The Lewis Family Celebrates July 4th!

2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (13)We were welcomed home by the whole family as we gathered to celebrate July 4th in Alpine.  What a grand day, getting reacquainted with the families of John’s siblings!    The family is multiplying.  Somehow, we have become the older generation now.  We sit around the edges and reminisce while watching the youngsters play.  It’s not a bad place to be.  I love this family.2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (79)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (6)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (9)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (23)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (25)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (33)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (39)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (40)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (49)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (57)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (60)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (62)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (63)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (66)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (67)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (68)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (71)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (72)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (74)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (77)

Playing the traditional round of Rhythm Sticks!2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (83)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (90)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (92)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (94)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (102)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (110)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (111)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (87)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (116)Aaron and Claire shared the victory!2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (117)

Then some pie and homemade ice cream!2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (118)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (125)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (131)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (134)2018-7-4 July 4 Alpine (122)Here’s everyone who attended the reunion:2018-7-4 Family ReunionHappy 4th to you all!

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Pooh knows my heart

Pooh Goodbye

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An Accounting July 2015 to July 2018

2016-9-27I am a record keeper and a history recorder.  As I’ve gone back through my records, here are some interesting pieces of information about our lives that I’ve chronicled during the last 3 years.

Missionaries who have served with us here: 455
Mission areas: Central Washington, from The Dalles to Canada, 7.5 driving hours from top to bottom (432 miles)

Stake Conference and Church talks given: 58
Zone Conference, MLC Trainings given: 68
Doctrine of Christ Trainings: 48
Meals Served:  more than 450
Transfers: 30
Miles driven: 71,850
Mission President seminars: 6
Mission Leadership Counsels: 34
Zone Conferences: 60
Pages of Interview Handouts prepared: 108
Mission Blog Posts Written: 2,472
Personal Blog Posts Written: 238
Family History Blog Posts Written: 552
Stories added to FamilySearch: 578
Photos/memories added to Family Search: 2,123
Days for Girls groups started: Yakima, Wenatchee, Ellensburg, Quincy, Brewster, The Dalles
Days for Girls Kits made: 5000+
Quilts finished: 0
Books read (besides Scriptures, and PMG): 0
Personal Journal pages written: 3,220
Days wearing a dress: 365 x 3
Days wearing pants: 0
Photos taken: way more than 100,000
Photos archived: 83,140
Newsletters produced: 16 with 245 pages
Sick days (flu): 3
P-Days taken: 2

Too many to count:
Dozens of cookies baked
Apple desserts served
Sheets washed and beds changed
Yards of DfG Fabric washed, dried, folded and cut
Nights slept away from home (hotels, members)
Birthday gift bags given
Notes texted to moms
Hugs given and received

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The Day the Quilts Came Down

2018-6-21 Moving Day (8).JPG

A big yellow moving truck pulled into the neighborhood this morning.  Moving Day has come.  It’s hard to believe we must go now.  We’ve been thinking about this day for some time now, dreading it.  We wanted the Mission Home to be in perfect form for the departing and arriving missionaries this week, so we’ve only slightly prepared to move out, waiting for transfers to end yesterday afternoon.

We spent last evening packing.  The first thing I did was take down the quilts.  Quilts make a home, and I knew I couldn’t bear to leave here as long as the quilts were still hanging.  Once they came down, I started to let go, the home became a house, and I could move through it, taking things apart.  Funny how things like that matter to me.

2018-6-21 Moving Day (1)

The gathering of our things began:2018-6-21 Moving Day (4)2018-6-21 Moving Day (7)2018-6-21 Moving Day (10)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (51)2018-6-21 Moving Day (3)

President Lewis spent most of the day in his office, sorting, organizing, and preparing for Pres Jackman to come.2018-6-21 Moving Day (2)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (53)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (54)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (55)2018-6-21 Moving Day (6)

The movers worked with us, filling boxes.2018-6-21 Moving Day (5)2018-6-21 Moving Day (11)

