Week 16: Life is Good, the Gospel is True and Jesus Christ Lives!

Another week has gone by so fast... I am struggling with the fact that the weeks go by so fast. I am dead tired by the end of each day and I sleep like a ROCK - really I don't think I move an inch. I value my sleep a lot because I need all the energy I can get during the day.
We are still doing a lot of finding every day. We found a new investigator, Jim , remember the one that I said "I can't get too excited about because it is honestly too good to be true"??. YES.!!  So ee had our first lesson with him on Tuesday and we taught him the Restoration. He accepted everything and said it was very enlightening. He was super excited to come to church on Sunday and even to have another lesson that week! We were pumped. Then four hours later we get a text from him saying that he has decided to no more study in his home and he will not attend our church. End of story!!  SO SAD!!! I have a really hard time dealing with rejection and it was very apparent this week. Wah. 

Koa is getting baptized February 6 now! We are very excited for him and his brother Joseph! It is going to be a wonderful evening. 

The Carrillo kids are doing awesome but have been sick for two weeks so they haven't been to church. We visited them a couple times this week to make sure Diana wasn't drowing in children. She fed us a delcious mexican soup... I dont know what it was but it was divine.
BIG HAPPY NEWS! D.R. our investigator, had us over for a lesson on Wednesday and wanted to talk to us about what happened to him. He was reading in the Moroni 10 (as his homework) and He said that he got a feeling that he should go back and read the Introduction again and so he did and he said after he finished he had an overwhelming feeling AND it all just clicked together and he knew it was true! Therefore.... he is getting baptized Febraury 27! He is BEAMING and I mean BEAMING! D.R. has been through so much in his life and God has most definietly saved his life so he can recieve a remission of his sins here on earth. He is incredible! 

NOW FUNNY STORY! We finished talking about baptism and such and remember how he is best friends with our less active Sharron and thats how we met him. Anyways they are with eachother EVERYDAY... and we just thought they were best friends and he takes care of her. no. they are actually dating. UGH! So  I had to be the big girl and ask them if they were keeping the Law of Chastity.... They both starting laughing and said, "OF COURSE WE ARE" and I was like Phew....good now I don't have to be your mother and tell you your boundaries.  I  hope you all understand how awkward that is for a 19 year old sister missionary to ask some 50 year old adults. BUT no matter how awkward it is... It is important to the Lord and THAT IS WHY I ASKED!   GO ME!!!! Best News --  he is getting baptized and we are so excited and happy for him.

This Wednesday we got to listen to a Worldwide missionary broadcast which is the first one they have held in over a decade. They had every mission in the world watching at the same time except Japan and Taiwan because they were sleeping. It was amazing. They had a bunch of different trainings on different things we should be focusing on as missionaries. 'Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts!' That is our focus as well as our purpose. Repentance is a change that people don't even know exsists! I am so grateful for the fact that I can change to be even better then the day before.
Those are the highlights of my week.We are still visiting Katrina, Sister Adam, and Cynthia and Cheyenne. And everyone else is doing great. One faithful day at a time. 

Life is fun, the Gospel is true, Jesus Christ lives! What more do you need?!?! 
I love you all! 
Sister Holt
1. Sister Helms and myself
2. We created this minion door for a boy birthday party! Isn't is awesome??


Week 15: Whirlwind Work and Car Full time

Where do I even start!? Last week was a whirlwind with transfers! I am staying another transfer in the Redhill ward with Sister Helms. I am very happy to stay in this area.  Sister Helms has been out only a month longer then me so we are both baby missionaries who have no idea what they are doing. But we are taking it day by day! It is mostly all on my shoulders because she doesn't know anyone or the area at all! It has been fun... she is very patient :) I am really feeling the weight of being a missionary and relying on the Lord.
Did I tell you that we got a car?!?!?! A permanent one! YES! We got a car. I am sooooo grateful! Life is so nice when you have a car... Especially at night.
This week we have done probably 50,000 hours of service... no joke. We had our recent convert pass away, Deb'o'rah Flakes and so we have been helping her non-member family members. It has been such a wonderful time being able to give them the help that they need and the comfort they desire. They were always commenting about how wonderful we are and how our church is so amazing. Francheska (deb'o'rahs daughter who is like 30's) is having us over for dinner twice next month. SCORE! They are the sweetest people ever.... I just adore them - planning on teaching them the plan of salvation!
Sister Helms and I have been focusing on finding new investigators this week because we have had to drop some and our two are getting baptized soon. So we need to find more! We have had some amazing experiences tracting. We have found a lot of people and have a ton of return appointments this week. 

