Monday, May 26, 2014

Week 50

Well the surprise is...I'm leaving Troy and headed to Tallahassee!!!!  I am so excited to go to Tallahassee and serve there.  I will be companions with Sister Bertaldo who leaves at the end of the next transfer and we will be serving in the Tally 4th ward!!  (which if I'm not mistaken is the ward Erik served in)??  I am SOOO excited for this change!!!  We are Sister Trainer Leaders so I'll get to go on exchanges with other sisters in the Tallahassee Zone which will be fun.  I feel very very humbled with this new responsibility but am so happy to be able to serve and love those sisters, as well as the people in TALLY!!!!  Whoo just so much to think about and it’s all happening so fast but I'll go where the Lord wants me to go!! :)

It was a great week in Troy!!  SO many miracles occurred!  We finally met with this one kid we have been trying to get an appointment with FOREVER.  His number was randomly in our planners from the first transfer and we had no clue how.  We kept trying to meet him but it never worked out but FINALLY he came to an appointment and he's like a GOLDEN investigator!!  We were able to teach him and his girlfriend this week and they loved everything we taught!!  It was no coincidence we randomly had his number in our planners and felt prompted to figure out who he was!! 

Another miracle happened when we were biking home one day and my earring fell out of my ear.  I pulled over to start looking and as we were looking this man whose house we were in front of came out and started helping us look.  After talking with him, he told us how his nephew went on an LDS mission.  We had a great conversation and asked him if he'd ever read the Book of Mormon.  He never had so we gave him a copy and he got pretty emotional about it!  God works in mysterious ways....and then we found my earring so it was a double whammy :) :)

Funny fact about Troy we found out....there is proven to be more squirrels then people!! HAHA!  Who knew!!  One night this week we saw FIREFLIES!!!!! It was so awesome!!!

Dad, Mike Amos got your package!!!  President Salmon told me at dinner on Wednesday night that Mike had called him up and told him all about it!  He said he'd never heard Mike happier!!  It made his day!!  That was so sweet of you!!  President Salmon also said he’s been able to have some pretty cool gospel discussions with some of the athletic department people ever since they found out that the BYU AD's daughter was on campus!  Everything happens for a reason and I think some sweet seeds were planted! 

We had an amazing lesson with one of our investigators named Takeya this week.  She had mentioned when her nephew died she was able to remember what previous sisters had taught her about the Plan of Salvation and she was able to get through the trial a lot easier than her family members.  That had been on her mind a lot lately so she asked us to teach her mom and sister about the Plan of Salvation!  HOW COOL!?!?!  I know that the message we do share is one of peace and hope and it does help in life’s difficulties.  It’s awesome when a nonmember can realize that!

One night we were tracting and as we were about to call it a night we felt prompted to stop at this house where there were a million cars out front!  Usually that's a sign that they'll be busy but we were like, nope we are gonna knock!!!  We knocked to find out that they were having a bible study for the new Church created called Troy Church.  The founder of Troy Church's wife was so excited to see us!  She invited us to lunch the next day and we were able to have a sweet discussion with her about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I think the spirit really touched her heart and although I don't know what she will do with it, she felt it and will remember it one day! 

We had a SWEET YSA mini conference this weekend.  On Friday night we went up to a lodge outside of Troy in the middle of the woods and roasted hot dogs and s’mores!  President and Sister Smith came and did a fireside for us and it was INCREDIBLE!!!! Their messages were certainly inspired and many of our investigators and less active YSAs and active YSAs felt the spirit!  Sunny said it was the first time he had felt the spirit.  MIRACULOUS!  I love President and Sister Smith!!  Jack came as well, which was a surprise, (not sure if you remember him, his dad is a member).  Anyways he said the message hit him hard!  The next morning we came back and made everyone breakfast!  It was an awesome weekend and being out in nature with all the stars was so pretty!! 

AH man SO MUCH TO SAY with so little time but I AM BEYOND GRATEFUL for my time here in Troy!!!!  I know I was meant to be in this area with all my heart.  I have learned and grown so much and have met amazing people.  I was reading in the Book of Mormon last night in 2 Nephi 1 and Lehi was telling his sons how people who come to this promised land (Americas) are led by the hand of the Lord.  I know this is still true today that the foreign students at Troy were led here by God for great purposes, including learning about this gospel!!!!  To have taught them and met them and loved them has been an experience I will never forget for the rest of my life!  There is such a spirit here at Troy University and the work here will continue to move forward in ways unfathomable!!! 

