Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 37



Good morning Y’ALL!  This week has been AMAZING!  I just heard the news that both Stella and Grandma Hopkins were baptized in Lynn Haven last weekend!  My eyes started filling with water, I'm just so happy that I was a part of both those ladies lives!  Knowing that Stella is clean and has the Holy Ghost with her now just strengthens my testimony of the Atonement and knowing Grandma Hopkins opened the doors to the celestial kingdom is amazing!!  Even though I wasn't there I'm so grateful I was a part of their journeys!  I pray for the people of Lynn Haven every day and hope that I'll see Ms. Carolyne’s name on the “baptized email” one day! 

So last week was our first Dance and Yoga class!  The turnout was UNREAL...15 girls showed up! (14 nonmembers)!  Can I just say...IT FELT SOOOO GOOD TO DANCE AGAIN!  Ah I WAS LOVING LIFE!  We did some warm ups, conditioning, across the floor, I choreographed a little combo, then Sister Mac did some yoga and then we shared a simple message testifying how our bodies are gifts from God.  We got GREAT feedback and the girls were like, "y’all should do this TWICE a week"! haha!  We've seen several of the girls on campus throughout the week so we are building friendships with them and we'll be praying on how to bridge the gap to the gospel!  We have some fun plans for tonight’s class so hopefully it will continue to become a success!  I'm so grateful for DANCE in my life!  It was fun seeing the picture of Provo High’s Dance Company!  Those girls were like family to me in high school, so many memories! 

The biggest highlight of the week was Zone Conference in Dothan on Friday!  We were the last Zone Conference and I'd have to say the last is always the best (:  When I was in Panama City we had the last one too! The Zone leaders, AP's, and President and Sister Smith gave amazing instruction to us!  The spirit was sooooo strong!  The whole theme was of course, FAMILY HISTORY.  That is the direction our mission is taking and I have full trust in President Smith and the keys he holds for the FTM!  We talked a lot about how missionary work and mission calls are correlated on BOTH sides of the veil.  Really special experiences were shared and I know that missionary work is SO BIG in the spirit world and we need to do our part here on earth!  The spirit of Elijah is real and I've felt it time and again on my mission as we've applied the things we've learned.  One of our investigator’s dads passed away a few years ago and now I know that he has lead us to find and teach Nathan!  A member of our ward hasn't done the work for her parents yet and I know they were so ecstatic when we taught her the importance of it and gave her a nudge!  So many experiences with this.  People all around the country are into family history and genealogy.  Roots run deep in the south and I know with all my heart families and the spirit of Elijah is what is going to lead many people of the South to the restored Gospel! President Smith is pretty much the greatest teacher of all time.  My favorite part of Zone Conference is when the leaving missionaries bear their testimonies for the last time.  It makes me never want to end my mission!!! Elder Wright, our AP, was actually leaving the VERY NEXT DAY!  He could barely speak as he reflected upon his mission and how strong his testimony of the gospel has become.  Thinking back on the last 8 months, WOW, I LOVE my mission SO MUCH!  I can’t even describe in words.  My MTC companion has decided to return home.  I don't know many details on why but I was able to give her a big, long hug and let her know how much I love her!  Heavenly Father must have a different plan for her!  But it also made me realize how a mission could end in a blink of an eye, time is too fast sometimes!  Great day overall!  I also love the long road trips we take to get there!  We may be going back on Friday for interviews and then of course the 8th of March to TALLY!!!! (for Elder Ballard) Oh, ALSO, we had CafĂ© Rio burritos for lunch!!!! I WAS IN HEAVEN!!!! It was the happiest moment!  Hopefully that can last me another 9 months before I have the real deal again!!!  I talk about Costa like every day so to finally get a little taste of it was greatly needed!!

We had a branch Chili-Cook off on Saturday night!  It was a huge success with 14 nonmembers there and 8 less actives! WOWZER!  Awesome missionary opportunity for the members to bring friends and such!  Troy is really trying hard to be good missionaries and it’s awesome!  Lots of work to do, but small and simple steps!  We had 3 investigators at church on Sunday, Kyle, Nathan, and Nick!  Good things happening with all of them! 

