Week 48: The Priesthood Can Bless Us!!

We met a lot of crazy and interesting people this week. None of which were interested BUT we had some good stories and conversations with them. Which is what a mission is all about, Am I right?!  

For weeks Sister Crane and I both felt that we need to tract Tanglewood, which is a street in our area. We have gone out a couple weeks and just forget or don't have time. Anyways! We finally went and got it done. We found like 5 potentials! The first door we knocked on, I had a special feeling that this would be a good one. But no one answered. So we continued to tract the whole street and when we walked around the block and came back to our car a couple hours later, there was a car parked in this driveway of this first house. I knew that it wasn't there before but Sister Crane thought it was. I said, "OH WELL! Let's go knock again anyways!" Turns out that this man, R, has been looking for a way to connect with God and has been yearning for a relationship with him. He didn't have time to listen to our message but he said that we could come back! I bore testimony that it wasn't a coincidence that we showed up on his doorstep that day and that if he would truly ask with real intent if this is right, God will answer him as I handed him a Restoration Pamphlet. And he said, "Alright, I think I will actually read this." GOOD! 

My favorite thing lately has been going to the parks in our area to contact people who are out with their families. On Wednesday we met so many great people. C who doesn't live in Diamond Bar but he knows that the missionaries are teaching in his neighborhood. We talked for a while about religion and our beliefs. We committed C to talk to the missionaries next time he sees them. He said he would! We also contacted a former investigator and set up a return appointment for this week with her! We are very excited about it. 

For quite some time I have felt the prompting to get a priesthood blessing. But I kept brushing it off because I didn't feel like I really needed one. But Tuesday morning I had a very strong impression from the Spirit to get one that day from a specific elder. I was really still fighting it. I am not sure why I was so much but I was. I finally just let go and asked for one. As soon as I did, I felt peace knowing that Heavenly Father really needs to tell me something. So many answers came flooding in through the blessing that I received and so much clarity! FYI this elder had never met me before nor had I ever met him. But I knew that Heavenly Father needed him to give me this blessing. I want to tell you how powerful and true the power of the priesthood is. It is so real! There is absolutely no way that a 19 year old elder could give me such a perfect blessing, telling me exactly what I need to hear, addressing so many concerns and worries of mine without knowing me. The priesthood is truly God's authority and power here on the earth. He truly can speak to us through worthy vessels by the priesthood. Nothing could be so perfect. #miracle

We had a lesson with Madeline and also Marsha. We are really trying our best to get everyone into the Book of Mormon. So they can gain their own testimony of the important role this book plays in our salvation. I believe that if all of us came to understand the importance of the Book of Mormon more, Christ would come a lot sooner. ;) 

I have been thinking a lot about the Plan of Salvation lately and just how lucky we are to have it in our lives. I don't know what I would do without this knowledge. Life would be so pointless and empty. 

I love you all! 
Have a beautiful safe week! 

Sister Holt


Week 47: To Achieve and Be Happy -- We have Got to WORK!

Another week.... It really feels like it has been a year since I last emailed home. This week was long - we were figuring out a lot of different things this week which made for a long week. Plus we don't have many people to teach which makes it extra long. BUT that doesn't take away from the many miracles we still experience. God is so good. I just need to be patient. :)  

Last couple of weeks we have been digging through our area book. Which is a binder that is kept in an area full of teaching records from past people that have been taught or visited by the missionaries that could possibly be interested in the future. It is one of my least favorite activities on the mission. If it has anything to do with the area book, I am not super excited. But I am trying to love it. We have been praying about former or potential investigators from the area book but haven't had too much luck. They have all either moved away or not interested still. At least we are sifting through all the records for the next missionaries. 

On Wednesday we had a very cool experience.  We choose some people out of the area book to go see.  Once we are there in that area, we usually stay around and knock on a few doors and talk to anyone we see because the Lord took us to these streets for a reason. Right?!!!

Sister Crane and I both felt that something special was going to happen but we had no idea. We rang this doorbell and out walks R. She is a young mom of a 6 year old. She said that Elders used to come by years ago and she told us how they were so nice and fun. We asked her if she ever would want to learn more and she said, "NO". So we said well would you want to at least come to church with us and bring your son? And she said,  "NO, I'm not very religious at this point." we told her that's okay... and kept talking about something and the next thing we knew we were inside her house on the couch. THE FIRST HOUSE WE HAVE BEEN LET INTO IN WEEKS!!!!! We ended up talking to her for a least an hour and a half. She is soo sweet. PLUS, last week her best friend since they were 15 just got baptized and is preparing to be sealed in the temple this winter. R just told us how her mother is crazy in religion so it just turns her off of the subject really fast. We just had a simple conversation about our experiences and how we have gotten where we are today and what we have learned. She really admired our testimonies. She gave us her number so we could come back and see her!!   M I R A C L E ! 

