Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 68

Hello Family!! It has been yet another incredible week in Tallahassee, Florida.  This morning we toured around the State Capitol building and got to spend some time on the very top floor overlooking all of Tallahassee.  I am so grateful to be here in this city right now and BEYOND EXCITED I get to finish my mission here, right in the heart of the FTM! 

Yesterday we had the Primary Program and it was awesome.  Both the Wilkerson boys were in it and their mom got off work to come and watch.  She hasn't been to church for YEARS!!! It was incredible to see her there.  She was smiling from ear to ear the entire program watching her two boys!  The theme of the program was "Families Can Be Together Forever" which was absolutely perfect.  Satan tried to throw a curve ball at them this week as Lee (the 9 yr old) had to get his cast put back on his leg.  He has cerebral palsy.  The cast can't go in the water and so they are worried about the baptism on Oct 11th but a member was able to quickly order some vacuum bag that will hopefully work to cover it!  His two sisters are still anxious and ready as well :) The family is just dynamite right now! Anyways the boys and also Kalia "did a super job" in the Program!

Throughout my mission I have been so grateful to be a part of the Ward Councils in the 3 wards/branches I've served in.  I have learned a lot from the amazing leadership and am so grateful how much they have involved the missionaries.  Yesterday was an incredible meeting.  We are really focusing on the Rescue right now and had the chance to kneel down all together and pray for specific families in our ward.  The spirit was so strong.  There is nothing better than seeing the work of salvation in ACTION!

On Saturday I had the chance to speak at a baptism for a cute 8 year old in our ward.  I spoke on the Holy Ghost!  It was a beautiful baptism! 

MLC was AWESOME this week!!!! I certainly received a lot of revelation.  We also had to organize a lot because our mission is doing a new transfer system starting this week so we had to figure all that out!  It has been a crazy few days and will be a crazy week but I love it! :) In the beginning of MLC we talked a lot about WHY we are on missions and truly it all comes down to the fact that we are on our missions because of Him. (Him being Christ). And because of Him we need to give it our all.  It’s my goal to give every last ounce of energy I have for Him!

Other good news....Rosemarie has agreed to baptism on either Oct 25th or Nov 1st! We are still working through logistics!

I finished "Jesus the Christ"!!!!  WHOOO!  That book just completely blew my mind.  I learned SO much from studying it alongside the New Testament. 

Did y’all get the chance to watch the General Women's Meeting!?  It was AWESOME! They talked a ton about the temple and I kind of want to go do a Saturday morning session the Saturday I get home! ha! Also, who is ready for SUPERBOWL SUNDAY THIS WEEK!? (missionary style) I AMMMM :)

Got my flu shot this week! CHECK! I also met Angelique's sister's mother-in-law.  She was such a sweet lady!

Well I love y’all so much and hope everyone has a great week!!!! <3/ Sister Holmoe

 Looking out over Tally

 The Old House of Representatives
On the 22nd floor! Top of Tally!!
 Florida flowers

The new capitol (in the back)
 The old capitol
Y'all! this will definitely be a stop we attend!!! BEST DONUTS EVER! And the man who owns it gave them to us for free!!
Flu Shots <<<<
Last exchange of the transfer with my Hawaiian sister!
 The four of us!
 Baptism for Vanessa!
Two of my favorite sisters at MLC! Sister Dyches and Sister Nelson (who is a t-bird grad).
We asked this lady to take a pic of us just so we could start casual convo with her :) Sneaky tactics of sister missionaries!
 Asha and me
Us teaching Asha on her porch! Beautiful Florida evening!
Some of the STL's rockin our new "North Side Strong" FTM shirts!
 Always good to see Sister Sam!
Check this out! A different church used the Preach My Gospel cover for their advertisement!!
 I love Sister Smith!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 67

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMA!!!!! Woot Woot!!! I love you SO much!!! I'm so grateful your birthday fell on a P-day so I had the chance to wish you a happy day right on your special day!! Hope you have a wonderful time!

