Monday, December 19, 2016

Week #76

Well everyone,
Merry Christmas, what a wonderful time of year. I'm so grateful for the Savior and the birth of him! I hope all of you remember Christ during this special week. 
My companion was sick this week but it didn't stop us from still working. We are just chugging along. This week my testimony of the restored Gospel. We live in the fullness of times!! Isn't that amazing? The truthfulness of the message we say is so true and I hope we all realize that this week. I had a really cool experience this week while contacting. Our mission has this program where we focus on one area is our proselyting area and we do not leave it until every house has been contacted. So we had been to every house in this area twice but we still had not contacted every single person. So we left and went to start another area. I felt impressed to go back and to try and contact every single person. The people who were not home we were going to try again, until someone answers. So we went back and almost every house we called came out and even though nobody was interested (except one told us to come back) We were able to put them in a position to use their agency and to accept the gospel. I am so thankful that the Lord directed us to do that because those people needed a chance to hear it. I love this work and I hope everyone has a very very Merry Christmas!! :)
-Elder Lewis

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week #74

Hello One and All
Another week has past with it's ups and downs but it is still amazing to be here. I love this small, chill island. This week we were able to talk to a lot of people but the thing is, a lot of people just don't want to hear it. I'm constantly brought closer to the Savior  as I think of His life. I  am so grateful for the privilege of bearing his name. This week we taught two new investigators names ytje (ee-ch-a) and Jani. They are sisters and were so interested in the Book of Mormon. Today we have our lesson with the Prudon couple so we have been praying and fasting that they are the people we have been looking for. We're so pumped. 
This week has been filled with amazing lessons and teaching moments. Missions are just so great. I'm grateful for this gospel. I've really been learning why I am proud to call myself a member of the church, why I follow the commandments and why I do the things I do. In my studies this week I have constantly been brought back to the first great commandment. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind" All commandments hang on this and our motivation to live and follow the commandments need to be because we love God! That's the over arching point in everything the gospel is about. I have learned that it's impossible to be disobedient and love God at the same time. I'm thankful for the purifying power that obedience has and how we are strengthen and purified by the atonement as we try out best to live the Gospel. Of course we will fall short but luckily it is not about the length of stride but the continual baby steps forward on our individual paths of discipleship! Love you all!
-Elder Lewis

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week #73

Hello One and All,
This week was a good one! Aside from contacting for 7 to 8 hours a day we saw more than a few miracles this week. One day we were biking up this GIGANTIC hill (I hate that thing) and we noticed and very sweaty, sunburned, and tired dutch man moving into his house all by himself. We asked him if we could help and he said no, even though he obviously needed it. We were riding up the next day and we noticed that he had a friend helping him and his friend goes "LOOK, God has sent you angels to help you, I know you don't believe in that stuff but God sent them." He then let us help him and we were able to move in some very heavy things into their mansion. The area we are focusing on right now is literally all multi-million dollar houses. But we helped him move and them we were able to sit down with his wife and him and we actually able to speak about the gospel! IT was a miracle! We left a Book of Mormon and they even made a return appointment! They scheduled it for  December 5th 4 pm on a Monday but we didn't care that it was part of our P-Day. It was for sure a miracle. Also this just in, I crashed into one of the devil thorn bushes here. That hill that we climbed up ended up being my demise. Faulty breaks lead me skidding into a thorn bush. This was actually right after we found that couple. We laughed and saw how the Lord gives and takes. I am so grateful for this gospel. Life is so good and I'm so thankful to be a missionary!
-Elder Lewis

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week #71

Hello Friends and Family,
Well, transfer calls came this week and I am going back to Bonaire. I am so excited to go finish what was started there. This week was full of miracles. One of which was the baptism of my investigator back in Munder Anil! A man who has literally changed his whole life around to follow the savior Jesus Christ. The drug addict, alcoholic man is now a man of Christ. It's been amazing to be a part of that process and will always have a special place in my heart. I am super pumped to head over to the Islands again. We are having a visit from President Gonzalez this week so it will be fun to see a general authority. It was hard to say goodbye to Uitkijk. I really do love everyone there. We have been working with this less active family all transfer and Zr. Tapoh is finally reactivated! She is receiving a calling to be the gospel principles teacher. Just a few of the amazing highlights this week!
-Elder Lewis

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week #69

Hello One and All,
This week was a hot one and a more difficult than usual one. We are working tirelessly to build up this great branch and trying our best to find people through our own efforts. It seemed as thought every person we talked to was either Jehovah's Witness, a pastor for another church or just people who flat out don't like white people. It was a good time though. In times of trial in missionary work I am often caused to think on the Savior. Through working hard areas I have really come to know in a very special way what Christ has done for me. It's a priceless thing that can be experienced no other way. This week we were able to reactivate Monica Stuart. She's coming back with fire and it's so great to see. We have also been seeing a ton of success in our less actives in teaching them the Gospel. We have been blessed through our efforts in working as hard as we can and being diligent even when nothing is going right. We were able to meet two young couples who have been being prepared by the Lord for years now. This week I discovered pure acacia berries. A member of ours produces it and it's awesome. It's like super juice I'll try and send some pictures if I can figure out why this computer will not let me up load pictures. But over all it was a fantastic week and a very learning week. As the time goes on I realize how short missions are but nothing else will ever come close to the joy, thrill and burden born with gratitude that I have felt :)
-Elder Lewis

