Week 11: Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas Everybody! What a wonderful time to be serving my Savior, Jesus Christ and being able to rejoice with anyone about his birth and his life! I am beginning to re-read the Book of Mormon and am really paying attention the all the different attributes, characteristics, and blessings of Christ. It is really awesome  to be able to focus on just that one thing. I am so grateful for his life and his continueous love that he displays for all of  God's children.
This week was busy and slow and super fast all that once! How does that work? I don't know but it does! This week I've had a lot of time to refocus on my mission and recommit to the reasons why I came out here. Because as you all probably assume, missionaries get pretty homesick during the holiday seasons and it is really easy for the adversary to grab on tight. DONT WORRY I am not very homesick but I have had my moments as does every missionary. But the ward is keeping the love and makes us feel it during this time.  I am grateful for the members and all they do.
The Carrillo's are getting so close to their baptism! TWO WEEKS! We taught them the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity this week. Hehe -- try teaching that to a 12, 11, and 9 year old WHO AREN'T YOUR CHILDREN. Yeah. It was quite the experience and brought a lot of questions and fun conversations. They understood everything pretty well, we tried to keep everything as simple as we could and they were super hyper because it was their last day of school. Crazy kiddos! But they absolutely LOVE coming to church and the 12 year old LOVES  the Young Mens activities.
We had our Missionary Christmas Party/Devotional this Thursday. It was a lot of fun. I got to meet all the missionaries from the Valley. (President splits the mission in half for stuff like that so they have a desert devotional and a valley devotional) I am in the Valley and will probably stay here for a while. A Sister member up in the desert starts in January and knits EVERY SINGLE missionary a beanie for Christmas. It was so cute! So you will see those on everyones heads in the pictures attached.
This weekend Sister Huntington got really sick, so we were inside most of the time and went out for our set appointments. I really hate staying inside but we have to get her better so we aren't inside more often. Am I Right??? It was funny though... Friday when we were out contacting and walking around she starting feeling really nauseous and her  head started aching, so we were walked to a members house to rest for a a bit, but  they ended up not being home so we just sat on her porch and my companion took a nap for 15 minutes. They things you do when you don't have a car.
We are still crazy busy this season - we have about 12 investigators and maybe half are progressing right now (coming to church). It is really fun and high responsibility on our part! We will continue to pray for their progress.
I feel so blessed each and every day that I get to be a missionary. I cannot believe that it is already the first Christmas week of my mission! I am very happy and full of joy this season to be representing my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for all your prayers and support. All the letters are much appreciated! I love hearing from you, Especially the Christmas cards :)
Peace, Joy, & Blessings! 
Sister Holt


Week 10: Investigators, Rain, and a Little Mishap

HELLO!  I always stress out about emailing because I seriously never remember what I do all week! I have the worst memory. Thank goodness for JOURNALS! 

We are the busiest little biking missionaries you could ever imagine! We have so many appointments stacked everyday and I am pooped when I get to lay in my bed at night! BUT IT IS SO WORTH IT. 
Last night was The Living Nativity! The Rancho stake puts it on every year and they say they have up to 3,000 people  show up and watch. I was so pumped to see it! It was wonderful and the spirit was so beautiful there! Lots and lots of people were there and  it started RAINING! And it was POURING RAIN! It was so fun YET sooooo cold! We got home and everything in my bag was soaked from the water EXCEPT MY SCRIPTURES! Praise the Lord Almighty! :-)
Last Monday night , we had our first lesson with our cute little Chinese family! We brought a member from our ward with us who speaks Mandrian so she acted as our translator. The family speaks VERY VERY little english. It was interesting. But I have no idea what they were saying so I am just guessing that they understood everything! (haha) 

Sister K (our translator) said they understand the Restoration but they have been reading the Book of Mormon for two weeks now and they haven't gotten an answer if it is true yet. We told them that Understanding comes with time. We have been members for our whole lives and we are still learning and understanding everything in the gospel. But what we do know is,  if you keep putting in an effort to show God that you want to know, You will experience a different kind of joy and peace in your life that you could never imagine. We told the mom to be sensitive to the impressions and feelings she gets while reading. The father said he has been dreaming about the Book of Mormon!!! hahaah! If that isn't your answer I don't know what is!!! (jk)

We have to pass them off  to the Chinese speaking elders in the Riverside mission now because Sister K (translator)  feels that she couldn't translate the best and that they need missionaries who speak their language. I felt the exact same way from the beginning SOOO we passed them off.  We will pray that things will keep happening for them.
We asked our investigator V (who fed us on Thanksgiving) to be baptized FINALLY and she goes, "Well I have already been baptized twice.... (How many times can you be baptized!!!!???) It was really cute the way she said it. So hopefully she should be reading the Book of Mormon and get an answer this week for her baptism (or third time, not sure what is happening there).
Wednesday night we started a fast for our less active, Sister A, so she may be able to recognize the spirit and have peace of mind. (she has had a really rough past) She believes in God. But she believes that God has his chosen people and then he leaves all the others for survive on their own. AND she believes she is one of the ones that is left on her own. Anyways, so we fasted for 24 hours until Thursday night at 8:30. The bishopric came over to give her a priesthood blessing, WHICH IS HUGE because she dislikes men, but Her heart is softening. :)) It went really well but she said that she doesn't feel any different. So we will just take it week by week and  help her realize God's hand in her life.
Friday morning I got up at 6:30, said my prayers and got up to go to the bathroom, ya know. And I was walking to the bathroom and the next thing I know I wake up on the ground. I had fainted from lack of water and food. I hit my head on the bathroom door but I am fine now! I jumped right back up as I am known to do. SO ADVICE TO ALL - Don't fast and then bike and walk all day long.  I suppose I should be a little more careful (sorry mom).
We got two new investigators on Friday, M and D. They are Boyfriend and Girlfriend and live together and have two kids! AHH! They came to church this Sunday and said they will be back next week without us even inviting them! WAHOO! They are cute. 
The Carrillo's are still getting baptized first weekend of January and just progressing right along! They are the cutest little kiddos ever! :) I love them!! 
No bike crashes this week ladies and gentlemen! THANK YOU VERY MUCH! :) 
I am really grateful for my Savior everyday that I am out here on the mission. None of this would be happening without him. I am grateful for all your prayers. Thank you! 
Have a safe and happy Christmas! 
Love always, 
Sister Morgs Holt

