Week 81: Glorious Baptism & I'm Coming Home

Last PDay Hike in California for me.  I have loved it all.
Words can't express or tell you what I am feeling at this moment. I am coming to the close of the most treasured, valued, loved part of my life and will be continuing on else where,  but not as a full time missionary for the Lord. 

I am most grateful for this privilege I have been given to serve the people here in Rancho Cucamonga, Diamond Bar, the High Desert, and Upland, California! The principles, testimony, and renewal I have gained in this place, with these people, is priceless. I know that I will refer back to my mission every single day for the rest of my life. I have been taught, stretched, brought down, lifted up, and changed from the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I have loved serving  Him, Striving to become like Him, doing my best to act and speak as He would. I have drawn nearer to Him during this time and I can truly testify that He lives! 

This week we did so much teaching! BUT the cherry on top of this week was Saturday - Daisy Centeno from my last area was BAPTIZED! She did it!! My favorites, Brent and Joann drove us up to the desert in the morning for the baptism and it was glorious! Daisy was so happy and cried when she saw me! Right before she went to get into the font she said, "This is the happiest I have ever been!!" and she came out of the water BEAMING! It was the most peaceful feeling to see her baptized! I could almost feel of the sunshine that is in her future. She told me that she can't describe how her heart feels because it just feels WHOLE again. The Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness fills those holes in our hearts and in our lives that we might not know are even there. That is what TRUTH does for us in our lives. Truth overflows our hearts and our minds and the only thing we can feel is peace. Truth is peace! (sorry i forgot my camera so I will have to post pictures next week) 

This week was a beautiful Easter week celebrating and testifying of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Living Christ! The Prince of Peace! 

Well, it has been a true blessing to be here and spend these last 18 months serving my Heavenly Father and Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I know that this is Christ's church restored to the earth where we can partake of the covenants and full blessings that Heavenly Father has prepared for each of us! We all have a divine potential and have been created for an eternal purpose! And through living the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through sacred covenants, we get a step closer and closer to reach that potential! It is a glorious and perfect plan! 

I guess this isn't  talk to you next week.... it is a see you next week!! 
Take care! Till then, 
Love you with all my heart! 
Sister Holt 

My Missionary Posterity -- Missing my Sister Crane

Lunch with Pres. Schaffer, Brent & Joann, Daisy, Renata and all my fav sisters!


Week 80: Weakness & Lessons

I type a sentence and the erase it and then type out another one and then erase that one too. I can't figure out a way to start these emails. Such a problem. This is my second to last email on my mission! I can't believe it.

This week was incredible. So many miracles and so many revelations!  I think at the end of someones mission, there are many emotions  felt. As least for me I have been feeling so  many things. This week was one of those. I wasn't a wreck,  but I kept rejecting the emotions I was feeling and shutting them out because I just wanted the end of my mission to be amazing and full of only good feelings.  I thought that if I had one negative feeling that my mission wouldn't end right! WELL WAS I WRONG! I am still learning out here! Little did I realize I was rejecting myself the opportunity to be weak, which really means that I was rejecting Christ's atonement to help me and change me and strengthen me! Crazy how something so minor can completely change the way we progress. 

It is not a sin to be weak!

In the Book of Mormon in the Book of Ether it says, "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will i make weak things become strong unto them."

It is so true! This scripture is very popular and is referred to many times, but do we really apply this in our lives?! I wasn't! I wasn't letting myself be weak in a time that I was. And to be honest, I was getting by just fine. I was happy, working hard, being obedient, loving the people, and teaching everyone. BUT I didn't feel peace! It wasn't until I humbled myself to my Savior, Jesus Christ and left my weaknesses with Him that I felt that peace. And honestly, a world of difference was made. I felt that Christ-like Peace again that only HE can give! 

In the Bible in the Book of John 14:27 - only Christ can give us lasting peace! The world goes on and will leave you behind. Christ is with you every step of the way, even if you can't step forward. He is there to pick up your feet and help you! Ah I hope this makes sense! 

I just love my Savior so much! I am truly dedicated to Him and everyday I want to be more! I owe everything to Him! I owe who I am today to Him. He has changed me, transformed me! I could not have comprehended these feelings and this testimony 4 years ago. My learning and my change has been line upon line, precept upon precept. And it will continue to be that way as I live close to Him and keep Him the center of everything I do and with His help I will be able to do that. 

ALRIGHT - sorry for that speil.... whoops!  Well probably only a couple people get this far on my emails anyways! haha! 

