Week 81: Glorious Baptism & I'm Coming Home

Last PDay Hike in California for me.  I have loved it all.
Words can't express or tell you what I am feeling at this moment. I am coming to the close of the most treasured, valued, loved part of my life and will be continuing on else where,  but not as a full time missionary for the Lord. 

I am most grateful for this privilege I have been given to serve the people here in Rancho Cucamonga, Diamond Bar, the High Desert, and Upland, California! The principles, testimony, and renewal I have gained in this place, with these people, is priceless. I know that I will refer back to my mission every single day for the rest of my life. I have been taught, stretched, brought down, lifted up, and changed from the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I have loved serving  Him, Striving to become like Him, doing my best to act and speak as He would. I have drawn nearer to Him during this time and I can truly testify that He lives! 

This week we did so much teaching! BUT the cherry on top of this week was Saturday - Daisy Centeno from my last area was BAPTIZED! She did it!! My favorites, Brent and Joann drove us up to the desert in the morning for the baptism and it was glorious! Daisy was so happy and cried when she saw me! Right before she went to get into the font she said, "This is the happiest I have ever been!!" and she came out of the water BEAMING! It was the most peaceful feeling to see her baptized! I could almost feel of the sunshine that is in her future. She told me that she can't describe how her heart feels because it just feels WHOLE again. The Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness fills those holes in our hearts and in our lives that we might not know are even there. That is what TRUTH does for us in our lives. Truth overflows our hearts and our minds and the only thing we can feel is peace. Truth is peace! (sorry i forgot my camera so I will have to post pictures next week) 

This week was a beautiful Easter week celebrating and testifying of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Living Christ! The Prince of Peace! 

Well, it has been a true blessing to be here and spend these last 18 months serving my Heavenly Father and Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I know that this is Christ's church restored to the earth where we can partake of the covenants and full blessings that Heavenly Father has prepared for each of us! We all have a divine potential and have been created for an eternal purpose! And through living the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through sacred covenants, we get a step closer and closer to reach that potential! It is a glorious and perfect plan! 

I guess this isn't  talk to you next week.... it is a see you next week!! 
Take care! Till then, 
Love you with all my heart! 
Sister Holt 

My Missionary Posterity -- Missing my Sister Crane

Lunch with Pres. Schaffer, Brent & Joann, Daisy, Renata and all my fav sisters!


Week 80: Weakness & Lessons

I type a sentence and the erase it and then type out another one and then erase that one too. I can't figure out a way to start these emails. Such a problem. This is my second to last email on my mission! I can't believe it.

This week was incredible. So many miracles and so many revelations!  I think at the end of someones mission, there are many emotions  felt. As least for me I have been feeling so  many things. This week was one of those. I wasn't a wreck,  but I kept rejecting the emotions I was feeling and shutting them out because I just wanted the end of my mission to be amazing and full of only good feelings.  I thought that if I had one negative feeling that my mission wouldn't end right! WELL WAS I WRONG! I am still learning out here! Little did I realize I was rejecting myself the opportunity to be weak, which really means that I was rejecting Christ's atonement to help me and change me and strengthen me! Crazy how something so minor can completely change the way we progress. 

It is not a sin to be weak!

In the Book of Mormon in the Book of Ether it says, "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will i make weak things become strong unto them."

It is so true! This scripture is very popular and is referred to many times, but do we really apply this in our lives?! I wasn't! I wasn't letting myself be weak in a time that I was. And to be honest, I was getting by just fine. I was happy, working hard, being obedient, loving the people, and teaching everyone. BUT I didn't feel peace! It wasn't until I humbled myself to my Savior, Jesus Christ and left my weaknesses with Him that I felt that peace. And honestly, a world of difference was made. I felt that Christ-like Peace again that only HE can give! 

In the Bible in the Book of John 14:27 - only Christ can give us lasting peace! The world goes on and will leave you behind. Christ is with you every step of the way, even if you can't step forward. He is there to pick up your feet and help you! Ah I hope this makes sense! 

I just love my Savior so much! I am truly dedicated to Him and everyday I want to be more! I owe everything to Him! I owe who I am today to Him. He has changed me, transformed me! I could not have comprehended these feelings and this testimony 4 years ago. My learning and my change has been line upon line, precept upon precept. And it will continue to be that way as I live close to Him and keep Him the center of everything I do and with His help I will be able to do that. 

