Dear Mother and Father,
If ever you have known me, know this: I Have Found Who I Am.And Ye Can Know Me...if Ye But Read Mosiah 2. If Ever Ye Have Known Your Son, This is Who I Am. And Ye Shall Know Your Son.
Even This Very Morning, This Marvelous Revelation Came To Me.
I have oft discussed, with many a close friend, with father, and with you mother, concerniung this very topic. And I Do Hope through all that you have known me, you have seen this very thing in me. And i rejoiceth to say this, for this is the greatest desire of my heart, yea, this be even My Celestial Joy. And I Know, in the Eternities, this will be Who I Am...for Eternal Life would not be, for me, unless it be thus. And I Have Prayed, before, and not long ago, and yet now, and I know. He Hath Covenanted With Me. And I Rejoice.
I wish to Serve, in some capacity, even all capacities...for the greatest joy i have ever recieved...is when on another's face I see that pure smile...celestial smile...even the Light of Christ.
And service can be anything, truly anything, so long as the intent is to give unto another Happiness. Joy for Another. And This Be Christ.
Long before, I pondered this, and i pondered while I was at home. And while yet at BYU...where I began actively, truly my own journey of Conversion...coming to Christ. I had been prepared...and for these moments of my life. I am continually preparing...for the best moments, of my life, yea, even for another's. And I remember my thoughts, and my conversations with my close friends, and parents, and i remember praying to God on the day I was endowed...and praying in my heart the Day of my Patriarchal Blessing...
Dear God...if it So Be that this is My Purpose...please...shall I Know.And I Do, Mother. I do Father. And Shall I Yet Share My Love, and Serve...as Best I Can. May the Lord God Guide Me, as I Give My heart to Him, that we might share our hearts with another, I Pray. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Shall I Not Share a Few Details of the Happenings and Sights of the Philippines with you? I Shall...but in Brief (oh dear...if i CAN be brief...always a weakpoint of mine) Only because it is indeed a marvelous place, and I know you all would like to hear SOMETHING about the actual area itself. So Thus it is:
I Wake up...EVERY morning...to this: EEEERRRYAAACCKAAAROOOO!!...they are EVERYWHERE! Haha! Those roosters! And they cockle every minute! I Wake up to this, i work to this, i sleep to this. It has become somewhat of an anthem. I Kinda like it. As I Mentioned before...some things, even many things, i puzzle at for a second, then Smile...how perfect. This is the Philippines. =D!
Sooo...Yes, I Am in a House...its got a few kinks with the fridge and the sink and the toilet and the...shower? ... and one of the doors... but its great! Haha! I Love it! We have our own coconut and manggo trees and its wonderful. There are lil bugs...but again...it just seems so natural, now that I'm here. They crawl over my books (they are really small) or along the sink or on my arms even as i write and whatnot, and i just smile and occasionally brush them off. I Can't Tell You...the Lord Has Helped My Heart So Much. I Love So Much About This Place.
Lizards you see occasionally inside the house scurrying across the walls...oh! And there are dogs. MANY dogs. Wild dogs. All over the place in the Philippines. On the streets, in the yards, all strays. dogs...and in great number! Its kinda amazing =p!
OH DAD! Thanks for all the Razor stuff! Thats waayy mahal here! (expensive!). I Do not believe i need anything...and packages take a while to send...so please...just send twizzlers or something if you want to send something (love candy).
(oh...and know i will probably get it a month after you send it =p!) But yes! The razors! I am set for my mission! WOO!! haha! Thanks Dad!
Sooo...i've now officially ridden literally hanging off the side of a tricycle (motorcylce with a "carriage" attached to it), hanging out the door of a Ceres (a large bus)...on the back door of a Jeepnee, kinda flailing in the wind trailing behind it...
yup, thats actually all become quite common practice now, haha! Tricycles we use to get everywhere, and busses and jeepnees are full a lot =p! (tho im not in jeepnees much, thats the city)
OH! Did you get my package and stuff from the MTC?I asked my fellow zone members to mail it for me after i left...should be a package of excess stuff i couldnt bring in my luggage (lots of weight restrictions) as well as a separate package of JUST the camera card! So please...let me know if you recieved it.
Alright...well...they DO love basketball here! And Music haha! Karaoke...but always! They BLAST Music...i can here music anywhere i go in the streets, at any time of day! (Love it at night) Apparently they like hip hop and techno a lot =p! In any case...its always a joy to me...i keep the spirit about me...and just smile...because of the life here haha! Such an energy here!