This week was incredible aside from my internal battle! 
We had lessons with the J and D (a mom and daughter who are learning together) They are progressing so well and really taking these steps for themselves! 
Daniel is still progressing! Coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon! Plus he is so nice and is donating soooooo many things to the church, I don't know why. But he just is trying to be more like Jesus! 
We visited Frankie in the hospital! He loves us!! 
We had a lesson with Theresa - her faith and her passion for God is incredible!! There is no doubt in her mind that God lives! 

We always have a great Book of Mormon study class on Thursday nights and afterwards we went to Monica's house. A new lady we found a couple weeks ago. She is catholic and loves missionaries! We went over at  8 for dessert and her 10 year old daughter to play RUMMICUB! (Grandma Holt - your game we play every time at your house) So I knew how to play and I came in second place! So much fun! Then we showed then the Prince of Peace video and the spirit filled the room and we all testified of Christ! It was amazing!!

We did a bunch of service on Friday! and so many embarrassing things happened to be that day - I don't even wanna begin to tell you!  

On Saturday I was on exchanges with Sister Wall #blessed! MTC COMPANIONS! Exactly 18 months later we get to go on our last exchange together! And that is the day I learned everything I just told you about prior to this. She helped me so much and I was able to help her! Since we are feeling similar things at the end of our missions. She is so inspired and I just love her! So grateful! 

ON SATURDAY THO - we were driving back home and on the corner of the street I saw a woman carrying a giant case of water bottles and the plastic ripped right as we drove by. I screamed and told Sister Wall to turn around! I jumped out of the car and ran to help her! (I'm so dramatic) and guess what... her name was IRENE! (my middle name!) and so I carried this case of water bottles back to her house and I walked in this door and this house was FULL of women from KENYA, AFRICA praying and singing! I walked through the house passed all these women who were soo spiritual. I set the water bottles down and they made room for us on the couch so that we could join them! It was amazing! I could feel the Spirit of God in that room. It was incredible! These women were all together and had all come from Kenya to America. They were having a prayer meeting for this woman named Elizabeth who had just recently lost her husband. We stayed for an hour but then we had an appointment. We read from the Bible. As we left they were all so thankful that we came and joined them in prayer! It was amazing. We left cards with all of them and hopefully they call us but either way - the Spirit was there!! I will never forget it! 

This week was amazing!!
I am ready ready ready for more this week! 
I LOVE my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ with all my heart and I will never never ever forget these experiences! 

With all my love,
Sister Holt

Sister Wood, Me, Sister Wall, and Sister Endsley! <3


Week 79: Lots of Blessings and Conference

Woah Woah Woah Week 79... What even is happening?! I am really coming close to the end of my mission and it just hit me this week! A lot of bitter sweet feelings in my heart about my mission coming to an end. Bitter because how do you say good bye to a place that you have put your heart and soul into for an entire year and 6 months? Sweet because the reunion will be glorious with my family! They are a lot more excited then I am though ;)   ("We really are!!" says mom)

We had some great stuff happen this week! 

On Wednesday, was the last night of Moses' Tabernacle and it was packed! I talked about this last week Friday too. Humans are natural procrastinators. Everyone came the last night and at the last hour! So it stayed open for an entire hour later. We had to get home by 9:30 and the last tour is supposed to leave at 8:10 and at that time we still had 5 more groups of people that wanted to go! Haha It was crazy! But my last tour was all the youth from my first ward, the Redhill ward! It was so much fun to see them again since it has been a year and a half! They are all growing up and graduating! Crazy how time flies! But that was a big blessing for me to see them again. 

I also got to give the Kilburns  and Tesan and Jim a tour as well! It was so much fun to see them as well.  On another tour I gave that day one of my old investigators Dorcie was there too! I was blessed immensely seeing so many people that I love dearly! My heart was so full! 

On Thursday we were on exchanges! I stayed in my area with Sister Endsley! She is great. She is a brand new missionary and is being trained by my favorite Sister Wall! (next Saturday sister Wall and I get to go on exchanges!  I am so pumped!) Sister E and I walked everywhere!!! I love walking, so I walk any chance I get! We tried so many different people and talked to a lot but nobody "has the time" for a spiritual uplifting message that will change their life! So sad. I think if people knew... they would make the time and have all the time in the world! 

Friday was awesome! We had great lessons. In the morning, we met with the Staton's. Sister S is returning to the church and her daughter is investigating! It is so cool to see them working together to make better lives! We read from the Book of Mormon. J the daughter is so pumped and was so excited to watch conference! 

We also volunteered at this old folks home called Oakmont. On Fridays, we help out with the activities and that day  was beach volleyball! It was adorable. All these older people mainly ladies... sit in chairs and have a net in the middle of them making two sides and they hit around a beach ball! It was so much fun, they love it!! 

