"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

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tripling in to.....OSU!

Holly and her companions in Ohio

Hey remember when I said I really wanted to serve on OSU campus? Well dreams do come true! I didn't even mention a word about wanting to serve there to the Mission President, but on Transfer Day, I was put in a trio and we all pinkwashed onto OSU. So that means that we all came to our area without serving there before. It was interesting because they have the same transfer days, and they had an even number of sisters, so it didn't really make sense why they had made two trios, I guess it's just meant to be! So my companions are Sister Malloy from Valencia, CA, and Sister Larsen from Pleasant Grove, UT. We are having tons of fun! It's pretty ironic actually because it is exactly what we do on Temple Square. We street contact all day on campus. I actually haven't even been tracting yet. Columbus is great, I love it! I've never smelled so much alcohol in my life. Haha. But it's beautiful if you can get passed the dead of summer humidity.

Man there is so much to tell you I don't even know where to start! There have been so many adventures, I'll make sure to tell you about them later. Haha

So we live a couple miles away from the institute on campus, and we don't have cars or bikes, we are just walkers, so we have to get rides from members a lot, or take the bus which doesn't run as often in the summer. The members here are so incredible, I am so impressed. They have taught me who I want to be when I return. In this mission, we have to have 100% Member Present Lessons, so in all lessons we teach, we have to have a member present. There are so many members who volunteer to teach with us anytime, and members feed us! And most of the members that teach with us are actually Recent Converts. Keep in mind, all these members are YSA kids going to college. That is so new to me that they would be willing to do all this! It's incredible. Like today, one of the members who got baptized just a year ago picked us up and drove us around so we could go grocery shopping. They're so awesome.

I am sure you are wondering what we do all day haha. Well, we have the normal morning schedule, and after companionship (or I guess it would be tripanionship) study, we go to the institute and if we don't have lessons, we street contact! We contact up and down High Street and on campus. We start most street contacts by asking them if we can give them a card (pass-along card). Then we ask them if they've heard of the Mormon church, or if they go to school here, or we'll find something that they're wearing or eating or doing that can start a conversation, and we will bridge it to the Gospel and invite them to learn more. Bridging is so fun, we do that a lot on Temple Square. We do lots of bridging roleplays so that when we are giving tours we can always relate everything to the Gospel. So I've been trying to do that here too. For example, yesterday we street contacted this guy Victor, who was in a Pizza Hut uniform. We talked to him a little bit, and I told him that we don't ask anyone to give up any good or truth they believe, but we invite them to come and get more, to add to it like Pizza toppings. He was really open, and we set up a return appointment to teach him more.

We contacted this girl named Cheyenne on campus on Friday. She had marroon hair and lots of piercings. We started to ask about her religious background and she said that she isn't as religious as she used to be, but that she wishes she was because she is having a hard time. We didn't ask about what she is going through, but we testified of how she is a daughter of God, and how He loves her, and how the Gospel can help her and she began to cry and said she really needed to hear that. We asked if we could meet with her and share more with her and she brightened up and said she would really like that. We have an appointment with her tomorrow! We are way excited.

Okay the coolest thing that I have been so excited to write home about!!!.....Yes I dreamed of serving on OSU campus, but even more than that, since I started serving on Temple Square and knew I would go outbound, I have dreamed of teaching someone that Temple Square sisters found. Well it came true!! We are teaching Kevin. He is from mainland China and goes to OSU. He went to Temple Square with his mom who was visiting the states. They were in Utah and KJevin told his mom they should go since he heard it was a good tourist place. So they went, and they had a tour from Sister Hsu and Sister Bomgren, two of my favorite Sisters on Temple Square!! While his mom was busy taking pictures (typical Asain haha), he was listening to what the Sisters had to say, and he wanted to learn more. So the sisters sent local missionaries to him, but because he is going to OSU and lives on campus, he was given to us!! He is the sweetest guy. When he came to Temple Square, he didn't have any religious background and didn't really know anything about God or Jesus Christ, and now he tells us that he is beginning to accept them and that he believes the church is true. We met with him and did some How to Begin Teaching, and he is really solid. He really likes learning about it and he reads the Book of Mormon in Mandarin. And he came to church on Sunday!!! Can I tell you how cool it is to be able to sit next to your investigators? Especially when it is one that Temple Square sisters referred! Man it is a dream come true. I can't wait until he is baptized! We are working on putting him on date, he is ready but doesn't want to be pushed, so we are having him pray about a baptismal date.

