Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 72

It was truly an incredible week y’all. INCREDIBLE! Filled with the moments in life that matter most. <3 I'll start with the baptism on Saturday.  Who would have thought that the night we knocked on Shirley’s door or the day we got that HQ referral text about Rosemarie that only a few months later these two daughters of God would enter the waters of baptism and join the fold! I feel soooooo grateful to Heavenly Father for Him trusting Sister Satterthwaite and I to teach these two precious daughters of His.  Some of my most sacred moments of my mission were with these two ladies as we witnessed them strengthen their faith, truly repent, and follow their Savior.  And the wonderful thing about it is both Rosemarie and Shirley have their eyes locked on the temple! The program went great, much less stressful than previous baptisms! Rosemarie was BEAMING with happiness the whole time and Shirley was BAWLING with tears of gratitude.  Both felt the spirit so strong, just showed it in different ways <3 Their confirmations the next day were awesome as well. It will be hard leaving these new recent converts but no doubt the 4th ward will take great care of them! Both their new home and visiting teachers were able to be at the baptism to introduce themselves and callings are already on the way for both of them. :)

MLC on Tuesday and Wednesday was A BLAST!!!! Tuesday we had a wonderful homemade dinner, made by Sister Smith, and then had a campfire.  Around the campfire we sang songs and all the departing missionaries bore their testimony.  Yep, that’s me.  It was just the perfect night.  Great weather, great people, great spirit.  One of the best nights on my mission that I'll cherish forever!! The next day we had our meetings and oh how motivational and inspiring they were.  Wonderful things for the future of the FTM! I also had my final interview with President that day which, really really great. I am so grateful for President and Sister Smith.  I know they are called of God to be here in the FTM!

At the end of district meetings on Tuesday we always gather as a district and kneel together for the closing prayer.  Each companionship gives the name of someone they are working with who may be struggling.  It is always a spiritual experience to pray for them all by name together but this week’s just felt extra special.  I think every companionship had someone who they REALLY were seeking Heaven's help for.  We all had the faith that those prayers would be answered. From talking to other companionships near the end of the week those pleadings were HEARD AND ANSWERED!! One of the people who the elders had been working with in the 1st ward had been waiting for a letter from the first presidency giving permission for him to be baptized.  He had been patiently waiting for 6 months and was starting to give up hope.  We prayed either the letter would come soon or he would receive the strength and patience to wait a little longer and THAT DAY IT CAME IN THE MAIL!!! He will be baptized next week!  Another girl we prayed for in Crawfordville was able to overcome her concern and pick a date for baptism!!! Shirley hadn't been smoking but she still was having a hard time resisting so we prayed that the urge would leave and that day she told us how the desire to even pick up a cigarette completely DEPARTED.  I know God was listening to that prayer that day in district meeting.  No doubt about it!!!

Another cool story. As missionaries we talk to a lot of people throughout the day.  Including every single cashier we meet at Walmart :) They are the easiest targets because they can't really go anywhere haha.  Well we exchanged info with this one cashier named Latoya.  She was an FSU student so we gave her info over to some campus sisters a while ago.  To be honest, I totally forgot about her just because we give referrals out like that all the time.  TURNS OUT, we saw Latoya at the baptism with the campus sisters and SHE HERSELF is getting baptized in 3 weeks!!!! HOW COOL IS THAT!?!  By small and simple things are great things brought to pass!!! All we did was give her our card and ask for her number to invite her to activities and now....3 months later, she is joining the church!

Guess what else? "Meet the Mormons" came to TALLAHASSEE!!!! whoooo! It’s here people! EVERYONE GO SEE IT!!! I've heard it’s amazing! Even if ONE nonmember in Tally goes to see it and is touched it will be WORTH IT! So glad it’s here :)

This week our Zone is doing a "Family History Focus Week" where all our finding approaches are going to be family history.  Bring on the spirit of Elijah!! We are "competing" with the other Tally Zone to see who gets the most return appointments and such.  Not sure I like the idea of a competition haha but hopefully it will motivate us all to use family history more in our finding.  Hey, look at Shirley! :) Next P-day there will be a huge dodge ball tournament with both zones and prizes given out for such.  It should be fun! Not sure when I'll have time to pack though yikes!! Also Mom, I'm so impressed with you getting into family history! Atta way!! Pretty soon it will be you attached to that computer doing it rather than Dad!