This week has been wonderful! HUGE miracle that happened.  On the first day being with Sister S we were looking through our area book (which is HUUUUUGE) and decided to flip through the former investigators teaching records (there are like 100).  We both felt really drawn to this girl named Victoria so we called her and to our surprise she agreed to meet with us again! So we began teaching her again and boy was she elect!  I can't remember if I had told you about her or not.  Anyways we had to pass her off to the campus sisters because of her age so they have been teaching her ever since then.  I have also had the chance to teach her here and there on exchanges which has been great.  On Wednesday night we were talking to her a little bit about temples and she had a few concerns but we didn't have much time to address them right at that moment BUT THEN, two days later she called the sisters and said her answer came and she was ready to be baptized as soon as possible.  Needless to say she was baptized on Sunday evening! :) It was so exciting!!!! I love Victoria and it was a beautiful baptism.  I'd never seen her so happy before.  Her Mormon friend from South Florida drove up all day Saturday to be able to make it on Sunday.  It was awesome!!

We also had some great lessons this week with our investigators.  Rosemarie is on FIRE!  Teaching her the Plan of Salvation was like giving a little kid candy.  She loved every piece of it.  She has such a desire to be sealed in the temple one day.  We are hoping to set a firm BCD with her this week!  The Wilkersons are still on fire as well.  We had a fun lesson with them and then celebrated a few birthdays.  The ward mission leader brought donuts for us all!  The boys are in the primary program on Sunday and the girls are starting to work on Personal Progress! It’s great to see how close their family is getting.  Another investigator is slowly cutting down on her smoking which is great.  This past week I've been taking time in my personal study to study in the church's Addiction Recovery Program book.  I've been reading it with our investigator in mind, as well as others with similar addictions, and it is AMAZING.  Wow.  Talk about learning how to access the Atonement in your life!!! 

Miss Georgia, who we are teaching, is a hoot!  I love her!  She asked us for 8 copies of the Book of Mormon for her to pass out to her friends and family! She has also asked us to teach her Bible study this week.  I've never taught a southern Baptist bible study before so this could be interesting!!! Oh the experiences you get from serving in the South......haha!  I'm becoming quite the southerner if I do say so myself :)  I suddenly am choosing to order FISH over STEAK at restaurants!?!? I rarely flinch if I see a cockroach or other bug in our apartment! It cools down to 75 degrees in the mornings and I'm COLD!?  Craziness y’all!

Zone training went great! We usually get about 30 minutes for teaching.  We were asked to teach on companionship relations as well as goal setting.  I think it went very well!  MLC is this Wednesday so I am very excited!!

A new Mormon message came out this week called, "You Never Know"!  I insist y’all watch it!!!! Especially Mom and Shannon (being the current Moms of the fam).  It is awesome and shows how sometimes we can go all day, stressing, trying to cross off our To-Do list, and then finish our day in complete disappointment thinking nothing great happened....BUT it shows all the wonderful things behind scenes that came from the day! I loved it because that’s how a mission is sometimes.  You work so so hard all day and can come home at the end of the night and either think "wow nothing great happened" or you can reflect and have the faith that many tiny miracles could have happened that we weren't even aware of! PERSPECTIVE!!

SHOUT OUT TO SHANNON FOR FINISHING THE BOM!!!!! That thank you note made my day!!!! I was beyond happy to read and hear how your experience was. THANK YOU for taking that challenge :) I love you!!!!

Mom, you never told me you were going to Orlando!!! Lucky dog!!! haha!! That will be awesome! I've heard SO many great things about Orlando since being here! Hey do you think there is any chance when we are in Miami that we will be able to go to the Ft. Lauderdale temple!?  I'd love to see it in person!!!

Well I love y’all so much! HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!!!! <3/ Sister Holmoe

 All the sisters in our Zone at Zone Training
Running the stadium stairs one very early morning!!

 Family history booth on FSU!

Free queso day at Moe's!!! It was PACKED!!
 Chili's to celebrate Sister S's 20th birthday! My Tilapia was delish :)

 Victoria and Me !!! :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 66

Hey y’all!! It’s been an amazing week this week!!! God answers prayers that’s for sure!! We had an exchange on Tuesday and that morning as I was praying before my studies I randomly thought of how it had been a while since we'd received a media referral. (a referral from church headquarters where someone requests a BOM/Bible/missionary visit).  These are my FAVORITE to get so I decided I'd pray that morning to receive a media referral and NO JOKE....30 minutes later our phone buzzes with a media referral! I was like "SISTER, we are going on an adventure today!"  So we went to contact the referral ASAP because I figured it was a gift straight from God! This lady named Rosemarie had just barely returned home from SLC! She had an incredible trip and got to attend the Ogden Temple open house.  She grew up in Arkansas and her best friend since the 6th grade just recently joined our church 6 years ago and now lives in Utah.  She has been observant of him for those past 6 years and after this trip finally decided she wants to learn what this church is all about.  We gave her a BOM and after two days she was already in Alma! This lady is the real deal.  She is so intellectual and so cool!  She came to church on Sunday and had a great experience I think!  We actually had 6 investigators at church (Shirley came as well).  It’s funny when lots of our investigators are at church because I get so worried about every little thing.  It seems like the babies cry SO much louder on those days haha!! But we had great meetings and the members were great at welcoming them all in!  We are thrilled to be able to continue teaching Rosemarie! She's also a great reminder of how God listens to every single one of our prayers!

