Monday, 26 June 2017

Sister Nicol


Last Monday was my last day with sister Biberston... sad... but we had a lot of fun and we were very busy, as always! I really will miss her, she was very loving and with her I truly learned what it is to serve your companion!

Tuesday I was with the Norwalk sisters for the beginning of the day because Sister Biberston left to Los Alamitos in the morning. Sister Wheeler, Sister Davis and I went to a lesson with a woman in their area and then got an oil change for my car.... it was very exciting haha. After that they had some lessons and It was approaching time for me to get my new companion... so a wonderful sister in my ward, the Relief Society President actually, Sister Altier was my companion for a little while! We went to the mission office at about 3pm... and around 5:30pm I was introduced to Sister Nicol! Her first name is Nicole by the way hahah. She is from Highland Utah. She is also number 5 of 8 kids! She is so sweet and eager to learn and work hard!

Her very first evening we taught 3 lessons. We met with David and Raymond and read some of the Book of Mormon with them, then we taught Dice the Word of Wisdom, and then we met with Vaiola. Her mother was there as well, she is an active member, so it was great for Sister Nicol to meet at least one member on the very first night!

Wednesday we had District Meeting with a brand new district! It was great because our district has been very small... but now that we have combined 2 districts there's about 10 missionaries in it.... so yay!

After District meeting we taught Calvin the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he is progressing well towards baptism, he has a very willing heart. Next time we get to get started on the commandments! We saw Jeremy after lunch and he is doing so well! We taught him the restoration for his after baptism lessons and this week we have a couple of his friends from the ward coming with us to teach him some more. He even found a job opportunity! He is just doing amazing. More and more of his personality is starting to come out as he feels the Spirit and gets really comfortable with the ward. They are doing a great job at making him feel welcome!

Wednesday evening we had a lesson with Sister Ceja, who was baptized last year in March. We have been talking to her for a while about going to the temple and being sealed to her husband and children. She said she has been talking about it with her husband but their car is broken and can't go on the freeway... I asked if that was all that was keeping them from going to the temple and she said yes... so I told her we could definitely get her a ride! We will be starting a mission prep class for her and a couple others in a few weeks :)

This week we were also able to find 3 new investigators through our investigator Deandre. We went to see him and we met his wife Zandra, and 2 of his daughters Simone, and Marzay. They are a very sweet family and I am excited to get to teach them! Deandre's brother just recently passed away so we talked to them about how Heavenly Father has provided a plan for his children! We were able to testify that because Christ's church and God's power have been restored to the earth, our families can be bound for eternity!  It was really great.

Thursday we saw Dice again and Liz, Jacob, and Matthew Zamarrepa. They are such a good family and the boys, who are only 16 (they are twins), are such good boys! They would make the best members ever! They always have so many questions so it's always hard to keep our lessons focused and cohesive... but they are learning well!

On Friday, we had new missionary training! The best part about being a trainer... just kidding... kinda. I love going to listen and learn from President Patterson and the assistants (Elder Bone and Elder Karren). Sometimes you get caught up in all the things you "should" be doing as a missionary, Yes all those things are important, but I love it when I get to be re-centered on my true purpose as a missionary; to teach repentance and baptize converts. I feel like my teaching and our lessons have been more focused on that and we have been able to better help those we teach understand why we are meeting with them.

Friday night we play basketball with some of our investigators and some of the other missionaries and their investigators... it's always a great opportunity because it is the only way we can get Jeremy's brother Glenn into the church! Of course they were both there and some of the elders had brought a new investigator named Mike. Mike is struggling with a few things and it was just amazing to see Jeremy bear his testimony to him of how the gospel has helped him overcome some serious challenges! It may have been the most powerful moment on my mission so far. He just kept telling him that he can do this, God will help him and that he had faith in him. He even added him on Facebook so he could help him out and stuff. It was really cool. Jeremy is such a good missionary. He wants to come teaching with us really badly! So eager to progress, I love it!

Saturday we had a very interesting lesson with an investigator named Soni, he is a very sweet Tongan man... but kind of hard to teach. Sister Nicol was able to bear beautiful testimony of how the Book of Mormon testifies of Christ and how our message can strengthen others' faith in Him.

Sunday was great! Beautiful weather! We had ward council and it was very productive. Then we went to get 3 investigators that we were supposed to walk to church with.... and none of them answered their doors or phones... and then another one texted us and told us they weren't going to be able to make it... So we drove back to the church just in time for sacrament meeting... and at least Jeremy was there! :) He always looks so happy to be at church! Next week he will really be getting the priesthood and we are very excited for him, he is also very excited! He can't wait to pass the sacrament and go to the temple on the 15th of July to do baptisms!

