Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 7

Hello All!!!
     Where to begin, where to begin....actually I KNOW! CONGRATS TO ALLI SCHOFIELD!!! I think I shed a tear when I read that because it is so awesome.  I’M SO HAPPY AND EXCITED FOR HER! Can I get an email on her so I can email her? That would be awesome but tell her I am soooooo happy for her!!! And what a crazy cool place to go!!! The real question does LIZ FEEL ABOUT THIS!?!? Oh Liz!!
     So funny story, I could really go for that costa salad that I didn’t eat the day I entered the MTC. I CRAVE COSTA DAILY! But on a positive note, I had Mexican food TWICE THIS WEEK! They don’t cook Mexican food in the south very often so it was great to have some enchiladas! 
    Also this week was like Christmas because of all the packages I got (: They were so great! Thank you so much! The first one...The fettuccine was perfect because they don’t carry it at our Walmart!?! So when I saw the boxes I was jumping for joy! Ask my companion because she knew how badly I wanted some!! Also that headband was so cute, in fact I wore it that very night I opened the package!  The cake pops were still good, of course I ate them! I loved the Miss America signature Dad!! It’s hanging on my wall by my bed!! The fuzzy socks are to die for and the jewelry was perfect!! Also the watermelon mints were great!! And the body wash and mascara....sheesh I’m spoiled (: (: THANK YOU!! The second package was SOOOO GOOD! I have been wanting conference talks so it was perfect!!!! And you know Elaine S. Dalton is like my hero so her book is great!! I have read it all because I just couldn't put it down (:  I will probably reread it a lot!! The skirt is perfect, in fact better than my last black one because the washing instructions are better!  So if you ever want to send that new skirt, feel free (:  Question, how soon in advance do you need that Christmas picture?  I want to make sure I take a good one! DAD, you saw Mr. Lockwood!! I LOVED HIM! He’s the one who thought Benny boo boo and I used to like each other…classic!  Mom probably remembers him!!  Hey I watched Only a Stone Cutter this week too!! It really is such a rad story. 
      Shannon, I had some cookies this week that tasted EXACTLY like yours! Then she told us she put pudding in them and I was like AH sister does it that way too!! So Karina is getting reassigned for a little while she waits for her VISA and I’M LIKE PRAYING ITS TO TALLY!!! Could you imagine how fun that would be!!! Dad, I haven't gone to Popeye’s yet but it is on every corner here so I’m sure I will if I stay another transfer! A family is taking us to Outback tonight and I’M PUMPED!! We had fried pork chops last week with the Morses instead of steak because they are saving the steak for after Kevin’s baptism this week!! But she did make us mashed potatoes and they were GOOD! So yes Kevin’s baptism is this week instead but I’m stoked!!! I’m giving the closing prayer and also chose the hymns! I had to choose the "I like to look for rainbows" one because that was played at my baptism! It’s my favorite primary song! Saturday will be so great.  He is so ready and I feel like he is a brother to me now so it will be a day to remember!
     This week I have experienced what it feels like to be outside for literally 15 seconds and it looks like you just got out of the shower! I just laugh when it happens because it’s hilarious that rain can come down that powerfully!! NOTHING like Utah rain that’s for sure!! Erik, who were some Theodore families you liked or remember???
     We also had fondue this week at a ladies house and it made me think of Melting Pot...........................................we have to go again when I return.
     Something that always seems to happen to me here is people say they feel like they know me from somewhere!  I tell them it’s the pre-mortal existence  ;) but they still just feel like they know me! It’s funny because it happens so much!!
    We met with our investigator this week and she is doing well however she is struggling to forgive herself of her past.  She has been through some CRAZY stuff but there is a great quote that says, "No habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness."  I just love that and I know it’s true. She met with Bishop Young this week and they connected really well so we are making progress!! She is great and always says she sees halos above me and Sister Stanfield! I feel really comfortable teaching her and I always look forward to it!
    I finished the BOM!! Love love love it in every way.  I am now onto D&C which I am excited about!!  