ALRIGHT - sorry for that speil.... whoops!  Well probably only a couple people get this far on my emails anyways! haha! 

This week was incredible aside from my internal battle! 
We had lessons with the J and D (a mom and daughter who are learning together) They are progressing so well and really taking these steps for themselves! 
Daniel is still progressing! Coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon! Plus he is so nice and is donating soooooo many things to the church, I don't know why. But he just is trying to be more like Jesus! 
We visited Frankie in the hospital! He loves us!! 
We had a lesson with Theresa - her faith and her passion for God is incredible!! There is no doubt in her mind that God lives! 

We always have a great Book of Mormon study class on Thursday nights and afterwards we went to Monica's house. A new lady we found a couple weeks ago. She is catholic and loves missionaries! We went over at  8 for dessert and her 10 year old daughter to play RUMMICUB! (Grandma Holt - your game we play every time at your house) So I knew how to play and I came in second place! So much fun! Then we showed then the Prince of Peace video and the spirit filled the room and we all testified of Christ! It was amazing!!

We did a bunch of service on Friday! and so many embarrassing things happened to be that day - I don't even wanna begin to tell you!  

On Saturday I was on exchanges with Sister Wall #blessed! MTC COMPANIONS! Exactly 18 months later we get to go on our last exchange together! And that is the day I learned everything I just told you about prior to this. She helped me so much and I was able to help her! Since we are feeling similar things at the end of our missions. She is so inspired and I just love her! So grateful! 

ON SATURDAY THO - we were driving back home and on the corner of the street I saw a woman carrying a giant case of water bottles and the plastic ripped right as we drove by. I screamed and told Sister Wall to turn around! I jumped out of the car and ran to help her! (I'm so dramatic) and guess what... her name was IRENE! (my middle name!) and so I carried this case of water bottles back to her house and I walked in this door and this house was FULL of women from KENYA, AFRICA praying and singing! I walked through the house passed all these women who were soo spiritual. I set the water bottles down and they made room for us on the couch so that we could join them! It was amazing! I could feel the Spirit of God in that room. It was incredible! These women were all together and had all come from Kenya to America. They were having a prayer meeting for this woman named Elizabeth who had just recently lost her husband. We stayed for an hour but then we had an appointment. We read from the Bible. As we left they were all so thankful that we came and joined them in prayer! It was amazing. We left cards with all of them and hopefully they call us but either way - the Spirit was there!! I will never forget it! 

This week was amazing!!
I am ready ready ready for more this week! 
I LOVE my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ with all my heart and I will never never ever forget these experiences! 

With all my love,
Sister Holt

Sister Wood, Me, Sister Wall, and Sister Endsley! <3


Week 79: Lots of Blessings and Conference

Woah Woah Woah Week 79... What even is happening?! I am really coming close to the end of my mission and it just hit me this week! A lot of bitter sweet feelings in my heart about my mission coming to an end. Bitter because how do you say good bye to a place that you have put your heart and soul into for an entire year and 6 months? Sweet because the reunion will be glorious with my family! They are a lot more excited then I am though ;)   ("We really are!!" says mom)

We had some great stuff happen this week! 

On Wednesday, was the last night of Moses' Tabernacle and it was packed! I talked about this last week Friday too. Humans are natural procrastinators. Everyone came the last night and at the last hour! So it stayed open for an entire hour later. We had to get home by 9:30 and the last tour is supposed to leave at 8:10 and at that time we still had 5 more groups of people that wanted to go! Haha It was crazy! But my last tour was all the youth from my first ward, the Redhill ward! It was so much fun to see them again since it has been a year and a half! They are all growing up and graduating! Crazy how time flies! But that was a big blessing for me to see them again. 

I also got to give the Kilburns  and Tesan and Jim a tour as well! It was so much fun to see them as well.  On another tour I gave that day one of my old investigators Dorcie was there too! I was blessed immensely seeing so many people that I love dearly! My heart was so full! 

On Thursday we were on exchanges! I stayed in my area with Sister Endsley! She is great. She is a brand new missionary and is being trained by my favorite Sister Wall! (next Saturday sister Wall and I get to go on exchanges!  I am so pumped!) Sister E and I walked everywhere!!! I love walking, so I walk any chance I get! We tried so many different people and talked to a lot but nobody "has the time" for a spiritual uplifting message that will change their life! So sad. I think if people knew... they would make the time and have all the time in the world! 

