Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 26

Looks like I'll be spending Christmas in LYNN HAVEN! (: They may just keep me here forever!!! I am relieved though!!! Obviously I will go where I'm needed but secretly I wanted to stay here one more (: (: YAYAY! Sister Sam is still my comp!  We are losing one of our elders but he gets to go be with his best friend so we don't feel bad for him!

I will start off with this weekend, WOW!  What a powerful weekend and such a memorable one!  It will probably be one of my favorites of my entire mission!! It started with Gabe’s baptism!  This boy is the other 8 year old we were teaching, who comes from a less active family!  Well over the past few months of teaching their family the day finally came!  Aaron, the dad, WAS ABLE TO BAPTIZE GABE!! We weren't for sure if he was going to be able to, and he did (:  Then, the step mom prayed in public for the first time!!!! The spirit was so so so strong you have no idea!  People who I would never imagine crying, CRIED.  It was such a beautiful sight.  Just to see how happy and united that family was made me picture them getting sealed in the temple one day.  PURE JOY!  I did indeed lead the music again (:  I actually volunteered myself this time so I could redeem myself!  Everyone was so impressed (:  People in the ward are so funny, they feel as if I am a permanent member here! 

Then on Sunday, Sister Sam and I spoke in Sacrament!  We found out on Thursday and then only had like 3 hours to prepare and practice giving our talk!!  (if that)!  It was on Christmas, the nativity mixed in with missionary work and stuff like that!  The main theme on mine was “Sharing the Good Tidings of Great Joy!”  I was a little nervous and frazzled in the planning stages but it went SOOOOO WELL!!!!  The talk went great but it was when I was bearing my testimony that the spirit just bore witness to me that everything I had just said was 100% true. I felt really prompted to talk about the BOM and bear strong testimony of that so I actually cut out some of my talk and shared my feelings about the BOM for a while. It was a really cool moment on my mission and it came at a good time, right around my 6th month mark!  I sat down and just felt sooooo unbelievably happy.  Looking around at all the faces I just knew this is where I am supposed to be right now, sharing the gospel every day.  I am so grateful to be the Lord’s servant at this time in my life!!!!  Church is true, book is blue! Carolyne, Teresa and Stella were all in Sacrament yesterday so that made it great too (:

We are starting to give church tours!!!  We had the BEST one this week!!!  It was with an 18 year old girl we are starting to teach and her less active friend and her family.  The family is always pretty goofy and funny so we were nervous how it would all go giving a spiritual church tour but it was AMAZING.  They bore such strong testimony and were quiet and listening!  The girl, Ashley, reallllly liked it and agreed to let us start teaching her the lessons with Austin who is preparing to serve a mission.  It’s the family who always takes us out to Outback! Not sure if you remember me talking about them or not! I'm realllly excited about it!!

We had some more cool moments this week.  One included us praying to find out how to involve the parents more in a teaching situation where we teach their children.  We had NO idea how we were going to do it but we prayed and then went inside and the furniture was completely rearranged.  The new arrangement made the environment for teaching SOOOO much better to where the parents would have to be more involved in the lessons.  Hard to explain but right as we walked in Sister Sam and I just looked at each other and smiled because we knew Heavenly Father planned that one out for us (:

We also had a cool experience where we wanted to meet with this less active YSA who comes from really active parents.  We didn't really want his parents to be a part of the conversation though but we didn't really have another option.  Well we knock on the door and hes the only one home!! (WHICH NEVER HAPPENS)  We couldn’t go in obviously but he came out and talked to us on the porch.  We shared an awesome lesson with him and it was possible only because the parents weren't home at the exact time we tried knocking!

Some funny stories this week include:

-a wasp swarming through our car while I'm driving!!! (CAN YOU SAY SCARY MOMENT) haha!
-this lady seeing us walking towards her and saying "OH NO, DONT YOU TAKE A STEP CLOSER MAMS. I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE ALL ABOUT. LEAVE." haha!!
-Tracting in the Christmas tree lot (: We had a few good contacts.  This one boy seemed awesome but then he told us he goes to Northstar, the church that every young adult goes to.....they have like drums and stuff haha.  There was no way he was coming to ours! 
One of the Gulf Coast bball players is interested in coming to church!  He was out of town this week for games but hopefully this next week he'll come! 
-At a dinner appointment we were telling this family about when we saw a fox.  Their little girl in the closing prayer said, "please bless the missionaries to stay safe from foxes on their bikes." It was the CUTEST THING EVER! haha! (:

We were able to watch the Christmas Devotional!  LOVED IT!  The Motab did really good!  I got Aunt Rhonda and Shan’s package! AUNT RHONDA. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Well, I haven't opened the presents yet but I had the pumpkin bread and the cookies (: (: Holy cow, they were so good!!!!  Made me feel right at home!! Seriously, I really appreciate it!!!! Love you!!! Shan, your package is sealed and under the tree since you told me to wait (: I opened your Christmas card though and loved it!!  Your dress in the pic is so cute!! I also liked the shout out I got in your letter (: made me happy!!

Mom, I did wash Aunt Rhonda’s bag!  It turned out nice!! My return date is actually Dec 25, Christmas day, so I'm sure they will have to change that!  So who the heck knows when I'll actually come home!  I think we are going Christmas caroling this week with a family! (: STOKED!!! I LOVVVED your video!!! I actually got to listen to it with sound this time and it made my day!!!  (: The tree looks great! I was laughing out loud about what happened about it tipping over!! CLASSIC (: Hey, question is there a certain time that you will want to Skype??? Just curious, because it is coming up! Like 50 people have volunteered to let us use their computer!  Love these folks!! A nice lady fixed all the repairs I needed on my clothes (: So nice of her! Oh by the way, I have no idea what time I'll be emailing for the next few weeks because our library will be closed so we might have to email at the church later in the afternoon. No clue!!! Just a heads up so you don't have to wait at the comp all day!

WELL, I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you all for everything!!!! This is such a wonderful season!!!! It’s been up to 80 degrees this past week! Doesn't feel like December!! Can’t believe y’all have so much snow!!!!  I kind of miss it......haha not really!! ;) Thanks for all the emails and pics and videos!!!  They make my day!! LOVE YALL <3/ Sister Lauren Ashley Holmoe (:

Huge Lindor Ball I found in Walmart

 Christmas Tree Lot
Gabe's Baptism

 Lauren, the bride!
 Who knew I would ever hold a cat?!

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