    Fun fact, I have perfected my dancing splits out here. RAD HUH!?! I have never had flat splits in all my years of dancing and suddenly from stretching 10 min a day I have them....Lexi and Courtney would be so proud (: Another fun fact, my muscly biking thighs are about the size of Charles Abouo now so that’s cool.....not.
    If Aunt Rhonda could make those Nike stretch pants that would be awesome! It will be nice to have a stretchier pair I think!!
     Mom, the south is full of Vera Bradley and the Hallmark channel! EVERYONE has Vera and everyone watches the Hallmark channel! It’s so funny to me! You would fit right in!  Thank you for saving all my emails, it means a lot!! So I have learned a lot of things while being on my mission but one is I often laugh about how snappy and unteachable I used to be.  I really am sorry for that but if anything I have grown to appreciate the little things and constantly strive to be happy because negative people, especially out here, are very irritating!!!
     I’m close to the youth out here because we teach mutual once a month on missionary work and such.  Also just from dinner appointments! I really do love them so much and I think that Shine Book would be awesome to do!  I’m sending a picture of a girl named Amanda.  She is 19 and she came with us the other night! We are going to make it a weekly thing! I LOVE HER so much and we'll definitely be friends after the mish!! She is great!
      I popped out my music this week and can I just say Jenny Phillips is the bomb.  She is practically my Katy Perry out here! I love her songs on my ipod!!
     Sister Stanfield and I are planning a women’s night.  It’s slumber party themed where everyone can wear their pajamas!  There will be different classes like hair and makeup, cooking, self-image, stuff like that!! We even have gotten RETURNING MEMBERS to teach the classes!!! IT’S GREAT (: We had a planning meeting with the teachers and our RS president was shocked to see some women we got to come! It is August 6th and should be a fun night!
    Transfers are AUGUST 7th! AHHH. Next Monday we find out in an email where we are going!  I LOVE IT HERE! But I know that I will go where I am needed!!! I’m excited to see more parts of the mission as well though!!
     Yesterday at church I just felt so grateful for the Lynn Haven Ward. As I've connected and bonded with a lot of families I just feel somewhat at home!  A kid named Josh Gainer is going to BYU in a few weeks to live in Helaman Halls! I've prepared him well and told him how fun it will be!! He is also going to try out for the GOLF TEAM! So dad, if you ever hear of a Josh Gainer, talk to him!!! He’s a nice kid who comes from a great family!!!
    I just want to say thank you for all the support from friends and family.  I truly believe I have the best support system around and the mission is so much easier with that love.  SO THANK YOU!!! A quote from that "Shine" book said, "If you want to make a difference in this world, you have to be different from the world."  I LOVE THAT. It’s so true.  LOVE YOU so much and hope you all have fabulous weeks!! ps WHEN DOES BYU FOOTBALL START!?! GO COUGS!!!! ahhhhh can I get a schedule mailed to me so I can know what’s going on! WHOO! Rise and shout! The cougs will be in my prayers that’s for sure!!! Also this week could be exciting because familes are cooking us some true southern food like hushpuppies, grits, okra, and catfish.......a tad nervous for this food but bring it on baby!! love y’all! love, your little southern sister holmoe (:
ps once again sorry for the random email and facts but just know I’m happy, I miss you, and I love you (: BYE BYE!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 6


First things first, why on earth is Florida called the Sunshine State when it rains just as much as it is sunny!?  So confusing!!  It’s actually so bizarre because half the sky will be blue skies and sun and the other half is black clouds and lightning!  Crazy weather that’s for sure!! THE BEACH LAST WEEK WAS SOOOOOO FUN!!!! And the shirt that I bought is awesome!  The white sand wasn't hot at all so we lucked out! It probably was not as white as Destin though!  It was just great to relax, play some games, and eat delicious GEORGIA PEACHES (which are in season and the best things in the world), on the beach!  I am planning on sending home a small envelope package home today with a CD of pics!  If it works and if we have time...I'm not sure because apparently we are going to the beach AGAIN??  who knows though because the weather is not looking very promising today! Either way I will be fine because I have a lot of letters to catch up on!! Oh we were allowed to wear shorts on the beach so I was rockin BYU stuff of course!  I'm sending home earrings in the package because I couldn't resist not buying them but they are too big to wear on my mission! They are so cute and you will see why I just couldn't resist!! I figured I wouldn't be in Panama City too often or ever again, so I went for it!! A lot of movies are actually filmed in Panama City so it’s a cool place!!  But also super crazy around Spring so crazy they don't let the missionaries go out. 

