Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Last Days as a Full-Time Representative of the Saviour Jesus Christ

Last dinner appointment with MaryAnn* and Sister Brentwood*. I love them sooooooo much! They made me feel ridiculously loved.

SAM'S* BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Elder Raymant, Elder King (who baptized Sam*), Sam, me, Sister Bowden

The sisters with Sam!!!

Susan* and me. I love her so much. We had such a special relationship. She is going to make a rock-solid, killer member next month!!!!!

Me and Julia*!! The amazing member-missionary who bore her testimony to Sam* over and over again until he'd meet with the missionaries! I will miss her.

Me and Susan* again:)

Susan Laurent*, me, and Blake Laurent*. Some of my favourite people on planet earth. STRONG, loving, smart, spiritual, funny, faithful, sacrificial, brave, happy. I love them to death. This couple was one of the hardest parts of going home.

Lauren* (one of the YSAs in the ward) and me.. with Susan* photobombing in the background!
This was taken in the Halifax airport the morning I flew home. Ryan (from China) was baptized in Halifax earlier this year, and he served a month-long mini mission in Sydney (NS) and Charlottetown! So we served together for a couple weeks! He was an amazing, happy missionary and was so fun to serve with . He came to the airport with gifts for me and Sister Starkie and to see us off. He is so great!!!

Saying goodbye to Sister Bowden Thursday morning. My third baby!!!

What my plane ride home looked like... "All these things shall give thee experience."

Sister Starkie and I had a big discussion about this on our flight from Chicago to Salt Lake. Powerful. I didn't want that discussion to end.

We were feeling lots of mixed emotions on the flight home.... Not to mention we were dead tired and over-emotional because of it haha.

But then we saw MOUNTAINS for the first time in 18.5 months when we were flying into the Salt Lake valley and it was SO EXCITING!!!!!

Me, Sister Starkie, and Elder Clark. We were feeling weird and SO EXCITED to see our families when we got off the plane!! On our way to see our families, we were about to round the last corner when we looked at a cafe to our left and saw Tad R. Callister sitting there with his wife!! So we went and introduced ourselves to them and talked about how we had just been reading our favourite quotes from one of his talks on the plane! It was so neat! He told us he could tell we were dedicated missionaries and then kicked us out to go see our families.

Let me introduce you to the 9 reasons I ever missed home on my whole mission.

The newest RMs from the Canada Halifax Mission in Salt Lake.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Like Paul

Wow. It's hard to know where to start. My thoughts and feelings recently have reflected those of Nephi in 1 Nephi 4:

"I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted. My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep. He hath filled me with his love."

Do you ever feel so overwhelmingly blessed it humbles you because it makes you aware of how undeserving you are? I don't know why Heavenly Father decided to bless me with the gospel, or the qualifications to serve a mission, or an incredible end to my mission when He knew I'd accept it if it was His will that our area wasn't on fire at the end. I don't know why He keeps blessing me, one of 7 billion of His children on earth, so much that I feel completely "filled with His love."

On Monday during a lesson with Mary-Elizabeth*, she told us that she'd officially received an answer about baptism as her fellowshiper was testifying of it to her. It was amazing!!! Although her close family and friends will not be able to make it to her baptism Wednesday night, so we had to push it to Saturday. So I won't be there for it, but the important part is that she's being baptized, and even though I'm disappointed, I could not be more excited for her. She's making the right choice!!

We also got the Blackwell* family on date for baptism!!! December 20. What a neat lesson:)

Sam*'s baptism is still on for this Wednesday!!!!! We are so excited for him! His testimony is growing and you can tell because he is different! He is changing! This is so exciting for him! He's about to make his first promise with God!

I remember preparing for my mission, and probably for the 100th time in my life I decided to read the entire standard works. Didn't happen. But I started in Genesis, and I remember wondering why the story of Adam and Eve was important enough to be the very first story. As I continued my mission preparation, studied, attended missionary preparation, went through the temple, and went out with the missionaries, I realized that there was something very important about the Fall of Adam and Eve that I was missing, and on my mission it's turned into a bit of a focus. And it didn't really start to hit me until last week.