Sunday evening we met with Alyssa... she isn't going to be able to be baptized on the 1st of July... her parents are making her wait. She is holding on to the faith though! She is so cute, I just loved teaching her about temple and eternal families yesterday! She is going to be an amazing missionary one day!

I am just so completely filled with joy every single day! I know there must be times of stress, but I can't ever seem to remember it when I look back, only the good sticks around very long! I can’t believe all that I have learned and become, God truly is good!

I love you dearly!

Sister Holt

Good-bye Sister Biberston :(
Hello Sister Nicol!



Monday, 19 June 2017

Training 2.5


This has been an amazing week and a fantastic transfer! We got transfer calls last night and.......................
 I am training again and Sister Biberston is going to Los Alamitos with Sister Castleberry, who is super awesome! I have seriously loved being able to serve with Sister Biberston, I've been super blessed to get to be a part of her training. I am definitely going to miss her like crazy, but I'm stoked for another adventure to begin!

Last Pday was really fun, our zone went bowling! Which I haven't done in forever so I was pretty terrible... After Pday we had a great lesson with a young guy named Raymond that we found on the street and halfway through his brother, David, came to the door and asked if we were having a bible study, we told him we were and he joined! It was really great, they are 15 and 16 and they seem like really good kids. After that we had a lesson with Jeremy to help prep him for his baptism!

Tuesday we had a lesson with Calvin, we taught him the plan of salvation with pictures and stuff so he could remember better; it went really well! He was able to repeat the whole plan back to us! We extended his baptismal date to July 8th so we have more time to teach according to his needs. He really is the sweetest most smiley guy you'll ever meet!

On Tuesday we also got to go to the LA temple visitor's center with Jeremy! Justin Ibarra drove and brought his friend from YSA. It was really great! Jeremy really learned a lot about the temple and eternal families and he's super excited to go back ASAP to do baptisms!

That night we also had a lesson with Vaiola, she is loving learning about the Gospel all over again! She said she was obviously not listening in class growing up because she doesn't remember any of this haha! She is so funny. We are working on getting her read for a patriarchal blessing.

Wednesday was very busy! We had district meeting and we taught 5 lessons! It was awesome, I love nothing more than staying busy :) First we met with Alyssa, she is still progressing super, super well! We are so happy for her. Her mother has said that she would like her to wait a little bit longer before getting baptized, we encouraged her to bear her testimony to her mother to help her understand how important this is to her. I think she is going to do that today, so we will see! After we had a lesson with a new investigator named Demel with a member from our ward, Brother Vest. It went really well! It was such a blessing to have brother Vest there to bear testimony, he even left Demel with a challenge to come to church on Sunday! It was awesome.

After that we had a lesson with DICE. Man, he is the coolest. I literally can't do him justice by trying to describe just how prepared he is and how excited he is about the truth he learns! We set a new baptismal date with him for June 14th because he missed church, but we talked to him about the importance and he gets it now :) Man, he was so excited when we told him that he could receive the priesthood after his baptism! He gave us high fives. It was great. After that was Jeremy's baptismal interview.

After dinner we met with Dwayne, a newer investigator and talked about the importance of keeping the commandments. He said he felt that people shouldn't deny themselves of things that bring "happiness" like drinking etc. We were able to bear testimony to him of the joy it brings in our lives when we keep the commandments. It's so crazy to me how people think they have it all without the Gospel, they try telling us that they're good.... but it's not true! It's something you don't realize you NEED until you find it! People just have to make the first step, get that first taste of what it is like to have the spirit and they start to get it. That is why teaching with the spirit is so important!

Late that evening we had a lesson with another less-active man named Scott.

The rest of the week was pretty normal; finding, teaching, and preparing people for baptism, and then on Saturday... we got to go to 2 baptisms! It was the best day ever! First we went back to Huntington Beach North to the Beach ward for Karie's baptism! It was so, so special. It was also really cool because all of the companions I have served with that are still in the mission were there!  Right after that baptism we hurried home to start filling the font for Jeremy's baptism! It was a small, simple meeting but it was very powerful! Justin Ibarra baptized him, it's the first time he has done that, he was baptized himself just last October! Also, Jeremy's sister, Destiny, came and when Jeremy bore his testimony the spirit was just so strong! She took a restoration pamphlet and a Book of Mormon and she is going to start meeting with us!

After the baptism we taught another lesson to Raymond and David and committed them to be baptized! Yay! More miracles! Then we finished off the evening with a lesson with Vaiola.

The next day for Jeremy's confirmation, Glenn came, his brother who is also getting taught by us. This was really awesome because Glenn hasn't been coming to church because he's 13 and he says it feels like school... but he came and it was great! Jeremy received a very powerful blessing with a lot of great promises! He certainly has a bright future ahead of him!