We had zone conference this Thursday which is like a 5 hour long ordeal. It kills me but I learn so much every time! We talked mainly about Finding since that it the Preach My Gospel chapter this month. We discussed Faith... and how faith and fear cannot coexist together. And we cannot be successful when we fear. The minute we let fear into our minds is the minute we let Satan win. Fear is powerful and can limit our success. But faith brings miracles! And only God can work miracles!!! 

"To achieve and Be happy, we have got to work!!" 

Sounds terrible to have to work to be happy, but I have found this to be true. When we let our natural man overtake us, which is usually the easier way, we are less happy! It takes work to be happy!!  It takes us to act to be happy!! 

The four keys to success that President Frimage gave me are... 

1. Obedience 
2. Love your companion 
3. Love the people
4. Work Hard! 

I have found that on my mission as I do the first three things everyday that the last one doesn't seem so hard. Working hard becomes fun and becomes easy!  No matter what else is happening around me I can find happiness through these things. And I know they can be applied to our lives even when we aren't missionaries. 

I love this work and I love this calling! FOREVER THANKFUL! 

Love love love you always, 
Please be safe in all you do, 

Sister Holt 

Me -  Being silly me!

Sister Crane and I --- beautiful Sunset in Diamond Bar


Week 46: "Not Shrinking" & Staying in Diamond Bar

Transfer weekend! Sister Crane and I are staying together! We thought we were safe from all transfer chaos. Until Sunday night at 9 pm.... The zone leaders who will not be named because I am angry at them called to tell us that we are moving out of the Kilburn's house and into an apartment. OH! MY HEART SHATTERED! Yes I cried... I love the Kilburns so much and can never repay them for all they have done for me but we all must move on at some point.  I will also miss the doggie and kitty.  I love them!!!!

SOOO for all you in the real world I am sure you know about this Pokemon Go game. WELL we have heard a lot about it. So when we are out walking around I use it as a conversation starter if they have their phone attached to their face of course. Anyways, on Tuesday we were walking around Pomona and we went to the park and saw these two teenager boys on bikes and I knew they knew I was going to go up and talk to them so I did! I asked them if they were playing that game and THEY WERE! Well I listened to them as they raved about this game and then I asked them if they go to church. Turns out S hasn't been to church in over a year and wants to go. He says that he prays every night just because he feels like he should. I told him that when Joseph Smith was the same age as him that he prayed  to know the truth as well and that He could do the same. He said he would definitely do that. I just wanted to tell you that because it is funny that the Pokeman Go game is something missionaries can use too! :-)

There is a new family that moved into our ward recently and they are new to the church. They are struggling right now and we finally got to visit with them on Tuesday! Miracle because they are never home or never make time! Anyways - they love the missionaries, especially the sisters! ;) They would like us to come over every Sunday to teach them a lesson to keep them strong!! Amazing! I love when people can see what they need for their own progression and where they can improve! I found them to be very humble.

I don't know if last week or the week before I told you about Madeline (the less active not our investigator)  But anyways, her husband is not a member and is from Italy. He was the one who said he would come to church 5 times!! WELL He came to church yesterday!! It was awesome. They sat right behind us and he seemed pretty uncomfortable, I think  it will take a couple times to feel it. Madeline, Sister Crane and I all fasted for him yesterday So I know that fasting brings power. I don't know when anything will happen with him but it will sooner or later. It is so cool that he came. I hope he comes again.

We were able to teach a family and the daughter's non member boyfriend the Restoration on Wednesday. It was great. He has listened to a lot of different religions and hates the pressure they put on him. We made sure to let him know that he shouldn't feel pressure from us. All we are here to do is invite him to listen to the Spirit and if he feels anything to act on it. We genuinely want to share this message of hope, peace, and security with him because we know it can change and bless his life. The lesson went well. The father was kind of controlling the lesson but that is okay. We still got our point across. The Spirit was there and that is all that matters. 

Here's ANOTHER MIRACLE!  On Thursday we met up with Sister Nagaishi and Tesan to work on family history. Remember a while back, Tesan was going to take a couple generations of names to be baptized in the temple and then she had to go to the hospital that day instead? WELLLLLL HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING ALWAYS because turns out - I made a mistake because I don't know how to do family history LOL!!!  All of Tesan's female names were incorrect and would have been baptized as the wrong name because I didn't know it was supposed to be the women's maiden name. Anyways, long story short we got them all figured out and correct so she can take them to the temple! 