It's so similar in some aspects, but so different in others. Like on Temple Square, we only had one hour of church. On OSU, we have 6! We go to both YSA wards. I like it, but it's a little hard to stay awake haha. Oh, and the Mission President changed today, so I will have served under 4 Presidents. Hopefully I can help the new President, President Daines, understand more about Temple Square, how we are just as qualified as any other missionaries, because President Nilsen definitely didn't....haha

Something funny that happened this week to make you laugh...we were walking down High st. when this lady we said hi to turned around and said, are you mormons? She then proceeded to tell us her whole life story about how she was a member of the church but got excommunicated when she was 15 for arguing with her dad because she didn't want to marry the bishop...I'm not really sure it made sense haha we were thinking she might have been a member of one of the breakoff LDS churches so we invited her to return to church but she made a bunch of excuses and said that she already found God and that all churches and Books bring us to Him. Well, a scripture popped in my head, so I told her to look up what I thought was the reference. When I got home that night, I looked it up. I was 3 verses off. I was thinking of the scripture that says that God is mindful of all His children, and that He numbers them but the reference I gave her was for this verse instead: "For behold, they would take up arms against their brethren; they would not suffer themselves to be slain." Haha oops!! Hopefully she didn't go look that one up.

So some of the adventures....

-Because I haven't had a p-day in almost two weeks, I had to do laundry on Saturday. We don't have a washer and dryer, so we had to go to a neighboring complex and use theirs, but it doesn't take coins or cash, only a prepaid card. The sisters before us had left the cards, but it only had $2.25 on it. To wash it costs $1.50. So I threw everything in the wash and used the card. Then I realized we didn't have laundry soap....so my clothes were washed without soap. Then I realized there wasn't $1.50 left on the card to dry them so I had to hang my clothes all around the apartment. There were socks all over the kitchen cabinet handles, shirts hanging everywhere, it was a mess. And because of the humidity, they weren't dry by the morning...oh the struggles haha 

-Also, the first day we walked into our apartment, I about barfed at the smell. It stinks like mold! And I took off my shoes only to find that the carpet was soaking wet (hence the smell of mold). Come to find out, the rain storm from the day before had flooded the apartment. But I'm pretty sure there must be a leaky pipe or something too because the carpet will dry out but as soon as we use the kitchen sink or dishwasher, it becomes wet again. So I just have my shoes on constantly.

-One of the not-so-fun adventures....you guys should understand how bad this was for me...last night I got up at midnight to use the restroom. After I washed my hands I opened the door and there were 3 HUGE millipedes outside the door! And not the slow crunchy kind, but big FAT hairy really fast ones. One crawled into our bedroom, one was in the bathroom, and one right outside the bathroom. I started to have a little panic attack and yelled for my companions and they had to come kill them. They are really really fast though, and when you squish them, they just break into 2 millipedes instead of one! But Sister Larsen killed 2 and the other we couldn't find. Of course it was the one in our bedroom :( So I didn't sleep the entire rest of the night because I was convinced it was going to crawl across my face. I was so itchy! I seriously cannot handle the bugs here, I am going to go crazy if I see one more thing crawling in our apartment!

-One of the fun adventures would have to be that because we tripled in, none of us had food in the new area except what the other Sisters had left behind. So we had rice and a little oatmeal, teriyaki sauce, and strawberry syrup to live off of for 3 days haha. We had bought some eggs at a nearby grocery store, so my companion Sister Malloy made some fried rice. Well we didn't have a skillet, just a pot, so she mixed the white rice with the eggs and it made this not so tasty looking paste. Then the bottom burned and the top didn't really cook very well so it was a burned flavor rice and egg paste haha. We tried everything to make it edible. We dumped teryiaki sauce on it, my companion tried putting pretzels in it haha we tried everything but it was nasty!

-The last adventure I'll mention before you get tired of reading was when we didn't know the bus doesn't run on Saturdays so we were forced to walk to the institute.....there are no sidewalks and we didn't want to walk on the shoulder close to the cars so we had to walk through fields to the side of the road and bike paths. It took us over an hour and we got so sunburned and I got blisters on my feet haha it was not the funnest moment of my life.

