"Wherefore, whithersoever they shall send you, go ye, and I will be with you; and in whatsoever place ye shall
proclaim my name an effectual door shall be opened unto you, that they may receive my word."
- Doctrine & Covenants 112:19

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Some Teaching Experiences This Week....

  1. So my companion speaks Spanish, and we were told there were 4 Spanish speakers up by the Christus, so we went up there to play the narration for them in Spanish, but when we got up there, they weren't there. But there was a man standing by himself, so my companion started speaking to him in Spanish. His name is Oscar. We ended up taking him through a little movie presentation called God's Plan, and were talking with him after, and he talked about how beautiful it was, but how his wife left him, and wondered why God would allow that to happen, if families are so important to Him. So we explained about agency, and how everyone has the ability to make their own choices, good or bad, and other people have to live with the consequences of them. So that was the start of the tour. As we were walking from that presentation to the next place, I was looking at him while he was talking, and it really hit me: he is prepared to hear the gospel from us, in this very moment. I felt such great love for him, and how ready he was to hear the Gospel, it was so wonderful! So we took him to a bunch of places, probably spent 1 1/2- 2 hours with him. I didn't get to speak much, because it was in Spanish, but I understood most of it. Then we started talking about the Book of Mormon, and I told him a little about what the book is while my compy translated, but felt that I should keep it simple. So I just told a little about it but then just looked him in the eyes and said how it is like a road map for life, and any questions about life can be answered in this book, and how special it was and then just said, and I know that it is true. and he just looked at me for a few seconds and said thank you, that was beautiful (or something like that) and then wanted one in Spanish, which we wrote our testimonies in. He said he would pray to know if the things we shared with him were true, but how wonderful he felt while he was here. So then we talked about church, and asked if he would go to church on Sunday, and he said that he would. We also talked about baptism, and he didn't know why he would have to be baptized if he had previously been as a baby. We asked him why baptism is performed, and he said for a remission of sins, and we asked him if he thought he had sins as a baby, and he said no, and talked about how that makes sense to him, and how he wants to share everything with his wife. It was so cool! We called him yesterday on the phone and he was really busy, but told us over and over how beautiful the things that we said were, and how good he felt, that he came back the next day and stayed for a few hours. (He lives in TX but is a truck driver, that's why he was up here). He said that he wants to talk more but that that time wasn't good for him because his kids and grand kids just arrived from CA. But he prayed with us over the phone, and is going to read the book of Mormon, and we are going to talk about baptism with him after Sunday, after he goes to church. It was so great! It was incredible to see the Hand of God in that work, how many miracles he prepared for us to be there at that moment, and for his heart to be opened. I am excited to keep teaching him.

  2. Then yesterday, I had to go on exchanges again for a bit while my compy was in a meeting. So some sisters asked if we could take this lady on a tour and we said yes. So we meet her and she is a black lady originally from Jamaica, named Natoya, but lives in Vegas. She said that she is a member, but hasn't always made the right choices, but decided to drive up here this weekend because she knew that she needed that back in her life again. We got to talk to her, and discover some of the things she was struggling with. We took her to see God's Plan, and she cried a lot (i love when they cry... >:) ) she expressed how she wants to get sealed in the Temple, but doesn't know when she will. We asked if she had her pat. blessing and she said yes, that it said in there that she would be sealed in the temple. I told her how I wanted her to know that that will happen, and that she deserves it. And how much worth she has. She said that she is carrying some baggage that she needs to let go. A Christian song popped into my head, and told her how 'you can't run when you're holding suitcases' and that God wants her to be able to run down her path, or something like that and she loved it! She kept repeating that during our lesson. So we got to set her in front of the Christus, and she was at peace. She came to an understanding of what God wants for her, and what she wants, and said how she knew what she needed to do when she got home, and how she planned to move out of Las Vegas. Then she gave us her contact info so we can stay in touch and help her, she was so excited. Oh yeah, funny moment: my exchange compy asked if have you ever heard of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? and She did the Black attitude face with lips poking out and goes, 'guuuurl, pulease.' haha it was so funny!

  3. Today we taught a man straight up from Jerusalem. Man that guy knows the Old Testament! He said that he was raised Jewish, but is Agnostic, searching. I told him how at some point, we are all searching, and have to come to our own conclusions. We shared The Restoration with him and it was a little hard. It's hard for me to imagine not believing in the Second coming, how Christ already came. It made me really sad. But it was a good experience. He liked the things that we said (well not us...the spirit) and referred so that we can continue to teach him.

