Week 30: He Can Change You & I am Learning to Play the Piano

Hey Peeps! We are 1/3 of the way through! I know it is hard to believe, it feels like I left home yesterday. I planned out my 5 year plan for fun last night and it almost put me to tears  thinking about how fast life goes by. I don't want my mission to end. for a couple reasons... 1.) I really really love sharing the gospel and being a missionary while doing that & 2.) I don't want to come back into the real world having to do real world things! The mission life is the best!!  

Anyways, lets talk mission! This week was so great plus the weather can't be beat here in California! We get to enjoy the sunshine every day, we even did our studies outside one day because it was so nice! I am so grateful. 

On Tuesday, was our lesson with J but all morning I didn't feel good about it.   I felt uneasy that he wasn't actually wanting us to come back to teach him but to talk to some  "cute girls." After District meeting I asked our zone leaders if they would call him or just take our lesson that afternoon and they said they would be happy to! Turns out he didn't let the Elders come teach him. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost. I know it was something so little but could potentially put my companion and I in danger or an uncomfortable situation. 

Tuesday night we had dinner with the Manzanares family! Well, we found them because the mom was baptized whens she was in middle school but has never been back to church since. But they are the ones we visited last weekend and had such an amazing time with them. They are so giving and lovely! Our dinner was so good, probably the healthiest dinner I have had out here. Grilled chicken with yams and asparagus and salad! I WAS IN HEAVEN! They let me take all the left overs home. hehe. They are talkers and were about to keep us past cerfew... I know so DISO... we didn't have enough time for the dinner lesson we had planned so we decided to do an improptu testimony meeting. We shared our testimonies of the gospel and family prayer. The Spirit filled the room instantly, it was awesome! AND Yes we got home on time. 

We had a quick drop by lesson with Elsa and Jeff this week. We showed them the mormon message 'Showering of Heavenly Blessings' and talked about how the umbrella is the fear and doubt that they are feeling and if they put it down (aka get baptized) they will be able to feel the peace and the surety Heavenly Father wants them to feel. Elsa is the Chinese lady in the picture below. Isn't she gorgeous!!!!?? #flawless

On Thursday is always our lesson with Vicky! Our less-active or more like inactive or has been meeting with the missionaries for YEARS and finally came to church on Easter! We started reading the Book of Mormon with her last week and told her to read the intro and chapters 1 & 2. She was nervous about reading that much and told us to not be disappointed if she didn't get finished with it all. ANYWAYS, we came back this past Thursday and she is in CHAPTER 10! Like hold up Vicky!!!! She said she just couldn't stop reading!! The Book of Mormon has power let me tell you! It was awesome. 

We met two amazing ladies tracting on Friday. Dorcie, is an older lady. She was standing next to a truck when we walked up and started a conversation with her. She turns out to have a few LDS friends and a brother-in-law who is a member. We talked to her for an hour and she gave us a referral and set up a lunch appointment with us. She called us the next day and wanted to compliment us for how lovely we are and how modestly we were dressed and how it was a pleasure to see such sweet  young ladies out doing the Lord's work. She gave us sweatshirts and a whole carton of eggs! Because she has 9 chickens... so that was nice.

Another was Mary. She is a sweet lady. We knocked on her door and she goes, "alright what do you want to tell me today?." I shared with her the awesome message of the Restoration and how Heavenly Father sent us to share this message with her. She was hesitant because her husband is a PK (preachers kid & raised in Compton...  yeah) She was grateful because she hasn't found the right church or feels 100% for her, YET. We invited her to come to church and to read over the pamphlet and share it with her husband. SOOOOO We are praying for some softened hearts up in here!!!

We found a lot of potentials this week and are excited to go back and follow up with the pamphlets!! 

Our zone made a goal this transfer to contact 2,500 people! Which breaks down to 50 a week per companionship and 7 a day! It has been awesome this week and has really motivated Sister Hernandez and I to get out there and talk to everyone! There are prepared children out there somewhere but we aren't going to find them if we only talk to a select few. 

