Monday, December 28, 2015

Week #26

Hello Everyone!
So this week was Christmas and it was so nice being able to see my family (on Skype). Last Monday all the missionaries got together and had a white elephant exchange and it was so fun. With all the Chinese owned  stores here there is some crazy stuff you can find! So So great! Well this week was an adventure for sure. Christmas is not so crazy here, believe it or not. Most people are just happy to be off of school and that's enough for them. It's raining a lot right now in Suriname. We are just soaked all the time, it's so fun (not really but positive thoughts...positive thoughts) We had a sweet lesson with this new investigator who hopefully will make progress! One of the highlights of this week was the whole entire Braumuller family was at church. There family is on the up and up and boy it's just so exciting! Also, there were 99 people at church !! I have never seen so many people in a congregation like that in a long time! It was nuts and so so so so so cool! President Egbert is coming this week to do interviews and stuff so I am way excited for that. Being on your own basically away from your trainer is a little hard with not having someone to turn to for all the answers. But, as we rely on prayer and the Lord we have managed to figure it out. So I got splash by like 3 cars this week. Just when you're starting to dry off a car comes at the speed of light and soaks you to the bone. So fun. Also, I had a near death experience with a car this week. I was riding down a pretty busy street and got a rear view mirror to the back of the shoulder (sorry mom) I am fine but it was scary for sure. Anyway,  it was a very humbling and fun week. Christmas was so fun here being able to attend a members party and see all the people, and also a great opportunity to meet non members. We got a sweet contact out of it! Anyway, have a wonderful week everyone :)
-Elder Lewis
White Elephant Exchange
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Marking 6 months with a tie-burning
Six Months Down!!

So so so so much rain!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week #25

This week was super crazy. Transfers were on Wednesday and I was moving apartments again so we did that all on Wednesday. Our new area is pretty big with about 15 less active members in it so we have our hands full with keeping up with all of them but, we are excited for the work load and to be busy all the time. I am again with Elder Hardy (my MTC companion) so it is going to be an adventure for sure. It's been pretty crazy being kicked out of the nest all of a sudden and basically forced to do it all on your own, but it's been an experience for sure ..and on top of that I was assigned to be a district leader. Whoo Hooo! It's going to be fun. It has been a good opportunity to help and serve my fellow missionaries. Something pretty cool happened this week. So, Elder Hardy and I were out contacting on Friday and we had just gotten done talking to these two really cool people. We had finished the street that we were on and were unsure of what to do, so we prayed and asked where we needed to go-- if we needed to keep contacting or go see this less active member Aniel. We both felt inspired to go see Aniel so we biked over there and he wasn't home, but Suradj's brother in law and his wife were home (because they all live on the same lot) We had taught them before but they are Hindu so it is very hard to teach them. We talked with them for a little bit and took a drink from them and just say, "Ok we have to go. See you later". We started biking off and I felt like we should have asked to sit with them. As I was justifying in my head why I didn't do this (because they were Hindu and we have tried so many times), Elder Hardy's chain guard fell off and while he was fixing it, I had a YOLO (you only live once) moment and decided to follow the prompting and go back and teach them. We taught them about the restoration and it went so good. They were involved, asked really good questions, and it was just a miracle. They invited us back over and we are excited to teach them more. Pam came to church again and we are hoping to get her ready to go for baptism late January. Today all the missionaries are getting together to celebrate Christmas with a white elephant exchange, ugly ties, and playing games. Unfortunately, we do not get to watch a movie like the rest of the world of missionaries, it seems, but I am glad because that would be super distracting. Besides Skyping the family, we are just working like a normal day on Christmas and then going to a ward members party at night, which will be super fun and there will be lots of good food :) Anyway, that was my week! Have a Merry Christmas everyone and be jealous that Christmas is celebrated on the 25th and the 26th here :) For sure continuing that tradition when I get home! Anyway, have a good week everyone!
-Elder Lewis
Singing at the Ward Christmas Party
Elder Hood and I
Elder Hood and I 
Sister Missionaries singing at the Ward Christmas Party

