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?



Monday, 28 August 2017

Mattie!

Hello!

Happy Monday! This week has been kinda weird, we just had a lot of stuff planned that made it so we didn't spend any of our days proselyting all day long... we had zone conference and a trip to the LA temple visitor's center and some sickness, but it was still a wonderful week!

Last Monday we had a lesson with Alex, he is doing really well but he is so smart and needs his questions answered a little more in depth than what a couple 20 year olds can provide... so we found him the perfect fellowship! The Altiers! They are so wonderful and they really helped us a lot. We also went to the Dutch store last P-day and I got some treats... even got some Canadian candies to share with the zone at sports!

Tuesday we had a lesson with a newer investigator named Mary, she just lost her son a couple weeks ago and is mourning. She is Catholic and we shared some of the plan of salvation with her, it was a very special experience. Later, we saw Dice, Tom and Valda and had a lesson with our beloved Edward over the phone. 

Wednesday is when Sister Nicol woke up feeling pretty sick... it wasn't nice... so we took it easy that morning, I got to do some organizing in our area book while she rested, so it was great! Later we had a lesson with Mattie! We watched "On the Lord's errand" with her because she said she knew Joseph Smith was a prophet from reading the Book of Mormon, but she wasn't so sure about Thomas S. Monson... after the video she said that she felt really calm and joyful, we explained that that is the spirit and she said she knew that Thomas S. Monson was a prophet!!!! It was a great lesson. We have made huge strides with her this week, helping her understand how the spirit works with her.

Later we had a lesson with Rosemary, Edward, Peter, Al and a less active member named Sister Ceja, it was a great lesson and we were able to arrange for a blessing for her that evening as she had been feeling unwell.

Thursday was zone conference, yay! We really focused on the Book of Mormon, where it came from, why we have it, how to study it effectively, how to help investigators read it, etc. It was AWESOME! I have such an iron-clad testimony that the Book of Mormon could not have been written by any mortal man with a 3rd grade education in 85 days, not to mention all the other logical testimonies disprove the ridiculous argument that Joseph wrote the Book himself. More than any of that, though, I know it is true because the Holy Spirit has manifested that truth to my heart time, and time again. I know it. I will never be able to deny that. I am so grateful for this extraordinary "gathering tool" the Lord has given us in these last days. I know it changes lives. So get out there and share it!

After Zone conference we had a lesson with Alyssa.... she has moved her date again because of Justin’s and her friend's work schedules but she says this is the final answer!!!! She will be baptized on September 8th at 5:30pm! Friday was fast paced but kinda slow in the work area. Because of Zone conference and some appointments in the morning, we had to do weekly planning in the middle of the day haha it was weird, but the day flew by because of it. Afterwards we saw Julie and taught her the plan of Salvation, it was a really good lesson! 

Saturday was supposed to be Calvin's baptismal interview... but he didn't show up and when we saw him yesterday we found out he had been smoking so no baptism :( .We will continue to work with him, I think it will really help now that we have found the right fellowship for him. But after that we got to go to the Visitor's center with Mattie! Yay! A member named Mandy Bon took us,  she is super cool and knew Mattie in High school, she also served on temple square so that was cool.

Okay so one of the Sisters who took us on our tour had the exact same back story as Mattie. Seriously, it was weird. They are both named Mattie, they both dated members named Ethan... well the Sister missionary Mattie obviously got baptized but it was really cool, they connected super well. We invited Mattie to get baptized.... and she said that she knows it's right she just needs to think about it because she is concerned about her family.... BUT we made a ton of progress, it was a great week.

Sunday was great, Mattie came to church and we went to a baptism with her and Ethan right after! They were late though... they missed the actually baptism by literally 30 seconds... but afterwards we stayed and took a look at the font and talked about it.

Later we had a lesson with Bill and Mark, a couple of new investigators, Bill seems super eager to learn so I'm excited about that! We finished off the day watching "Finding faith in Christ" with Betty Swank, a lady in our ward, and her son joined, he is not a member. They both accepted the invitation to read 3 Nephi 11, so we are excited to follow-up next week.

Well remember, the church is true, the book is blue, and Jesus was a Mormon!

Love you lots!

Sister Holt








Monday, 21 August 2017

No Name

Hey! Sorry I couldn't think of a clever email title...

This week was fairly standard, not a lot really stuck out I guess...it was a good week! Just not an extraordinary week, haha. 

Some highlights include, but are not limited to: Alyssa's baptismal interview, a great lesson with Mattie, doing family history work with Calvin, meeting with Alex, Jeremy getting out of the hospital, singing in sacrament meeting, and Edward coming to church. 

Other than that, I have to be honest, pretty standard week... We were expecting (meaning they confirmed with 72 hours) about 10 investigators to come to church... but it's fine... no really I have learned not to let disappointments discourage me! Because discouragement weakens faith, and you best believe I need all the faith I can get!

