Wednesday, December 11, 2013

letter number 21.........Jake has a new motto!

I think Jakes "new" motto sounds more like him than the beat down kid from last week.  To notice your blessings......well, it brings happiness and a sense of peace.  I was so happy to hear that he was able to get out on foot  AND enjoy some time at the beach on P-day. Jake received his Christmas package and devoured his Chocolate chip cookies.  Brown sugar is a rarity in the Caribbean, so even if he could duplicate my cookies, the ingredients would be hard to find. The humidity makes it almost impossible to get or store. He was soo incredibly thankful for all of the goodies in his box, it was all very worth my time.....and it filled my heart with joy!

Hey There Everybody,

The sun is always shinning even when it is rainning. I think I adopted that motto this last week while the heavens were opened and blessings and rain fell upon us. To tell you first about the rain. When it starts to rain here, get under something as soon as possible, soon after a bucket or 10 will fall on your head and you will be super soaked to the bone.  We got lots and lots of rain this last week. It was actually really nice to have a change from just the heat. Even got down to like 70 degrees for a moment in the night. It almost felt like it was the christmas season. But now it is back to mid summer weather. haha crazy Caribbean. We did have a great day at the northern most point in Guadeloupe, Anse Bertrand. At the beach and  this
giant rock that gets hit by waves we stood on it, and the waves came, and we got 100 percent soaked to the bone by the spray. It was incredible, and a nice release from a long time without a p-day activity.

But that all is besides the point,

Some highlights from this week were..... an exchange with Elder Peterson from the Gosier area, taking a day on foot in down town Morne A L'eau and contacting, seeing members, trying to get into upstairs appartments to talk with people. Which can be very hard, they have the shops down below and secret passages that lead to the doors above, super entertaining, and also was very productive. We have had an investigator at chruch for 5 weeks now in a row and she is moving twards baptism. Also, my mom sent me a christmas tree and I am very happy about it:)

Other than that, probably a lot of stuff happened that i forgot!

That"s what journals are for I guess,

Love you all,

Elder Lewis

Basically a Caribbean Cemetery!

My Handsome Missionary Son! Love him

Great Fun!

If you haven't been to the doesn't get much better!

Missionary Santas........I couldn't resist!

Out Preaching the gospel!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Letter 20.....Hard Week in the West Indies!

This was a hard letter to read, but rejection goes with the territory and I know that Jake will be fine.  He has an excellent Senior Companion and I'm sure next week he will be up again. I was so glad that he went to the scriptures for comfort and understanding.  These missionaries are amazing!  

So it still feels like august? 

But this is what went down this week,

This week was super great until the weekend. We wern't able to accomplish any more than last week, but there was not a moment we were resting. This week we had alot of progress with our investigators who were moving toward baptism this next week.  At the same time we were running around all of Guadeloupe trying to figure out how to pay bills and use routing number and help others with cars, and file reports. We can now say that we are very good at all of this..... at least to our understanding.... we really wanted to have a week where we were like go go go all the day long,  and we got it. 

Then Saturday hit. The whole week we had been pretty bashed on our faith, people calling us liars, polygamists, worshipers of Joseph Smith, but Saturday was really a hard day. It started off with a great session of studies, but immidiatly after we had a lesson with two atheists one who is a physics professor (or was 20 years ago) and dean of a French university, the other is a proffessional artist. They basically told us that we were young and believing and that we couldn't tell them we know that it is true because we have no solid evidence. We tried to explain, we tried to use scriptures, but they couldn't allow themselves to believe in the slightest what we were saying. She is even 200 pages into the book of mormon after a week and he read up to jacob and stopped. It was a long lesson that was very battering.

