Monday, February 23, 2015

Week 48: Staying and Training

Hola a todos!!

Well, transfers are tomorrow and guess what..?? I'M GOING TO BE TRAINING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And my cute Hermana Lara is headed for Trujillo Alto!!! We are SUPER shocked but at the same time we felt that there was a change coming.. Hahaha of course I am completely shocked because I was NOT thinking training!! But at the same time, I'm super excited! Wow. Ah!!! Tomorrow we have a meeting for all the trainers and then I should be picking my "daughter" up at like 5 or so. I'm so excited to meet her!!

This past week we had our Zone Conference and it was AMAZING!! I love being a missionary so so much, I just want to be a missionary forever!! There are still so many things I need to learn and so many things I want to accomplish!! I'm praying that in these next 7 months I'll be able to do that! We focused a lot on our purpose as missionaries and the word invite. As we continually invite others to come unto Christ, we are able to help them change and use the Atonement of Jesus Christ! Hermana Boucher also talked to us about Family History and the book called My Family. Get it and fill it out!! In these next months we are going to be trying as missionaries to focus on our Family History (obviously we can't do a lot) - but we each received a copy of My Family and began filling it out!! We felt the Spirit of Elias SO much and I testify that it is real! How loving is our Heavenly Father that we are able to do the work for our ancestors? That we are able to also learn about them and link families together for eternity? I just love it all! And I'm not sure if I told you last week but a contact contacted us and is super interested in doing her Family History and we've already been able to visit with her and has been in contact with members about the Family History Center we have at our ward building. How cool?! It's such a great way to bring others to the Restored Gospel. And really, doing Family History is SO important and really should be big apart of our lives. And I love something that Hermana Boucher said, that as missionaries we are a apart of the Work of Salvation, not just Missionary Work!

This week we had a miracle! Haha well after the Zone Conference we felt like we were just on a spiritual high! We were invincible haha! Right after we had a lesson with an investigator that we weren't sure if she was progressing or if she really had a lot of interest.. but we taughet her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it went SO well! She was super receptive and paid a lot of attention and everthing!! So at the end of the lesson I had the impression to invite her... Invite her to what?? So, I just looked at her and said, Theresa, when you pray and come to know that these things are true, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone who holds the authority of God? ....silence..... then she says, YES!! Uhhh huh?! Haha it was SO cool!! We haven't set up a date but we have a lesson with her this week so we're praying it goes well!!  

We continue to see little blessings and miracles every day. How grateful I feel to wear the missionary plaque that says his name, Jesus Christ. Wish me luck this week with the transfers!! I'm a little more than sad that Hermana Lara is leaving - she has taught me so many things and I am forever grateful for her example! But I know she is going to work miracles throughout her mission! The mission continues and I hope and pray that now I'll be able to help my new daughter see how much I love and the Lord loves Arecibo!! Have a great week everyone!!

Hermana Holt

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week 47: Happy Valentine's Day

Hola a todos!!
Well, I really don't have any time today but this week was a good week! It was definitely a week full of service - it seems like almost every day we found opportunites to help our investigators or members!! Service really is a way we can share the pure love of Christ <3 Speaking of love, I hope everyone had a good Valentines Day!! Ours was super sweet because we went with one of our investigators to the cemetary to help her bring some things to her sons grave who passed away some years ago, but he was only 33. It was super cool that she allowed us to spend that time with her when she really needed it!
Also, Jennifer came to church again!! WOO! And this time she was able to make it to Gospel Principles AND Sacrament Meeting! Hahaha so we are hoping in these next weeks she'll be able to make it to all 3 hours, we are praying for that!! 
Really fast I just wanted to share what Hna Lara and I were studying today in our studies - it was super funny because both of our studies brought us to studying about the Atonement, and after Hna Lara shared what she learned, I was like, I studied about the Atonement too!! Haha it was super funny and I guess it's what we needed to hear. But there was something that really stuck out to me in Preach My Gospel about the Atonement. It used the word "confiar" or "to trust" in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. How cool is that? I feel like as we come to understand what the Atonement is and what it does for us personally, we should trust in it! Trust in our Savior Jesus Christ! Trust that he really did pay for our sins and that we can be forgiven! Trust that we really can become more like him as we humble ourselves and ask for his help! Trust! I just love the word and it's helped me to start looking at and using the Atonement in a new perspective. I hope and pray that we can all take a little time to stop and think and even study a little bit more about the Atonement and what it means for each and every one of us and then to trust in it!
Have a great week!!
Hermana Holt

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 46: Fasting is REAL

Hola a todos!!

Fasting is REAL and I know it works!! Hermana Lara and I experienced a miracle this week and we are super excited for the weeks to come!

So, a little background. Remember how two weeks ago we had an investigator, Jennifer, come to church with her two little kids? Well, we weren't sure what happened but after that Sunday, we lost contact with her. We passed by her house and she wasn't there or she was leaving, we called her and she either didn't answer or said she didn't know. My heart was broken because we had no idea what happened! But we did what we could and tried to pass when we could. So this past Saturday we started our wonderful fast and then that night, we were at Margaritas house and she was actually pumped up to go to church the next day. I'm talking that she bought a dress and everything! This was a HUGE step because we feel like she keeps going backwards and backwards and hasn't made a lot of effort to keep her commitments, which has been super sad to see. Well, yesterday morning she told us that she wasn't feeling good to go. NOO!! Hna Lara and I were so sad, and I seriously thought, what more can we do for our investigators? So we continued our day and actually received a lot of comfort at church. The spirit was super strong especially in Sacrament Meeting when the members shared their testimonies! I could really feel the fast working and the Lords love for me even with everything that has been happening with our investigators and less actives. Here's when the miracle happened. When the closing prayer finished, one of the Elders quickly came to us and said, Sisters, I think one of your investigators is in the back..

