Monday, 16 October 2017

Mattie!

Hello all! It has definitely been an exciting week over here in Lakewood California! 

Of course, Las Tuesday we went to the L.A. temple and it was amazing!!! I am such a lucky sister to be so close to 2 gorgeous temples. 

The rest of this week we did the usual, find, teach, baptize. Haha the highlight of the week was definitely mattie's baptism!! She is so, so special and i can't wait to see all of the wonderful that she will accomplish in her life with the help of the gospel. I have been BLESSED to have been a part of her teaching from beginning (pretty much) to the not quite end... Well til her baptism anyways because the end doesn't exist! The gospel is an eternal pursuit! 

Man, I just love being a missionary so much. I don't think I ever want to leave, I finally found something I'm kinda okay at haha. I have never experienced anything so rewarding or worthwhile as serving the Lord as one of his representatives. I have had the extraordinary privilege of being able to live and breathe the spirit of God and I never want toy let that go! 

Folks, if I can give you one piece of advice it would be that NOTHING in this entire world or the next will ever be worth compromising tour standards and looking the influence of the spirit in your life. I can testify of that from the very depth of my soul. Galatians 5:25 says 25 "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." Never be weary of well doing! 

Oh yeah funny story from at the baptism... after everyone had left we had to drain the font but someone.... don't know who but someone accidentally broke the chain to the plug so someone, me I am the someone haha, had to go into the don't and unplug it... it was a real awkward situation haha but at least it was at the end of the night! 

Also I got stung by a wasp for the first time, on my hand... so that was great haha

Sunday morning I sang it church again! Weird how the same investigators that came last time, came this time... but they haven't come any other times.... 

Sunday evening we also got to do Family home evening with a part member family in our ward and it was a really special experience. They are very special and i am so blessed to be here. 

Brothers and sisters, God is so good. Never forget that! 

Love, Sister Holt 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Temple Tuesday!

Hello all!! Sorrynotsorry that I am emailing today because we went to the L.A. temple!!! Yay! It is so huge and beautiful! I am so glad I had the opportunity to feel the sweet spirit that comes as we enter the house of the Lord. 

This week has been crazy! Monday we started off by having an evening of finding! We decided to go stop by a bunch of former investigators and long story short we found 3 new investigators! They seem very promising, I'm not really sure why they stopped meeting with missionaries but I am excited to teach them! But boy did I pay for that night later! We walked for all 3 hours of the evening and apparently I'm getting old because my back and my right hip were killing me the next couple days haha I guess I should probably stop carrying around all my scriptures in my back pack......... which brings me to the next exciting thing that happened this week, we got our phones!! Yay! They are seriously such a blessing in the work! We are able to reach so many more people way easier and often. Our purpose has been and always will be to "teach repentance and baptize converts" and I know this is going to help us out with that. We are also testing out a new area book app so no more area books! Or planners! But it also means that we have to manually enter 2 binders worth of records haha. 

We taught some pretty great lessons this week, I was happy we were able to stay busy and productive. Something I have found with this new way of proselyting is that it leaves more room for spiritual guidance. I feel like I have more room to discern where we need to be instead of feeling like we need to be at a specific place because we planned for it that morning, I like it a lot :)

Also 4 people came to church!! Yay! We held a church tour Saturday night and apparently people here really don't like those because no one showed up again haha but it's okay because Bill, Mark, Lori, and Mattie came to church! And Mattie is officially getting baptized this Saturday at 7! We are also going to be going to the temple with Alyssa to do baptisms next Saturday so it will be a very good day. 

Yesterday was exchanges in Whittier and there was a big fire in Anaheim so the sky was all smoky, it was crazy! 

I love exchanges! I learn so much! I want to work on setting more meaningful  goals more often. We set some at the beginning of the day, in the middle and in the evening and it was really great for keeping us focused and working hard til the very end of the day. 

