Monday, June 27, 2016

Week #52

This week was another good one out here in the koewarasan jungle! I'm loving it here being th only missionaries in our branch! We had a pretty good week. We had to do a bunch of random stuff because my companion is a zone leader but we had some pretty cool experiences. I'll start with a very funny experience with Elder Hood. So we are going to make an appointment for our van and we get there, we close all the door and walk in and make the appointment. We walk out to leave and I see Elder Hood is banging his head on the window and I look inside and there are the keys on the center console.. We then make the walk of shame back into the dealership to ask if there was some way to help. So basically what ended up happening is two guys just tried to break into the van with a hanger and that didn't work so we had to get a taxi and go all the way over to another elders apartment and get the spare and then all the way back. Very funny time. 
We had a pretty sweet experience with our investigators Mieto and Marchinie. We had called them for church and Marchinie was all ready to go but Mieto had come home at 6 in the morning... and claimed he was too tired to come. So Elder Hood was very bold and said go get your clothes and get ready and your ride with be here very soon. they end up coming to church but that night we had an appointment with them and he said how he really just didn't want to. He sent marchinie with the ride that came but he said that he sat there to think and all of a sudden all his tiredness went away and he came on the his bromfiets to church. It was super cool. He is currently trying to overcome some word of wisdom trials but we fasted with him this last week and also shared with his the story of the anti-nephi-lehis and how they buried their weapons. I am confident he will bury his weapons!
Scripture of the Week 1 Nephi 19:9
And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.
I loved this scripture. The thing that stuck out to me obviously to anyone is the intense suffering the savior went through but for me it was the long suffering. One of the foot notes was "Forbear" I looked up the definition for Forbearance and found "patience with something or someone troublesome, frustrating or tiresome" Who's grateful for the long suffering of the Savior? I know I am. It's so comforting to know that in the heat of trails and constant shortcomings and stumbling blocks that just seem like they will never get better, Christ never once get's frustrated or impatient, God our Father in heaven as well has the same attitude. Because they know that we are being shaped into the person that they want us to become. Becoming is my favorite aspect of the gospel. Christ invited us to become and that includes stretching, falling down and experiencing trials. But Christ is always there to lift us up. I am grateful for this restored Gospel that saves and offers hope.
-Elder Lewis

Week #56

O fa Fawaka nanga yu?
This week was a really good one. GUESS WHAT I got my ingrown toenail removed. Boy I feel like Alma the Younger. Yea, say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains.  Yea, and again say unto you, my son, that on the other hand,there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy. Seriously it was the same experience. But the only down side is it's wrapped up in the cast thing and I have a very big big toe right now. I had to cut one of my crocs open to be able to wear a shoe. The work must go on. It's pretty funny. I for sure felt like a real missionary walking around with a shoe with the soul almost falling off and a cut open croc. Anyways my let foot will probably get done here in the near future. But this week was really good. We are really searching for families to be baptized and sealed in the temple someday. That has been a huge goal of mine this last transfer. We were able to reactivate a man named Avien. He hadn't been to church in 3 years and he's been back for two weeks in a row and loves the church and is converted. We are currently looking for some baptismal dates because right now it's a little slow on the investigators but It's about to explode! As long as we stay diligent the Lord will provide. My companion in awesome. We barely speak English and it's a blast. It's been a good experience for me to really immerse myself in the language. Anyway Love you all!!-Elder Lewis

P.S. (His new shoes were on their way when he took this photo)  His caption was, "Am I a real missionary yet?"

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week #51

Hello World,
This week was a wild one. President Egbert came down for his transerly visit and it is always a good time. We just love having them here. We had a pretty good week. We had a very good turn out at church with 8 investigators at church. That was super fun. The members in Koewarasan branch are so amazing. One of the most special famiiles I have been able to meet is the Marwad family. I have never met a more selfless couple who are so strong in the faith. They have been super fun to work with. With have an investigator named San-J and he is pretty cool. He's a hindu man and we were able to help him gain a testimony of God and how HE has a fast form and a body. It was super cool to see him pray in our lesson and specifically ask and get an answer. We have another investigator named Mieto. He has stopped smoking this week! Love you all!
-Elder Lewis

