Week 2: Deep in the Heart of Rancho Cucamonga

Hiiiiiiiiiii FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I made it to California in one piece and survived the first week in the mission field. To be honest the days go by extremely fast and the week felt like an eternity. But I am keeping a positive mindset otherwise I would go crazy. I feel like I've been away for 7 years! haha. 

My companion is my trainer who I will be with most likely for 2 transfers because she is training me. Her name is Sister Huntington so we are double H's and together we are Holtington. LOL we are lame. She is extremely outgoing and is so smart in the scriptures, so we balance each other out well. 

I am serving in the Rancho Cucamonga city, in the Redhill Ward AND GUESSWHAT.... we don't have a car.... we have BIKES!!!!!! My first area and I'm on a bike. My area is one of two areas that sisters are on bikes. Just my luck. hahaha I acutally really like it.  I work really hard to burn off all the food I eat. #portioncontrol
In the ward, there are a lot of really fun families and great people! I am really excited to get to know everyone better. There was a Halloween ward party Friday so that was the first day I got to meet a lot of the families that I hadn't meet prior to Friday. It was really fun. We were the judges of the chili cookoff and we had a couple of recent converts come, which was way fun. Then on Sunday was my first Sunday obviously, at church with the ward and all the lessons were great. There were so many women with amazing stories and experiences that shared. 

It's funny, in sacrament, the ward is WAY quiet during the hymns and so I feel like I am singing a solo..... that should make you laugh because I AM A TERRIBLE SINGER! Sister Huntington also makes us sing every day before companionship study. She laughs at me but I can laugh at her because she aint the best singer either. I am getting better though! Watch me come back and be the next Beyonce. ANYWAYS... that isn't important. 

I have had one break down this week and that's only because we had a bad sad day. 5 out of 6 appointments cancelled on us ,so we were just riding around from house to house to get cancelled on. So it made me frustrated. We get fed everynight so no worries I will not starve.

We work with a lot of less actives and recent converts which is one of my favoritie things... Strengthening their testimonies and reteaching them things is super cool. Then we have maybe 6 investigators right now. 
This week has just been alot of me trying to figure out what the heck is going on and who everyone is and where I go. WHICH by the way I have already crashed once on my bike.... hahaha! It was funny and no I'm not hurt. I just literally splatted onto the sidewalk because I'm dumb and don't know how to ride a bike. I'm learning. ;) 

Anyways, I promise I will have a better email next week once my brain slows down a bit. 
But I want to testify about Charity. 
 "Charity is having paitence with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and short-comings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to atrributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others." - President Thomas S. Monson
I have really been trying to work on this quote from President Monson since I left the MTC. Charity is really the pure love of Christ and it shouldn't just be limited to the pure love he had. But also the way he carried himself, taught, thought, and spoke. WE has Children of God and as examples of Jesus Christ should be striving  to be like him in our thoughts, words, and deeds.  We should be oozing with charity. Charity is having paitence, accepting everyone, looking beyond imperfections,  and resisting unkind thoughts and words.

So my motto is taken from the new Cinderella movie.... 
Be Kind and Have Courage.
I encourge you all to try to have more of Christ's love oozing out of you ;)

I know that Christ lives. He lives in the very moment. I am so proud to be representing him.
I love each of you. 
Be kind,

Sister Holt


Week 1- I am a missionary! Like what

Holy Moly I love being a missionary.... I don't think I ever want to come home. Sorry not sorry. This has been the best decision of my life but also the most challenging. I have had so many ups and a lot of downs. So many humbling experiences I will try to mention them all. I have already learned so much about this gospel that I didn't know before. The study time is incredible and vital. It is really your only time to prepare for things like your lessons or role plays. I thought I would have a hard thing with all the reading because I can never sit still but I have grown to love the scriptures and preach my gospel so much in just a week!! I still get distracted because I am always talking with so many different missionaries but I LOVE SCRIPTURE STUDY TIME! 

I'll start from the beginning and try to summarize my days but that is going to be hard because SO many things are going on during the day and so many things happen! But the day I got dropped off they literally take you to your room and throw down your bags and then throw you in your classroom where you meet your district. It is like really overwhelming but I was so happy. I think they keep it at a fast pace so they don't have missionaries rethinking what the crap they are getting themselves into. hehe. 
MY DISTRICT IS THE BEST! There is 10 missionaries in my district. Sister Wall and I are going to Rancho and then 3 other elders are as well. Then two sisters and 3 elders going to Las Vegas West mission. All of these missionaries in my district are soooooo different from me so it has been a great experience getting to know them. WE are like a family now. So close. We go and play frisbee everyday during gym time and we have such strong testimony meetings the spirit is always so strong. 
It will be sad to say goodbye to the vegas missionaries. I have learned so much from each of them. They all come from such different backgrounds OHHHHH AND 3 OF THEM ARE CONVERTS OF LIKE ONE YEAR!!!!!!!! and now they are missionaries. INCREDIBLE PEOPLE. I love my district to say the least. 

