Monday, July 14, 2014

Lewis Family Reunion 2014

While the entire Lewis family is vacationing in Oregon, I'd just like to say that Austen and I had our own reunion over e-mail that none of you were invited to. And it was fun. Ok?

Quote of the week (from Elder Ryan, who is from China and was just baptized in January in Halifax, who is on a 4-week "mini mission" here in Charlottetown)--
Elder Ryan: "I am about to go back to China. In my city there are one million people. In those one million people, there is one Mormon. That's me. I can't go to church. But all I know is that no matter what everyone else is, I'm a Mormon."

Things that happened recently that were notable/boring/out-of-the-ordinary:
1) There was a "hurricane" in the maritimes. I was in Moncton. It rained and was a little windy.

2) I finally ate at Cow's:)

3) President Leavitt came and visited Charlottetown and gave a fireside to the YSA here about preparing to leave on missions. It was amazing.

4) I left my Nutella in Moncton and now I'm sad and hungry.

5) On my first day here in Charlottetown, Sister Thompson took me to visit a family in the ward from Haiti. They speak French, Creole, and Spanish... And no English!:) Sister Bissette* has been wanting to bear her testimony in sacrament meeting for almost a year, but doesn't know how to in [English]. She knew a French-speaking sister was being transferred in, and when she opened the door, she immediately started excitedly speaking to me in French. When I responded in French, she got really emotional and hugged me. We visited for a while, and she asked me for help to learn how to bear her testimony in English. Then she fed us some Creole food... Fried bananas (tastes like potatoes with a different texture) with chicken in a spicy sauce. It was so good!

6) Continued to use French whenever possible while finding... Met a girl from France who was atheist, a lady from Campbellton who was Presbyterian, another lady in the ward who's Acadian (! yay!) who used to be Catholic, and lots of other people from around the world. Charlottetown is full of tourists, and I'm grateful I get to speak French and not lose it.

7) I still miss being an STL. I have so much more time on my hands than I'm used to. I'm trying to find ways to direct my extra and energy and time towards something worth it. It's so weird. I hope this isn't what it feels like to get off my mission.

Sister Olson and I were knocking during our last couple of weeks together. It was the first time we were working together, in our area, speaking French, for about a week. We had just had monster exchanges with lots of other sisters in the zone and we were super tired. We could barely speak French as a result of being really tired and having served with English sisters in English areas all week. This was the result (I'll translate it into English, but leave the accent in for effect:).)

Me: "Hi, how are you doing zees evening?"
Couple: "We're doing great! How are you girls?"
Me: "We are well, thank you! My name ees Seester Lewis, and behold Seester Olson. We are meeseeonaries for zee Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ees eet zat you have ever heard of zees church before?"
Couple: "Yeah, we've heard of it!"
Me: "Zat is good! In fact, tonight as missionaries, we are in zee process of inviting zee people here to learn about zer ancestors through zee genealogy, or zee fameely 'eestory. Ees eet zat you have ever... umm.... have ever... (looking at Sister Olson for the word)..."
Sister Olson: "Done?"
Me: "Yes! Done! Ees eet zat you have ever done your fameely 'eestory before?"
Couple: "Oh no, we actually haven't."
Sister Olson: "Well for me personally, I have done my fameely 'eestory! In fact, I have went to Ireland for to see zee gravestones of my dead ancestors. I saw zee cemeteries and zee castles and something like zat, and eet was very eenteresting."
Couple: "Wow! How neat, girls."
Sister Olson: "Yes. And as missionaries, we teach zee people here about how to begin zer fameely 'eestory for to connect with zer ancestors. Ees zat something zat we can share with you and your fameely at a better moment?"
Couple: "Well, that sounds very interesting, but probably not today, girls."
Me: "Well maybe I can leave you weeth a card of our website? Our church has zee largest online, free database for zee records about zee fameely 'eestory... zee records of zee births, and of zee marriages, and of zee deaths too."
Couple: "We would love a card! Thank you so much, girls. You are so brave to be doing this."
Sister Olson: "Zank you a lot. Zank you for your time."
Couple: "You are welcome. Feel free to stop by any time, girls."
Me: "Zank you!"
Sister Olson: "Goodbye!"
Couple: "Bye, girls!"
Me: "Are you having a good evening!" (Yeah I accidentally asked if they were having a good evening instead of telling them TO have a good evening.)
Couple: "You too!"

I love missionary work.

In fact, my thought is once again missionary-oriented (surprise, surprise). One of my favourite quotes from Elder Holland that I've studied recently:

"If we do right and talk right and reach out generously with our words and our deeds, then, when the Savior cuts short His work in righteousness, says time is no more in this last dispensation, and comes in His glory, He will find us doing our best, trying to live the gospel, trying to improve our lives and our Church and our society the best way we can.

"When He comes, I so want to be caught living the gospel. I want to be surprised right in the act of spreading the faith and doing something good. I want the Savior to say to me: 'Jeffrey, I recognize you not by your title but by your life, the way you are trying to live and the standards you are trying to defend. I see the integrity of your heart. I know you have tried to make things better first and foremost by being better yourself and then by declaring my word and defending my gospel to others in the most compassionate way you could.'

"He will certainly add: 'I know you weren't always successful with your own sins and with the circumstances of others, but I believe you honestly tried. I believe in your heart you truly loved me.'

"I want to have something like that encounter someday as I want nothing else in this mortal life. And I want it for you. I want it for us all. 'Israel, Israel, God is calling'--calling us to live the gospel of Jesus Christ personally in small ways and large ways, to reach out to those who may not look or dress or behave quite as we do, and then (where we can) to go beyond that to serve in the widest community we can address."

I know that as members of the Church, we have the responsibility, honour, and privilege of making a difference. I'm grateful for that. I know that we have power as members of Christ's church.

Sister Lewis

I'll try to name anyone.... Elders left to right, then sisters left to right.

New elder, new elder, Elder Penitch, Elder McMullen, Elder McKenney, Elder Duddley, Elder Ryan, Elder Horner, Elder Gibb, Elder Collett, Elder Skinner, Elder Erickson, Elder Fortier, Elder Woodbury (the second), Elder Waldie, Elder Jason, Elder Nzojibwami, Elder Viennot, Elder Hill.
Sister Tegge, Sister Johnson, Sister Spencer, Sister Smith, SIster Thompson, Sister Burton, Sister Coleman, moi, Sister Vera, Sister Christiansen, Sister Viennot, Sister Hill.
New Brunswick East Zone

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