The members here are so great.  Let’s just say, we have lunch AND dinner appointments EVERY SINGLE DAY until I get on that plane! I mean that is even MORE THAN LYNN HAVEN!! haha!!

Dad, I met very briefly an Elder and Sister Rhoades yesterday in our church building.  They were driving back to Provo, just finished their mission in Jacksonville, FL.  They said they work at BYU and knew you! They were so sweet!

Well, I LOVE Y’ALL!!!!! T-12 days to invite as many people as I can to come unto Christ!!!! LET’S DO IT!!! Have a wonderful week!!!! <3/ SISTER HOLMOE

Some Troy sisters reuniting :)
Love my Dothan sisters!!
Comp loving at the campfire!
Sister Sam, Sister Ford, and I!
Last time I'll see my baby until we reunite post mission!!! :( :(
Happy Birthday Sister Ford!!
Sister Dyches <3
ALL the previous TROY missionaries!!!
Comp besties <3
Some of my previous companions!! Loved being with all of them for the day! Just a few missing!
I think I ate everything under the sea........Never consumed so much raw food in my life!
I love this lady!!!
Shirley <3
Brother Douglas (our amazing ward mission leader) baptized Rosemarie!
Selfie with Shirley! What an incredible woman!
Brother Fernandez (one of our ward missionaries) baptized Shirley
Feng Cai took us out to Chinese Saturday night! It was awesome!
Look how cute Kalia is!?! I want her dress in my size haha!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 71

Hello fam and friends!!! Greetings from the beautiful Tallahassee, Florida! I finished the BOM this week!!! WHOO! 3rd time on my mission complete and just like all the other times, I add my witness that it’s true! It truly is the keystone of our religion and should be the keystone of our lives as well!  Just like Preach my Gospel states, the BOM has the nourishing power to heal the starving spirits of the world.  I've seen that time and time again as we've reached out and shared this book with others.  It really is the most powerful resource in conversion along with the spirit.  Just as Joseph Smith taught that a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book, I know that that is true and I invite ALL reading this email to either continue reading and studying the Book of Mormon OR to begin. It was a cool experience because I finished the last chapter in Moroni the SAME EXACT day that Shirley did.  To be able to share that special day of completing it cover to cover, no matter how many times you've done it, with someone else (OUR VERY OWN INVESTIGATOR TO BE EXACT) was awesome! Yes, Shirley and Rosemarie are still on board.  Shirley was able to receive a priesthood blessing for her smoking and she hasn't had one since.  We take it a day at a time and I swear I've never prayed harder in my life but it’s worth every one. We actually have been SO busy teaching, planning, organizing, finding, etc that it’s a miracle if we get home before 9:30 every night.  What a great way to finish my mission though, TIRED, BEAT, EXHAUSTED, but sooooooooooo HAPPY :)

Zone Training went really well this week.  Us and the Zone leaders made a pancake breakfast for all the missionaries before our meeting started.  It was great! Then we had random tornado warnings and the city alarms were going off during the meeting but it added dramatic effect :) The thunder was CRAZY loud!!  It was my last Zone Training so the departing missionaries and I got to bear our testimonies. #HARDESTTHINGEVER. 

We went on two exchanges this week and both were GREAT!! I stayed in Tally on the first one and we had a super cool experience.  We were knocking doors since an appointment had fallen through and it was crazy how we even got to this specific neighborhood in the first place but behind one of the doors we knocked on answered a man named Aaron.  Now two days previous we had gone through and texted a ton of "potential investigators" contacts that we have never known or heard of in our phone.  Aaron just happened to be one of those potential investigators.  He showed us the text message and everything. WHAT ARE THE ODDS OUT OF ALL THE HOUSES IN TALLY WE KNOCK ON ONE OF THE PEOPLE WE TEXTED?  Clearly, God wants us to work with him.  He is a little skeptical but even he couldn't deny the fact that the spirit led us to his home.

