Week 52: Transfers & New Beginnings Ahead


Week 51: Trip to the Temple & Finding my Vision for Me

Love  this Book!
It feels like it has been a long time since I last wrote. Almost two weeks went by. The reason being was because we got to visit the Redlands Temple today (Thursday). It was beautiful and everything that I needed. I love the temple and not too many more words can explain my love for it. So there ya go!  Feel blessed that I could go.

LAST Thursday we had zone conference and Elder Dube of the Quorum of the Seventy came to speak to us. He is originally from Zimbabwe Africa and he is a ball of fire let me tell you that much. We had to sit in the chapel from 9 am to 3 pm and I don't think a single missionary yawned. He kept us awake and alive. It was such a good zone conference!! It is very unlike me to forget my notes to tell you what I learned but I will try to do it justice from my memory alone.
First we spent a lot of time talking about two different types of missionaries. The natural missionary and the disciple of Christ missionary. Basically based off the quote in Preach My Gospel page 6 by Spencer W. Kimball, " The setting apart may be taken literally; it is a setting apart from sin, apart from the carnal; apart from everything which is crude, low, vicious, cheap, or vulgar; set apart from the world to a higher plane of thought and activity. The blessing is conditional upon faithful performance." We took each of those main words and discussed the opposite for each one and that is the difference between these two types of missionaries. Sounds dramatic but it is so real. 

My favorite thing that I took away from this zone conference was to have a vision for myself. Pray to Heavenly Father to help me see my potential and a better vision for my future. Mainly to help me know that what I am doing RIGHT NOW WILL benefit me and my posterity later. Elder Dube kept saying that our posterity is relying on us!! That really stuck with me. 

" The most pathetic person is the person that has sight but no vision." - Helen Keller. 
Everything we do, we should have our vision in the back of our minds. It easier said then done but it can happen. In Moses 1:6-8 God lets Moses see his potential and God will let us see that too if we have that desire. Dependent on our faith, God will not withhold anything from us. I figured that my mission is to become, not to be. I am on my way to becoming who the Lord wants me to be... I am not that person yet and I am far from that but He is helping me see the vision he has for me. 

We had a good lesson with A. this week. We introduced the Book of Mormon and read the introduction to him. At the end I bore my testimony on how I came to know that it was true and he said that once he finishes reading it he hopes to bare a testimony like that as well. I thought this was sweet.... 

He also said.. "So what kind of effort are we making in helping everyone in the world read this Book of Mormon?" We said, "Well we have about 80,000 missionaries around the world working every day to share this message." He said, "80,000 is not enough... even if we had 8,000,000 that is still not enough!!" If this book is so important then we need WAY more than that!! AND I AGREE!!! We need everyone in the church sharing this truth that we have!  NOW is the time more than ever to FLOOD THE EARTH WITH THE BOOK OF MORMON! #PresidentEzraTaftBenson 
And when we do, we should NEVER hand out a closed book. We should always leave it with them open to something for them to read and ponder. 

Okay I don't have any more time!! I will write another one on Monday!! Which is transfers week.  I think I will be transferred out of Diamond Bar.

Keep being amazing! 
Love you all!!
Sister Holt

P.s. I followed through with my goal and took many many many pictures this week!! 

Said goodbye to the Manzanares family! They are moving <3 I love them! 

 My posterity picture! My two babies and my grandbaby! (mission talk) 

Chino Sisters


Week 50: Growing in Grace and Knowledge

Another AMAZING week as a missionary! This week I truly felt the Holy Ghost working through me which made for so many miracles. Where to even start...  

As you all know we have been really struggling to find people who are willing to listen to us. For the past 9 weeks, I don't know what was in the air but we couldn't talk to anybody about the gospel. It was really hard and we were really tired of it. BUT we knew that the Lord was testing us to see if he can trust us. We trucked through and kept being diligent and obedient. 

To start off this week we had district meeting on Tuesday and an Elder gave an amazing training (a training is basically just a lesson) about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We were all supposed to come prepared with our favorite scripture on the Atonement. My favorite to share is Alma 7:11-13 but I knew someone else would choose that one so I chose a different one that means so much to me. It is... Doctrine & Covenants 50: 40-41
     "Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in   the knowledge of the truth. Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me." 

I love this scripture because it can be personalized to me. I should not fear the time that I live in, I should not fear the world because I have a brother, a Savior who has already overcome all this for me. I can't and wasn't meant to do all this on my own but as I grow in his grace and in the knowledge of the truth, I can have the strength to endure all things given to me. 

After we shared our scriptures we watched a video about Jesus Christ and it went through all three phases of the Atonement while listening to Elder Jeffery R. Holland's talk 'Missionary ork and the Atonement.' It was a very powerful message. To sum it all up in a couple words... 
      Missionary work is not easy because Salvation is not a cheap experience. We have a reason to stand tall... all members... because we are standing with the best life that this world has and will ever know! I testify that that is true. 