Because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, things don't have to stay in the same state they were when they were created! They can change! Things don't have to "stay that way". Because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, things can change, people can change, I can change. I can repent. I don't have to be stuck with the same old problems and the same old weaknesses I've had for 20 years. Because of the Fall, I don't have to stay that way. Because of the Fall, I can change. Because of the Fall, I CAN BE CONVERTED.

How exciting is that?! Nothing has to stay the same forever! Tomorrow, I don't have to be the same as I am today.

What would I have done if on my mission, I stayed the same, brand-new, naive missionary the entire time?! My mission would have profited me nothing! But instead, because of the Fall, I applied the Atonement, worked my tail off, and I am different. I have changed. I have become more converted. I didn't have to stay that way.

I am so grateful that Heavenly Father loved me enough to inspire me to leave on a mission for Him--which is absolutely, hands down, the hardest thing I've ever had to do--because He wanted His other children to be closer to Him (and I tried my best to do that), but also because He wanted ME to be closer to Him. I have experienced the miracle of conversion myself throughout my mission, and I now feel closer to my Father in Heaven than ever before. I've been doing His work, I've had to rely on Him (I couldn't rely on anything else), I've better understood His gift of letting His Son suffer because I've had my mini-ministry and my mini-Gethsemanes. I feel like I've come to know my Heavenly Father and His Son better, and I'm so grateful for that.

At the end of his life, Paul was imprisoned and sent out lots of epistles to members of the Church throughout the world. Just before his martyrdom, he writes an epistle to Timotheus--his very last epistle. He reflects on his mission and what he learned. He exhorts us, in his dying wish so to speak, to do one last thing:

"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."

So he asks us before God and our Saviour to preach the gospel! To give everything we have to help other people understand it.

"For... they [do] not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts [do] they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

"And they... turn away their ears from the truth, and... [turn] to fables.

"But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."

He tells us to "make full proof of thy ministry," or to make the most of the time we have.

"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand."

I add my testimony to Paul's.

I can say that I have fought a good fight.

I have finished my course.

I have kept the faith.

Sister Lewis

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week Number 79....and still going strong.

Good morning! It's freezing here!! But beautiful!!!

We're picking up a family of investigators tonight!! They were taught a couple years ago. Their names are James and Lindsay Blackwell*. They've been taught everything, and were on date for baptism. But they weren't married and had a really hard time quitting smoking. They have 3 kids who are 19 (has a disability), 16, and 10. IT'S A REAL FAMILY!!! So we've had their teaching record forever, and they sound so amazing that my last companion and I decided to give them a visit. But the elders who taught them only wrote down their street name (I hate that) and their number was out of service. So my last companion and I tracted out the entire street and couldn't find them. Well, my current companion found the teaching record and long story short, we followed the Spirit on a whim a million times until we FINALLY found someone's phone number who could be them. We gave them a call and IT WAS THE DAD!! They've been married now and we're pretty sure that if they do still smoke, it's not as much as it was before (their house smells super clean). But we found them! And he couldn't believe we were calling him, he kept saying, "How did you know??" because their family is going through a really hard time right now and they said they NEED spiritual guidance and immediately set up an appointment with us. We didn't have a lot of time in the appointment yesterday so we didn't get to pick them up as new investigators but they're dying for us to come back and teach them. They both have testimonies of the Church. IT WAS CRAZY.

We also got a couple on date for baptism this last week! Their names are Blake and Susan Laurent*. They are amazing. I love teaching them together... she got him on date for baptism herself. Amazing.

This week I had a pretty remarkable experience, among many, that I can't seem to get out of my head.

Sister Bowden and I were almost back to our car after street contacting downtown when a cute, bubbly, blonde girl not much older than me stopped us on the street and started talking to us about her religion. She didn't know we were missionaries when she stopped us (Sister Bowden's tag was under her coat and mine had flipped over to the wrong side). She was with her fiance. Anyway, we obviously started talking to them about the gospel and learning about their backgrounds and inviting them to learn about the gospel haha. But I was really intrigued because she just went to a non-denominational Christian church and was on her way to the store, running errands, stopping the people who walked past with a pamphlet about Jesus Christ. I've never been approached by anyone about religion before, and it was a very interesting perspective. Let me tell you what I saw and felt as she approached us.

