Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 63

Hey y'all!! It’s a BEAUTIFUL day in Tallahassee right now! The past week has been KILLER HOT but this morning there is actually a COOL breeze in the air!  As the days get closer and closer to the fall I often get a huge smile on my face knowing I won't have to suffer through another SOUTHERN SUMMER!  They are no fun haha!  I sure hope my husband doesn't get a job down in these neck of the woods! 

It has been such a great week.  Lots has happened!  We often go to a park called "Lake Ella".  We call it the place for hipsters and homeless because for some odd reason that’s the crowd that’s there!  We always find lots of potentials there.  As we were walking around we met a young girl named Rivkah!  Rivkah is Jewish; very active and strict in her practicing.  She is so intriguing to me! She allowed us to share our unique message and boy was it a unique lesson!  I'd never sat down and actually taught a Jewish person before so it was a new experience.  She was very open and willing to listen.  Because she is Jewish she really had no knowledge of Jesus Christ.  We basically spent the entire time teaching about the Atonement.  She was filled with really good questions and you could see the desire in her eyes that she wanted to keep learning.  We read Alma 7: 11-13 with her and substituted the words "his people" with her name ("Rivkah").  That really touched her and she was able to see how she could use the Atonement for HER PERSONALLY. She's a college student so we'll be passing her off to the other sisters but I'm grateful for the opportunity we had to teach her that wonderful doctrine because it certainly strengthened my testimony!

Also during that lovely walk in the park we met two pastors who recently started their own church in Tallahassee.  At first they said they would listen to our message but after sitting down with them for 2 minutes I knew we were in trouble!!!!  Bless their hearts!! They would not listen to ANYTHING we were saying.  They were clearly there to bible bash and try to convert us.  It is honestly hard for me to stay serious in moments like those! haha! I thought we did as good of job as we could have.  We powerfully testified of the BOM which they slammed down but that didn't shake us! There is nothing better than testifying of the BOM as the word of God knowing you have angels and Jesus Christ himself backing up your words!  I love being on the Lord's errand :)

It is amazing how many times just being in public we have people come up to us and say they used to be Mormon. It just goes to show HOW MANY less actives there truly are who are so lost.  Rescuing efforts are so important!! Last night we met a family who just moved from China.  The husband served his mission in Hong Kong and moved back to marry his wife there.  They lived there for 15 years but have been less active for 10 now.  There is a lot of potential with this family though and I'm stoked :)

We had Stake Conference this weekend and it was SOOO amazing! The speakers were definitely inspired and it was awesome to hear President and Sister Smith speak both on Saturday night and Sunday morning!  I love them! Sister Smith spoke on sharing the gospel via social media and our members are totally fired up about that now!  Just yesterday they posted pictures of us with them and added it on Facebook with a brief testimony!  TALLY is going to flood social media with the GOOD NEWS :)

We were able to go on lots of fun extra errands this week :)  There was a visa waiter who finally got her visa so she stayed with us and then we took her to her final meal and then to the airport to send her off! I love doing that! :)  She was really excited! At the airport as we were making sure she got through security a man came up to us who was traveling from Virginia!  He was Mormon and started tearing up because he has a son who just left on a mission.  He was sharing how grateful he was to see us and how much it comforted him.  It got us a little choked up as well! Such a nice man! 

We also got to take some brand new sister missionaries out on Wednesday night!! These sisters are AWESOME! It was hilarious because they had been reading my blog since DAY 1!! haha! They already knew everything about me and remembered things from my mission that even I had forgotten!! They said they would sit and read it for hours and it would get them so excited to come out! It made my day to hear that!!! We had a blast taking them out on their first real missionary experience and no doubt they'll be STELLAR SISTERS!

There was some crazy thunder storms randomly this week! I swear like I saw the lightning strike like 100 yards away.  Luckily we were inside.  It was WILD! At an investigator’s home they had a HEATED toilet seat haha  No joke I literally laughed out loud when I sat down.  I have never experienced anything like that before! It was like HOT!  We went bowling for District Activity!! I got 111! A little rusty compared to my old scores in bowling class ;) BUT, everyone else was terrible so it was fun! haha!

Quick update on the investigators! Phil's BCD has been moved to Sep 27th so the person that is going to baptize him can be there! If all goes well Kalia should be getting baptized this weekend!! She had her interview yesterday :) The Wilkerson family has been doing FAMILY SCRIPTURE STUDY nightly....ON THEIR OWN!! I about died when I found out! They are so great!! 