  4. Yesterday, we got assigned to a tour of 5 Koreans. All members except one, and she was the only one who speaks English., but they didn't want a Korean tour for some reason. So we took them on a tour, but the non member had to translate every thing, but she was unfamiliar with all of our church words, so it was really hard. (Her name is Hailey) Plus, she didn't sleep the night before so she was really tired. But we tried our best to explain everything simply. She said that she doesn't base her belief on knowledge, but on feelings. I was like SCORE! I love when people are like that, she was golden! We took them to a bunch of places, and she was again one of those people who I know had been prepared to hear the gospel specifically from us. it was way cool. She said how much she enjoyed being there, and that if they hadn't dragged her with them, that she wouldn't have gone, but how glad she was that she went. She wanted a BoM in English (she likes English more than Korean) and wanted to stay in contact so that we can continue to teach her. She was so happy, and wants to know more. So golden! I love being able to teach people after they come here. It is such a blessing. I can't really imagine a more powerful place to teach someone than Temple Square...I feel so lucky it is humbling.


Friday, October 25, 2013

It's Your Favorite Day of the Week!

Well hello!

This week has been great. Time goes by pretty fast. But it is my favorite weather outside, I don't want it to change!

So Kami, you asked about the temple service, well guess what...I didn't get to do it :( It wasn't allowed for 1st transfers. So not only did I not get to do it, but I had to go on exchanges while my companion got to do it! And she got to go into the Assembly room and a sister that was with her...wait for it....SAW THE PROPHET. I was so mad I didn't get to go haha.

Something that I have slowly come to realize is how fast you can love a person, and feel God's love for them. Except the Anti's....those are hard to love. It is pretty cool to not even know someone for a minute, and already have such a great love for them.

So something that is really hard for me is anti's. People who are not receptive to the Gospel, who aren't really searching, but trying to break down your testimony. It's hard for me because you don't see us over at their churches trying to tell them how they are going to hell (even though...haha just kidding! ) or trying to change their beliefs, but rather add to them, like an ice cream sundae (I came up with that, it's good huh!). It just makes me really sad, I guess. They are so lost. And their hearts are so far gone, like I think it says in Alma. I just want to help them so much, but they don't want help. I just try to bear testimony, and thank them for strengthening my testimony, and tell them how I know it's true, and they can too if they will pray about it. But they don't care. I need to learn to love them anyway, that is really hard. Something I am working on!

I have noticed what a great opportunity it is to be able to teach someone with a member present. Someone that the visitor (or investigator for other missions) knows and trusts, so that when they bear testimony they can see how it has affected their lives, because they know their lives. Yes we can tell people that we know things and how it has changed our lives, but they don't know our lives. It's great to have members present! Just like in Hailey's case, she was able to see how the Gospel changed the other 4 peoples lives (3/4 are converts).

Life is good, I am in the best place ever, doing the best thing ever. Its hard, it's exhausting, it's stressful, but it's WORTH it. Even if all our lessons in a day don't want to continue to be taught, we still are able to pick out miracles each day, and see the Hand of God in all that we do.

This church is true, and I challenge everyone to start working on Elder Ballard's promise of finding one person to share the gospel with by Christmas....let's get the membership to 30 mil! We can do it!
I love you all, and hope you have a great weekend.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Some Anecdotes

So I'll share a short teaching story from yesterday. This guy from new york came in with his colleague who lives in SLC but both are non-members. The one from New york was visiting his colleague and he took him up here. The NY one is Hindu, and just straight up asked so what are the beliefs in this church? Keep in mind this was my first full day...and my companion was turned around talking to someone so i was all by myself! I was like uh...then I started talking about how God loves us all because we are his children, and how He has a individual plan for each of us, each one being different, and how we are given families to make us happy, and how God wants us to be happy ( I think the Spirit spoke for me because I don't remember too much of what I said) and before I could go on, I got interrupted and we kept talking about other things, answering other questions. Anyway, after a long time, he said hoe clean it felt here and how much he liked being here and how he wanted to come back and bring his daughter, but only specifically to us haha. He gladly filled out his information so we can keep in contact, and we gave him a plan of salvation pamphlet and a book of Mormon and he said he would read them cover to cover and that we could quiz him on them haha it was so cool to see how much he liked being there, and saying how he wants to come back. His daughter actually called him while he was there, and he made us talk to her so she could meet us haha. And he gave us her number so we can call her too. The Lord work in mysterious ways, and the Spirit is powerful. DC 100 it shall be given you what to say in the very moment!

