Monday, February 24, 2014

02.24.2014

Hello!

Quote of the week:

After getting let into a house while knocking, in the middle of a conversation with this lady--

Me: "The worst part is having to scrape out the inside of the car too!"
Lady: "I know."
Me: "Is there a way to prevent the ice from forming on the inside? Any tips?"
Lady: "Umm, well.... I know you have to breathe and things, but if you just try to kind of hold your breath when you're driving, it helps."
Me: ".......K."

Transfer e-mails came yesterday and I am being transferred back to Moncton!!! I will now be a French-speaking sister in Dieppe. Pretty soon I will be the queen of NB... or the sister who has been in NB the longest. I love New Brunswick, I love my mission, and I am excited and humbled to be co-STLs with Sister Olson, speaking a language I'm no good at right now haha.

This week was absolutely crazy! Monday was P-day. Monday night we traveled to Houlton for exchanges, and Sister Christensen and I came back to Fredericton the same night. Tuesday was district meeting and exchanges, then traveling back to Maine, then traveling back to Fredericton. Then that night, the St. Stephen sisters came to spend the night. Wednesday I was with Sister Sandberg and the elders for Leadership Council over Skype all day long, which was long but good. Thursday we had to pack our entire apartment up. Friday we moved apartments. Saturdaywe spent most of the day deep cleaning our old apartment--fridge, oven, cupboards, floors, bathroom, dusting, mopping, vacuuming.... And Saturday we finally had one real day! And Sunday was transfer e-mails that blew our minds. It was all crazy.

This week I learned a great lesson when we were listening to MoTab in the car and "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus" came on and really touched my heart.

I'm trying to love my neighbour,
I'm learning to serve my friends.
I watch for the day of gladness
When Jesus will come again.
I try to remember the lessons He taught.
Then the Holy Spirit enters into my thoughts, saying,
"Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought."
For these are the things Jesus taught.

It reminded me that I'm a missionary and I'm talking to lots of people, trying to find the ones who are prepared for baptism. But I have a deeper purpose than that, and it's the same one that everyone has--to become more like Jesus.

I need to get off now, but I have a deep testimony of the happiness that comes from aligning our lives with the vision Christ has for us.

Love,

Sister L

I am in love with Canada.





Packing up apartments to move across the street... Sister Gochnour looked over at me and got a kick out of this apparently hahaha.

We found some old suits while packing our apartment....:)






Saying goodbye to Shannon*
Inline image 2
Shovel finding

Inline image 1

These next photos are ones that I (Sister Lewis's mom) took the liberty of pasting from Sister Gochnour's blog!






Monday, February 17, 2014

02.17.2014

Good morning!

Quote of the week:
While street contacting--

Me (spotting an older lady to talk to): "Excuse me--"
Lady (looking up at me with scared eyes): "I don't live here!"

Then she ran away.

This week's been another rough go. I have no idea what I'm doing differently this transfer to result in 0 investigators. I've never had a teaching pool of 0, except for about one day when I first white-washed Riverview with my trainer. So this is a new and difficult challenge. In fact, last transfer there were weeks when we got 4, 5, and 6 new investigators. But we're pushing through, and eating lots of food and having lots of fun while we do it. We both love being missionaries.

Church yesterday was cancelled after a half-hour sacrament meeting because of all the storms. There were 16 of us in church so we just had a mini testimony meeting which was powerful. After church, we went shovel finding with the elders (in other words, just shovelling 3-6 feet of snow out of people's driveways, no lie) for a couple hours. That was fun, and my eye hit my shovel (not vice-versa haha) and now I have a mini black eye, so that was fun too haha. And last night, as usual, we craved hot chocolate for the 1000th time during our companionship.

We spent Valentine's Day in interviews with the newspaper, going to appointments with potential investigators that all fell through, and having a dinner appointment with one of the sweetest families in the ward. And it was actually probably my favourite Valentine's Day. Which isn't saying much, because I'm not a big fan of that holiday.