Then our investigator who was getting baptized this next week on the 7th, who had prayed and received multiple responses that yes our church is true, Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a true prophet, but her evangelist pastor called her. He told he that we were just polygamists, and we worshiped Joseph Smith and all these super terrible lies. At first she didnt believe him because we talked and we showed her that we don't do these things but she decided ultimately to stop coming to our church because she had responsibilities in hers. we talked it out in a really good lesson, and she said she would come one more time. Latter that day, we went to her neighbors house and we saw her walking away, she told us that she didnt mind if we came over once and a while but she wasnt coming to church.  She told her neighbor and now she told us she never wants to see us again. 

We were feeling pretty beat down, and then we found a sweet appartment so we can move out of the church. So that was like the cherry on top of a bad day. We also had an amazing lesson with another member referral.  she came to chruch for the 5th time, but she says she isnt ready to accept baptism.

So the whole Helaman 5:12, "... devil will send forth his mighty winds, yea his shafts in the whirl winds, yea when when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, he shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and woe, because of the rock upon which you are build which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

The hail and the storm will come, satan wants to have power over you but he can't till we give him it by sinning. Stay strong, trust in the Lord, and know that these things are true, know that the Book of Mormon is true, know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, know that Jesus Christ lives, and that he sits at the head of this chruch. Know these things because they are true. 

Psalms 27:14 (or maybe 13)

Whew! long week, but I went to bed absolutely exhausted every night, so nevertheless, it was good:)

Also happy thanksgiving!


Elder Lewis

Letter 19

Thanksgiving without Jake.....not as much fun as with! So happy he and Elder Tolman like to cook.

Hey Guys,

This week was also great. We continued to try our best to be obedient and also be super diligent. we have seen lots of miracles this week that came from a couple of fasts we did with members. First off,  we fasted with the Mother of the(   ) familly. This family is  all non- members except for her and she was really dicouraged about her 6 sons and them not being in the gospel. So we fasted with her and she was super excited.... well she had to do dialysis (for whatever reason tons of people have to do dialysis here, probably because it is one of the capitals of rum in the world) so we fasted for her not with. We fasted and we had a couple weeks of down time, but then all of a sudden, she gave us a family referral who lived just up the street. the mother has a baptismal date for the 7th and has allready come to church twice now. Also her kids are preparing to be baptized on the 24th of this month. Great miracle. 

Also, one of the sisters in the ward who has given us pages of referals, we finnally started making lots of progress with two of her friends. The one is atheist and she said she would  read the Book of Mormon in a couple of weeks (entirely) . Also, the other friend who was a Jehovah Witness, but then left the church because they left her and didnt support her in the time she needed it, we had a super powerful lesson with her about the holy ghost. She listened very intently and it was really great. 

Also all of the people who we taught with a member this week came to church and one other, for a total of five a l'élgise on sunday. The work is progressing here in Morne à L'eau.  
 We had the experience  to teach in english just the other day! We are teaching this lady from Saint Martin and she prayed about Joseph Smith. She discribed the expeirance as a joy that filled her heart, and was with her though out the day, but she said she thinks she is too young to be baptized so she wants to wait till she is 40 so she can go to carnival(it is mardi graw but Caribbean style, probably just the biggest sinning fest in the world, not to bad here but in Trinnidad the missionaries dont go out for three days) . We are working with her.

People always are expecting the prophet to look like moses with a gigantic staff, robe and beard. 

We had a Thanks giving dinner on monday, me and elder tolman stayed up super late making it. I think I perfected my mothers potatoes. delish.

Welp, that is basically everything!! 

Love you all bunches! Happy Thanksgiving!

Elder Lewis

Jake in the back of their van ready to take all of the food he and Elder Tolman prepared for Thanksgiving

Breakfast of Champions!  Jake is a pretty healthy eater.....and a great cook.

Deep in spiritual contemplation!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Letter Number 18...........Where Does Happiness Come From?

Being schooled by an 18 year old boy........awesome and humbling.  With each letter from Jake, his companion, and his good friend Carsen I am encouraged to try harder and be better.  Jake encourages us to GIVE EVERYTHING.  For me this week, very very good timing.  We need to be serving each other every day.  I know I can do more and so I repent of not doing enough and like the missionaries say......GO TO WORK!