Friday was awesome! We had great lessons. In the morning, we met with the Staton's. Sister S is returning to the church and her daughter is investigating! It is so cool to see them working together to make better lives! We read from the Book of Mormon. J the daughter is so pumped and was so excited to watch conference! 

We also volunteered at this old folks home called Oakmont. On Fridays, we help out with the activities and that day  was beach volleyball! It was adorable. All these older people mainly ladies... sit in chairs and have a net in the middle of them making two sides and they hit around a beach ball! It was so much fun, they love it!! 

We had a lesson with Daniel afterwards! He is progressing, he really is and we are trying to set him up a baptismal date but he keeps getting cold feet. He really wants to know the truth! He is trying his best - he did have surgery this week so that kind of set him back a little...  just a little! We had a great lesson about the Book of Mormon and how it will answer all of his questions that he has. He committed to pray and read everyday by Tuesday and also to watch a session of Conference! 

We also had a lesson with Mary! Mary is so funny! She has done some crazy things in her life... For example, she used to dress up as Wonder Woman in Vegas for Paris Hilton's parties! haha! I asked if she had any pictures but she wouldn't show them to me. Mary is awesome, she is reading the Book of Mormon right now and is just getting started! 

Saturday night we had a miracle! After conference was over we went around and tried some potentials and no one was really answering and we hadn't eaten dinner yet... so we were going to head home to eat dinner...it was about 8 o'clock and as we were driving I had a thought to try one more person. Christian is a recent convert of about a year and we haven't seen him in a while... He is a teenager and lives with his brother and mom. Anyways, we walk up to his apartment and the door is open and they are packing up and moving!! Just at the dead end of everything (packing is awful) his mom was just breaking a sweat and almost  in some tears we . So we offered to  help. Then we  BEGGED her to let us help her (asking for help is hard).  Finally  she let us pack up the worst part...the kitchen!! I was glad!!! Seriously and by the time she finished the bathroom we were done with the kitchen at 9:15!! and the whole apartment was done! MIRACLES BLESSINGS MIRACLES BLESSINGS! 

So lesson to be learned here...when missionaries offer to help you... take them seriously because everyone always rejects our offers and they don't realize how hard we work when people actually let us help them! Do it do it do it! 

Last comments... General Conference was amazing! As always - Not a surprise! I can't pick any favorites because my pen was working the entire 8 hours of conference! We are so lucky as members or non members of this church, we are so lucky to have a living prophet and living apostles who hold the authority of God to receive revelation for the world as a whole! For everyone!! I personally can feel of their love for us through the television. Their words are personalized to us through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. It couldn't be without Him. And everything is centered around our Savior, Jesus Christ himself. The Prince of Peace! Jesus Christ is the source of truth, of light, of joy, and of peace! Only through Him can we attain those. 
Through sincere daily prayer, through studying the scriptures specifically the Book of Mormon, Thank you President Thomas S Monson, and repenting every day can we build our faith enough to face the trials and winds of the world that Satan will send our way. 
Everything, absolutely everything is for our benefit, for our good! God wants to see us grow and progress, but only in righteousness is true progression found. We each have a divine identity that was created by our Father in Heaven who LOVES us! 

I love this gospel. I love my Father and my Brother Jesus Christ. And I love the gift I've been given of the companionship of the Holy Ghost! 

I invite all to share their testimonies of the glorious truths they have found in their lives and continue to find more! 

With all my heart,
Sister Holt 

Sister Wood and I --- We are winners in the matching game - Not on purpose

UPland Sisters --- We wear glasses on Tuesday.

Exchanges with Sister Endsley

Week 78: Temple Trip & Library Closing

Well, it has only been a few days since I last wrote but that is OK because we all know a missionaries life is not boring so don't worry I have plenty to write about today. Stay Tuned! :) 

So the Upland Stake and the Chino Stake (my heart) have combined on an event open to the public called Moses Tabernacle! It is a life size replica of the Tabernacle of Moses. I will send pictures. We have been working that every day this week. We get to give tours and answer peoples questions. At the end of the tour there is a room in the church to show our modern day temples and the similarities to the tabernacle. It has been amazing!! 