Okay so Sister Wall and I have three investigators. Only supposed to have two but we had a surprise one which threw us for a loop. So Erica is married to a member for 8 years and goes to church with him but doesn't care to get baptized. She is agnostic which means she believes that something of a higher power is there but she doesn't believe it is God. Then our surprise investigator is James, Erica's nephew. He isn't a member at all but lives with her because he has no where else to go. He has recently lost his wife and son due to a car accident. So he showed up to our first lesson with Erica and was just throwing down question after question like "How is a loving God so loving if he takes away the most precious thing of mine" or "If your gospel is all about families then why does God take them away" He was really bitter and having a hard time understanding why terrible things happen to good people basically. 
It was my first lesson so I was just completely taken back so I was just silent while Sister Wall was trying to fight back with scripture which was getting to him but also was bringing up so many more questions. We finally heard silence and I spoke up and bore my testimony on trials and just said " Look we all have bad things happen to us, I don't know why so I can't tell you why that happened. But I know that through my trials that I didn't choose for myself, I was able to find happiness and peace with the fact because I had FAITH that my Heavenly Father knew me by name and was going to take care of me." And Sister Wall bore her testimony as well but I don't remember what she said. And then we left the lesson. With hugs, of course for Erica because we barely even addressed her. 
We walked out of that meeting IN SHOCK! LIKE WHAT THE HECK ARE WE DOING HERE?!?!?! 
But after we evaluated what happened our purpose as missionaries CHANGED.... It isn't about the lesson we teach, it is about what the investigator is feeling and learning from the  Holy Ghost. ALWAYS BEGIN WITH LOVE! We were trying to fight with doctrine that James didn't even understand. We need to take a step back, IMAGINE how he feels, put ourselves in HIS shoes, and get to know what he NEEDS. Because that is what the Savior would do. He would LISTEN to them and mourn with them. 
Our second lesson with James was on Tuesday, over the weekend he said he went camping and really thought about his relationship and understanding in God. Sister WAll and I were like.... hmmmm realllyyyy...... :) 
ANYWAY long story short, we taught him about the two different powers of Jesus Christ atonement. The Redemption power and the enabling power. We explained to him how Heavenly Father sacrificed his only begotton son for ALL OF US. and to understand the fair and unfair things in this life we need to access the enabling power of the atonement by swallowing our pride and going to him for strength because WE CANNOT DO THIS LIFE WITHOUT HIM! (that has only been my motto during this experience) 
So at the end of the lesson james said " so to my understanding, Jesus has never lost a son but something is telling me in my head that 'I do'.... Heavenly Father does." and we were like YEEEESSSS JAMES YESSS!!!!!!! Erica was crying, I was crying, James was crying, and Sis wall was crying. It was an amazing last lesson with James. 
I don't have time to explain Erica, basically we taught her how she is a daughter of God and he knows her deepest thoughts and every desire, and pure intents of her heart. She cried and considers herself a Christian now which is an amazing step. From agnostic to Christian. We challenged her to read the Book of Mormon because she can come closer to her Savior and FAther in heaven by reading it. 

My favorite quote from this week is "To trust in the Spirit, is to find JOY in the mission." It is a skill to for me having to recognize what the spirit is trying to tell me. So I have really had to work on that. 

So I have only cried once since I got dropped off here at the MTC which was just on Tuesday. Tuesday was the hardest most humbling day for me. I almost made it a week without crying. LOL. Ummmmmm yeah so in the middle of class we were doing role plays with our companion and it was my turn to be the missionary and I just felt completely shot and blocked. so I started crying and then sister wall started crying so we had to leave the room because we are so dramatic. lol. We just went out in the hall and cried and prayed and cried some more and prayed alot more together. 
WHAT I LEARNED during this hour of crying was..... I was over thinking this whole teaching thing WAY too much. It doesn't matter about what lesson I teach or about what I say... It is about Who I am and What I am. I am a representative of MY SAVIOR! all I need to do is love Gods children as he does. Found out their experiences, put myself in their shoes, and find out what their needs are. It is so simple.  And also to anyone who hasn't cried in a while, I highly recommend it. I realized now that not crying is soooo prideful! like God KNOWS how weak we are.... so who are we putting on a show for?? He wants us to cry because then we come to him. I don't know if that makes sense but what I am crying to say is that we are soooo weak. We cannot do anything in this life without our Savior and our Loving dear Heavenly Father. 

I know that my Father in Heaven and his Son Jesus Christ are on my right hand and on my left, behind me and in front me to bear me up. I know that this gospel brings families and individuals the most unimaginable happiness that exists. I know that it is worth it to give up everything you have for this gospel. I can testify that I KNOW my father lives and that he loves me. He loves me soooooo much that he is willing to tear me down in order to build me back up into who he wants me to be. I love him so much and I want to do nothing else right now then to serve him with all my might mind and strength. I love the Book Of Mormon, I know it is from God and was translated by a prophet Joseph Smith who was called of God. I am so thankful for prayer and the fact that I can pour my heart out 20 times a day to him for things that I need but mostly everything that I am thankful for. I know that I can do all things through him. 

I hope you are all so happy and are going good in the world!!!! I love you all and thank you sooooo much for your support and prayers. I feel your love every single day. I mean that!! XOXO 

All my love, 
Sister Morgs Holt 

ACTUAL letters are THE BEST THING EVER! They really help me so much and keep me going. So everyone who has written me one THANK YOU SO MUCH! They are a life saver. xxooxxoxo