The Assistants dropped by to pick out their ties.  Pres Lewis gives each Assistant a tie of their choice when they leave.  But this time he is leaving.  They stayed for lunch and helped us eat more leftovers out of the fridge.  Then they did us the favor of taking home all of our bits and pieces of unfinished things from the fridge and freezer.  2018-6-21 Moving Day (9)Sorting talks and materials used in 3 years of teaching and training:2018-6-21 Moving Day (13)

The closet:2018-6-21 Moving Day (16)

All the beds will be changed and laundered.  Everything will be made new again before the Jackmans arrive.  We will move to a hotel tonight and the cleaning crews will come in tomorrow and work this week to make the home clean and spotless.2018-6-20 z Mission Home (49)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (50)

By 4:30 or so, all we owned, except for the few things we’ll need this week, was loaded into the moving truck and taken away.  It will be delivered to our home in Orem a few days after we get home.

2018-6-21 Moving Day (17)

This afternoon, after all was gone, we both sat at our computers, the last things standing, and we went back to work.  We worked all through the afternoon and evening, until late tonight.  Here is a last look at the Mission Home now, before I unplug.  We have loved it here.  It’s hard to go.2018-6-21 Moving Day (22)2018-6-21 Moving Day (21)2018-6-21 Moving Day (20)2018-6-21 Moving Day (19)

2018-6-21 Moving Day (23)2018-6-21 Moving Day (24)2018-6-21 Moving Day (26)Farewell, dear Mission Home, Farewell.  Our presence has gone from this home, but not our memories of what happened here. 2018-6-21 Moving Day (27)

This hotel room will be our home for our last week here.  Away Sweet Away.2018-6-21 Moving Day (33)

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A Last Walk Through the Mission Home Before Moving Day

Here is a post from my mission blog about leaving our Mission Home:

Before the moving began, I took a walk through the Mission Home and took a few last photos as things were, just for my memory of this happy place where we’ve loved spending our last 3  years.  Let me take you on a little tour.

Here is my office/desk, where I’ve done my work, processing photos, writing blog posts, journaling, corresponding, preparing handouts, lessons, talks and trainings, and recording my experiences.  In my spare moments, I’ve also worked on some family history here, recording stories and events in the lives of my ancestors.  I’ve written more than 3,230 blog posts–about the mission, about my ancestors, and some personal ones.  I’ve processed more than 80,000 photos.  I’ve written more than 3,200 pages in my  personal journal.  All right here–this is where the action happens:
2018-6-3 Mission Home (5)2018-6-3 Mission Home (9)2018-6-3 Mission Home (10)

To my right is this lovely bedroom with two beds:2018-6-3 Mission Home (13)2018-6-3 Mission Home (14)2018-6-3 Mission Home (15)

This bedroom has a Jack and Jill bathroom in the corner, leading into the next bedroom.2018-6-3 Mission Home (16)2018-6-3 Mission Home (17)2018-6-3 Mission Home (18)2018-6-3 Mission Home (27)

This room also has 2 beds and enough floor space to bring in extra mattresses when needed.2015-7-2 Mission Home (20)2015-7-2 Mission Home (21)2018-6-3 Mission Home (28)

The closet here stores some of my other seasonal quilts.2018-6-3 Mission Home (29)

We have a large storage room upstairs where we keep the extra mattresses, the ironing board and other odds and ends (like baby clothes!).  That door goes into an attic room over that garage.  2018-6-3 Mission Home (12)Down the hall is the 3rd bedroom upstairs, this one with 4 beds.2018-6-3 Mission Home (19)2018-6-3 Mission Home (23)2018-6-3 Mission Home (21)2018-6-3 Mission Home (20)2018-6-3 Mission Home (24)2018-6-3 Mission Home (25)Upstairs, looking down to the entry.2018-6-3 Mission Home (26)

This is the 4th bedroom.  We call it the General Authority Room.  Every Mission Home has a room with a king or queen bed for visiting authorities.   They also have their own private bathroom.2018-6-3 Mission Home (1)2018-6-3 Mission Home (2)2018-6-3 Mission Home (3)2018-6-3 Mission Home (4)