Mom, guess what!? Saturday night....we had burgers for dinner.....Sunday lunch....we had burgers....Sunday dinner....burgers! 3 different families fed us burgers all in a row!!!! I seriously thought I was going to die!! You would have been in seventh heaven though! I'm like praying that tonight we don't get fed burgers or I don't know what I am going to do!  Olives are my least favorite thing. I was like gagging. Apple Pie is my new fav thing! I crave it all the time! Erik, we went to Tropical Smoothie Cafe (I remember you telling me about it).  It was goooood and my smoothie tasted just like the one I get at Orange Julius so I was pretty pumped!  Also this week we got to go to Olive Garden!  I was downing those bread sticks like they were Texas Roadhouse Rolls! Sorry if talking about food bores y’all but good meals are highlights of our week as missionaries (:

I'm glad you saw the pics of us and Sister Smith!  She came with us and it was awesome.  We just visited a returning member but it was such a cool experience because the woman started crying during our message; she never cries.  The spirit was pretty strong!  This woman’s husband is the most active member there ever was but his wife just doesn't go anymore.  It is pretty sad to see but we are working with her and hopefully soon she will be able to open up more.  Sister Smith was so great to have with us. We also got interviewed by President Smith!  I love that guy!  I feel so blessed to have him as my President! 

Funny story, we were visiting a woman whose daughter was named KAELIN! I've never heard that name except for KAELIN HALES!  Which by the way I miss a lot!!! It made my day!  So one day this week we did service for an elderly woman who is so hilarious.  Anyways it was so hot outside and we were doing yard work and then we were on bikes that day....I ended up changing the G's like 3 times no joke because it was that hot!

Another funny story.  We met a family and their names were Critter and Squirrel......only in the south I'm telling ya......

This week we also did exchanges with other sisters!  So Sister Brigham became my comp and we stayed in Lynn Haven!  She is great and it turns out she was the one in my mission prep class!!  She also lived in Stover but she is 2 years older than me!  I really liked her and learned a lot so it was good!  A lot of our appointments fell through that day though so we tracted a lot, which for some odd reason I don't mind!  I like talking to strangers.  ITS A MIRACLE I KNOW!!  (: 

Yeah we have the smallest amount of girls in our zone! But, we are getting 12 new ones from the MTC this next transfer so they might be opening up some new areas to sisters, who knows!!  I have a feeling both Sister Stanfield and I are staying another transfer....we both just feel it!  Which is totally fine but only time will tell! Transfers are August 7th! 

In the next package if you could hit me up with some mascara that would be grand! Also, my biking shorts are great but do they have Nike ones that are stretchier maybe??? I don’t know......just be on the look out!  I LOVE the fabric headbands, especially the black and white polka dot and the yellow and white polka dot ones!  I wear them all the time so if you ever see anymore get them please!!!  Oh and no I haven't tried the potato bag yet but I will! How long does a potato last in the fridge??? Let me know asap! I'm curious because I've had one in there for a while.....and need to know whether to buy a new one!

DAD. THAT ARTICLE OF YOUR CONVERSION WAS AMAZING!  I lovvvved reading it and gave it to one of the Elders investigators who had a BCD for august 3rd.  He loves football and loved the article.  Turns out he decided to move his date up a week because he is ready and excited!  So this Saturday should be his baptism if everything works out!! I’M STOKED!!! He is great!! I loved how there were so many people involved in your story because that’s how it goes.  So many seeds were planted and I hope that I will be many people’s seeds in their conversion story.  SO ONTO OUR INVESTIGATORS.......One girl unfortunately decided not to meet with us anymore which is sad of course but I feel so grateful that I was even a part of her life for a little. I know that she'll never forget the first missionaries to teach her and that Heavenly Father has a plan for her and she just has to find it!  One day she will know the truth.  The sweet black lady is progressing and we were able to teach her 3 lessons last week! She’s great but is working on overcoming her addiction to smoking, which could be a difficult road.  Baby steps though.  I know that she can get through it but we just have to be patient and help her the best we can!  There were two we weren't able to meet with last week but we have plans for this week!  Also there is another woman who has potential!!  Hopefully we can teach some lessons this week because that’s my favorite part!!!

So I started the BOM the first day of the MTC and am now in the middle of 3rd Nephi.....I think of any gospel subject my testimony has grown the strongest in the Book of Mormon.  I love it, every page and challenge everyone to read a few verses a day!!  Studying it each morning has made such a huge difference. 

Sounds like the Doll Room is coming along great!! I will be so excited to see it all done and cute!!  Have you guys seen Despicable Me 2 yet!?! Everyone keeps saying how good it is!!! AH I WANT TO SEE IT!

I haven't gotten the package yet...but that’s okay!!! I got your two letters and postcard which was great!!

Oh also that black skirt from Mikarose is a great biking skirt so if you ever see more of those buy it!!

I think that is it for now but knowing me I will probably send a shorter email with the stuff I forgot!! Love y’all so much! I hope y’all have a great week!! Thank you for all the support and love! It means a lot and knowing I have family and friends support back home makes it easier!  Dad, hope your surgery recovery is going well and mom, I hope your knees are getting better each day! LOVE YOU ALL <3

Oh and if you see Tanner Tronson tell him CONGRATS!!! Bolivia is sweet and I have a friend there who loves it!!! He will be great!! 