Elder Hardy

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week #24

Dear World,
I have been sick still this whole week so it has been yet another long week of cold sweats.   I also got a rash on Tuesday, so that was super fun. I am just laughing through it all but also grateful because now I will always have a piece of Suriname in my blood....yayyyy. But, as of Friday I have been a lot better so we were able to go out and teach a little bit. Part of my week was spent in Trinidad where I picked up my work visa. I was there for two days and basically all I did was sleep in the mission office and mission home. But, I now have my work visa and am legal in Suriname!!  Whooo hooo!!  Also, we had transfer calls on Saturday and I got called to serve in the Munder/Geyersvlijt area with Elder Hardy, one of my MTC companions! Its going to be an adventure. I also got assigned to be a district leader....I was very surprised, to say the least, but I am excited for the challenge and the opportunity to grow. Needless to say I am very sad I will be leaving Elder Hood. That guy is the bomb, and changed my mission for sure, but luckily he is still my zone leader so we get to talk on the phone every other night when I call in the report how our district is doing. I am excited to get back into the work full time and not be sick. I have found that Surinamers are very funny and blunt,and I hear something funny every single week from them so, I am going to start doing quotes of the week. Quote of the week: SO... in sacrament meeting we don't have a piano so we sing every hymn with no music and Surinamers are not the best singers....ok not good at all but they sure do like to sing loud and enthusiastically. No glass is allowed in the church, if you know what I mean. Anyway, so we start singing this new song, because in Suriname there are like 5 songs that the congregation knows, and it just was so noticeably terrible that everyone just laughed through it, and some people tried to lead and sing louder than others.  It was so funny!! So our first councilor in our branch presidency stands up and says, in all seriousness, "God weet dat wij goed bedoelen". ("God knows that we mean well"). Man, it was the funniest thing I had heard all week! Anyway, I hope you all had a good week! Remember Christ in everything that you do this month! 
-Elder Lewis

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week #23

Sooooooo this week was a long one. Basically spent the whole week inside sweating to death and also freezing with body aches and headaches but oh well, what are you gonna do??  haha. I finally started feeling good one day, went out and taught and then just last night got terrible again. So so so fun! I'm laughing through the whole thing. Transfers are coming up and crazy stuff is about to happen. I am excited through and super sad because Elder Hood and I are probably going to get split up:/ Love that guy. We have had a lot of success together. Anyways, one of the cool things that happened this week is I was able to receive a blessing from Suradj and my branch mission leader Jubithana. It was a cool experience and I'm so grateful for them. This week I have been doing a lot of sleeping and resting because I just haven't had any desire to get out of bed or do much of anything. All the missionaries in Suriname are getting sick, as well as everyone in Suriname. There's an outbreak here of a mosquito strain called Zieke which is probably what I have and it's a little worse than Dengue. But, I am surviving. Elder Hood and I always joke how we have already baptized this transfer so we're good lol. (I promise we work hard) We've both just been so sick. Christmas season has reached Suriname and I guess here they have two Christmases. So that's super fun! Anyway, that was my week, hopefully I can get better.
-Elder Lewis
This is what your companion looks like when you have to stay in the apartment

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Week #22

Hello everybody!
Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! Guess what Elder Lewis got for his birthday this year?? Wait for it....dengue fever!!!!! Wooo Hooooo!! I got it on Friday and I have basically been sleeping since then. It's been a good time but I am feeling a lot better. Aside from that we had a good week. For thanksgiving we had a feast at the Saliyos. Turkey, mashed potatoes and everything, it was super good!  One of the highlights of the week was we were able to see the Braumuller kids get baptized! That was so awesome. Their dad, who has left the church, came and was so touched by their testimonies. I hope that his heart was able to be touched and that he comes back home and also starts to come back to the church.  Prince, one of our investigators has a baptismal date for the 19 of December. He has gone as far to request work off for Sunday and is just willing to do anything to be baptized. It is super awesome...and then I got dengue and slept the rest of the week. So that was super fun haha. I am getting better so nobody worry! Sleep has been all it's taken. I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. On the actual Thanksgiving day we taught this less active member and got fed chicken feet. Close enough right? They are not my favorite, for sure a lot of better things on this earth. But anyway, I hope everyone is doing well! It's so weird to be 19 and knowing I will be 20 next year. That's extremely weird to me. I am getting old. Anyway, emails and letters are awesome to get! Have a good week!
-Elder Lewis