Now let’s come downstairs.2018-6-3 Mission Home (82)

Here is the entry:2018-6-20 z Mission Home (40)2018-6-3 Mission Home (76)

The dining room is to the right of the entry:2018-6-20 z Mission Home (41)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (42)

And the office is to the left:2018-6-3 Mission Home (77)2018-6-3 Mission Home (78)2018-6-3 Mission Home (81)

Now to the family room:2018-6-3 Mission Home (67)2018-6-3 Mission Home (66)Where I like to sit and study:2018-6-3 Mission Home (65)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (13)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (14)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (16)

My South African frogs:
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This hall leads to the kitchen, then the laundry room.2018-6-3 Mission Home (73)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (11)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (12)Here’s the laundry:2018-6-3 Mission Home (72)2018-6-3 Mission Home (68)2018-6-3 Mission Home (69)

The garage is accessed through the laundry room.2018-6-3 Mission Home (70)2018-6-3 Mission Home (71)

Here is the kitchen, the heart of the home, where we’ve fed 100s of missionaries:2015-7-2 Mission Home (39)

The pantry door holds photos of their loved ones at home:2018-6-20 z Mission Home (1)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (2)Gathering things to pack:2018-6-20 z Mission Home (3)Books I never had time to read:2018-6-20 z Mission Home (4)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (5)

The surroundings here are so beautiful.  Imagine eating in a place like this every day!2018-6-20 z Mission Home (6)

The deck is off the kitchen:2015-7-2 Mission Home (41)2015-7-2 Mission Home (42)2015-7-2 Mission Home (43)

Now, let’s go back down the main floor hall to the master bedroom on the west side.2018-6-3 Mission Home (61)

To the left is a small bathroom:2018-6-3 Mission Home (60)

And our bedroom is on the right:2018-6-3 Mission Home (50)What a sweet place of refuge this has been!2018-6-3 Mission Home (54)2018-6-3 Mission Home (55)2018-6-3 Mission Home (56)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (26)2018-6-3 Mission Home (58)2018-6-3 Mission Home (59)2018-6-3 Mission Home (52)2018-6-3 Mission Home (53)

The bathroom:2018-6-3 Mission Home (44)2018-6-3 Mission Home (42)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (32)Mission clothes!2018-6-3 Mission Home (30)2018-6-3 Mission Home (36)2018-6-20 z Mission Home (34)2018-6-3 Mission Home (37)

Well, this has been our life for the last 3 years.  I seem to have run out of steam before going downstairs to the basement to take some photos down there.  I’ll add a few when we stop by the Mission Home in a couple of days to drop a few things off.

I just wanted to capture the memories before it all changed.  Tomorrow the moving truck will be here and it will never be the same again.  We are staying calm and marching on.

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Dad’s Best Dating Advice–How to cut the tail off a dog

Dog tail

I was single for a very long time. During that time, there were a fair number of boys in and out of my life. Sometimes those boys wanted to stay longer than they were welcome, and, being a soft-hearted person, I always had trouble moving them along to date someone else.

One time I was complaining to my dad about this problem. With his practical farmer’s wisdom, and in his slow deliberate manner, I received the only piece of dating advice he’s ever given me:

“When you have to cut the tail off the dog, don’t do it an inch at a time.”

I’ve never forgotten that advice. I’ve hearkened back to it many times over the years. I never expected I’d hear his words again in my mind as a missionary, but they are sounding in my mind almost every single day as we move through this last 6 week transfer period here in the Washington Yakima Mission. It is a heart-wrenching emotional time as we say good bye to loved ones almost every single day.

We have almost completed our one-on-one interviews with each of our 160 or so missionaries. John spends about 45 minutes with each one and I get to visit with their companions. Each time we sit together, we know it’s the last time we’ll do that here. That makes for sweet and emotional visiting.