I love the Lord, love my mission, and am so excited for new adventures that lie ahead! TALLAHASEE HERE I COME!!!!!!!!!! <3

LOVE YOU ALL!!! Know I pray for you every day! <3/ Sister Holmoe

p.s.  I LOVE THE SKIRTS MOM!  They are PERRRRFECT!!!  I've worn them every day since I got them!  Thanks for your letter as well!! The Isabelle doll is so cute and all my roomies thought I looked just like her :) 

 love this cute little branch building of ours <3
 Sister Brigham and I getting some milky moos! love her! (we were on an exchange)

Sure will miss Sister Mac :( she'll be one of my best friends for LIFE!

Up at the Lodge!  Perfect summer night!!

 Making breakfast Saturday morning!
 Pro pancake maker!
 Love these sisters like sisters!  will sure miss them a lot :(

 Taco del mar is like a troy favorite for people....its ALRIGHT!

this is one of my favorite ladies named SISTER SNEED!! She always has the most stylish outfits!! gotta love her!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 49

Hahaha I think I'm still laughing at the fact that our entire neighborhood was on that rabbit chase!  It sounds like the funniest thing ever!!  I am also so excited to use our new fire pit one day!  It sounds like the life!!  Glad Danny had a great birthday!!  I loved the candles! 

This week was AMAZING, so amazing that I captured every moment and took 100 pictures and videos in which I was counting down the days to send to you! Unfortunately Sister Holmoe made a mistake she will never make again in her entire life.  We were posting a picture from Special Olympics to our Facebook Page and when we were done I ejected the card reader out without clicking eject and apparently that can cause all the files to become corrupted.  WHO KNEW?  Anyways all the pictures are gone.  There are members from the branch who are going to work on recovering them this week but it’s not looking hopeful.  I'm not gonna lie… it was a hard trial hahaha. This weekend was one of the best on my entire mission and so many incredible, tear jerker moments were captured but now unfortunately are gone. :( :(  I guess I will just have to do my best to describe all the wonderful events I was able to be a part of and the amazing people I met!

Alabama holds their Special Olympics at Troy University every year and all 6 of us missionaries got the opportunity to volunteer.  There were over 1000 athletes there with their families and coaches.  On Friday night we had opening ceremonies where each county gets to march in.  I got the sweet privilege to represent one of them by carrying out their flag as they all walked behind me.  As we walked in everyone in the audience was clapping and waving to their sons and daughters who so happily walked in.  It was our goal to make those athletes feel like ROCK STARS and I think we did just that!  One of the down syndrome boys turned to me after we marched around and was crying saying he’s never been happier in his entire life.  AH IT WAS SO EMOTIONAL!  We were able to see many other members of the church from throughout Alabama and they were so happy to see us missionaries helping out with this special event.  In part of the opening ceremonies the torch was lit, national anthem sung, Troy coaches spoke, all the athletes recited the oath, and in the midst of it all they took a break and had all the athletes DO THE CHICKEN DANCE hahaha!!  I thought of B of course!!  I took a video of me doing it with them to send to B, but yeah that’s gone now haha.  The next day Sister McFarland and I got to volunteer with the Gymnastics event.  It was SOOOO MUCH FUN.  Watching those girls do something I have such a love for, dance, was really special.  You could tell how hard they worked and how happy dancing made them.  They have been looking forward to competing in this all year long and finally the day was here!  The "Dothan Divas" were the cutest!  I felt a really special connection to one of the girls and she just happened to get 3 gold medals!!!!  (once again, had a picture with her and all her medals but...:(:(:(  As you can see I'm still sad about this camera thing haha.  I'll never forget that day though.  We got to watch some of the swimming, track and field, and bowling events as well and those were great!  Overall it was such a neat experience to be a part of.  We talked to SOOO many people and many seeds were planted!  I wouldn't be surprised if when they go back to their homes they look up the missionaries! :)