Very grateful that I have a loving Heavenly Father that can fix all my mistakes for me :) 

We got to visit two RC/LA this week that we haven't been able to see for a very long time! One of them actually told me and Sister Hernandez back in February that she needed a break from the sisters because she can't handle them coming and going all the time because she gets too attached. We went by on Friday and she is totally ready to start meeting and studying again. She can't stand it when people come to visit her just to get her to church though, I made sure to let her know we aren't there to push her into anything. We are there because we love her! This is another miracle because our ward mission leader was really worried about her. 

This week was wonderful! The love, the light, and the life that the gospel gives me is even more wonderful. I am very grateful for every moment I have out here. I have really noticed the purpose of why I am here lately... to strengthen and to serve. There are some people here that have some pretty crappy situations and they are hard. People need hope in Christ, they need strength through Christ, and they need stability through Christ. 

I loved the Ensign this month and Elder Bednar's relayed message from Elder Maxwell of the importance of 'not shrinking'. Elder Maxwell told him that he learned through his cancer diagnosis that it is more important not to shrink then it is to survive. No matter if we are going through sickness, betrayal, depression, or any other trial. We should have to hope and the faith that we can choose to stand with the best life that the world as ever know, Jesus Christ. He can give us the energy and the strength we desire to endure. Another point Elder Bednar made was that life isn't about living and then dying. It is about Living, Learning, and Becoming. And it is all possible because of our loving brother, Jesus Christ and the plan from our perfect most loving Father in Heaven. 

I am grateful to know this! 
Love to you always with all my heart,
Sister Holt

Zone Picture


Week 45: Perspective -- In God's Time

This week was more like a roller coaster than anything. But over all it is getting us closer to where we need to be and that is the perspective I need to keep. There comes a time in a missionary's mission called "the drought". This is known as a period of time when the missionary is praying harder than ever and is living more righteously than ever and still no one seems interested in listening to the gospel. But this is the time where the Lord is testing the missionary to see if he/she can be trusted. I feel like that is ME and Sister Crane right now. We are being tested! At times it is frustrating and at times it is so glorious! That is life, I guess!  

The saddest moment I have had in Diamond Bar other than saying good-bye to Sister Hernandez would have to be what happened this Wednesday. We had a wonderful lesson with Madelyn all planned and it was going to bring everything back to where it needed to be for her to continue to progress. But the Lord has a different idea. When we sat down for the lesson she began to tell us that her brother was not happy with her continuing to meet with us. In that minute the Spirit told us to let her go for a time. The gospel is supposed to bring families together, not tear them apart. So we felt that if we were causing contention between her and her only sibling. It must not be her time yet. She told us that we made her a better person than who she was 5 months ago and that we brought the sparkle back into her life! She said the sweetest prayer and then we said goodbye. I left her with my testimony and asked her to listen to the missionaries if they were to ever pop up on her doorstep again in the future and she said she would. She knows she is always welcome and invited to church during this time of pondering and questioning in her life. We love Madelyn.

THEN to top it all off this Saturday our sweet investigator Elizabeth decided to stop meeting with us as well. She did it in the most gentle, warm, and polite manner. She invited us in and told us that she is comfortable where she is at but she is so grateful for our friendship and the Spirit we have brought into her life. So THE SPIRIT that we have is real and people feel it. It is different! That was sad but I know she is one step closer to where she needs to be to be ready. 

We have had awesome scripture studies with Tesan lately. We are showing her how to actually study the scriptures by using all the books in the Quad. We read Mosiah 4 which is one of the favorites in the Book of Mormon for me. Vs. 6 talks about the 4 things we can do in this life to have the promise which is in vs 12. "Ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God and always retain a remission of your sins. Ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you" What an amazing promise! And what we have to do in order to qualify for that blessing is simple! 1. Come to a knowledge of the goodness of God 2. The atonement of Jesus Christ 3. Put our trust in the Lord 4. Be diligent in keeping the commandments of the Lord to continue in faith. 

All my studies have really come together lately to create one common practice to stay rooted in Christ. (August Ensign 2016) It is a choice we decide where and how deep our roots are planted! And the incremental one-step-at-a-time good choices creates a foundation of effect. Because all of our actions and inaction's have consequences. So if we would all stop complexifying the gospel and let it simplify our lives. We will always rejoice no matter the complex. 

As you all know I love being a missionary. If you were to remember anything from these emails I hope you remember my testimony that I know living the gospel works. It brings us happiness, peace, and direction just as promised. The Lord never leads us astray and He loves each one of us equally and uniquely. Remember that He loves you and He knows you. 

Have a wonderful week! 
With all my love, 
Sister Holt 

1. The District! Embrace the Awkward 
2. We Match! 
3. At the Hindu Temple! 

We match.  #twinnersagain

District -  Embrace the Awkward

Sister Crane and I at the Hindu Temple

Week 44: Week of Miracles, but I am only writing about Thursday :-)

This week has been a week of miracles! I will try my best to deliver this so you can understand.  

