Monday, July 28, 2014

Week 59

Good morning y’all!! It was so fun to hear about and see all the California pictures!! Sounds like you guys had such a fun time!!! I love Disneyland :) :) and the beach looked so pretty! I can't believe you basically saw OBAMA! ha! Man, so much to comment on! Overall glad you had a fun time!!! No place like southern cali that’s for sure! :)

This week was an awesome week! We taught A TON of lessons!  If you remember last week, I told you about a woman named Shirley who we were doing family history with. Well this week we really wanted to start teaching her the doctrine behind it! I'm not going to lie it was the most awkward transition from family history to the temple/other gospel principles BUT it didn't matter because the spirit TOTALLY made up for it!  It honestly wouldn't have mattered what we said because the spirit was so strong and was truly teaching her.  She started crying again but you can tell she’s holding back still.  She has some walls up.  Honestly I think she knows this church is true but she's really scared!  However she has agreed to let us teach her the lessons!! woot woot! And we'll continue to help her with her family history. 

On Saturday night one of my favorite members in the ward Kathy Lynn took us out to dinner and as we were walking out she ran into an old friend.  Kathy Lynn left the church in her early years and wasn't living a very good lifestyle during that time so she knew this woman from those years.  Well Kathy Lynn as of about a year ago is the most active, righteous, obedient, Christlike woman I know.  Anyways, this woman started basically making fun of Kathy Lynn for being a member of our church and was like verbally putting her down!  It was SO SAD.  As missionaries we get that all the time and I'm used to it, but I haven't seen someone be that mean to one of our members!!! Kathy Lynn was a little discouraged afterwards and it reminded me of the talk, "The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship" by Elder Holland! We never know when we are going to have to stand firm in our faith!  We read the talk with her the next day and I think it helped lift her spirits!! It’s not always easy being a true disciple of Christ, BUT it’s worth it every time!  He's truly standing with us!!

HUGE MILESTONE...we taught Violet AND her 4 kids yesterday for the first time!! We taught them a simple lesson on the Holy Ghost and it went really well! I love all the kids so much and can just picture them all in the temple one day!  I picture little Noah, the 6 year old girl, as a future sister missionary!! There is so much hope for this family I just know it.  President said we could bring Violet and her kids to the mission home for a family night one night! How awesome will that be!?!? 

So a little refresher on Wendy!  I met her on an exchange "OYMing" on FSU with Sister Bebee.  She is an older woman, 50 or so, so she became our investigator and we started teaching her each week.  We again had a powerful lesson this week and she wants to be baptized!!!! BUT...bad news...we found out she lives .2 miles out of our ward boundaries....yes that is .2 miles :( boooo. so sad. ha.  We are going to have to give her to the 1st ward sisters to start teaching!  They are great though so I'm not worried but I sure will miss teaching Ms. Wendy!!! She was really special to me!!!

On Friday I got to go on an exchange with Sister Alcaraz!  Sister Alcaraz was actually the sister that came and did exchanges with us in Lynn Haven MY FIRST TRANSFER!!! I have looked up to her a lot my entire mission and it was pretty cool to be able to go on what was her LAST exchange!  She goes home in August!  We are really good friends so we had a good time reflecting on how much we've grown this past year from the time we first went on an exchange! Love her!

Well those are the main highlights of this week! Looking forward to another great one!! In answer to some of your questions… The next Zone Conference is September 2nd!  I'm pretty sure we teach at those as well! I'm so pumped you were checking out what’s new in fashion for me :) That style sounds really cute!!! You mentioned how I'll love taking New Testament but I think you meant D&C cause that’s the one that was on the list! I already took New Testament! Oh I forgot to mention! I got the Balboa Island postcard!!!! Good ole Balboa Island :) Love that place!!! Question, my back has kind of been hurting recently when I sit for longer periods of time!  It’s feeling a lot better now than it did earlier in the week. Any suggestions though for when it gets bad again?

Well I LOVE Y’ALL!!! :) It’s getting pretty HUMID here!!  Pretty sure my hair is permanently frizzy now haha! Gotta love the south!! Have a great week!!!! <3/ Sister LA GIRL!!

