Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 40: Felices 9 meses

Hola a todos!

FELIZ NAVIDAD!! I hope everyone had an AMAZING Christmas this past week!! I hope everyone was able to feel how much our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ love us and were able to focus this time of year on his birth!! How blessed we are, El es la Dadiva!! I had THE BEST Christmas ever and got to talk with the family :) I love you guys SO much!! We spent the afternoon eating and spending time with Hermana Luz and then she let us use her computer! The night before for Christmas Eve we were invited to eat as well - the food here for the holidays is to die for!! Arroz con abichuelas, pasteles, and lechon!! I'll attach a picture :) So the fun thing about Puerto Rico is, Christmas doesn't end til the middle of January!! Hahaha so it's basically still the Christmas Season as people start preparing for 3 Kings Day! And we are super excited for that too because we happen to be in the pueblo where all the fun and action happens! It's the 6th of January so we'll see what happens!!
So, MORGAN WAS BAPTIZED on Saturday!!!! It was absolutely amazing and it all went super well!! It was cool because our DL and his companion had a baptism the same day so two wards and a district came together to support these two baptisms! Everything ran smoothly and the Spirit was super strong! I can't even explain how I feel right now!!!! It's such a wonderful and crazy feeling to see one of your investigators enter the waters of baptism!! We are so excited for him and for this decision he has made and we KNOW that it is the most important and best decision he has ever made and will bring him more blessings he has ever imagined!! It was super cool too because Hermana Halling and I shared the musical number - she played the piano and I played the violin (crazy, right?) to a gorgeous arrangement of Nearer My God to Thee. It wasn't perfect haha but the Spirit was there! Sunday was his confirmation and that went well too!! Awe man, it's just so fun to see him at church talking and being with the other members!! It's like we're not there almost haha but it's good because he feels super comfortable!!

It was a good weekend :)
Also, you will not believe it but I hit my 9 MONTHS this past Friday. WOW. I seriously had no idea time could be so fast!! It's definitely been a big wake up call and I've done a lot of thinking about where I am now and where Heavenly Father wants me to be. Everyday is still a learning experience and so I hope I can just continue doing what He needs me to do - and to make these next 9 months the best 9 months! My hilarious companions surprised me with some things on my wall and then that night we had the Ward Christmas Party so it was a super fun day!
Since it was Christmas week, we weren't able to get a ton of visits in, but the work is still progressing!! I'll fill you in on more investigators next week!! I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful and fun NEW YEARS this week!!!! I'll write you next year :)
Hermana Holt

Christmas dinner

 Hermana Luz with her daughter Elena

Hermana Luz's house where we talked to our families

La Plaza

My comps made this for me

9 months

Love these girls

Ward Christmas party

my 3 favorite grandmas Carmen, lya, and Hermana Luz

Bishop's daughter-so cute!

Morgan's baptism!

2 baptisms in our district

Skyping with the family

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 39: Christmas miracle

Hola a todos!!

