Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Week 18: 4 months

So Transfers are this week...
Haha what a stressful and emotional week it has been anticipating to find out if I was staying or going and who was going to be my companion! All the members have been freaking out too haha. And especially because right before we got the call from our District Leader, we extended 3 Baptismal Dates and they all accepted!!!! Hahaha so we were just hoping and hoping that we would stay, of course keeping in mind that it is the will of the Lord! Our District Leader called us when we were walking down the street, and when he told us we literally started dancing and jumping up and down haha all the cars were probably like who are these missionaries?! But it was something worth dancing for! We are super excited to have another 6 weeks to work here together!
So, let me tell you about these 3 investigators! I think I talked a little bit about them last week, but one of them is Aurora. She is awesome!! She has the absolute biggest desire to know the truth! She has visited so many different churches that all have different doctrine, so she is super confused about a lot of things. So she has a lot of questions too though, which is good! As we taught her the Restoration she was completely intrigued by the Book of Mormon, and I almost cried when I saw her reaction as we gave it to her! She just kept telling us over and over how happy she was to receive it and how she was super excited to start reading it!! Yaya!! She accepted a date for the 23rd of August, so we are going to work really hard with her. The only thing is, she is super busy during the week so we only get to see her once a week, but we are hoping we can teach her twice a week! Vamos a ver!
The other two are Peggy (the American) and now her husband Vicente! Oh my goodness she is hilarious!! And guess what? We have been teaching her in English and it's been SO fun! Haha and really, Hermana Sosa is rocking it too! Vicente understands English too, but we want to take time to teach him some of the doctrine in Spanish too so he can really understand. It's been a little weird knowing what to do with the different languages, but I feel that the Lord is guiding us in knowing what to say. And oh my goodness, Vicente is so cute to Peggy! He always re-explains the things we say to make sure that she understands! Haha so when we mention Joseph Smith he'll be like, "You know Peggy, the prophet that..." and stuff like that haha it's so great! They are super receptive and are super willing to learn. When we extended the Baptism Date, Peggy was super concerned because she is in a wheelchair and thought that we were going to baptize her in the river!!! Haha what? We talked about it though with her and it's all good now!
Now, the only thing is, with these investigators, and actually with ALL of our investigators, is getting them to come to church. And going to church is just as important!! Gah!! It's frustrating sometimes, but we keep working with it! Concerning our other investigators, sadly none of them are progressing as much as we would like them to. HOWEVER, we have 6 more weeks so they haven't gotten rid of us yet :)
One amazing thing that happened this week!! So, there is a family of 7 in the ward  - seven!! - that recently became less active about a month or so before we got here, so for about 4 months now. We had only taught them one time when we first got here and the other times, they were never home and the mom wouldn't answer our calls. The kids are 14, 11, 6, and twins that are 3, such a cute family! The ward has been fighting to try and get them to church so Saturday we decided to go check to see if they would let us in, and they did!! We talked about the talk that President Uchtdorf gave in the last October General Conference! Haha I'm not sure what it is in English but I think it's like, Come and Join With Us, amazing talk. We shared this and invited them to come to church. As we were sitting in Relief Society yesterday morning, the Stake Presidents Wife was giving the lesson when she basically screamed, they came!! The window in the RS room outlooks the parking lot and THEY CAME TO CHURCH!!! I kid you not, all of the RS women were literally almost in tears and the RS president kept blowing me and Hermana Sosa kisses haha but of course, we all know that it wasn't us missionaries, but the Holy Ghost testifying to this family too! We have another appointment this week, so we are hoping all goes well and that we can have 2 weeks in a row!!
Well, that's all I can think of right now! We are praying hard here for the work to keep progressing, and I am so excited for the 6 weeks more that I have to work! Have a great week everyone!!
Hermana Holt

 How should I celebrate?

With a gluten free pancake

our investigator, Zaida, and her cute dog

cutest missionaries ever

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Week 17: Another baptism

Hola todo!

Sorry I couldn't write yesterday, there was a holiday here or something so the Library was closed! But guess what also happened yesterday? We got a text Sunday that we were having a Zone activity for our P-day.. and that to be ready to go bowling!!! Hahaha yup, my whole zone went bowling for P-day, it was SO fun!! Kinda weird to see everyone in regular clothes, but it was a fun time!!

So guess what... YAN CARLOS WAS BAPTIZED!!!! WOOO!! It was super nice and a lot of the ward members came!! Haha well, his uncle is the Stake President (President Arrocho) who is in our ward and baptized him, and actually, basically all the Arrocho family is in the ward! So they were all there haha but it was really great!! And his mom was super excited for the baptism too which was so awesome to see!! Yayaya for baptisms!!! 