I saw a bright, smiley girl walking down the street towards us, basically bouncing. I saw her make eye contact with me (I had been about to stop them, although she didn't realize that). Then I saw her look down at her feet, obviously very nervous. And then when she looked back up at me, she looked determined and opened her mouth and stopped us. She offered us a pamphlet. We started asking her questions and introduced ourselves as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She suddenly got excited and we had a great gospel conversation. Her fiance was talking about God needing to have justice and mercy and how lots of people just expect mercy from Him and not justice. I agreed and quoted Doctrine & Covenants 45:3 to them. As I finished, the girl gasped and quoted it back to me. Then she started tearing up and stared at the sky. And right there, in the middle of crazy downtown, in the rain, completely self-motivated and sincerely out of wanting to spread the gospel because she realizes how important it is that people know about Christ, she began to testify to us of the Saviour.

After a few more moments, we had exchanged contact information and we'd invited each other to church. Sister Bowden and I walked away kind of awe-struck.

This girl, named Daisy*, got it. She got missionary work. No one was telling her she had to do missionary work, no one expected it of her, her church was even nondenominational and wasn't sending missionaries out to do work. She got it. She herself realized how much the world needed a knowledge of the Saviour and that catalyzed that natural outcome--it was natural for her to share the gospel with people after that. "I have something the world needs, so of course I'm going to share it with people, regardless of what they think of me. Of course I'm going to testify to complete strangers on the street. Of course I'm going to make missionary work a part of my everyday life on my way to the grocery store." She gets it.

She was also willing to sacrifice. She was obviously nervous to stop us. But I remember the face she made after she looked down anxiously. She looked back up at me--straight in the eyes--with determination, because she knew she needed to do it and that it was God's work. And so she stepped out of her comfort zone and sacrificed. Gave up her own personal comfort to help someone else. In the MTC, I heard a clichee phrase: "Man's extremity is God's opportunity." But despite how clichee it is, I know it's also true. God cannot work miracles with someone who's not willing to let miracles be worked through them.

She really believed what she was telling me. She was bubbly and excited and bounced around a couple times, and as soon as I quoted that scripture to her, she was so naturally in tune with the Spirit that she got choked up. She believed it, and I could tell.

And my last observation is that I didn't feel offended. I probably would have felt awkward if it weren't for my mission, but I didn't feel upset or angry that she wanted me to attend her church. In fact, the conversation I had with her stuck with me like crazy and I actually learned from her. I learned from her example of fearless discipleship. I want to go home and have missionary work that present in my mind.

Anyway, it was a pretty incredible experience. It struck me the power that one girl had, and the power that we as members can have. We underutilize the power God can put behind us when we're willing to step out of our comfort zones.

I better get going... Lots of good things still have to happen in Charlottetown before I'm gone!!!

I love you!!!

Sister Lewis
Old photos of Sister Thompson and me getting distracted from our missions...
Saying goodbye to one of my favourite people from my mission.... Charmaine Veitch. She moves to Alberta this Thursday. I'm going to miss her!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Harvest is Great, But the Labourers Are Few


Quote of the week--(this was actually a few weeks ago, I just found it and realized I'd never sent it) Elder Dudley, in a bit of terror, after describing a weird contact they had with a teenage girl who seemed too excited to meet with them based on what they talked to her about:

"I mean, for all we know, she could think we're coming over to watch Twilight and cuddle!"

The week was off to a great start after having Thanksgiving dinner with the Harris* family last Monday! I love that family. The week continued with EXCHANGES with my Sister Training Leader, Sister Gochnour!! I absolutely loved it. She is a powerful missionary and it was fun to work with her!!!

