Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 78: This is it! The Final letter & Katie's testimony

Hola a todos!

Well, this is it. I've been thinking about what I am going to say and to be honest, I don't even think I have the words! Finishing the mission has been probably one of the hardest, most emotional things ever. It is absolutely incredible to me how fast time goes - I feel like I just entered the mission field yesterday and it is crazy to think that it has already passed! But of course, something that the Lord has taught me in the mission and especially these past few days is that he doesn't just need full-time missionaries for a couple of years, but he needs disciples forever. I will be forever grateful for the time I had to serve as a full-time missionary. It's something that I truly don't ever want to stop doing, and it's hard to think that I'll be leaving a place I've come to love so much and people that I adore! In these past 18 months I've learned A LOT of things haha more than I think I can count! But more than anything, I've truly seen and felt how much our Heavenly Father loves us. It's completely mind-blowing and yet so simple! We have a Father in Heaven who loves us with a love more deep than we can understand. Sometimes, we might think, why don't I feel it? He must not love me because I don't seem to be receiving any blessings. But, that's just what Satan wants us to think - trust me. And it's not true! In our times of trial, in our times of despair, Heavenly Father is just waiting and waiting and pleading that we will just turn to Him! And when we do that, when we recognize all the small blessings, when we take that step of faith, we realize that He is always by our side and never leaves. The secret (not that it is or ever has been) is faith. Everyday for the past 18 months I've had to put it into practice - and let me say that it wasn't always easy! There were some days where literally I would just think, why? Where's the progress? Where are the miracles? What should we do? Rarely did I ever receive a direct answer, and so I had to act on faith! And I will be forever grateful for that, because I learned to truly rely on the Lord and take a step of faith. I testify that faith works. It's an eternal principle, even the first principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I testify that he lives and that he loves us. That he came to earth, preached the Gospel, lived a perfect life, atoned for us and was resurrected! As I've studied about the Restored Gospel I've come to realize truly how important our Savior is. We literally cannot to anything without him! So we are very wise to strive to live how he lived, and I promise you, there is joy in living the Gospel! I know with all of my heart that Heavenly Father restored the true Gospel and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God!! The priesthood has been restored and we can know that families are forever!! In the mission, there has been nothing more sweet than to testify of forever families! Another thing that I will never be tired of saying is that we have a living prophet today that is guiding us! He does receive revelation from God! The Book of Mormon is true. There is such a powerful spirit when you read it!! Prayers are heard, and miracles do happen. We have all been called to preach the Gospel to everyone!! I promise that there is nothing greater that we can do!! Never give up on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is WORTH IT!! It is all worth it, no matter what happens. There are blessings God wants to give us if we just turn to Him. I'm grateful for Him and for His love. 

Thank you for all the love and support given!! I have truly felt many prayers for me, and for the people here. Can't believe I'm saying this, but see you soon!!

Hermana Holt
My final day with my final companion 

My beautiful Dominicans

 Hermana Halling

 Oh, ya know, just getting some avocados after church

 Hermana Patino with Hermana Dora

 Hermana Silvia who went contacting with us

 Mi Hermana Quenia
 With Hermana Marte and Lauriana

 The Logsdons-the sweetest family

With Vivian Logsdon

 It was hard saying goodbye-Hermana Giovanna

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 77: We are all a family

Hola a todos!!

Gahhh time is going by WAY too fast!! I can't believe this is my last full week!! Heavenly Father has been so good to me in my mission. I can't thank Him enough for the experiences He has given me that has brought me up to this point! This past week was a good one, we had some great experiences! 

