likely I'll be transferred, but I just have a strong testimony of the power of the Spirit. It's so real. It changes people's hearts. It changed a hard-hearted lady who wanted hardly anything to do with us to someone who was willing to make promises with God and change her life according to our beliefs. And she got one thing wrong--we aren't the ones who have been persuading her to be baptized. It's completely the Spirit.

I love you all. The Church is true. I love being a missionary.

Sister Lewis
Scary picture haha, but I have a really great missionary friend who decided to send me a package with a ton of chocolate, a letter, and pictures. I'm a lucky missionary:)

These were GIANT! They were like 6 inches across and 3 or 4 inches talll. The Dieppe Elders (Waldie and Thunot) just barely brought them to us. They're warm. They're delicious. I'm eatin mine now. Be jealous.

Me, Sister Saulnier (who I adore), and Sister Nelfils

About to hit the road for Halifax! Sister Rust (Fredericton), me, Sister Nelson (storm trooper), Sister Olsen (St. John), Sister Coleman (St. John).

Same people, plus Sister Sandberg (Fredericton) next to Sister Nelson.

All the Sisters! And Sister Leavitt. Right after testimony meeting (and singing "Called to Serve" at the lake). I'd name them all, but I want to have a P-day today.

Lookin nasty after testimony meeting and not showering. Me, Sister Nelson, and Sister Judd (Charlottetown, PEI).

Killer companionship.

....And President Leavitt! Haha

Makin salsa for Relief Society.

Sisters at the Halifax Temple!

Horrible picture, but funny story. Once upon a time, almost 5 months ago, Sister Lewis was in her first area with her first companion, fresh out of the MTC. Her trainer, Sister Hart, said, "Hey, could you call ______?" Sister Lewis took out the phone and started dialing the number. And she accidentally started calling home. She hung up before it went through, but she was forever mortified that she'd one day not realize what she was doing and have an uncomfortable conversation. "Hello?" "............ Hey mom."

Monday, September 16, 2013

Je vais te caller back.

That is a true Chiac sentence, my friends. I have honestly heard those words uttered.

Happy birthday to Sister Swain and Sara Warr!!!

We got our fourth Elder this week! Just in time for Elder Thunot and Elder Waldie to go out of town for another concert. So there were only 4 missionaries in church this week. But Elder Fortier is here now! I came to the field with him, we were in the MTC together. He is from Quebec and has blackmail photos of me.

I want letters, guys.

Quotes of the week:

1. We were moving a young family of potentials this week. Afterwards, the four of us (Elder Woodbury, Elder Fortier, Sister Nelfils, and I) were sitting in the livingroom BURNING hot. One of the younger girls said to one of the four of us, "Wow! You are DRIPPING sweat!!!"
Me: "I think we all are!"
Sister Nelfils: "I'm sweating so bad, I just hide it well!"
Elder Woodbury (on his way out the door): "Sisters don't sweat, they glisten."

2. We stopped by Bishop's house to visit with him, and as we were wrapping things up, he dissed us really well. Sister Nelson pretended to get sad and said, "You don't really mean that, right?"
Bishop: "You know, it's really too bad I can't say that I LOVE MY SISTERS!' I really wish I could just say right now I LOVE MY SISTERS. I just feel like telling someone right now how much I LOVE MY SISTERS!"

It was a good week. Rough, but good. I am sore from head to foot from a million service projects, and we're probably going to have to drop 600 of our investigators to find new ones who are really ready for the gospel, but I feel good. I'm going through the refiner's fire. The church is true!

Transfers were a few days ago. I'll be in Riverview for at least 6 more weeks! Maybe I said that in the last e-mail.... I dunno.

I love the Book of Mormon.

I was studying in True to the Faith this morning and really loved a quote I read about the Holy Ghost:
"You can receive a sure testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ only by the power of the Holy Ghost. His communication to your Spirit carries far more certainty than any communication you can receive through your natural senses."

I love that. It really got to me. The witness of the Holy Ghost is more powerful than any others of our senses. I think my very first week in the MTC, I wrote about this. I said:

"You can never un-know something. You can't unlearn something. Once you have a witness, you can't undo it... I pray for [people who choose to forget their spiritual witnesses] that they can let themselves remember what they know and trust their feelings above man's."

Now, hey, if you're an inactive member of the Church, I'm talking to you. And I'm gonna do it bluntly, because as a missionary that's what I do best.

People choose to forget the witness that they receive from the Holy Ghost. It is purely a choice when someone stops going to church or stops acting on their spiritual witness. But that quote says that the Holy Ghost's "communication to your Spirit carries far more certainty than any communication you can receive through your natural senses." In other words, like I said before, when people gain spiritual witness and then make choices that say otherwise, they are putting man's view of possible and impossible above their own knowledge.

For example, I know that God lives. I know that through spiritual experience. However, a lot of people don't. And there are some people who once had a spiritual witness that God lives and then made the choice to forget it. But if the witness of the Holy Ghost is more real than any other witness, then they are also choosing to put man's idea of what's possible and impossible ("there is no God") above their own feelings--above the impressions that God Himself sent them.