So these past couple weeks we haven't had too many teaching opportunities to teach investigators, just because we dropped all those who weren't progressing. Which is always really hard but it just isn't their time right now. 

So on Thursday we went on exchanges with the STL's. Sister Crane went to Ontario for the day with Hermana Rosas and then Hermana Mills stayed in Diamond Bar with me. Let me just preface this... Hermana Mills is from Georgia and has twice the energy and excitement for sharing the gospel as I do. I am probably at a 10 on a scale of 1-10 and she is an 11! So we make a great team... plus she is fluent in Spanish which is a bonus. (I need to learn spanish FYI) SO from the start Hermana and I are so pumped to with each other because we have always wanted to be companions with one another since we met. 

We started out our day with Vicky at 10. We read the Book of Mormon with her and had a really sweet lesson. Then we did some service with Sister B who is inactive due to her husband but we were able to set up an appointment next week to teach her family! Anyways - we had a lunch planned  after service but instead we both felt impressed to go contact these former investigators we put as our back up to service. So we did! When we got out of the car there was a family in the car in front of us... so I went up to them and asked how they were doing... they speak spanish so Hermana swooped in and they ended up having a sister who was baptized mormon and has been looking for the church here and doesn't know where it is and then they said they would love to have missionaries come teach them!!!!! 

Then we kept walking and a man drove by and yelled, "Are you Sister Missionaries??" (this never happens) We ended up talking and praying with him (Carlos)  because he was going through some stuff. Then we saw a guy go in his house during our conversation with Carlos so we went and knocked on their door. They weren't interested after talking for a while but they gave us two referrals. Then we ran into Jazz who is a 16 year old boy who said he would love to come to check out our church with family. Then afterwards we started walking towards the Former investigators house when we saw a young guy in his car. So we went and knocked on his window. He got out of his car (chase) and his friend who is Jazz's brother Justice came out of his house who is Chase's friend and we ended up teaching them both the Restoration and giving them copies of the Book of Mormon and telling them about the YSA ward. They were pumped! Then we finally got to go to  the Former Investigators house - and they didn't live there anymore and the lady wasn't interested. BUT that was 3 hours later. We got so much work done!!  Those are MIRACLES to me.

Then we had a lesson with Madeline a returning member. She just got back from her trip with her husband from Germany. He said that if he gained 5 lbs he would go to 5 Sundays of church with her. (he isn't a member) and GUESS WHAT! He gained exactly 5 lbs!!!!! The Lord is amazing!! hehe Totally had his hand in this one. 

Then we had dinner after this lesson then we hit up the park I discovered in Diamond Bar. I have been here since February and had NO IDEA there was a park here. 

We started off talking to a lady sitting under the tree name Elizabeth - We briefly went over the Restoration and she said we could come to her house and teach her more. SO we did on Saturday and she said she would be baptized once she comes to know what we taught her is true!! She said that she knows God will answer her and if its true she will know that it is true!!!! #miracle 

Then we met another Hispanic family who is totally ready for the gospel. Then we taught the Restoration to Mick - who is a young rock band song writer dude. Who ended up not being interested because he believes that after Jesus Christ nothing happened. He was just forgiven. Which is cool :) 

Then we met a chinese family, mothers name is Catherine and she spoke good english. We invited them to learn about Christianity and come to church. and THEY DID! They loved church on Sunday and had such a nice time. But they have to go back to Beijing, China this week. :( But they said they are going to tell all their friends what they learned. 

Then we met Slyvia. She is amazing!!!! She started telling us how she isn't super religious or much of a church goer. She is just starting to study the Bible but just on her own because she needs it at her own speed. We said GREAT! thats amazing! She was a little hesitant to talk to us but I just bore simple testimony about the Book of Mormon and once she felt that she got the Bible down and wanted to expand her knowledge and relationship with the Savior and Invited her to read the Book of Mormon. We shared 2 Nephi 28:30 and she started to get choked up and said "Isn't it funny how God works?? by putting certain people in our path to help us." She told us to call her next week and come over. Before we left we sang her I am a Child of God and the park instantly got so quiet and she could feel the Spirit. IT WAS AMAZING! 

Oh my I love being a missionary :) 
Basically that was just Thursday this week BUT Friday and Saturday were the exact same way. We met so many prepared and loving people and set up many appointments for next week. I am so grateful for the faith and trust Heavenly Father has in us as missionaries to teach his Children!! 

I hope y'all had an amazing week and continuing to do your best! <3 

Sister Holt


Hermana Mills and I on splits

Sister Crane and I #twinners