Week #2 at the MTC!

2019-10-16 MTC (10)

Last Monday we returned to the MTC for a second fabulous week of training.   I love the MTC.  As a young missionary learning Afrikaans, I was there 15 weeks in 1981-1982 learning and waiting for my visa.  The MTC was my home and I loved being there.  When I returned from South Africa, I returned to the MTC to teach Afrikaans, then to train the missionaries with Welfare Services assignments.  I loved that job.  It was fun to return this week, 38 years later, this time again as a missionary.

Here is a short 8 minute video about what the MTC is like.  You’ll enjoy watching this:

Here is our District–our class.  We stayed together the whole week for most of our training.  We enjoyed these new friends very much.2019-10-17 MTC (31)Here we are this week at the big map where everyone takes their photo next to their assigned area:2019-10-18 MTC (4)2019-10-18 MTC (7)

Here I am October 1981 at the same place, going to the same continent–Africa:Photo0286

We were happy to see Evelyn, our French tutor again!2019-10-17 MTC (45)

John ate quite a few chocolate chip cookies this week.  He’s worried that it may be 2 years before he sees another one!2019-10-15 MTC (2)

I have started a new blog just for this mission experience.  It’s called Our Cote d’Ivoire Abidjan East and Bamako, Mali Mission.  You can find it here if you’d like to check in from time to time:

https://lewismission.home.blog/

2019-10-17 MTC (50)

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Farewells Underway

IMG_8148Today I went to my quilt group for the last time before we depart.  I love these women and I love our hours together each week, visiting, creating, lifting and sharing.  These are women of faith and goodness.  And they make beautiful quilts.  I will miss them.IMG_8150

This afternoon I said farewell to my garden.  We’re supposed to have a hard freeze tonight, so I had to bring in the last of the produce.  The tomatoes were already cold, not warm and heavy as they have been all summer.  I won’t be here to eat all of these, but I’ll eat as many as I can before we go.IMG_8154Tomorrow I’ll say good bye to my Days for Girls friends.  That will be sad too, but I know things here are in excellent hands and they’ll hardly miss me.

We had a phone call from Ghana today and the good folks who are getting things ready for us in Abidjan and Bamako.  It won’t be long before we’re in blazing heat and settling into our new places.  I’m excited to go, but I’m also trying to soak up as much of this life as I can.

Posted in Ann Lewis, Quilting | 2 Comments

A Year of Quilts–38 Total Finished!

Scrappy Trips by Ann Lewis 2018I’ve promised to post a gallery of the quilts I’ve finished since returning from our mission in Washington.  I think they total 38.  These quilts are all ages–some were started more than 20 years ago, some were started just before we left 4 years ago.  Some were piles of blocks, some just needed borders or a binding.  In any case, they were undone, and now they are finished.  I hope you enjoy them.  I’ve enjoyed making them!

The quilting on most of these quilts was done by my friends Penny Stephenson or Meridy Palmer.  They are amazingly talented!

2019 Buggy Barn Flowers by Ann Lewis (1)

Buggy Barn Flowers by Ann Lewis 2018

2019 Buggy Barn Flowers by Ann Lewis (2)

Buggy Barn Flowers by Ann Lewis 2018

Scrappy Trips by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Scrappy Trips by Ann Lewis (3)

Scrappy Trips by Ann Lewis 2018

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Scrappy Trips by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Tree of Life by Ann Lewis (1)

Tree of Life by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Tree of Life by Ann Lewis (3)

Tree of Life by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Cobblestones by Ann Lewis (2)

Cobblestones by Ann Lewis 2018

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Cobblestones by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Log Cabin Variation 1 by Ann Lewis (1)

Log Cabin Variation 1 by Ann Lewis 2018

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Log Cabin Variation 1 by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 25-Patch #2 by Ann Lewis (1)

25-Patch #2 by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 25-Patch #2 by Ann Lewis (2)

25-Patch #2 by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Cottage Sampler by Ann Lewis (1)

Cottage Sampler by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Cottage Sampler by Ann Lewis (6)

Cottage Sampler by Ann Lewis 2018

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Cottage Sampler by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Dresden Plates by Ann Lewis (1)

Dresden Plates by Ann Lewis 2018

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Dresden Plates by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Dresden Plates by Ann Lewis (2)