Something I bet is interesting to hear is about Security here! It's to be kept on the down-low though so don't tell too many people haha. So there are Security men walking around, and there are cameras on us most of the time. So there are signals that we are directed to do when we need security, and they will come. Or if you call them and say 'bring me my scriptures' that works too. We actually had to call security today. We were downstairs in the south visitor's center and this weird guy was yelling on the phone while reading thing's from the displays, and when we would walk by he would get quiet and start walking away but would come back. We couldn't tell if he was really just schizophrenic and talking to himself but using the phone as a decoy, or if he was anti, or what. but we called security just in case. so 3 or 4 security guys came and kicked him off the square. It was interesting for sure. I was trying to find where the security guys were packing (adam) haha but couldn't (i guess that's the point).

So I try to write in my journal every day, and one of the things I decided I would start doing it writing an awkward story of the day haha so I will share one!

Yesterday, my companion and I were going to go to dinner (we went to city creek and I got real food for the first time since the MTC!!) and we saw this older guy who looked like someone we had met the day before. So we started talking to him (it wasn't the guy we thought) and he said he was meeting someone. Then this older lady walks up and says oh, I think this is the man I am meeting! So they have this awkward tight hug and come to find out, they met online, and decided to meet.....in a fetching visitor's center on temple square?? who does that anyway...It was so awkward! We decided to let them have their "alone" time. I jokingly said to my companion, watch them still be here when we get back. Well, when we got back after dinner and some assignments almost three hours later, they were sitting in the same spot where we left them! Still awkwardly hugging...haha. Man it was hilarious.

I LOVE serving on Temple Square. It is such a special place. I love being able to share my testimony all day, and explain about the temple. I love seeing people change, and their hearts be softened. I love seeing miracles. I know that all things are possible through Christ, and that He needs me here at this specific place at this specific time, and it is wonderful. Exhausting, but wonderful. The church is true, all things point to that! I love everything about it.

Hope you all have a great week.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Flag Tag!

Well, I am officially on the square, equipped with my temple tag and flag tag! They are the coolest, nowhere else gets a temple on their tag and a flag for their country!

SO it has been a pretty crazy week...not sure where to start, i guess I will jump right in.

Fridays are my P-days this transfer!

Oh, I get 2 hours of email time here, holler!

My trainer! She is Sister Mendoza from Arizona and Mexico (she has dual citizenship). She is very sweet and gorgeous. Next transfer is her last before she goes home, so she has been out for a while. She served her outbound 2 transfers ago in Birmingham (that is a place i would love to serve outbound). She is teaching me a lot! A little hard at first because she knows all the sisters and speaks Spanish to everyone so I kind of just stand there and smile a lot haha.

So last week, ELDER OAKS came to the MTC. We had heard a rumor he was coming, and since it was our last day, we figured why not camp out just in case. So we were like the 4th people in line waiting and....drumroll....He came! and we were in the third row :) it was way awesome. Him and His wife gave great talks. There was a really special feeling in the air and when everyone stood when he walked in, you could just feel how much of a man of God he is.
It was harder to leave the MTC than i thought, but not for the place..for the people! I miss the girls in my district, we are so close. And now I only get to see them in passing on the square every now and then.
The other two girls in my apartment are from Cambodia and Fiji, they are really sweet and funny I like them!
I was a little overwhelmed by all the foreign sisters here because 80% are foreign so a lot are hard to understand, but I am really starting to love them. They are so special and have wonderful testimonies.
So Temple Square covers 10 acres, and there are 235 Sisters here! (granted about 30 are on their outbound, but still!) So I am still always seeing new faces, it is cool.

So my assignment this transfer is Square. So we are primarily out on the square contacting people or taking tours and such. It is so cool!

So I will explain the way we teach a little bit. So we contact someone and take them on a "tour" (which is really a lesson, but they don't know that). Our tours are special, it's kind of like a good, better or best thing: good being history tours, better being feel-good tours, and best being converting, life-changing tours. So we try to have all our tours be BEST tours, it's fun. Anyway, Then we usually invite them to do something and tell them how we want to keep in contact and follow up on their commitment. So we get their contact information, and here on Temple Square, we have the opportunity and the time to contact them through email (not this email, a mission email) and over the phone. It's pretty cool! i thought it would be like we teach people, and they leave, and we never hear from them again but it's the opposite! I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father created technology for missionaries/ the Gospel, to be able to take it to all ends of the Earth it's way cool.

I just want to share how much I love being a missionary! I love being a representative of Jesus Christ, hastening the work of The Lord in these last days. He is preparing people now, more than ever, the field is white, already to harvest.