Oh man the struggles are real haha but the adventures have been so fun, it's all a part of the best time of my life as a missionary. Times that we will look back on and laugh, we already do! I love being part of The Great Ohio Columbus Mission! Minus the bugs, I love it here. Oh but the fireflies are cool. The only things I don't like would be the bugs, the humidity, the fact that nothing ever dries here, including my hair, It's kinda miserable. So it's always in a bun, very attractive I'm sure haha but oh well it's all part of the experience! The people are really nice for the most part, we get a lot of rejection but we are doing our best and that is all that matters. It's kinda hard being tripled in but it's fun to learn together and I am excited for the teaching opportunities we have this week.

I love you!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The last place I thought I would go outbound to.......

Not only was I shocked to discover that I was going outbound, but I am going to a place that I would have never guessed!

I'm going to.......................................

..................................The Ohio Columbus Mission!!!

So I leave early in the morning on Wednesday and will be there until September 17th :)

No Temple Square sister has ever been there before so that makes me a little nervous, and no one else is going with me, but I know it will be great! I am way excited! I've known since Saturday, and have had to keep it a secret all week, but today they announced everyone that is going. They did it in a different way too. Usually President Poulsen just reads off the names of those that are going, and then they find out on the next Monday at Transfer Conference where they are going. But this time, the Assistant's pulled the missions where the sisters are going out of a hat and then said the sister's name. It was so awesome! Then we all sang the Temple Square version of Called to Serve. There is a video of it that I will try to attach but it's so big I don't think it will work.

Well it has been a great week!

We've been able to gain a lot of New Investigators and a lot of investigators are progressing! It's a little sad because I know that I won't be able to see their progression after I leave. There is a mission rule that we are not able to communicate with Sisters that are on Temple Square. We can only communicate with those that are also outbound. That is so that the outbound sisters can focus on the mission they're in, and not be thinking of Temple Square. So that means that I won't know who gets baptized or anything like that. But I will just have to wait until September!

So Tim's phone is not working, and I want to get a hold of him so he knows that someone else will be calling him for the next few weeks. His bishop hasn't been answering, so I really hope I can get in contact with him before I go!

Megan didn't get baptized :( Her mom said she would feel more comfortable with her decision if she had more time, so she pushed her date back to July 19th. I am really sad that I won't be able to see her be baptized over skype but it's not about me. I told her that I will be leaving for a while and she said that she was going to push the baptism back until I return. I was like heck no, Megan! It's not about me, it's about Jesus Christ and you need to be baptized. She is still planning on being baptized on the 19th. Sister Gearheart will get to skype in to it!

Cameron is doing great. He happened to be in Salt Lake today, so we had a lesson on the Square. He is making great choices and trying to be better each day. He is really excited for Saturday, and we are praying or a miracle that he will get approved by the First Presidency before then, we need a miracle!

We had a great lesson with Chad yesterday. He has been going through a hard time, so we were able to talk about the Atonement and the Restoration and what that means to him, and how the Book of Mormon can help him. He really softened up and he is looking forward to the local missionaries coming.

We had a really cool experience yesterday. We contacted these 2 men on the Square and offered to show them around Temple Square. They accepted, and I knew from the second we started talking to them that they were Anti's. We starting taking them on a tour, and we were asking questions about their religious beliefs and backgrounds, but they were really really elusive and wouldn't give any straight answers. We just continued bearing testimony and sharing beliefs. They started to ask a lot more questions during the middle of the tour. We took them to the "Scriptures and Revelation" area in the NVC and taught the Restoration. At this point, the Anti monsters were unleashed haha they began to interrupt and ask their best questions and bible bash. It was amazing though, usually I get really upset when people come here to our place and pose as sincere and interested and pretend to be someone else and then they turn anti, but we were just calm and answered their questions. I felt peace and the presence of the spirit. It was one of those moments that the Spirit spoke through me. I've had little moments like that, but this time, things came out of my mouth that were directly from the Preach my Gospel sections I had studied that week, they were not from me. They tried to catch us by saying, well you said you believe this, but what about this scripture in such and such book? And then out of nowhere, I would open up to another scripture that would explain how they were wrong, I have no idea how I knew the verses to share, because it wasn't me. It was just like the Spirit took over for me. I don't even know if this is making sense haha it was just one of those crazy moments where you're like, what just happened? There aren't even words to describe it. But we ended up needing to go because we had an appointment, and it ended great, they thanked us for our time and peacefully left. Usually they are really rude and security has to be called, but I was thankful that Heavenly Father was guiding us, and that they had a good experience with the church. Even if they are not open to the beliefs, they don't have a bad thing that they can say about their experience here.