The other exchange I had the opportunity to go to Crawfordville for the day!!! Going to Elder Holmoe's old stomping grounds was SO fun!! I looked through the area book and found one of his old teaching records. Can you believe that!? We tried visiting the person but they weren't home.  But still, I was on the SAME porch that he probably stood many years ago! I just felt a really cool spirit the whole day being there.  LOVE YOU EAZY E!! We decided to go on an adventure that day so we drove to a small town in Wakulla County called SOPCHOPPY! DAD, does that ring a bell!?!?! Long ago you sent me a newspaper article with that crazy town in it haha. And it was sure crazy! Like NO ONE was home so we drove to Panacea, another town in Wakulla County.  It was gorgeous and we were able to talk to more people there so it turned out to be a great day! I felt like I was back in Lynn Haven.  A lot more southern feel to it than Tallahassee!

We got to teach Francis again this week.  I don't think I've shared too much on Francis in the past but I sure do love her! She is one of those classic southern Baptist since the womb but SLOWLY she is starting to warm up to the Restoration.  She says she will continue to meet with us until the day she finds something wrong in the BOM....needless to say she's continued to let us in for 5 months now :)

On Saturday night Ms. Kathy Lynn took us out to "Bonefish Grill" (one of the nicest restaurants in Tally) for my "last supper".  It was so sweet of her.  You can't go out with Kathy Lynn without having loads of missionary experiences so I'm pretty sure all the waiters and waitresses at Bonefish will be at church this week haha :) Then afterwards she took us to get cupcakes and the employees there saw our name tags and donated TONS of cupcakes for us to pass out to our church members.  It was SO nice of them!  One of them just randomly applied to Utah State because she wants to go to the snow.  We had an awesome conversation about the church and I really hope she gets accepted there! So many prepared people, the field really is white and ready to harvest!!!

I LOVE YALL SO MUCH!!! The countdown is starting to become real. It still feels far to me but then I tell people when I go home and they are like WOAH SISTER, THAT’S SOON! I guess it really is right around the corner! I am SOOOOO grateful for all the things happening in the area right now that help keep me focused and diligent! Greatest work in the world.  Have a wonderful week!!!!! <3/ Sister Holmoe

ps sorry about the cougs :(
ps thanks for the Disney postcard and letter!!! LOVED it!
ps I would LOVE the conference book, thank you!!!
ps do I need to bring home my pillow?


Lizard in the primary room?!? Happens all the time. Only in Florida!!!
Feng and I :) Watermelon with chopsticks, the best ending to family home evening!
Tally 1 Zone
A member took us to this really nice Thai restaurant! Thought I'd take a pic to remember! The owner said she would take me to Thailand with her to teach the gospel:)
Lunch with these awesome sisters!!!
We love Shirley <3
THEE Sopchoppy.  We should have bought shirts that said, "We survived Sopchoppy" ha!
And this is why I love pretty is that!?
I remember when Sis Stephenson had her FIRST DAY in the mission field and now she's been out over 9 months :) She is amazing!
 Love this lady SOOO MUCH!!! <3 I'll never be able to thank her enough!
"Smallcakes" has won the show "Cupcake Wars" 3 times!!

 A member named April.  She lives in a Group home and we try to visit her once a month.  She has such a beautiful spirit. I love her a lot!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 70

Hey y’all!!! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip to Orlando!!! It was so fun to talk to the Mills all about it!! I'm secretly glad it was super-hot so you could feel my pain mwa haha!! Looks like Disneyworld was a BLAST and I'm so proud of Mom for holding that alligator!!! I heard the game was super intense!! Hopefully we can get the W this week! I think it’s the last home game before I'll be back!

