Sunday, October 26, 2014

Letter Number 64......The Farewell to a Great Companion and Friend...and the Return of an Old Friend and Companion.

I really didn't know a missionary could ever get the same companion twice, but how interesting and great for Jake.  He loves Elder Christensen. 

I imagine it was a pretty hard goodbye for Elder Lewis and Elder Dayton, however, I believe they have forged a friendship that will last a lifetime.  Who knows, maybe they will have the opportunity to Preach the Gospel together again before the end of the mission. Elder Dayton is a great Missionary.

Well I got rid of another companion!!!! I love elder Dayton a ton, we have made an incredible amount of progress together!

......and I got an old companion back! ELDER CHRISTENSEN is back in the house ladies and gentlemen!

I bet you wernt expecting that, were ya?

Pretty much today I am not really in a write mood but i will do my best to scribble a few words down!

Our first week being the senior couple here in Martinique was pretty good if I do say so myself!  We had a car break down on the first day, and an imbalance in petty cash.  I do love the words of President Gordon B. Hinkley when he said that "things will all work out" and thus it was.  As we worked to be as dilligent and effective as possible,  the Grace of our Savoir strengthened us and we had a wonderful week.  We saw our progressing investigator Renaud who now has a baptismal date for the 15th of november.  He has made so many changes and we see little the spirt of Christ for the remission of his sins.  D&C20:37.  The Change was not all at once but over time he has started coming to Church and reading the Book of Mormon and he now keeps his house clean and is doing his best to stop smoking.  It is hard for him but I believe that he will make it.

The Book of Mormon is the most powerful testimony of Jesus Christ.  Of this I am sure, there is no questioning from who the feelings come when I read it.  I have seen it change my life and It still does today.  I just finished it for the 8th time, and will promptly start anew.  There is never too many, only the need for more.

I love you

Elder Lewis

Sister Hussun and Elder Lewis

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Letter Number 63.....and a priceless candid picture!

I love weeks when I am exhausted due to an extreme amount of great things happening, Elder Lewis seems to be in this place as he writes his Monday letter.  I would rather have him writing of exhaustion than boredom, so we are in a good place I believe.

I was deeply touched to receive an email with a photo his Mission Mom was able to capture quite by coincidence in Martinique.  Sister Turner and her husband Brother Turner came around the corner in the city and there were Elder Lewis (Jake) and his Companion Elder Dayton praying with an investigator.  

Seeing this picture was like viewing Jake like a fly on the wall.  A perfect insight to his mission and to all the Missions around the world.  How apart from the world they are...just going about their Father in Heaven's business.  How blessed their lives will always be because they learned to put the Lord and others before themselves for two years.  

Elder Lewis and Elder Dayton Praying in Martinique with an Investigator
You know you have had a wonderful week when you are so tired you don't even know what you are going to write about. 

President and Sister Mehr came and did a training and interviews with missionaires and members. It was a great three days to have them on the island and to feel of their good spirits; I love speaking with powerful people in the gospel, there is almost an eminence comming from them that you just cant help but feel. 

In other news Renaud is doing well, he received a Priesthood blessing this last week and he is doing very well in progressing towards baptism. He is trying his hardest to quit smoking and I think with his new found love for the Book of Mormon he will make it. We found him because of member work.  We were walking on the side of a freeway over in an industrial zone towards a member house late at night. as we passed this man who had his head down he looked over and asked us if he could have a book of mormon.  It was great! 

He is doing well

I am doing well

I am also tired,

I love you all

Elder Lewis

Questions from Mom:
How Many Youth attend church in your area of Martinique?
Reply: we have 6-8 Youth from the ages of 4-18

What Can I pray for this week in your mission?
I am in the middle of fasting from habits and thoughts and things that the Spirit revealed to me are keeping the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost away. It is hard. We are so vain and prideful. It is a 40 day fast and I am on about day 25 please pray that I may succeed and become more sanctified in the spirit so I may have the power to open the hearts of the people. 

Jake shared this quote with me, and I love it.

C.S. Lewis said,  "We cant have dominion over others till we have dominion over ourselves." 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Letter 62

How fun to see how people in the West Indies watch conference...doesn't look as comfy as our nice homes we lounge in.  I remember the long hours of watching conference in the diligent the Saints around the world are.  I miss my Son today, but I re-read his personal letter to me, and he is so dedicated and amazing it makes the separation bearable.  He loves the Savior so much it touches me.