Sometimes we go to this old people place where people over 70 go to play games and chat, and and we just talk to the people and get to know them!  It’s quite hilarious sometimes but I was thinking of how Papa Joe would just DOMINATE at the card games! CLASSIC! Love you Papa!!

We went to institute this week and it reminded me of the good old seminary days!  Seminary has helped me on my mission SOOO much.  It’s amazing how many times I can pull out a certain verse or quote I learned from Seminary! 

Troy is the cutest little community.  On Wednesday mornings there is this old lady who makes homemade cinnamon rolls and sells them for a dollar! ONLY!  So we go running on Wed mornings and then on our way back stop in and get a cinnamon roll. THEY ARE AMAZING!!! They blow Shirley’s out of the water!!! 

Funny things are constantly happening on campus but some of them include....this guy calling us Jimmer every time he sees us, a guy yelling in the library on the phone to his mama as we were helping him with his family history!  He was like,"WHAT’S GRAMMAS BIRTHDAY!?!?"  All the other students were just like throwing glares our way!  We were dying! 

We were meeting with a returning member and she had a 49er jacket so I asked if she was a fan!  Turns out that jacket was signed by Joe Montana personally given to her by Eddie DeBartalo!! This ladies husband was a HUGE 9er fan and always wanted a signed jacket but he died 3 days before Eddie had actually sent one for free!  Crazy!  She was pumped when I said Dad played for them!

We were meeting with another returning member.  She’s a 19 year old girl.  She went to a semester at BYU and Brother Parcell was one of her counselors! SMALL WORLD!  She is such a sweet girl but is struggling with some things!  We had an AMAZING lesson with her yesterday after church though!

I got some more birthday packages this week! S/O to my dear Sister SAM!!!  Dad, thank you soooo much for the valentines and birthday card!!! It was the CUTEST!! And the Subway card will definitely come in handy!!! Love you!!!  I also was able to see your music video with Cec and Kevin!! A member showed me at the Chili-Cook off! I almost wet my pants! SOOO FUNNY!!!  Love it!!!  You are awesome!

Mom, I got two letters from you and a package! THANK YOU!  You read my mind with all I needed! The shirt is perrrrrfect, those will be so awesome in the summer!  I could use an umbrella one day though I forgot.....mine broke :(  The wind got vicious one day and broke it!  To answer some of your Q's, about 20 people come to Frisbee, lots of branch members!  It has been cancelled the past two weeks though for the baptism and cook off so hopefully we can get back on it this week! I don't think I've improved haha.  We have dinner appointments at member’s homes anywhere from 2-4 times a week and mostly eat lunch on campus.  We either pack lunches or get something at the "Cougar Eat" type deal.  They have amazing Chick Fil A Wraps that I love!  I am so happy to hear about Megan Ventura!!!! <3 TELL HER CONGRATS!!!!  Keep me posted with her call!!  I haven't gotten any of the forwarded mail from Sister Sam.  Oh well...!! PUMPED TO HEAR ABOUT THE COUGS!!!! YAYAY!! Beat the Zags FINALLY! 

Well family!!! I LOVE Y’ALL SO SO MUCH!  Thanks for all the love!!! I hope you have an amazing week!! MISS YOU GUYS EVERY DAY! <3/ Sister Lauren Holmoe!


"Easy Street" for EAZY E!!! love you brosky!
 Our Branch President moved this past week so we currently don't have one! NOT GOOD! I will miss Brother Simp! He was hilarious!
 This is Nick's, "I Love Jesus" hat! too funny!
Zone Conference
 
 

Pictures from Stella and Grandma Hopkin's Baptisms



Monday, February 17, 2014

Week 36


Hello Fam!!!

This week has been hectic but AMAZING!! Kelsey got baptized on Saturday evening and what a special night that was!!  The spirit was so strong and she was just as giddy as a school girl.  Her countenance just looked so different!!!  I'm really proud of her; how she’s completely changed her life around decided to follow Christ!  She’s amazing!  There was a great turn out to the baptism.  One of our less actives came and sang "When I Am Baptized" and you could tell how much this girl felt the spirit and was able to reflect upon her baptism not too long ago!  Also, Kelsey’s very less active sister came and got really emotional throughout the entire program!  Kelsey’s already doing missionary work and she doesn't even know it!  All the YSAs and missionaries sang the "EFY Medley" for the closing song (I think I'm going to make that a tradition haha) and Kelsey’s Grandma just BAWLED. Oh it was so sweet!!!  Kelsey’s grandma has tried so hard to be that rock for Kelsey and it was great for her to finally see her enter the waters of baptism and sing with such joy and spirit!  We gave Kelsey a journal with a picture of us in it and notes that we wrote her on the first page!  I think she really liked it! Then the next day, she was confirmed and also her baby boy was blessed.  It was really special! 