And at night...you feel it! Blasting that music...yup, town's still up!
sooo...my nicknames here are: A Professional Basketball Player named Lewis and a Professional (and Good!) Boxer named Lewis. Here them ALOT. I'm pretty famous. ;)
And One Last minor Point: The Drivers here...wow! Haha!Lets put it this way: Here you assume Excellence. Not Ignorance, as is commonly assumed in other places. And because of such...they can do just about whatever they want on the road (its mostly ALL public transportation) assuming the other people are good enough to cope. and surprisingly, they are! Its amazing...its like absolute chaos! ...but they are GENIUSES! Haha! Go Philippines!
And the area is gorgeous...everywhere i look, i am surrounded by beauty. absolutely breathtaking...i am in awe every time. From my first day...even until now...i marvel that this earth has been created. The sugar cane fields...the rice fields, the coconut trees...the many green, lush mountains...the perfect blue skies and perfect clouds...magnificent sunrise and sunset and...oh dear...its the mmost perfect serene bit of nature i have ever seen...and i see it every day, something new every day...and even the same sights always change...a new flair each time...if only even through my eyes.
But the greatest beauty here, Mother, Father. Family.Is the Beauty of this People. I Cannot describe...save it be that i know this: This is a Consecrated Land. The Philippines is a consecrated land...that the Lord has set apart to personally come forth and perform his work. This people...they will listen to you...actually LISTEN to you. And will openly, warmly, greet you with a smile from their heart. There have been many who have welcomed use in...and truly...the did not seem "interested" even upon the close and our testimonies...but yet, they still show their love. and there willingness to listen to you. They care about you. You can know when they love you...you can see this. And I Dare Say when a Filipino truly shows you their love, you Can Know what Love is. I am beginning to Understand and See This. But know that in all they do, there is some pure love there. This is a Consecrated Land...and the Lord will perform a Marvelous Work among this People. Christ, and the Light of this Gospel, whether they see it or not, I see it. I Feel it. So Vibrantly...they have so much light within them...they even live and yearn for the gospel...they do! I Know This! And they so readily express it...and we must Show Them...with all our very being, that Yes: This is All Ye Desire. He is Christ! Here, Let Your Heart Rejoice. Not teach or just testify...but SHOW that THIS is Who You Are...because of Him.
I Feel...Such great Need to learn this language. I Must. For I See in the People Here the Very Light of Christ...and I Glimpse as I Search for My Savior, their very Joy: The Joy of Angels. They are the Angels. And I Glimpse their Eternity...and The Pure Happiness, forever. Shall I Not have faith in My God, that He Who Hath Power Over ALL, that surely...through my faith AND my diligence unto him, Shall I Not Become Fluent in this Language? And excercise all the very faculty of my soul and show them how I Do Rejoice! For I Know God. And I Know them. And He Knows Them. And We Shall Return! I Shall Indeed. Illongo and Tagalog...and yea, if need be, any and ALL of the other 5 dialects, to show them this cause for Rejoicing: Christ, Our Dear Savior.
Here...I Have Felt the Love of These Dear People. I Will Make Mention of Two Peoples in Particular: The Alvez Family...and Princess.
The Alvez Family I Met with, but a few days into the mission. And before ever I spoke, they loved me. They encircled me in their love...and literally, quite literally, were all about me. And we taught them...and i did share my testimony as best i could in Illonggo. And every time since that night...they Love Me. Such pure love, every time. I cannot describe it except, for a moment...i am raised up, with them all, and feel christ all round us. There is such love in this family.
Many are soon to be baptized, in this coming week. But first, before ever i had known them, they loved me. and as soon as i saw their faces, i loved them. and together, yea, hand in hand...we doth come unto Christ. We embrace Him.
And Princess came to me during priesthood/ combined meeting for planning session or something (I couldnt understand what was going on...and my comp was at our OTHER ward in caduha-an) and so i sat there...and a little girl came up to me and just PLOPPED on my lap. and kept hugging me. and laughing. and smiling. I dont even KNOW this girl. and yet...for a full hour...she and I exchanged smiles and laughs and she would hug my legs and play with my paper and pen and flashlight and compass and everything...
i cannot explain...save it be this girl of perhaps 3, coming up to me, and in that moment, i feel in love with her. This Small, Beautiful Child of God. I Fell in Love With...in But a Moment.
I Do not have much time left...so i believe the rest of which I Desire to say i shall save for another letter home...i do hope i actually write that one.
But Let me Say This:
I Do Not Understand how a Boy Could Ever Speak more Versedly than a Scholar, nor with more conviction than an Expert...I Say Unto You, it Cannot Be...Save it be by the Very God.