We had a lesson with Daniel afterwards! He is progressing, he really is and we are trying to set him up a baptismal date but he keeps getting cold feet. He really wants to know the truth! He is trying his best - he did have surgery this week so that kind of set him back a little...  just a little! We had a great lesson about the Book of Mormon and how it will answer all of his questions that he has. He committed to pray and read everyday by Tuesday and also to watch a session of Conference! 

We also had a lesson with Mary! Mary is so funny! She has done some crazy things in her life... For example, she used to dress up as Wonder Woman in Vegas for Paris Hilton's parties! haha! I asked if she had any pictures but she wouldn't show them to me. Mary is awesome, she is reading the Book of Mormon right now and is just getting started! 

Saturday night we had a miracle! After conference was over we went around and tried some potentials and no one was really answering and we hadn't eaten dinner yet... so we were going to head home to eat dinner...it was about 8 o'clock and as we were driving I had a thought to try one more person. Christian is a recent convert of about a year and we haven't seen him in a while... He is a teenager and lives with his brother and mom. Anyways, we walk up to his apartment and the door is open and they are packing up and moving!! Just at the dead end of everything (packing is awful) his mom was just breaking a sweat and almost  in some tears we . So we offered to  help. Then we  BEGGED her to let us help her (asking for help is hard).  Finally  she let us pack up the worst part...the kitchen!! I was glad!!! Seriously and by the time she finished the bathroom we were done with the kitchen at 9:15!! and the whole apartment was done! MIRACLES BLESSINGS MIRACLES BLESSINGS! 

So lesson to be learned here...when missionaries offer to help you... take them seriously because everyone always rejects our offers and they don't realize how hard we work when people actually let us help them! Do it do it do it! 

Last comments... General Conference was amazing! As always - Not a surprise! I can't pick any favorites because my pen was working the entire 8 hours of conference! We are so lucky as members or non members of this church, we are so lucky to have a living prophet and living apostles who hold the authority of God to receive revelation for the world as a whole! For everyone!! I personally can feel of their love for us through the television. Their words are personalized to us through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. It couldn't be without Him. And everything is centered around our Savior, Jesus Christ himself. The Prince of Peace! Jesus Christ is the source of truth, of light, of joy, and of peace! Only through Him can we attain those. 
Through sincere daily prayer, through studying the scriptures specifically the Book of Mormon, Thank you President Thomas S Monson, and repenting every day can we build our faith enough to face the trials and winds of the world that Satan will send our way. 
Everything, absolutely everything is for our benefit, for our good! God wants to see us grow and progress, but only in righteousness is true progression found. We each have a divine identity that was created by our Father in Heaven who LOVES us! 

I love this gospel. I love my Father and my Brother Jesus Christ. And I love the gift I've been given of the companionship of the Holy Ghost! 

I invite all to share their testimonies of the glorious truths they have found in their lives and continue to find more! 

With all my heart,
Sister Holt 

Sister Wood and I --- We are winners in the matching game - Not on purpose

UPland Sisters --- We wear glasses on Tuesday.

Exchanges with Sister Endsley

Week 78: Temple Trip & Library Closing

Well, it has only been a few days since I last wrote but that is OK because we all know a missionaries life is not boring so don't worry I have plenty to write about today. Stay Tuned! :) 

So the Upland Stake and the Chino Stake (my heart) have combined on an event open to the public called Moses Tabernacle! It is a life size replica of the Tabernacle of Moses. I will send pictures. We have been working that every day this week. We get to give tours and answer peoples questions. At the end of the tour there is a room in the church to show our modern day temples and the similarities to the tabernacle. It has been amazing!! 

PLUS I get to see all my lovely people from Diamond Bar that I love dearly! I feel so blessed once again to be in the right place at the right time!! God's timing is perfect!! 

We also got to go to the temple today!! It was absolutely incredible! 

Daniel is progressing so fast!! We had an amazing lesson with him this week and he also came to our Book of Mormon study group on Thursday. 

OOPS -- So I have less time then anticipated. The library is closing in like 10 minutes!  Sorry for the short email :( Just know that I am HAPPY as ever, safe, healthy, and most of all BUSY! 

I love each and every one of you! I love my Savior, Jesus Christ with all my heart and it is an honor to be serving with Him by my side and sharing His gospel! I love this work, it is a perfect work! Miracles are real and happen daily! I know this gospel is true with my whole soul and I know it is lead and guided by a prophet today! He holds the keys to receive all that we need from our loving Father in Heaven; I am so excited to hear from him in a week. Invite your friends to watch General Conference with your family this next week. To hear the prophet speak is a gift. Share this gift! 

Take care,
Love always,
Sister Holt

Moses Tabernacle

Sister Wood and I at the Redlands Temple

Don't worry -- She likes me!