Well, I believe in Christmas miracles!! You guys are not going to believe what happened this week!! So, Tuesday we visited Morgan and it was a good lesson! He talked about what he liked about church and how he was super excited to come the next week! So, this past Saturday (20th) was the goal that we had scheduled for his baptism - but obviously with him coming to church a lot later in the month than we thought, we were going to have to move his baptism date. So, as a companionship we were thinking that he was prepared enough that he could be baptized the 27th of December or the 3rd of January, but we weren't sure which one! So, we decided to see what his thoughts and feelings were! Near the end of the lesson, we brought up his baptism and we explained to him about the dates and everything and then we invited him to say the closing prayer and to specifically ask Heavenly Father what He wants him to do. So we all knelt down and he began his humble and sincere prayer - I don't remember if I have mentioned it before, but Morgans prayers are the BEST! He definitely knows he is talking with our Heavenly Father! In this prayer he asked THREE times, which of these dates is when Heavenly Father wants him to be baptized. When he finished the prayer, he didn't say anything!! It was just silent! And to be honest, we weren't sure if we should talk first, or if we should wait hahaha and then after about 20 seconds or so, Hermana Escobar asked, How do you feel? After about another 20 seconds of silence he said,
The 27th. I want to be baptized the 27th.
AHHHH!!!!!!!!!! MORGAN IS GOING TO BE BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't even begin to describe to you HOW I felt the moment he said that!!!!!! Excitement?! Relief?! HAPPINESS?! I about lost it in the lesson hahaha it was awesome! So, we are in preparation for that and we are hoping all goes well with the interview and that he stays strong with the word of wisdom! He's been almost a week without coffee which is SO awesome! But really, I've never seen anyone so determined to change their life around. I can't even begin to explain either the change that we have seen in him. It has been such a humbling and an amazing experience to teach him and to help him see to importance and the joy that comes from the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! The only bump in the road that we have encountered with him is that his nephew died this past week too.. it was definitely a wake up call for him, but seeing how strong he has been and how he still wants to pursue with everything really is a testimony to us. Prayer for Morgan this week!!
This past Friday, Presidente y Hermana Boucher had our Zone over to the Mission Home for a Christmas dinner!! So I got to drive the car up to Bayamon and we spent some time together as a Zone! It was super duper fun! It was also super cool because all of the Bouchers kids came down to Puerto Rico and so we got to meet them! We had a delicious dinner by Hermana Boucher (yes, she made me gluten-free things hahaha) and then we had a little program and their daughters sang for us!! The Bouchers are the BEST!
Also, GUESS WHAT?! So one of the sisters who is now in our Zone was in San Sebastian for these past 2 transfers, so she gave me an update on everyone!! Everything is going super well!! Juan and Celines are still going SUPER strong and go to church EVERY Sunday!! And remember Peggy and Vicente?? Well, Vicente got baptized last Saturday!!!!! WOO!!! Peggy sadly has been sick, but she is still progressing, slowly but surely!! This week has definitely just been a whirlwind of emotions haha but it's been a great one :)
One last crazy thing and then I have to go!! You are not going to believe what entered our house yesterday..
Here we are coming home from a great Sunday at church (we had a fun Christmas program - Hna Halling and I played the piano) and right as I sit down at my little desk Hna Escobar screams.. CULEBRA!!!!! Hahahaha that's right, ANOTHER snake experience! But this time it was in the HOUSE!!! So of course the first thing I do is try to book it outside (Hna Escobar was already out the door hahaha) but I slipped and fell in the process, putting my body just inches away from the snake!!! Yeah, it was terrible!! So I get up and run into the other room!! Then here comes Hna Halling, just taking her time walking to the closet to get the broom hahahaha she is the hero of the day! With the broom and the dust pan she just guided its way outside!! I have it all on video so you'll have to wait another 9 months to see it but it's hilarious!!
Anyway, I just want to with everyone a very Merry Christmas and FELIZ NAVIDAD this week!! I hope and pray that we are all able to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and what the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ means to every single one of us! How amazing is it that Heavenly Father has given us the most special gift we could ever receive? How grateful I am for the knowledge I have of my Savior!! Have a wonderful week everyone!!
Hermana Holt

 Its cold in the morning

 The Boucher's daughters
Our zone Christmas dinner

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 38: the cake

Hola a todos!!
So you guys are not going to believe what happened!! So this week we were going to make sure that Morgan made it to church! So we had our lesson with him Tuesday and we asked him what happened the past Sunday. He told us that he had no idea what happened and that he was SO tired that he literally couldn't get out of bed. He said that his body always wakes him up at 5 AM and that that morning he didn't get up til 9... can you say adversary? So we talked about it and he said that he was going to make a big effort to go to church! But, just to make sure, we past by throughout the week just to make sure haha! On Friday we ran into him and he's like, hey! I'm coming to church Sunday (he said it first)! And since it's my birthday tomorrow, I won't be working and so I won't be tired!
Did he just say birthday? OH MAN! We TOTALLY forgot his birthday!!! We had written it down in our other agendas and we didn't move it over! Hahaha so Saturday, we walked the hour to his house with a homemade cake in our hands hahaha it completely melted but it's the thought that counts!
So here comes Sunday morning. Nothing.. we start Sacrament meeting.. nothing. So by this point I'm just dying inside. What happened?! Our music leader person wasn't there so bishop asked me to lead the hymns. So, as we are singing and I'm leading the intermediate hymn, here comes Morgan walking in the door!!!!!!!!!!!! I about started jumping up and down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahaha que alegria!!! The reason why he was late was, he WALKED the whole hour from his house to the church because he didn't have the car. He walked. Dedication and desire right there I think!!! And it was perfect because he already knows a few of the members that we've brought to the lessons so he fit right in!! We have another lesson with him tomorrow so we'll talk to him more about it then! But we think he really like it!!! Prayers!!
Also we had another cool miracle happen this week! One of our lessons went late and we were super far from the plaza and had to walk a long dark street to get to the main road. Dreading it, we started walking haha all of the sudden this jeep stops next to us.. My heart started to pound as the person rolled down the window.. then she said..
Are you guys members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? I'm a member! WHEW!! Hahaha we all just started laughing! And she gave us a ride :) So this lady has been a member for 14 years and now lives in Chicago and is here for a week or so visiting her mom here in Juana Diaz! It turns out her mom was baptized 3 years ago but is now inactive because she didn't know anyone in the church. So, Heavenly Father crossed our paths and we now are working with the sweetest and funniest old lady ever!!!! Heavenly Father works in funny ways sometimes! It's definitely a blessing!!
Wow, this time goes by so fast! I don't have more time! But really, things are going good! The trio is going on super strong and we are doing our best to bring the beautiful message of the Christmas season to all that will hear!! Don't forget the real Gift of Christmas!! Él es la Dádiva :)
Hermana Holt

