Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 57: Five Months Left

Hola a todos!!

Well, I'm kinda freaking out thinking that I've only got 5 months LEFT!! What is this?? 

This week was a good one :) Besides the fact that we've been melting every second we step outside, we have managed to survive the week! Our amazing less active Carmina came to church this week! WOO!! Finally!! Hermana Lopez and I were super excited and she loved it. She also came to our Ward Activity that we had and she loved that too! It was such a sweet experience because at the beginning of the activity, everyone went around and introduced themselves and when it came to Carmina, she said, Hi I'm Carmina and just so you all know, I'm coming back. AWE I about died when she said that! She's on her way back home and we love visiting with her and helping her in the process :)

For the Ward Activity we watched the documentary, Meet the Mormons!! I hadn't seen it before and it was awesome!! I imagine that a lot of you have seen it, but if not, watch it!! It's so cool! I loved how every story talked about something different and showed how we really are just ordinary people who live normal lives, but the thing is that as members of the church, we've got something extraordinary! I love how the Gospel of Jesus Christ enriches our lives and can help anyone no matter who they are or what their circumstance is. Haha the last segment about the missionary mom touched Hermana Lopez and I a little bit harder than we thought, once Hna Lopez started crying I just lost it haha good tears :) But we felt a little bit better when we found out that our Elders (there are 4 of them) also shed a few tears haha! How sweet!

So we have a new investigator! Her name is Ana and we are super excited to teach her! We taught her the first time this week and we basically touched the first and second lesson for all of the questions that she had from baptism to what will happen after this life to faith to Joseph Smith, etc haha but we ended on the best note, the Book of Mormon! She loves the Bible and knows it front and back, so we were a little surprised that when we explained to her that Christ had gone to the Americas that she just looked at us and said, De verdad?! She then took the Book of Mormon and opened to a random page and the scripture happened to talk about faith and baptism.. 2 things we had just discussed, it was PERFECT!! I almost had tears streaming down my face the Spirit was so strong. She has such a strong desire to follow Christ so we are excited to teach her! She was going to come to church but she had a little emergency, but next week :)

Well, this week is going to be a little busy with meetings, but we are excited to see what the Lord has in store for us :) Have a great week everyone!

Hermana Holt
 A large bag of clothes from our neighbor

 I woke up to this little friend
13 months

 My companion made this for me

 Each dress & flower hides words used to describe me

 She thinks I'm funny

 Wow, a foreshadowing of our Mother's day call

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 56: Feast Upon the Words of Christ

Hola a todos!!

Well, this week was a lot better teaching wise, and we were able to see some small miracles throughout the week! Our mission has been really focusing on inviting our investigators to be baptized so we can get some baptismal dates! Hermana Lopez and I were a little worried because none of our investigators seem to be progressing that much, but we had a lot of faith this week and invited some of them to be baptized, and they all accepted!!!! So, now we just have to get them with baptismal dates, and help them really recognize their answer!! I want to talk about Yesenia, and investigator that we have a lot of faith in!!

We started teaching Yesenia about 3 weeks ago and she loves it when we come over! She is super open and is already loving the Book of Mormon, which is awesome! When we first shared it with her, we read the last 2 paragraphs of the Introduction with her and as she finished, she said, wow - why don't other churches tell us about this?? Haha she is so cute! She told us that she loved the part that said that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the kingdom of God here upon the earth.. she's gold!! She also loves the testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith which is great! This week we watched The Testaments movie with her and her 2 little girls, and it was awesome. SO spiritual and we know she felt the Spirit, and her daughters did too! I love testifying of when Christ came to the Americas. The Spirit of the Book of Mormon is incredible! She accepted to be baptized, but the ONLY thing is that her and her husband aren't married...... AND he is never in the lessons, nor is he there when we are there, so that's going to be the hardest thing! We are hoping and praying that he'll be able to join us in the next lessons so we are able to talk about all of that with them. But, they should be coming to our church activity this week so we are super excited about that!!