First, there is a member in our ward, her name is Silivia and let me just say I LOVE Hna Silvia!! She's already served 2 missions (being a senior sister missionary) and she wants to serve another haha and she's almost 70!! Well, she went out with us and all of our plans fell through.. so you know what she says to us before we can say anything? Let's start contacting!! HAHA we were dying!! I love this lady!! And she spent the whole afternoon, WALKING, and knocking on doors, and teaching lessons with us - now that is a faithful member of the church :) And let me tell you this lady has NO fear whatsoever, she would literally get up as close as she could to these houses and yell with her strong voice, BUEENNAAAAS! Some people accepted us more than others haha but it was so fun! See? We can all be missionaries! Make sure you give the missionaries a hand this week, they would love to have members come and contact with them, or just be in a lesson and support the investigators and less actives! If you've never done it, DO it! It is ALL of our responsibility!

A while ago I think I had mentioned a family we had found, Josefina and her kids. Well, after a few weeks of losing some contact, we finally got to see them, and I truly think it's time for them to accept the Gospel! Just last week her dad passed away, and she's been trying to raise her 3 kids with not much help from her husband. We were able to share a little bit with her, and Hna Silivia came too :) and it's amazing what kind of spirit comes into the home as you talk about the family - what an amazing knowledge we have of the Plan of Salvation! Just yesterday Hna Silvia had told us that the 14 year old daughter was talking to Hna Silvia later that day (they are neighbors) and that they are making plans to come to church this week!! YAY! We are praying for a miracle, and we are excited to see what happens!

Stake Conference was AMAZING! And our Stake President Rosa, who is only 31, is absolutely incredible. We had a super cool theme of missionary work through our temple work. But how if we don't have a temple?? Pte Rosa said something amazing that I loved, The construction of the temple already has begun in our hearts.. it all starts with the desire to have a temple, and than doing all we can, acting on our faith, to get one! And since we don't have one here, it all starts with our Family History work. Awesome, right? I wish I could have recorded his talks! So for all of you who have a temple close, GO. Receive those beautiful blessings that the temple brings, and help those people who have already passed on, our own family and others (because we all are a family) to receive those same blessings. Heavenly Fathers Gospel and plan are perfect!!

Have a great week :)

Hermana Holt 
The wonderful senior couples
The Porters and Eakles 

 Ya, I'm stuffed

The building of the temple begins in your hearts 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Week 76: Final District Meeting

Hola a todos!! 

Yesterday was Labor Day so we are writing today :) Haha and you are not going to believe what our district did to me and Hna Van Kammen this morning! Well, today was my last District Meeting because next week is Zone Conference so they decided to throw us a little "surprise"! I was a little nervous because the past transfers we've stuffed the Elders faces in whipped cream haha and I was not ready for that! We had just finished talking about the Spirit when our District Leader says, Ok Hna Van Kammen and Hna Holt you two are going to be blind folded, and you have to follow the voice of the "Spirit" to the other side of the room - the rest of us will distract you with loud noises. HAHA nice try! I knew they were up to something but we just went with it! And they weren't kidding about the loud noises haha there we are trying to walk to the other side of the room, trying to listen for the still, small voice when POP POP POP.. balloons popping everywhere!!! When we both got to the other side there was just silence.. so we both took off our blindfolds and there was the whole district in front in a line and they start to sing, Para Siempre Dios Este Con Vos.. or God Be With You Til We Meet Again.. Wow! How amazing is my district? It was a really touching moment. 

We got some new investigators this week and had a lot of success contacting so I know the Lord is aware of this area and wants it to succeed! Now lets just see if we can get these people to church!! It seriously has been such a struggle with these people and we aren't sure why.. but this week we have Stake Conference, lets see if they'll come to that! But things are good :) I've felt a lot this week the love the Lord has for me and for the people we are teaching. I've also felt the power of prayer and of fasting. Also, there is power when we bear our testimony! It strengthens our own. Anyway, can't wait to let you know how Stake Conference goes! Have a great week everyone!!

Hermana Holt

 Just before the rain


 some of the reasons we gain weight here

 final district meeting
 there is something going on here

 Saying our goodbyes

 the elders wore black ties in honor of our funeral

Are you kidding me?  Four days after I leave!