Elder Dylan Lewis

Elder Dylan Lewis

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Skype call with Dylan

A Week Full of Joy

So this last week was absolutely amazing. To start the week off we got to go to Laoag for Monday and Tuesday for Christmas Conference. All the missionaries in the Philippines Laoag Mission were there. It was a lot of fun. For the Monday portion we got to wear P-Day clothes all day and we played a bunch of games and had a lot of food, it was a blast. After the games we changed into proselyting clothes and had dinner and each zone performed the skit they prepared as well as the song they prepared. It was awesome to see all the other skits and hear the other songs. On Tuesday we listened to President and Sister Andrada and the Assistants to the President give us counsel. They talked a lot about obedience. There are a lot of missionaries that struggle with that here but as a mission we are getting better and better.

Wednesday we had the Sinait Branch Christmas Party. Elder De Leon and I got to help cook barbecue for the party, that was a lot of fun. The whole party was so much fun and we had a really good turn out especially with some Less Actives. We played a lot of games, I got wrapped in toilet paper like a mummy, and we interacted with the members a lot. I absolutely love the members here. They have so much faith. A lot of them to get to church have to pay money just for a ride and for some families that can get expensive and yet they still come, it's incredible.

Thursday was a normal day, we didn't have district meeting so we got extra time to go and proselyte. Our lessons are going pretty well but unfortunately our investigators haven't been keeping the commitments we extend to them.

Friday was Pasko (Christmas) and it was so amazing. We had lunch and dinner appointments and there were fireworks like you wouldn't believe. We actually had to be in our apartment by 7:00 pm because of the fireworks. It was super loud to but really awesome.

Saturday was my favorite day. I got to Skype my family and that was the best Christmas Gift I got and could have ever gotten. Leading up to it I was worried about being homesick after the call but strangely enough I wasn't. The day became just another normal day after that and we went to work. Work is a life savor for me because I can't think about anything other than my investigators meaning I can't be homesick.

Sunday was so amazing like usual. I taught Elders Quorum again and that was a lot of fun. The speakers in church really brought the spirit and the whole day was just phenomenal because of church.

This last Christmas was the best Christmas I have had so far in my life. Even though I'm away from home. I didn't really get anything for Christmas and that kinda made it better. I wasn't really allowed to focus on what I got I was really only able to focus on the Savior and that made my Christmas magandang-maganda. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I love you all and remember happiness is a choice.

Elder Lewis

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Malagayang Pasko!!!

Malagayang Pasko! This last week had to have been the hardest week of my whole mission and yet the funnest week of my mission. So first on Monday we were with the whole Zone again and that was awesome then we went back to Sinait because on P-day we still have to teach. We went to buy food and a very poor man who had down syndrome and some physical restrictions as well came up to me and asked for money. It is however against the rules for missionaries to give out money. I had to tell this beloved child of our Heavenly Father I can't give you money. Doing that was the most difficult thing for me. I love the people here and I would give everything I can to them but I'm not allowed to give them money. I spent the rest of the day feeling completely defeated because maybe this time could have been an exception.

Tuesday was pretty good though. We were out finding and stopped by 7-11 to get a snack and ended up getting invited to one of the workers birthday parties. So we went and hung out with them. Well it turns out the father of the family was really good friends with some missionaries a few years ago and was doing all the right things. He had to stop taking the lessons however because of work. When we were talking to him he said that the most important thing is his family. We could have a golden investigator and we have the opportunity to bring him and his whole family into the gospel and watch their lives improve. Right now we are just building some trust with them but soon we might be able to teach them.

Wednesday was average but Thursday was pretty crazy. We had a pretty big earthquake here. Everything is fine but the walls and ceiling to our apartment were close to collapsing and our neighbors antennae fell off the roof of their house. It was scary but super cool. Elder De Leon almost had a heart attack it was funny.