I am so happy!
Also, every lesson that we taught with a member to an investigator, the investigator took and kept their engagement,  including comming to church!!! For the first time this transfer we had 4 investigators at chruch!! Also, referrals that came from members, two of them who were super shut off to the whole idea of the gospel in their lives were super receptive and one said she would read the Book of Mormon entierly in less than a week. She was athiest and in the first lesson was super closed off. 

Also, every lesson that we taught with a member to an investigator, the investigator took and kept their engagement,  including comming to church!!! For the first time this transfer we had 4 investigators at chruch!! Also, referrals that came from members, two of them who were super shut off to the whole idea of the gospel in their lives were super receptive and one said she would read the Book of Mormon entierly in less than a week. She was athiest and in the first lesson was super closed off. 

I can't descibe it or deny it, the only thing I can do to explain it is to say that obiedience. brings. blessings.

This week was a week of miracles. ELder Tolman and I have had a goal to be exactly obedient to the very point with nothing out of line.This week we achived it. It wasn't that there wasn't mistakes here or there but we always desired to do more and more to achive this goal. The last three days of this week were absolutly incredible. The windows of heaven were opened and at every moment we had strength and power. The first day we noticed it only a little, but by the third day we could see the different ways that people were reacting to us. They could not deny the things we said. It was indescribable. 

I found that trials come into our lives truely as Moroni says "to make us humble" and then after that I promise that the Lord will send blessings. There will always be peace and happiness with this message. The Book of Mormon is the word of the living God, It was saved for this day because it was applicable to us. The Church of Jesus Christ is restored to the earth, abiding by its precepts will bring you more happiness and joy in your life than I can even begin to describe. 

Give everything!  Love everyone,

Love you all,

Elder Lewis

Questions From Mom:

1. Are you happy?
I am super happy and life is just dandy on all sides of the world! we're being super obiedient, and people can tell, the windows of heaven are open and giving us blessings.

2. Remember to be grateful for the wonderful Family you have.

I know i have the best family! we are super great! 

3. Do you know how Carsen is doing?
Yes, i talked with him every weeek, he will do good, he is a strong kid. (Carsen is his friend who is currently serving in the Philippines.)

4. Will you be moving with this transfer?
I'm staying with Elder Tolman this transfer.

love you!! 


Ahoy there!

Two Fine Servants of the Lord!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Letter number 17 ......and a note from the Senior Missionary Couple leaving Jakes Mission which warmed my heart!

I was privileged to received a letter from the Senior Missionary couple who served in Jakes mission.......this is a brag but I was so happy to hear what she said about Jake.  I do wish I had a magic viewing glass to be able to observe him serving these during this time. I know how amazing he is because of the help he gave me after his Father's accident so this wasn't a surprise, just gratifying. 

 Jake sounds so mature....I am going to try to take my fasts more seriously.  In every letter Jake talks about the power in fasting. With the Holidays approaching he seems happy and not homesick at all, that is a great blessing as a Mother.  I am so glad he seems well adjusted!  Love his earnestness.

So this week was just totally awesome, we only got to work three days which sucks, but we had zone conference and it was really amazing.

we talked about so many super important things that I will probably not write, but we also talked about exaltation. I had never thought about how much we need to do to truely receive exaltation. We need to become better and repent more frequently. We also talked about the sacrament, and how when we take the sacrement we show our outward apearence of inward repentance. Man my spelling has gotten really bad. 

We are all super pumped up this week because of zone conference! I think I will probably stay on Guadeloupe because I am still waiting for my first year visa verification but transfercalls are on Saturday.

Fasting is so powerful. We fasted with the districts presidents familly this last week and they all went out and shared the gospel with their friends and now they have three referals for us. Member work is the way to go.

Anyways, love you all,

Elder Lewis

Questions from Mom:
1.When You Say "NO ONE was at church do you mean it was just you and your companion?
no just no investigators showed up. there were quite a few people because we went to the big building in abymes for fast sunday. 