Well this week is going to be AWESOME!! We have MLC with Elder Zwick tomorrow in Fort Walton Beach! And then we'll drive back in time for a regional broadcast at the stake center. And then we have a half mission conference on Thursday in Tally! We'll have sisters from across the mission staying with us for the next few days so that will be fun! Lots of planning and organizing but it will be great! :) Can't wait to hear the instruction that Elder and Sister Zwick have in store for us!!!

I LOVE y’all so much!!!!! Enjoy every day! CHEER SO SO LOUD FOR BYU!!!!! I sure will be! :) MISS YOU LOTS!!! <3/ Sister Lauren Holmoe

 H&M baby :) P-day fun!
 This is Melissa, one of my favorite members! She moved to D.C. last week though :( This was our last supper! Miss her already!
 District Pic!
 Sometimes we struggle at taking pics haha. Self timer probs
 Last pic with the 4 of us! Sister S and I are the only sisters in the district now :(
 The bowling crew!!
 Sister Alcaraz is now HOME! Sure do love this girl!
 We figured there wouldn't be a PANERA in Brazil :) (this was all on Presidents credit card, he's the bomb) ha!
 Farewell at the airport!
 These were the two sisters I took out!! LOVE THEM!
 Lake Ella Selfie <3
 Ms. Evelyn and I :) She's getting closer and closer to the temple each week!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week 62

Good morning y’all!!! Y’all will be happy to hear that I am fully recovered from that NASTY virus that attacked me last week haha! WOWZER!  SO grateful to be back in full action! That was not fun!! Thanks for all your prayers! I FELT EM :)

This week has been awesome! We set 2 BCD's :)  Kalia, Steven Jone's neice, will MOST LIKELY be baptized on August 30th if all their family can make it that day!  We are thrilled for Kalia.  She is so excited, as is all her family.  We have the lessons at Kalia's grandmas house and it is really cool to see how much her grandma loves her and wants her to grow up strong in the gospel.  Then Phil came to his lesson and said he'd been praying to know what day he should be baptized and after much prayer he feels that September 20th is the day.  That is one of the most rewarding things as a missionary is to be able to witness God answering His children's prayers.  We have a lot to do to help Phil be ready by that date, specifically with his smoking, BUT he has such a strong testimony of this Church and of the Atonement that we believe in him!!! Can't wait to see him in a white jump suit one day :) He is working so hard to get there. 

So I don't think I've shared much about the Wilkerson family but we work with them a lot.  They are a part member family.  The mom is the only member but she is less active.  She has 4 beautiful children, two girls ages 14 and 17 and then two boys ages 5 and 9.  I love them so much, especially the girls!!! We teach them each week and they've been learning from the missionaries for a long time now.  They were able to come to church for the first time though two weeks ago!  The YW and Primary took them in and welcomed them like family! The kids loved it and hopefully will continue to come.  They all want to be baptized in the future.  The key is to continue strengthening the Mom and getting her more motivated!  But one night this week we took a member with us and he was able to give all the kids back to school blessings!! THE SPIRIT WAS SO STRONG IN THAT HOME! The kids absolutely loved the blessings and were so appreciative.  One of the little boys said the closing prayer but then the 14 year old girl asked if she could say one too.  It was a beautiful prayer!! So grateful for the power of the Priesthood.  It made me really really want a fathers blessing though!!!!

We were able to travel to Troy safely on Saturday and attend the baptism so Sister S could interpret.  It was such a great time!  I was able to see lots of people I love but especially my girls Jazz, Lakenya, and Cheyenne.  They are all doing SO GREAT! Cheyenne is preparing to go to the temple next month and Jazz and Lakenya were in high spirits!  Such a great reunion. We also drove through GA to get there so I can officially say I've been to Georgia now!! :)  The only thing that would have made it better was if we could have jammed to "Florida Georgia line" on the FL GA line! HA.

I got a letter from a family in Lynn Haven this week :) It made my day! They updated me on everyone in the ward and I was so happy to hear how well everyone was doing! Oh good news....I'm staying in TALLY :) I live to see 6 more weeks here! YAY! No change for us!!

I'm so grateful to be serving a mission!  Each morning we recite our purpose of "inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end." Its amazing how hand in hand our purpose is with Heavenly Father's purpose of "bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."  Its been great to see the work of Salvation explode the past 2 years and to be a part of it is INDESCRIBABLE!! I hope to continue fulfilling my purpose as a missionary the last 3 months I’m here and also for the rest of my life as a member missionary! Greatest work on earth.