1.  Me and Fall Leaves that  are still laying around in Rancho 
2.  The Sisters and the Camel ( from the Live Nativity)
3.  SOAKED SISTERS!  Yes the rain came down.


Week 9: Kicking It Into Christmas and Reaching So Many

Everything and everyone is kicking into the swing of Christmas. Amazing things are happening here in Rancho as well. Sister Huntington and I had a car Monday - Thursday and it was amazing! We got to visit soooo many less actives that the ward had no idea even existed! It was so nice. We got to meet amazing women and share the beautiful message of Jesus Christ their Savior, with them. I love serving around Christmas time, it has been wonderful.
We got 3 new investigators this week! It is amazing how the Lord places people in our path who are soooo ready and prepared.

On Saturday, we went to go visit a less active that we have been trying to visit ever since I got to the area. She finally answered so we set up an appointment with her. We planned to share with her the new Savior is Born video. When we showed up a man named D answered the door who was one of her closest friends. We sat down and started to get to know him while we were waiting for S. He said how he has been looking for a church and needs help with his addiction to alcohol. SOOO we ended up teaching him  about the Restoration! He wants to learn more so we are teaching him again this Thursday and he said he wants to come to church! Amazing! 

Later that day we went to contact a refferral. We went up to the house and they ended  up being a chinese family who speak VERY little english. Their 11 year old daughter speaks english and was translating the whole time. They want to learn about Jesus and the Book the Mormon so we have a lesson with them TONIGHT. Luckily Sister K, in our ward is from Taiwan and speaks Mandrain so we are going to have her translate! It will be so awesome. (We did ask the  President if there were any Madrian speaking missionaries in our mission and he said there is one and they already have 114 refferrals in Chino...What!.) So yeah we are going to to teach them the best we can, because there is only ONE mandrian speaking missionary in the entire mission. 

On Thursday, We had a ton of lessons and they all went great, on our way to lunch we felt prompted to go visit our good friend K. She is a less active who converted ten years ago. I have probably talked about her before. She is one of the first people I met when I came out here. I love her to death! Anyways she is going through a really hard time and  tends to turn to not good things when she is stressed. We went over there and she had been drinking and smoking. She felt so bad and the amazing thing about K is that she wants to change!!!!!!!! But because of the terrible situation she is in right now it is so dang hard for her and she doesn't think she is strong enough. BUT after our little visit with her, she agreed to let me dump out all her alcohol and take her pack of cigs. K is one of the sweetest women I have ever met  and her testimony of the church is so strong. This is just a pure example of how ugly the world is and how EASY it is to slip.
Our Carillo Family is doing great. Our investigators. They are still on the road to Baptism on January 2! We are excited and just love them. They came to the Christmas party on Friday and just loved it and the ward is so amazing at helping everyone feel so loved and welcomed! The ward really ends up making the biggest difference!!!
Friday, was our ward Christmas Party and we helped decorate and do the food and everything along with all our business with teaching and everything. WE WERE DANG BUSY THIS WEEK! 

One of our investigators named J was getting the lessons in Septmeber but we haven't seen him since. He just fell of the face of the earth. We call and text him and take visits to his house every week but were never successful. ANYWAYS we were making calls to invite him to the ward Christmas party and J ANSWERED! We invited him and he totally showed up to the party. It was amazing. Straight up miracle! AND He said that he wants to start lessons this week again.

FUNNY STORY NOW:  J  showed up like half way through the party.  He didn't know where we (the missionaries) were and so our Relief Society president  got on the microphone and was like "sisters you have someone looking for you out in the hall"  So we both got up and ran out and it was J! I was so happy to see him that I GAVE HIM A BIG HUGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  When I realized "NO SISTER HOLT YOU ARE A MISSIONARY. YOU CANT HUG MALES!" But my happiness and joy just took over and I didn't even think about! So when he was leaving the party he totally hugged both of us. So that might have to be our first lesson with him.... ;) #lawofchastity. JUST KIDDDDING!!!!!!!
This week has been so busy, so hard, so fun, and so rewarding.
I am learning so much and really having to stretch myself. I talk and sit with homeless people, I used to just pass by them.  I didn't ever really see them.  They have some of the best personalities! I love being a missionary and being about  HIS business to help others and make people smile. 
Service is truly the best medicine.  
Thank you so much for your support and prayers! I love this gospel and I am so ever grateful for my Savior and my Heavenly Father and HIS perfect plan for us!

Have Courage and Be Kind,
Sister Holt

Pic of my Humble Abode and my District