2. What is a typical church day like there?
at our small group we ahve pricipals of the gosple and also the sacrament. just two hours, but at abymes we have all three meettins like normal. 

3. Do you have any baptisms planned that will take place in a waterfall?
we are working hard but our investigators are not comming to church so their dates continue to move. and it is their choice, a lot like to do it in the font at the big church, it is in the same room as the kitchen. 

4. Did you ever get the envelope I sent?
 DONT SEND ANYTHING TO THE MISSION HOME it will take a very long long time to get to me if you send it there and it may never. other missionaries have to bring it from there because there isnt really a mail system in trinnidad. send it always all things to the island that i am on. i did get you halloween letter just last tuesday! im sending you a letter this week i hope

5. Are you eating any meat other than cold cuts?

also four, we buy food that is buyable, we planed to ahve a hundred euros for our last week and we bought some porkchops and nicer food. we do eat well, just yes, alot of carbs. french people have bread with everything!!

love you bunchs mom thanks a ton:)


Dear Families of Guadeloupe Missionaries,
Elder Bennion and I completed our 23 month mission on the 6th of November.  As we took off from Pointe a Pitre airport in Guadeloupe, it felt surreal….there will always be things to do, tasks unfinished.  The mission awaits a Senior Couple to replace us on Guadeloupe.  That is true for all 3 of the French parts of the mission:  Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana.  For now, the missionaries will be picking up their mail at our apartment mailbox so you can send everything to that same address.  In early December, a young couple, both returned missionaries, and both French speaking will live in our apartment and help with some of the duties, particularly in the immigration area.  They will be there until a full time couple arrives.
We have loved serving the Lord with your sons and daughters.  Oh, how we will miss them.  Serving together on Guadeloupe has forged such a precious bond of friendship. We all love the people, the culture, the feeling that comes from the Lord as we are seeking to bless his children.  It has been the crowning experience of a lifetime of service in the Church. 
Elder Lewis is a prince.  We just love Elder Lewis.  He is working with the Zone Leader and so he sees a lot of the ups and downs of the work.  There are plenty of administrative things to which his companion must attend and Elder Lewis is a fabulous companion.  He has a can do attitude and he is so willing to work hard and learn and love the people he serves, including his fellow missionaries.  His French is really coming and he is “all in” as a missionary on Guadeloupe!  You would be so proud of him.  I just wish there was a magic window that would allow you to see how amazing he is.  It is hard work and takes real commitment.  I often think of what other young men that are his age are doing with their lives at this time and I marvel at these missionaries who obediently and faithfully do all that they are asked to do!  It is such a privilege to have served with your son!
Have a great holiday season!
Sister Bennion

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Letter number 16........time marches on!

Jake is sharing miracles with us every week.  I've been pondering on how often we are blessed by a miracle and we say it's good luck, or that everything worked out etc. I am trying to give the Lord credit for all things in my life.  I see the happiness this connection this principle brings Jake and I want to feel that connection to Heavenly Father and that peace and happiness as well.  Please write to Jake or take the time to send a card or fun thought during the holiday season.

Gwada is the Creole spelling for Guadalope.

So this week was just freaking great, we were really focussing  on trying to be obedient and diligent at the same time. We saw lots of good results come from it. We still didnt have any body come to church this week, but five people committed, and another one still holds a baptisimal date of teh 30th. The work on guadalope is really progressing, there are three or four other baptisms comming up these next couple of weekends. Super Great.

The miracle of the week was...  one of the elders filled up a car with the wrong kind of gas, then drove 400 yards.... they pulled over and realized what they had done, called me, who had the phone, because the zone leaders were on exchange in Capes Terre.  I drove over to Baie Mahault with Elder Maoni to get a member who was a mechanic.  We took 4 hours using the little pump that turns on when you turn the key. It was a looooongg day, but it all worked out and the Lord blessed the car that it would start again and we were able to pump out the last remaining of unleaded gas out of the car until the diesel all came through. 

