Monday, 24 April 2017



Another busy week with lots of new investigators! There really can be miracles when you believe! We found another 4 investigators so we have about... 17 right now. It's getting pretty hard to meet with all of them regularly. We went on splits for the first time this week with the ward mission leader’s wife and one of the counselors in the Relief Society. I was kinda nervous at first, but I got the hang of it pretty quick. We actually had the chance to go out with 6 members this week, it was really great! We had 2 young women come with us to a lesson with Alisa, then Brother Phillips came to one of Gabe's lessons, then Sister Stoughton and Sister Smith on splits, then Hunter Ravsten came to another lesson with Gabe. It was really a great time, I could see the people we were teaching benefiting from the testimonies of those that they can connect with more. Sometimes we don't really seem like "real people." Members do. But it was also a blessing to see the members benefit! Rachel Ravsten went home after Alisa's lesson and told her dad, (the bishop) that she wants to go on a mission!

On Wednesday, Sister Shersknas and I got a call from Sister Fanoga, a lady in our ward. Someone had passed away and we were needed for an emergency musical number. It was a blessing to be able to go and serve in maybe the best way I know how. The three of us sang an a cappella "How Great Thou Art," it sounded especially good because it was in small church with great acoustics and stained glass, so that helped! I also forgot to mention that I sang in church a few weeks ago and I was asked to do so again next week. I'm eternally thankful that Heavenly Father has blessed me with something I get to use to bring people peace, comfort, and the spirit!

This week we received a referral to go see Alfred, a single Dad and amputee. I went to see him on splits and heard his story.  He has had it really hard since a workplace accident in 2004. Since then he has lost his leg and his wife left him... but through all this he came to know his Saviour. He has a very strong faith in God and is excited to learn more about His plan! I often forget just how good I have it. At the end of every day, Sister Sherksnas and I try to do a companionship "gratitude prayer" just to say thanks to God for all the good He has given us!

Saturday was very busy and we picked up 3 new investigators! Hamilton was a potential we had in our records. We went to visit him and he was very nice to us. He said he would love it if we came back to share more of our message. Then we got a text from a former investigator named Toan. Sometimes he just randomly texts us stuff he reads in the bible; he had some questions for us this time so we were able to meet up with him and talk about the Atonement and Resurrection. Then we went to see another former investigator named Shirley. She had run into the YSA elders the day before and had expressed her desire to return to church, so they promptly texted us and told us to stop by. She has also had a very interesting life. She's from Boston/New York so she's got a cool accent though haha. 

On Sunday, Brother Okouchi spoke in Sacrament meeting about how we (people) are always trying to get rid of our problems, to lighten our load, not realizing that it is often those burdens that help us to progress, learn, and grow. It's no wonder that there are so many people who are humbled enough to receive the Gospel only after having endured many trials. I am grateful for the trials God sends me, I know he sends them for my good. I hope I can be like Paul taking glory in my afflictions and persecutions! I know that doing so only makes me stronger, not weak.

We also had 5 new members move into our ward just last week! And they are even all different families. We got to meet with one of them, Sacha, and her son, Isaiah. She is very sweet, super beautiful, a single mom; we are very excited to have her with us in the Beach ward.

Sunday night we got to study some Preach my Gospel with the Phillips family and extend a challenge for them to invite 2 non-members to a community service activity that our stake in involved with. They are very good at completing our challenges, they both have a great talent for missionary work and so we are doing our best to help them do that!

I love this work, especially when we are able to get members involved! The Church is true!

Sister Holt

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Easter/Birfday/Temple Tuesday!