And today was the temple! We left at 6 and we got stuck in the L.A. traffic and didn't get there til 8:30... which was half an hour too late for our 8am session... so we waited for the 9:15 session which was ok by me because i got to do some innitiatories while we waited! 

I love the temple, you learn something new every time! This time it stuck out to me just how exactly obedient Christ is to the Father. What a wonderful example! I hope I can more fully emulate that quality. "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, godliness is made manifest.." or maybe it's righteousness... not sure but I love that quote and it is so true! 

Well I love you a lot! Don't forget, the church is so true! 

Sister Holt


Friday, 6 October 2017

General Conference!

Hello!! What am amazing conference weekend! I am so very grateful for the opportunity we all had to really be spiritually fed by those who have been called to lead, guide, and counsel all of God's children across the globe!

This has been a pretty great week, like most of the others. I can not believe it is already October, I swear September JUST started. Time is flying a little too fast for comfort nowadays!

This week we really focused on concentrating our efforts where they are needed most. We have had a lot of people to teach recently but they haven't all been ready or willing to progress. Finding people to teach is not usually a problem for us (knock on wood) but finding people who are REALLY interested in seeking truth and ACTING on the truth they find is usually a little bit harder... So we have recently been trying to focus more on those who are prepared so they can more successfully and completely be converted to the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We have also been spending some time this week inviting! Our purpose is to INVITE others to come unto Christ, and we have definitely been fulfilling that as of late! We are going to be having a church tour in our ward this coming Saturday evening! We made flyers and announced it in church and we are hoping that the members will able to invite their neighbors and friends! We are also hoping our investigators who are having a hard time coming to church will be able to come experience how we worship in a non-threatening, comfortable way.

We were able to teach Valda the Plan of Salvation this week, and that was very special! She is 94 years old, from Latvia and she has a very positive and unique outlook on life! She is so vibrant and hopeful! She helps us understand every time we go how perfect God's plan is and how blessed we are to have been given bodies that can do so much!

Wednesday we set up our smartphones for the roll out this week! This sister is going to be on Facebook soon! Our mission was chosen to test a new area book app that will help us more effectively "teach repentance, and baptize converts." We will also be on social media, again for the purpose of fulfilling our missionary purpose.

After our meeting where we set up the phones, we had a lesson with Mattie. It was our last lesson and she decided she is ready to be baptized!!!! YAY!!!! She is going to confirm a specific day and time with her parents for the next couple weeks and her interview is this week! It has been such an immense blessing to be able to see the faith of this young woman grow! Such a miracle!

We also got to teach/supervise a mission prep class with the young men, it was really great! The activity was for the young men to teach 2 non-members. They were split into 2 groups. Mattie was one of the non-members since she is dating one of the young men, and the other was a sweet young man named Clifford. He has been coming to scouts for a while now and agreed to be an "investigator" for the practice lesson. Long story short, Clifford was really moved as he heard these young men share this message with him and he accepted a Book of Mormon and said that missionaries could come and see him! Yay! Another miracle!

On Thursday we got to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Bill, Mark, and Lori, it went really well! They are progressing wonderfully! We also watched a couple Mormon Messages with them!

And then it was..... General Conference!!!!!!! We watched the Saturday morning session with Mattie at her boyfriend's family's house, it was a lot of fun and the spirit was really strong! She seemed to really enjoy it! Then we watched the afternoon session at our ward mission leader's house, Brother Patrick. We were supposed to have Edward there but he didn't show :( Later that day we met a really cool African lady! Her name is Kadiyachu -that's how it sounds- she doesn't read or write or really speak English so it was kinda hard communicating with her but she has a very sweet spirit and we will be seeing her again soon!

Sunday morning we watched with Bill, Mark, and Lori at their house, they had BYUTV! It was really great and they loved it! They watched the afternoon session without us because we were with Vaiola at the Toliseli home!

