Monday, 24 October 2016

Nearer My God to Thee

This week has been great, a little slower than last week, with a couple more hiccups, but still so great! :)

I'm so sorry I didn't realize that I didn't tell you where I was! I'm in the Atherton ward, Atherton area I'm pretty sure... and I'm in the Long Beach East zone I believe... so yeah Sister Ruttan's cousin is in my ward :) Every time someone finds out I'm Canadian they always ask me if I know her hahaha

We had zone conference this week and it was so amazing! So inspiring with great training from President, his wife, my zone leader, and the APs. We really learned a lot about working with the members, and it is really important! People are so much more likely to be converted to the Church when they have a connection with somebody who is already a member. It's all about making the connections, finding the support. It’s hard for us sometimes because a lot of the members think that if someone isn’t ready to be baptised asap then they’re not ready to be introduced to the missionaries. I can tell you now that that is not true! If you don't believe me, review Elder Oaks' talk from conference ;) Its super dope.

We had a pretty cool experience one night. We went to go stop by a former investigator and she wasn’t home but her sister was so we thought, sure, let’s see if she’s interested. So we started teaching her right on her doorstep, and she was super into it! She was really feeling the spirit and she wanted to know more so we gave her a Book of Mormon! She works 2 jobs and is in full-time school so she’s super hard to meet with, but I hope it works out because she seems super sweet! She was telling us afterwards that she took our coming to her house as a sign or message from God- that was cool to hear. Nothing we do is by chance! We don't knock on every door on a street, which I like, we only try the doors we feel impressed to knock on, and usually super sweet Christian people live there :)

Another sick experience happened actually last Pday! It was after Pday time, when we go proselyting. We had gone to the boardwalk again for dinner ‘cause I love it :) We met a man named Miguel, he worked in one of the houses on the ocean, and we started talking to him and we asked if he had a religious background and he said yes so we asked if he wanted to hear about what we believed and he said yes! So, we taught him the restoration right there on the boardwalk and the spirit was so strong! In the middle of the lesson he started to cry, he kept saying that he felt so good talking with us, he felt peace, and he was warm, and he felt so happy. We explained that that was the spirit :) it was really a great moment to be able to witness. It later dawned on me that that happened not because of what I said, or because of what sister Kwon said; it was because of what the Spirit was saying to him. This is not my work. I am an instrument in the Lord's hand. There is no such thing as, 'my success' our 'our success,' it’s all the Lord's success, he just lets us be a part of it sometimes :)

I also came to realize this week, that these 'successes' only happen when we trust in the Lord. When we have full faith that we can make it happen through God's power. If Joseph Smith had decided to ask God as he did, but had no intention of following up, he would never have received the glorious answer he did. We must have REAL INTENT. And who am I to doubt God's power to make it happen? Who am I to say that He who created the earth, who gave me life, can't do something as simple as helping us find someone HE has prepared this week? I kinda came up with my own analogy this week as I was pondering this. It's kinda like you approaching a master tailor. Someone who has spent decades making the most beautiful Italian suits, and he offers to repair a button on your shirt, just to sew it back on for you. Your reply to this is; It’s a really hard thing, you probably couldn’t do it, you probably don’t have the skills... I’ll just try and do it on my own. Does that make sense? haha probably not. That tailor wouldn't even have to think about sewing that button, he could probably do it with his eyes closed! He has the skill, he has the power! You are getting in your own way- if only you would trust in the skill of the master tailor! And it’s actually even more silly because really we CAN’T do it alone, so it would be like you saying I’ll do it myself, and you have no arms! He’s gotta do it. You cant. I came face to face with this reality a couple times this week and it has changed me already :) IT says in PMG that it’s HIS work in HIS time by HIS power- and that’s definitely true! 

I sure do love it here. I love every opportunity I have to become better, even though it might be hard sometimes. I know Heavenly Father is building me up into the person I'm supposed to be! :) I also love my companion. I have probably never wanted to do better for someone else (other than Heavenly Father) so much before. I want to be the best companion I can be for her! I'm also coming to realize that I can do so much more for everyone that I love that I left behind at home and I am strengthening my resolve to do better when I get home :) You really just have to love. Make sacrifices for those you love; compromise! Serve them when you feel like you would rather snap at them. Turn outward when the natural man would turn in. For example sister kwon loves it to be cold. She likes a cold car, a cold apartment. I do not. I like it warm and cozy. So we take turns throughout the day turning on and off the a/c haha and in the car she has a/c and I roll down my window on my side. You can always make it work! I promise there is always a way!

Another cool experience was Bonnie's baptism! Bonnie has been working with the Elders for a while now- but she’s in our area, so she was their investigator but our new convert... it’s very confusing haha but she’s cool, it was a really great experience :)

I love you all so much! The church is true!!!

Sister Holt

Monday, 17 October 2016

CALI !!!

This week has been so amazing! I absolutely love it here! My trainer is awesome! The sunshine is awesome! The people are awesome! The sunshine is awesome! I'm so happy :)

My flight went well - no problems this time haha. There are palm trees everywhere here and the most beautiful flowers ever- which I love! It's pretty humid most of the time, and I'm finding that I really love it.

My trainer's name is Sister Kwon and she's from Korea. She's so stinking awesome and sweet and bold! My first day with her in the field, we went to knock on doors, which usually I hate but now I'm learning to love. I told her I wanted to see her door approach. She said okay! She walked up to a door and said, "HI, we're missionaries and we share a unique message about Jesus Christ. The church that he established in his time is back on the earth!" And she continued to teach the entire first lesson and we invited someone to be baptized right on their doorstep, it was awesome. We've done that a few times, and a couple people have even said yes!