Sister Hernandez and I made a really fun game called Spiritual Jenga. Yep. Spiritual Jenga. We tried it out last night at our dinner appointment and it was flippin' AWESOME! I am not going to tell you about it because I don't want anyone stealing our idea. But just know that it is awesome! 

I am teaching myself how to play the piano. I have learned 3 hymns in the last couple weeks. Every chance I get at a piano I am playing!  I love playing. It brings the Spirit so fast... like lightening fast. So hopefully I will be a little Mozart by the end of my mission. Grateful for the oppurtunity to build and develop talents! (sorry mom that I gave it up when I was 8) ((yes I regret it)) (((Yes mom you are always right and I will always listen to you)))

Mackynzie and Sarah Allen, thank you SO much for your letters this week. They were huge answers to my prayers. I needed each word that you wrote and your testimonies. So here is a public THANK YOU!! (hope you see this) 

I am so grateful and feel so fortunate for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and For the Restoration of the Gospel. What an amazing event that we could not live without! The gospel continues to change my life and the lives of everyone who accepts it. It is a choice! We let the gospel and Jesus Christ change us. He doesn't change us aganist our will and he never will. WE let HIM in to transform ourselves to progress to our eternal potential. Jesus Christ lives so that WE can live again. 

"HIS suffering, empowers HIM to give US the strength WE need to endure it all"

Not sure who said this, but this comes into my mind everyday.  "He has done more for me then anything I could ever do for him."  I love my Savior.

Take a minute to sit down this week and write down everything the Lord has blessed with you. Write down your talents and strengths, progress you've seen in yourself or your family, write down miracles, and write down testimony builders! Even the little things that happen to us make the biggest changes! 

Love you all! Thank you for reading and supporting me. Have a beautiful week!! 

Sister Holt

Sister Hernandez and I with Elsa eating Pancakes at the Kilburns!!

The Zone last transfer! Does anyone look familiar? lol

All the sisters from LAST transfer
Things you find out tracting.
Study in the Sunshine.  Totally POSED!


Week 29: Putting Down Our Umbrellas & the Priesthood

We moved in with the Kilburns last Monday and it has been pure bliss. It is like living at home but as a missionary. They are so loving and take such great care of us. And they have the cutest dog, second to Mazie of course, that I can cuddle with whenever I want. 

One more week down with Sister Hernandez. I am really getting sad as the weeks go by because I just love her and I love this area. Who knows how long we will be here because the Chinese Elders are taking over Diamond Bar and that could be happening in 5 weeks. Sad day but hopefully our English investigators can get their spirituality together and we can have a giant baptism day for all of them in 5 weeks. Prepare to accomplish the impossible.  

We met with Madilyn this week and YES she had pants on this time and YES we had an amazing conversation about the Book of Mormon with her. She has been reading it for a couple weeks now. Madilyn was raised going to Catholic schools and church for holidays and such. She has been struggling lately because she feels a pull between the Catholic and Mormon church. But the only pull back to the Catholic church she feels is because she was raised in it. So pray pray pray that she has the courage and the faith to continue coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon. 

This is a good story... Highlight of the week... 
Sister Snow our relief society president gives us a list of women each month to go and contact to see if they are still a.) alive b.) still live there c.) interested. So we do that for her. Thursday evening we were figuring out things to go do since we can't tract during the night. 
We decided to go try one last time to see if Rita still lived at the address that we had. She has been on the last 5 months paper and each time she says she is moving or has moved. So we went... 

We knocked on her door. The dog answered with his barking. We were trying to look into the windows to see if it looked like anyone was living there. (i know we are creepy) right at that moment a car pulls up... ITS RITA! she goes... "Am I in trouble?" haha of course not! 
She invited us inside and we sat at her table. On her table she had 9 candles going. They were her prayer candles because she gets attacked by the devil or something evil. (yep) Rita has been feeling attacks for about 4 years now and they come daily. She gave this card reader a picture of her and her son and ever since she thinks that he is doing witch craft on her from Texas.
We talked to her for an hour and we read some passages in the Book of Mormon and marked some chapters that will bring her peace. We called Brother Ybarra to come give her a priesthood blessing and a house blessing. At the beginning of our visit she had no emotion, no faith, no hope. But as we read and testified the Spirit was able to come into that home to comfort Rita. We left her house leaving her with hope in her heart that she will be able to overcome this trial in her life. 