Every time we drive out of an area for the last time, we are also saying good bye in our hearts. Goodbye to the potato fields of Othello and the mint fields in Royal. Goodbye to the corn and peas and dairies and wheat. Goodbye to the hay being harvested in windy Ellensburg fields. Farewell to the dramatic river gorge in The Dalles and Hood River. Goodbye to quaint Ephrata. Goodbye to beautiful Wenatchee, with the river running through it. Goodbye to each mountain pass, with pines and melting snow. Farewell to the spectacular river valleys on the road to Omak and back, lined with vineyards and orchards. Goodbye to the Bald Eagles and hawks and cranes and water fowl. Goodbye to the wide open spaces and spectacular sunsets. Good bye to the mesmerizing wind turbine sentinels on strategic mountain passes. Good bye to semi trucks filled with bins full of apples, traveling the highways with us every week of the year. Goodbye to the incredible old barns of central Washington that look as if they had stories to tell.  And good bye to the beautiful orchards all around us, expectant now as the fruit grows and ripens.

I have tried to capture some of these things in pictures and words as we’ve traveled and lived here, but nothing really captures the love I feel for this place. It runs deep in my soul, as does the love I have for the hundreds of members and missionaries who have served here with us.

Perhaps it’s best to cut this tail off an inch at a time–my heart would not be able to endure it happening in a single whack.

Here’s how the emotional goodbyes have been happening, day by day these last 6 weeks:

9 May Our Last Transfer Begins
8 May Farewell to the Calls (served with us 3 years)
8 May Farewell Dinner for the Calls with the Pendleburys, Royals and APs
11 May Last Super MLC
15 May Last Doctrine of Christ training, Mission Home
17 May Last interviews in Toppenish (4), Zillah (2), Sunnyside (2)
18 May Last interviews with the Yakima Zone (22)
19-20 May Last Stake Conference in The Dalles
21 May Farewell to Elder & Sister Farrer in Royal
22 May Last interviews in Wenatchee (14)
23 May Last interviews in Chelan (2)
23 May Last interviews in Brewster (4)
23 May Last interviews in Omak (8)
23 May Last drive through our northern parts
24 May Last interviews with more in Wenatchee Spanish (8)
24 May Last interviews in Ellensburg (10)
25 May Last interviews with the Yakima Valley Spanish Zone (16)
25 May Farewell dinner Thompsons, Calls, Van De Venters at Cowiche Canyon Kitchen
29 May Last interviews with the Selah Zone (16)
30 May Last interviews in Othello (8)
30 May Last interviews in Royal City, Mattawa (6)
30 May Farewell dinner with the Allred Families in Royal
31 May Last interviews in Moses Lake (16)
1 June Farewell to Tyson Allred and our Royal home away from home
1 June Last interviews in Moses Lake (4)
1 June Last interviews in Ephrata (10)
1 June Last interviews in Quincy (2)
1 June Farewell dinner with all the Stake Presidents, wives and Elder & Sis Stapleton
5 June Last Mission Leadership Council (28)
6 June Last newsletter created
7 June Last north Zone Conference (98)
8 June Last south Zone Conference (95)
9 June Farewell dinner with the Mission Presidency and wives in Selah
10 June Farewell to the Englewood Rama
11 June Office Staff party with all the couples who’ve served here
12 June Last interviews The Dalles (12)
13 June Our exit interview with Elder Whiting, Salt Lake

And we are not finished saying good bye. Here are our coming farewells:

13-15 June Last transfer planning with APs
13 June Dinner with the McBeans (Days for Girls leader)
15 June Yakima 2nd Ward 60th Birthday Party, farewell to our ward
16 June Last transfer calls
16 June Last Days for Girls event in Yakima
16-17 June Last Stake Conference in Moses Lake
18 June Last departing group arrives, final dinner
19 June Last departing group breakfast and airport
19 June Last arriving group comes, orientation
20 June Last transfer
20 June Last night in the Mission Home
21 June Move out of the Mission Home
22 June Lunch with the Office Staff and APs
25 June Last staff meeting
25 June Dinner with Darrell and Sheila Smart, neighbors
28 June Last trip to the airport. Jackmans arrive
29 June Last drive out of Yakima

My heart is full, but it sometimes feels like it’s being emptied. The miracle is, the love never ever seems to run out. When love goes out of me, it is always replaced with more. Always.