On Sunday, Sister Bowden and I were driving to the streets we were going to knock and dropped by the chapel on the way so she could use the washroom. We found the church doors unlocked and several lights on, which meant the last people out hadn't locked up. We walked in and I realized there was no key to lock the door anyway, so we were basically stuck at the church since we couldn't leave it unlocked. So we started making phone calls as it got dark outside, and being in a church at night started kind of creeping us out and we started to hear weird noises in the church. So we got a little paranoid and were wondering if someone had gotten in during the hours the church had been unlocked. And then I noticed the men's washroom on. And I KNEW there was someone in there. There are always tons of kids up to no good who hang out right outside the front doors, and it was obvious that someone was in there. So I quietly pointed it out to Sister Bowden, and I grabbed her wrist (she did NOT want to come with me) and we made our way over to the men's washroom. We kicked open the door and BAM! No one was there. So we laughed kind of hysterically because we were so freaked out and went back to call more people for help. While we were waiting, we pulled out the phone to video ourselves and document how freaked out we'd been when we checked the men's washroom. So we took it out and video taped what it was like for us to go check and when we opened the men's washroom again, I realized as I was video taping that the person who was in there could've just been standing inside one of the stalls on the toilet so we couldn't see his feet! So I said, "WHAT IF HE'S ON THE TOILET?!" and we both screamed and ran out the door and waited in our locked car while Bishop came to check the church and lock the doors for us, laughing at us and making screaming noises as he did so, just to tease us. The end.

Haha on a more uplifting note... We found 2 new investigators this week--Daniel* is 17 and good friends with a fairly recent convert in the ward. He really wants to make changes in life to come closer to Christ because he feels bad that he hasn't been to church in a long time. It's neat seeing someone so young desire so much to come closer to God.

This week was killer!!!!!!!!!!!!! In Canada we have this thing called Kijiji which is like craigslist, and so we put ads up for people to get free Book of Mormons, free Bibles, etc. (the type of thing they can order for free on mormon.org). We've had a couple cool things happen from it, but this is the first thing that's been super LEGITIMATE from it!! Her name is Susan*, and she texted us for a free bible. And usually that ends pretty lamely because they're Christian and just want a bible and nothing more. But she came to the church to pick it up on a night where we had YSA, mutual, and the family history centre was open, so there were tons of people there laughing and being super welcoming and she said it felt really good. Then we gave her the bibles and started introducing the Book of Mormon to her as a companion to the bible and she got more interested and wanted 2 copies so she could give one to her uncle who loves studying the bible. And then our on-date investigator, Sam, showed up at the church for YSA and we got him to come bear his testimony to Susan* about the Book of Mormon and he told her he was preparing for baptism and she got SUPER interested! And so we had an appointment with her a couple days ago and it was AMAZING, she'd already read all of 1 Nephi and believed it was true and is on date for baptism, November 29!! It was so cool!!

Mary-Elizabeth is doing great! She had a really big question come up in her lessons this week and she actually fasted about it yesterday in church. Amazing.

It's just been humbling to see all the people who are being prepared! Heavenly Father's hand is SO in their lives--isn't it amazing how many people there are and how involved He is in answering the simplest of prayers? He loves us.

He wants so badly for His children without the gospel to have it. He has been preparing them and giving them experiences their whole lives. HE WANTS IT FOR THEM MORE THAN ANYTHING! That is His work and His glory!!!

Look for the people who need the gospel! The harvest is great but the labourers are few!!


Sister Lewis

(Sister Lewis didn't send any pictures this week, but Sister Gochnour posted one on her blog!)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Je sais qu'il vit, mon Redempteur

Happy Thanksgiving!

Quote of the week (Sister Bowden):

Sister Bowden: "OH MY GOSH your whole family is emailing me!!!"
[she then proceeded to read me my own embarrassing stories that my family decided to send... you crazy Lewis clan:)]

MAN. Time is FLYING eh?! I'm kind of shocked. When I look back to specific moments towards the beginning of my mission, it feels like ages ago, but when I look at my mission as a whole, it's felt very quick. I bore my testimony for the last time in sacrament meeting yesterday (my last Fast Sunday since November's Fast Sunday will be Stake Conference). It's just been a little bit crazy and fast.