I am so grateful for worthy priesthood holders who are so dedicated to serving others. To drop everything they are doing to come help and bless those with the Priesthood, It is such blessing and I am so grateful. 

Saturday, we went to visit an inactive member Lorena Manzares and SHE WAS HOME! We visited and laughed with her and her family that evening. They are amazing. She is married to her husband named Jeff and her son Jeff is just recently engaged to his Fiance and they are getting married next October in Italy. They were so welcoming. We shared the new Mormon message "Showering of Heavenly Blessings" with them. We shared our testimonies about putting down our umbrellas against the rain of all the blessings Heavenly Father is bestowing upon us. He is constantly aware of the things we need and desire and is willing to give them to us, but we are the ones that put up the umbrella with all our fear, doubt, and sin. IF we put it down THEN we can feel of his love more abundantly.

Every third Sunday the Kilburns make their famous chocolate and vanilla pancakes and has the missionaries invite all their investigators and members they are working with. The pancakes and the activity are amazing!  Unfortantley none of our investigators were in town this weekend or were able to come. But the Chinese Elders have been working with a lady name Gigi and she just recently had her baby and is moving back to China in 2 weeks. So we got to say goodbye to her before she left. 

This life is truly all in the hands of the Lord. This life and this work. Everything that happens is in his hands. We can't mess up. If we are keeping the commandments with real intent and acting with love, we really cannot mess it up. When we do all that we can and leave all the outcomes up to the Lord, we will find peace. We can't see as far as he can and we can't comprehend all that he does. The best thing we can do in our life is to trust him, love him, follow him, and let him in! 

That is all I got for you this week. OH we found two new potential investigators. Jerome and Jacob. We are meeting with them tomorrow. Hopefully they didn't want us to come back just because Sister Hernandez is so cute. hehe. 


Sister Holt

 This is Emily Keh. Our good friend and occasional third companion :) We love her!

Me with Skoshi - all dogs love me, can't you tell. 

At Pancakes at the Kilburns


Week 28: Happy Place and Prayers Please!

TRANSFERS happened this weekend... Friday night we got a call telling us that we were safe... meaning we are staying together in Diamond Bar! Wahoo! We are so excited because the work is really picking up for us. About 45 minutes later we got a call telling us to pack our bags because we are leaving............. our apartment. Ha! We are moving in with the Kilburns today! They are some of my favorites in the Diamond Bar ward. They are a cute old couple and have a  dog that looks like Mazie (my dog at home) but she is white! I am in love you guys... I found my happy place. <3  

We had some really good lessons with week! 

We are still meeting with Adrienne. We invited her to be baptized during our lesson and she said that she was honored that we thought she was ready to be baptized but she needs to think about it and digest everything we taught her. PRAY that she has some spiritual experiences this past week that will help her recognize the blessings that she could receive.

Jeff and Elsa, the Chinese couple are amazing! They are the cutest people on the planet. Jeff said the opening prayer in Chinese so obvi we didn't understand a word, but Elsa said that in his prayer he blessed us to be safe in all our work and that it is cold and rainy outside and he is thankful that the sisters bring warmth and peace to his home! CUTE RIGHT?!? I DIED! 

Then we always have awesome lessons with them because they come prepared! When they are prepared it makes life so much easier! They have awesome questions about their reading in the Book of Mormon. We talked about Why the natural man is an enemy to God?  Jeff was like, "So I am an enemy to God because I am not baptized yet huh?" They crack us up all the time. Jeff has a testimony and believes everything rock solid... He doesn't want to get baptized without Elsa because he doesn't want to be separated from her. Elsa is progressing and is making really good way. She comes from a Buddhist family so Christianity is all new to her but she understands so well. 