We also found 10 new investigators, which was nice :) I would say on average about half the investigators we pick up end up being serious about it, so we will hopefully see some people progressing pretty soon! Not to mention both Alyssa and Calvin have moved their baptismal dates to September 2nd, so that will be cool!

Alyssa came to church, without her brother Justin actually, he went to YSA which was the first time she has done that and she went to Young women's! Yay! Edward and Tom and Valda came just after the sacrament was administered.... so that was sad but at least they came and Edward stayed ‘til the very end! It is really great when he goes to Elders’ quorum because there is only two that regularly attend and then two that kinda come on and off.... so he is a great addition! Now if only he would get baptized so he could receive a calling... hmmm maybe we could suggest that he get a calling without getting baptized, kind of like an unofficial one.

We actually found a good deal of our investigators this week either through former investigators or they were family members of investigators we picked up in the last little bit. It has kinda taught me that you never know exactly why God tells you to do something, a prompting I mean. There is always a reason, He has a bigger, better plan than we do! Maybe we needed to go see that person or knock on that door for their neighbor or their daughter. It reminds me of Elder Rasband's most recent talk in conference about when he felt the need to stick his foot in that one lady's door, it wasn't for the lady but for her daughter! "First promptings are pure inspiration from heaven." Boy, I know that's true. Remember to always "doubt your doubts before you doubt you faith!" Don't stop to question whether or not it is a prompting, if you have the Spirit and you feel compelled to do something good, just do it! Something as small as a smile or a compliment can make someone’s day :) I have been working on developing faith lately, trusting the Lord's plan so I have been pondering the scripture in Proverbs 3:4-5 I think lately.... "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." That's what I am working on for myself and it is what I have been called to do every day! To help people "come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ..."

I love you all dearly and I pray for you always!

The church is true!


Sister Holt

With the Vaughn family


Practicing for the eclipse








Out for their morning run










Monday, 14 August 2017

Calvin!!!

Hello All!!!


This week has been crazy busy!!! At the beginning of the week we had set a goal to find 7 new investigators... it got to Saturday and we had only been able to find 3... we recommitted ourselves to our goal and MIRACLES happened! We found 5 investigators that day and 4 on Sunday! It was awesome. Sister Nicol is so fearless in acting on promptings to talk to people! Even if we are driving down the street and she sees someone walking she says, "STOP!" and we pull over, get out and contact them. I seriously want to develop that kind of faith!

Last Monday we had a first lesson with an awesome new investigator named Alex, he is very open and impressed with the young people of the Church. He is an Elder in his 7th Day Adventist church But has a desire to learn more about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a wonderful investigator! He always takes extensive notes of what he reads and always follows through on commitments, it is so refreshing haha. Saturday we met with Calvin and... he is living the word of wisdom!!!! We set a baptismal date with him for the 26th of August and we are so excited for him!

One of our investigators, Jose, has a 9 year old son, also named Jose, and he joined us for our lesson this last week as we talked more about Joseph Smith and the restoration. Jose is very interesting, he has a desire to know and he applies all that we ask him to do; he reads and prays and he says that after he reads his assignment and prays about the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith, he feels worse, more doubt... We don't really know what to do except that maybe coming to church might make the difference... But he is still willing to meet with us and try again!

We have also been working on specific goals for how many people we contact a day and how many referrals we ask for and it is going really well!!! We have met our goals (5 each) a few times this week and it has really made a difference! I love it when I get to act on a prompting I receive from the Spirit! Now, if only I could remember that before I make the contact instead of after all the nervousness haha 

Saturday was our CRAZIEST day. That's when we found 5 investigators and we taught 5 lessons. My favorite lesson was probably with Steve, our recently discovered 90 year old less-active friend. He is so very sweet, I am so blessed to be able to feel of God's love for him every time we go over. Since he is quite old, our lessons are very simple and quiet, I just love it!

Sunday we had.................. 4 investigators come to church!!!!!!!!! That was probably the week's biggest miracle! Edward, Alex, Alyssa, and Calvin all came :) It took a few early morning wake-up calls and a last minute visit or two but it was so wonderful to see them there! It was the first time for Alex and he said that he was just blown away by the reverence! He will be coming back next week :) Also next week I will be singing in Sacrament meeting so wish me luck! Sunday we found 4 more investigators including a cute young family; Andrew and Linda and their son Nathan. They are very sweet and we excited to each them!

Also I hit my one year mark on Thursday! I don’t know what is weirder, the fact that I have been out a year or that I have less than 6 months left haha #13transfers.

I love you all dearly!!!

Sister Holt

One year down!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Alyssa!!!!!!

Hello all!

This has been a super fantastic amazing week! :) I am so happy!