Other than that, this week was fast Sunday and what a great fast Sunday it was. We always go to the big building in Abymes for it, and it was just so happy and there were tons of people everywhere and I was just smiling like the whole day.  24 hour fasts here are hard, but the spirit that comes is incredible. 

Love you all,
ELder Lewis

Questions from Mom:

Not that you're not handsome but have you gotten a hair cut?

1 Yes  I just got one, it was super long and if it wasn't crazy I would have liked to keep it, except for the sides, those were killing me.

When will Your next transfer be?

2 It will be the 21st, I will  hear in a week or so my call and what my mailing address is.

Are there any  missionaries who need help with Christmas?

3 No, we are all well supported out here.

Do you miss swimming?
4. Occasionally when we talk about it, but we are so busy that it is hard to think about other things than the work
How often do you get to see the ocean?
5. Most days yes, and it is beautiful.

You can see the mops there, Jake and his companion have been getting the new apartments ready for the new elder.  The view is stunning!

A pensive pose by the thoughtful Elder Lewis.....miss his humor.

A typical meal......there is very little meat to be had, just cold cuts.

Happy to see people work out in Guadaloupe

Must be a delicious desert.......Isabelle say "gross"

Love you Elder Lewis

Friday, November 1, 2013

Letter number 15

I've been thinking a lot about obedience, and the blessings this principle of discipline can bring into our lives.....this week I'm going to try to be exactly obedient and see what magic can happen in my life.  

To see Jake use the knowledge his Dad gave him to help another on his mission was very gratifying...parenting can be a grind and these paydays are really nice.  

It sounds as though he and his companion are incredibly busy helping these new Elders out! Sounds great.

Bonjour cher frère et sœur, 

This week we acctually didnt do too much because we had lots of things to do for helping other missionaries move and stuff.  This weeks focus was on excact obedience and getting all of our studies done. it is something that is hard for us because we always have to run errands for the zone and the schedule is just crazy.

This week was different, we wanted to say that we did everything we possibly could, and we did this last week. It was great, the spirit was with us and we were guided by the Lord many times throughout the week. For example, we were helping out the senior couple over on the Island of Basse Terre and we couldnt drive all the way back to Morne a L'eau  just to turn around to go to meetings in Abymes. We gave some bike elders a ride and while studying in the car, we got a call from the sisters who are on bikes and their chain broke. because my dad is awesome and taught me alot about bikes I was like "I GOT THIS! I CAN FIX IT!" So we went and we helped them out and I found the tools to put it all back togeather. On Saturday we were going through the Grande Fondes and Elder Tolman said hey why dont you say ca va to soeur louisaint? I called her and the first thing I say is do you need help? She did in Moule, so we drove over there and picked up a bed for her from the house of one of her referals. It was super good, we got to intorduce ourselves to them. 

Also, I  was on exchange for part of sunday with Elder Peterson who just got here, a man answered the door  and could only speak Guadaloupian and Haitian Creole. The Lord blessed me and i was able to speak and to understand for 10 minutes and set up a return appointment.

Love you all!

Dieu soit avec toi jusqu'au revoir,

Elder Lewis

Jake's been eating a lot of avocados 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jake's mailing address!

Mailing Address:

Elder Jake Lewis
Elder and Soeur Bennion
Residence Les Paletuviers
Bat A Appt. 17
Moudong Sud
97122 Baie Mahault
West Indies
 Sr. Bennion

The Postage is $1.10

Email Address:

Letter number 14

I personally love and feel uplifted by the letters where Jake involves us in his Mission experiences.  As a Family we are praying for missionary experiences and I hope you will do this as well.  It's hard to believe that we are approaching the Christmas season without Jake, but how amazing it will be for him to be serving the Savior during the Holiday season; no focus whatsoever on the things of this world.  Enjoy this letter......he's on fire.