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week #21

Good morning Family and Friends!!
Boy this week went by so flipping fast! It was a good week!! I had a very good week actually but I honestly can't think of too many details. We found one of our old investigators!!!!! His name is prince and it was such a miracle. We were going to an appointment and it fell through so we Klop'd on Princes door (in Suriname you don't knock on doors. You simply stand at the persons gate and yell "KLOP KLOP" or knock knock. It's super funny) and he came out! We taught him the Plan of Salvation because one of his family members just died and he loved it. We invited him to say the closing prayer and in his prayer he says "Heavenly Father please help and bless me with whatever I need to do to become apart of this organization" Elder Hood and I simultaneously look over at each other in the middle of the prayer and fist bump while he's still praying. It was funny but man it was so great!  Being puffed up in our pride, the Lord sent a rain storm that soaked us to the bone directly after that. It was a lot of fun! Something else this week we have been spending a lot of time training members in their callings in order to create a more self sufficient branch. It's been a lot of fun! The Braummulers are getting baptized on Saturday! It's been so awesome to teach their family. Terrik(10) and Deeshawn(8) are getting baptized. Sister Braummuler is so awesome. She is a returning less active who just came back on fire! She has already received a calling and is just so amazing. Elder Hood and I jokingly call her our mom (mom nobody can replace you it's just a joke) because she literally reminds us of our mothers. Another one of of our investigators, Ron, the one I gave up caffeine for, promised me he would stop smoking before I went home in 19 months. Wasn't quite what I wanted but I'll take it. Warning:Missions make you fat lol. I am gaining weight like crazy so that's fun. Anyways that was basically my week! I am turning 19 this week and I have almost been out for 6 months. That's just flipping nuts. Anyways Have a good week, Lobi!
-Elder Lewis

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week #20

Well, this week was rather interesting. I spent 3 days in Guyana because I was about to be illegal in Suriname so I had to go to Guyana to purchase another tourist card, or so I thought. So I get to the Airport and check in. I go to immigration and this very large Suriname lady (who looks like she hasn't had a good day since 'Nam) takes one look at my passport and goes,"Je bent illigal" (You're illegal) and she was like 'you get a red stamp in your passport and are not allowed to fly in the Caribbean for 3 years... I was like....oh no!!! My faith was dwindling but luckily Elder Christiansen and Elder Hardy both were there and their faith saved me.  (They were going through the same process as I was). He (Elder Christiansen) said a prayer asking for a miracle and by the hand of God the lady let us go this one red stamp. I was so thankful! So we fly there in, literally, the smallest plane I have ever seen and we spent three days in Guyana when we should have only spent one.....we all had one pair of clothes and got put in the mission office to sleep in which had bed bugs.....45 bites. So fun. So I get back to Suriname on Friday and I have never been so happy!! Suriname is a wonderful place. Also Elder Hood has dengy fever... so I have literally not left the apartment this whole week. Fun stuff, but I have had some awesome studies and watched a lot of general conference and also ate a lot. I officially gave up on trying not to get fat....I'm just gonna let it happen hahaha.  He's (Elder Hood) finally starting to get better and I hope and pray I don't get it. I have a few symptoms but I am hoping I don't get it LOL!! Anyway, hopefully we can leave the house soon this week!
-Elder Lewis
Flying to Guyana
Flat Guyana
Cleaning up a burnt down house in Guyana
Cleaning the Apartment
Our District
More district photos
Love this guy...ex-rastafarian, now our branch mission leader
"Helping Hands" service project
"Helping Hands" service project
"Elder Hood is the best! Love this guy!"