Another fun surprise.  I walked into sacrament yesterday only to find MY NAME ON THE PROGRAM haha.  The things they do to the poor missionaries!  It was the first time I've had to give a talk without any notes or anything!  Surprisingly I didn't do too badly! I talked a little on Kelsey’s weekend, hit a lot on member missionary work, and closed it off with the Book of Mormon.  I felt pretty good about it!  For some reason I even got into verses from the Allegory of the Olive Tree.  God was definitely helping me on that one!  After sacrament, a sweet lady in the branch came and told me she hopes that one day her younger daughter can be that type of sweet missionary.  It was the nicest thing ever!

The YSAs are preparing to go on a temple trip in March so we are helping lots of them get ready!  If only I could fit in their suitcases!!  I miss going to the temple but it’s been fun to bear testimony of how sacred and special it is and to see people go and build their own testimony of it is rewarding!!  I was looking at our Family History this week and did y’all know there is a line that goes back all the way to the year 200!?!?!?!  I was like freaking out!!!  I'm related to like tons of Queens and Kings and all this royalty!  WHO KNEW (: 

Yesterday we had dinner over at this investigator’s house and she fed us legit Thai Food!  Who knew I'd like curry!?!  Remember that guy who I told you about last week who randomly felt impressed to walk into the building we were at and for us to teach him? (his fam is from Dothan)  Anyways, turns out HE IS A FAMOUS PASTOR IN DOTHAN! HAHA. So yeah not sure where that's going to go but hey we taught a powerful lesson to a famous pastor (: boom!  We got a new investigator yesterday named Nick.  He said a very beautiful prayer at the end.  He even went and bought an "I Love Jesus" hat after our lesson and we have an appointment with him on Tuesday!  Dad, you would love the street we walk on to get to campus...it is packed with Pecan trees!  The nuts fall to the ground and we crack em and eat them!  SO GOOD haha!  Free pecans all day every day!  Guess what?? ONLY ONE PERSON in our entire branch plays the piano so when they are not there we have to use this electric organ...it’s the funniest thing! I love it (: 

HUGE SHOUT OUT TO EVERYONE WHO MADE MY BIRTHDAY SO SPECIAL!!!! <3  I'll start out with Mom...holy cow you did it again!!!  I absolutely LOVE all the gifts you got me!!! All the sisters were like, dang your mom knows how to shop for style!  They are the cutest clothes and I love them all!  I also am obsessed with the love you to the moon and back necklace and the other necklace and the earrings!  Seriously you are the bomb! THANK YOU <3  Also, the cards you got me were the cutest! (I didn't get a normal weekly letter yet, sorry if you had any Q's in there I'm not answering).  ANOTHER HUGE SHOUT OUT to Kaitlyn, Karina, Serina, and Holly Orton for ALL sending me birthday packages!! HOLY COW y’all spoiled me to death! I have the best friends in the entire world!!!!  Karina had to pay 40 dollars for her package to get to me!  Kait sent me the cutest sweater and Ser and Holls sent me enough to have the best birthday party ever! Oh I love you guys!!  Also, Shan and Rob’s card was so cute!!!

My birthday was way fun!!  We went to lunch at Moe’s with some of the YSAs and one of our investigators!  I LOVE MOES!  The fact that there is one on campus is a tender mercy!!  Then that night our branch mission leader had us over to celebrate!  (and the fact we go over every Friday night for Correlation) haha but he was so nice!  He bought this great cake for me and got us all flowers for Valentines!  We had a fun little party! Then that night my awesome masseuse of a companion gave me a great back massage!!  I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M 20!! That just sounds SO OLD. It was an overall good day though!!

We also had exchanges this week!  It was fun to get to know Sister Devries!  She’s really nice and it was a blast to have Sister Redd over for a few days!! Nothings greater than being around your MTC friends!  That's why it’s so fun to have Elder Stokes as my DL! 