Gluten free cake

Gluten free sandwich

Juana Diaz and the amazing trio

Morgan's birthday

The melted cake

our free bags from the plaza

pinchos in the plaza

Hermana Escobar

Hermana Holt

the 3 hermanas with the 3 kings

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 37: The Trio

Hola a todos!!
Well, our precious Hermana Halling (de Michigan) has now joined the crew!! WE LOVE HER!!!! She came in Tuesday afternoon and she is such a light!! This is her second area and she only has 5 little months in the mission!! She is seriously the sweetest! I will be honest, being in a trio is definitely different - trying to figure out the contacting and the teaching - but we are making it work. It's a lot of communication between us 3, but I know it's going to help us in the long run!  
Another suprise this week, we have had no water the passed two days!! Hahaha talk about washing dishes and showering.. with bottles of water!! But luckily we were prepared!! When we first moved here they told us that every once and a while we don't have water and it could be for however long. So, every water bottle we used, we filled it back up with the sink water (that we don't drink.. it does not taste good haha) and we stored it in the closet! Well, all of these weeks were worth it because we basically used every single one haha it's been fun!
So, you guys are NOT going to believe it. Morgan didn't make it to church yesterday. I ABOUT DIED!! We aren't sure what happened yet.. but we are just praying everything is ok. We are seeing him tomorrow so prayers for him!! But this week was absolutely CRAZY. We are so exhausted. We have now trippled the amount of lessons Hna Escobar and I used to have and we are walking now both parts of the area - where the other sisters were and where we have been! Trying to plan everything has been rough but we hope with the next coupld of weeks things will start to smoothe out a bit!! Once we start getting to know the people more I'll give some more updates!!
I hope everyone got to see the Christmas Devotional! We had permission to see it but only in the chapel! Haha and of course our ward watches it in their house, so us missionaries crammed into the Secretaries office and we watched it on the computer! It froze a bit so we didn't get to hear all of it, but what we did hear was amazing!! I LOVE this time of year!! Especially being a missionary in this time of year :)
Anyway, I love you all and I hope everyone has an amazing week!! Sorry not a lot of time!
Hermana Holt 
We got our flu shot

Wanda took us out to lunch

We love our new companion Hermana Halling

My favorite ornament

We love Christmas

Our first Sunday as a trio

Watching the Christmas devotional in the clerks office

Our shower water for the past few days

I love my frappas!

Hermana Dominguez was with us today

Hermanas Dominguez, Holt, Halling and Escobar

One more car picture for the road

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 36: Él es la Dádiva

Hola a todos!!

Wow, I have a lot to cover in so little time! So, we have transfers this week and guess what?! Haha so of course as missionaries we always think what "might" happen in transfers and everything and let me tell you, Hermana Escobar and I were not thinking this!! So first of all, we are SO sad because Hermana Ramos and Boaz are both going home!! Yup, they've finished their missions!! It's been so weird to see them in the house completely packing.. what a roller coaster of emotions it has been! We are going to miss them like CRAZY. And with that, they gave us ALL of their investigators and less actives and converts - everything. Haha I can't even tell you how busy we are going to be this transfer... So our district leader calls us the other night and is like, ok so Hermana Holt, you are staying.. and Hermana Escobar.... you are staying too. AND it looks like you have another companion coming your way!