This week is going to be crazy. Tonight we go to Maine for exchanges again. All Tuesday we'll have exchanges. Tuesday evening we'll come home. Wednesday I have Leadership Council all day long over Skype. Thursday will be partially spent packing up our apartment and cleaning it all up because we will spend the day moving apartments on Friday! So that doesn't leave a lot of time to find investigators, but it will. happen. Haha you have nooooooo clue how badly that needs to happen this week, I think I'll lose my mind if it doesn't. Enough of this "patience" trash. Haha.

And now for a more spiritual note. I have been learning to rely on prayer and scripture study a lot this transfer because I'm doing everything I can and am still not seeing many results--I've had to rely on something other than my abilities. And I've been seeing a great pattern as I study.

Doctrine and Covenants 6:33-37
33 Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.
34 Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are build upon my rock, they cannot prevail.
35 Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you.
36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.
37 Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hadns and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

Doctrine and Covenants 50:40-41
40 Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
41 Fer not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me.

I love those scriptures. Heavenly Father does not want us to be afraid. We don't need to worry, because Christ has gone through the Atonement for us. Hard things can happen, but we "are little children," and we "cannot bear all things now," so we can be at peace knowing that the Lord says we don't need to be afraid because He makes it so we can be able to bear our trials.

I am grateful for the scriptures, which I have relied on more this last week than any other week in my life. And more importantly, I am grateful for Christ's Atonement, the only reason we don't need to fear right now. He knows we can't bear everything alone, and so He does it for us if we let Him. I'm grateful for my Saviour. And I'm grateful for my mission, because I know my life couldn't have progressed the way Heavenly Father wanted it to without it. And I'm grateful for really hard, discouraging trials, because they have taught me how to rely on the Lord with my last little bit I have left to offer. I am grateful that I've learned these lessons because I'm not the person I was 10 months ago.

I love you!

Sister Lewis

black(ish) eye that you can't really see in the pictures. it's my left one haha





Monday, February 10, 2014

"Yea, we have traveled from house to house..."

Finding. It makes you tougher than tough!

(My door)
[knock]
[Lady opens the door just enough to see about half her face.]
Me: "Hello, how are you doing?"
Lady: (blank stare)
Me: ".....Well my name's Sister Lewis, and this is Sister Sandberg, and we're missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
Lady: (whispers with wide eyes) "I'm a witch."
[shuts door slowly]
Me: ..........................................

(My door)
[knock]
Me: (peeking through the windows on the side of the door to see if anyone's really home) "Oh, there's a light on.... Oh my gosh. That guy's getting dressed to come answer the door! Oh my gosh Sister Gochnour, this is your door right?"
Sister Gochnour (laughing): "No, it's all yours!"
Me: (panicking) "Oh my gosh he's coming to the door shirtless!"
Sister Gochnour: "Stop being an awkward sister missionary!"
Me: "Sister Gochnour he's not wearing a--!"
[door opens]
Me: (staring into his eyes because he's half dressed) "Himynamessisterlewisimamissionary."

Me: (smiling) "Hi, how are you tonight?"
Lady: (looks at us like we're crazy) "Good....."
Me: "I'm Sister Lewis, and this is Sister Gochnour, and we're missionaries for the Church of--"
Lady: "Look, look, look. I'm just gonna stop you right there. I don't want to waste your time, and it's cold outside. Who are you?"
Me: "We're missionaries for--"
Lady: "No thank you."
[shuts door]

(Sister Gochnour's door)
[knock]
[Lady comes down the stairs. Flips on the light inside. Is wearing a bathrobe. Flips on the porch light. Illuminates us. We awkwardly smile at her through the door window. She squints at us. She squints at our name tags. Looks up at our awkward smiles. She shakes her head very slowly.]
Lady: "No."
Sister Gochnour: "Okay, have a great night!"
[Turns around, walks away, turns off the lights.]

