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 Café 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

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