We met this man named Jim while we were searching for a woman named Cindy (who we never found) but JIM is almost too good to be true. He opened the door and we introduced ourselves and he was like, "Well its about time, I have been looking for the true church.!!" We gave him a Book of Mormon to start reading and invited him to come to church. We have an appointment with him tomorrow for a lesson. He totally tried to come to church on Sunday, but he couldn't find the address and our phone was on silent and we were in the middle of sacrament. So that was a bummer! But at least he TRIED!!!!! So pray for him... this could be a miracle in the works! :) (can't get too excited YET)
Koa our investigator is getting baptized in two weeks with his little brother Joseph! WE are very excited for him. He is pumped to get the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
On Saturday we did service with the Rancho Cucamonga fire department and filled sand bags for four hours. My hands are raw - so sad. I have been working so hard to keep them so smooth for all the hand shakes I am doing. hahaha. JOKES!
Well we are hoping and praying for lots of new investigators this week. I have a lot of faith that this will be an amazing week! We are going to work so hard! I love being a busy missionary! I can't imagine doing anything else. It is really weird to think about life not doing missionary work. I just feel like I could do this forever! I love my Savior so much and would not be able to do any of this every day without him helping me. The Atonement should be used every single day in all of our lives. I am also learned that bearing a simple testimony has more power then any facts I can give.
I love you all! Thank you for all the prayers and thoughts. 
Keep safe and healthy. 
Sister Holt

1.  Early lunch at Wendys when all your appointments cancel! 
2.. Found baby kitty on the road while tracting. HE WAS SO SOFT!
3. Photoshoot with Sister Helms and Katrina at family home evening :)


Week 14: Transfers and New Companion

 I don't have a lot of time today because transfers took forever! But my new companion is....... SISTER HELMS! another H. She is from Alabama and has cute little dimples. She is so sweet, calm, and happy! I love her already. She came out in August so only a transfer before me....So we are both baby  missionaries, who don't know what they are doing! 

President gave us a car! Praise him! HAHA! Last week we came very close to dying (sorry mom) a couple times on our bikes (like a lot more then usual).... So on Saturday we got a call telling us that they got us a car! Super awesome. We will be biking during the day and driving a car at night! YAY for us!
We are making good progress with most of our investigators with lessons but only a couple of them are actually coming to church. Church is the most important thing for them and no one realizes that.
This last Thursday we were visiting Cynthia and Cheyenne, our recent converts, and ended up having a testimony meeting with their whole family ,who are mostly less active ,about how they know the church to be true. Everyone answered! The room was filled with the Spirit and we had such a nice time testifying of the things we each knew to be true. I had never done that before but it was a cool experience to hear everyone's testimonies where they felt comfortable saying them. It is just different when they are at home rather then at a pulpit. Beautiful evening.
The Carrillo's are doing so good! D, their mom, is really getting their lives together and understands the importance of the convenant her children chose to make last weekend. We helped them clean out their bedroom the other day and retaught them the plan of salvation. We had the kids reteach us what they knew... and it was cool to see and hear everything they remembered! I was actually shocked!!! These kids are incredible and so smart. They were prepared to be baptized from the first day we met them. I am so blessed to have been able to be their missionary. I can't wait for the day when they get to serve missions and share this wonderful blessing with others.
We are going to focus a lot of our time on tracting and finding  new investigators throughout these next couple weeks. I hope to find some new investigators and have some fun stories! Stay tuned.... ;)  I haven't don't much tracting yet.
I just want to bare my testimony of the power of prayer this week. I can't even begin to tell you how many times missionaries pray a day. I am pretty sure it is about 40 times but let me tell you it is powerful and the Spirit will speak to you if you invite him to and if you are willing to hear. Prayer has so many different powers. Sometimes we don't nesscessarily recognize when our prayers have been answered because it isn't answered how we expect them to be answered.  I don't know -- I just want to urge you all to be continually grateful for the blessings you  recieve because maybe down the line you will realize that those blessings were actually the answer to your problems then and you didn't realize it.
I love you all so much and I am eternally grateful for those of you who are supporting me everyday while I am serving the Lord. It is surely hard and trying but it brings me SO much happiness. I feel like I could do this forever!
Be safe!
Sister Holt
1. Tuesday we had a HUGE rain storm. Like a hurricane and we had to bike ALL DAY! We were soaked in the first 3 minutes. 
2. This is Momma Cynthia! She got baptized last March. I love her! 
3. Sister Helms and I!!!! Isn't she adorable?! 