My first day, we were going to eat dinner, but I wasn't hungry so I was just going to take a nap. I decided to lay down ‘cause I was exhausted and I kept feeling this anxiousness to go out and work on a specific street called Faust. I honestly tried to ignore it ‘cause I was so tired, but I couldn't! So I told Sister Kwon we needed to go. We did and that's where we found Jim. We taught him on his doorstep and he accepted our invitation to be baptized! We still have a lot of work to do with him, but it was still a crazy cool experience! Also earlier, we had gone to get lunch and our fortune cookies were so dope! Mine said something along the lines of "people are waiting to hear from you," and Sister Kwon's said, "The fruits of your labours will soon be realized." Yeah. Cool. I know.

Sister Kwon and I have been a little sick lately, but that's okay! We're still exited to go out and find the people Heavenly Father has prepared!

We met an investigator the Elders have been teaching, (we are now splitting the ward with Elders) her name is Bonnie and she is so sweet! She's getting baptized this Saturday and is super stoked!! We are too!! A couple days later, we decided to go see a former investigator, Betty. We went in, taught the first lesson clearly and plainly, and asked her to be baptized; she said yes! That she thought she was supposed to be baptized last March, but it didn't work out haha. We're going to be working with her now too :) She's super awesome. She's 57 years old but I thought she was in the 30s... lol

Yesterday we went to church, met the ward, they are really nice and welcoming :) We also went to a peninsula to eat our dinner and it was so beautiful! We stayed off the beach, but we got to walk along the boardwalk :) I loved it. The wind was warm and smelled like plumeria, which is EVERYWHERE and I love it!

I think that's mostly it! It has been a crazy fun week and I can't wait for more :D I love all of you like crazy and I hope all is going well!!    Love, Sister Holt.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!

IT SNOWED!!! Snow. Two days in a row.

Last week for P-day we got to play grounders! It was so much fun! We also got to meet with a bunch of less-active members we couldn't get in with before now! They are really cool. But two of them actually aren't less active, they're just old single guys and they don’t like going to family ward cause apparently it makes them feel like a  "failure" cause they're not married... but they're really cool. One is like 32 and the other is 37....

We also got to eat dinner at the Suttons, Aunt Linda made my favourite food; salsa roast! It was so yummy!!! It really helped lift my spirit :) Also Jesse had sent a package to Calgary via Aunt Joanne, I loved that too! I got lots of Canadian chocolate to bring with me to the States.

Transfers were this past week, we lost our district leader and 2 other elders :( The new ones are cool, but I won’t get to know them 'cause I'm going to Cali!!! We did have a zone get to know you which was pretty fun! And then a zone lunch after. 
Some neighbours in our building invited us over to meet them- they're from India and they're pretty dope! It was really nice :)

On Sunday, Sister Carter and I did a musical number :) I sang “Saviour, Redeemer of My Soul” :) It was nice- I'm kinda out of vocal shape though haha We also got to teach in Young Men's again, which was fun to do, especially for my last Sunday.

This week I was really focusing on developing the Christ-like attribute of charity. That’s something I have found that you really need as a missionary, it's not something I really expected. It kinda encompasses everything, when you love someone in a Christlike way; completely and totally, you want to work hard for them! Also it makes loving your companions so much easier. I encourage everyone to try and develop an attribute of Christ every month :) In preach my gospel it says something along the lines of, "more important than what you do, is who you are."

I love you all so much!

Sister Holt.

Monday, 3 October 2016

The Field is White!

Hey family!

First off, I realized I only ever talk about myself and never my investigators or anything so I'm sorry, J.

I do have investigators! When we first got here we had one, Rebecca, who has been investigating for a while and is just waiting to get married before baptism, she’s super sweet! Then we found a few more! We actually have gotten 4 in the last week or so, which is crazy! One is a man named Jacob, he's the fiancĂ© of a less active member. The parents of the girl, whose name is Kennedy, said that they would appreciate it if he learned about our church if he was going to be marrying into it J Hes nice. Then, we tracted into a lady named Kamar. That one was kinda a miracle! We were just knocking on doors and we knocked on hers and she asked us to come back! She’s Muslim but loves to hear about religion and we taught her the first lesson and she was super excited about it and interested! The last 2 are married and they found the church in Vernon BC but moved here to Calgary like a week after meeting the missionaries so now we get to teach them! They're really nice! Marius is from Romania and his wife May is from the Philippines :)

This week has been super great! We got to go to the temple on Friday with sister Irvine, our ward mission leader's wife, it was so amazing! The Calgary temple is so, so beautiful! The whole temple is covered with beautiful wheat symbolism! It was nice to think that it was kinda a wink at Alberta agriculture but also it is to signify the fact that the field is white already to harvest! I was in the celestial room and I looked up at the wheat and it dawned on me that there are people out there! The Lord is preparing hearts right now! We just need to find them!

GENERAL CONFERENCE WAS SO AWESOME! I can't even handle how much good there was! I loved every single moment of revelation given from the servants of the Lord! I really loved Elder Robert D. Hales talk, I don't know why, it just hit me in a special way. I was a little disappointed that Holland only spoke in priesthood so we didn't get to hear him.  I can’t wait to study them when the Ensign comes out next month.

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!  I miss you every day and I pray for you every night!

Love, Sister Holt
At the Temple with Sister Irvine

Fish Creek Zone enjoying lunch at the Mission Home between Conference sessions.