Best p-day ever :) haha
 More sad news....CORA MOVED :( :( She is now living in Macon, GA! It was a sad sad goodbye but I love her so much and we'll definitely keep in touch! She is coming back to visit in September!  She is living with her daughter in Macon.  But we already had our bishop call her new bishop and they are going to take good care of her and get her to the Atlanta temple as soon as possible!!! :) I know this woman was meant to be in my life though.  She is amazing and I'm so grateful for the chance I had to teach her!!!
Pioneer day in Florida :)
I inherited these cute rain boots from Sister Bertoldo when she left!  They came in handy on this rainy day!!
Sister Alcaraz and I at Newks! Great sister, great exchange, great dinner...doesn't get better than that!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 58

Hey family!  Great to hear from you!!! I've been excited for P-day this week cause it has been a crazy tiring week!  But I guess those make for great weeks :)  Every night I lay my head on the pillow I fall asleep instantly haha!  We had Zone-training on Tuesday and it went awesome.  Our Zone is doing a "40 day purification fast" from things that will allow us to have the spirit with us more abundantly as we find and teach.  It’s been great so far.  Our zone is stepping it up!!

We had some great experiences this week!  I'll start with a sweet lady named Shirley.  Sister S and I were knocking on doors and we came across Ms. Shirley.  Shirley has had a lot of history in our church as she used to date a member back in the day.  She LOVES Mormons and was talking about all the Mormon dancers she loves on TV.  I was like, "Hey I know some of them!"  She then let us in cause we were having such a great conversation and after getting to know her a little better, Sister S and I both instantly knew to do the family history approach with her.  She was HOOKED.  We told her about the center in our church and she eagerly set up a time to meet us there.  We were able to help her set up an account and started researching and luckily linked her on a line that had already been DONE.  Someone in her family had already done a lot so she had it traced back pretty far!  TEARS instantly just streamed from her face.  The spirit of Elijah hit her hard!  She’s bringing her sister with her this week to do some more.  We are hoping to be able to transition to teaching her the real purpose behind it all this week and start teaching her soon.  I love this woman!!!

We visited a less active we didn't know this week.  She was very hesitant to let us in, not even sure what made her finally let us in, but she did and we had an interesting conversation.  She clearly explained to us that she is now agnostic. We then just strongly testified of our Heavenly Father and how we feel His love.  I could feel Heavenly Fathers love for her so strongly in that room.  That is one of my favorite parts of being a missionary is being able to feel God’s love for other people.  This lady has distanced herself from God but God hasn't forgotten about her!  There truly is no such thing as an insignificant person in the eyes of God!  I'm really looking forward to going back to her house soon.  She warmed up to us A LOT by the end and I think she'd let us back in :)

I went on an exchange to TCC campus this week!  We walked around all day and contacted students.  It was great!! We met some sweet people and taught the restoration on spot a few times!  TCC is about the same size as Troy.  I took the sister and we went and introduced ourselves to some of TCC's faculty cause I think the sisters need the campus' trust to earn more respect and eventually get more success!  Good things to happen there!

More good news of the week.  Wendy came to church!!! This spunky lady is progressing!!! I was so excited when I saw her walk in late after the passing of the sacrament!  No greater feeling!  Also we had a sweet lesson with Marsha!  She is always surprising us!  This week she came wanting to read the BOM with us so she can understand it more.  We read 3 Nephi 11 and she LOVED it!! We taught Violet this week, who is still amazing as ever.  She actually wants to read the entire BOM before she gets baptized.......which usually I'm against but for some reason I have a lot of patience with Violet!  It feels right! 

Happy Pioneer day to y’all! I read a great address given by President Uchtdorf last week called, "All is Well."  It was interesting as he was describing the great examples of pioneers, I was reading it as if he was describing powerful missionaries.  I gained a lot of insight!!! Compassion, work ethic, optimism, having a purpose, and so much more...what great attributes that we truly all need!  He talked about how it truly was not "all well" with the pioneers but the attitude and faith they had made all the difference!! Such a powerful song.  Such a great legacy we carry on today!  May we all be more compassionate, more diligent, and more optimistic in the tasks that we are asked to perform each day!!! Then we may all make it to our promised land! :)

Well I LOVE Y’ALL!!!!! Miss you so so much!!! Keep being great!! Have a fun trip to Cali Mom and Dad!!!! Take lots of pics!!!! Tell Mickey I say hi!!!
<3/ Sister Holmoe

Me and sis chandler! Don't judge the frizz bomb hair. It was humid day haha!!

