Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 75: 17 miracle months

Hola a todos!!

So it's begun, the final countdown!! Haha but believe it or not, all of the members and investigators are the ones that keep reminding me, it's ridiculous!! But, luckily the work keeps me focused so everything is great :)

Sorry I'm writing so early, and I won't be able to say much - we have a Zone Activity a little later today and all I heard is that it involves Minute to Win it games and kickball.. haha so this should be interesting!!

Well, this week was super funny and a little weird because Puerto Rico was expecting a hurricane, and then a "big" tropical storm and we ended up with basically nothing haha. Well, at least on our part of the Island! I do know that some of the small islands got rained on pretty hard, but by the time it came up to us it had already settled down a lot. The hardest thing for us was, all the Puerto Ricans were expecting something and so NO one was leaving their house! NO one wanted to do anything, just locked in their house! So, a little slow lesson wise, but we were blessed with some rain so that's the miracle! 

We had some crazy lessons this week, crazy as in lots of questions! We've got some new investigators that are just drilling down questions, mostly related with the Book of Mormon! They aren't doing it to be mean or anything, which is nice, but they've been reading a lot which is great! I've just been reminded how important it is to have the Spirit teach the lessons. He's the one that brings the peace and testifies of the truth to these people! We may not know the answer to everything, but Heavenly Father has give us many ways to know the truth of all things - one of the most important being prayer and through the Holy Ghost! What a blessing! 

We had a little ward game night and you won't believe it, but Quenia actually brought her husband!! I haven't talked much about him, but let's just say he isn't that interested in our message! When we first met him he didn't even say hi to us, but he's warmed up a lot. And it was such a great surprise to see him come!! Now that is a miracle!!

Sorry I've got to go! Remember that the Lord loves us and is so aware of everything we are going through. I've definitely have felt His love and support in these past few days! Have a great week!

Hermana Holt
 One last sign

The church's bathroom water system

Ward game night

Hermana Patino killing it at dominos


Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 74: One more month

Hola a todos! 

Super fast week this week, it feels like I was just writing yesterday! This week we had a lot of different things going on so it kept us busy! Love it! This week we had our intercambios and I got to go to Trujillo Alto for the day and work with Hermana VAN KAMMEN!! It was so fun to be able to work with a sister I've known since Day 1!! And now we are finishing the mission together, at least in the same district, how cool is that? I absolutely love intercambios because you totally get to see how the Lord is working miracles in different parts of the island! It's definitely a true work :) That's why it works!! We were able to find and teach a new family, and the Spirit just filled the room! I know for a fact that it's the Spirit that does the heart changing. It was a super fun experience too because a member came with us and even went out contacting with us! Haha it's super fun to see a Puerto Rican contacting Puerto Ricans!! Try contacting with the missionaries one day, it's fun and they would love the help! 

Super cool experience!! About 2 weeks ago we had contacted a lady and she told us that we could come back. So we past by when she told us to and she said she was busy and that we should come back later.. we were a little hesitant because she didn't seem too sincere, but I don't know why, I just felt the need to go back! So, for the 3rd time we go back determined to teach her, and she let us in! Her name is Irene and we hit it off right away! Her husband Gabriel even joined us in the lesson and we immediately got talking about the Book of Mormon, great topic right? :) It was such a fun lesson, they had a lot of great questions and were super receptive to the message of the Restoration. They both go to an iglesia Evangelica but were super open to reading the Book of Mormon! We are excited to go back this week and see them! 

Not sure what you've heard, but basically what everyone has been talking about this past week is a hurricane that apparently has been off the coast of Puerto Rico for quite some time and supposedly we should be getting a ton of rain this week.. not sure how true it is because every one is saying different things!! But we need the rain! So we'll see what happens haha