Until next week!!


ps the pic with all the girls are some of the YW!  I love them so much!

A view of Panama City

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 5

Hello FAM!

THIS WEEK HAS BEEN LEGIT! Fasting works that’s all I have to say! We got 4 new investigators.....3 in ONE DAY! Which NEVER happens in the South!!!! We were seriously freaking out!! I almost cried at one woman’s house.  We found her teaching record in our area book and decided to stop by. Turns out the address we had been trying was the wrong one but luckily a random guy told us where he thinks she moved so we went for it and FOUND HER!  She is the sweetest black woman I have ever met in my life.  She opens the door and chants "OH HALLELUJAH " for like 10 minutes straight.  She goes on to tell us how she has wanted the missionaries back for so long but she didn't know how to get a hold of us.  She called us angels and gave us like a million hugs.  We immediately went in and she had us say a prayer while holding hands in a circle.  The entire time I was saying it she was like shaking my hand and nodding her head and saying HMMMHMM...OH YEAH... I WAS DYING! But it was soooooo cool and such a good spirit was there!  She has been praying we would come over for a year now and then we did!  She is a heavy smoker but when we went back a second time she said every time she smokes she throws up and has diarrhea after now! THANK YOU Heavenly Father! She has a lot to learn obviously but she says she wants to be baptized and she is just the sweetest lady who LOVES us dearly!  A second investigator is a 48 year old woman.  She was a referral given to us and she seems way interested.  She has zero money and no transportation and we meet on her porch of her trailer but that just means she is extremely humble and more open to receiving the gospel.  She’s great and hopefully good things happen with that! The next is a 19 year old girl who is friends with a girl in our ward.  She is like obsessed with the idea of an eternal marriage so hopefully we can continue to meet with her and teach more! Then there is a girl who we have been trying to get a hold of but then fate stepped in and we just happened to be visiting a member RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO WHERE SHE LIVED. We had no idea and she invited us in and now we are going to her house for dinner tonight! I'm stoked about new people to teach because that’s my favorite part!!! Pray for these peeps!!!! <3

Today we are going to try to go to the BEACH and play Frisbee and stuff!! I'm so excited!!!! Erik, do you know where Destin is?  Everyone keeps going there for fun and I was curious to see if you have ever heard of it!

I have tried some new foods this week including CRAB LEGS. Which by the way are amazing and addicting.  Mom, you thought I might have lost weight NO. Unfortunately the pounds are adding.  It’s so hard because they feed us so much and it’s so good.  I am trying to eat smaller portions though but then they give you dessert right after and MAN! I also tried red beans and rice, which is a southern delicacy I guess!  It was amazing!! Oh also Mom you should try making "Nestles Cookie-Brownies".  We bought them at Walmart to make for District Meeting and they were so delicious.  Another good dessert idea is you freeze ice cream sandwiches like mud pie kind of and then put whipped cream, hot fudge, and heath bar on top and it’s so good!! You see why I am gaining weight here???

Have you ever heard of heat lightning?? They have it here where like it’s not storming and there is no lightning strikes, the sky just lightens up every 10 seconds or so. It’s so strange!!! Oh I forgot to tell ya.  We took a trip to Southport this week which is the farthest part of our area.  It is WAYYY southern.  We biked for so many miles because everyone’s houses are so spread out up there.  I wanted to saw someone’s head off because it was so stinking hot!  But anyways, for dinner up at Southport we had a true southern meal E.  Kool-aid, mac-n-cheese, Fried-Chicken casserole and carrot cake.  This family was straight up southern.

Question mom, how long does a potato last in the refrigerator??  Also it sounds like your SLC trip was very fun! OH DAD! I lovvvvved the postcard!!! It made my day!!! I got it on my ONE MONTH BIRTHDAY! July 12th! Yep, one month!! 17 more to go! (:  MOM, thank you for the package and letter!!!! The package was great! I LOVE the meerkat!!! And the signs are so cute and now all over our apartment.  The jump rope Dad is perfect!  I use it every day!  Also that plaque from Pres. Hinckley makes the room way homier so I love it! So thank you so much!! Mom, I laughed out loud (LOL) when you wrote in your letter about the orange poofy thing...hahah it’s called a LUFFA! I got your other letter on Saturday which was perfect!!  Getting mail rules which by the way....S/O to HOLLY ORTON MY LIL SIS for the cutest letter.  It had stickers all around the envelope and pictures and it was just great! Made me so happy!! 