Dresden Plates by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Hearth and Home by Ann Lewis (1)

Hearth and Home by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Hearth and Home by Ann Lewis (4)

Hearth and Home by Ann Lewis 2018

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Hearth and Home by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Civil Unrest by Ann Lewis (1)

Civil Unrest by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Civil Unrest by Ann Lewis (2)

Civil Unrest by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Nine Patch Variation with Yo-Yos by Ann Lewis (1)

Nine Patch Variation with Yo-Yos by Ann Lewis 2018

2018 Nine Patch Variation with Yo-Yos by Ann Lewis (1)

2018 Nine Patch Variation with Yo-Yos by Ann Lewis (2)

Nine Patch Variation with Yo-Yos by Ann Lewis 2018

2019 Baskets of Buds by Ann Lewis (1)

Baskets of Buds by Ann Lewis 2018

2019 Baskets of Buds by Ann Lewis (2)

Baskets of Buds by Ann Lewis 2018

2019 Baskets of Buds by Ann Lewis (3)

Baskets of Buds by Ann Lewis 2018

2019 Polka Dot Posies by Ann Lewis (1)

Polka Dot Posies by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Barn Raising, mini by Ann Lewis (1)

Barn Raising, mini by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Barn Raising, mini by Ann Lewis (2)

Barn Raising, mini by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Scrappy Star doll quilt

Scrappy Star doll quilt

2019 Santa wall hanging

Santa wall hanging 2019

2019 Funky Flowers by Ann Lewis (1)

Funky Flowers by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Funky Flowers by Ann Lewis (2)

Funky Flowers by Ann Lewis

2019 Civil War Tumblers by Ann Lewis (1)

Civil War Tumblers by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Civil War Tumblers by Ann Lewis (3)

Civil War Tumblers by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Gracie's Triangles by Ann Lewis (1)

Gracie’s Triangles by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Gracie's Triangles by Ann Lewis (2)

Gracie’s Triangles by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Gracie's Triangles baby by Ann Lewis (1)

Gracie’s Triangles baby by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Gracie's Triangles baby by Ann Lewis (3)

Gracie’s Triangles baby by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Log Cabin Variation #2 by Ann Lewis (1)

Log Cabin Variation 2 by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Log Cabin Variation 2 by Ann Lewis (2)

Log Cabin Variation #2 by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Log Cabin Variation #3 by Ann Lewis (2)

Log Cabin Variation #3 by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Log Cabin Variation #3 by Ann Lewis (3)

Log Cabin Variation #3 by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Log Cabin Variation #3 by Ann Lewis (4)

Log Cabin Variation #3 by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Rosebud by Ann Lewis (1)

Rosebud by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Rosebud by Ann Lewis (3)

Rosebud by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Tessie #1 by Ann Lewis (1)

Tessie #1 by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Tessie #1 by Ann Lewis (3)

Tessie #1 by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Tessie #2 by Ann Lewis (1)

Tessie #2 by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Tessie #2 by Ann Lewis (3)

Tessie #2 by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Rise and Shine Roosters by Ann Lewis (1)

Rise and Shine Roosters by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Rise and Shine Roosters by Ann Lewis (3)

Rise and Shine Roosters by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Pink & Blue Rail by Ann Lewis

Pink & Blue Rail by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Charlie Brown by Ann Lewis (1)

Charlie Brown by Ann Lewis 2019

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Charlie Brown by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Patches 9-Patch by Ann Lewis (1)

Patches 9-Patch by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Patches 9-Patch by Ann Lewis (6)

Patches 9-Patch by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Christmas Sampler by Ann Lewis (1)

Christmas Sampler by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Christmas Sampler by Ann Lewis (2)

Christmas Sampler by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Christmas Sampler by Ann Lewis (3)

Christmas Sampler by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Pinwheels and Posies by Ann Lewis (1)

Pinwheels and Posies by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Pinwheels and Posies by Ann Lewis (3)

Pinwheels and Posies by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Calirfornia Dreamin' Churn Dash by Ann Lewis (1)

California Dreamin’ Churn Dash by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 California Dreamin' Churn Dash by Ann Lewis (6)