Last thing, QUENIA IS REACTIVATED!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it?? She had her interview yesterday with the bishop and now she has the calling of working in the library until she heads to Texas!! What a miracle we have seen with her!! I still clearly remember the day when Hna Ahlander and I first met her and she straight up told us that she would never be going back to church, at least not for a long time.. and yet here she is!! And with a testimony, wow, incredible of our Savior and of the scriptures!! We stopped by this past week and she just looked at me and expressed to me how much her testimony has strengthened and how much she has grown and changed as a person, just by reading the scriptures and the words of our modern day prophets. There are no words to explain the joy I felt as I heard her testify to me! I've been really blessed to see the progress of many less actives in my mission and I can say that the one thing that really made a difference in all of their conversions, was their desire to read the scriptures - especially the Book of Mormon. I think I've said this a thousand times in the mission and I will keep saying it, the Book of Mormon changes lives! It changes our temporal perspective to an eternal one. It changes our attitude and reverence toward our Savior. It changes our way of thinking to a way that then changes our actions. Our Heavenly Father truly loves us because He has given us this tool to fill our lives with more joy than we can imagine! 

Have a great week everyone!

Hermana Holt
 Reunited with Hermana VanKammen

 We got a little bit fried

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 73: The Pouring Rain, Finally

Hola a todos!! 

Heavenly Father has started to answer basically every Puerto Ricans prayer this week because WOW did it POUR!! Pouring rain isn't as fun for us as missionaries haha but we need the water! We now only have water on Tuesdays and Saturdays.. so.. it's quite the experience! I think Hermana Patino and I have mastered the art of saving water! This is a time where we've had to be completely prepared in every moment, because sometimes the water barely turns on! But really, it makes me think of how blessed we are as a church to have living prophets who have been telling us for years to be prepared for times like these, we never know when they might come, but our living prophet receives some pretty accurate revelation about it ;) Listen to him!! 

Guess what we put this past week?? UNA FECHA!!! Our investigadora accepted to be baptized the 12th of September and we are SO excited!! So now is when we truly need to see the miracles!! But I see a lot of potential in her, so I feel truly blessed to be able to see how Heavenly Father works through her. The Gospel is true!! We also had a cool experience this week. We were trying to find people from the Area Book but no one seemed to be home, nor wanted to answer, but before we went to the next person on our list, we decided to contact all of the neighbors with the time we had left, and I'm so glad we did!! After failing to contact another person on our list, we felt to go the house right next to it first. Out comes a lady named Josefina, and she lets us right in! And even better, she knows one of the members that lives by and her daughter had come to our church before and loved it! We focused a ton on families (which is one of my favorite things to testify about) and her 3 kids sat through the whole lesson! It comes to show that Heavenly Father has a plan for every tiny thing, He knows our plans before we even decide to do them! And even better, He knows every one of His children and prepares them for when they need to hear the message of the Gospel!! We are excited to work with them :)

I've been learning a lot about faith in these past few days, which I feel like is a principle that we should continually strive to learn about and put into practice daily. I think it's interesting how in the scriptures it says that faith is a hope for things which are not seen.. and I feel that the "not seeing" is the part that might make us stumble a little bit at times. But that is why when we speak of faith, it isn't having faith and hope in the things of the world and it's ever changing values (things that we may see), but it's faith in Jesus Christ, who has a foundation that will never fall (we may not see him, but he is there). The most important thing is to keep going! Keep having faith, keep having that hope that things will work out, keep trusting in Christ, and the blessings will come. It may not be in the form we would like and they may not be blessings we physically see, but the amazing thing is is how Christ helps us and lifts us up, as we show him that faith. It's not always easy, but the Gospel is so worth it! 

Hermana Holt

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Week 72: Final Transfer: Staying in Guaynabo

Hola a todos!!

So as I mentioned last week, we had a Mini Missionary with us, Hermana de Jesus!! Wow it was so fun to be in a trio again, it's been a while!! Some missionaries aren't a big fan of trios but Heavenly Father has helped me learn to love them, more testimony givers :) Anyway, it was a good week and even though Hermana Patino and I were kinda nervous about it, she ended up loving it!! Of course, who doesn't love spending every minute sharing the Gospel?? We made her walk.. quite a bit.. hahaha but she was a super good sport and had a lot of patience with Hermana Patino and I :) She has such a powerful testimony. It was so amazing to hear her conversion story. She got baptized just 2 years ago and wow. I am completely amazed with the youth of this church! They just shine!! Her gradparents were baptized first, than her with her mom and her brother (who was also serving a Mini Mission) and just this past February her dad took the discussions and was baptized! A whole family!! They are planning on going to the temple next year, can you hear anything more amazing than that? She definitely got us pumped in finding a family! Our goal really is the temple!!