(My door)
[knock]
[All the lights are off. Man peeks through window several times. We knock again. Man walks to door and looks out door window without opening door.]
Man: "Who is it?"
Me: "...We're... missionaries."
Man: (panicking) "I don't open the door at night!"
Me: "That's ok....."
Man: "You don't understand! I never open my door after 5!"
Me: "That's alright, we'll just--"
Man: "No matter who it is!"
Me: "Okay, that's okay..." (backing away from door)
Man: "I don't even leave my home at night!"
Me: "Okay have a great night!"

That's my life right now! A couple of those happened in previous months, but this is what we get every single day:) Knocking, along with about 25 other finding ideas we've brainstormed, has become my life! One day we will get a new investigator who is prepared.... But for now I get to fall in love (for the 6th time) with knocking. (In all reality I actually love talking to so many different people from different backgrounds. You just have to accept it as part of your mission and then develop a good attitude towards it:))

But what a week! Monday was the craziest P-day yet, with no sit-down time. Tuesday we spent the majority of the day in St. Stephen for district meeting, then taught one of their investigators, and didn't make it back until about 4:30, so we grabbed a quick dinner before heading to the church to help the elders with a ward activity. Wednesday we put up fliers all around town for the concert next month, talking to everyone along the way. Thursday I spent the day in Moncton with Sister Sandberg for leadership meetings, which were incredible and left all of us really thoughtful. Friday we spent much of the day in Oromocto visiting members, both active and less-active, and newborn babies:) Saturday we met with the majority of the YSA girls separately while squeezing in finding time between appointments. Sunday all 4 missionaries spoke in church, I taught Gospel Principles, and we had the sweetest Relief Society lesson by a young recent convert who is adorable. We spent hours contacting referrals, potentials, and former investigators, then about half an hour knocking. And so far, 0 investigators still. We know the Lord will bless us with success if we keep faithfully working. BUT IF NOT, we will still do it with a great attitude.

[And here's a shout-out to missionary moms who go on lunch dates with my mom.... Hello, your children are some of the best:)]

I've been studying a lot about hope recently.In Preach My Gospel, we learn that hope is believing and expecting that something will occur. Because hope entitles expectation, we need to remember that we cannot lower our expectations. This goes for missionary work as well as every other aspect of our lives! If we do lower our expectations, our effectiveness in all that we do will decrease. In other words, if we don't EXPECT success, we will not be effective enough to SEE success. I think about Ammon, and I remember that when he was about to turn back, the Lord gave him hope to have the patience to see results, and he saw those results. I'm learning this lesson slowly, but I think about all the times I fell short because I stopped having hope, because I expected not to see my success. But it's a powerful lesson to learn that expecting success (KNOWING that it will one day come) = success.

I gave my talk on Sunday about the plan of salvation (Sister Gochnour and I coordinated topics). Hers was more focused on trials and overcoming, and mine was more focused on where we came from and where we're going.

A few of my thoughts were about how we lived with God before we came here. We had His traits and His attributes. We are all His sons and His daughters. We lived with our other brothers and sisters and loved them so much. But when we came here, we all forgot who our Father was, what our purpose in life is, and that there was a way to live with our families forever. Some people were lucky enough to be reminded of those 3 things early on in life by being born with the fullness of the Gospel (being born into the Church). But others of our brothers and sisters had to wait to be reminded of it by people who already had it. And that's how my parents were.

I am so grateful that members were bold enough to testify to my parents that God was their Heavenly Father, that He loved them, that they have a purpose in this life, and that their families could be together forever.

And because they were reminded of those things we all knew before we came here, they reminded me of it as well. They taught me those principles from a young age. I am so grateful that I know I am a daughter of God. I know what my purpose is. I know that I can see the people I love again after I die. And because of all that, I am sealed to my parents and my 7 younger siblings forever.