Another huge highlight of the week was Zone Conference!  As we were driving down to Dothan it felt like the very first drive I took to Lynn Haven.  The weather was about the same with blue skies and green trees lining the entire highway.  I remember that day, so full of excitement and with a few nerves.  It seems like it was just yesterday and here I was driving to Dothan after being out almost a year.  I love the Florida Tallahassee Mission area.  The south will always be dear to my heart!  One general authority said that your mission will become holy ground for you and I know that to be true!!!  The Conference was AMAZING of course as we were instructed by all our leaders!  So many great things were taught but I especially liked as we talked about the great pit and how billions of people are stuck in the pit and it’s our job to reach down and lift them up.  Learning that has influenced my morning prayers since then as each morning I plead with Heavenly Father to allow me to help lift someone out of the pit that day. Who will you help lift out of the pit each day????  My favorite part of Zone Conference is always the final testimonies.  There were 11 people in our zone who are leaving before the next Zone Conference and therefore they all bore their testimonies.  SOOO powerful!!! Wow the spirit was so strong!! Many people who have influenced me so much!!! We also had Cafe Rio style for lunch again so I was in 7th heaven :) :) :) 

Other miracles took place this week!!  We met a Chinese student who we taught the first lesson to.  He felt the spirit so strong.  He wanted to learn everything but he was leaving to China the very next day!!! He said he promised he would read the Book of Mormon every day and pray every day while he was back at home.  There was something special about Yixin and I know he will!! 

One day we randomly got a call from a sweet girl living in Ohio.  She said she randomly saw this number in her phone and wanted to know how it got in her phone.  We explained we were the Sister Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and after talking with her for 10 minutes she was convinced that it was no accident our number was in her phone and that she called us.  She asked us to send the missionaries as soon as we could! She is 18. HOW COOL IS THAT!?!?! God's hand in all things people!!!

Nick has come back around 180!!!  Since we met with him last he has read and watched like 50 conference talks and read the BOM a ton!  He knows it’s true and wants to get baptized when he returns from his little trip he’s going on all week this week.  Funny fact, he is going on the trip with 3 of our other investigators who WE INTRODUCED HIM TO haha!!  All our investigators are going on a trip together!  They better behave themselves!!  Nick has really humbled himself though and it’s amazing!!

Sometimes in missionary work you have to be of our less actives works at Sonic so Sister Mac and I, one hot day, decided to go find him there!  We got out of the car and ordered at the little station outside and the boy’s voice comes on the intercom saying, "Hello its David, how may I take your order?" BINGO!! haha we were like, "David! It’s the Sisters!!!!"  He then had to come out and give us our order and he chatted with us for a while! We invited him back to things!  It was great!!

We went in and met Janice Blakeney this week!  She was the nicest and just absolutely loved you Mom!!!!  We had a fun conversation with her and she said if we EVER need anything to just let her know!!  I LOVE making connections!!!  No coincidences all that happened!!  Great things to happen from it one day I know it!!

I got the packages on Thursday! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! Everything was perfect, the towel (it felt SO GOOD), the blouses, and THE BAG Aunt Rhonda made!!! Oh I love the bag!!! I wore the lacy top to ZC with my new bag!  I was stylin!! Thank you SO MUCH!!!!! It was all perfect!!!

Well I love y’all so much!!!!  Pray that those pictures can be recovered!  I wish you knew how many I took this week.  I won't even go into detail because it’s just salt in the wound.   But, I just gotta stay positive!!! MIRACLES HAPPEN and I saw so many this week!!!!  Have a wonderful week y’all!!!! LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK!!! xoxoxo, Sister Holmoe!!

Miracles happen...Sister Holmoe's pictures were recovered!!

Ram's replacement for coffee!!! He's been off for 2 weeks!
My honey crisp apple!! (11 month b-day present)

BOM's in TROY!! Book is true in all languages!
Me and my mission mama

Sonic Run

my mission family! mama grandma aunt and sister!
love this campus with all my heart! <3

The torch!

This was my favorite girl during the weekend!!!! Love her soooooo much. She had TALENT!!

A weekend I'll never forget! Great experience!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 48

May 12, 2014! (and then there was 7............)

Good morning everyone!  Highlight of the week HANDS DOWN was the Skype Sesh obviously!!!  You have no idea how much fun that was!!  I agree with you Mom, an hour was WAY too short!  I got off the call and was like oh my gosh I didn't even ask Erik how the gas n go was going or how is dating life is or ask y’all if you'd seen any good movies or what songs had come out!!  I was like, can I get another turn!?! haha!  Oh well, I'll take what I can get!  It was amazing just seeing everyone’s faces and laughing and talking like I had only left yesterday!  Gave me the energy I'll need for the next 7 months!!  It was GREAT seeing Miles and Briggs too!!! SO CUTE!!  Anyways, I love y’all so much! SO much!!