California Dreamin’ Churn Dash by Ann Lewis 2019

2019 Hip to be Square by Ann Lewis (1)

Hip-to-be-Square-by-Ann-Lewis 2019

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Hip-to-be-Square-by-Ann-Lewis 2019

2019-10 Baskets with Stars (1)

Baskets with Stars by Ann Lewis 2019

2019-10 Baskets with Stars (2)

Baskets with Stars by Ann Lewis 2019

2019-10 Baskets with Stars (3)

2019-10 Log Cabin Chain by Ann Lewis (1)

Log Cabin Chain by Ann Lewis 2019

2019-10 Log Cabin Chain (2)

Log Cabin Chain by Ann Lewis 2019

2019-10 Bull's Eye by Ann Lewis(1)

Bull’s Eye by Ann Lewis 2019

2019-10 Bull's Eye by Ann Lewis (2)

Bull’s Eye by Ann Lewis 2019

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Log Cabin CMS Wreath by Ann Lewis 2019

2019-9-18 Galaxy Quilt (2)

Galaxy Quilt by Ann Lewis 2019

2019-9-18 Galaxy Quilt by Ann Lewis (3)

Galaxy Quilt by Ann Lewis 2019

2019-9-20 Reedley Trip (32)

Galaxy Quilt by Ann Lewis given to Art Laemmlen on his 89th Birrhday

Posted in Ann Lewis, Quilting | 2 Comments

A Little Pumpkin is Coming!

2019-10-7 Ad & Heidi baby announced

Oh Happy Day!

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Raisins and Some Grape Etiquette

I was born and raised in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley, the granddaughter and daughter of a farmer.  All of my father’s ancestors were grape growers in Germany, and they still are today.  I grew up running through vineyards and helping with the grape and raisin harvests.

Last month when I visited Reedley, there were still grapes on the ground, drying in the sun, turning into delicious raisins.  The Sun-Maid raisin plant is just a few miles from my home.  For years, my Dad was a Sun-Maid grower.

This is how raisins are made.2019-9-21 Reedley (8)2019-9-21 Reedley (11)   Sun-Maid

Once the grapes are dried in the sun, the paper trays are rolled and placed at the top of the row, so the moisture can even out through all the raisins.  Then these rolls are rolled up like cinnamon rolls so they’re easy to pick up and toss into the vineyard wagons.

That was one of our jobs after school every September-October.  There is nothing quite as good as warm fresh raisins, still on the stem!  And the smell of burning paper trays is the smell of Fall to me.  We’d make big piles at the end of each row, then set them on fire and watch the ashes float over the vineyard, still glowing around the edges.  I loved growing up on a farm.

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This week I was preparing grapes for our missionary reunion.  Most of the grapes in our Utah stores are from central California where I grew up.  My Dad also grew table grapes, mostly Thompson Seedless.  The red seedless weren’t around yet when I was growing up.  They are a newer variety that’s become very popular.

As I cut the bunches, I thought I might share some grape tips and etiquette with you, so you’ll never be embarrassed when a grape grower is nearby!2019-10-4 Grape Ettiquite (1)First of all, some grapes are better than others.  When you’re shopping for grapes, look at the stems.  You can tell how long they’ve been in the stores by how fresh the stems look.  Find green stems.2019-10-4 Grape Ettiquite (6)

If you’re shopping for Thompson Seedless (the green table grapes) look for the ones that are the most yellow.  The more yellow, the more sweet.2019-10-4 Grape Ettiquite (4)

2019-10-4 Grape Ettiquite (7)

Now for some etiquette.  Never pull a grape off the stem and leave the bunch behind.  It’s bad form.  If you want some grapes, pull off a small bunch and eat them.  Don’t ever leave a bunch looking like this–it’s unsightly.  If you find a bad grape on a bunch, cut it off with the stem, don’t pull it off, leaving stem remains.  This is not a pleasant sight:2019-10-4 Grape Ettiquite (3)

If you are serving grapes, Never pull them off the stems.  Again, bad form, and they won’t keep well that way.  Keep the stems on the grapes, the stem seals in the goodness.  To cut serving size bunches, hold the bunch and clip branches from the top down or from the bottom up, working off the main stems.  Keep small bunches intact.  Always let people pull their own grapes off the stems.2019-10-4 Grape Ettiquite (2)2019-10-4 Grape Ettiquite (5)

I think grapes are a pretty perfect food.  They are beautiful and bite-sized.  They are delicious just about every way you serve them.  And when the grape season is over, we have raisins to get us through the rest of the year.  Thank you, Heavenly Father for grapes!