PLUS I get to see all my lovely people from Diamond Bar that I love dearly! I feel so blessed once again to be in the right place at the right time!! God's timing is perfect!! 

We also got to go to the temple today!! It was absolutely incredible! 

Daniel is progressing so fast!! We had an amazing lesson with him this week and he also came to our Book of Mormon study group on Thursday. 

OOPS -- So I have less time then anticipated. The library is closing in like 10 minutes!  Sorry for the short email :( Just know that I am HAPPY as ever, safe, healthy, and most of all BUSY! 

I love each and every one of you! I love my Savior, Jesus Christ with all my heart and it is an honor to be serving with Him by my side and sharing His gospel! I love this work, it is a perfect work! Miracles are real and happen daily! I know this gospel is true with my whole soul and I know it is lead and guided by a prophet today! He holds the keys to receive all that we need from our loving Father in Heaven; I am so excited to hear from him in a week. Invite your friends to watch General Conference with your family this next week. To hear the prophet speak is a gift. Share this gift! 

Take care,
Love always,
Sister Holt

Moses Tabernacle

Sister Wood and I at the Redlands Temple

Don't worry -- She likes me!


Week 77: Right Place & Right Time

What is the best way to explain my week.... hmmm.... AMAZING! MIRACLES! BLESSINGS! LOVE! All the above. 

I love Alta Loma Upland soo much! I just love my mission. I reflect daily at how blessed I am for all the priceless people I have met and the experiences that I have been given! I love my mission! 

So my companion Sister Wood has been out on her mission for 6 weeks at this point of the beginning of the week and she is fantastic! Seriously, so much fun! I don't even feel like I am training because she is soooo scholastic! SO she has only been in this area for 6 weeks and so really we are learning together! It has been an adventure! BUT we have seen nothing but God guiding us and blessing us! We have had miracles every single day! 

We got two new investigators this week - Theresa and  Daniel (separate investigators from each other). We got a bomb referral from St. George for a lady named Marlene and we met her and she wants to meet this week! Mary prayed and received an answer about Joseph Smith so we gave her a Book of Mormon! And Daniel came to church and loved it! Two families from my first area have actually moved into the Alta Loma ward over the past year so it was so fun to see them again. One of them being Wendy who's husband passed away while I was in the Redhill Ward... I never knew her but we tracted into her and I made the connection and she began to cry and wants us to come back. Heavenly Father has placed us in the right places! I am so grateful for so many experiences that I can feel God's love for His children. 

I just feel so blessed and feel that I am in the right place in the right time! I am so grateful for this gospel and for this organized church! I know that it is true. Everything is too perfect when follow God and we trust in Him. 

I will have more stories next week! Just know that I am being taken care of and SO beyond blessed and happy! 

Love Always,
Sister Holt

Sister Wood and I
Trio for the day with Sister Fullmer! 
My cactus from the desert in the valley sunset! 

Sister Wood and I

Trio: Sister Wood, Sister Fullmer and myself

My cactus in the desert in the valley sunset!


Week 76: Transferred & Training

Wild news! I was 6 week shafted out of my area... Said good-bye to the desert and hello to the valley once again! Who woulda thunk... NOT ME! 

I am back down the hill in the valley in the city of UPLAND serving in the Alta Loma ward! I am so excited actually. My plans are never the Lords's plans and I have learned this over and over again. You think I would just understand by now.  But I have felt peace and a confirmation that this is where I am supposed to be for the last 6 weeks. I am grateful for this!! I truly am! 

My new companion is Sister Wood. She has been out in the field for 6 weeks!! #greeeeenie!! WAHOO! I am half training her this transfer and then she will send me home. Till then we have some fun adventures awaiting us! I am so excited!! 

SO my last week in Mojave Narrows and High Desert YSA was absolutely perfect... Heavenly Father placed the most perfect events in my path and we had amazing experiences, enough for me to be at peace with leaving. 

We had my last lesson with Daisy. She is still on date for April. So as my last lesson we did a prep baptismal interview where she read all the questions and answered them out loud. It was marvelous! I felt so blessed. All her answers we filled with the spirit. I could just feel in my heart that she has made sufficient changes in her life to get her closer to baptism. I know she will make it! I am so overjoyed for her and to have experienced part of this journey with her! She also came to stake conference this Sunday and LOVED it! 

