Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Week 2: Learning differences in culture and mighty miracles

Hola everyone!
This week has gone by quickly, mas o menos. It kinda does that when you have every minute of everyday planned out! First off, i want to tell you about some things that've happened in the last two weeks:
1. Apparently it's not okay to do the whole rhythmic door knocking thing we Americans do, in Mexico. Elders Chase and Stevens found that out the hard way! haha Elder Nielson and I had a good laugh! Incidentally, we started noticing that when a Mexican driver is mad, theyll honk "shave and a haircut"
2. Blowing stuff up in the middle of the 2nd largest city in the world is considered bad form in America. No one bats an eye in Mexico. We don't think it harms anything, but it goes on from one spot to the north of us at random times, usually daily. BOOM! Then smoke rolls out from the hillside. Normal. 
3. It was La Dia de Independencia por Mexico last week. There was a really cool show that happened in the auditorium. They brought everyone in and had this dancing group come in and do traditional Mayan dances that were SO COOL! They also danced some more modern Mexican stuff to a live Mariache band. 
4. Our Maestro Villalobos, which means Wolf Town in english, has become a legend in our district. We make so many Wolftown jokes, which are similar to Chuck Norris jokes, only He's a 25 year old son of a seventy!
5. A bit about our district: 
Elder Tracy: Very funny, sometimes a bit over the top, invented the spanish verb "Kobir" which means "to sink a shot into the trash can across the room with a yogurt botttle."
Elder Watts: has a pilots license. Pretty good at Spanish.
Elder Blair: Speaks fluent French, can do every accent imaginable flawlessly. Enjoys saying weird things to our teachers in Spanish. Amazing testimony!

I'm out of time, I would like to tell you more, but Ive got to go to the temple here in a bit. Before I go, I'll leave you with this:
Si leemos El Libro de Mormon, y si oremos cada noche, puedemos ser la verdad de los todos cosas!

Nos Vemos!
Love you all!

Elder J. Lewis

P.S: If you want to tell me something during the week, look up missionary package mexico. it's The best way to send things to me!

The following is an excerpt of what Elder Lewis sent me in my personal correspondence with him. I thought it was a great example of the miracles that come with devotion to the Lord.

Our Savior is so merciful, and all He asks is that we let Him help us. I'm learning that lesson more and more, bit by bit everyday. That makes me so happy! God is wonderful! I know that miracles happen. There was a kid here at the CCM that was hanging on a soccer goal and it tipped over and crushed his face. Bad. He had to undergo some very complicated procedures last week and He is back on his feet being a missionary this week. Crazy what happens when you have 1000 missionaries praying for you, and you have faith. I saw him this week, and it is a sight that I won't soon forget. he has stiches going every which way on his face, and it looks like he should be in the ICU, but there he is.

this excerpt was from a letter he sent Rebekah

There are all of the usual sports we have in the U.S here! They have basketball courts, tennis, volleyball, soccer, a track, ping pong, a gym, and basically anything you want! We aren't allowed to play american football or rugby though, because they are a bit dangerous! Soccer here is called Futbol. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day here. We have usually have a good mix of mexican and kind of american food here:) There are some really cool flowers, I'll try to send pictures next week! We drink lots of water, but there's also lot's of fresh juice! I'm kind of getting addicted to pomegranite juice! Yum:) I think the gospel is awesome too:) in spanish its called "'El Evangelio"'  Love you Boo! Keep asking questions, I love answering them! I'll try to send you a picture of a parrot:)

To the family members who sent him a letter in his luggage: 
To all those that wrote letters to me that I found in my carry on. 

I wanted to write a hand written letter for this, but knowing that it would take quite some time to reach you, I'm going to tell you now. THANK YOU! Those letters literally have seen me through some really rough days. When I found them the first night, I couldn't stop the tears that came. The advice and encouragement was so what I needed. I want to thank you all individually, but time does not permit. Thank you, you don't know how much it meant to me.

Muchisimo Amor,
Elder J. Lewis 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Week 1: Learning, Language, and Love of the Savior

We got our first long email from Elder Lewis, here he is answering letters from Mom, Michael, and Rebekah as well as his experiences from the first week of the mission, with pictures. Enjoy!