We have been very busy! Monday we had lessons with Rosa and a less-active member named Alexis; they both went pretty well. Alexis has been struggling to make it to church, we shared a message about the sacrament form 3 Nephi 18, then we went on a walk with her after to kinda talk about a few of her concerns and......... she came to church this week! It was so good to see her there :)

Tuesday we met with Edward, Salai, Johnny, and Glenn; we also found 2 new investigators Ryan and Matthew. Matthew is a less-active member's son and Ryan was a kinda street contact... I say kinda because he was actually in his garage watching some TV and we just stopped to compliment him on his Raider paraphernalia and we got to talking. We found out that he had found Christ just a couple years ago and he was open to hearing our message, we shared a short restoration and he said we could come back and share more, he just needed to talk to his wife about it first.

Wednesday was pretty great because we got to go to a lesson with Steve. Sister Patrick came with us; Steve is about 90 years old, he is very sweet. We were teaching him the Restoration and reading some of the Book of Mormon with him and we invited him to be baptized... he said he already had been baptized into our church years ago by one of his police buddies from "the Great Salt Lake City." We got his birthday so we could track down his records and he said he would like to go back to church, but he wasn't ready yet, so we will continue to go by with Sister Patrick :)

Thursday we had another miracle! We were walking down the street with some members, going to a lesson and we saw one of our pass-along cards on the ground... so we decided to pick it up and give it to someone! That's when Cherie came walking down the street with her dog, so we contacted her and shared a short message and she agreed to have us come back and teach her more! Later we had a lesson with Dice, we read Alma chapter 24 with him, about the Anti-Nephi-Lehis sacrificing (their lives) to keep their covenants. He said it make him think a lot and he wanted to read it again and ponder on it some more. He is a very deep thinker and he loves the scriptures!

That evening we also got to talk with a member referral named Pat, she is so sweet! She invited us in when we knocked and we talked about her religious background, her family, etc. We were able to bear testimony that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can and does unite and strengthen families, it was really great!

Friday - Calvin, first thing in the morning. We read 1 Nephi 3 with him and he really liked it! Justin Ibarra, one of our ward missionaries, got him a large print Book of Mormon so he can read easier! After we read together and talked about how God can help us to do hard things, he agreed to get rid of all the Alcohol he had! Yay! Funny story though... he gave us about 7 beer cans and a bottle of Jack Daniels... and we couldn't pour it out in his apartment because we couldn't go inside... so we had to take it all, put it in my bag, walk down the street to a member’s house and dispose of it there hahaha. The member was a YSA girl named Neri; she comes teaching with us sometimes. She was seriously cracking up at the sight of me pouring some Coors Light down the sink... All in a day’s work for a missionary!

She ended up coming with us to our next lesson with Demel, we again read some of the Book of Mormon and we committed him to be baptized! This time we went through with him what he needed to do to ensure he would be ready, it was really helpful! We set some goals, made some plans, it was great! Neri also came with us to a lesson with Rosemary, a sweet old lady; that was also a really great lesson!

Later we met with Vaiola, a less-active member, and again, you guessed it, another AWESOME lesson! We also found one new investigator in the evening, Alex, a Seventh Day Adventist. He was nice.

Saturday we had a lesson with William; he told us a lot about what's going on with him, he is really needing to make a change in his life right now... we brought a member who came home from her mission about a year ago and she did a great job! The Spirit was really strong, he had some concerns so we invited him to read the Book of Mormon and ask if it is true and to write down any questions he may have so we can address them next time.

Later we met with Trent, he had a lot of questions pertaining to how we came to know that these things were true for ourselves. It was great to be able to bear testimony of things I don't often get to share and to remember - oh yeah, that's still there - hahaha! After dinner we only had a short time to meet with Mollie and introduce her to her fellowshiper, Sister Patric. They hit it off really well and even kept visiting after we had to leave! The reason we had to leave was because we were going to be conducting a church tour! We had been planning this for weeks, invited all our investigators, confirmed with 5 just the day before, it was such a good opportunity to introduce them to the church in a comfortable way! We had a member come with us, Sister Altier, and... No one came. Of course, haha. We were a little discouraged at first but I felt pretty quickly that we had done all we could.

The next morning when no one but Alyssa came to church, I was sad, but not discouraged. I have never worked harder or anywhere near as hard to get people to church as I am right now, and I know that is all that is expected of me! You can only invite so much, everyone has the right to choose to accept that invitation or not.

At church we had a really great sacrament meeting! It was awesome! Spirit was so strong!! After church we had a lesson with Alyssa and she told us that..... HER MOM SAID SHE COULD GET BAPTIZED!!!!!!!! We couldn't believe her! We kept saying, are you serious?!?!? We set a date for August 26th and it was one of the best moments of my mission :)

God is so, so good! I have seriously been praying almost every day for about a month and a half that her parents' hearts would be softened and as the Lord liveth they have been!!! In the words of Ammon, "Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." (Alma 26:16) That's basically how I feel all the time haha.


Well that's all folks! I love you lots! The Church IS true!!!!


Sister Holt


only time for a curbside dinner




It was a hot one!