Friday, October 11, 2013

P-Days Are Sent From Heaven

(Holly's letter from Friday)

Well here it is! 2 1/2 weeks down....4 days to go.

So this week was a long one, lots of information to remember, hopefully I don't forget it all!

So last Friday, I finally weighed myself. I gained 8 POUNDS in the one week i was here!! Which is weird because I never really eat that much because the food is gross. So i'm convinced they put something in the food to fatten you up before you go into the field. The food stinks! I weighed myself yesterday though, and I lost 5 of those pounds. It was before breakfast though. But I've been working out hard and really eating healthy!

Anyway. The elders left Wednesday, so it is just us sisters in our district now. We loved them! We were like one big family. They are gonna make great missionaries.

I started Visitor's Center training Wednesday. Wednesday they also took us to temple square and took us on a mini tour of the north visitor's center and talked to us a little bit. it was really short but it was crazy to be on the exact spot that i will be serving. Cool though! Plus I got a nap on the bus so I was a happy camper.

Tomorrow [Saturday] we will be at temple square for like five hours..... We will be doing splits and they are going to make us teach! I am so scared haha but excited. I am glad I will still have a companion if I go blank. But it will be cool.

We started doing chat! Legitimately with real people not actors. It's the people who go on mormon.org and chat. We respond to those! It's crazy. We talked to someone from New Jersey and someone from Haiti. I am writing down all the places it's going to be a long list after 18 months haha.

For our devo[tional] Tuesday night, John Madsen and his wife came and talked. He's an emeritus G.A. [General Authority] real good talks.

We do TRC differently now. We do it as if we were in a visitor center! It's cool.

I see Nate all the time! Almost every day. His class was two doors down from mine but I moved for VC training. But I'm just on a different floor. It's fun to see him! And now I know what he does. It is pretty cool.

I've had some great teachers I have been really...really blessed here. With everything. Even with my schedule! Some people have really hard schedules like bfast at 630 and gym time in the middle of the day but I don't so I am really glad.

So something cool this week. We were role playing with a girl from our zone, me and my companion were teaching, and we really taught by the spirit and she cried and cried it was so good! Just in a role play! This work is awesome.

Yesterday we did a TRC where a guy was a member but just wanted to know how he could better do missionary work even though he served a mission and wanted to come closer to Christ. Something I said he liked so much he wrote it down! I've always wanted to be quoted! haha

Hopefully this email isn't too lame. I felt like a lot happened, but I guess I can't remember it or it isn't important! Oh well.

Don't forget Elder Ballard's challenge: everyone talk to someone by Christmas! [See the challenge HERE]

Well, don't just talk, let the Spirit talk, and they will feel the Spirit. Ask them thought provoking questions, and just focus on listening and you will know what to say! Boldness with charity is never overwhelming and doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith! [See that talk HERE] Faith works miracles, I sure know that.

Well I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

I am not sure when pday will be next week with me departing. We shall see I guess....

The Church is true, anything is possible through our Savior.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Few Pictures from the MTC!

(I don't know anything about these pictures, I assume they are of the sisters in Holly's district in the MTC)
[she said there was 4 sisters including herself]
(I'll update the info here when we hear from Sister Ferguson)

Friday, October 4, 2013

MTC Teaching Experience

So last week, our very first investigator was Lawanna. A black lady from Arkansas who moved out here to receive treatment at Huntsman Cancer Center. So basically we bombed the lesson. It's pretty funny... it'll give you a good laugh. So we knock on the door and she lets us in and we sit down. Usually, we would get to know them, make them feel comfortable and that we care about them... but for some reason my companion just blurted out "what's your relationship with God?" So she was on edge the whole time. I also forgot she was a member referral and asked her why she wanted to meet with us and she said, y'all knocked on my door!" I was like oh....crap ha. Then I tried to go back to get to know her and I stupidly asked her "What type of cancer do you have?" where she proceeded to tell us this was awkward and that she was just 'sick'. So THEN we're trying to figure out her needs and what we are going to teach her but she is so closed off so there were a lot of awkward pauses. Then she basically just asked why were there and I told her how God loves her and we love her and want to help her come closer to Christ and how it will bring her happiness. Then she said how awkward it was how we came into her home and only know her for 20 minutes and are telling her we love her haha oh man I was dying. Then we find out that she won't pray because she feels like God didn't answer her prayer... so I tried to explain that God answers all prayers, but sometimes it's not the answer or the time frame we would like and how he is aware of Her and loves her and she cuts me off and goes, "oh it's too late, she dead!" (in her black voice) I guess she prayed to ask God not to take her Mom, but she died. Man. Then my companion shared the Bible Dictionary definition of Prayer and had her read it. Well that was bad because it says in there that sometimes God doesn't answer prayers because we don't end in the name of Jesus Christ so she freaked out and said that we were telling her that her mom died because she didn't say in the name of Jesus Christ... haha gosh this is a long story. But it was a train wreck and it got worse and worse. We did an awful job of listening to the Spirit and getting to know her. So Monday, we met with her again (by a miracle, she let us back) and it was a different story. We had prayed and studied for her and the Spirit was so strong! We asked inspired questions that made her cry, and she actually prayed with us in the lesson! The difference was night and day. She is going to read the Book of Mormon too I think. We'll see!