Posted in Ann Lewis, Family History | 3 Comments

General Conference Weekend

General Conference weekends ares always the highlights of the year in April and October.  And Fall is my favorite season, so this last weekend was pretty perfect in every way.  Oh how I love listening to the words of our Prophet and the Apostles.  It was uplifting and edifying.  I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and I love our church leaders who understand and receive revelation from Heavenly Father, His gift to us.

2019-9-28 (19)

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WYM Reunion October 2019!

2019-10-4 Mission Reunion (47)Last night we had our 3rd Washington Yakima Mission Reunion here in Orem at our Stake Center.  It was incredible!  More than 200 loved ones came to celebrate and reminisce about the wonderful time we spent in Washington together.   It was wonderful.  We had rhythm sticks games going on, we distributed wedding gifts to any we’d missed, or any who are engaged (we’ve had 42 marriages since our April reunion!). We recognized who’s attending school where, who’s married, who’s engaged, and who’s working.

For dinner we served J-Dawgs with toppings, watermelon, grapes, chips and everyone brought desserts.  It was a magical evening, just like I imagine heaven to be, happily reuniting with dearest friends.

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Pres Lewis and each said a few words to these dear friends, encouraging them to be faithful and true to their covenants and to each other.

When we were at the Mission President’s Seminar before we left for Washington, we were told that missionaries were called to serve with a particular mission president, more than to a particular area.  At the time, I thought “what a curious statement.”  But after meeting our missionaries, I began to feel the truth of that.  I also felt that we were called to them because we needed to learn from each of them.

There is not a missionary in our mission that we did not connect with in significant ways.  I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with that statement now.  They were there for us and we were there for them, like matches made in heaven.

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Last night I reminded these friends that we need each other.  We were placed in each other’s paths for particular and sometimes sacred reasons.  I believe one of the reasons our missionaries are so close is because we communicate with each other all the time.  We have a private Facebook group where goings and comings are posted and events are celebrated.  We keep in touch and do things together.  We are family.

President Joseph Fielding Smith once said, “Why are we drawn towards certain persons, and they to us, as if we had always known each other? Is it a fact that we always have?
We believe that ties formed in this life, will be continued in the life to come; then why not believe that we had similar ties before we came into the world, and that some of them at least, have been resumed in this state of existence?”

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These friendships are eternal and dear to me.  What a huge unbelievable gift I was given in these 460 faithful and good souls!  Here are just a few.  The other 100s of photos I took are in an album on Facebook.2019-10-4 Mission Reunion (139)2019-10-4 Mission Reunion (102)2019-10-4 Mission Reunion (143)2019-10-4 Mission Reunion (179)2019-10-4 Mission Reunion (227)2019-10-4 Mission Reunion (233)2019-10-4 Mission Reunion (286)2019-10-4 Mission Reunion (331)2019-10-4 Mission Reunion (33)2019-10-4 Mission Reunion (14)2019-10-4 Mission Reunion (13)

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A Week in the MTC!

2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (5)

Because of our unique assignment, the wonderful powers that be included us in a week of Humanitarian training at the MTC this last week.  It was amazing to be back on this campus, learning and preparing again to “go forth.”

We met in a class in T-3 with 3 other couples with Humanitarian assignments.  We spent the week being trained by folks from Salt Lake in the LDS Charities and Humanitarian departments.  It was so fun.  Once upon a time I taught these seminars to Senior missionaries.  The principles are still the same, but the resources we have to work with have changed drastically.  We belong to a church actively involved in changing lives, on a global scale, and on a personal scale.2019-10-1 MTC (1)We are learning how to help alleviate suffering and how to go good in the Lord’s Way.2019-9-30 (3)2019-10-1 MTC (4)2019-10-1 MTC (6)

Here are our new friends:2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (7)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (8)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (13)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (15)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (23)We had a fantastic week.  These other couples fly out in a few days.  We’ll go home for a week, then return for our Preach My Gospel training on the 14th.2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (10)