Sister S and I and a classic photo bomb by Sister Chandler!

Tally 1 sisters :) love them all soooooooooooooooooo much

TCC campus!

check out who came to tallahassee this week!! AMERICAN IDOL!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 57

Hey family!!! So happy that Mr. RABBIT made it to Tallahassee!!! haha! Funny because I was JUST BARELY telling Sister Bertoldo about Rabbit and then it arrived the day after she left haha! It definitely put a smile on my face :) I needed it!! This week has been CRAZY! Lots of emotions too but overall great!  On Tuesday for District Activity we went to the Tallahassee Museum/Zoo.  It was so much fun!  Gorgeous grounds as well.  We saw alligators, panthers, bobcats, eagles, tons more animals, slave homes, plantation homes, and more!  It was pretty cool to walk around!  I took a ton of pictures! A sweet moment happened there as well. Our District Leader Elder Hammond is getting transferred to Thomasville, GA and as we were at the Zoo a lady and her granddaughter came up to us and asked us if we were all LDS missionaries.  We said yes and then she expressed how she wasn’t a member but her cousin was the Bishop in Thomasville where she lives.  Then she slowly started crying and told us how her son, who was the father of the little girl she was with, just passed away a few days ago.  She asked us to all pray for her and her family.  Elder Hammond who is going to Thomasville was able to get her information and she said she would have him and his companion over!!! No better time to teach the Plan of Salvation right???  No coincidences!

On Wednesday night we were able to take some of the brand new sisters out for some real life missionary work!! It was such a cool experience!  I had been praying all day that we would see miracles so that this new sister would be excited for the next 18 months and of course God delivered!! She was pretty nervous but she did great!  Anyone who desires to serve is called to the work and then God always qualifies those he calls!!  We went contacting on FSU campus so she could get a feel for simple "OYMing" and EVERY PERSON WE TALKED TO set up a return appointment! That never happens! Then we went and taught a less active in the chapel and it was such a great lesson.  There were about 24 new missionaries and probably 10 or so sisters! One of them was going to Troy so I told her all about it :)

On Thursday morning we got to watch the sunrise at a beautiful lake!  We saw REAL ALLIGATORS IN THE SWAMP haha!!! I may or may not have freaked out! It was awesome! They were HUGE! Don't worry, we were safe :)  The Jones videoed us talking about our missions and they said they would email a copy to us.  They filmed it in HD but they can’t email in HD but at least you’ll be able to see it even if the quality isn’t as good!  I CRIED when I was talking! Gosh, I realized I can't just ponder and share feelings about my mission without crying.  Then Sister Bertoldo left that day!!! :( Man that was so hard! I love that sister like a sister! I know we'll be friends for life!  I hope she’s doing well!!!!

Sister S is here in the area now and things are going to be great!  We have lots of visions for this area and our zone. We will be teaching in Zone training on Tuesday and I have lots of great ideas I want to speak on! 

We had a cool moment on Saturday night.  We were going to visit this girl named Alexandra who we met one time a few weeks ago.  The GPS took us to her right apartment complex but it didn’t have the building or door # and we had an appointment with her at 8! Sister S of course had no clue, since she is new to the area, so it was up to ME to remember where she lived....HA!  Immediately we said a prayer that the spirit would lead us and then we went walking around hoping I would remember!  When we were trying the 3rd door I thought it might be I just knew it was right when we got there but no one answered.....we walked away and then felt that we needed to go back, so we went back and knocked again but no one answered so we walked away again but then we were like.....wait, we need to at least put a card in the door so she knows we tried.  As we got to the door about to put the card on, she opened it!!!! HALLELUIAH!  We then taught her the Restoration and it was amazing.  I love when I can recite Joseph’s words as he recalls the first vision.  She really connected to his story and said she wants to know more!  She is 22 so we'll have to pass her off to the campus sisters but she’s great!!!!