Mary-Elizabeth Dickens*  is on date for November 5! She is getting baptized the same day as two of our other investigators--Sam Winters* and Greg Black*. It's been so humbling to see the power of the testimonies of members here because each of them has strong ties to members in the ward and that is the reason they are investigating and progressing so well towards baptism.

Mary-Elizabeth was at the bus stop one morning, on her way to school (Holland College) when a guy her age came to the same bus stop and asked her a question about how the bus system worked. It turned out both of them were going to the same school and it was their first day. They started talking a lot more and he kept bringing up his beliefs to her over the following week or two until she was finally intrigued and asked to come to church with him. So he called us up and let us know he was bringing his friend to church the next day and we were sprinting down the street and jumping out of excitement. This was in mid-September. She came to church the following 3 weeks (including General Conference), met with us several times with her member friend who introduced her to he church and the missionaries (his name is Tim), and has been recognizing answers to her prayers, after coming from a background where she wasn't sure who God was and not really going to church at all. It is really touching seeing her testimony grow.

Greg is a 10-year-old boy actually, and his mother is cousins with a member in the ward. The elders knocked on their door one night, and when Greg looked around his mom and saw that it was the elders, he ran to grab his shoes and come outside and told the elders he wanted to get baptized to make it to the Celestial Kingdom! Umm ok sure we can do that for you. We've been teaching him and he's been a rockstar--he knows everything already and has wise perspectives on things most adults don't. His mom Katie* has a lot of addictions and has been wanting us to focus on Greg right now, but she surprised us Sunday by showing up to church on her own (Greg was at his dad's) with a huge smile on her face. She plopped down next to me and said, "Today is a good day." I asked her why it was so good and she said, "I don't know, I just woke up earlier than I expected today, at 9:30, and thought, 'There's a reason God woke me up right now,' so I walked to church." And for you Utahns, WALKING TO CHURCH IN ATLANTIC CANADA IS ACTUALLY A SACRIFICE haha. It's a huge deal! So I told her she was exactly where God wanted her to be and asked her how she got the strength and desire to walk all the way to church. She couldn't stop smiling (for the rest of church actually) and said, "You can do whatever if you realize you want it enough." What a powerful example of FAITH!! She's stunning.

Since today is Thanksgiving, I thought I'd write about what I am the very most grateful for: the Lord Jesus Christ.

I"m grateful for my mission because it's after serving side-beside the Saviour that I feel like I've come to know Him and understand His love a little more. Elder Holland said it well:

"I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.

"Now, please don't misunderstand. I'm not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price."

I just can't help but feel SO GRATEFUL that the Lord has chosen me to stand in His place here. He has had to stand in my place and take the consequences for my own mistakes so many times.

It has been ridiculously difficult to stand in His place at times--in fact, most of the time--but I'm grateful because getting a tiny taste of what the Saviour's ministry and Atonement must have been like makes it so much more real and so much more meaningful.

One of my favourite hymns describes it well (but again, it's one of the hymns I prefer in French). I'll try to translate the verses as close as possible:

I know that my Redeemer lives!
How these words warm my heart!
He lives, He who gave His life,
He lives, of an infinite life.
He lives, His love He gives me.
He lives, so that my God forgives me.
He lives! My soul knows Him well!
He lives! Without Him, I'd have nothing.

He lives, to grant me His help.
He lives, to guide me always.
He lives to help my weaknesses.
He lives! to drive away my sadness.
He lives to appease my worries.
He lives, to listen to my complaints.
He lives, to calm my troubled heart.
He lives, through Him I am filled.

He lives, my wise, divine friend.
He lives, His love is endless.
He lives! His glory I repeat.
He lives! my prince and my prophet!
He lives! and through Him I breathe.
He lives! death can't harm me.
He lives, prepares my stay.
He lives, and guides me there by love.

He lives, He has supreme glory!
He lives, Jesus always the same.
How these words warm my heart,
"I know that my Redeemer lives!"
He lives! He has supreme glory!
He lives, Jesus always the same.
How these words warm my heart,
"I know that my Redeemer lives!"