Wednesday was amazing! We had a tentative appointment with a potential investigator named A. He is from Nigeria and has been in America for about a year and a half. He is so intelligent and very close to God. He let us in his home and we were able to teach him about the Restoration of the Gospel. We talked a lot about the Priesthood being restored and here on earth today. He was confused because he believes that there can more then one prophet on the earth at a time and that God works through more than just one man to take care of his children. His belief is correct. God has MANY MANY good, inspired men and women on earth working in various parts of the world teaching truths. BUT the priesthood is not found with all those inspired people. The priesthood needs to be passed down by the 'laying on of hands'; by someone who holds the authority. If it is not passed down that way it is lost. That is what happened during the Great Apostasy. But through the Prophet Joseph Smith, it has been restored to him from 3 of Christ's original apostles. And we have a prophet today who holds all the keys of the priesthood to lead, direct, and guide the church with direct communication from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. After that it all made much sense to him. 

A ended up coming to church on Sunday for all three hours and he loved it!! He said he learned so much vital information. We watched the Restoration movie with him after church and he said he had many things to ponder and pray about. So pray pray pray that his desire to learn more will  be strengthened and we will be sufficient enough teachers for him! 

Then that same night we had a set family home evening with some members and their non member friends who have a daughter who has been coming to church for over a year and wants to be baptized. We were able to have a long conversation about the church and the gospel. We taught the Restoration and the spirit was so strong during the first vision. It grew stronger and stronger the whole night. The family is completely supportive of M's decision to join the church and they are all interested in learning more as well!! It will be really cool to see where this goes. #Forever families!! 

The girls in this family are amazing singers. We had a mini concert so we would hear them sing... no lie... they sound like Beyonce or Whitney Houston but BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!! Raw talent. They have never had voice lessons. #BLESSED!! 

This Friday was the Chinese Moon Festival. Which is basically a Chinese Thanksgiving! It was so fun. They had food and games. I didn't understand a thing they said but it was fun to be with them and experience that culture! Sweet and humble people. 

Saturday we were out on our feet finding all the day long! It was so fun. I have learned how to say "Do you want to come to church?" in Mandarin Chinese and so I was trying it out on Saturday and they understood me!!!!! They started spewing all this Chinese at me and I didn't understand anything. But It was cool they could understand my white girl Chinese! :) 

Later on Saturday, the last door before we went to dinner we were trying to find V our potential but ended up talking to her son T. Who is a young adult.... well mid twenties probably late thirties. But HE WAS SO PREPARED! He listened intently to everything I was saying while I was sharing the Restoration of the Gospel. He was nodding and asking questions and everything was making sense. #THESPIRIT He told us how weird it was this feeling or sense of HOPE again. We shared the Book of Mormon with him and he was so pumped. He is a fire fighter and a personal trainer so he is a very well off guy and yet he was so HUMBLE! It was amazing. He told us that he felt relieved and lifted and he didn't know what that feeling was.... I told him that it was the Spirit... and he said yeah "I guess it is the Spirit." T told us we could come back and teach him more. He didn't end up coming to church but that is OK! He recognized the Spirit and that is a miracle in itself. 

I am just amazed at the work of the Lord!! I was reading the story of Enos this week and I love verse 12. "After l had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy faith." Enos' desire was that all of God's children hear the gospel and be brought unto salvation. I have that same desire or at least try. For 9 weeks I have been trying so hard to share this glad message and teach someone, whomever will listen and we  just weren't having any success. But I never stopped praying for the opportunity to share it and praying for the strength to continue on. I know that the Lord knew my desires to teach and share and serve but I needed to learn this lesson of diligence and intense prayer. 

I am thankful for the lessons the Lord sends me. So thankful for be in His service here in California. Truly IS the sunshine state. SO happy to be here every day! 

I hope you all stay safe and healthy! 
Sister Holt

P.S. I am setting a goal to be better at taking pictures! I am so sorry! 

Road Trip with the Rolling Ridge Sisters

Sister Crane and I -- Happy Sisters!


Week 49: Shiny Moments Gone Bad :) But Funny

So I guess time doesn't stop even if we want it to.... Goodness Gracious I can't believe how fast this week went by!  

Let me just give a shout out to the Christ family in the Diamond Bar ward for taking amazing care of the missionaries! Sister Crane and I didn't have money or food for the week. We didn't make it known to anyone, but it was a concern of ours for sure, but we knew the Lord would provide. Low and behold, we were at the Christ's house and she asked us what we bought on our P-Day... we were silent. Next thing I knew she had three giant bags of goodies waiting for us at the door. #MIRACLE! I love them so much for many reasons other than just this moment :) 

On Wednesday, we had an awesome lesson with Tesan going over learning and serving in the church. She just received a calling to be the cleaning coordinator. She is in charge of making sure our church building gets clean and orderly. Let me tell you how inspired this calling is for her because she is one of the cleanest people I know. Our building has been spotless needless to say :) We talked about how each calling in the church has purpose and value. She is no less important than the bishop and we all contribute to building up the Lord's kingdom here on earth. 