Hahaha how crazy is that?!?! From what we heard over the phone her name is Hermana Holly and she is coming tomorrow!! We are a little nervous because there are going to be three of us haha but we are super excited too, more power to us, right?! So, more about that next week :)

So one Wednesday we had another Zone Conference but we grouped with Caguas Zone because Elder Hugo Martinez and his wife came and spoke to us!!! They are AMAZING and it was such an amazing conference!! We studied a talk by Elder Bednar (Searching diligence by faith or something like that) and had a discussion with him about it! Super duper uplifting. Also, we were told about the Él es la Dádiva Iniciative - He is the Gift. I hope you guys have all heard about it be now!! If not, go to and watch the video! How amazing this time of year is and that we as members have the opportunity to share this Gift with all!! Our Heavenly Father has given us the most precious gift. Let us keep that in mind this Christmas season :)

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving!! We did hear and were able to spend it with a couple different members!! Haha I've never been so full in my entire life..

So guess what?! This week's the week!! This week is the week that Morgan is going to come to church!! AH we are so excited and are PRAYING all goes well! He is progressing super duper well! He is still having a hard time with the coffee but I've never seen someone so determined!! He strengthens our faith!!

Anyway, I've got to go, I hope everyone has an amazing week!! Don't forget to share the Gift :)

Hermana Holt

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 35: Baby it's HOT outside

Hola a todos!!

So this week was probably one of the hottest November weeks I have ever felt in my life!! It's crazy to think that in a couple of weeks we'll be in December haha because it doesn't feel like it! But oh my goodness, you would not believe how much the Puerto Rican people LOVE Christmas!! In almost every house there are already Christmas trees, we hear Christmas music in stores and in cars of people driving by (Spanish and English), and the day after Thanksgiving they are lighting up the whole plaza with lights - which they have been working on since the 1st of November hahaha. And the great thing is, Hermana Escobar and I are totally fine with it!! We've already started singing Christmas songs with the rest of Puerto Rico :) And sadly, Thanksgiving hasn't even passed yet! We still aren't sure of our eating plans, but I can tell you that we are going to be eating a TON. The Puerto Ricans love their holidays, and they love their holiday food! 

So guess what?! MORGAN GOT HIS ANSWER!!!! AH I almost cried in the lesson!! Do you realize how powerful prayer is? And the Holy Ghost? As we go to the Lord in humble prayer, He will answer us through the Holy Ghost. What a wonderful thing!! He bore a little testimony to us and it was the sweetest thing! And he has been working super duper hard with the coffee, the desire is there! But get this. Haha you guys are going to scream when you hear this, because I almost did! He can't make it to church this Sunday.... NO!! But, we have to be patient and he said that he will do all that he can to make it the next week.. so!! Prayers and prayers and more prayers!! But he's doing really good :)

So we found some more people to teach this week so that is super exciting!! One is a couple that we found and the wife is seriously the cutest thing! The husband (well, we are pretty sure they aren't married..) is pretty receptive, but I think the wife is more interested! Haha she kept asking us a ton of questions and we really felt the Spirit in that first lesson. Hopefully we will be able to see them again this week!

Things are going pretty well with the less actives! Surprisingly, sometimes they are a little bit harder to deal with than the investigators haha but we are seeing some definite changes!!

Anyway, sorry this is super short!! I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving! Don't forget to count your blessings :)

Hermana Holt

P.S. Haha yesterday we had our primary program and I about DIED it was the CUTEST thing! Really, the testimonies of little children are so powerful and so sweet!! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 34: My testimony