I love that song!!! I am so grateful for my Saviour and that I get to represent Him right now!! I am so blessed. Yesterday in church I learned that in 1957, Canada started celebrating Thanksgiving to "give thanks to the Almighty God." I found that powerful that not too long ago, Canada decided to create this holiday just to thank our Almighty God. I am grateful for Him for giving us His Son.

Sister Lewis

(Sister Lewis didn't send any photos this week, but her companion did!)

"we ran over a skunk and so our car stunk really bad"

"us at the ocean"

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Miracle of Conversion!!!!!!

Hello, family!

Ok let's be really open and honest here... who doesn't feel SO EXCITED to start applying everything from General Conference?! Was that not an amazing conference! I left feeling filled up with gratitude for a prophet, for the chance to be a missionary, for the Saviour's Atonement, and for the principle of sacrifice that the Lord's servants practice so much for us and the Lord's work. I felt inspired to be BETTER!!!

This week was a good one--Sister Bowden got pink eye haha the poor thing, so we ran around town between clinics and she couldn't even open here eye because the light stung so much.Wednesday was my last zone training of my mission, and that was... don't even know how to describe it. Emotional, spiritual, exciting, sad, goodbye-filled. Every zone training/zone conference (held every 6 weeks), they have the missionaries who are about to go home bear their testimonies for everyone else. It was bizarre. I remember my first zone training, on my fourth day in Canada, being exhausted and excited and nervous, watching the other missionaries going home bearing their testimonies and thinking they were so OLD! It was definitely humbling bearing my testimony to people I loved and respected so much-fellow servants of the Lord--and realizing that I'm not just at a sad and epressing step in my life--I'm at an exciting done!!! I've almost completed an honourable mission!! I've succeeded in faithfully completing 17 and a half months of my missionary service! This is exciting!!!

We had some pretty remarkable experiences with investigators this week. We and the elders have combined our teaching pools to increase our unity--we don't have "the sisters' investigator" or "the elders' baptism." Just "Charlottetown's success." It's really neat. I'm happy to be doing it this way. One of our investigators is Sam*. The elders and the sisters taught him his very first lesson together (he was invited to learn more by a member) and we've been teaching him back and forth since then. He's 26 and is preparing for baptism on November 1. It was really neat because the first lesson we (Elders Dudley and King, Sister Thompson, and me) taught him started with him saying, "Now, I don't want to convert or anything. I just have some questions for you and I want to see how you answer them." Sister Thompson and I explained that we'd love to answer his questions (which we did), but we weren't here to discuss religion--we were here to show him the truth and baptize him when he became converted to it. We and the elders answered his questions and bore testimony. By the end of that first lesson, he said, "So, let's say I become a Mormon..." and by the next lesson, he was on date for baptism. He's plunged into the Book of Mormon, knows it's true, and loves it all.

President Hinckley once said that of all the miracles he's witnessed (and that must be a LOT--he's a prophet of God!), the miracle of conversion is the greatest. It is true. I've witnessed it in myself--the miracle of change! And I've witnessed it in others of God's children. It is remarkable. It is incredible that someone's entire lifestyle and even their nature can be changed. They are not the same person they were born being. They are changed for the better. It is a miracle. What a blessing it is to witness that firsthand on my mission, and be a part of it.

Search for ways to be a part of someone else's conversion!!!!! There is no better feeling. Remember the promise in Doctrine and Covenants that we hear all the time... If we bring just one soul unto Him, how great will be our joy in the kingdom of our Father! A lot of people say that one soul can be just ourselves. But it can't! Don't expect to make it to the Celestial Kingdom without trying to bring someone along with you!! Bring hundreds of souls unto Him, don't let yourself stop with just you!

Love you all!!! Go study Elder Bednar's talk like crazy, because even though it was directed at investigators, that was SO DIRECTED AT US.