Thursday was the "BOOK OF MORMON" day. We had 3 lessons with some less active members and we read the Book of Mormon with each of them. I think that has become one of my favorite types of lessons lately. I love reading and discussing the verses of scripture that we read. I learn something new every time! This book truly has power that is indescribable. 

Saturday I was on exchanges with Hermana Rosas. Yes I went to a Spanish area all day. It was soooo much fun. I really wish I could learn Spanish - these people are just so happy to talk to us!! Such a different contrast from my daily conversations with people. I actually did pick up a lot of different phrases in Spanish that day. It was fun! To say the least, this exchange was a pure miracle!! We were looking to contact a referral and one of my goals is to walk around the area before leaving it so that is what we did. We learned that this referral we were trying to contact was the wrong addresss!!!! We found the right address but G wasn't home. BUT we got to talk with M who is 17 and just graduated high school. We were able to teach her the Restoration and she accepted a Book of Mormon and said 'that was really beautiful to hear, I needed that!' We asked if we could return and teach her more and she was like, "Do you have time to come see me again?" haha OF COURSE WE DO! This is what we do!!! She laughed! My goodness, she is so prepared! 

Later that day we were walking a couple blocks off from where we needed to go and we walked past this big buff guy... but he didn't scare me even though he looked like he would punch me dead. I said, '"Hola!! Are you having a good day?!" And he stopped to talk to us!!!! We ended up teaching him about the Restoration and he accepted the Book of Mormon and told us that his best friend just returned from her mission in SLC. He was so pumped. He told us how much sense the Restoration lesson makes. It was amazing!!! We walked with him throughout the park. It was so fun! I love people!!!!

NOW Sunday was the best Sunday I have ever had on my mission, without a doubt. It was fast and testimony meeting and our chapel was packed! (There was a baby blessing as well). I like to sit in the front especially if we have investigators. But no one new came to church so it was just me, Tesan, and Sister Crane in the pew in the front. Towards  the end of the meeting Tesan leans over to me and says, "My heart is beating so fast!" And she kind of gives me a little grin... I said back, "I wonder whyyyyy" ;) A couple minutes later, she says, "Well I'm going and nothing is going to stop me!" 

Wellllll...... as she was getting out of the pew I noticed that she had a cute little shiny brown bum.... then a couple steps further I realized that it was her SLIP and that HER SKIRT WAS FALLING DOWN!!! I lunged forward and tried to pull up her skirt but I scared her by touching her bum that she turned around in shock .... hahah!! And  then her skirt feel completely down to her calves! She realized what was going on and LEAPED  back into the pew and landed right onto my lap! I tried to scoot over so she could just sit next to me but all that was happening was us scooting back and forth in the pew with her on my lap!!! Sister Crane's face was purple from laughing so hard and I was crying from laughing so hard and Tesan was crying too from laughing so hard. And the whole bishopric couldn't hold it together either. It was a riot let me tell you!! 

Once we pulled ourselves together, Tesan stood right back up and went to bare her testimony. It was true... nothing was going to hold her back!! SO INSPIRING! She is a champ! I was so proud of her. She held her cool and bore an absolutely beautiful, genuine, and original testimony. And she did it without her skirt falling down! She handled herself with such a class. Only Tesan could pull that off!! My hero! 

I later felt prompted to go bear my testimony. The spirit was so strong within me  and there wasn't anything holding me back!! It feels so good to bare my testimony to the ward. It is still scary for me. I never bore my testimony in church until college and that was horrifying (not for me but for the congregation) but I actually  I love it now. That is what a mission will do for ya I guess! : ) 

This week was truly a beautiful week full of many moments that I will remember forever. I absolutely love being a missionary. I am approaching my year mark and it is becoming a reality that I have been away for that long when to me it feels like 3 months. I am so grateful for journals, as I look back to when I started and where I am now. I can see the Lord working in me... molding me... changing me... and helping me every step of the way. I haven't been able to do this on my own. I truly know that He, my Savior, Jesus Christ has made it possible for me to continue each and every day. My relationship with Him has become more real and real in a way that I know without a doubt that He is there. It is so comforting not having any doubts... of Him, the gospel, this work. I truly know there is purpose for everything that happens and if we trust Him, It works out!!! It really does! Clarity is found within the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Everything in the Gospel of Jesus Christ hangs on LOVE because that is what he has for us. And that is what we should have for everyone around us. I invite you to really study about what love really is. Study the life of Christ and learn of how he showed LOVE. It has changed me. 

I LOVE you all. I truly do. 
Have a beautiful week! 
Sister Holt

All the Sisters in the Chino Zone

All the Goodies Provided by the Christ Family -- Thank you!

With Tesan and Sister Crane on Labor Day!