Hola a todos!!
So this week we didn't have as much time to work as we usually do because a lot of things came up, but besides that it was a pretty good week! We had our Zone Conference and it was amazing. Presidente y Hermana Boucher really are the best! I don't even know where I can begin to explain the conference, but I just feel like I should share my testimony and the feelings that I felt.
Well, also I've also had a lot of spiritual confirmations this week about the importance of missionary work. I've been able to really think about and remember why I chose to serve a mission, why I'm here specifically, and what Heavenly Father wants me to do. Even with all the amazing and hard experiences of being a full-time missionary, I can't help but feel so grateful at the reality that we are all missionaries. As members, we are missionaries! We talked a lot about "finding" during the Conference. Finding those people whom the Lord has been preparing. Finding the people who need some more love and hope in their lives. Finding the people who don't think they can make it through a trial in their life. And haven't we all felt like that sometimes? And how grateful we are that we have the Gospel of Jesus Christ to help us through. That we have the knowlegde of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. To know that he, our brother, sacrificed himself so that we can one day live again with him and our Heavenly Father. To know that when he atoned for our sins, when he was feeling the weight of the world, he felt every single one of our pains, our sorrows, our temptations, our sickness. EVERYthing. I feel like sometimes we don't actually think about what that means. But he did it for us.
But what about the people who really don't understand the Atonement? Who don't have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives? Who are fighting everyday with the personal trials that they have, and wondering if things really would ever get better. That is why we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ - to share a message of hope and love that can literally change the perspective and the lives of people. Heavenly Father loves EVERY single one of His children!! He truly does!! And all He needs us to do is to open our mouths, to share what we know and love! Every single person needs the blessings that come from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Also, I've been studying the General Conference talks (we finally got the Liahona!!).. how BLESSED we are to have the guidance of living prophets and apostles!! This is something that we love to share with the people here and we know that it brings SO much comfort and is so spiritually uplifting!! This church is so absolutely true, it's amazing!!
It was a great conference - and guess what?! Hermana Boucher is the best haha she made me gluten-free pasta for lunch and gluten-free/dairy-free cookies for my birthday!!! Hahaha so delicious!
So we taught Morgan the Word of Wisdom this week and he took it super duper well!! We were a little nervous at first, but the only problem he really has is with the coffee. He hasn't had alcohol in a long time so that was a blessing! But it was so funny because as soon as we said no coffee, he kinda chuckled a little bit and said, Yeah, I already knew that! He then told us a story about how he, a long time ago, heard one of his friends talking about how Mormons don't drink coffee (haha maybe it's just a normal conversation here??) and he told us how at that time he thought that was crazy! But he then told us how he remembered how hard it was for him to give up alcohol - but he did it. And that now it will be a bit hard for him to give up coffee - but he has done it before! Hermana Escobar and I were in such awe hahaha he's awesome! And we love his prayers, they are so sincere!! He always asks for help in preparation for his baptism! So we've had to move his baptismal date to the 20th of December, but he is set on going to church the 30th of November and actually might be coming to our ward Thanksgiving activity this Friday!! Prayers for him! 
So Wanda, our less active, came to church again yesterday!! Two in a row!! And get this.. she walked to church, got there early (the same time as the Elders..) helped set up chairs and everything and was the first in Relief Society! We love her to death and she had us over for lunch after and showed us all her pictures of her baptism and the sister missionaries that brought her the Gospel and everything! She is darling! Hopefully we will be able to have more less actives in our ward activity this week!! It's going to be a hit!!!
Well, that's all I have time for right now!! I love you all and I hope all is well!! Have a great week!!
Hermana Holt