I’m glad you saw the pic of the Smiths and us! It was fun to see them again!!! They are so great! The hole in my dress unfortunately is not on a seam.....but Sister Morse might be able to try her best to do something with it! Sister Morse is great because she drives us places when we have our bikes and it’s really hot.  She was also just made a ward missionary so she comes with us to visit people and its fun because I feel like she is my sister!  She is due January 28th. 

I'm so happy the Dee's texted you that pic! They are so sweet.  The girls in the picture are in our YW's!  We connect really well. I am trying to get them to come on splits with us but they are too nervous!! ONE DAY!!

Fun fact about the south.....they do not believe in sidewalks.....I have yet to see one!!! Also, they park in the grass, like the front yard. It’s interesting.

MOM AND AUNT RHONDA....we went to a house for dinner and the entire house was filled with old antique dolls, Mary Engelbreit, and QUILTS ON QUILITS ON QUILTS! You two would have died in there!! 

Random question, did you ever get the second package I sent out of the MTC?? 

ALSO...:( :( I'm sad about the ring but honestly it was so disgusting I probably would never have worn it anyways! It was a good ring and got me through high school but I will find another one, one day hopefully!!! If in the next package you could send like one or two of my old ones that would be good though! My fingers feel so naked!

Other than the investigators we are just planting seeds and meeting with returning members which is good!  It’s really sad to see how many returning members there are.....but one step at a time is all it takes! I love being a missionary and meeting people and planting seeds because I know one day they will come to the gospel and I would have been a part of it whether I ever realize it or not!! I miss you all so much!!!! Your eyes are truly opened to the happiness and blessings you had back at home! I am so grateful for you all and want to share my love for eternal families with other families!! So they can feel the happiness and love we have.  A cool quote by Pres. Monson says, "When we choose to have a positive attitude and to live our lives in joy we are showing our thanksgiving to God.  We are showing to him that we are grateful for our very life which He's given us.  When we are negative we are not.  If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues." That just means that we are showing gratitude by being HAPPY! SO be happy! (: <3 I love you all so much and here are some pics!! Hopefully we will get some good beach ones this week and then I'll make a CD NEXT week! Sorry I keep postponing that! Have a great week!!! Love, Sister HOLMOE, LAGIRL, AUNTIE LOLO, LIL GIRL

Panama City Zone

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week 4

Where to start, where to start....well before I get into the INSANE FLOODING and FOOD I've had I will start with the awesome spiritual experience I had yesterday!!! So the Elders and us have kind of been working together on this one investigator but he is technically the Elders investigator but we are a part of it so it’s cool!!! HE COMMITTED TO BE BAPTIZED ON AUGUST 3rd!!!! Oh my gosh I'm so excited because he is the brother of a family in our ward and he has gone through SO MUCH. He was addicted to some pretty bad stuff, like way bad and still has lots of withdrawals and things but after meeting with him like every other day and him reading the BOM and praying I have witnessed his change!!! He is one of the strongest guys I have ever met and to see the happiness his family is feeling is awesome!!! But this is where it gets good. Elder Murdoch was telling the investigator that he has been on his mission for 21 months and this is THEE 1st person he has ever seen change and truly come unto Christ.  He got emotional and it was so cool because that just shows this elder's patience he's had his whole entire mission and to finally see ONE PERSON feel the spirit and desire to get baptized the spirit was so strong! Then the investigator asked Elder Murdoch to baptize him, over his brother, and HOLY COW I wanted to cry!!!!! It was so awesome. Anyways I can’t wait for August 3rd and grateful to be a part of something so awesome!

SO THE WEATHER HERE... rain every single day. not light rain, hard rain!!! The people here say they have never seen it rain so much in years.  They say it’s like a hurricane without the wind. Streets and houses were flooded everywhere.  Some areas were waist high and it was crazy to witness that.  Lots of service opportunities coming up that’s for sure!  Luckily our apartment complex is in a pretty good place but the Elders apartment complex parking lot was mid-calf. It’s nuts here. ADVENTURE: Sister Stanfield and I were riding back one night and all the sudden....DOWN POUR......we were almost home though so we kept going and I could barely see 5 feet in front of me! It was exactly like if I were to have just gotten out of the shower.  I will send the hilarious picture of me so you can see!!! It was pretty fun I'm not gonna lie! My scriptures got wet INSIDE my backpack! The pages are still drying!  We've gotten caught in the rain a lot but nothing like THAT NIGHT!! People were honking at us because they felt so bad. Oh funny story, people like to roll down their windows and yell crazy things at us while we ride our bikes like, "I HATE YOU". Ha only in the SOUTH! I love it (:

FRIED OREOS ARE THE BEST THING I'VE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE!!!!!  The batter is like pancake batter and then powdered sugar coating and you've got a fried Oreo! I seriously crave one every day though!  The Fourth of July it rained all day which is sad because Panama City apparently has some of the best firework shows in the country!! The Bishop had us over for dinner though and fed us more than I've eaten my whole life!!! They had 3 servings of dessert. I also tried frog legs this week. Surprisingly they are pretty dang good!! We’re having some crab legs and stuff this Wednesday which should be good too!

Dad how’s your journal coming??? Also, I have a request!  Do you think sometime whenever you have time you could write down your conversion story and like how you felt during the whole thing and then send it to me!  I just think it would be cool to have while I'm here and maybe share with others!  Anyways, just a thought!!  I'm so happy you hiked the Y in the blazing heat! That makes me feel like I'm not alone in this sauna (:

SOMEONE FINALLY KNEW MY LAST NAME!!! I'm so sick of people not knowing how to say Holmoe and then on Fast Sunday we had a visitor in our ward from Utah and he knew Dad so I was so pumped! I bore my testimony yesterday and decided that I am going to once in each area!  I mean I am here to bear testimony so that’s what I am going to do!

Tracting was fun this week. We only did it a little but one house was all Muslim people and they invited us in and basically tried converting us. We had good conversation though and gave them a book of Mormon so we'll see!

The Book of Mormon is like instagram here to me. Personal Study is like my favorite time of the day!!! I look forward to just being able to read for myself and stuff! I'm starting to get addicted just like I was to insta!  Great analogy I know!

JILL RUSSON IS ENGAGED? Please tell her congrats and to be sure to send me an invitation when the time comes!! I'm so happy for her! She was always one of my favorite people!

Tell D.BOSS good luck on the mish! I know he doesn't leave for a few weeks but I want to be sure not to forget!! He will be so awesome!!!

MOM! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MY RAZOR! and for my letter!!!! Fridays and Saturdays are the worst here but mail usually comes on those days so I was so happy to get your letter and the food list! It helped!!! They have no fettuccine alfredo.....but they do have other Pasta Roni which I will do one of these days when we don't have a dinner appointment!! I seriously appreciate it though.  So am I supposed to write you to? It’s awkward because we can only write on Mondays and I have already emailed you so I have like nothing to say?  Anyway I’m going to send home my ring today!! I hope you are having fun in MARINA DEL REY!!! You lucky lucky dogs!!!! I love that hotel!!!!!

I love my bike mom! It’s perfect and the color is DIVINE! Everyone loves it!  I am excited to meet with President and Sister Smith on Wednesday!!! It should be cool!!!  One day last week we helped the Relief Society and CUT FOR 5 HOURS STRAIGHT.....5 hours. I WAS DYING! I may have a potential wart or something on my toe??? Unsure. It looks like a mega blood blister or something but I have no idea.  One morning we went to the church and cruised on  I watched Chad Lewis's video and showed my comp! What a STUD man!!! Love Chad!! Yes Mom I have received emails from other missionaries in fact last week, I had 32 emails when I logged on! I have the best friends in the entire world!!

Something interesting here is everyone says I look like someone they know. Also S\O to Karina for the 4th of July bow!!! I wore it and it was so cute (:  We had a sweet FHE this past week!  It turns out I LOVE TEACHING KIDS!  But we also taught a returning member and she taught us about genealogy. I swear we are related because she had like a million Olaf Olsens in her pedigree chart! She was a character!! 

I'm pro at getting gas now because we get it like all the time. We are supposed to always have a lot in case of emergency weather.  There is one family in our ward who reminds me just of ours and I love it.  They play scategories and eat and laugh and it makes me miss home but I’M HAPPY!!! Being a missionary definitely has its days...........but like I said in the MTC the good times, like last night, always trump the bad times!!  Uh funny story, I had to sing a duet in front of a family....awkward when I don't sing at all and my companion could be on American Idol. My companion is so strong! She’s awesome.  Being here has made me SOOOOOO grateful for my family.  I seriously love you all so much!!! Thank you for your prayers and support!!! You are in mine as well!!!

So we can't take pics except on P-days..............................which is frustrating...........but OBEDIENCE IS KEY RIGHT??  Anyway so that’s why I haven't taken a lot of photos :( but it’s all good!!!!  I LOVE YOU ALL AND HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!!!! <3 

 I love this skirt Aunt Rhonda!!

