Week 34: Staying in Diamond Bar -- YIPPEE!

So this last week was funny. Sister Hernandez and I had no idea which one of us was going to be transferred and we both felt like one of us was going to leave. So we were telling everyone that we needed to get pictures with them and saying goodbye at the end of the lessons.... JUST IN CASE we got transferred.  

Heavenly Father is really funny and decided to let us BOTH stay in Diamond Bar TOGETHER!!!! We have 6 more weeks together and I am soooo grateful. 
So the outcome of this week was that we have pictures with most of the people we are teaching so now you can see what they look like! #yourewelcome
but sad news.... two of our chinese elders got transferred! I am so sad. The ward just won't be the same without our three chinese elders running around!! 

Are you ready for this week??? OK! Here it is........

Tuesday, we had district meeting and I had to give a training. HA! I thought I was being transferred so I went out with a bang and gave a somewhat decent training. I don't even want to talk about it.  

Then we had lunch with beautiful Miss Adrienne. We showed her how  to study the scriptures and how to cross reference the Bible with the Book of Mormon. She isn't interested in converting or trying another church because she thinks her church is the exact same as ours. :) 

Afterwards we had the Plan of Salvation lesson with Tesan. It was a lot of information for her but she has such a good perspective about not being able to learn/understand everything all at once. 

Wednesday we taught Tesan the gospel of Jesus Christ and spent a lot of time on repentance and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. She is really interested in learning more about the Atonement because she has never been taught it fully like we do before. 

Afterwards we saw Madilyn!! We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ as well and invited her to be baptized. She told us she still has a lot of thinking to do. She wants to become better at praying everyday and studying the Book of Mormon before she commits to anything serious. She loves church though and comes every week!! 

Thursday we met with Vicky and  read the Book of Mormon with her. Then we had a lesson with Tesan to teach her S.O.A.P. (scripture study, obedience, attending church, prayer) Tesan told us how she is sharing what she learns with her sister and also with her husband. Little by little she said... they will come around!! She just loves sharing the 'GOOD NEWS' she has found. 

Then after that we met and had lunch with Stella and her sister! We shared our favorite scriptures and was able to teach her sister about the Book of Mormon and what it was about. She said that she would love to read it when she reads the bible everyday. She isn't in our mission but it was awesome to have her be so open! 

Then we met with our other Madeline. We talked to her about being a good example by living the gospel. She struggles because her husband is not a member and so that has made it hard for her to stay active. But she was so willing to make changes this week and get going to church again. She told us how whenever the gospel is more fuller in her life, the better her life seems to go! 

That evening we decided to stop by one of our potential investigators house named Dorcie. We met her walking on the street a couple weeks back. She let us in and we were able to teach her about the Great Apostasy and the Restoration. She told us that she needed to do more research so we gave her some sites. She told us she would be at church on Sunday!! 

Friday was our last lesson with Elsa and Jeff. Elsa leaves for Taiwan at the end of this week for 2 months so we probably won't see her again. We taught her from the beginning about the Restoration and about baptism. She said that she wants to pray about what church she should join to see what happens to her! It was cute. I will miss her! 

Saturday we taught Tesan about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. We were a little nervous for this lesson because Tesan loves her TEA and her coffee. We thought the easiest way for us to tell her about this commandment was to read the pamphlet. The second Tesan read over the part where it says no tea or coffee, she grinned and gasped but then just kept reading. When we were finished she said.... "I LOVE IT!! Lets go eat some blueberries!!" so we went and ate some blueberries! She accepted to live the Word of wWisdom and we came up with hot chocolate to replace the coffee in the morning for a while. 

My favorite day, SUNDAY, is always amazing. Tesan loves church. She participates in every class. She announced her baptism in Relief Society and invited everyone and then she shared a missionary moment with everyone during that time as well. People think she is already a member. I can't even tell you how happy this all makes me!! Dorcie came to church too!!!! She walked right on in with a huge smile on her face. Surprisingly she knew SOO many members in the ward so she felt very loved. It was right where she needed to be. I am excited to visit her this week to see what she thought of it. Madeline came to church as well and stayed all 3 hours with us and Tesan. I could tell she was having a very good time and didn't want to leave. The genuine love the Diamond Bar members have for each other is unlike anything. Everyone never wants church to be over!! 

This week was packed but packed full of happiness!!! I am on cloud 9 and am soooo happy to have 6 more weeks here and to top it all off I get to stay with Sister Hernandez!! The Lord is with us every day, I feel his love so strongly! And I am truly honored to have the privilege of being a missionary.