Friday and Saturday were also pretty average lessons are starting to get more difficult because our investigators sometimes aren't home for us to teach them. Sunday was really great, I taught Elders Quorum and Elder De Leon and I helped in Sunday School because their lesson was on missionaries. Then I was a surprise speaker in Sacrament. I found out right as sacrament started. I wasn't given a topic and so I chose to speak on Jesus Christ and His Atonement because of Christmas and how His Atonement is the greatest gift in the world. It was amazing because as I was speaking I also ended up learning more about the Atonement. The power of the Holy Ghost is amazing.

Brothers and Sisters, this Christmas season don't focus on your self, focus on others and focus on giving to them. Think about Christ because He is the reason. I love you all so much.

Malagayang Pasko!

Elder Lewis

From the Sinait Branch activity

These pictures were posted by a member of the Sinait Branch.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

At war

Kumusta kayo! This last week has been great and interesting. Tuesday we were spending some time with a part member family. The same family that we generally are with, the one with the little kids. They own some baboy (pigs) and wanted to show me them. So we start walking done the road and they say, "Elder, this way." Pointing to a small little path in the jungle. So we hiked through the jungle, it was awesome. The baboy were pretty cool, they were much bigger than I thought they would be. We did this throughout the week, we often have dinner appointments with them. On one of the trips we were walking down the road to go through more farm and a much easier path than the one through the jungle. We found this goat who had his head stuck in the fence and because of its horns it wasn't able to pull its head out. We tried for probably twenty minutes to help this poor goat get unstuck but it was to no avail. I was thinking about how to help when a though came into my mind. "Kneel down and pray." At first I though "I don't know it's kinda silly to pray about helping a goat." But I decided to kneel down and offer a pray. It was a really quite prayer, almost non-verbal and I could tell that the someone was watching me. I finished the prayer and found one of the non-members watching me. She then had the idea that I go to the other side of the fence and push the goats head while she pulls it. We then were able to free the goat.

 I learned some very important lessons from this experience.

 The first one is nothing is to small or to silly for you to pray about, if it's important to you and it's a good thing then it's important to Heavenly Father.

Second lesson I learned was sometimes the promptings from the Holy Ghost we receive aren't for you in the end. What I mean by this is that I already know how powerful prayer is, I've had some really amazing experiences with prayer but this little girl might not have known, she might not have that same testimony but now it is at least strengthened by me acting on the prompting I received.

Third is sometimes we need help. The way I kinda saw the whole thing was the goat was us, people. The grass on the other side of the fence, that it was trying to eat, was temptation, and the fence was sin. We are tempted ever second of every day. We are in the most important war that will ever be fought. The spiritual war of choosing to be on Heavenly Fathers side or Satans side. When we sin or fall into temptation we get stuck in the fence and are unable to free ourselves. That is where Christ comes in. He is the only way out of the fence and it is by his grace that we are saved. It's Christmas season and we all have the opportunity to rejoice His birth and his life. I would like to leave a challenge to all of you. Every day set time aside to read about the birth of Christ and to really think about what He means to you. I promise that if you do this you will see His hand in your life more and come even closer to Him.

Alam ko na sa pamamagitan ng pagbabayad-sala ni Jesucristo and kung susunod sa Kanyang halimbawa tapos magiging mas masaya tayo. Alam ko na kinakailangan ang tagapagligtas at alam ko na pagmamahal si Jesucristo si Ama sa Langit.

Mahal ko kayo at Maligayang Pasko,

Elder Lewis

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Time is Crazy

The language is still coming along slowly, both Tagalog and Ilocano. I'm still spending a lot of time with little kids. They really help me out with the language. This weekend we had District Conference, which is the same as Stake Conference. It was amazing! We got to hear from the District Presidency, President and Sister Andrada and from a member of the Seventy. I learned so much and the spirit was so strong! To get there we took a Jeepney all the way to Vigan, which is an hour away. If you don't know, jeepneys are really small and we filled it with our members. It was a blast!