Anyway I hope that wasn't too long just thought you needed a good laugh. All the rest of the lessons we have taught have been pretty amazing! It's so great to see change in people.

I love being a missionary and I love all of you. So does God.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

First Week in the MTC!

Well hello everyone!

Can't believe it's already been a week since I left. I'm glad time flies. I love it here, but I am anxious to get out in the field and out of my classroom!

So the first day was really good. Second day not so much... but every day after that was great. It is very different than what I am used to. It's funny though... the Lord sure does bless his children. Something I thought I would have a really hard time with was waking up early. It actually has been the least of my worries. It usually makes me very grumpy and takes me hours to wake up but I have been up out of bed alert every morning usually at 5:50 ish. It's nice.

SO I am sure you want me to walk you through a regular day. Well,
  • wake up around 6
  • exercise 30 mins
  • get ready until 7:30
  • Personal Study in class at 7:30
  • Breakfast at 8:30
  • Comp study till 9:30 (or somewhere around there)
  • Class for 3 hours
  • TRC (training resource center) where we teach investigators (I'll explain later) for 45 mins
  • Lunch 140
  • Class for 3 more hours
  • another TRC
  • Dinner 6:40
  • Some sort of devotional or branch meeting or zone meeting
  • Planning time (for investigators and such) 9-9:30
  • Journaling/Personal time till 10:30
So there is my whole day most days!

Today is Pday and we got to go to the 9 o clock sesh at the temple. It was wonderful. Except that I slept through the first half of the session until we had to stand up...oops. I guess I don't sleep very well here because as I hard as I try to stay awake, I usually doze off in personal study too! Anyways back to the temple, I've never felt so close to Heavenly Father, and the Provo temple is beautiful.

Right now I am doing my Laundry.

So my companion! Her name is Sister Brock, she is from Salem, Oregon. I love her. It is hard sometimes though because she just got out of high school and she really likes to be in charge and to be the one talking... haha sometimes that is hard but I am sure I do annoying things too. We are pretty similar though, we even dress the same. We actually have a few of the same things it's funny. But we work pretty well together.

I love my district!! They are so great. There are 4 sisters (including me) and 4 elders. All the sisters are going to temple square, and all the elders are going to Australia Brisbane! Sister Jones in my district is from Washington D.C. and she reminds me so much of Emily Baczuk... She dresses like her, acts like her, and even looks like her if she had red hair! She's funny. Sister Richardson is her companion, she is from North Carolina.

Anyway, It has been so nice to get some 'Dear Elders' this week, thank you for those!

Okay so now I will explain about how I teach. So my district of 8 people are a pilot District. Out of the 600 new missionaries that we got last Wednesday, our 8 missionaries were chosen to be this pilot district. I still am not entirely sure on what it entails, all I know it that all the other missionaries didn't start TRC until yesterday, and we started our 2nd day. So we basically got thrown to the wolves! Also, we have the heads of the teaching department teaching us, so we should be pretty prepared by the end of our MTC stay!

So TRC is where we teach investigators. These investigators are paid by the MTC to basically be actors. With each set of missionaries that teach them, they start as if they have never talked to missionaries before basically. Most of them are LDS who are converts so it's their real story, but some of them are actually non-members so it's a little scary. There are small rooms that just have three chairs in them which serve as their "home" and there is a big camera filming us teach every lesson. So each investigator is different. Some are so difficult and don't even let you in the door! If we hadn't been told, we would all think they were really investigators, they do such a good job of acting and never break character.

Well, long story short I love being a missionary and I love all of you. So does God. Oh!!! everyone look up the MTC devotional by Elder Bednar, Character of Christ. Please do it it is amazing. Watch it it will change your life!

Love you everyone