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