Who in the world came? Margarita? Who could it be?


It was JENNIFER with her two kids!!!! I almost started jumping up and down and almost couldn't hold in my tears!! Heavenly Father answers prayers!! He is SO in charge of this work it's ridiculous!! Now get this, she, by herself with her two kids, had walked (in HIGH heels I might add) to Sacrament Meeting from her house. WALKED. Now that's desire, right? I just can't believe that even with two weeks without seeing her she made the effort to come to church!! So we took the opportunity right after to have a lesson with her in the church with one of the recent converts that we are teaching, Brenda! Her and her son who were just baptized in October shared their conversion and it was super spiritual!! And don't worry, the members gave her a ride home! But wow. I wish you could have heard it when Jennifer said the closing prayer, she gave thanks to our Heavenly Father because even though she wasn't sure if they were going to make it that morning, they were able to because she knew God was helping them. WOW! So not only does God answer our prayers as missionaries, but He answers every single one of our investigators prayers too. I just know it!!

Now it doesn't stop there. Later in the day it happened to start raining and we forgot our umbrellas.. haha.. and we happened to walk down Jennifers street when she saw us and says, do you want to come in?? Uhhh claro que si!! So we taught her and her mom :) WOW! I just hope that we can continue seeing miracles with her. She is SO ready to hear the Gospel and I know it's going to bless her and her kids SO much!!

We also had another miracle because POR FIN we were able to teach Elsa and her three kids. They are the family that came to church my first Sunday. And it is super duper hard to teach them because they have work and school and homework and everything it seems like haha but we were able to catch them and share with them the Book of Mormon. Powerful!! Elsa gave such a beautiful testimony and shared how she knew the BofM was true! Wow!! Anddd yet they still aren't sure about getting up early to go to church if their mom can't go... but we are hoping and praying that little by little they'll be able to each make that decision for themselves. They are such an amazing family!! 

Well, that's all I have time for this week! I love being a missionary so so much. I can truly see the hand of the Lord in every part of the missionary work here in Arecibo! It's the best! I love you all and I hope you have a great week!!

Hermana Holt 

My beautiful investigator Jennifer

Jennifer and her kids, Kimberly and Victor

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 45: Area Conference

Hola a todos!! 

Yesterday we had our Area Conference!! So all of the Caribbean Islands got to watch a broadcast all the way from Salt Lake, it was AMAZING!! Elder Anderson (not the Apostle, he is the President of the Area), Sister Bonnie Oscarson, Elder Holland, and Elder Packer spoke to us. The leaders of the Church are SO inspired by our Heavenly Father and Hermana Lara and I received a lot of spiritual confirmations on how to help the people of Puerto Rico really progress! Elder Anderson talked about faith and how faith is not just to have a goal or vision in mind and to think, Wow, that would be really great if I could reach that; but faith is to ACT on the visions and goals that we have and to really have the hope that we can accomplish them! We CAN have a temple here in Puerto Rico!! We just need to act. But the most important thing about faith is to have faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. HE makes all things possible if we trust in him!! Sister Oscarson talked to the youth and how they can prepare themselves for their future families. She mentioned a lot the principle of virtue in DC 121:45. It is so important to continually be pure, virtuous and clean! Then we are able to have the Spirit with us always, and that's the most important! Elder Holland, so powerful! And oh my goodness, he gave his testimony in Spanish and it was one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard! It really doesn't matter how well you speak a language, but if you can speak with the language of the Spirit, WOW. There are no words! His talk was focused on a scripture that is now one of my favorites!! I forgot where it is but it's Stand ye in Holy Places and be not moved.. he then applied the scripture to our homes, the church, and then the temple. Loved it! Elder Packer finished with his testimony - I love his testimony! He also talked about the importance of worthiness and that we should always be worthy of a temple recommend. Temples and families!! What better themes can we talk about?? 

Guess what?? Tatiana (our investigator that is 16) accepted a baptismal date for the end of February!! YAY! We are super excited! She knows that the Church is true and everything, she's just a little bit scared to really admit it, but she is totally willing to do all she can to prepare herself for the end of February. I cannot testify enough of Alma 37:6-7 that really the small things we do can bring about great things!! Saying our prayers and studying the scriptures every day will bring about a firm testimony! 

Also, we are teaching another family! WOO! We were super worried because the wife did not seem interested but as soon as we talked about families and the plan that Heavenly Father has for them, she was like, you guys can come back next week! It was great :) Wish us luck! We also met a lady that was talking the missionary lessons about 2 years ago but something crazy happened and she lost contact but we found her and she is totally willing to continue listening! Miracles!! 

Anyway, wow I'm out of time!! The work is going well here, just trying to work more with the members! We have a lot of lessons planned with them this week so we are praying for references!! I love this work and I am so grateful that I'm sharing it here in Puerto Rico!! Have a great week!!

Hermana Holt  
 All my fingers in the air representing 10 months

 Gorgeous beach

 Sand and Surf

 Wind and waves
I love Puerto Rico