Sister Hernandez brought up a really good point about Tesan and mainly any investigator. Once Tesan felt the Holy Ghost and felt his love she didn't want that feeling to go away. She wants and hungers to have that feeling with her all the time. She absorbs every minute with the Holy Ghost and is so grateful and EXCITED to have it in a week. It makes us think... of how much we take that feeling of having the Holy Ghost with us all time for granted. We should ask him to be with us everyday and invite him everywhere with us but are we truly living in such a way that he can?? And how often do we even notice that he is with us? He is so gentle and quiet and peaceful that we can often become immune to the feeling and then it turns into ungratefulness. We are so lucky and so blessed!! 

That's it Folks!! Please keep Diamond Bar in your prayers and all the missionary work in the church.

Stay Healthy and Humble! 
Sister Holt
The two elders on the end are leaving! :( Our last ward mates picture

This is the Manzanares family! Who wash our car and feed us every Monday. <3
We thought we would be transferred, found out we have 6 more weeks together.
Elsa and Jeff
This is Vicky
Madeline @ church



Week 33: Baptism on the Calendar

Hola mi amigos! So lovely to be back after another amazing week.  

We were going around town Wednesday trying to visit some people that we planned to see, but neither none of them were home or it didn't feel right to visit them. I was so confused why we didn't feel right about visiting someone. BUT it popped into my head that we should call Tesan. Even though Tesan said she wouldn't be available till Friday. 

Sooooo we called Tesan and she actually said that she was about to call us to have us come help her in her yard but then she decided not to call us. BUT THEN WE CALLED HER. 
So we ended up going over to her house immediately and helped her garden. After we helped her, we sat down and taught her the full Restoration lesson. She was like ,"With all the knowledge the mormons have why don't you guys share it??" We were like what do you think we are doing right now?.... LOL! 

At the end of the lesson we were chatting and getting ready to go but I felt prompted to ask her to be baptized. So I extended the invitation and she was like, "Yes!! I will become a Mormon!!" We told her to pray about date and explained to her what she would need to do. 

The NEXT DAY, we met up with her at the church and gave her a church tour. We ended up sitting in the chapel for a while talking. She opened up to us about the way she feels about her life and how she knows she needs to take a big step and it is scary because she is so old. She said, " I haven't asked Heavenly Father yet if this is the truth because I am nervous what he will say...." and then right after she says, "woah... right after I said that I just got a wave of 'Yes, its true'" It was crazy because I felt the same thing when she said that, it was amazing to then testify and experience TOGETHER the Holy Ghost testifying truth! 

We went to lunch at a little cafe with her afterwards and she bought us lunch. On the way home when we got into her driveway we asked her if she had prayed about a baptismal date. She said when she was praying about it JUNE 1 popped into her head. It was yellow and the #1 was white. She doesn' t know why but she knows that that is the day she is supposed to do it. IN 2 WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

We all started party dancing on the driveway when Brother Moody (who gave her the blessing a couple weeks ago) drove by and rolls down his window and says, "HI LADIES!" and I was like tell him what is happening on June 1st. and she yells out, "BAPTISM!!" haha! It was the most happy moment I have ever experienced!! 

On Saturday we took Tesan to a baptism so she could se what it was like. She LOVED it. She was singing all the hymns with us and talking to everyone just as if she was already a member. We went back to her house and had lunch together and addressed some of the concerns her friends brought up. #polygamy We read the Official Declaration 1 in the back on Doctrine & Covenants. And she was like "Perfect! Now that is all cleared up!" She is just so positive and loving! 

On Sunday she came to church and was embraced by literally EVERYONE! I don't know one person who didn't talk to her. It was kind of overwhelming but at least she feels loved. She was already participating and answering questions in Sunday school and all that jazz. She came to pancakes at the Kilburns after church which was fun because it was just Tesan, the Kilburns, Us, the Elders, and Brother Reyes. She felt so comfortable and felt like she was leaving her family when she had to go home. 

I can't even begin to tell you how grateful and amazed I am! My heart is as full as it will ever get. This miracle and conversion that Sister Hernandez and I get the opportunity of experiencing is priceless. You cannot put a price on bringing the gospel into someone's life who is honest, prepared, and willing! Seeing her life and herself transform because of the little knowledge we have brought to her is amazing. When a heart is open to feeling and recognizing the Holy Ghost it only goes up from there. There is nothing that can beat this feeling being brought into someone's life. SO SO SO SO SO THANKFUL! 