We found a new investigator this week and let me say, there is no excuse for age!! Haha this women is 89 years old and the first day we stopped by, she had already read the whole Restoration pamphlet!!! Hahaha talk about will power!! She is the cutest little old lady, and all though she doesn't exactly remember everything, she is super willing to keep studying so she is able to remember! 

We had intercambios this week and guess who is our new Sister Trainer?? Hermana Watkins!!!! It was SO good to see her and to work with her in her area of Vega Baja!! Haha we haven't seen each other from San Sebastian and it was so great to catch up with her!! We got rained on super duper hard haha that we had to literally wait under the roof of a basketball court for all the rain to pass because the water was up to our ankles!! So we were soaking wet half of the day, but it was fun! 

Oh one more thing!! We finally got into contact with a convert that was baptized about 6 months ago, but who is now less active because she hasn't been coming to church for health issues.. it's been super sad to see and super hard on us because we can barely come in to contact with her, but we were blessed immensely because she happened to be in her house when we passed by. Wow! Let me just say, I was completely shocked and my testimony grew so much more of the power of the scriptures!! As we were talking to her about her church attendance, she started to cry and told us how she is going to try really hard to get up on Sundays, but it's been hard with her health problems. Then she just looked at us and testified of the scriptures and how they have helped her in these months.. after reading the Book of Mormon, she has read the entire guia de las escrituras and is already reading doctrine and covenants!!!!!!!! The WHOLE thing!! Wow, I was completely blown away!!!! She testified of the strength that she has received in these hard months just from reading every night. Just another testimony builder to me of the power that we receive as we read the word of God!!
Wow, the Gospel is true :)

Anyway, that's all for now, have a great week everyone and remember to continually feast upon the words of Christ!! For they will tell us all that we should do!

Hermana Holt

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 55: I Knew!

Hola a todos!! 

What a week it has been! The sun has decided to reallllly come down on us haha it has begun :) I kid you not, I've never used so much sun screen in my entire life! The people literally tell us that we smell like the beach haha but it could be worse, right? 

Where to begin? Well, our testimonies were really tried this week, but I've never felt my testimony stronger! So, a few weeks ago I mentioned a contact that we made that was literally an answer to our prayers! Well, she invited us over finally and she was so sweet to make us lunch. Her cousin who was visiting her was over too and he was super cool! He mentioned to us that for his work he has been to Utah several times and even visited temple square! Everything was going super well, so after we finished we taught them about the Restoration! We barely started talking about when Christ established His church when she begins to go off on.. a lot of different things!! Oh man! Haha in that moment I was thinking, poor Hermana Lopez, she's probably freaking out!! So I lovingly tried to continue the lesson as we discussed everything with the priesthood and the apostasy. She seemed to calm down a bit but I literally had a huge pit in my stomach because I knew where it was going. I then testified to her that because God loves us so much, He called a prophet in our days to restore the truths that had been lost for so many years.. I then began to testify of Jospeh Smith. Wow, in the moment that I began to say the first vision, I began to feel the warmest feeling I have ever felt in my chest, that slowly begun to spread throughout my whole body - that by the time I finished the words said to Joseph Smith, ".. este es mi Hijo Amado, escuchalo.." I felt completely covered by this warm sensation. I KNEW that the Holy Ghost was confirming to me in that moment, that was I was saying was true. That Joseph Smith really did see our Heavenly Father and His son Jeus Christ! And how grateful I am for the testimony I have, because our investigator didn't seem to happy about that. I'm not going to say what she began to say, but I do want to say that we MUST know for ourselves that these things are true. That Joesph Smith was a prophet, that the Gospel is restored! That we have the priesthood keys here on the earth, that the Book of Mormon is true and testifies of Jesus Christ!! We are in the last days and we must be prepared for what is going to come - we must stand strong and testify of what we know is true!! I'm super grateful for experiences like this in my mission, not that they are easy to have, but they make me and my testimony stronger. 