Monday, July 1, 2013


 THE SOUTH IS REAL PEOPLE!!! This culture is nuts...I often wonder if I am in another Country!! Okay okay so there is like SOOOOOO much to say. Get ready for a long and random email! I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM A MISSIONARY! This is real life with real people and real stories and I often forget that! I love it though. First off, the mission home is BEAUTIFUL! The trees are gorgeous. Hopefully I can send some pictures! TREES, everywhere! Lightning, EVERYWHERE! The thunder here is like nothing I've ever heard before! Sometimes it goes for like 15 seconds straight and I wonder if it’s the second coming. Like no joke! Even President Jensen said these storms remind him of the storms when Christ was crucified. THEY ARE EXTREME! But I've stayed alive so far so that’s good! They usually wake up me and my companion in the middle of the night and we just laugh ha. So I'm in Lynn Haven which is a smaller town outside of Panama City! Let me tell ya something, the ward members feed their missionaries! We have had a dinner appointment every night since I've been here. It should start slowing down soon but I think we have one every night this week too. I have eaten some stuff I never thought I would before. First off, deer is really really good. I have had deer like 4 times. I think they go kill it in their backyard and then serve it to us an hour later. These people are straight up hunters here. Apparently beans are like the thing here. I have had baked beans in every meal which is pretty satisfying! They also give us dessert like lemon meringue pie, apple pie, peach pie, cheesecake, brownies, and a bunch of other stuff. I'm trying not to put on the pounds but it’s so hard! The elders in this area right now say enjoy this food while you can though because once you get out in the boonies you won't have it! So I think I just got blessed to be in an awesome first area! One of the Elders just came from Theodore Erik! He said he ate at the Phillips house every Monday night for 12 weeks!! What a great family, I want to meet them some day! Our Ward Mission leader took us to Golden Corral the other night. It was wonderful. Can you say MASHED POTATOES? I loaded up big time. We had chili at one of the houses and I honestly had no idea what in the world was in it but it wasn't half bad!! Okay onto the HEAT! wow.  Words cannot describe! IT IS BLISTERING!!!! Well actually that’s not the right word to describe it....IT IS WET. PURE WET! Riding bikes in this weather. Let’s just say I take off my helmet and it looks like I just got out of the shower.(sweat, not rain) Then I go inside someone’s house and it’s like the north pole. The temperature difference from outside to inside is ridiculous! I think I got frost bite from being in the church building for 6 hours on Sunday. We go running in the mornings around a big pond. It’s fun because frogs like jump and follow you! I'm basically in the state of bugs. We spent 45 minutes trying to kill two cockroaches in our apartment the other night. YES COCKROACHES!!! It was an adventure that’s for sure. Spiders, ants, birds, beetles, flies, moths, frogs, lizards, squirrels, stray dogs, stray cats, yeahhhh we got em all! The South I'm telling ya! It’s hard because my companion has been here for 6 weeks in the ward so everyone already is connected with her and loves her and I'm just like HI. I’m the new girl! Ha it’s kind of awkward but it will just take time to get to know everyone! My companion is nice! She is my age from BYU too! She’s a sweet girl and watches out for me so that’s good!! I have not received a package yes my leg hairs are as long as Danny's right now. HOPEFULLY it will come today! Our mail comes at night so it’s kind of weird! My first night here I taught a scripture class....a scripture class.....I was like oh no....this is going to be a long 18 months but it wasn't too bad! So everyone here asks me what origin my last name is? It takes them like 5 min for them to say Holmoe right and I'm just like come on people! It shouldn't be that hard! I'm happy to be able to represent it though (: I think we are learning how to do Family History this week so you should be happy dad. Also, we can only watch like 5 movies and “Only a Stone Cutter” is one of them! So if it is lightning and we have bikes that day, we will watch it. Looks like I'm going to have it memorized! So we share the car with the elders so we get the car Tuesday Wed and Thursday and they get it Friday Sat and Sun and then we share on Monday! That’s how the transportation goes! The people here are awesome and hilarious but have lived SUCH hard lives and gone through trials I can’t even put into words. I think my favorite part is just testifying of the Atonement and letting them know that Christ has gone through what they are going through and is there for love, support, and comfort if they draw near unto Him. The first lady I ever visited was crying the whole time and super depressed. It was sad to hear her talk but luckily we share a happy and hopeful message. Another woman is on bed rest and told us how her kids don't visit or take care of her. IT’S SO SAD! MOM AND DAD, I WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU! After seeing this lady, I'm like......okay that’s it. I'm