We have two investigators who committed to read and pray about the BOM EVERY DAY!!!!  They said they are going to do this for 10 days, come to church this upcoming Sunday, and if they feel it’s true, THEY ARE BOTH IN.  Ohhhh how we have to have so much faith in Moroni’s promise!!!  PRAY FOR THEM!!  Every time I commit someone to pray about the BOM I do as well, so this week I've been praying every day to know if the BOM is true, and indeed I can say IT IS.  But I'm going to keep praying for them!  I have a recording on my camera of them promising, it’s hilarious! They are future general authorities!!  WATCH OUT!

Also, one of our YSA is going to try to stop drinking coffee which means I made a deal with her that I would only eat one treat a day!!  So that's the deal! haha!  We'll see how that goes (:

I'm also so pumped PROVO BEAT TIMPVIEW!!!!!!  I think it was because it was on my birthday!!!  Oh how I miss cheering at those games!!! 

I just found out Ashley, from Lynn Haven, went to the Orlando temple this week and did baptisms for the dead! She had the best experience EVER!!!!

Dad, a member gave us Korean Pears this week!  They tasted similar to Japanese Pears they were just 10 times bigger!! It reminded me of home!!  I heard BYU football is playing in Central Florida this upcoming season!  You'll be close to me again!  A few of the members here are already planning trips for the game!  I'm glad y’all liked my interview haha!  President Salmon is our branch President and he is the Facilities Manager here at Troy. I’m glad you found the Troy vs GT game on TV!  Everyone was going crazy because ESPN was here!!!  SO pumped they won!!!  Apparently we are allowed to go to bball games if someone who we are working with invites us! haha COME ON PEOPLE, the season is winding down!!!  I'm so glad BYU beat St. Marys and I'm excited to hear about Gonzaga this week!!! I'll have to ask President at Zone Conference the next day! 

I will definitely send a letter for the youth’s mutual theme!  I like the thought of a video footage better buuuuut.........it would probably just be easier to write something!  I'll send it this week!!  Any help I can be to the youth back home would make me so happy!! 

I'm so grateful for what an awesome week it has been!!  Kelsey’s baptism was so special, I'll never forget it!  My only birthday on the mish was a success!!!! (However, I'm glad I'll be home next year for a good home cooked meal)!! I love you all so much and am grateful for EVERYONE who wished me a happy birthday via email, mail, prayers, etc!  THANK YOU!!!!!! Have a wonderful week! MISS AND LOVE YOU SO MUCH! <3/ Sister Lauren Holmoe!

I love the heart sweater!!

Cleaning the FONT!! It was gross......not too many baptisms happen here in Troy haha....killin' spiders for days!!
Kelsey's Baptism
Birthday Party!
 We have the funniest elders in the FTM! I love them!!


 8 Months

 Moe's

 Birthday Eve...that microwave cake thing was delish mom!

 Me and Lenoky!! She is one of our Chinese investigators! 

 Sister Trainer Leaders



Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 35


*BIRTHDAY WEEK*

Hey Fam!!!  This week is double birthday week for me!  My 8th month mission mark on Wednesday and then my 20th birthday on Friday!!  Woot woot! Bring on the celebrations!!  First things first, Briggs is the cutest thing EVER! Oh my I love him already!!! The picture of Miles holding him is the most precious thing!! And then the one of all of you together.....such a perfect family! <3 Tell him his auntie lolo loves him so much!!!  It was awesome cause President texted me like less than an hour after Briggs was born and told me all the details (: Made my day!! Glad to hear also that BYU basketball won both their games and is now in 2nd in the conference...GOOD!!  Keep me posted with Mika's mission call!  Yay for missionaries! (:

Sis McFarland and I were on TV this morning on L.A. News!  It was WILD because as soon as we walked in they were already LIVE and we just jumped right in!  The person who interviewed us was actually the son of the person who was supposed to interview us so we didn't get to talk about anything we had planned on talking about! BUUUT it was okay because it was still way fun!!!  We will get a copy of it and send it to the mission office for them to post on the blog in a few weeks!!  Don't LAUGH at me! (:  I commend Dad for all the interviews he has to do!!!  We didn't get to talk TOO much about the gospel but I hope we brought in a good, happy spirit as we talked about us and why we love our missions and such!!  Oh also funny story from the interview!!! The guy asked where I went to school before hand and I said BYU and then he said, "BYU has a good history of sports."  He went on about how they come down here every once in a while and then he asked me..."do you like BYU sports".....OH IF HE ONLY KNEW THE HALF OF IT (:  I didn't want to open up a can of worms so I just said...."Oh yes, I love BYU sports (:"