The Saints Watching Conference in Martinique
What an ocasion we have all had to listen to the prophets of God speak to us this last weekend. I found it to be 10 hours of the most edifying time ever. There was no where else i would have rather been at that moment. There is a special spirit that fills our soul with a resolution to do better, to rise above and to Share all this joy that we have.

I was also honored to receive a long email from Elder Tolman, my dad (trainer) and my brother.  He reminded me of many sacred experiences that we had together. and that our missions are short,  we need to be valliant every second of every day we can not procrastanate the day of our repentance.  This is our 15 seconds of our four minute life in the eternity's. But as Elder Zivic told me, " you have prepared for eons, do not waste that preparation".

I mostly feel like talking to my family, so I am just going to finish in saying that i love you

I love you

Elder Lewis

Thank you for your prayers, I feel them.
Sunset Baptism...Beautiful
Not of Jake, but I had to share.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Letter Number 61

This letter was my favorite letter of every letter Jake has ever written.  His Testimony of the Savior is beautiful.  His expression of love for his Dad and me made me quite emotional. Family is everything....being reunited with Jake will be amazing, but the growth of our Son has been so fulfilling.  I am grateful for  his mission and for his Testimony of Christ.

Allo, Bonjour, ce sont les missionnaires,

One could say that I had a long week,
One could also say I had a Great week!

This week  Elder Dayton and I enjoyed the Gift of the Holy Ghost and extreame unity in our companionship.  We had a ton of things to do every second of the day but I think we survived. On Tuesday I had the opportunity to go on an exchange with Elder Bodily my last companion and we had a great time together, we were already unified and we have both learned a lot since our time together.  We taught a lady named Cazaubon who is completely ready for baptism, there is just some secret thing holding her back, we had an incredibly powerful lesson with the turners and her. (The Turners are the senior couple).  We spoke about the standerd of baptism as contained in D&C20:37 and we felt as if the words were just simply placed in our mouths,  it was a wonderful experiance.  Elder Turner said "it is not that when we have Christ that our problems go away, but together with Christ we work through our problems".  It was a wonderful evening. we also taught a younger guy named John Daniel, who has known the missionaires for quite a long time now. He just hadnt reconized the answers to his prayers. he told us that everytime that he speaks with us he feels the presence of God. He said it is like a shock into his soul, after he said it I had the impression to turn to him and bear solem testimony of the sacred nature of our calling, that we have been called of God and have authority to act in his name.  Later on in the week he told us that he was afraid to get baptised because he dosn't know what everone will think, or how he will adjust to it. He knows that he must act, and he said that going to Church is not enough, that he wants this connection to God that we have, we spoke of Fear in opposition to faith. it was a very spirituel  lesson. Another lady Christianne, we taught her husband the restoration outside their house a few weeks ago and gave him a book of mormon. He left it in the house and his wife picked it up and read 127 pages. we came over and he husband said "I didnt read,  but my wife says she has been very enlightened from this book"

miracles. faith. forgiveness. mercy. authority. power.

We visited a member in the hospital that has a virus that may paralyze her.  As she cried with us and the Turners, I couldnt help thining of my dad.  I remembered and shared the story of the day after his surgery,  when the two physical theripists came in to get him up to walk. I remember vividly the powerlessness I had to help him, I remember the suffering of him being so dear to me. I remember his tears. I thought of the Savior and how much I love him.  How even someone so very close to me would take upon him that extreme pain, to be pressed by the weight of all of the sins of humanity,  even to the point that the precious drops of atoning blood were spilt. This was nothing short of an infinite atonement.  I am so thankful for that suffering, and I hope to do everything to return to him so that his suffering may not be in vain.

At a certain moment I also thought of my mother.  I was walking up a hill after a peticularly long day, it had been a day full of stress and the hill and hot sun were not making it any better. I thought of that ultimate moment when I will walk through those doors at the airport and see my wonderful mother and smile and run and pick her up and hug her and tell her I love her over and over again.  As I thought of this desire, I thought of one who is waiting and wanting me to come back even more than my mother.  I thought of walking to the gates of heaven and seeing the Savior stand there with arms wide open waiting to receive us all. how much he wants us to come back,  to acept his salvation we can not understand.

He loves us so very much.

I am thankful to have such great parents who resemble him and are such great examples of faith for me,

Love you all

Elder Lewis

Shipment of Books of Mormon! The Martinique Missionaries ready to Spread the Light.