I am so thankful for all that Heavenly Father allows me to be a part of! The Church is so true!

Sister Holt

ps #sorrynotsorry for all the pics coming....

Jason, Jeremy, Sisters Holt and Biberston

L.A. Temple

Karie and her missionaries

MTC companions reunited

All Sister Holt's comps who are still in the field!
Sisters Biberton, Greener, Holt, Sherksnas and Rhoton

Distrct Bowl

Monday, 12 June 2017

Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles!

Hello! I don't have much time again this week, but I will try to get the most important stuff in.

Tuesday we had a great lesson with a less-active member named Vaiola. She was baptized when she was 8 but was never really committed to the church. She has come to a point where she really wants to know what God would have her do. It's definitely true that ever person has their own timing for when they will receive the Gospel. We don't know when that will be but Heavenly Father is working on EVERY person's heart. If someone isn't ready, they're not ready. It doesn't mean, "not ever", it just means "not now." Well Vaiola is ready now! We taught her the restoration because she really didn't know much about our religion! I feel like people who investigate the church actually learn more about what we believe through the lessons that are taught than normal members learn... Like when I teach kids that are 9 or 10 I just think, wow, you are so much more ready for this than any other 8 year old! I want to teach my kids the lessons before they get baptized!

Wednesday, we met with a new investigator, Mario. He is a deputy sheriff who found our card after we had left it at his door for his brother. He texted us and we set up a time to meet. He is very sincere and the lesson went great! We also had awesome lessons with Alyssa (who is getting baptized on the 1st of July) and Jeremy (who is getting baptized this Saturday.) All in all, a pretty good day :)

Thursday, we had a stake correlation meeting to discuss how priesthood keys are involved with ward missionary work, it was a rather good presentation! They showed an awesome video of one bishop who used his priesthood keys to "hasten the work" in England. They went from baptizing 2 or 3 people a year to 30 and then 50 the following year!!! President Patterson was there too, so it was nice to see him.

Friday we had a lesson with a sweet girl named Samiyah, we taught her the plan of Salvation. She is progressing really well but felt she was unable to accept a baptismal date because her mother is sort of against her meeting with us... she is letting her but she isn't very happy about it. She has been reading the Book of Mormon a lot though! And marking it! She is so awesome. I love working with youth! They are so much more receptive to the Gospel and to learn, grow, and change.
 Saturday was very busy, we had another lesson with Jeremy, and Vaiola. We also picked up 3 new investigators! Michael, Demel, and Raymond. Heavenly Father really does bless you when you speak to everyone! Yeah, not everyone is ready to hop into the baptismal font, but what if they need your contact to move further down the path to baptism?

Sunday was awesome! Jeremy, Alyssa, and a new investigator named Randy were at church, and Calvin came after the Sacrament. We had a lesson after church with Jeremy and the Huebners, it went really well. I love teaching in the church building! The spirit is just so strong.

I also made dinner Sunday evening for Sister Biberston and I! Pics to follow lol. A member gave us a roast at some point so I cut it up into stakes and it was super yummy.

After dinner we had another lesson with Alyssa, she is progressing so, so well! We came to a for sure firm date, the first of July! We called her later to ask what time (2:00) and she bore her testimony to us of how we have helped her come closer to Christ and use the Atonement to better herself every day. It was a very special moment for us. After Alyssa's lesson we met with Dwayne, a new investigator, He is very cool and I am excited to teach him!

The Church is true! 

Sister Holt

fireside discussion

with the YSA sisters

Sisters Greener, Holt and Biberston

back up assist :)

Monday, 5 June 2017


Hey! Sorry I don't have a lot of time to write this week!

We have seen so many miracles this week! We found 5 awesome new investigators; Terry, Jasmine, Darreyl, Harris, and DICE.

Terry and DICE were probably our biggest miracles! Terry we met as we were visiting another investigator who wasn't home. We contacted Terry as he was walking past and we invited him to read a restoration pamphlet and we asked if we could come back another time to see how he liked it and discuss it. He accepted. When we went back over a couple of days later, he had read and actually studied it! It was so awesome! He knew everything about the priesthood authority and apostasy and dispensations, it was really cool! He has also done some online research about Joseph Smith, and he did it properly! We are very excited to work with him.

Then there was DICE. We found DICE when we were trying to see a different potential whose apartment number we couldn't find. Instead of giving up we decided to knock on one of the doors and ask. Then we found DICE. He said he was very intrigued by our message about prophets and invited us back to tell him more about it. The following lesson was probably the best one I have ever been blessed to be a part of. It was so powerful! We took our time teaching him the restoration and every couple minutes he would just sit back and exclaim, "Father God, I know this must be a sign from you!" It was a really cool experience, an absolute miracle. He wants so badly to read the Book of Mormon but he said he already knows this is the truth. He actually said he wasn't going to even refer to Mormonism as a religion, just "the truth".