With our other investigators though we didn't have a lot of luck this week, but we are hoping to have more contact with Marilin, Nilda, and Sandra this coming week. Everyone was just super busy this past week which was hard! But however, we did find two more investigators to teach who are ready to hear the Gospel!!! One of them we might actually have to teach in English... YES!!! Haha Hermana Sosa isn't as excited for that as I am :) Anyway, her name is Peggy and she is actually from New York and moved here to Puerto Rico like almost 30 years ago without knowing Spanish! Crazy, right? So she has learned over the years but sometimes, especially talking about Gospel things, it's a little bit more confusing for her in Spanish. And she can't read in Spanish! So we are teaching her the Restoration today in English :) and I'm praying it goes well!! The other is Aurora!! She definitely is ready to hear the Gospel! When she was talking to us she was telling us how she has searched and searched for a church to help her feel completely whole, I guess you could say. A church where she would know and feel the truth, all of the truth. Umm, hello!!! We are hear to help you with that :) Gah!!! We are super excited to go back and teach her this week!! 

Friday we had our actual Zone Conference and it was amazing!! I love President and Hermana Boucher, they are seriously the best! President definitely has goals for the mission and so we are working hard to try and achieve them. Also, 2 days before the conference they asked if I could help with the musical number.. ahh!! Haha they tried to find me a violin but they couldn't find one so I played the EFY version of I Know That My Redeemer Lives and some of the sisters sang it!! It's a pretty big song and I was super nervous, but all went well!! 

So, this week is my last week of training... where has the time gone?! This Saturday (my 4 month mark) we are going to find out about Transfers, who is staying and who is going! Hermana Sosa says I'm most likely staying, which to be honest I am kind of scared about this.. ok I'm freaked out!! Haha but really, I know the Lord is going to send me (or let me stay) where He needs me!! Entonces, vamos a ver!! 

I'm sorry I'm keeping everything super short, I have less time today because we have more appointments for the day!! I hope everyone has an amazing week!! The Church is true!!!!

Hermana Holt

 bowling with my district

 funny to wear jeans

 Yan Carlos baptism

 Yan Carlos family

 Hermana Boucher-mission president's wife

Hermana Howell

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 16: More teaching

Hola todo!!
Well, what a week this has been! First off, we have a baptism this weekend!!! Surprise!! Haha so here is what happened, so there is a family in our ward, both the parents are members and they have two sons - one is 13 who was baptized and the other, Yan Carlos, who is 9 who hasn't been. The family only comes to Sacrament meeting and I guess when Yan Carlos turned 8 they just didn't baptize him? I don't know exactly what happened but we have been teaching him once a week ever since we have been here in San Sebastian! He's never been to Primary so we have to teach him pretty slow and simply. His mom still doesn't bring him to Primary, but we have been praying really hard and we are starting to see a change in her as well. So we are hoping that after the baptism she will bring them!! We thought that this baptism would be part of the ward, but actually it is one of ours because he is above the age of 8! So he is going to be baptized this weekend!! Wooo!!
So we were hoping to have baptismal dates with 3 of our investigators this week, but it didn't exactly work out that way! So with our first, Marilin - she is our investigator that has been progressing the most! She literally is completely prepared. She was the one that I talked about in the previous email who we are pretty sure was Mormon before because she knew and understood everything! We taught her the first part of the Plan of Salvation this week and she absolutely LOVED it. And get this!! So we asked her if she read the Introduction to the Book of Mormon and she literally marked the whole thing and the testimonies of the 11 witnesses! And she wanted to make sure she understood everything and so she explained it back to us, and it was better than I could have explained it in Spanish haha she seriously is a gem!! We extended a baptismal date at the end of the lesson and she paused for a second and said.. You know what, I need to ask someone first... (haha we were thinking.. um who??) ... I want to ask God to see if this is the right date for me to be baptized. Uh YES! Ask Him!!! We were going to visit her again later in the week but she got a surprise visit from her nephew so we weren't able to. We have appointments set up with her this week so we are praying that she can continue to progress!! Her desire to know is amazing! And it was so funny because the other sisters are teaching her mother in law and Marilin happened to be over at her mother in laws house when the sisters were teaching her the Restoration! And the sisters told us that Marilin was helping them teach the Apostasy hahaha how funny is that?? She is great!
So our other investigators are Nilda and Sandra, the mom and daughter. We taught them 3 times this past week and they still say they have a desire to be baptized, but they still want to learn more before they make the decision when. And they are not exactly keeping with their committments.. gah! When we stopped by Saturday to teach them, Sandra was just about to leave with her guy friend - no they aren't "boyfriend and girlfriend" so she says haha but we are a little worried because he is a lot older than she is and when she saw us she just left with him. NO!! But it gave us the opportunity to really talk with the mom and the baptism. They were going to come to church with us on Sunday but they cancelled.. again!! We were so sad!! Right now, we are kind of stuck on what to do. But we have more appointments this week so we are just praying that everything will work out the way it needs to and that we'll be able to help them progress!
We found some more people to teach for this next week so we are excited! So hopefully I'll have more investigators to write about next week! The weather here has been completely bipolar it is insane! One minute it is sunny and boiling hot, and then the next moment we are literally running to the closest house for shelter from the lightning (hahaha I'm not even kidding, it happened this week!!)! But hey, it's Puerto Rico and I love it :) Anyway, I'm out of time! Have a great week everyone!!
Hermana Holt