Also for Christmas every missionary gets together at the mission presidents home and we just have a Christmas party for like two days. So to prepare for that each zone has to prepare a song, a skit and make a zone t-shirt. We have been meeting as often as we can so I'm really getting to know my zone. My zone is so awesome! I get along with them really well.

I can honestly tell when the spirit is there in a lesson and when it's not. One my language is much better and two I also learn something. I can't remember where but in D&C it says something to the effect of "both are edified." That is so true. I can't explain it but I can honestly say I learn something from teaching lessons. It's amazing.

Ayaya ten kayo! Listen to the spirit and remember to stay awesome!

I forgot, everyone now calls me "Short Amerikano." I use to really struggle with being small but now it is honestly the greatest blessing in my life. I am actually asked frequently if I'm actually an American and if I am if I'm full American or if I'm part Filipino. The Lord calls us to where we need to be and if we let Him, we can become tools in his hands. We just need to follow the spirit and live our lives according to His will. Life sucks, it honestly does but it always gets better. I know that and I know God loves us no matter what. I know both of those things because of one thing: the sun rises every day. Life gets better we just have to wait for the light to enter our lives.. God loves us because the sun rises. Now you might be thinking, well Elder Lewis has absolutely lost his mind this time, but this is how this works. He loves everyone no matter what they have done, and the sun rises and shines it's light on everyone. Heavenly Father is the sun and his love is the rays. I have always been told that to be a great missionary we have to be ourselves. I always though that would be easy and then I realized I don't really know who I am. I know what I like but who am I and I can honestly say that my mission has helped me find who I really am. In two years when I see you all again, I'll be the real me. Be prepared, if you though I was crazy before, it's a whole new ball game.

I love you all, be yourselves, no one else can be you and YOU have something unique to offer the world. Bring it and own it, don't be ashamed of who you are and become who you want to be.

I love you all,

Elder Lewis

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

You have to Love the people

This week has been pretty good. We had a surprising number of lessons this week since we had to travel on Tuesday to Laoag and the again on Thursday to Vigan. In Laoag we had "reunion" which is where all the trainers and trainees from my batch meet together again and talk to the Mission President and the AP's. It was so amazing to see my MTC District the is also in my mission. We got to catch up and talk and it was great. They are all doing great, one of them actually had a baptism yesterday. Wednesday was average just teaching. I'm starting to notice a difference in my teaching now. I'm slowly getting better at the language which really helps my teaching. The trick that I've learned on how to learn a language faster and be better at it is you have to pray for help. There is a huge difference on the days I pray for help and the days when I don't pray for help. Thursday we had Zone Training Meeting and it was great. I learned a lot from the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. It was a great day. Friday we had a harder time teaching, and Saturday we attended a baptism of one of the Sisters investigators. I got to witness again and I was also asked to conduct the meeting. It was a good day. My favorite day though was yesterday, Sunday. Nothing is better than going to church and taking the sacrament. I love church I feel at home there. I taught young mens this week. So yesterday me and Elder De Leon tried fasting for our investigators, we were hoping that by some chance at least one of our investigators would come to church, however once again none of them came. I know however that we will eventually get them to come and if they don't then, as hard as it will be, we will have to drop them. A very Important thing that I have learned is, as a missionary our job is to harvest the souls that are ready for the gospel. Did we waste time with out investigators? No, of course not, we still helped them come closer to Christ which is our purpose.

Life gives us trials. Everyone goes through trials and everyone is knocked down by life. What separates winners and losers is that the winners get back up over and over again even though they know they will just get knocked down again. Also happiness is a choice. Sometimes it's the hard choice to make because of our trials but there is always some good in everything. So choose to focus on that, choose to be happy and your life will be so much better. Ammok na ay totoo, naragsak nayibati ti nagan ni Jesucristo, Amen

Ayaya ten kayo,

Elder Lewis

Pictures from Sinait

me and Mary Rose

Trisha and one of her neighbors. I love these kids