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 33: Activation and RAIN

Hola a todos!!!
Well, this week actually was a pretty good one, but November has come with a TON of rain!! Haha I remember at the end of October everyone was saying, oh once we are in November it's definitely going to rain! Haha they weren't kidding. Since literally the 1st of November, it has almost rained everyday!! Pouring rain and to top it off, lost of cold wind :) Haha even though it's refreshing that we aren't sweating 24/7, it's not the funnest to walk around with wet shoes hahaha but it's been a blessing!
So, I'm going to start with Morgan first. Things are definitely going well - he is still reading and praying really hard for his answer! He has been reading the Book of Mormon with the Bible too, which he says he really enjoys and he can really see how they go hand in hand! But, he won't be able to make it to church until he is done with his work at the end of the month. So, that definitely puts a set back on the baptismal date. We are kinda bummed, but we still feel super blessed for the opportunity to teach him and to see the changes in him already! He really has the biggest desire and he is actually super sad that he can't make it to church earlier! But we know that he is going to be a super strong in the Gospel, so that's what matters!!!! We do have a ward Thanksgiving get together in a couple weeks and he has plans to stop by so that will definitely help in his progression with getting to know more of the members!
So guess what?! We had a lot of success this week with some of the less actives! We had a change of plans, so we weren't able to teach all of the ones that we had planned, but we know Heavenly Father is still in charge! So, we met with a less active named Wanda. She is seriously such a sweetheart and we already have a lot of trust with her! The lesson was super spiritual and really tender for her. She explained to us what happened when she stopped going to church.. but even with those challenges, she still studies the Book of Mormon and prays everyday. And when she doesn't have to work Sundays, she does all she can to keep the Sabbath Day Holy. She told us that she strives to keep the commandments and to follow what she has learned as a member! It was kind of hard for us to understand why then wasn't she coming to church, when she knows that it's what she needs to do. But with the help of the Spirit, we were able to talk with her and of course did our best to invite her with all the love of our hearts and promised her the blessings of this commandment and blessing Heavenly Father has given us! She told us she would think about it. So the next morning, what do you know? There's Wanda with Sister Madeline walking into church!!!! It was awesome. She was a little bit quieter during church, but we are praying that she felt the Spirit!! We have another appointment with her this week! It really was a miracle.
We visitied another less active named Nellie. She is so darling!! She is 23 and only her and her dad were baptized. They have been inactive for about 10 years and right now her dad is in the States for work. So in the lesson it was just her and her mom, who is now our investigator!! But from what she explained, she knows a lot about the church and wasn't baptized because she wasn't able to make it to church a lot. But she has been to Stake Conference before with her husband and has read parts of the Book of Mormon! The lesson went really well and we are super excited to teach them! And we are really excited for Nellie because we are thinking that now is the time for her - she got really excited when she explained to us what she read in the Book of Mormon and said there is a lot of stuff that she is remembering. She just wants to prepare herself a little bit more before visiting church again. So, we are excited for them and are hoping that she will be able to help us teach the lessons to her mom!
Another less active is Rosa. What a sweetheart she is!! We were a little worried at first because she seemed a little hesitant with us when we made the appointment, but she totally was herself in the lesson!!! When she explained her baptism, we knew it was a special moment for her because of the way she explained it. I don't know about her, but I definitely felt the Spirit! But she has been inactive for 20 years now!! But little by little we are hoping to help her again feel the peace and the joy that comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She was super excited when we have her a chapter to read from the Book of Mormon, so that's a good sign!!
So, we have finally moved into the new house! I'm not sure if I've explained that situation a lot, but we had a lot of.. house problems in the other one hahaha so now we are literally about a 20 second walk from the church!! Super nice :) We had planned on moving on Friday, but we had to move it to Saturday! So yes, we moved on my birthday!! Super fun actually and my companions are so sweet because they decorated the house with streamers and balloons and did a little surprise with all of the district!! They even made me a gluten-free cake :) Then we all went to lunch with Elder and Sister Eakle from the office, who were there helping us move!! It was a good day!
Well, that's all I have time for!! This week I had a lot of spiritual confirmations about the truthfulness of this Gospel. I know it's true. The Church is true!! Jesus Christ lives. Heavenly Father loves us! Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and we are still guided by prophets in these latter days. What an amazing thing we are apart of!!! Have a great week everyone :)

Hermana Holt

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 32: A big surprise

Hola a todos!!

Well, this week was a bit of a surprise!! At first, it was a little frustrating because all week basically every single investigator that we went to, they either weren't there, or they had to cancel. So there we were walking and walking.. and walking, praying to know what to do. Well, Heavenly Father definitely knows the area and the people more than we could ever know! So, one day this week, we decide to go contacting in a neighborhood that we have only been through a couple times. So for a start, we took the ward list and starting looking for los menos activos! As we are searching for a street, one of the active members in our ward walks outside of his house, so of course we say hi and he invites us in so we can say hi to his wife! And to our surprise, with Sister Madeline, there is a less active that we have trying to get in contact with since the DAY we got here!! There they were just talking and it turns out they are basically best friends! We were able to have a mini lesson with them and we have an appointment with her this week :) What a blessing and definitely a surprise for us!

So we continue walking afterwards when we find another house of a less active. We don't even have time to say Buenas Tardes when the wife sees us and starts saying, awe hello!! So sorry, we don't have time right now but you guys can totally stop by this next week!! So we have an appointment with her (who isn't a member) and her husband this week! :) IT DOESN'T END HERE! The house across the street from them, we start talking to a guy outside and it turns out his wife was the other less active who we were looking for :) Hahaha so he calls her outside and we talked to her and have an appointment with them this week also!! Can you believe that? We have been praying really hard to find the people that can really help strengthen the ward. And it's crazy to think that the people that Heavenly Father wanted us to be in contact with this week weren't necessarily our investigators, but the members who for some time were in the church but for some reason haven't been a part of it. Not sure how all these lessons will go, but we are praying for the best!! 