So many things happened this week I don't even know where to start!! Here are some highlights....
-We did a Family History Booth and were able to help tons of people find their ancestors
-We passed out free hot chocolate (and Mormon.org cards of course) on a freezing day on campus!
-I tried duck for the first time at this Chinese less actives house last night!  We used legit Chinese chopsticks and everything!
-we met an amazing family from Iran who wants to start coming to church....
-Our dance/yoga class got approved and will be starting next Monday
-Elder Ballard is coming to Tallahassee to speak to our mission in March!! (we ALL can go if we can find a way!!)

Some cool stories include.......

One day we were with a member waiting for an investigator to show up for a lesson.  We have lots of our lessons in this beautiful chapel on campus and when the investigator didn't show up we decided to teach the member a little lesson.  Well, in the meantime a 35 year old walks in and asks if he could join our lesson.  He said that something just was telling him to enter the chapel and then BAM, here we were!  We shifted gears and ended up teaching him the Restoration and he is super interested!  He lives in Dothan with his wife and 2 kids but comes up to campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We have a return apt with him tomorrow and then we will figure out which missionaries will teach him and his family, which hopefully will be the Dothan ones so his family can get involved (:  I love how God places us in the exact locations we need to be at the exact right times (: 

That same day we were eating lunch in the Trojan Center (comparable to the Cougar Eat) with one of our YSAs.  IT’S PACKED and there are hardly any open tables so this student named Jocory comes up to us and asks if he can sit with us.  We start talking about the church and he’s like, "oh yeah, I know about the Mormons because of a high school grad who went to North Carolina instead of leaving for a mission for a few years."  I was like....Jabari Parker!?  He was like, YES, Jabari!!!  He was freaking out when he found out I met him and took a picture with him!  We then taught him all about missions and why we serve and what we teach and I think he really enjoyed the conversations! 

We started teaching these two roommates who have TONS of questions about the church but they promised to us, "Sisters, if this really is true, WE ARE GOING ALL IN."  I was just snickering to myself because they have no idea what they just promised...(: mwa haha.  Future missionaries right there! 

We took one of the young women on splits with us this week and it reminded me of when I went on splits with the sisters that one time in high school! CRAZY cause it feels like just a blink of an eye from that point till now!  I'm now in their shoes and soon enough this young woman will be in my shoes!!  Love it.

One of our Chinese investigators named Lanokey came to Ultimate Frisbee on Saturday night.  It was THE BEST EVER!  She had never even seen a Frisbee before.  Everyone was really cute with her making sure she got chances to catch and throw the Frisbee!  She was having the time of her life! 

We taught Kelsey lots this week as her baptism is soon approaching!  It was cool because we kind of created our own Sacred Grove experience.  We went on a walk with her and then took a path through a bunch of trees and we all prayed together about whether the BOM was true and if Joseph Smith really was a prophet.  Ohhhh if only I could describe how strong the spirit was...it was beautiful!!  As of right now her baptism is on Saturday but there are some complications with the Branch President being out of town and realllllllly wanting to be there, so it may be moved to the next week.....which would be okay I guess!  Only time will tell!!!  Gods will! 

I learned something really amazing this week, kind of changed my life. We as missionaries are being led to descendants of those who have accepted the gospel in the spirit world.  That statement is WOW!  I love it....The prayers of those deceased ancestors are being answered as we find their descendants, baptize them, and then in return they do the work for the ancestors!  We missionaries and the missionaries on the other side of the veil are working right along each other to connect families and bring salvation to all! Isn’t that just the coolest thing???  I think of Ashley Smith and how happy her ancestors must be getting as she is preparing names to take to the temple soon.  So many spirits have accepted the gospel and are just patiently waiting for their ordinances to be performed!  We need to get to work!!