I also got sick this week, but we simply have no time for me to rest and I had no medicine or money to get some... so I got my first blessing as a missionary. I don't know why I think I can do everything all on my own, 'cause I can't. Yeah... my district leader was actually the one who told me I should get one (and Sister Biberston) because I didn't want to get one... but I’m so glad I did.  It was a really cool experience that maybe I'll tell you about another time haha

Also Jeremy and Alyssa came to church this week so that was super awesome! Jeremy is ready to get back on the wagon, he is so determined to be baptized! I am so excited for all that is happening here!

I love you!  The Church is TRUE!

Sister Holt

Thursday, 1 June 2017

You Win Some, You Lose Some!


This week started off with a really great restoration lesson with Maddie and her boyfriend Ethan. Ethan is a young man in our ward and he is so excited that Maddie has taken an interest in learning more about the Church. Things are going really well with her, she is reading the Book of Mormon and we were going to go to the LA temple visitor's center with her this Saturday but unfortunately she fell ill :( BUT things are still looking good! We will try again next month when the youth go to the temple for youth conference.

On Tuesday we went on Exchanges with the La Mirada sisters in Whittier, it was a great experience. I was wish Sister Bedford, we had a fun time.

Wednesday we were supposed to have Edward's baptismal interview... but unfortunately he backed out again.... this has been about the 4th time I'm pretty sure since he started meeting with missionaries over a year ago... we don't really know what he needs, it seems to be just a commitment issue. He knows the church is true, he knows he needs to be baptized, he just always gets cold feet...

Later we had a lesson with Monique, we read form the Book of Mormon and it went pretty well! We have come to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, now we just have to build on that. After we had a lesson with Alyssa, she is progressing really well! She already knows the Church is true, she just has to receive all the lessons. We did move her baptismal date because we can only meet with her once a week and she wants to take her time receiving the lessons but then we asked her what day she wanted to change it to and she said August 12th haha so we discussed a little and compromised with July 15th... but we're pretty sure that once we have finished teaching her everything she will be baptized sooner.

Later that evening, we were invited to help train some of the priests to teach the first lesson studying PMG, it was really great! Ethan and Adam (those are the only priests haha) did really well, they will be great missionaries! That evening we went to stop by Glenn, we shared a scripture about faith with him and we found out that Jeremy is in jail, so that was really sad to hear. We don’t know when he will be getting out but he was doing really well....

Thursday we had a lesson with Christina and talked more about the Book of Mormon and church organization. Man, I wish I could just teach the lessons! I mean I love answering people’s questions and stuff, but I know that their questions will be answered as they take the discussions... why don't they believe me?!? It is such an easy thing people disregard it. I am constantly reminded of the story of Naaman in the Old Testament. When we just do the simple things we are asked to do and commanded to do by God, we receive our answers!

Later that day we had a lesson with Marcello. Justin Ibarra (Alyssa's brother) came with us, he was baptized almost a year ago. We taught the restoration and it went really well! Later we had another lesson with Maddie, and in the evening a lesson with the Zamarrepa family.

Friday, Justin came out with us again for Calvin's restoration lesson, he accepted a baptismal invitation, he seems eager to learn. He had already looked over the pamphlet and the beginning of the Book of Mormon when we came over. Another lesson with Monique in the afternoon, and one with Frank in the evening. He is doing well, we read some Book of Mormon with him, he is really starting to warm up to the whole idea. It is such a blessing to be able to see the Spirit work with him! Oh and in the morning we contacted a referral named Raymond and picked him up as a new investigator! He is new to the area and looking for a church to take his kids!

Saturday we had planned on going to the temple visitor's center but Maddie got sick so we went to see Salai, she had cancelled on us a few times so we thought we would check in with her... she dropped us. She was very sweet and she said she would like us to call on her in about a month, she just has to figure some stuff out. So we went to contact a referral, Samiyah. Samiyah is 13 years old and very sweet. We taught her the restoration on her doorstep and she really liked it! We will see her again soon.

Saturday morning we got to walk with Calvin to church, it was pretty great! The sun was shining and he was telling us lots of stories, including bible stories. He only stayed for sacrament meeting but he said he really liked it. Oh yeah and Sister Biberston and I spoke in church.

This morning we had no money still haha so all we could buy was some water, milk, ramen, and bread. Also we are washing our clothes in our bathtub again lol. #missionarylife #5mondaymonthsaretheworst

Love, Sister Holt