And that's a lot of my drive to serve a mission. I want to remind other people about that. And it's going to happen in the Lord's time. So I won't complain and be impatient in the meantime, because the privilege of getting to share something that's so special to me with other people... That means way more to me than knocking a bit more than I'd like to.

I love you all! Have a great week:)

Sister Lewis

These two photos were sent from the missionary couple in their area.  They say "Love the Fredericton missionaries!  They work hard and love the members."


Hospital elevator shots....:)


We were really ready to find new investigators last night.

Shared with us from the couple missionaries again.  It's a district meeting in St. Stephen
video

Monday, February 3, 2014

Spiritually Minded is Life Eternal!

Hellooooooooo! It's been a great week in Fredericton!

Quote of the week:

(On the phone with a supportive leader)--
Elder: I.... I'm limited with the words I can say as a missionary! But I really, really like you sisters. You sisters are great. I love.... our district. And that encompasses you too.... ? I dunno.
Us: (laughing) Thanks. We get it.

So an update on the mish! Basically we've dropped all of our investigators. We have a big fat 0. And it's hard and discouraging, and lots of things have happened this week to us that have made our situation even harder. We work hard. We are working diligently and obediently, and the Lord will bless us with new investigators. BUT IF NOT, we will still be diligent and obedient!

Going to Presque Isle, Maine was a blast! As soon as we got through customs and crossed the border, we started singing America songs. I had great exchanges with Sister Drew, although I feel bad for her because I honestly was having a hard time... with the kilometers/miles thing (I was driving sooooo slow because I couldn't get it in my mind that we were in MPH now), the time difference (hour difference), the Fahrenheit/Celsius thing (don't know how I'll ever adjust to that again), and liters/gallons. AHHH. Plus their accents weren't New Brunswicker, and they kept using terms I haven't heard in 9 months (except with this companion). It was rough. Needless to say, on our way back to cross the border in Houlton, I was having a Canadian/American breakdown and sang both their national anthems.

My hump day was on Thursday. It was the same day that we had interviews with President. I started crying in the middle of my interview because we were talking about it so much. It was hard. I'm going to make these last 9 months the best.

But it was a little happier because I got a sweet hump day package from the fam-damily! It was full of food, bless their hearts. And letters. A MISSIONARY'S DREAM.

And my sweet companion bought me my favourite kind of hot chocolate so I wouldn't be sad!

Bathurst is being opened up for sisters at the end of this transfer. I got a package in the mail the other day from the mission office with the "Adjusting to Missionary Life" book in French. Subtle, President.

Sister Gochnour and I had a great fast yesterday, broken with some salmon (and if know me, you will be laugh-crying for me). It was rough, but not bad. It's actually the first seafood I've had on my mission surprisingly, so I can't complain. I was pretty impressed with the cook and myself!

But back to the fast. Sister Gochnour and I had incredible personal studies that really helped us face the challenges we've been having the past week. And as we were studying, we came up with a few mottos for ourselves. And one of them has been my all-time favourite for a long time.... 2 Nephi 9:39--"SPIRITUALLY MINDED IS LIFE ETERNAL."

It's so simple and so straightforward and powerful. I've been focusing on developing Christlike attributes recently, with an emphasis on faith. As I've been trying to develop these qualities, I've become a little more spiritually minded. And I guess as I fill my heart with these spiritual qualities, I become more qualified for eternal life. It's a simple promise and I love it. My understanding of this principle is deepening, but I'm grateful for it and what it's taught me this last week.

And by the way, the acronym there is "SMILE." As we become spiritually minded, we become happy. It's as simple as that. Spiritually minded=life eternal.

I love you all! SEND ME SOME LETTERS.

Love,

Sister Lewis

MEET F-TOWN


City Hall

Downtown

The elders had the brilliant idea of putting up mormon.org posters all over town with our faces on it.
Me: Have you heard of the Church before?
Person: Yeah, I've seen you on the posters around town!
Me:   :|



The Cathedral















































video