 Cool walking picture

 What it looks like before rain

 It's almost here

 Service project

1st time wearing jeans

Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 15: Welcome Presidente Y Hermana Boucher

Hello everyone!! So it's super funny because to be completely honest, I totally forgot about the 4th of July this past week hahaha!! But the hard thing was, everyone here didn't! Friday, Saturday, and Sunday there was this huge festival/party type thing and I'm pretty sure everyone in San Sebastian went for all three days! I kid you not, there was NO one in the street!! Haha I literally felt like I was in a cowboy movie and a tumbleweed crossed the street! So the work was a little slow those 3 days, but we still had some great lessons this past week!

We recieved a reference from the other sister missionaries a couple weeks ago of a lady they had talked to who wanted to listen to the missionaries. We tried to contact her all last week but her gate was closed! We stopped by again on wednesday and she was there!! Woo!! Oh my goodness, she is absolutely awesome!! And she has THE biggest desire to know the truth! She has a firm religious background too so she has a ton of faith which is great! We went back Saturday and taught her the first lesson. The lesson went SO well guys!! Like SO well!! She participated and basically understood everything! When we taught the Apostasy she was like, "ohh ok yeah! And because of that, this happened, and because of that, this needed to happen, right?" And she was basically right 95% of the time!! It was kinda crazy!! It's like she was Mormon before or something haha I don't know! Anyway, one of the most powerful parts of the lesson, was the Restoration. Hna Sosa lets me teach the Restoration part of the lesson and I am SO glad she does! But this lesson in particular, I don't know why it seemed different, but as I said the first vision the Spirit was SO strong I can't even explain it!! And I absolutely am certain that she felt it too because after I finished she just put her hand over her heart and just said wow, it's true. It was incredible!! There is so much power in the message of the Restoration. You know why? Because it's TRUE! And the Spirit only testifies of things that are true!! She came with us to church yesterday which was awesome and we have another appointment with her tomorrow so we're praying that all will go well!! But really, I have never seen anyone this prepared to recieve the Gospel!! GAH!! I'm so excited!! Haha after we left the lesson Hna Sosa and I could not stop jumping up and dancing!! Haha it was awesome! How grateful we feel that Heavenly Father allows us to find and teach His children! He truly loves ALL of us!

So, our other progressing investigator, the husband of one of the members in our ward, is apparently going on a trip this next week... a month long trip. NOO!! We taught him lesson 3 and really focused on faith and how with faith, we don't need a perfect knowledge of all things and we asked again about his baptism, and this is when he told us about his trip! Gah!! So teaching him has been put on hold and we'll see what happens when we get back. He plans on reading the Book of Mormon while he's gone though and we have chapters for him to read! So, we're just praying that he reads them! Our other progressing investigators (the mother and daughter) had another family thing this past sunday so they couldn't come to church again.. but THIS sunday!! We teach them a ton throughout the week and they are still receptive! We extender a baptismal date to them too and they said that they want to feel completely prepared before they do so, but they are definitely willing! So, the desire is there which is great!! So we have a lot of appointments with them this week! We do have a little bit of a dilemma though.. there is another family in our ward that apparently isn't on "good terms" with this family we are teaching... soo we are praying that everything will turn out alright!!

Anyway, really fast, we got to meet our new Mission President this past week and his wife!! Presidente y Hermana Boucher!! They are SO awesome!! The meeting was a super quick one but we got to visit with them and everything and he talked about the mission and his vision for the mission and all that fun stuff! I'm super excited and we have another meeting next week to go over even more stuff!! So, lots of meetings and lots of missionary work!! It's basically the best :) Anyway, have a great week everyone!!!

Hermana Holt

the ridiculous missionary tan line


so delicious

Sisters conference June 23, 2014
with President and Sister Zwick and Sheri Dew