Well I hope y’all are having a blast together!!! Thank you so much for the Get Better Soon card mom :) I loved it :) You guys truly are the best and I LOVE YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!! Have a fun week!!! <3/ Sister Lauren Holmoe

ps H&M had their grand opening here in Tallahassee last week!!! We may go check it out today :)  That blue and white blouse was Sister Bertoldo's! She left it for me haha :)


This is Phil everyone!!! He is awesome! Notice the WOW pamphlet, his new best friend :)
 FL-GA line! :)
 I've always wanted a picture of this sign!!! It's in between Dothan and Troy. Never thought I'd see it again but I GOT IT :)
 Reunion with Sister Ford! Love this girl so much!!
 Some of my favorite people of all time!
 Me and Ryan! He baptized the guy who got baptized! It was cool because it was exactly a year ago from when he got baptized! 
 It has been a crazy busy week so I just took this 14th month pic on our walk to the computer lab haha! Not the cutest but it will do! :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 61

Hello Family!  It has been a wild week this week.  It started out spectacular!!  MLC was definitely a highlight!  My favorite meetings for sure!!! Aw they are so powerful and spiritual and fun! We truly learn how to be the most effective missionaries we can be so we can implement certain things in our areas that will eventually spread to the other areas in the mission.  There is soooooo much that goes into missionary work like effective planning, studying, teaching, organizing and as the leaders of the mission we must be doing these things if we expect our missionaries to do them!  I've learned so many things about what it takes to be a leader and I'm striving constantly to strengthen my leadership qualities!  It really has been such a blessing to serve as an STL cause I have learned so much.  Elder Zwick is coming to our mission the last week in August!! woot woot!  He and his wife want to hold a special MLC so that will be exciting.  Also there will be two half mission conferences and also a devotional one night for the ward councils in all the stakes in our mission.  Pretty sure I get to go to that one which will be amazing.  He will also be interviewing certain missionaries, asking certain missionaries to teach in front of him, and doing random apartment inspections! Its pretty intense ha! We are all preparing for his arrival so that he has a great experience in the FTM!!!

Some more highlights of the week.......we were able to give two church tours to two of our new investigators.  Church tours always bring the spirit so strongly.  Also we had an amazing lesson in the chapel with one of our less actives on the Sacrament.  She's slowly coming around and something was definitely stirring inside of her that day.  Shirley, our FH investigator, has totally invested herself in the BOM! She is already done with 2 Nephi!!?!? Can you believe it!!! She is on fire. She says that her whole life she has felt like something is missing and she is starting to realize it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ! BUT for some reason she isn't coming to church, she is very hesitant about that! So we are working on overcoming that right now!  But she’s amazing and loving the BOM.  She marks verses that stand out to her and then reads them to us at each lesson and she crys EVERY time!! It’s amazing. 

We finally got to start teaching Kalia again, Steven Jones’ niece!  We are preparing her for baptism within the next few weeks! Also our investigator Phil, who sisters we have been teaching for a while now, is praying for a baptism date in September.  The word of wisdom is what is holding him up but he’s willing to put forth more effort.  With that baptism vision I know he'll have the ability to!  We went to a park one day and were contacting and I met a family from Lynn Haven, FL!  I love meeting fellow Lynn Haveners :)  Miss that place!!

And then the BOMB hit and I got demolished by the flu! WOWZER.  This has probably been one of the hardest times on my mission.  I haven't been this sick for a while.  I feel like Enos cause I've been praying all day and all night haha.  As terrible as its been I know I've grown closer with Father in Heaven.  I was also able to get a Priesthood Blessing which was amazing.  I really needed that.  The words that were said went so beyond just healing but were the exact words I needed personally.  Grateful for the Priesthood in my life.  You'd also be really proud for the HUGE pills I had to swallow ha.  Miracles happen people!  I hope I will continue to gain my strength so I can get back to being a normal missionary.  It has been extremely challenging but I guess what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!!!

On a positive note, thank you sooooo much for the Newks cards!!!! They made my day!!! Ah you are the best! Also, I absolutely loved all the pictures at Dani's wedding reception! She looked BEAUTIFUL and the backyard looked so pretty!! Also all my friends looked like babes! Love them so much!! I also loved all the wedding invites y’all sent me! Those were so fun to look at!!