I had to say good-bye to Ashlyn as well. But for us like many others here I have met,  it was just a see you later! It was hard to leave knowing I won't see her for a very long time! But I know she is in Heavenly Father's hands and always has been, so what is the difference with me there and without me. I know we will always be friends no matter the distance apart and I am so thankful to know that! 

Saying good-bye to Shannon was heart breaking! Her sister Sharlene who we taught came to say good-bye as well. And as a departing gift they gave me a necklace with three butterflies on it! Because WE ARE BUTTERFLIES and can do anything!! They also made my favorite peach cobbler! 

And finally to end my week on Sunday night when Sister Ysasaga and I got home it was 9:30 and Sister McCombs and Sister Clarke (our housemates) stopped me before I walked inside and had me cover my eyes and sit on the couch and told me to stay there until they tell me to come. SO I was obedient and did so... even though I absolutely hate surprises! So they ran upstairs and left me downstairs in the dark with my eyes shut sitting on the couch. Then they said... "OK you can come up now!" 

I opened my eyes to see white sheets covering our stair case and music was playing. They had built a tunnel up our stairs. I lifted up the sheet at the bottom of the stairs to see LIGHTS all along each side of the stairs with pictures and index cards with written memories on each one going up to the top of the stairs. I CRIED AT THIS POINT! Seriously.... I have never felt sooooo blessed in my entire life to have such loving, amazing, and real friends around me!!!! Sister Ysasaga, Clarke, and McCombs came into my life at such a hard point in my mission and they have turned out to be one of the biggest miracles on my mission to just live with them. I absolutely love them and words can express my gratitude!! Here is a picture, so you can have a visual. 

All in all! I have had AMAZING experiences every where I go. From Rancho Cucamonga Redhill ward, to Diamond Bar, to Apple Valley... there have been people in EACH place that I KNOW without a doubt I was supposed to meet them and have them in my life. I have been able to experience so much and I am so grateful! My mission so far has been perfect!! more then I can express so I KNOW that these 6 weeks in Alta Loma Upland are going to be the same!! My heart is FULL! I love my Heavenly Father and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ... only through Him have I been able to do this!! 

Thank you for all your prayers and support. I FEEL THEM everyday! 

Love always,
Sister Holt

1. Said goodbye to Daisy
2. Ashlyn
3. The view from the bottom of the stairs where I started crying! 

Daisy --- good bye

Slept on the balcony my last night

Sweet Sister Summer -- dear friend

Apple Valley Zone


Week 75: Short and Sweet

I will never get good at starting these emails home. I just never know what to say other then another week went by... and here I am again! 

We had three exchanges this week with Wrightwood, Maple, and Bear Valley ward sisters! It was super fun but exhausting! Exchanges take a lot of energy out of me and we have 11 total. It is crazinesssss! It was not without challenges this week, but we hung in there. 

I got to be on an exchange with Sister Hernandez this week! I aboslutely adore her! We just click right back where we left off! She is my other half in the mission for sure!!! It was so much to be with her again for the day!

We were able to meet D and A both this week. I talk about them together because they are both in the YSA ward. D is doing great and still on date to be baptized this April 15th! She came to church yesterday and really enjoyed it. I don't even know how to explain the difference in her happiness! She is just beaming lately! I believe it is because she is living the gospel more fully. 
A is doing really good! I love her so much! She got an assignment to speak in church! 

We have transfers coming up this weekend.... #mylasttransfer so I hope I stay for my last one especially to hear her speak in church! 

I had a President interviews this week and it was such a great interview! My final question to President was 'How can I make these last 7 weeks most effective to end strong?' He thought about it for a minute and he told me that I have a few stepping stones a head of me that I need to focus on but Heavenly Father doesn't want me to lose view of the big picture but I also need to be careful that I don't spend too much time thinking of the big picture that I trip up on the steps I need to take in front of me. In the end the few steps that I take in the near future will result in what the big picture has in store for me! I am so grateful for the inspiration and advice from President Taylor! I really needed to hear this and it was most definitely meant for me to hear! At least it made sense to me.

Grateful for all that I have and the time I have on my mission! This time here has been the most rewarding. I have gained so much that I wouldn't have gained anywhere else! 

Love Always,
Sister Holt

Sister Hernandez and I

D's pet squirrel that she has raised since it was a baby