Also, we had been praying all week that Morgan would be able to finish all of his work so that he could make it to church. And what a blessing that it was fast Sunday! Unfortunately, he wasn't able to make it and I kid you not, the SECOND we finished our fast, he called and had to cancel the lesson that was planned for that night. Are you serious?! I almost cried because I seriously was thinking, what happened?! So, we had a change of plans and walked a pretty long distance to the house of a contact we had talked to a while ago that said the best times were Sundays. And once we got there, nothing. Wow! I didn't even know what to think when my companion thought, why don't we go next door and ask. So, we went and a guy walked out and said, it's the Elders! Haha um, we are actually called Hermanas! Hahaha he was like, oh yeah that's right - I used to go the LDS church, I was a member for 7 years before I moved.


So this guy and 3 other people in his family were baptized when they lived in Ponce and was a strong member for 7 years, but he told us with some family problems, he moved here to Juana Diaz and just wasn't able to come to our ward because of work and because he said he didn't know anyone. So we had a really good lesson with him and oh my goodness he totally has a testimony and everything!! We have an appointment with him and his mom this week also, and he said that if he can, he will try to make it to church this Sunday! Oh wow, we are praying super hard for that!! The Lord also blessed us because we ran into Morgan that day and he said that we can stop by Tuesday! So all is well!!

This week definitely was a week of miracles with the less actives. They are still part of the work!! I know Heavenly Father is in charge of every aspect of it.

Saturday we also had a fun service project because it was the international day of service!! So every ward here in Puerto Rico had a service project and we got to help clean and paint a school for little kids called Head Start! It was SO fun and awesome and if the computer works I'll try and send pictures!!

Well, that's all for now. Sometimes the Lord directs us in ways He knows we need to go even when we might not want to, or we just have no idea why. Trust in Him!! It will always turn out in the best way, His way.

Love you all, have a great week!!

Hermana Holt

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 31: 7 months

Hola a todos!
Ok, so this week definitely took a turn on us! Wednesday morning my poor companion woke up with a terrible fever and could barely walk! She has Chikungunya. Chikungunya is a virus here right now in Puerto Rico that is spread by mosquitos and it is not a fun thing! So, we spent 4 days in the house. But not to worry! She is doing a lot better and she has been able to walk a lot more - my companion is a trooper!!
So, with that being said, we didn't have a lot of lessons this week, BUT we did have see a miracle with Morgan... he accepted a baptismal date for November 22nd!!!!!! AH! We are so excited!! It's so crazy because he really knows that all the things that we are teaching him is true, and he has the biggest desire to be closer to Christ. So we were super confused the last week when he wasn't super sure on a specific date. But at the end of the lesson we had this week with him, he finally accepted a specific date! So of course, we are going to working super duper hard that he feels prepared and ready! He told us that he wants to be super duper sure, so he wants to attend church. Pues, claro!! But, with Stake Conference yesterday and him having to work, he couldn't make it. And he told us that he would at the beginning of November he would move his work around so that he was able to attend. So prayers for this weekend! He said that if he can get everything done, he will try this week but if now, for sure next week. Woo!!
So we had Stake Conference this weekend and it was amazing! Elder Claude R. Gamiette, one of the Area Authorites of the Carribean Area, came and spoke! Wow, he was awesome and gave us a lot of excitement to work even harder together - members and missionaries. And really, the work of the Lord cannot be done without missionaries AND members. It's the truth! We are all missionaries and have a responsibility to share what we know and believe. It shouldn't be because someone is forcing us to, but because we have such a love for the Gospel, for the Savior, and for the people around us, that we want them to experience all the blessings that we have seen and felt in our lives! There is a reason that missionary work is something that is talked about so much. Heavenly Father needs our help in rescuing His children. There are so many people in this world who need the Light of Christ, who need hope. There are so many people who are praying with all their faith for something more. And that is something we have. Shouldn't we share that with others? I know that as members and missionaries work together, the Lord will pour out his blessings on every single one of us and that miracles will be seen. I hope that everyone will strive to be a missionary this week, whether that is going to a lesson with the full-time missionaries, or just sharing a testimony with a friend! As we learn here in the mission and I know it applies to everyone as well, no effort is lost - it is all worth something.
Anyway, that's all for right now! Hopefully lessons will be better this week and that there will be some more exciting news next week!! Have a great week everyone!!