2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (20)

The Johnsons help to coordinate all the Humanitarian missionaries and prepare us to set forth in the world.2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (11)2019-10-2 MTC2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (1)

While we walked the halls of the MTC, we found the board of Mission Presidents and the Jackmans, who took our place in Yakima.2019-9-30 (11)These are the LDS Missions in West Africa and beyond:2019-9-30 (14)2019-9-30 (15)

Here are all of the languages taught.  Afrikaans, which I learned here many years ago, is no longer on the list:2019-9-30 (13)

2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (37)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (34)We also walked over to the new buildings that were built and dedicated while we were gone.  We went to find Evelyn Maeser, our French tutor there, but just missed seeing her.2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (25)These are the cubbies where the tutors teach languages remotely.  This is our favorite Evelyn:2019-9-26 Evelyn Maeser French Tutor (3)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (26)The view of the other new buildings from the 6th floor:2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (30)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (33)The MTC campus is beautifully landscaped and there are open spaces for study and sunshine.2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (39)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (41)

Seeing this sidewalk brought back memories.  This is where we dropped Adam and Aaron as they embarked on their missions to Chile.  We shed tears here–in happy but hard goodbyes.  This time we’ll be the ones leaving them behind, along with Claire and Graham and our adorable grandchildren.  It’s never easy, but it’s always good.2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (44)

The field is white, already to harvest.2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (42)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (16)

Posted in Ann Lewis, Mission | 1 Comment

Neighborhood Adorables, Quilts and Ancestors

2019-10-2 Achievement Days Girls (2)This evening these adorable girls from the neighborhood came over.  Their Achievement Day class had an assignment to visit someone who could talk to them about quilts and ancestors.  I fit that bill pretty well!  We had a great time talking about why women make quilts and how they are made, piece by piece, block by block, with love.  I told them the reason I make quilts is because quilts are a way I can leave a hug behind after I’m gone.  I love it if each of my descendants could have a quilt I made with my hands and with my heart, with them in mind.  When I’m not here anymore, they will feel me wrapped around them, loving them still.

I showed them a few of the quilts I’ve been finishing up this week, and then took them upstairs to see a whole lot more.2019-10-2 Achievement Days Girls (3)We looked at a few antique quilts and at quilts my grandma made for me.  The glorious one spread on the bed is an antique quilt I purchased.  There is no name on it, so I am a proxy family member for the lady who stitched it all by hand.  I feel her love, even though I don’t know who she was.

The Sunbonnet Sue quilt was made by my Mennonite quilting grandma, Elsa Laemmlen.2019-10-2 Achievement Days Girls (4)

I showed them how I put blocks together to make quilts like this Spot quit.  You may remember my FTC problem and the fact that I’ve made more than 20 of these for future grandkids and great grandkids!  The girls had fun spotting things in the little blocks as I called out each item to search for.2019-10-2 Achievement Day GirlsThe flat silver box under this quilt holds my grandmother’s quilt patterns.  We found the one she used to make the Sunbonnet Sue blocks.

2019-10-2 Achievement Days Girls (6)2019-10-2 Achievement Days Girls (5)

I showed them my quilt room in the basement and showed them how fabric is cut.  Then they played with some small blocks, creating their own designs.  We had fun.  These girls talked about quilts they had in their homes and the women who made them.  Quilting is a good thing.  It brings generations together in loving ways.

2019-10-2 Achievement Days Girls (10)2019-10-2 Achievement Days Girls (7)

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Things I choose to Avoid

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Here’s a list of a few things I don’t really care for:

Crisco frosting (most frostings for that matter)
Sports Center commentators
Thinking about where I am in a parking structure
Fake–hair, nails, eyelashes, body parts, smiles
Arrogance or prideful people
People who spend because they can, not because they need
Conflict or contention
Caffeine (actually, I’ve never in my life had a caffeinated drink)
Dill pickles
Being late
Radio talk show hosts
Remote controls
Movies where cars crash and people are shot
Cockroaches
Bad grammar
Sitcoms, comedians, or anything with canned laughter
Extreme Cold
Watching someone else talk while brushing their teeth
Dancing and loud music
Swearing or taking the Lord’s name in vain

Posted in Ann Lewis, Thoughts and Insights | 3 Comments