Week 13: Blessings AFTER Blessings

BLESSING AFTER BLESSING! This week was such a good week. Less lessons than usual, lots of planning, and three baptisms! 
> Our less active Sister A who we fasted for at the beginning of December is doing so much better. She doesn't see or feel a difference but that's because she is stubborn. But you can see and feel of a new glow that surrounds her. She is so much more fun to be around now. We made gooey gooey rice krispies with her because she claims that hers are to "DIE" for. So we made them and yes they ARE to "DIE" for. She's super cute.

> Our recent convert C who is 16 hasn't been to church since November and we found out from her Grandma, C that she has been attending a different church with her friends so that she can dance and praise. Cute huh? Well we have been praying and praying and trying to visit with her for weeks now and we finally got in on New Years Eve. We read the title page and the introduction to the Book of Mormon with both of them. The spirit was so strong and I asked C how she was feeling about everything and she said, " I know, I need to start coming back to church again and trying my best to make it to mutual." HALLEIJUAH! I was like YES C! I told her that the other side is always going to seem more appealing and fun but it is not happiness.  She is a happy girl so she needs to stay on the happy side. She nodded her head and just gave me hugs. I love her so much! She is the sweetest.   #prayersanswered

> We are teaching Sister V's grandsons K and J,who are kids of less active parents and we set a baptism date for January 30th. So we are stoked for them! 

> On Saturday was the Carrillo's baptism!!!!! Oh my goodness --  most beautiful wonderful day ever. The spirit was so strong and the kids were glowing. The primary gave each of the kids a towel with their name embroidered on and we did little advice books for each kid. D (the mom) was just beaming the whole day and she is excited to take the next steps to be sealed in the temple with her babies. It is truly amazing to be watching her change her life around with her kids and really see how the Atonement can truly transform their lives. 

> We had one of our investigators J come to the Carrillo's baptism. J is a woman we met on the street just walking who stopped and talked to us. We have had one lesson with her and she came to the baptism. Amazing!! 
> Our other investigator D. R.  surprised us at church yesterday. He is bff's with one of our less actives and they do EVERYTHING together but he came to church without her! AMAZING!!! He was so happy and was asking all kinds of questions about all the different programs and testimonies. It was awesome. He is a lot more serious about all this than we thought. He told us that he makes stellar mexican food so he is going to cook us dinner one night since its my favorite! I can't wait! 

> This is my last week in training because transfer calls are this Saturday and transfers are next Monday. So Big things could be happening. 
> On Christmas Eve we lost our wonderful beautiful Sister D.F.  who joined the church December 2014. She died from tongue cancer that spread throughout her body. Please pray for her family. I loved D. She was this high energy fun loving black woman who LOVED fashion. She had so much spunk. A week before she started going down hill we were with her in her apartment with masks over our faces, intensely sanding her kitchen table!!! She was a tropper I'll tell ya. And one of the most giving woman I came to know out here. I got to give her one last hug before she passed and give her our little Christmas card but I am happy to know she is out of that body that was causing her so much pain. She is learning and probaly being the best little spirit in the spirit world. She will be missed down here but oooo man she is probably doing SO good up there :) 
> I am grateful to be here everyday that I am out here. The days get long and hard and I get tired but it doesn't change the fact that my heart burns with the love I have for the people I meet here. They all feel like family. I love it here and I love being a missionary.  These past weeks were a little harder than I thought, but we keep busy and its all good stuff. 
> I am grateful for the love our Heavenly Father bestows upon us each and every day! We don't recognize how much he truly does for us. Absolutely everything.  That's All I can think about lately and how blessed and grateful I am. 

> I love you all. Happy new YEAR! 
> Sister Holt

> Pictures: 
> 1. Jayanna Carrillo - She has this thing against giving me hugs so it is a miracle she stood next to me in this picture. She's spunky but isn't she GLOWING??!
> 2. All three of the Carrillo Kids - Aldo (12) Joey (11) and Jayanna (9) I love these kiddos
> 3. On Christmas Eve Momma Shutt gave us matching PJ's and our investigator dropped off a tree for us all decorated! Merry Christmas and Happy new Year!