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week #50

Dear Family, Friends and Kinsfolk (I don't know),
This week was a good one. There is a 5 ft long cayman that lives in out trench outside of our apartment and when it rains it comes out and we play with it. (kidding about the playing with it part) This week was good. Our church attendance was better than last week and we just were able to find so many cool people! This whole week was a huge blur as well. I went on two exchanges in Uitkijk and Wanica North. Elder Jennings and I lift a truck out of a sick hole on our exchange and that was for sure a fun experience, the people were very thankful. Uitkijk is the biggest biking area in the mission and it takes about an hour to get to one of the three places there are to work. I was a crazy exchange. Elder Hood and I are just having a blast. It's fun serving with basically your best friend! I was able to finish the Book of Mormon this week and was able to take Moroni's challenge once again and the Book is indeed true! 
The Scripture of the Week is 1Nephi 8:27-34
27 And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they werein the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit. 28 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away intoforbidden paths and were lost.
 29 And now I, Nephi, do not speak all the words of my father.
 30 But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod ofiron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of thefruit of the tree.

31 And he also saw other multitudes feeling their way towards that great and spacious building.
 32 And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; and many were lost from his view, wandering in strangeroads.
 33 And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building. And after they did enter into that building they did point the fingerof scorn at me and those that were partaking of the fruit also; but we heeded them not.
 34 These are the words of my father: For as many as heeded them, had fallen away.
The rod of iron as we know is the word of God. I challenge you all the recommit to reading the scriptures! Espeacially the Book of Mormon. Because I know there are many that are scorning and laughing and pointing there fingers but I plead to not give heed to them. Be proud that you are different and that you have high standards and do not drop them for anything. I know this Gospel is true!
LOBI, Elder Lewis

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week #49

Hello Everyone!
Reporting to you live from a little town called Koewarasan. Boy, ya know after being in an area for 11 months and then you get transfer it's like starting your mission over. I for sure have been thrown into a totally different world but I am finally in what I thought Suriname was actually going to be like. Just straight rain forest on every side of you, wood houses and just a simple way of living. Needless to say I love it, such a cool place in the world and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. The members in the small branch here and the most consecrated members I have ever seen (and not just here in Suriname) It's amazing how focused they are on helping others and moving the work of salvation forward. I am just having a blast being with Elder Hood again. He's on his last transfer and he is such a good example for me! We had some cool experiences this week but the coolest was last night when we went to see our investigators Mieto and Marchney. They were on fire but fell back an little bit but we felt inspired to teach the restoration again. the spirit was strong and Mieto has struggled with smoking and drinking. He stopped but fell back into it again. We offered a priesthood blessing and he asked me to give it. Blessings for me are still so nerve racking to give but luckily it is not me giving the blessing. Before I had been asked to give him this blessing I had heard a whisper "I am with you" It was so comforting. I testify that God is aware of where every single one of us are and that the Holy Ghost can give us personalized messages to calm our troubled hearts. I didn't know I was going to give that blessing but God did and I am grateful I received that comforting feeling that enabled me to be a representative of Jesus Christ. Though my dutch is not perfect I opened my mouth and it was filled. When we closed the blessing, Mieto got up and with tears in his saying said "Hartelijk Bedankt" which translated means a heart full thank you. I was so grateful that I was able to be an instrument in the Lord's hands. I testify of the Priesthood. I know it was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and that the fullness of the Gospel is here on the earth. 
 Philippians 3:13-14 The scripture of the week.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which  are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
I love this scripture. It came in a dire time of need. I think it's very easy to get caught up in the things we lack or the weaknesses we have and mostly past mistakes we have all made. But I testify that God is more concerned about where you are now and what you are becoming than where you have been. He loves us and is obsessed with out eternal progression. It is "his work and his glory" (Moses 1:39) I testify that the Christs atonement doesn't not send us to our condition but below it, to push us up to our heavenly house that is in heaven. And I know if we strive to press forward in diligent prayer and scripture study, we will reach that prize of eternal life. I love you all and thank you for all your support!
Lobi, Elder Lewis