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week #68

Hello one and all,
This week was sweet. First off, a past investigator of mine got married this week and I was able to attend it and it just made me so happy:) I remember when I was at the lesson that they committed for that date. It blows my mind just how great it was! Everyone was so happy and they both are now on the path to baptism and temple marriage! We had a lot of success this week in working with our members and finding two new families. One of the families we found was actually so inspired. Turns out the wife Nicole went to the church about 15 years ago and knows a ton of members. It was a tender moment for me to see them be touched as we testified that we had prayed and felt inspired to come to that city and that street in which that lived. The Lord leads us to the prepared and it was a huge testimony builder for me. We biked at lead 170 miles this week. Something else that we organized this last week is that we will be teaching a free English class to Haitian Refugees to help them be able to get jobs. One of our investigators Jupiter speak decent enough English in order for us to help the rest. We are excited for the great opportunity! I finally am going to get off pictures this week. I hit 16  months today and time is going way too fast but I am loving every second of it! This Gospel is true and will fill the earth. We had 32 people at church which is the highest that this struggling branch has had since no body remembers when. Thirty-two PLUS in an insane number and we were pretty excited. Being a trainer has been such a learning experience. I have the best companion who is just so humble and willing to learn. I am thankful for the trust that the Lord has put in me to be a zone leader and trainer and I am learning so much from it. Our zone is deemed to be the most productive and effective zone in the whole mission. Elder Jennings and I were pretty proud of that. Anyway, love you all!
-Elder Lewis
**As a side note, last week when Tanner was telling me about biking hundreds of miles through the deep jungle, I asked him if he was ever nervous about something jumping out at him.  He replied, "Well, I wasn't until just NOW when you said that!!".  
I'm sure he sent me these photos because of my comment.  Little stinker!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week #67

Hello one and all,
I realize I have been lacking on the pictures and apologize and will try my best to get some uploaded next week. (maybe) Well this week I would venture to guess we biked about 170-200 miles. It has been wild and we've just been working as hard as we can to build up this area. We found a branch directory this week and out of the 100+ members in our branch only about 5 are active.. so we have identified who we want to start working with and are going from there. We found so many families this week and are excited to follow up on all of them. The Lord is blessing us in our efforts to find the elect. A cool experience I had this week was when we were out and about the other day. Our 5 o'clock appointment had canceled that morning due to sickness so we did not think too much of it because the Suriname definition of sick isn't really my definition of sick.. But we were biking around and I get the impression that she wants a blessing. So we bike on over there and sure enough she asked us for one right there. It was sweet and I know the spirit leads the Lords servants where they need to go. Our investigator Dukins is getting baptized on the 12th of November we are super pumped for that. He is changing his life around. 
Alma 27:18 (cross referenced with Proverbs 17:22)
18 Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness.
Proverbs 17:22
22 merry heart doeth good like a medicine:
I pondered a lot about what a "humble seeker of happiness" is and I came across this scripture in proverbs. I thought about us as people as we experence trials we tend to always turn outward. I thought of Ammon and his brentheren as they served their missions and it was not easy to say the least. but These saints sought to do good like a medicine to heal their wearied hearts. That is how we experence joy in our lives. 

This Gospel is true and I am just loving life right now proclaiming the restored Gospel :)
-Elder Lewis

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week #66

Hello Everyone,
 This week was a sweat filled week. We are just working so so so hard to build up this long time "dead area". This is seriously an area that no missionary wants to serve in and I have been having a really hard reason seeing why. We have been seeing so many miracles this week. We received 11 new investigators this week. Not all are super solid but 5 of them at least are. We had an investigator come to church this week named Dukins. He is from Haiti and speaks very good English. We have committed him to be baptized and will put him on date tonight. We are so excited to be able to work more closely with him. We are just having the best time, we are biking close to 40 miles a day and talking to everything that moves. We had 22 people at church this week which is also unheard of in Uitkijk. Btw uitkijk in English mean look out. I am grateful for this opportunity to work here. Life is so great as a missionary!
John 4:14
 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that shall give hishall never thirstbut the water that shall give him shall be in him well of water springing up into everlasting life.

This scripture has hit me very hard. I have met a lot of people looking for something more and really don't know where to find it. It's a testimony of Jesus Christ that allows that comfort and peace in life and allows us to never thirst. And unlike a glass of water that is empty once finished, Christ's never is empty and provides the continual peace necessary to endure to the end!

Lobi, Elder Lewis

Monday, September 26, 2016

Week #65

Hello One and All,
This week was a good one. I was able to visit Curacao, Aruba and finally arrived in Suriname on Tuesday and got right to work in one of the biggest biking area in the mission. We bike 30-40 miles a day and it's a blast. We are excited to start building up a long time struggling area. Training is going well. Elder Lunceford is awesome, he is such a stud and just so willing to learn. I am learning from him and am grateful for the chance I have to train him. 

We didn't get to work in our area too much due to my zone leader training and a lot of other stuff but I wanted to share a scripture 
Isaiah 25:18
He will swallow up death in victoryand the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces;  and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from ofall the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.

I love this. I am so extremely grateful for the Atonement of Christ. I am thankful that through Him "all tears" can be wiped away and all that is unfair about life can be made right through his perfect and infinite atonement. 

I love you all and Hope you all are having a good week!
-Elder Lewis