Well that was the highlight of my week. In Preach my Gospel, it says something along the lines of "You can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you." That was a humbling moment, and one of the coolest things that's happened on the mission. The promise that the Lord gives in D&C 100: "Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men;" was given to us. They didn't change and decide they want to learn about the church, they didn't break down crying and say that they were wrong, but we were not confounded, and they felt the spirit. That's all that matters!

Well enough of my ranting, I am so excited to serve the people in Columbus, Ohio! I hope to serve in a University ward, that would be way fun. There is a Temple in the mission as well! I feel so blessed, and I feel very strongly that there are people waiting there in Ohio. I am so excited to go find them!

Have a great week and I'll write you next time from Ohio :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Week 6

This picture is us at Penny Anne's today, the restaurant that feeds missionaries for free!

Monday is the start of week 6, the last week of the transfer! So on Monday I will find out what is happening to me next transfer.

Well it has been a very fast week!

We talked to Megan at the beginning of the week and she was doing great. She is so ready to be baptized it's not even funny. The only thing that was holding her back was that her mom is very unsupportive. She told her mom that she wanted her at her baptism, and her mom was very unsupportive and said she would think about it. Well, we called Megan today and she said that her mom said she would feel better about it is she had more time so she is not getting baptized until July 19th. Her local Sisters agreed. That's still great, but I am a little upset because we really feel like she should be baptized on Saturday, that was her day. But I guess maybe she does need more time, I am not sure. But she is doing great anyway!

We are still waiting on feedback from the First Presidency regarding Cameron's baptism on June 21st. I think it will take a while but hey, miracles totally happen! He has been going to church, FHE, institute, and is planning on going for the summer trip up to Bear Lake! He has good surroundings, a job, a nice place to live, and he even bought a car this week. Heavenly Father has really been blessing him.

Remember Saige? The personal who came on chat with her name but it wasn't really her, so when I called her she was really confused because she was already a member and never came to mormon.org? Well, she is going to the University of Utah this fall, so she was here for orientation and I got to meet her today! She is an awesome member. She is contemplating a mission. She would be a great missionary. I don't think she is quite ready yet, she is still praying about it, but when it happens, she will be great.

We finally got to call Gene and Gay! We called them on Sunday, and get this....they were on the road, making their way back home and when we called them, they were reading the Book of Mormon out loud! Haha we freaked out. They are still on the road so it has been hard to talk like that, but they have been reading the Book of Mormon and want to meet with local missionaries when they get back home to Texas :)

Daniel is doing great too. He wasn't able to go to church because he was on a business trip, but he has been reading the Book of Mormon and has had more strength to make right choices. The Atonement works miracles.

Hey! Remember Sean and Andrew? Sean was the really interested one from the tour, and Andrew didn't refer, but when we called Sean, Andrew was really interested and referred! Well, they were camping all last week so we sent them scriptures every now and then but they never responded. Well we had an appointment on Monday, and when we called them, they said, "oh yeah, we've been reading the Book of Mormon, and we went to Mormon Temple on Sunday, with Sacrament and Sunday School." We said, you went to church?! And they said, yeah, we got settled into our new place and found the church and went. I honestly didn't believe them haha. The whole lesson I was suspicious (especially after what Robert did) that they were RM's or something but then one of them cursed and it was a relief haha. They have become really interested. We invited them to be baptized and they said maybe. That's not the greatest answer a missionary could hear, but we didn't get to explain about baptism and why it's important because we didn't have time, so once we call them next time we will be able to do that and they will understand why we invited them to do that. They are great! They have great questions.

For the first time in a long time...I didn't get to talk to Tim :( I had to call on a different day because he had prior arrangements on Saturday that he made like a year ago and when I called him on Monday, he didn't answer! I hope everything is going okay. We will have to try again.