Maybe I'm getting a little too passionate about a subject that takes a lot of thought! But I am thinking of specific people I know who have chosen to deny their spiritual witnesses. They say they never knew, that they never received witness. When they did. They are putting everything else in their life first, and forgetting their KNOWLEDGE. Their KNOWLEDGE that God lives. That Christ is their Savior. That the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church.

I know that. I know that God lives. I know that Christ is my Savior. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church. I am more sure of that than I am of the witnesses any of my other senses give me. And I trust my own knowledge more than I trust other people telling me that I'm a fool for believing that, that there's no proof of it, or that  God doesn't have only one church. Because I have received a solid witness that it is true, and I act on that witness enough to never have to deny my knowledge.

Haha have a great week, everyone. The Church is true.

Love with all my heart,

Sister Lewis

I drew the FALL.

Some of their 20s are plastic and see-through. They won't rip!


This was on a gas station sign. "Keep face away from eyes and skin." Hahaha.

One of the Charlottetown primary kids wrote this! IS THAT NOT ADORABLE?

Weirdos! Elder Thunot, Elder Waldie, Elder Woodbury.

These next three photos are from the Corn Boil.

"Ultra Cherry" heh heh heh.

No filles? Yes please. Elder Woodbury thought that was pretty funny.

Sister Nelson and I sang "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy" in sacrament meeting yesterday. Afterwards, Nicholas (7) ran up to me and said, "Sister Lewis! I give you a 10! That was amazing!" :))))))

Riverview flag, Canada flag, New Brunswick flag

Canada Day

Canada Day

The old Moncton missionaries.

I feel uncomfortable just looking at this picture.

The Elders

Monday, September 9, 2013

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Birthdays first. Because I'm a slacker!!! Jordan Campagna, Mary G, Derek "Dare Bear" Regehr, Kate the Grape, Nellie Bug Fogg, Karabeein Blodgett, and Seych, happy birthday!!!!! Man I'm horrible.

This week has been so crazy. The Elders got in a mini accident, the ward corn boil [like a Canadian BBQ] was on Saturday, all our investigators are sick of the Mormon missionaries (too bad for them:)), we dropped a couple investigators, Elder Waldie and the Calls will be gone fromThursday until Tuesday in Newfoundland, our district split and Amherst got kicked out, Elder Waldie became our district leader, and now the 8 missionaries in Moncton are being forced to become a French-speaking district! Which is great and horrible. At least it will push me even farther than I'm pushing myself already.

To top off this week, Sister Nelson and I took a trip to this wonderful Candian land called Bulk Barn this morning. Bulk Barn is "le plus important detaillant d'aliments en vrac au Canada." Do you understand my obsession? I've been eating caramels all day. But it's okay because I've been eating a lot of vegetables and doing real work-outs recently. That's okay right?

This week I finally broke into French in the middle of a lesson. Last night, we had a lesson with our two French investigators. We usually just teach in English (and Elder Call occasionally uses French) since they do speak English. But there is such a language barrier sometimes that I leave the lesson frustrated that I didn't have the guts to speak French. I just get so shy and embarrassed about it sometimes. But FINALLY I took a deep breath and testified in French during that lesson. And the Spirit was strong as I did it. I don't think it would have been so strong if I wasn't relying completely on faith to do it. There is something to be said for trusting completely in the Lord. I can do all things through Christ.

Transfer e-mails were sent Saturday night, so Sunday before church, we heard what's happening. There are LOTS of changes, and this week we get 5 new Sisters and an Elder! Still not as big as the group I came in. But it will be weird not being the youngest Sister in the mission anymore. Bittersweet! Anyway, I'll be staying in Riverview for my fourth transfer, and I feel very grateful. I love this area and want to give it all I can. The transfer ends a few days before Halloween. I want to make this count. I love God's children here.

And speaking of children.... I have this horrible problem where I love every kid I see to death. I get cuted out so easily and at the ward corn boil on Saturday, I spent a lot of time with the kids. There is something so special and refreshing about their innocence. Not to mention they're so adorable.

When I left home, I was really heartbroken that I'd have to leave the primary kids there and not get to see their primary program. And that's one of the reasons I was so blessed to have been asked to be the primary chorister here until they find someone new. I've been doing this for about 3 months now and I love it. And just a few days ago, we found out we get to put on a primary program. And I will be here for it. And I get to conduct them. You could say I am PUMPED!!! Someone go tell Keri Linford to come help me lead it over here in Canada:)

Sisters Conference is on September 20th and 21st in Halifax. We'll get to go to the temple! About 30 Sisters will be there. It will be our last Sisters Conference (my only one) because we're about to bump up the Sisters numbers to around 50, which will bring us to a total of 136 missionaries in the Canada Halifax mission--the most there have been here in over 25 years. The work is progressing!!

Well, it's been an edifying week. I keep thinking of 2 Nephi 31 and 32 which emphasize over and over again the importance of feasting upon the words of Christ. In fact, I really recommend the study of 2 Nephi 32 especially. It's so short, but powerful. It is directed especially to members of the Church--those who have already been baptized.

I love the peace that comes from knowing I am a part of Christ's church. I love the peace that comes from knowing that I will never fall away because I will never stop reading my scriptures. I will never stop praying. I will never stop going to church. Because if you do all those things, you've secured for yourself a spot in the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. D&C 4:4.

I love you all.
Soeur Lewis

Some Old Photos