After conference we contacted a referral we had received, someone who had requested a Bible. We delivered the Bible and brought her a Book of Mormon, she accepted it and we taught her the restoration, yay! Another miracle!

I have to say, it was pretty great week! I can't wait for more!

The Church is true!


Sister Holt

Saturday, 30 September 2017

MinMin!

Hello! It was a pretty chilly week here in Southern California, but the sun is back out today!


Last Monday we went for a lesson with a newer investigator named Dilberto and his daughter and son-in-law, Carlos and Soledad, joined us. It was a really wonderful lesson, talking about the Book of Mormon. We invited them to read it and ask God if it was true, they accepted and we set a return appointment for the upcoming Sunday after church.

Tuesday was kind a weird day haha but we still got stuff done! We met with Dice, had a phone lesson with Edward, and went to see Tom and Valda.

Wednesday we got to teach some Preach my Gospel to the young men at Mutual. We helped them teach some of the points from the restoration, this week they will hopefully be bringing some non-members to practice teaching haha we will probably be bringing Dice to that.

Thursday morning, we met with Soni, a Tongan investigator. He and Sister Polaulu mainly spoke together in Tongan but I answered one of his questions about the Spirit World. It was weird that I could basically figure out what they were talking about most of the time. I could especially feel when the spirit came into the room when Sister Polaulu would teach and testify. That just helps me know that the power of the Spirit is real! It doesn't matter so much what words are spoken, when someone testifies with power the Spirit bears testimony of it!

Friday we found an investigator named Lily while we were going to meet someone else that didn't really show up so that was awesome! Later we went to see Rosemary with Sister Patrick and she was quite ill. She couldn't meet with us but she asked if we would say a prayer for her. I got to say that prayer and it was a very special experience.

Later we went to visit with a less-active family and I felt like we really established some connection and friendships that will hopefully continue to develop as we strive to help them return to the fold of God!

Saturday we did some service for Bill, Mark and Lori (Minmin). Afterwards they expressed great gratitude! They have some health challenges and the work would have been very hard on their own, maybe impossible. We had lunch with them and taught Lori a bit more about the Plan of Salvation, baptism and the priesthood authority. Long story short she asked if the person who baptized her had the priesthood and I said not and she started crying and she was sad that her church had "lied to her".... so I explained that they didn't know any better but now that she did she could get baptized by God's authority. We invited her to pray and come to the General Women's broadcast that evening.

So that evening she came to the Broadcast and she was telling us that she had prayed about what we had taught after we left and she felt a really strong feeling in her chest, she said it felt amazing and she had never felt it before. We taught her more about the Spirit and how it works with us. It was a really special experience.

The the broadcast started.... about halfway through the first speaker Lori got up because she had a terrible migraine, as she was doing this she passed out! Yeah it was rough. We called the ambulance and they took her to the hospital, she was home by the end of the evening and she slept the whole next day to recover, which meant she didn't come to church, but at least she was okay!

This just showed to me that Satan will really do anything to try and stop this work from moving on. It's a good thing that I know that he simply can not do that! He does not have the power. So we keep working, keep fighting, put our shoulders to wheel and move along!

On Sunday, Sister Polaulu and I spoke! She spoke about missionary work and I chose to speak on the Atonement, more specifically our redemption from spiritual death. I think it went pretty well! Edward came late, as always, but at least he came.

Now to complete the cliff hanger from the beginning of my email! After church we went to see Carlos, Dilberto and Soledad with our ward mission leader, Brother Patrick. It was such a good lesson! The spirit was so strong and they seem really eager to read the Book of Mormon and find out truth! I'm really excited to keep working with them.

We also met with a part-member family Sunday evening, we have been taking their daughter Vaiola out with us a lot lately and she is starting to think about serving a mission, yay! 

All in all a pretty great week!

Love you!


Sister Holt

sorry - no pictures this week.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Polaulu!

Hello from cloudy California!