Lately I have been having really great Personal studies. I don't know how I never did that before the mission! I always studied at night. I love studying after exercising in the morning, it really sets the scene for my day. I feel like I am so much more ready to receive revelation in the morning than I am after a long day (we do companion studies at night, and that's a lot harder). Personal study is not for me, it is for our investigators and the people we will meet on the Square. It's the coolest thing when I am able to share something I learned in Personal study with someone that day, because I know that Heavenly Father was really communicating with me that morning. 

Something that I have learned is that Heavenly Father doesn't need us to help with His work. But, He gives us the wonderful opportunity to help with it and benefit from it and build our testimonies! We are so lucky to help Him fulfill His purpose: 'to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man." He lets us help, and I am so grateful. Well I will leave you with a quote from my favorite talk:
"When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you donot have, leading as it were with your “unbelief.” That is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak! Let me be clear on this point: I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not!"
Pray for miracles, He will show them to you :)

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Wow time flies! This transfer is already nearing it's end...I can't believe it.

This week has been great, but a little harder. It seems that no matter how strong the spirit is on a tour or a contact, they never refer. But it is making us work a lot harder, and that is great! If it were always easy for us to find investigators, we would never grow. I am grateful for the growth periods.

I don't have a lot of time today, it went so fast! But I'll try to give an update about everything.

Megan is doing great. Her local sisters are really good missionaries, and she has built a great relationship with them. She finally went to church! She's been really busy but we are really excited to get in touch with her and hear about the details.

Daniel is doing great too. He went to church as well! Because it was Fast and Testimony meeting, he felt a little weird and wondered why there were no teaching out of the scriptures or anything but when we explained it, he understood and is excited to go back next week. We invited him to be baptized, and he got a little defensive. He feels that the man who baptized him held the right authority and that his baptism was valid and that he is saved. After discussing it a little more he said that he wants to make that covenant, so yes when he comes to know for himself that the church is true, he will be baptized!

Cameron is doing great too. He went to church as well, and met with a member of the mission presidency to talk about baptism since he is on probation. We will find out more later this week on what will happen!

Did I ever tell you how I love old people? hey are so fun to take on tours.

We met this old couple yesterday on our way to eat our dinner yesterday. They had found a member and were asking him all sorts of questions so he yelled to us and said sisters, come here! Then when we got there he said, these people have a lot of questions that I bet you could help with. They had a lot! We ended up taking them to the Temple Model and explaining to them about them temple. The spirit was way strong and I know they felt it. They didn't refer though. But they wanted our number so they could call us for more questions. They were so funny, we really enjoyed being around each other, and we really hope that they will call us.

We took another couple around from the Netherlands. We taught them the Restoration, and once again, the spirit was so strong! But they didn't refer. They were a little harsh about it too, haha but we appreciated their honesty. One thing we've been trying to do is when they don't want to learn more, we just say, okay, we respect that. But when you go back home, and you meet missionaries, will you let them in and listen to what they have to say? Sometimes seed planting is the only option but that's okay :) We are preparing them to be harvested by other missionaries! People have done that for the people we are teaching right now. They have been prepared by other seed planters!

We found a New Investigator on Monday when we were on exchanges. I was with Sister Chen from Taiwan (that was so fun, we got all the mandarin tours! We even got to take one in the Beehive house and at Welfare Square!). We were walking on the Temple Grounds, and saw these two guys. We started talking to them. They are from Mexico but live in California. We talked a little about the Temple and then took them to the Temple Model. One just left and took pictures, but David was the one we taught. He was really interested and we are going to call him and teach him more about how his family can be together forever!

We also found another New Investigator on Chat, I haven't been on chat in weeks, we haven't had time! But she is really really prepared. Her name is Colleen. Her member friend invited her to church and she went, and she loved it! She came on chat and gave us her address and said she wanted a Book of Mormon, a Bible, and any material we had on Family Home Evening. I was speechless haha. So do you see how important member missionary work is? It is so so important! We never know if someone has been prepared. Even when we think that they would never join the church, or be interested at all, we never know. It's so important to invite.

Well, I am out of time. I am sorry my email is so lame this week! But just know that miracles really happen. They do! Look for them this week. I love you!