Hey this Saturday we are driving up to Troy!  Sister S has to be the ASL interpreter at a baptism for an investigator she helped teach! It will be fun to be in Troy for the day!  Although I think Sister Mac got transferred randomly a few days ago so I wont get to see her :( 

Well I love y’all soooooooooo much. Have fun with Shan, Miles and Briggs!!!! Thanks for all your prayers! I do feel them each and every hour, especially in times like these!!! We may be separated by miles but I feel so connected and united! Love y’all to the moon and back!!! <3/ Sister Holmoe
 The Troy Sisters :)
The Lynn Haven Sisters :)
 It's always a joy seeing my mission daughter :) Love Sister Sam :)
 Me and Sister Udy!
 Last exchange of the transfer.  Love these sisters!
I believe this was the last night before I got hit with the flu ha!  take me back to normal sister holmoe days :(

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 60

Greetings y’all!! Just like to give a shout out to Kirsten Hansen! She got engaged on Saturday to her boyfriend Joe!! yay!! She is getting married October 11th!  So happy for her!!! I also got your Disneyland postcard and it made my day :) It’s now hanging on my picture wall!  I loved the wedding pictures of the Dredges!  The Gilbert temple is so beautiful! And also I loved the pic of the boys at their golf tourney!  Miss them all! This week has been great for us! It flew by!  We had two awesome exchanges.  On Tuesday I went and spent the day on FSU with Sister Miller.  Sister Miller has been out for 3 weeks but is stellar!! She is from Lubbock, TX! I thought of Ali!  Sister Miller was just recently baptized in 2013!  She has such a cool conversion story and a killer testimony! I love her!  We had a miracle exchange day and found them some awesome people to teach, one who basically is begging to get baptized already! The other exchange I went on was with Sister Anderson.  She is awesome as well; we have such great sisters!! Sister Anderson and I went to "The CrepeVine" for dinner and the workers loved the fact that we were serving missions so they gave us a free dessert crepe! haha! Free crepes obviously made it a wonderful week!

We were able to teach Shirley the first discussion this week!  We had a member come with us and it went awesome. Shirley cried when she read Moroni 10! She is so prepared!!! Also, as we were doing her family history we found out that some of her ancestors temple work has been done.  It was completed in the Manti temple in 1914! Isn't that amazing?? All of these wonderful things came from us knocking on her door!  God is good!

We had a Daniel and the Lion’s Den experience this week haha!! We were trying to contact a part member family in our ward who no one knew about.  We get to their house and it’s like surrounded by a big fence with "BEWARE OF DOGS" signs.  Y’all know how much I hate big dogs haha.  Anyways we traveled so far to get to the house and weren't about to just turn away and not go in!! So we said a prayer that we would be safe from the dogs and went in with faith!! I wasn't even nervous after that honestly.  Turns out no one was home......haha BUT we were protected from the dogs :)

One morning we didn't have any set appointments so we went tracting and "oyming" in some neighborhood for like 2 hours and got NOTHING.  BUT, as we were driving away about to go eat lunch we passed a guy watering his lawn.  About 40 yards later I knew it was one of those things where if we didn't pull over and go talk to him, I probably would have regretted it SO we did! We walked over to him and long story short, he is a new investigator and we have an appointment with his wife and daughter tonight as well! I've noticed on my mission the miracles usually come when you’re about to go in, or about to die of heat stroke, or about to give up. It’s all about endurance! 

We have some sweet member missionaries in our ward.  My favorite being, Ms. Kathy Lynn of course.  She goes to Publix every week and has been fellowshipping one of the cashiers. This week she called us up and said, "Sisters, I'm ready to take you to Publix with me to give this lady a BOM." YES MAM :)  We went and it was a great experience!!! SO grateful for member missionaries, they make all the difference!!

Another highlight was my interview with President Smith!! I always leave feeling so uplifted and motivated! I am so grateful to be serving with him and Sister Smith. They are amazing and I have learned so much from them.  Another highlight was when Sister S and I traveled to Woodville this week.   It’s a small town outside of Tallahassee.  It reminded me a lot of Southport in Panama City.  We taught a homeless guy and then he started reciting poetry to us. It was interesting! We picked figs off a huge fig tree this week! First time for everything right?? I didn't even know figs were real.  Haha. They weren't too bad! Wendy is praying about being baptized on Aug 30th :)

OH another shout out to Lexi Hansen!!!! Lexi was my dance teacher from Jive and during the concert this year she had all the girls write me notes!!! She then sent me the package this week filled with little notes :) It was totally unexpected and so nice!!! Aw I miss my Jive girls!!! It made my week for sure!!

Well that’s it for this week y’all! :) We have MLC in Crestview on Wednesday so I'm stoked! August is going to be great!! Thanks for your prayers and support!! Miss and love y’all SOOOOOOOO much!!! Have a great week!!! Church is true, book is blue! <3/ Sister Lauren Holmoe :)

 Me and Sister Miller

This is Wendy :) She is now being taught by the other sisters!
Free dessert crepes for missionaries??? Tender mercies haha!
The Crepe Vine....Provo needs one of these!!
Sister Anderson!