We had transfers on Tuesday; Sister Greener and Sister Polaulu came to Lakewood and we did the switch! Sister Nicol left to Whittier. Our first appointment was with a Tongan investigator, I didn't do it on purpose, I swear! As soon as he saw Sister Polaulu he said, " AH! You brought a Tongan, now we can really talk!" haha it was super funny. I have learned that I am what they call a, "palangi" which basically mean white person. But after talking with Soni, we went to see Dice, who is Samoan... and this was the pattern for the rest of the day! We later met with a Tongan family in our ward who knows Sister Polaulu's family from the Island, but they left before she was born. I unintentionally brought her to all the Polynesians I knew in the area! I guess God works in mysterious ways! But it was great because Sister Polaulu said it really made her feel at home!

Wednesday we had a great lesson with Mattie! Her faith is increasing so much, it is amazing to see! I love working with young people! Don't get me wrong, I love all of our investigators, there is just something so special about youth and young adults who are learning and growing in their faith in Christ! Later, we were eating dinner with the Toliseli's (the Tongan family; I think we will be eating with them a lot now haha) and we got a call from a Washington number. I answered it and someone asked when our church meetings were, so I told him. Then I asked who it was and he told me his name was Andrew Johnson and he had heard about the church from his friend at school and wanted to know more, but he was moving to Bellflower in a week. We set up a time to teach him more over the phone and it went amazingly!!! He loved the restoration, accepted a baptismal date and the next day we taught him the plan of salvation! He is reading the Book of Mormon and he says he believes it is true! We even introduced him to a member over the phone, it was great! We are going to see if we can set up a skype lesson before he gets here this weekend.

Friday morning we were getting ready for a full morning of work and... Sister Holt locked the keys in the trunk... which is almost impossible in the new Malibus, but somehow I managed. So it was a slower morning haha we had to wait for the Vehicle Coordinator, Elder Carpenter, to come by and open everything up for us! Then, it was off to work! Later we had our first 'after baptism lesson' with Alyssa! It was really great and Vaiola Toliseli was with us and Alyssa will be coming teaching with us this week! We are so excited and we hope she is too haha.

Saturday we had lessons with Edward, Dilberto, Jeremy, and Tom and Valda! It was a pretty full day. It was really great to see Jeremy again, he just got out of the hospital but he seems to be doing well. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I think it was just what he needed... although he didn't end up coming to church on Sunday... we also had a great experience at a stake activity. Our ward mission leader had invited a friend and wanted us to come and talk to him, even though he wasn't in our area. We tried to bring Dice but he got held up, but we decided to go anyways. Well Mattie ended up going with her boyfriend Ethan and the grandson of some members in our ward was there. I had seen him at church with the members a lot, but I just assumed he was a member... well he isn't! He introduced himself to us, his name is Brady, and he told us he was thinking about joining our church! He is 13 and very sweet! We can't wait to teach him!

Sunday, Mattie and Brady were at church and that was really great to see! After church we went to have a lesson with Bill, Mark and MinMin and they had made dinner! It had been Bill's birthday the day before and it hadn't gone as expected, so they were making up for it! We were able to teach the plan of salvation to MinMin as they were finishing up the food and it was really great! And then we had our real dinner appointment to go to with a less-active member haha so much for 6 months to slim. Later we went to Betty Swank's house, a member that got baptized about 2 years ago. We hadn't seen her at church for about a month and we went over and the night before she had torn a muscle in the back and had been to the emergency room that morning! We called a member of the bishopric over and he was able to give her a blessing. I really love it when I get to be present for blessings, or especially when I receive them myself! We are so blessed to have the priesthood once again established on the earth!


The Church is True!        

Love, Sister Holt



Monday, 11 September 2017

Transfers!

Hello!
Tomorrow is transfer day and I am................................... STAYING! Sister Nicol is being transferred to Whittier with Sister Greener (I know, she is so lucky) and I am actually getting sister Greener's trainee, Sister Polaulu! She is from Tonga and I hear she is super nice, so I'm excited!