We Are Passionate...For We Know. And All Power, Yea, The Very God is behind this Truth. For We Testify of Him...Because We Know. We Feel. We Believe. And We Love. We Speak with the Power of Angels...yea...even The Very Mouth of Christ. For We Do This...For A Purpose, Yea the Greatest Purpose: The Purpose of God.
I Feel we do not realize how much difference this gospel makes in someones life. For us...perhaps we take it too much for granted. Yet...know this! Who we are Is Inseparably connected to that which we know of Christ and this Eternal Plan. If We Believe on His Name...it hath made all the difference...and we are This Belief. If we have heard of Him and his truth, yea, even if we only partially or in ignorance believe...it still has changed our life...think on this!
Families forever! Life after Death! Christ on the Earth! In Our Hearts! A Purpose! Love...we are to Love One Another! There is Infinite Hope!We Shall Return to our Father...our Very Family. We Shall Rejoice for All Eternity!
This is SO Foriegn to all those poeple in the world. For they have never heard such things. Yet we, who have heard...can live our lives knowing these things. and even if we do not "know" or believe" yet have been raised therein or have heard...our life is CHANGED forever because of this...
For otehr people have no idea! Not an inkling of the answer...some dont even realize the question! Others ponder continually
how great, our calling. the calling of all people. This is Who We Are. And we Stand Out from the World. For When we are in Christ...even the smallest of truth...yea, any can know this. For in that moment, we are Set Apart. For Christ is not of the things of this World...nor can any such thing be in his presence. And ALL People...no matter how much of this gosepel you believe is in you...see! FEEL! That higher plane...thats setting apart...that fopreign world which is so familiar.
Do not be shy. i think on me...and was i shy? or afraid? or thought they not to be ready? my friends. so many people now i think...yes...yes why didnt i tell them? this will change their life...they will be happy forever...even if they dont realize it...i know! and this will be. please...know this. We are inviting them...unto Christ. The greatest thing there be in this life and all eternity. you lose nothing in an invitation. and yet...they may gain everything. whatever your reason not to...overcome. Share this Gospel with them, in whatever way you can...but Actively...Share It. Let Them Know Who You Are...and By Whom Ye Are Who ye Are. if missionaries ask for referralls...help them. all people around you are looking...for You. For christ. And ye know Him. Please...Ye Can Give them Everything...the Way to Everything.
I Love my life back home...make no mistake...i love it. yet now i know...there are many things i desire, even now in my heart, that i shall change. I hope i always remember this desire. For I Have tasted a greater life...yea, even the best life...even now, on my mission. Make it known...i love my life at home...and yet, If only I could give all...to live THIS Life...forever. And I Can. This is the best Life...and as I Come Home...I Can Bring this with Me.
I Do Know...that although I feel i love my life back home...yet i would give it up in a heartbeat to do as i am doing yet now, once more...i cannot...
for this is a once in a lifetime moment. Yet know this! Every moment...is once in a lifetime. Therefore...ought we to treasure every one. And Make every one worth Once in a LIfetime. Yea, let Christ be in every Moment...and Every Moment therefore Shall Ye Rejoice. We Can Have true Joy...Every Moment of Our Lives. If In Every Moment, there be Christ. Therefore...let US Be Joyful...in every moment. And let us share Christ...in every Moment. Every Moment is Once in a lifetime.
We Believe...in God. The Eternal Father. And Jesus Christ, His Son. And in the Holy Ghost.
We Believe in Being Honest. True. Chaste. Benevolent. Virtuous. And in Doing Good to All Men. We Believe All Things. Hope all Things. Have endured many things...and hope to endure All things. If there is anything Virtuous. Lovely. of Good Report. Or Praiseworthy. We Seek After These Things.
We Know God is the Father. Our Father. We Know He Loves Us.We Know Christ is Our Savior. And Through Him, We Can Be Happy Forever. We Know The Purpose of this Life. To Prepare. For We Know He Shall Come Again. And we Shall Return With Him...to Eternal Life.
Glorious Be The Day.For We Know.
And This Changes A Life.Yeah, For This is a Life.
Shall We Not, Therefore...Take His Hand, and in the Others, Our Brethren. Yes, We Shall. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
--Elder Christopher A. Lewis
Please forward this to:
(last two are my teachers!)
And jane...feel free to send these to any of my friends you think would enjoy, or give the emails to my parents.
Thank you, and I Love You All.For This Reason, Am I Here.