Wow,  this place is just beyond beautiful. if it is not concrete it is green, or some other bizzare tropical color. This week was just full of great things, that I will probably forget to write about. The important thing is we had 15 people at church sunday! the sad thing is.... none of them were investigators...

Working with the members is different. there are lots of times where you work with them and these crazy awesome spirituel expiriances happen, but contacting gives you so much more of a good feeling. The Lord is really showing us how to work better with the members, how to call them, how to take care of them and their spirituel needs  and how to help them help their friends find the peace and joy of the gosple in their lives. It is kind of weird how much we see each member here. because there are only about 20 maximum in all of Morne à L'eau Moule Vieulle borg and Anse Bretrand so you can see them once or twice a week. The great thing is they are super helpful at teaching others and helping others keep commitments. 

So on sunday we had a pretty cool expiriance. we went to this old contact of ours who whas a temoin de jehova  and taught him the restoration. First wierd thing, he was from Dominica and we spoke in english. second wierd thing, we spoke boldly simply and with the spirit, there was no contention in the room. (that never happens with temoins, they really like to fight) we explained each scripture percisely and spoke very poilitely. at every corner we could have had an oppertunity for contention to enter the room but we just kept on teaching simply. they have these books called, what the Bible really teaches, and this other small yellow one. they use these often to try and disprove  and argue with all sorts of different religions. as we taught the restoration and as elder tolman was reciting the first vision, i  felt the spirit super strong and thought to myself "there is no way that this isn't true". in that moment, i knew with out doubt that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. that he spoke with Heavenly father and Jesus Christ face to face and he was called by them to be a prophet. I know that the book of mormon is the word of god.  It was a really cool expiriance for me. walking away from that lesson there was a bit of sadness for the people we had just taught they had been taught so much false doctrine that in their hearts they could not accept that anything else was true. 

Also we stopped by one of our old investegators house, (name of investigator) and she was like "hey were have you been? i thought you were coming three Fridays ago?" It turns out we some how missed and appointment with her and she had lost our number along the way. she showed that she has a desire to act now and i think she will keep her engagement to pray about the restoration.

Sometimes it is really funny seeing the looks people give you when you first teach the loi de chastité.  because some of them have no idea what the word chastity even means. one guy was like "what do you mean you have never slept with your girlfriend?" his name is (name of investigator), and we are also teaching his brother. 

I found out that i am really not very good at basket ball not to my suprise. and soccor im maybe a little bit good. but we play it every Saturday now so i imagine that i will become better. 

had an oppertunity to attened with a member, the last of the 9 day in home death prayers for Catholics. it was probably the weirdest thing i have ever done or listened too. compacted by the fact that it was two hours of all sorts of french and Guadaloupian Creole. they opened up the floor for us  at one point and we stood and taught out of alma 40 about the state of the body between death and resurection. no one questioned us and we got a few investigators out of it. it gave them all a little peace i think.

Welp. the work here is good. the Lord is truly hastening it. I see miracles everyday and if you look for them they are always there. 

Love you all,

Elder Lewis 

Questions from Mom

Did you get my letter and package?
Yes,  i did get your letter! i got it right after i sent my letter last tuesday! sorry aobut that, we were moving in a group of missionaries in saint rose and it took way to long! 

I set tons of pictures!! sorry i didn't do it for a couple weeks but i will do better!!! 

Are you working out?
 we are kind of making a new workout plan. i think we are going to sart running a bit. and sat. we play basketball most Mondays we play soccer.

How big Guadeloupe?
No,  there are many cities,  it is the second biggest island in the west indies. second to gigantor trinidad. it takes 3 or 4 hours to drive across guadalope. there are 450000 people who live here!! 

Is it raining a lot?
We just got out of the rainy season so it rained all day yesterday for the first time in like 3 weeks.

How are the sheets working out, and do you need a new pillow.

Sheets work great, the pillows are just left at appartments and they suffice no need to send one. I

sleep like a rock no matter what. 

Love you tons!!

Au Revoir,

Son Jake