Hola Familia!
So much to tell you! First off:
Mom: I was able to buy some shoes for pretty cheap! (870 pesos) I have moleskin with my first aid kit, and I can get just about anything I need at La Tienda. (the store)  My teeth haven't given me any problems, so I think we're in the clear there. If something does happen, they have a fantastic med staff here and the CCM. I havent experienced any physical problems, really thanks to the Acidipholus and Colodial Silver. Your oils work wonders as well. I won't lie to you, this has been the hardest week of my life, and those oils really did help.
      The language is a very daunting task. We are relying very heavily on el don de lenguas! (The gift of tongues) I do get frustrated at times, but I have sufficent faith that if I work my hardest, he will help me speak to these people. Lot's of people in my District have previous High school and college experience with it, and they are definetly ahead of the curve. Elder Nielson (my companion) and I have taught five full lessons to an "investigador" to date. The spirit is very strong as we are learning to discern the needs of those we teach. 
      Tell Scotty thank you for that. It really means a lot right now. I can't say for sure that I have that same faith in myself, but I know that if I work hard, pray and study like there's no tomorrow, that he will make me into the missionary, and the man, that He needs me to be. I've had teachers and leaders that have pulled me aside and said some things and given me scriptures that I needed at that specific time. they are able to discern my needs, and it makes me feel like there is a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior. I believe, and I'm getting to know there is!
      I'm so happy for Holly! Tell her felicidades for me! I felt the spirit when I read that, and it makes me so happy:) Great are the tender mercies of our Father!
      I love you so very much, Mom, and even though I'm thousands of miles away, I can feel your prayers on my behalf. Thank you, from the bottom of my very humbled heart.
Your loyal son,
Elder J. Lewis

P.S, my p day here at the CCM is on wednesday, and I'll try to be here on the computer around Ten thirty am, Mexican time.

My first days in Mexico have been hard, but very good! The people here are amazing! They are very helpful and kind, but also push you hard to do your best:) The food is pretty good! Fresh juice, lots of rice and good beans:) The only real thing I don't love is that they like lot's of spicy things for breakfast! Yuck! Animals... there are a ton of parrots! They're green, blue, red, and very loud! There are also some cool purple birds!
I Love you VERY VERY MUCH! I love talking to you:) 

Mike: There have been some funny things that've happened! We have an instructor named Hermano Villalobos, which literally means Brother Wolftown. We make lot's of Wolftown jokes, mostly because he is such a cool guy! They talk to us completely in Spanish most of the time, but I'm understanding most of it as they speak pretty slow haha! One night the water stopped to the building, and we all heard Elder Tracy yell down the hall "I'm gonna go to reception and lay town some FUEGO!" We all were crying! xD
I miss you too bud, love you!

Homesickness has been terrible, but that's to be expected, However: The Lord doesn't leave his children alone in their time of desperate need. He has shown me many tender mercies, and I am getting to know my Savior on a very personal level. 

Elder Lewis and his companion, Elder Nielson

The Tag, spanish triple combination 

Elder Lewis' district. He and Elder Nielson are currently district leaders. 

75 ft tall palm tree, and a man climbing it :p

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

First Letter from the CCM (Mexico MTC)

We were able to hear from Elder Lewis after he landed. Here's what he had to say!

Hola Familia! 
I am alive and well here at the Mexico CCM! The flight was way cool, and the city was... different. haha. I´m very grateful for the guidance that the Lord gives, and I look forward to this stay at the CCM. It is proving to be super intense, but way good! 
Please share with the whole family!
Elder Lewis

Hurrah for Israel!

Today was that day!
Elder Lewis officially boarded the plane to Mexico City on the way to the Mexico MTC at 10:05 this morning. Although there were many tears shed, they weren't all sad. We are so tremendously proud of Jared and his desire to serve the Lord and the people of Colombia. He's off to become what the Lord would have him be, and to serve those that stand in need of the good news of the everlasting gospel. As he turned to walk away, the last thing that we heard was "HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!" Very Jared. :)

 The Family (minus Conrad, Jessica, Cici, and Carson)

See ya later Brother

Siblings and niece Cici and nephew Carson saying goodbye

Goodbye Dad
"and now my son, I trust that I shall have great joy in you, because of your steadfastness and your faithfulness unto God; for as you have commenced in your youth to look to the Lord your God, even so I hope that you will continue in keeping his commandments; for blessed is he that endureth to the end." -Alma 38:2

Goodbye Mom
"yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them...and they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers , saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it." 
-Alma 56:47-48

Hurrah for Israel! 

Off to Mexico, then Colombia!

Goodbye and God go with you Jared. See you in 2. :) 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hi Everyone!
Welcome to Elder Lewis' mission blog. Here we will be posting letters, pictures, and insights that he sends us while serving honorably in the Colombia Bogota North Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Please look here if you are wondering what he's up to!

Elder Lewis' blog is being run by his sister Jessica. I (Jessica) will try to keep it updated as much as possible. Feel free to leave comments so that Elder Lewis can look and see what everyone was saying about his experiences when he gets home in 2018 :) Thanks and Enjoy!