Also, Sister Heckel, in my district is being transferred to Cypress with Sister Sherksnas! So they are both very lucky to be with such awesome missionaries!!!

This week has been great, a little slower because it is the end of the transfer, but we still got a lot done! We found 6 new investigators, making a total of 44 this month!!! Of course we aren't teaching them all anymore... but we are still teaching a good deal of them! We have about 30ish investigators we are working with right now... that being said, none of them came to church... which was sad... but Alyssa got confirmed! Yay! It was so, so wonderful! The confirmations are definitely my favorite parts of it, you can just feel the Holy Ghost in the air! It is such a special experience, I definitely understand why they do the confirmations in sacrament meeting.

We also met with more part-member families this week, and that is going pretty well! Last time on exchanges I learned the importance of that and I can't wait to see the results that come from this new goal!

Another highlight from the week was Mattie's lesson again! She is doing so well, she spoke to her parents about everything and she is excited to move forward with baptism.

We also found 4 investigators who accepted baptismal dates this week! It was a miracle. Two of them were people we just knocked into while we were looking for potentials, so that was cool.

We also had a special opportunity of finding a young boy named Michael who has just experienced a tragedy in the family and had stopped believing in God. Teaching him about who God is and the love He has for him was probably the most I have ever relied on the Spirit, it just seemed like I knew exactly how to relate what he was saying to the gospel. It was a pretty tender experience for me. But, he was just about to move to Reno, so we read some of the Book of Mormon with him and got his info to send missionaries to see him.

Well, I love you dearly!


Sister Holt

Alyssa's baptism






Yikes! Another burn!

broken phone :(



Monday, 4 September 2017

Let the Holy Spirit Guide

Hello! I hope your week has been wonderful!

Last Monday we saw some miracles when we found 3 new investigators in the evening before he headed over to Whittier for exchanges! I went on exchanges with Sister Allen!! Yay! If you don't remember she was my STL in Huntington Beach North, in the Beach ward, and we were reunited!!!! Yay! It was soo good. We had a very special experience sharing the restoration with a part-member family I had eaten dinner with on a previous exchange. They remembered me! It was really great, probably one of the most powerful lessons I have taught on my mission. Sister Allen and I always make a good team on exchanges haha, it was our 3rd exchange together.

Wednesday we had a great lesson with Mattie and we set a baptismal date! yay! September 30th, she is going to talk to her parents about it so, keep her in your prayers! Later we also met with Dice and a couple of less-active members, it was a really hot day!! It got to like 106 I think... crazy!

Thursday we did some planning and saw a less-active recent convert that no one has had contact with in a while, it was a miracle to get to meet him! We are going to start reading the Book of Mormon with him to help re-strengthen his testimony.

Friday we had a couple of really good lessons with Salai, Bill and Mark, and Julie. Julie is really progressing well right now, opening up to searching for answers!

Saturday we found 2 new investigators, one of them is named Emmanuel, he is from Nigeria and he is very cool. He offered a very passionate prayer at the end of our lesson and though it was pretty dramatic, I felt a very special spirit as he repeatedly called out to God for blessings and support, it was a nice experience. We also met with Calvin and Edward.

Sunday was great! Edward had an interview with the Bishop, hopefully that will be helpful to him! He was the only one who came to church but it was great to see him there. After church we had a great restoration lesson with a family we found last week, we are excited to see where they go! We also had a great experience following the spirit in the morning. We had extra time before Church because no ward council, so we went by a former investigator, no answer. We got a little lost in the neighborhood and felt prompted to knock on a door and we found a new investigator! Her name is Alicia and she is sweet. We will see her next week.

Sorry I didn't have a lot of time to email today, I had to make a program for Alyssa's baptism this week!

Love you lots!


Sister Holt

With Calvin

What is this wet stuff?