Monday night was our last and final dance and yoga class which was a huge success!!  We gave everyone Book of Mormon's and testified of how it has changed our lives!  Youstina from Egypt especially loved it.  The other girl Katie then wanted us to teach her more THAT NIGHT so we did :)  It was such a great lesson.  We sat on the bench swing on campus and it was the perfect summer night weather. We have taught her a little bit here and there and that night she opened up to us how she is scared for the answer she'll receive when she prays because she is pretty sure all we've taught is true.  She is nervous but excited at the same time.  I love this girl!!!! She is total hipster and so sweet, she definitely has the gift of discernment as well.  Good things for her future!

We had other sweet experiences this week as we were out in the community more!  God definitely placed us in the right places at the right time!  We were biking around one afternoon and event after event led us to running into this lady who just happened to be a former investigator.  She is 26 and has 3 children.  She remembered tons of BOM stories and all the names like Nephi and Lehi and Alma!  We were dying haha!  She has agreed to let us come teach her and her kids again!  They are the cutest family ever!  We were tracting in one neighborhood and met AWESOME people.  One Indonesian lady and her 6 year old daughter answered the door.  This ladies husband had just died two days earlier.  They were still in shock.  As we were teaching about the message we share on the Plan of Salvation the 6 year old girl comes up to me and gives me a big hug and says, "Mommy, she loves me."  It was a really special moment how instantly connected we felt with this mother and daughter.  The mother agreed to let us come back in a few days and share this message on eternal families.  I am really looking forward to it because there was such a strong spirit on that porch that evening.  Another family we met "OYMing"(open your mouth) are TOTALLY future Mormons!!!  They have 4 little kids, LOVE Mitt Romney, are church hopping looking for the best fit, already live the Word of Wisdom, and have such a light about them!  You don't run into these families every day I'll tell ya that much!!! 

We were able to serve our members a lot this week.  I got my mad painter skills on and painted an entire room!  We also helped an elderly lady move!  Serving our members is a great way to build their trust in us as missionaries and strengthen them!  Working with members in this work is KEY and I know that! 

As I mentioned in Skype we had great adventures in the city of Brundidge!  Everyone knew we had entered the town.  This was a small town you'd see in a movie.  Everyone knew everyone and if you weren't Baptist or Methodist then you were a no one.  I wish y’all could have seen the glares we were getting!!  That’s why my favorite thing to do is kill ‘em with kindness!!! :) :)  We did meet some awesome less actives though and there is potential work to be done there! 

Grady and Mary Richards got baptized on Saturday.  They are the cute couple the elders have been teaching for a while now.  It was a great baptism and such an honor to help Mary get in the font and change afterwards.  She was so grateful for our assistance.  Another highlight of the baptism was I played the piano hehe :)  Since it is an automatic one I was just the one in charge of clicking the buttons....more like the DJ!  But the man leading was like, "Sister Holmoe will be providing the music this afternoon!"  Never heard that before! classic!!!

Well once again, AMAZING to skype with y’all!!! Next time I see or hear you, it will be the end of my mission!  Let’s do this!! I love you all to the moon and back!!  Thanks for your encouragement and support! Have a wonderful week!!! Happy Mother’s day again Mom and Happy birthday Danny on Friday!!! <3/ Sister Holmoe

ps We'll try to go meet those Troy folks y’all met this week! WHAT A CRAZY SMALL WORLD!?!  I LOVE IT :)
Dance and yoga! Youstina and Katie
 Me and Hannah!  Miss this girl!
 We treated ourselves this week in honor of our 8 and 11 month birthdays!
 Foot tan lines for dayyyyyssss....and thats after like 3 days.
 Best place in town! Flo's Kitchen

 Sister Ford and I like to match sometimes! twinsies!! love her!!
 This is one of Takeya's 3 kids! such a baller!
The buff don't puff! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Week 47

Well first and foremost, happy switch your hair part day! haha Today I made Sister Mac try the hipster middle part and in return she made me try the deep side part! YIKES!  We both came to the conclusion we look better the other way haha!  I have converted a few random people to the mid part though :) What an adventure this week has been..................