Well, transfers are tomorrow and Hermana Patino and I are STAYING IN GUAYNABO!!!!! Wow, I never thought it would come to the day when I would say that this is my LAST transfer. Trust me, in missionary time, one transfer is like nothing haha it goes by so fast. SO you know what that means? Work harder than ever!! Hermana Patino and I are so ready. 

This past week we met an old investigator from the Area Book who actually is the daughter of a member here and it went super well!! I feel like she has a lot of potential! It was a super spiritual lesson and she had a lot of desire to know about the Restoration. Our investigator Dominga accepted a baptismal invitation!! Haha that came at a complete surprise to us! We have to teach her very simply and kinda slow haha but she has such a desire to follow Jesus Christ, which is the most important! She's coming to church this next week :) FINALLY!

I just feel like testifying about the love of the Savior. That is probably one of my favorite things to testify about, because I know it's true and it's real. I feel it every time I testify to the people we talk to. If the people we teach don't ever come to really accept our message at this time, I just hope and pray that they can feel and understand that they are loved. And really, I've come to truly understand and feel that the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ IS a message of love! It completely amazes me every time I study more and more about our Savior, the Gospel, and His plan of happiness. We are truly loved :) And we are blessed everyday! Have a great week :)

Here's to the new transfer!

Hermana Holt
 Hermana de Jesus

 Language study-is English that hard?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 71: Please read the Book of Mormon

Hola a todos!!

Guess what?? So Presidente called us this past week and this morning we got a Mini Missionary!! Her name is Hermana de Jesus and she's from the Ponce Stake - she's going to be with us for a whole week, basically as a missionary! It was so fun to go to the office this morning and see all these youth from the Island willing to serve a mini mission!! Their families were there and everything, we took some pictures, heard some words from Presidente, and were off! She's super cute, she's a convert of about 2 years, and she has THE most Puerto Rican accent so it's gonna be an amazing week :) We are excited!! 

This week was a fun one! I don't remember if I had mentioned it, but with our investigators Yubelki and Mariano, apparently Mariano's sister is Mormon! So this week her and her kids came into down so they invited us over to meet them! They have plans on staying here in Puerto Rico so ahora more members, AND Yubelki and Mariano have some member support! And it's even better because they are family! We taught a super great lesson with some help from them and it turned out super great! Now we just need to get Yubelki and Mariano to church!! I'm not sure why that's the hardest thing for everyone!!

We FINALLY got to see Victor and Mari - it scared us for a bit because we thought they were ignoring us, but they had been in the hospital for a few days with Victors mom. They are doing good, they want to come to church but when Sunday morning comes they don't show up! I have so much faith in them though, they have so much potential!

So I don't know if I have mentioned, but some months ago after Elder Holland came, he encouraged us to be a Book of Mormon mission. With that in mind, Presidente asked us to read it together as a mission, and we finished it on Sunday. Also, that Sunday night we ALL got together (that's right, the whole mission) and we had a testimony meeting about the Book of Mormon. Could there be anything better? It was absolutely amazing, not only to see everyone, but to hear everyone's testimonies and experiences from these past months reading and sharing about the Book of Mormon. This time reading it I decided to mark every time it said God or Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ, and all the other names they are given; and I can testify with all of my heart, just as clear and bright as you can see those names marked in pink color pencil in my scriptures, that They live!!!! They love us so much, more than we can imagine! Heavenly Father's plan is perfect, He gave His perfect Son to us, and we can know about them for ourselves!! There is power in reading the Book of Mormon, I testify that it can change people. I know that because I've seen it and because it has changed me as well. It's hard for me to completely understand what God has planned for us, but the fact that He has blessed us with the Book of Mormon helps me to realize that it's something amazing. How amazing are the prophets that we read about! That most of them spent their life and others gave their life keeping the records, writing history, and testifying about our Lord and Savior! I encourage everyone to read it, to really study it, to treasure it, and to pray to know if it is really true!! The true in heart and the sincere seekers will know of it's truthfulness. I hope we can all take time to truly read it this week!! Have a great one :)

Hermana Holt
All of my companions who are still in the mission field
missing Hermana Sosa and Escobar