I wish I had more time to explain all the experiences we've had this week, but I'll have to keep it at this for now! Things are going well, we are still on the lookout for the people Heavenly Father is preparing, so we are praying we will find them in the coming weeks! We have a lot of faith in an investigator named Yesenia, I'll talk about her next week!! We also received a lot of names this week to contact so we are excited about that too! The work continues and we love it!! Have a great week everyone :)

Hermana Holt

Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 54: Conference was Amazing

Hola a todos!! 

Well, I think I know what every missionary is going to talk about today.. Did you see Conference?? HOW AMAZING IT WAS!! I am completely blown away by the messages that we heard, all the leaders who spoke were completely inspired by the Spirit and said exactly what we needed to hear. I can testify again and again that I know that if we go to Conference with specific questions, and an open heart ready to learn, we will receive the answers we need. And as missionaries it's super amazing because we get to think about others and what they need, and I can tell you that the questions I had for them were even answered! Heavenly Father loves His children! How grateful I am for living prophets and apostles, we are super blessed :)

Ok so you don't even have to ask because there is no way I can pick a favorite talk, but I'll just touch on a few of them! First of all, after the first talk by Elder Erying to open the conference, my comp and I just thought, well.. I think we can end the conference with that! WHAT power he had as he testified of the power of fasting and the blessings of paying a generous fast offering! Really, as missionaries, as crazy as it seems sometimes, one of our favorite things to do is fast. I testify along with Elder Eyring that we are richly blessed spiritually and temporally as we keep this commandment! I also loved L. Whitney Claytons talk, that if we search and have a desire to believe, there will always be a spiritual light beckoning us. We just need to act! This is a great principle we are going to use with some investigators :) The afternoon session I think was the session that I loved the most!! Elders Bednar and Christofferson spoke with such power and who didn't love the talk from Elder Andersen of the 70?? Coming from a musical family, this one one of my favorites :) How sweet is President Monson? I loved how simple and powerful his talk was on temples, it truly is a place where we can go with any condition of heart and find peace. HOW exciting for the new temples!! We are all stoked to have another temple here in the Caribbean!! Yaya! Puerto Rico is going to be next.. haha :) Elder Holland took down the house as always and President Ucthdorf truly taught us what the grace of Christ is. How grateful I am for my Savior and the grace that he is so willing to give us. The final session was super funny because us missionaries in the other room were watching the Conference in English, but when they announced that there would be a speaker giving his talk in Spanish, we all ran to the other room to hear it, and then we had to run back! And then like 2 talks later we had to run again to the other room to watch the other talk in Spanish! Haha the members thought it was funny! It's crazy to think sometimes that I actually can understand what they are saying haha! And what a good way to end the Conference with the delightful words of Elder Nelson, the Sabbath really is a delight!!

I hope everyone was able to think of our Savior Jesus Christ as we celebrated His resurrection, even though it is something we really should think about daily! I am so grateful for Him in my life and for what His resurrection means for me personally and for every single one of us. I hope that we all can take a moment to really really think about what His death and resurrection mean. I love how the scriptures describe it! And I love (and I hope you have all seen) the new video of the church, Gracias a que El Vive! Seek Him, and share this gift with others :)

This week was a little bit more difficult for Hna Lopez and I, lessons wise. Since it was Holy Week, with a strong culture here, most of the people didn't have school and either weren't home, or were at the beach haha soo we didn't have much luck but we received SO many blessings. We got to share with more people our testimony of Jesus Christ and about the new video! There were a lot of times this week were we just seemed to walk and walk and there was no one and we kept thinking, what are we supposed to do now? But Heavenly Father blessed us with a lot of animo (not sure there is a word for that in English.. haha) this week - even though number wise we weren't having a lot of success, I have never felt so happy to just walk around and talk to people and just be outside sharing the great news! He gave us a lot of strength and a lot of faith to keep walking that thinking about it now, it's incredible! Heavenly Father sure does love us and is literally there with us every step of the way. We just need to put some faith in every footstep :)

Well, that's all I have time for! I love you all and hope you have a great week!! I challenge you all to share your testimony of Christ with someone this week and to share what Christs resurrection means to you!

Hermana Holt

Dinner with Brenda after conference

Mama and Daughter

Waiting for Women's Conference to start