I was reading a great talk by Elder Holland called, "He Hath Filled the Hungry with Good Things."  He was talking about how after Christ fed the 5000 many others flocked to him expecting a "free lunch" and he responded with "I am the living bread."  Many of the people walked away saying that wasn't what they wanted.  He then related that story to how people today are still walking away, choosing to be spiritually malnourished. But we know that the only way to satisfy ultimate hunger is through Jesus Christ and that is the message we share as missionaries!  There are so many people here in Tallahassee who need to be spiritually recharged and who need their wounds to be healed.  I hope and pray that they will allow the Savior to help and more specifically allow us to teach them how!!!

I love y’all so much!!!!! Thanks for the emails today! And thanks for the package this week! I needed it!  Hard transitions with transfers but it will continue to get better and better! I love the sunglasses!!! Also it was great to hear I don’t have to take calculus!!!!??!?!?!? :)  Even if I major in Business I don’t have to????? This is great news! I hope I understood that right!!! Jessica Mullen is awesome. Tell her thanks so much for helping us out!!!!!

Have a great week!!!! Love you to the moon and back!!!!!!!!! <3/ Sister Holmoe!

Me at Marie Livingstons!  We got FILETS........BEST STEAK I'VE EVER HAD!

 District Pic

Pink dinosaur....why not take a pic with it? ha!

You know I love my lily-pads :)

Alligators people, real alligators!

Welcome to NORTH FLORIDA!! How picturesque is this?

 Emma took us to one of the top 3 most expensive restaurants in Tally to send Sister B off! You'd be surprised the amazing lessons you can have even in places like these!

 We went and tried to meet the FSU AD but he was out of town with his family! So, we decided to check out the stadium on our way out :)
 Bowden Statue!

This is our investigator named Shanon! She lives next to us! Sweet lady!

 One of the brand new sisters in the field!

See that bump in the water? YES, THAT IS A REAL ALLIGATOR!! IT WAS HUGE!!!!!

 Watching the sunrise <3

All natural baby!! That's the only bummer about that video haha! We weren't about to wake up any earlier though!

Grateful to have a nice camera so I can capture these moments!!

Nu Berry!! Best frozen yogurt in Tally. Members are so kind to us. Last thing we ate together :( Miss her!!!

 Sending her off!  Until we meet again!
 Yay for 13 months!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 56

Hey y’all!!! What an AMAZING week this was!! Sounds like y’all had a fun 4th of July!  We had a great time here in Tally.  Sister B and I went and had a barbeque with the Martins which was great and then we decided to go to "Tom Brown Park" where a huge Freedom Festival was going on.  We brought tons of Family History pass along cards and just talked to people for a few hours.  We met a lot of great people and planted a lot of good seeds! The spirit of Elijah is strong here in the FTM! We've had some really cool experiences with it this week.  Cora expressed how ever since she got baptized she has been having dreams of her deceased parents and brother.  The spirit FLOODED the family history center as we began setting her up an account on family search.  She wants to be baptized for them soon which is so exciting!  Also my girl Cheyenne from Troy has been doing family history for the past few months and it has led her to getting her patriarchal blessing and also desires to go to the temple!  And speaking of temples, a less active sister of 20 years who has started coming back now has the temple as her goal! Teaching her has been such a joy <3 

We had MLC in Crestview this week.  MLC's have turned into my new favorite meetings.  Wow, they are so powerful!!  They are completely led by the spirit and I always learn so much.  We talked a lot about our 2014 goals for baptism and how the numbers are leading many missionaries to discouragement.  As a mission we are going to change our focus to things specifically we can control like improving our teaching skills, finding ability, and planning.  INVEST ourselves more in Preach My Gospel and the rest will follow.  We decided to do a mission wide fast yesterday.  We were praying for 4 specific things.  We had a conference call with all the missionaries on Saturday night and President Smith opened up the fast with a prayer and then we each closed as a companionship the next day.  It brought so much unity to our mission and with the faith we all have, miracles will happen.  I know the FTM is in God’s hands and we are His tools. He is so proud of our efforts and will continue to help us each and every day!! Sister Bertoldo and I got home from MLC and our appointment had cancelled so we decided to knock doors around that neighborhood and although EVERY door turned us away that night, we still felt so fulfilled just knowing that we did everything that God had asked us to do!  As the missionaries continue to get that attitude the discouragement that is flooding our mission right now will become less and less!  Such a great experience fasting all together.