Hey all!
Sorry I didn't write yesterday, our Pday was today because we went to the Newport Beach Temple!!!! It was soooo amazing :) But that also means I don't have a ton of time...
So this week has been the second week in a row that Sister Sherknas and I have ALMOST hit standards of excellence, but this week is going to be our week!!! Highlights of the week were probably holding an FHE with Gabriel and his family, meeting Gerardo and picking him up as an investigator, meeting Nancy and picking her up as an investigator, meeting Leileen and Laura and picking them up as investigators (it's been a good week), zone conference!, a really wonderful lesson with a young investigator named Alisa, a lesson with another young investigator named Meghan and her dad who has been opposed to her meeting with missionaries in the past  (it went pretty well!), and teaching Gabe more about the priesthood! It's definitely been a busy week (always), which I love!
On Sunday it was my birthday (yay) and EASTER! It was a really wonderful day! I got to wake up to an Easter basket ad presents laid out by my lovely companion because she wanted me to be surprised (aww). We got to go over to the Mata's house (Gabe) and meet their grandparents! Gabriel was very excited for us to meet them, it was nice. We had dinner at the Phillips home, it was suuuper delicious.
Yesterday, we had a great lesson with Karie about setting goals and overcoming obstacles, she is very excited to set new goals to help her quit smoking! Something I have learned this week is that there is absolutely no use in getting discouraged or upset; where is that going to get you? Not to the next step, not to improvement, or happiness. We have to let go of the things we cannot control, including our mistakes and the mistakes of others. There really is no use crying over spilled milk. You gotta put your big boy pants on and get to work! There is a quote in PMG that I love, it says something along the lines of : WORK, WORK, WORK, there is so substitute, especially in missionary work.
This morning we had the opportunity to go to the temple! I haven't been in so long and I didn't even realize how much I missed it until I sat down in the room waiting for the session to begin. I almost started crying just because I remembered how blessed I was to live in Cardston before coming out here and being able to attend the temple twice a week. It was a breath of fresh air when we started, I felt at home for the first time in a while. Not the kind of at home you feel when you finally get to the apartment after a long day’s work; home like getting a hug from your mom or getting an answer to a prayer, it's definitely the best kind of home :)

I love you! The Church is true!!

Mandy, Kerry, Sister Sherksnas and Sister Holt

loquats - they are super yummy

Newport Beach Temple

With Sister Training Leaders
Watch tan line

Monday, 10 April 2017


This week started off with a wonderful lesson with a new investigator named Araceli! She is so sweet. She's 45 years old and she's the best grandma ever. She takes care of her 3 month old grandson everyday while her daughter is at work. She is from Mexico but speaks English very well. We asked if she would prefer meeting with Spanish missionaries but she said no, she wanted us and she wanted to practice her English. She's seriously the sweetest lady ever, so funny too. We taught the whole restoration lesson with her. I felt impressed to talk about how we are literally heirs to God's kingdom because we are His children and that because of the restoration of the Priesthood authority, our families can be eternal. The spirit was very strong and when we went to see her a couple days later, she had been reading the b
Book of Mormon! Seriously, such a dream! You have no idea how many people just never read unless you baby them through it!

We also had a lesson with Gabe, we are getting him ready to receive the priesthood this next Sunday and go to the stake temple day on the 13th! We are so excited for him.

On Wednesday, we had a really great lesson with Megan. We started teaching the restoration but really focused on God is our loving Heavenly Father, and the Gospel blesses families, and the Atonement actually. We watched the new Easter video, #PrinceofPeace, and she had some very profound insights. Megan has basically always gone to church but has to wait until she is 18 to be baptized, so she knows about a lot of stuff. But as we were watching the video, the part where it says, "He turned water into wine", caught her attention. She noticed the stark contrast between the whiteness of the background and the plash of crimson dye through it. She said that it never occurred to her before how impossible that is; turning water into wine. That insight reminded me of Isaiah 1:18 how our sins though they be as crimson shall be white as snow, etc. I had read an article about how the dyes crimson and scarlet were not just made to be colourful, but also colourfast, meaning they could not wash out, making it impossible to make the wool white again. Thus Christ makes the impossible, possible!

We later had a great lesson with Mandy and Kerry, they are really progressing well in their testimonies! I love to see their knowledge and light grow every time we see them.

Thursday, after weekly planning, I actually had a doctor’s appointment! I went to go see a chiropractor for the first time ever! It was cool. I have been having some neck pain, which has been different than the back pain I've had before, so I went to get it checked out just in case it was something that could get worse. The doctor was super nice and a member and so he asked me about the people we're teaching and stuff, it was good. Well it turns out I had two vertebrae out of place in my neck and my hips were out of place, kinda slanted? So one of my legs was longer than the other because of that... yeah haha buuuut, he fixed it all up! I still have some pain in my neck so I might go again but the chiropractor in my ward says it's probably because I grind my teeth in my sleep apparently... which would also explain the headaches...