Dad, I loved all the little articles you sent me!  The note I wrote you back in the days was so cute and can we please stay at the Pearl one day!?  Also, the family of Krimson Tyde lives in Andalusia!!! My DL is serving there and I told him about it, he says he knows the family!! Funny huh!?
  Mom, in response to some of your questions from the letter....The 3 troy sisters were in a trio in Troy before I came and then they were just divided and one of them became my comp!  I am the only new one in Troy.  If anyone wants any Troy clothing...let me know!  They have a Barnes and Noble with TONS of Troy clothing, sweatshirt blankets, and other memorabilia!  MOM!! You have got to go watch the Mormon message for youth that's called "Mothers and Daughters" by Elder Ballard!  TEARS as I watched it because I thought of how much I love you!!!  Also, I'm so proud of you for reading your BOM on the plane and hoping for a missionary opportunity out of it!! Makes me a proud missionary (: (:  Other fun fact, sis McFarland is gluten free! just like kait! 

Oh by the way, I use that "Shine" book by Elaine S. Dalton ALLLL the time!  It is amazing to use with all these YSAs here!  I love teaching about the "return to virtue" and knowing who we are as daughters of God.  It’s basically my favorite thing to teach these YSA girls! 

Well, I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week and VALENTINES DAY (:  This is probably the first Valentine’s day you can actually celebrate now that I'm gone haha (:  Enjoy it cause I'll be back by the next one! (: Y’all are amazing and I'm SOOOOO GRATEFUL FOR EACH OF YOU!!!! You have no idea!! Love you!  Specially baby briggs (: <3/ Sister Holmoe!!


Zone Training
 Love Kelsey!

 Hot Cocoa Booth
 Family History Booth
 Our favorite telephone booth on campus!  It was a beautiful day!





Thursday, February 6, 2014

Week 34

February 3, 2014

Hello Fam!!

This week has been AWESOME!  The snow was UNREAL!  It felt like we were back in Utah!  I thought I wasn't going to see snow until I arrived at the airport in SLC!  The southerners were just going crazy and the students at Troy were loving life.  They had all week off except for Friday so it was like another winter break for them!  As for us, we were stuck inside one day and then just froze walking around all the other days!  You would think the western girls would be used to it but not so much haha!! 

Lots of great things happened this week but one of the highlights was Sister McFarland and I got permission to go to the Troy Chinese New Year Celebration on Friday night!  It was SO FUN!  There was dinner and entertainment and TONS of people were there.  It was a great finding activity.  We got tons of new contacts, set up appointments, connected with returning members, and were able to show our support to the international students!  They LOVED us!  We were like celebrities.  We were like the only white girls there so people came and asked to take pictures with us.  We were dying!  Some of the Chinese boy students sitting near us were freaking out about my eyes.  They were like, "Those real??  No way??"  They were laughing hysterically which made us laugh hysterically!  The next day on campus all these Chinese students were saying hi to us and acting like we were besties!  It was GREAT that we went.  It was also fun to see the different dancers and singers.  There were even some Chinese hip hop dancers.  Soooo classic!  I didn't know they knew how to break it down!  Sis McFarland and I also got hooked on these Chinese candies I'm going to send home in a package one day!  They were so good! Funny pictures of that night coming your way! 

This past week we taught an atheist!  It was definitely a unique experience but one I'll never forget!  The guy’s heart was SOO hard in the beginning but at the end of the lesson he SAID A PRAYER...it was amazing, spirit was so strong!  We basically were just testifying of God in our lives and telling him how much his Heavenly Father loved him and I think it touched him.  I think deep down he is not truly atheist but he just wants that title for himself as he is on his own in college.  We kind of left it up to him if he wants to meet with us again.  We told him he has to understand and have faith in God before we can truly go on!

We got a BCD (baptism confirmation date) for Feb 15th with a girl named Kelsey.  Kelsey is 19 and has a 2 month old baby.  She comes from a part member family and has had a crazy past but she’s come to church for the past 9 months.  She has never wanted to be baptized before so no one has forced anything but last week we decided to ask her and BAM, she said she’s been thinking about it for a little bit now and thinks now is the right time!  We've been able to teach her a lot this past week and will continue teaching her and preparing her for the 15th!