This is my last week with Sister Hernandez. I am really sad. We have become so close and have become best friends! We have grown so much from each other. Even when it was hard sometimes because we are so alike, we grew so much from it and understand each other a lot more now. I am very grateful for her in helping me see things about myself I didn't recognize before. 

In Helaman 10:4-5 
Blessed art thou, Nephi (Sister Holt), for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast withunwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments. And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will. 

My goal for next transfer is to see things as they truly are. Giving it all up to the Lord more than I have been. I know he is with me every step of the way. 

I hope you all are healthy and safe and happy!! 
Remember to BE KIND.

Sister Holt

 Selfie w/ Tesan! 

I went on an exchange with Sister Castelo!

The Kilburns fed us each our own MINI CHICKENS!


Week 32: Happy Mother's Day

Happy Happy Happy Mothers day!! I am not a mother... YET, but I felt especially special all day yesterday! And SO grateful that I was able to talk to my momma and all 3 of my sweet sisters!! Grateful for technology to make that happen.  

We had an amazing lesson with Tesan this week. You guys... she is amazing!! We got to sit in her beautifully landscaped back yard. She volunteered to say the opening prayer and mentioned that she is hungry for the teachings of Christ and wants to know what she needs to do to feel his love more!! She told us how she has never felt him so close and so real in her entire life. We taught her the restoration and the spirit was so strong when teaching about the First Vision. It is the most amazing and life changing event in the history of the world, after the Atonement of Jesus Christ, of course. The world was ready for this restoration for God to save all his children. 
We were able to meet her son and his family yesterday when we dropped by for Mother's Day. It was awesome!! 

We saw Madilyn yesterday after church. She has been off the maps lately with health issues and house stuff that we haven't been able to catch her. But yesterday she told us that she needed to continue reading her Book of Mormon so when we come back we can explain it for her and she said she wants to see what a baptism would be like. She is so funny! I always leave so happy. I just think back to the day when we first met her and she was so quiet and grouchy but she has softened up SO much and is so talkative now! It is just amazing what even just a little bit of the gospel can do in someones life. She even thinks she is a happier person! 

I am grateful for the work that I get to do each and every day even if all I do is plant a seed of kindness in someone's heart. A wise sister once told me that even though the world doesn't recognize all the hard work and every effort we put into accomplishing something. God acknowledges and accepts every ounce of effort we put into everything. He is appreciative of all that we do. He has a plan for every single one of his children and this work is on His time clock. Even outside of missionary work everything that happens to us is for a reason. When we invite him to help us and if we continue to stay close to him and make righteous decisions he will take care of it all.

Grateful to be able to talk to my beautiful family yesterday, they strengthen me and keep me going!! Grateful for the gospel that brings us together for eternity. 

Have a wonderful week!! 

Love always,
Sister Holt

1. Family picture!
2. Tesan! 
3. We found these pants at the thrift store we volunteer at

Tesan!  She is 70. What!

We found these Pants at a ThriftShop we work at.


Week 31: Unicorns & Blessings

Okay, don't freak out..... but..... THIS WAS THE BEST WEEK EVER!!!  

It doesn't sound like the best week because I was sick. I woke up with a terrible cold/flu thing on Monday and it didn't go away all week. But I kept working because I don't like to admit to myself that I am sick...

Tuesday after District meeting we went out tracting like we always do.... Everyone we talked to was not interested or didn't answer their doors. We walked a whole entire street (about 2 miles) and there was NO ONE. It was sad. As we were continuing to walk we came to the corner. Without saying anything to each other we both started walking towards this house. I thought Sister Hernandez was following me and in her mind she thought I was following her. Sister Hernandez saw a man doing yard work and felt prompted to go talk to him and in my mind I was scanning the houses and this particular house was in a sense "glowing" to me. I felt prompted to go to that house. So without knowing.... we were both prompted to go to the same place but for different reasons. We walked up the long driveway and started talking to the man doing yard work and he quickly referred us to talk to his wife instead. and Then we met Tesan.