Also on our exchange we were visiting someone in the hospital and along the way met lots of people.  We were invited in one room to say a group prayer with the family.  There were like 20 ladies in this tiny hospital room.  The spirit was incredibly strong as we said a prayer and it made me so grateful for the amazing experiences I've been able to have every day on my mission with COMPLETE STRANGERS!  We may never see that family again but we all shared a moment that will be remembered for a long time. 

So at Walmart we chat with the picture guy every week and he is a less active member from Madison, FL.  Well we've been chatting with him for a good 2 months now and last week he told us that he took his little girl to church on Sunday!! He was so excited to tell us because he knew how happy we would be! And he was right...we were so happy! :)

Huge strides have been made with two of our investigators.  We did find out that one of them smokes though! We never knew! Anyways, we were going to teach her the Word of Wisdom and her apartment never smells like smoke so there really was no way of us knowing but for some reason as soon as we walked into her apartment that day to teach the WOW I knew she smoked.  It was as if the spirit was warning me a head of time before we started the lesson which I was grateful for.  The lesson went great and we were able to give her lots of ideas to help her quit!  She says the BOM has really been her key.  That’s why she reads it so much is because it is helping her not want a cigarette.  I believe in her!!!! She also didn't have a dress and that’s why she hadn't been coming to church, but we changed that quickly, and what do you know....she came! And loved it!! It’s amazing the things that happen as you are able to unravel your investigators concerns.  As for Violet, we have been able to see her quite a few times this week! (We think that is really going to help) Frequency sustains the spirit! We had one lesson with her, went to her son’s football game, and also dropped cookies off Sunday night.  She is praying EVERY day for specific things but isn't getting any clear answers yet.  She was able to express some of her concerns and we had a perfect member with us during that so it went well.  I can honestly say I've never wanted it for anyone SOOOO BADLY!! Of course I give my heart and soul and all ounce of energy to everyone I work with but for some reason I feel like I'm giving EXTRA to Violet.  I just feel so much love for her and have so much hope for her it’s indescribable! Crazy story, she was saying that her two favorite names for girls are Lauren and Julia! (Those are mine and Sister S's names!) What are the odds!?!  It’s a sign I know it haha.

We had a great turn out for the Southern Spread! There was SOOOO much food it was UNREAL! haha!  It was a really good event and for sure brought the ward closer together!  We also had some returning members there as well as investigators!  Speaking of investigators, we've found some more cool new ones! Good news in Tally, the church bought land for a new stake center to be built here! They are working on it and it should be done in about 18 months.  They will be forming a new ward.  That means missionaries need to continue getting to work preparing!

We were able to watch the CES devotional last night and Elder Christofferson spoke.  What a power house! Loved his talk.  Truly all about giving your life to God.  It made me excited for two things.....1. GENERAL CONFERENCE and 2. BYU basketball season because it was in the Marriott Center haha. 

Well it’s Love Bug season again.  They are EVERYWHERE!!! I find them in my purse, shoes, car,’s really kind of gross! Looking forward to another great week though! We have Zone training tomorrow which we'll be teaching at!  Thank you SO MUCH for the beach card!!! I loved it!!! Also I didn't see a copy of the Utah Valley Magazine article! Serina just sent me the picture so if you could send me the article that would be great! Dad, I can't believe you had to say the prayer at that luncheon!!!! Did you have a prayer voice too!?! ;)

I love y’all SO MUCH!!! Miss you tons as usual!!! Have a great week and enjoy every minute!! <3/ Sister Lauren Holmoe!
Sister Mathison, me and Sophia!!!! Sophia is a member in the singles ward, I love her!
15 months for me! :) :)
Violet and her set of 6 year old twins!
 It was SUPER SUPER HOT and I didn't want my part to burn and blister so I had to improvise during the football game :) haha