Hermana Holt

7 months down (the piece of paper)
11 months to go (the number of people in the picture)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 30: Juana Diaz Round 2

Hola a todos!!
So, I'm staying in Juana Diaz with Hermana Escobar!!!! WOO!! We are super excited because guess what...? We might have a baptism in November!!!! We are praying super duper hard!! But also, we might be moving houses, so don't send me anything til I know for sure next week.
So I just have to start with our amazing lessons that we had this week with Morgan! Oh my goodness, they were awesome!! So our first lesson with him we taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he took it super duper well - he already has a ton of faith and believes in baptism and the Holy Ghost and all of that, we just had to clarify some things. But it was so great because we had asked him to read a chapter from the Book of Mormon the week before, and he read the whole thing and basically taught us what the chapter was about! He read 3 Nephi 11 and he said he really liked how it testified of Jesus Christ and taught about baptism and the Holy Ghost. And then he said, I know it's true. Uhh, what? He has a testimony of the Book of Mormon!!!! I almost died right there in the lesson! But it's poco a poco so we are having him read a lot more. So at the end of the lesson, my companion asked him to be baptized - and he ACCEPTED, but he first wants to be able to come to church and keep reading a little bit more! So that's a start and we are definitely working with it! So that was Wednesday. So we went back yesterday with the Elders Quorum President and taught the first part of the Plan of Salvation. Again, he read 2 Nephi 31 and really liked it!! Ok, what I love about the lessons with Morgan is that when you talk, he really listens and ponders what you are saying. His desire to know is just incredible! Anyway, so as we rapped up the lesson, we asked him how he was feeling about everything. Then, he began to say how the other day when he was reading from the Book of Mormon, he started to feel something and he knew it was the Spirit; and how when we talk to him and teach him, he knows that we are all telling the truth, and that he can feel it. I was almost in tears!!!! And then comes the best part, his prayer! Oh my goodness I kid you not, my eyes even though they were closed, were full of tears! He said in his prayer, that he has NO doubt that what we were saying was true and kept asking Heavenly Father for the knowledge that he needed to keep going in the Gospel. AHHHH!!!! Can you say miracle investigator?! We just feel so blessed for the opportunity to teach him!! Now, of course he needs to be coming to church, so that is something we are really striving for. We have Stake Conference this week in Ponce... so that's a little bit of an obstacle, but we are hoping all will work out! Hna Boaz y Ramos have a baptism this Friday, so we are invited him to that!! Keep him in your prayers!!
So, with Carlos, sadly he didn't make it to church this week but the lesson with him about the Book of Mormon was so sweet!! So, I'm not sure if I told you, but he has an eye problem right now so he can't read. But, we wanted to give him a Book of Mormon so that we he can, he will be able to read it! Oh my goodness, to see his face when I gave it to him, wow! He just held it and looked at it like it was the most amazing thing in the world!! Which it is ;) We also taught a lady named Virgen and she is such a gem! She lost her mom 4 months ago and so was a little emotional when we talked about families, but she sald that she felt something different and that she really liked what we talked about!! Woo!!
So, that's what we are working with right now and we love every second of it!! We are hoping for exciting things this next week :) The church is true everyone. We talked to a lot of people about the Plan of Salvation and families this week - which is my favorite thing to talk about because really, the knowledge that we have has brought me SO much joy. I am SO grateful for the Restored Gospel and for all that it entails. Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us. Jesus Christ lives and I feel beyond grateful to be a representative of him. Have a great week everyone!!
Hermana Holt

On our P-day we got to take a trolley ride and tour Juana Diaz

 Enjoying the beauty of this place

The awesome foursome

Hermana Holt was here

I love being a missionary

Hi Mom and Dad, I found this old fashioned phone.  Guess where I am going today?

We finally got to go to the ocean

I love the Puerto Rican beaches

 Another cool statue

 They have black sand

I love these girls

Proud missionaries

Having a Titanic moment

 Say hello to my little friend

I think I'm gonna be ok

Hermana Ramos

Going on exchanges

Hanging on to Hermana Leonardo before she heads home.  This is our zone.  Do I look tan to you?

The Elders trunk at the trunk or treat party

the YW presidents son

The Stake President's wife and some young women