Monday, August 18, 2014

Travailler, travailler, et travailler.

HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY, MALCOLM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you!!!!!

And congratulations to my little sister who submitted her papers last night!!!!! Welcome to the hardest, longest, craziest 10-17 days of your life. You're gonna go nuts by the time it finally comes.

And lastly, congrats to all the returning missionaries at home.... Austin and Bailey! Returned with honour. Nailed it.

Quote of the week:

Elder Dudley (after I read out loud a few sweet comments from people who've read my letters home): "Sister Lewis, even if you're not touching hearts here, you're touching hearts at home."


This week was incredible! Sister Thompson and I have been DYING for new investigators since our companionship started. Dying. We've been talking to hundreds of people every week and it has been rough. I have never fasted so much in my life. And this week, we ended the week with 3 people on date (hopefully it will be at 4 next week, we'll see), several people at sacrament meeting, new investigators, tons of member visits, lots of finding hours... We learned a big lesson on patience and hope. When we have hope and expect that the Lord will fulfill His promises to us, He always blesses us... in His own time. When He wants. I'm grateful for a Heavenly Father, a companion, and a district leader who have helped instill that expectation in me.

Sister Thompson and I have been making more room for the Spirit in our companionship. Here's a story we read recently that was told in Conference in April 2004 that illustrates something very special to me:

"Years ago, my adventurous son Jeff and I found ourselves on an old bus bouncing along on a dirt road in Central America at 1:00 A.M. We took the early, early bus because it was the only bus that day. A half hour later, the driver stopped for two missionaries. When they got on, we asked them where in the world they were going so early. Zone conference! And they were determined to do whatever it took to get there. At 2:00 A.M. two more elders boarded the bus and enthusiastically hugged their fellow missionaries. This scene repeated itself every half hour as the bus climbed the remote mountain road. By 5:00 A.M. we had 16 of the Lord's finest as fellow passengers and were basking in the Spirit they brought on board.

"Suddenly, we stretched to a halt. A massive mud slide had buried the road. Jeff said, 'What do we do now, Dad?' Our friends Stan, Eric, and Allan had the same concern. Just then, the zone leader shouted, 'Let's go, elders. Nothing is going to stop us!' And they scrambled off the bus! We looked at each other and said, 'Follow the elders'" and we all sloshed through the mud slide, trying to keep up with the missionaries. There happened to be a truck on the other side, so we all hopped aboard. After a mile, we were stopped by yet another mud slide. Once again the elders plowed through, with the rest of us close behind. But this time there was no truck. Boldly, the zone leader said, 'We will be where we are supposed to be even if we have to walk the rest of the way.'"

I love the power in the last line- "We will be where we are supposed to be even if we have to walk the rest of the way." I have a testimony of work. I have a firm belief that work solves almost any missionary problem, because I've seen it solve mine--homesickness, negative attitudes, fatigue, discouragement, lack of motivation, stress... The solution for me has always been work.

I have a testimony of overcoming fears about work. I've heard a lot of people's fears about missionary work over the course of my mission, and I've had all the same fears: I don't know how to bring up the gospel, I've talked to everyone I know, I don't want to embarrass them, I don't want want to come across like I think I'm better than them, I want to respect them, I don't want to argue, etc. But I know that when we forget ourselves and go to work, the Lord helps us overcome those weaknesses. When we become what President Leavitt calls a "window person" (someone who looks out towards other people) and [stop being] a "mirror person" ("I feel awkward, I don't want them to think I'm weird"), we're able to be effective tools in the Lord's hands. I have a strong testimony of forgetting ourselves and doing the Lord's work. I have a testimony of not letting my weaknesses get in the way of His work by overcoming them to the best of my ability, and by letting Him make up for my shortcomings. If someone doesn't hear the gospel today, it's not going to be because I didn't work hard enough.

I love you! GO GET A MISSIONARY EXPERIENCE THIS WEEK! And then you can feel the spirit that comes from the attitude, "We will be where we are supposed to be even if we have to walk the rest of the way." Because I can promise that the feeling that comes from being a determined servant of the Lord is better than anything I've ever felt. I've experienced being in a group of missionaries being determined to do what we need to do, and the feeling of forgetting ourselves and overcoming our fears is priceless.


Sister Lewis

If you stop and talk to them, they have accents and think they're living in 1864....  Impossible to teach them about the restoration.
The district  :(

Saying goodbye to Elder Horner...  He went home on Friday!
More with Elder Horner

It was pouring rain the other day....  Pouring.
Alexander*!  An 11 year old boy in the ward who reminds me of my little brother Calvin.  We have a special friendship.
Companions  :)
Service with a family in the ward, choppin wood!

Barges, I would like to go with you...

Random pictures Sister Thompson sometimes takes of me when I'm not expecting it.

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