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40 Years Commemorating the Revelation on the Priesthood given 8 June 1978

Mali 2012. 001 (823)On 8 June 1978, I was attending BYU when the news of the revelation on the Priesthood reached the airwaves.  The excitement on campus was explosive!  I stood in line at a pay phone in the Harold B. Lee Library, to call home to share the news.  My dad answered the phone in Reedley, out in the packing shed, with all the noise of the packing machines and packers.  I had to yell so he could hear me.  I was So Very Excited and thrilled.

Just 3 years later, I opened a big white envelope with a mission call.  I was assigned to labor in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission.  During that time, I more fully appreciated the gift that revelation was as I taught my brothers and sisters there.

South Africa Mission  (2)South Africa Mission  (3)

After returning from South Africa, I lived in Nigeria, West Africa, for almost 3 more years, teaching and training village health workers in remote villages.  My companion, Mary Ellen Edmunds and I were there in the early days of the Church in Africa.  We witnessed entire congregations enter the waters of baptism as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints grew and began to flourish.  It was amazing to be a small part of that movement.


This week, Mary Ellen posted this about our Nigerian experience:

Good morning on a beautiful Sabbath in June. I want to share my feelings this morning about the commemoration of the June 1978 revelation which extended the blessings of the priesthood and the temple to ALL of God’s children. There aren’t enough words to adequately express my feelings – I wept through the whole celebration… zillions of tears of joy, tenderness, and love. And yes, I remember right where I was (at the MTC) and how I felt. Much of my emotion during the program came because of my time in Nigeria, West Africa, 6 years after the 1978 announcement. I cannot adequately share what I feel about being there. I met Anthony Obinna and his brothers. I saw the chapel they had built with the name of the Church on a little sign in front. My companion Ann and I sat behind Brother Obinna when the first chapel was dedicated in Nigeria – in Aba (where the Temple is now), not too far from our village of Eket. We worshipped with our neighbors in our small branch. And now there are thousands and thousands of members with many stakes and wards. I’m deeply thankful for the influence my dear, dear friends and neighbors continue to have on my heart even though many years and miles have come between us. Oh how I look forward to sweet reunions in a time to come!!!!!  Have a beautiful, beautiful day! Love, MEE

Here we are in and after that meeting:2Nig32517097945_10210905722353402_2298671528927089642_o

Here is a baptism we helped with, in a village far in the bush of Africa, where villagers had found a pamphlet and a Book of Mormon and then waited a long long time for the Church to send missionaries to them.  They called themselves “The Church of Jesus Christ of Monongahela Pennsylvania” because that was the location of the ward stamped on the back of the pamphlet.  On this day dozens and dozens were baptized.  We didn’t have enough white clothing, so the new members went into the bush to change and hand the wet clothing on to the next.  Young boys were baptized wearing only men’s white shirts.  It was a sacred, reverent day, not unlike a day long ago at the Waters of Mormon, as described in Mosiah 18 in the Book of Mormon:

2Nig3212Nig310This is the ward where I lived and served as a Relief Society President much of the time between 1984-1987:


More recently, my husband and I have traveled many times to Mali, West Africa, where we continue to help our friends there, improving the quality of their lives.  A large part of my heart still lingers in all of these places.  These are my friends.  Things in my life were destined to change because of what happened on that June day in 1978.

b. Mali Water (001)e. Mali Medical (6)b. Mali Water (002)g. Mali Faces (35)Mali.2012.Dec.Ann (859)Mali.2012.Dec.Ann (737)Mali.2014.Feb (1657)

A year ago, Elder Bednar organized the first LDS Branch among our friends in Ouelessebougou, Mali.  I will be back there soon.  I am grateful for continuing revelation and goodness that flows to us from heaven.   Today I remember my friends and the blessings we all freely enjoy!

2017-5-23 Elder Bednar in Mali (2)

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