We talked to Tesan for an hour or so. She was thrilled to have met such nice ladies who love to talk as much as she does. She is a 70 year old woman but has the energy of a 30 year old... no joke! She accepted our invitation to come to church on Sunday and agreed to have us back later in the week to teach her about our beliefs. ALL week we tried calling and calling her but we always got her answering machine. So on Saturday evening we decided to drop by her house to see what was up. Turns out, she got really sick and her knee replacement that she got 2 years ago started flaring up. She could barley walk or even stand up straight. But she still had the biggest smile on her face. It was darling. We taught her about the priesthood really fast and invited her to receive a blessing of healing and comfort. She accepted and we set up a time on Sunday after church. 

So Sunday after church we called her to see if it was still okay and she was so excited to have us come!! We showed up with Brother Moody and Brother Moody. (lol) They explained what they do as worthy priesthood holders and what the priesthood can do for her. and explained that the blessing would all depend on the Faith of the recipient and those who witness the blessing. She was 100% in this and was soo excited. 

--short side note-.. her dog which is a big dog... was barking and whaling through the whole  beginning of the conversation, but the minute the blessing started... it was silent--- #amazing! 

The spirit filled the room and all the hearts who were there with us. After the blessing was finished Tesan sat there with her face in her hands just silently. We all were just waiting for her to say something before we said anything. She looks up at Sister Hernandez and I said, " I feel like there are arms embracing me and it is sooooo warm."  She asked if we could feel it to and we were like YES we can.... that feeling you feel is the Holy Ghost and he wants you to know that your Heavenly Father loves you so much and is very aware of you. Tesan told us that she feels like God has something big in store for her and she thinks it is coming soon. We testified of the blessings of the gospel and what it will do for her. And we are meeting with her this Tuesday!!

I can't even explain to you the feeling that was in that room. I have never felt such strong peace for someone else as I did in that moment. The power of the priesthood is real. It is the power of God!! I can testify of that. Tesan was saying thank you and goodbye to Brother Moody and the older Brother Moody said ,"Now Tesan, these two girls that you have met here are representatives of your Savior, Jesus Christ and they are here to bring his love and teaching to you." And Tesan responded by saying ," Oh My Goodness, well yeah, you can see it in them, YOU CAN FEEL IT! The minute I looked into their eyes on Tuesday, I immediately felt joy.... and sweetness." 

I am so grateful to be a missionary for this short time in my life. I get to experience being the one to help bring this peace and this joy into these peoples lives!! And this feeling is unlike anything they have ever felt before. The love of Christ and the love of God is REAL! This is THEIR work. It truly is and it is marvelous!! SO SO marvelous! 

We also got to meet with all our other investigators this week. Madilyn is doing so great!!! She is very busy but she is figuring out her religous views slowly but surely. She told us that she feels a really strong pull to our church and she really feels like there is something there that she needs. We told her about the progress that we see in her!! Understanding and learning takes TIME and EFFORT. Nothing will ever come all at once. We shared Alma 32 with her. She was like, " My seed is growing!!!" haha Yes it is Madilyn!! So cute!! 

Another highlight story... We met with Stella at her house this weekend and it was late like 8:30 when we walked in... I was watching the time carefully and we were gonna be out by 9:20 in order to be home by 9:30. haha. At 9:25 we were closing up and getting out the door when her EX, Tom, came home... (she rents a room from him... they are very good friends) And so we introduced ourselves and start talking. We tell him a little bit about who we were, what we do as missionaries, and some of our values. He asked us how old we were? We responded... 19. He goes.... " WHAT THE HECK?!?!? You girls are 19! You two are UNICORNS!!! I work with and talk to many  many young adults and if I could get them to do or even think the way you two ladies think.... wow. That would be a miracle." Tom grew up in New York so he has got the coolest accent ever!!! We just laughed. He was astounded with what we do. We told him about The Book of Mormon and Hill Cumorah and he said he is going to go visit it next month when he goes back to New York. It was the greatest conversation of my life!! Yes we got home an hour later right before 10:30. Heavenly Father knows it was for a good cause and that I will never do it again!!! But yeah... I'm a unicorn.

Lots more happened this week but those two were definitely high lights!!! I want you all to know that I know and can testify to you that this is Jesus Christ's church once again established on earth! His Spirit is all around us and is constant and He loves us!!!! I am so grateful. 

I am on cloud 9 of missionary work!!! Thank you for all your prayers and support, I feel them each and every day!! Peace and blessings to you all. 

sister Holt

1. This is Stella!! <3 
2. Last P-day with Sister Leung (from China) and Sister Castelo 
3. Today at emailing with Sister Hernandez! 

Last P-day with Sister Leung (from China) and Sister Castelo

Today at emailing with Sister Hernandez! 
This is Stella!