Also in the public library I'm sitting in right now, there is a couple having a deeeeeep conversation that is not for public places about how he cheated on her..... yeah all us missionaries are sittin around all awkward but its super funny. haha you guys can just read that part, don’t feel the need to pass it on hahaha

So, Thursday afternoon, we had some extra time because we thought my appointment would go longer, so we felt impressed to go see a former investigator named Alex. Alex is the sweetest guy ever! He's about 21 years old, he has a 6 year old, a 4 year old, and a baby on the way. He has not had it easy, that has a lot to do with his choices, but he wants to change so he can be there for his family. He even came to Stake Conference on Sunday! It was an interesting first Sunday for him, but I think he liked it! He's a good guy. Gabe is actually super stoked to help Alex because he came from basically the same background. He really wants to help with Alex's conversion, he and Maria even offered to have Alex take the lessons at their place! 

On Saturday we got to go on Exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders, Sister Allen and Sister Hicks. I was with Sister Allen again! She is so cool, it's always a party with her. The thing is, it's always a party but we always see so many miracles too! We found 5 new investigators in 1 day together! It was so awesome! I wish she'd come to Beach sometimes, just kidding...

Sunday at Stake Conference was really great, like I said, Alex came! So did Karie, and Kim was there! But he has been in and out of town so we're not technically teaching him right now, but it was good to see him! Getting Alex to Stake Conference was an ordeal though! We went to his house at 9:15 so he could follow us to the stake center and he was just getting out of the shower so we waited for about 15 minutes and then he comes out and says, "oh yeah, by the way, I can't borrow my dad's truck," and he starts trying to get into our back seat! So we're like," sorry, we can't give you a ride!" We felt bad, but also not, because it was a rule... So we called up Brother Fitzpatrick who came over in a hurry to get him and we made it only 5 minutes late haha, but at least he was there! He sat with Gabe and we sat with Karie, it was really great. One of my favourite messages that were given was about how sometimes people offer for us to go to the seashore but we're too busy plying in mud puddles to go. We don't know how great eternity will be because we are stuck in this mortal world. We need to give up something okay for something glorious!

After, we had a chat with Kim, he is still not ready to progress, so we gave him a chapter to read and told him to call us when he is ready. Next we saw Mirian and when we got there she and her sister were playing truth or dare, so we took the opportunity to play spiritual truth or dare! We put truths like ‘tell us about your baptism’, or ‘who is your favourite prophet’, and dares like ‘sing a hymn’ or ‘say a prayer for someone who is struggling right now’. It was a really great experience when Mirian said a prayer for Nelci, her sister. She prayed that she would be able to overcome the challenges she is facing in regards to her testimony, it was very touching. It also made me wonder, how often do we let people know that we care for them and we are cheering them on in whatever trials they are going through? Do they know we have their backs? That we are there for them?

The church is true! I love you!

Sister Holt

also this morning we went to a cool smoothie shop where they give you the smoothies in these cool glass bottles!

Monday, 3 April 2017

We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet!


What a wonderful week it was to be finished off with General Conference! I wish it could last forever. Sister Sherksnas and I were talking about how we hope the Spirit World will be like that; just drinking in counsel from God's servants. That would be paradise!

As you have probably guessed, I am staying in Beach ward again with Sister Sherksnas! I get to finish training her, which is nice. There were only 8 companionships in the entire mission that remained the same this transfer! Lots of change!

This week has, of course, flown by time wise, but has been a little slower work wise. We have recently had a few investigators stop progressing or just stop meeting with us, and so we have found that our teaching pool is lacking a bit... we have been trying this whole week to find the people God is preparing, really focusing on how having HOPE for something is EXPECTING it to happen, not just wishing. We know God can do anything. We know people are out there. We thought we had a couple promising potentials at the beginning of the week, especially a young girl named Jasmine. She was so sweet and when we asked how it would change her life if there was a prophet on the earth today, she just lit up! She said she would follow him anywhere. When we told her that, as a matter of fact there was a living prophet, she just beamed even more. It's a really wonderful blessing to be able to be a part of someone’s journey to divine revelation. She was very interested in learning more, especially about the Book of Mormon. We set a return appointment for the next day. When we came back, her parents answered the door with her... They were very kind and sweet but said that Jasmine already had a church and would not be meeting with us. Oh man that broke our hearts! Here was a beautiful, kind, bright family that was unknowingly rejecting the only thing that can bind them forever! I am so thankful for teaching records, etc. Jasmine and her family will not be forgotten! They will be ready when they are ready and other missionaries will reap the seeds we have sown.