This week for us was AWESOME!  So many highlights but for sure Lee’s baptism was incredible.  Lee is a bright light to all he meets.  He has one of those celestial spirits that spreads happiness to all.  There was a HUGE turnout for the baptism because of all the members who have connected with him and loved him.  He is always such a happy boy but I've never seen him happier than he was on Saturday!  I don't think he ever stopped smiling!! I love that family and they have come so far!  Even the Wilkerson grandparents who haven't been to church in YEARS came and supported Lee.  His sisters also came and sang a duet which made Lee grin from ear to ear.  The whole YW presidency was there to support the girls even though they weren't getting baptized.  Their time will come but it was great to have them there!  It was a day that no one will forget!!! Especially Lee!!

We were SUPER busy this week teaching lots of people but we also scheduled lots of time to find new investigators.  In our finding efforts we were able to meet a couple from Holland who was traveling around the United States for the first time.  We talked with them for a long time.  They had never heard of our church before.  Though the husband seemed totally against it there was something in the wife that was really intrigued.  You never know one day when the missionaries in Holland might come across them! I also have a goal to write my testimony in a Book of Mormon every week and pass it out to someone who the spirit prompts!  It was amazing because we pass out a lot of BOM's daily but as soon as we saw this one guy I JUST KNEW that this was the one I was to give my special BOM too.  I pray that something in what I wrote will touch him one day! We also started teaching a woman and during the first lesson in her home we looked over and noticed a "Quad" on the table.  We were like "HUH!?" She said it was her fiancĂ©’s and isn't sure how he got it.  He must have some Mormon connection which is exciting!  They seem like an awesome family who has a lot of potential!

On an exchange this week I was in the Tally 3rd ward and it was our goal to ask EVERYONE for referrals!! (It’s the hardest thing to remember for some reason!) Anyways, God totally blessed us because as we asked our dinner appointment if they knew anyone who would benefit from our message, they gave us walking directions to THEE Bobby Bowden’s home! haha we were like..."SCORE!"  So we knocked on his door but unfortunately we could see them in the backyard and they couldn't hear us in the front!  BUMMER!  But still pretty cool to say I've knocked on Bobby Bowden’s door :) hehe!

Yesterday church was amazing.  Walking in the doors of the chapel came less active after less active after less active!! It was a total surprise to us!!!  Some people we've been working with for months now randomly decided to come yesterday and it was AWESOME!!! We couldn't believe our eyes!! I am so grateful to be a part of the rescue and feel the joy when some of the sheep return home. <3

Tomorrow we have Zone Training and we are teaching on the Christ-like attribute of humility.  We have a few good ideas and I'm grateful for the studies I've been able to have on this important characteristic!  I know I could always work on humility!!! WHO COULDN'T? 

SOO grateful to be a missionary.  As the days tick down I continue to become more and more grateful for the past 18 months.  Sometimes in my head I think....."I CANNOT BELIEVE I JUST DID THAT." haha.  I could never have done this without the love of my Heavenly Father, the support of my Savior, the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and the constant encouragement from my family and friends. Thank you for everything!!!

May miracles continue to happen and blessings continue to pour out upon each and every one of you!!!! As well as the people of the FTM!!!! I LOVE Y’ALL SOOO MUCH!!!!! Have a wonderful week!!! <3/ Sister Holmoe

Zaxby's shakes! Nothin' better!
Cierra and I! She was baptized at the beginning of the year.  Love her!!
Sister Bevan and I doing some service :)
This is Bobby Bowden's house!
The adventure to offer Coach Bowden Celestial Glory!!! haha!
Tally 3 sisters
LEE! :)
The whole Wilkerson clan!
Selfie with Lee!
 Melissa and Kk.
 This is Rosemarie!!!! I took a picture with her so y'all would know what she looks like before she gets baptized :) SHE'S AMAZING!!!!!!
16 month pic!!!
This is a future Taylor Woodward! We often have cheer convos together. She's great!!!
You best believe this girl is a future sister missionary!!!!
2 out of the 4 of the Violets kids :) They are like little siblings to me.