On Saturday we were able to be a part of a broadcast from Orlando.  It was with L. Tom Perry, President Rasband, and a few others but I can’t remember their names!  There were 7 general authorities there which apparently never happens!! All ward councils and full time missionaries from the FTM, Jacksonville, and Orlando missions were listening.  It was SOOOO GOOD!! It was all about the ward councils and missionaries working together to Hasten the Work of course!  L. Tom Perry was HILARIOUS!!  He was so enthusiastic and sincere about this topic, cracking jokes left and right, but you could tell how much he cared about this topic!! The last hour of the broadcast was questions and answers from the audience or via text message!  It was pretty sweet!!  We learned a lot and I hope the Troy Branch got some good insight so they can help us out more!!! 

Crazy story from the week.  We were in the Troy Public Library during the week and all the sudden I hear, "Sister Holmoe!?!."  I freak out wondering who it would be and it was Sister Shields and Sister Cronwell from LYNN HAVEN!!!  Y’all, it felt like I was seeing family!!!  It was the happiest moment!!  It kind of gave me a glimpse of what it will be like to reunite with y’all in December!!  They were up here for a soccer tourney for their kids. What are the odds!?  We took pics and they said they would show the ward when they got back!

This week I also saw many answers to my prayers!  One day it was just FREEZING!  We decided to walk to campus and try just contacting people in the buildings but it seemed like no one was there.  I said a silent prayer that SOMEONE would be there for us to teach and literally 10 seconds later a guy walks around the corner and BAM, an hour later the first discussion was taught!  It was awesome!  Another experience, this one is pretty random.  We were just going about our day and randomly my ring finger on my right hand lost like ALL FEELING.  It turned completely white and I could not feel it.  It was the weirdest thing ever cause I wasn't cold or anything!  We were slightly freaking out but laughing at the same time so we decided to say a prayer and then AGAIN, 10 seconds later it went back to normal and it hasn't bothered me since!  Heavenly Father has been good to us this week (:

Being in Troy is also an answer to my prayers!  I always wanted to serve somewhere like a big city where there would always be people to talk to and this is the place for that!  Next week we have appointments with people from Egypt, India, Thailand, Holland, and a country near Tajikistan! It’s unreal all the "OYMing" (open your mouths) we do! I love it!!

We have some GREAT plans coming up as well.  This week Sis McFarland and I are going on a TV SHOW!  It is called "LA news" (LA stands for LOWER ALABAMA! haha cracks me up!! The video footage should be on the FTM blog one day! PRAY FOR ME!  We also are planning a Branch Chili Cook Off ANDDDD...in the works of creating a yoga/dance class for me and Sis McFarland to teach on campus once a week!!  We are still in the works of getting permission and planning all the little details but so far it’s moving right along!!  It’s going to be awesome!!!  We are going to do like an hour yoga/dance and then a 15 min spiritual message on topics like our divine nature, word of wisdom, bodies are temples, we are daughters of God, show "I am Mormon" messages of dancers, watch Mormon messages and have tons of pamphlets and BOM's there!  It should be GREAT if we can get all the details squared away!!  It would be awesome to use our talents to find people to teach!  We'll see!!

Funny story, this week one of our returning members said I have the strongest Cali accent ever! haha!  No one here believes I'm from Utah because of my voice!  I love it hehe (:

On the day we were snowed in I got to read and finish the book by Elder Ballard called "Our Search For Happiness"!  IT WAS SOOO GOOD! I recommend it to EVERY nonmember to read it.  It clarifies and explains all that we believe, why we believe it, and why we are so excited to share it! I learned a TON and highly recommend it to all but specifically to nonmembers!! 

We have Zone Training in Dothan tomorrow which should be fun!  Lots of great things to come this week but I'm grateful that today is P-day!!!! So good to hear from y’all!!!! SOOO glad BYU beat St. Marys!!! HALLELUIAH!! Also, so excited to get a new nephew TODAY! (: LOVE YOU ALREADY BABY BRIGGS!!!!  Have a great week and know y’all are all in my prayers every day!!! <3/ Sister Holmoe!

Snow
 Chinese Swords

from snow to sunshine......oh Alabama....yes I am wearing my nikes with my skirt....don't judge! haha!


 Chinese New Year Celebration





 Companions


Sister Shields and Sister Cronwell from LYNN HAVEN!!! 


Troy Classic Water Tour