Tuesday was a pretty busy day! We got to have lessons with Karie, Alisa, Emily and Yohann, Gabe, and Butch and Bo Capps (a less-active couple in our ward). Unfortunately, we did studies outside and had 2 of our lessons outside so... I got pretty burnt! It's okay, it's just a tan now. I guess I should start wearing sunscreen... Emily and Yohann gave me some aloe though, so that was nice!

On Thursday, we had a great lesson with Mandy and Kerry. They are 10 and 12 and getting ready for baptism! I had an idea, inspired from district meeting, to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ using the Book of Mormon. I found scriptures that answered the questions of what is faith? What is repentance? etc. As we read the scriptures, the girls got out their copies of the Book of Mormon and marked them with whatever stood out to them. It was probably the most they have ever understood in a lesson! They said that they loved it! Something I have learned is that people do not learn the same way, which of course I knew before seeing how I always learned a different way in school than other people. But, an amazing lesson plan for Gabe about the gospel of Jesus Christ could mean nothing to Karie. Everyone feels the Spirit differently and it is up to us to find out what works best for them, and make it happen! Ultimately, we are not the teachers, the Spirit is. So we have to find out how to connect them with that Divine power.

We also had a great lesson with Gabe at Brother Stoughton's house, our ward mission leader. We watched the 20 minute restoration video and he loved it! He wants to learn more about Joseph Smith and his life, I'm excited to see all the doors that are opening for him right now.

Now on to the good stuff! GENERAL CONFERENCE! We got to watch the Saturday morning session with Mirian, a recent convert, and the Merrils. Mirian has been distancing herself from the Gospel lately and we challenged her to come to conference with a question or two. She took that challenge and was elated to find that her questions were answered! She has such a sweet spirit and is the most earnest, grounded 15 year old I have ever met!

In the afternoon, we watched at the Capps home. They have not come to church for a long time because of health problems, and I'm pretty sure a couple other things. I can always tell that Sister Capps misses it, and she really loved getting spiritually filled at General Conference! They are so sweet and good to us.

On Sunday, we watched in the morning with our Bishop's family, Bishop Ravsten. They had breakfast for us, which was so sweet. The spirit in their home really set the tone for revelation; my hand could barely write notes fast enough to keep up with my brain and divine counsel. In the afternoon we were going to go to the stake centre to watch with Karie, our investigator, but she enjoyed watching at home and she was in the groove so we went to the Phillips house instead. SOOO sad to see conference end.

At 4, I had felt a strong prompting to go to a very specific street and literally just walk up and down it for an hour. It was a weird prompting but if I learned anything from conference it was to be obedient no matter what and to act on the first prompting! So we went and met a nice girl named Brittany, taught her a short lesson and sent her info to the YSA elders... and kept walking. I knew we were supposed to be there, to find or maybe to test my faith, I dunno haha. In the last 10 minutes before dinner, we found Anthony. Anthony is a homeless person who grew up in a group home in Utah and has a brother who is a member. He was quite nice and has a strong belief in God. We set up a time to meet him on Tuesday so we will see how it goes! Everyone deserves a chance at Salvation, even the scabby sheep! We must tend to them and show them love, even though we may think, “what a sheep!”. I loved that talk too :)

That evening after dinner at the Bishop's house, we went to see an older lady we had been trying to meet with for a while. She has always been very nice but was always busy. Tonight we decided to use the old "may I use your restroom," routine. It worked. We got in! I came very quickly to realize that the words of Jeffrey R. Holland in PMG are true," if you listen with love, you won't need to wonder what to say." We were able to talk about families and the sealing power that binds us together eternally and share a copy of, "the Family: a proclamation to the world," with her. She is going away for a while but we will follow up when she gets back!

I love this great work I have the privilege of being a part of! I never want to leave! I hope I can make the most of the short time I have to serve!

The Church is true!

Sister Holt

Good thing there is a lot of aloe around.

So for some reason I'm obsessed with this whole Boss Baby movie. So I had to get a picture.