And then STELLA! She is the referral we got from  the Long Beach Elders that I told you about two weeks ago. Well we finally had another meeting with her on Saturday and she is amazing. She CALLED US to set up the appointment and have us come over for some pie. She wanted to tell us a little bit more about her background and how she ended up where she is. We had a long talk with her and ended up teaching her about the Priesthood. We asked her if she wanted to come to church tomorrow and she said, "YES I would really like to come!" and we told her that after church she could receive a Priesthood Blessing to help her get past some of her fears and worries. That she could feel peace and comfort from the words her Father in Heaven wants her to know. She came to church and loved it. She told us she feels like she is treated like family! Everyone welcomed her and just made her feel so at home. 

It was funny, she asked us if there was a place she could get coffee... and we were like... "uhhhh"..... and she goes... "do you drink coffee??" and we said, "nope". and THEN she goes.
" oh. gotcha" -with a smile-  Stella is amazing. and is soo prepared! She asked our Bishop if it was okay if she was a little possessive over the sisters because she loves us so much! haha we were like DUH! <3 

We didn't see Madilyn this week for a lesson but we dropped cookies off to her door yesterday and she opened up the door with no pants on! haha I swear that woman goes to great lengths to see our reactions. LOL it was funny. I told her that she looked great with no pants on and I wonder what she would do if we showed up with no pants (skirts) next time? ((we would never but the thought is funny)) 

I am grateful for Heavenly Father's and Christ's unconditional love for me. Sometimes I forget... "Yeah I'm a missionary"... I forget sometimes! We need to not forget. We need to see ourselves for who we can become and also see others that way. If we are truly trying to love others as God loves them, we need to see their eternal potential. We need to see our eternal potential!! We need to gain a perfect knowledge that we are CHILDREN OF GOD, Sons and Daughters of a King. When we understand that... We can truly feel that unconditional love and peace from our Savior and loving Father in Heaven. It is our purpose here on earth to rediscover who we were made to be in the Pre-Mortal life! Everything we learned there, we agreed to live and endure here. 

Thankful thankful thankful. 

Love you all very much, thank you for all your thoughts and prayers! I feel em.  I really rely on them.

Sister Holt

Sister Hernandez and I

The Great Diamond Bar

Last picture with our roommates Sister Castelo (on left) and Sister Martinez
Just me in my pineapple sweater and my pineapple.


Week 27: Conference & Chalk Drawings

This week was so slow because our investigators all had a meeting and thought they should all just cancel on us this week! And everyone else who has houses in the Diamond Bar California just didn't want to be home this week or not answer their door. Yes, it was a long and slow week but General Conference was amazing this weekend so that makes everything better!  

This week we tried a new thing with CHALK! We went to all the parks in Diamond Bar and drew out the Plan of Salvation! It was amazing. All the kids in the park would come up and ask what we are drawing which gave us opportunities to ask them questions of where they think we came from and where we go after we die. Their answers were so funny! Here's some of their cute answers: "The clouds", "my mommy's belly" ,and some of them would say, "HEAVEN!" It was awesome. We talked to a lot of people that day. The Plan of Salvation really brings people together and I love talking about it. It is so special to me to know that I can be with my family forever and that is a piece of the puzzle that so many people in this world want to hear. 

General Conference was very simple this weekend. The talks were beautiful and I found a lot of power through the speaker's words. I was really touched by President Uchtdorf's talk about being rebuilt through Christ's Atonement. I have such a testimony of the transformation powers that Jesus Christ can have in our lives if he let Him. He can make something so beautiful and immaculate if we give him the chance to. It is all about choices as we learned from our Beloved Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. Our choices here truly decide where we go after this life. We make the goal to return home to live with our Heavenly Father in the Celestial Kingdom but while here on earth we have to make that goal attainable by our choices. We need to chose to forgive ourselves and to forgive others. It is a commandment and will bring us so much relief. I am so blessed and grateful for the testimony that I have of these things.

I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can redeem, empower, strengthen, and rebuild each of us if we choose to give it all over to him. It's never going to be easy and the changes aren't going to be immediate but they are so worth it. And it brings unimaginable joy and peace into OUR life. I know this because I've done it and am still doing it and I am so eternally grateful.

Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts for all the missionaries in the world!! 

I love you!!
Sister Holt

CHALK DRAWINGS in the Park of the  Plan of Salvation