We had a miracle day on exchanges this week! I was with Sister Campbell and we were teaching this woman on FSU campus outside and after we finished we overheard two students talking about how they wanted to learn how to do family history. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!?!? We joined their conversation and then set up a time for them to come to the family history center AND give a church tour!! They were so excited and asked if they could bring their friends!?  Then we continued to walk and a student came up to us basically begging to come to church.  Then someone else stopped us telling us how he used to be Mormon.  I was trying not to laugh as miracle after miracle was happening!! That night the sky was SO beautiful! I wish pictures could do justice.  One side of the sky was a crazy lightning storm, the other side a silver-lining sunset with a double rainbow connecting the two!! Ah it was just BEAUTIFUL!!

We had one day this week where NO ONE WAS HOME haha and plan after plan after plan fell through so we decided it was the PERFECT night to treat ourselves to "BJ's"! (and it was kind of like our last supper as a companionship just the two of us).  We walked in and saw one of our less actives who we had been trying to see!!! We were freaking out haha. I mean what are the odds!?  We went up and talked with her for a while and it was so great! She texted us later saying what a tender mercy that was that we ran into her. I think she had been avoiding us, but after seeing us, knew that she needed to stop doing that haha! The food was incredible and the Pazookies made me feel at home :) :) Thank you so much for that gift card!!

Last night we had a cool experience.  One of the active members of our ward has a foreign exchange student from Russia living with them for 3 weeks.  They had us over to share a message.  This girl didn’t even know she had a Heavenly Father before she got here.  Ah it was so cool to share our testimonies and to give her a Russian Book of Mormon.  We had someone from our ward who speaks Russian come and translate.  It was such a cool experience!! Though she wasn’t fully grasping everything I feel really strongly that one day she will open that Book of Mormon again or she'll see missionaries in Russia and remember meeting us!  Gospel spread to ALL nations baby!!!

I was thinking the other day how grateful I am to have been born at the EXACT time I was so that 19 years later I would have the opportunity to serve a full time mission. Blows my mind.  I am so humbled and grateful to be serving this mission and hope I will fulfill all God wants me to in these last 3 transfers!! Hope Sister Satterthwaite is ready for THE BEST 3 TRANSFERS EVER!!!!

Thanks for everyone’s emails today!!! I love them! :)  Mom have fun at Dani’s shower!!! Thank you for going, it means a lot!!! Also have fun at the Nordy sale :)  You know I trust you with picking out things for me!! ;) I love your weekly letters! Seriously there is nothing better than getting the mail and seeing your letter!  You have no idea!! I just love you all so much and will respond via hand written letter to all the wonderful things you said in your emails!!!

LOVE Y’ALL TO THE MOON AND BACK!!!! <3/ Sister Lauren Holmoe!!

This dog is famous! You'll understand this week when I send a little package home hehe :)

It's called, "UNITY IN ALL THINGS!" :)

Love my Sister Dyches :)

Road trip across the pan handle!

A van full of missionaries!

Gotta love when you go to a door that says, "No Missionaries"!

Tallahassee rainbows!

Me and Sister Campbell! She's transferred to Callaway now! bye bye!

Love my sisters

Me and Sister Martin! Apparently Erik helped build this pool! They wanted him to see the finished product!

Placing BOM's with Ben Franklin! :)

Happy 4th :)

Favorite restaurant EVA

 Avocado egg rolls..SOO goooooood!!!

Pazookies!! Best day ever haha!!

Sister B's last Sunday in Tally! Sad day :(

Sure will miss this girl!!! Good thing we'll be friends at BYU!

 This is the FEAST that members cooked us yesterday! Stuffed pork chops, homemade quiche, and MUCH much more