It all started Monday night! The night of the tornadoes!  We were awakened both at 1:45 am and 3:30 am with the city alarms and phone alerts telling us to "take shelter now"!  It was such an adventure!! We all had to get in the bath tub and chill there for a while, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT! We were like, why couldn't this have happened in the middle of the day...haha!  No missionary likes losing sleep that’s for sure!  It was pretty fun though; not gonna lie!  We were all hyper and having fun!  The lightning was UNREAL.  It was like a strobe light party.  Never seen anything like it!  The wind was pretty bad as well, obviously since we were in tornado warnings. Luckily the worst of it was a few miles away from our apartment so nothing serious happened!  One of our members called us in the middle of the night to assure us that we were going to be okay! It was so nice of them because they knew we would be freaking out!!  The next day we were able to go to district meeting but then because of more severe weather the Opp Sisters (Sister Treiber and Sister Rodriguez) and the Andalusia Elders who are in our district got stuck in Troy!  So the 6 of us sister missionaries had to stay in our apartment for the following 24 hours!  It was a great time. We just talked for hours!  Sister Treiber also gave us all haircuts which was needed!  We ordered pizza that night.  It was kind of fun for a change!  But of course it was nice to get back to normal missionary work the following Wednesday afternoon!  Of course they forgot their phone in our apartment though so Sister Mac and I took a road trip and drove it to them since we had the extra miles for the month!  It’s always fun to do things out of the ordinary!  Overall, glad everyone was safe!!!  We had a conference call with President Smith and all the other missionaries so we knew everyone would be okay!  As fun as it was, I hope no more tornadoes come rushing through any time soon! :/

Well the semester has come to an end here in Troy!  It was a week full of "final lessons" with our many investigators who will be heading home for the summer!  I pray that something we said in our testimonies touched their hearts and that that spirit will remain within them and cause them to act one day!  It was hard saying bye to some of them!  You just grow to love these people more than words can express but I have full faith in the missionaries who will pick them up again one day!  We were able to make phone calls and refer them to other missionaries serving throughout different parts of the south! 

Sister Mac and I went in and met John Hartwell, the AD of Troy!  It was awesome!  It felt like home going into the athletic department!  I miss it all!!!!  But he was a very nice man!  We sat and visited him in his office for a while and before that we were waiting for him (cause we all know how much AD's are on the phone!!) and we got to have a great conversation with his secretary!  The office loved us!  They were so intrigued with who we were!  Both the AD and assistant AD called two of our members and told them they had met Dad and me and what great people we were! Pretty cool huh!?!  Certainly not a coincidence you met him!  He will be at the Fiesta Frolic this week so be on the look out!! 

On Saturday one of the Elder’s investigators got baptized!  It’s always so nice going to a baptism and Sunny and Ram were able to attend!  Ram went up to the glass with the little children so he could get a good view of the actual baptism!  It was sweet for them to see how it’s done and I think it helped them both not be so scared to make the commitment! 

There is a cute couple in our branch who have been trying to have children for 14 YEARS....14 years!!! Anyways, miracle and they finally randomly got pregnant and she just had the baby boy last week!  He is so cute and it’s been awesome to hear their story!  Miracles happen daily!!

Last night for FHE with the YSA we all watched the CES devotional given by Elder Ballard!  It was wayyyy good!  He talked on 3 topics with most emphasis on the first. 1. technology 2. pornography 3. marriage.  It was so powerful yet hilarious!  He was like, the rest of the general authorities and I are not shriveled violets, we know what snap chat is! haha everyone was dying!!  I know for me, I really am going to be better at not being so addicted to my phone when I get back home!  I really am!!! haha!  He ended his talk with stressing the fact that we are at war.  How this war is just continuation of the war we fought in Heaven and the Lord needs modern stripling warriors to join the ranks TODAY, not just sit on the sidelines and watch!  I loved it!  We are at war daily but I'm so grateful to be on the winning team!  Grateful to be one of God’s soldiers right now and for the rest of my life!! 

SOOO I AM SO PUMPED FOR MOTHER’S DAY!!!!! yayayay!!! <3 It will be awesome to see y’all and talk with y’all!!!!! Woot woot!!!  We will get to skype! <3  We will work out times!  Anyways, I am so excited!!! :) :) :)

Welllllll, I love y’all!!!! Great hearing from you!!! Have a wonderful week and TALK TO YOU ON SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 (I love saying that) :) :)  bye!!!! xoxoxo <3/ Sister LA girl!!

Tornado Adventures

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