keeping you company when you are old and sick! There is a family from Uganda that is less active. I love them so much. That is the work here.....less actives. We call them returning members because eventually they will! The next six weeks we will be focusing on the less-actives and bringing them back to Church. The mission is not all about baptizing but helping out the less-actives. So most our visits consist of that! ALTHOUGH....we have one pretty solid progressing investigator! Her name is Jasmine. She is from a part member family, 19 years old, and almost there! She has been working with the missionaries for a while and the last step is just for her to pray to see if she needs to get baptized! We invited her and everything so our next visit will be the answer hopefully. <3 I really like her. I do wear those bike shorts Mom because they are a necessity it turns out. I have to wear them or yeah! Tracting in the south is hard because everyone already has the religion they want and they don't care to change but I kind of like tracting. I think it is exciting. My companion hates it though and we don't usually have a lot of time to do it so we probably won't a lot of the time!! Which is fine because when it is hot it is NOT fun! I wear my backpack when I bike and it’s so heavy....cause I need my scriptures and my bike lock and a bunch of other random stuff. I may come back with a dead back but it’s okay! Everyone loves the bag Aunt Rhonda made for me!!!! I do as well of course (: So one day we did service at a less active members house and IT WAS CRAZY. We had to take all the furniture out, rip the carpets out, and wipe the mold off the walls and ground! It was gross but of course we were happy to serve! My hands smelt like Bleach for the rest of the day!!! My ring I wear every day also got stained which I didn't realize until I got home. It’s pretty gross so I may send it home and see what you can do with it! Don't throw it away but maybe you could clean it??? Or just keep it there. It feels so weird not wearing it!! But at the same time maybe the stain is good because it will remind me to always serve <3 They were so happy for the help we gave them! I may or may not need a 72 hour kit....or things to put in it....I’m not sure yet but just keep that in your mind for when I decide I need to do one.  Maybe could you write me some good cooking instructions? I feel like I am going to get sick of turkey sandwiches and such! I'm set on dinner for the next few days but I know in a few weeks I'll need some good dinner ideas! So if you could write some advice in a letter that would be great!!! Nothing grand, just simple and easy but good ideas! It was awesome talking to you guys on the phone!!! Kind of hard.....but I was happy I could! I think hearing Miles voice was the hardest....I love that boy! I seriously love you all so much! You are always in my prayers! Mom, thank you for going to Karina’s farewell! Means a lot! Dad, I'm happy about Bronco and football and USC, it all sounds so good!!! I've been praying for you every day! Man it’s getting stormy outside right now AH!!! Mom, I’m not supposed to put any fabric softener in the Dri-Lux garments right??? Oh my BED IS MAGICAL!!!! It’s better than the beach room bed no lie!!! It feels so good and I fall asleep in like 3 seconds! The sheets are amazing, thank you so much for letting me have those!!! Our apartment is apparently one of the nicest in the ENTIRE mission! I agree, it’s great! I've heard there are some pretty ghetto ones out there! MY BUTT HURTS SO BAD from biking! It’s so weird cause the seat is so comfortable but I have like bruises! Apparently it happens to everyone and after about a month you get used to it! It is pure pain!!! I also am going to have thighs of steel because on our bike days we bike for MILES!!! I give up ever looking cute for the next 18 months. My hair is disastrous and I only straighten it on Sundays which even then doesn’t do much considering the second I step outside it FRIZZES like a mad woman!! Well I love you all! Please tell my friends I love them too!!! THE MISSION is hard work....but such an adventure! I just have to take it a day at a time because if I look at it like the next 18 months it seems unbearable....but if you take it each day at a time and enjoy the adventures and memories of that day then it is AWESOME!!!! I love the spirit I have felt and the testimony of mine that is strengthening! My prayers here have gotten so sincere and I can testify that He is listening, always, every second of the day! Pray pray pray is my motto! I hope I didn't forget to say anything but thank you so much for all the love and support! Special S/O to my relief society president from BYU who sent me such a sweet message! I don't know how to get a hold of you Mikilah but THANK YOU so much for that! It made my day! Thanks to everyone who emailed or wrote me. I appreciate the love more than you know!!! HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!! Have an awesome time in SO CAL MOM AND DAD! Be safe! Hope you are having fun in Hawaii Danny and Carlee! Love you Shannon Robby and Miles! Erik, I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN BY THE SOUTH NOW! And I can't wait to experience more! LOVE YOU! Talk to you next Monday!!! <3 Sister Holmoe!!