Sister Lewis

Saying goodbye to Elder Erickson!!!  (And Sister Erickson, when I see you next, I have a message for you specifically from him! :))

Saying goodbye to Elder Densley, a fairly new elder from St. George, Utah!  I've still got a month to go through a growth spurt!

My posterity!!! Sister Bowden (3), Sister Gochnour (2), and Sister Vera (1).  It was so humbling and exciting that all three of them were in my last zone and were there for when I bore my "farewell testimony"  I LOVE THEM.  They've turned into some pretty remarkable missionaries.

Dieu est notre Pere Celeste, et il nous aime

 Quote of the week--Sister Bowden and I were walking down the boardwalk contacting for the last hour of the night. Suddenly from behind us, a drunk man started singing loudly and off-key, slurring his words.

Me: "Oh no, another drunk person is walking behind us."
[both of us stop to let him pass]
[man walks by, who we'd already talked to that night, definitely not drunk....]

Man! A new transfer! I love starting a new transfer, and this one already feels really good. Charlottetown is beautiful right now--the leaves are beginning to change colour and pretty soon the island will be bright yellow.

Sending Sister Thompson off was sad and exciting. Sister Gochnour (the second sister I trained) is now my Sister Training Leader!!! I don't think I've ever been so excited to see someone in my whole entire life!!!!!

For some reason this week, in the lessons we've taught and in words from the Bishop and even in President Uchtdorf's talk during Women's Conference, the theme of God's love has been coming up a lot. It came up with a newer member who has had a hard time with all the life changes she made to join the Church. It came up while talking to the mother of a strong Catholic family with 12 kids. It came up as a theme in several separate struggling households in the ward. I find it interesting that for each of these people, not being able to feel that God loved them was so discouraging. I was thinking about all of this during sacrament meeting yesterday. When it came time to take the sacrament, I bowed my head, like I always do, and I immediately felt very strongly Heavenly Father's presence--an intense feeling of pure love. I've been feeling that a lot recently for some reason, and although I don't know why, I think it has something to do with what I learned from a young women's leader years ago when I was a beehive: "If people really understood what it means to be a child of God, who loves them, if people perfectly understood that, then it would be really difficult, not easy, to sin."

I've talked about it before, but the greatest sign that Heavenly Father loves each of us is the fact that He sent Christ--His Son--to die for us. I can't even imagine how difficult that would be as a parent. Wouldn't any parent rather die themselves rather than give up the life of their child? Yet Heavenly Father suffered more for us because He loves us always.

Isaiah says Messianically, "I will not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me."

Despite how many lies the adversary tells us, "our God will never us forsake." We are the substance of His work and His glory. When people don't believe in Him, when people knowingly disobey Him, when people forget Him, when people put other things first, He never does. He never forgets us and He never puts other things first.

It's been really sad this week to see all the people who are right now believing lies that God's not there, or that He's not very present, or that He can't love them, or that He's very distant. I wish we could always remember His promise that He will not forget us! Ever. If people really understood that, they would fill a lot more of their potential as children of the Almighty God.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to this new and final transfer with Sister Bowden:) Life is good:)

Sister Lewis

For some reason we thought we should take pictures while doing push ups.
Awkward family photos

Well one of us nailed it.

Sister Thompson and me

Apparently I do this a lot

Elder Dudley and me.  I forced him to stand like that.

On our way back from an appointment
Waiting for Sunday School to start.  haha
Saying goodbye to Sister Chou* (far right) a few days before she entered the MTC!!!
The end of one meeting...
The district
Elder Dudley as...  Sister Thompson
Sister Thompson as...  Elder King
Sister Lewis as...  Elder Dudley
Elder King as...  Sister Lewis... sorry these photos are so pointless haha

Don't stop believin'

Sister Thompson saying goodbye to the Johnson* family

Charlottetown Crew
In the theater <3
 It's the same Anne I contacted! Haha in fact, it was pretty neat because at the very end, all the actors came on stage for the big applause and Sister Thompson and I counted all the ones we'd stopped on the street before, and we had good relationships with lots of them! Since we sat up front and weren't really around many people, it was easy for them to see us and several of them specifically waved at us, it was neat:)