Monday, October 27, 2014

Elder Kearon is coming to town!!!

Hello everyone!
I hope you have had a great week! This week has been so good. I mean it wasn't as intense as last week, but hey it's ok! You can't expect those kind of things every week!

So remember Aureche our ami who is getting baptized on Nov 1?? Well he is progressing super well! We had a little heart to heart with him trying to get him pumped and ready for his baptism! He is just worried that he isn't ready or that he won't be good at keeping the commandments. We promised him that as he really prays and has faith that everything will work out. He is still kinda hesitant, but I know that everything will be ok, even if he gets baptized on the 8th. Your prayers are appreciated:)

We also had another killer lesson with our ami Julie! She is AWESOME!! She is the one from Guadeloupe! (spelling for that anyone??) She is so cool. She is one of those people who is just so prepared for the gospel, she really just accepts everything we teach her and is so open and sincere. We taught her the plan of salvation this week, which is probably my favorite thing to teach people. She loved the idea of living with her family forever, she was like, I am going to teach this to my family. YES JULIE YES!!! She wants to get baptized, so we will be getting a date super soon! Stay tuned!

So a couple conférences ago Elder Kearon of the 70 gave a really good talk! Here is the link,
It was the one about stepping on a scorpion, ringing a bell for anyone?? Well he is coming to our mission to talk at Zone Conference! We are so excited to hear from a general authority! But something else crazy is that the assistants asked Sister Caldwell and I to sing a duet for Zone Conference! Talk about nerve racking!! Hopefully everything goes well! But mostly I am excited to hear Elder Kearon talk cause he has a cool accent:)

The rest of this week was filled with a lot of contacting and teaching lessons on the street. It was really good, it's funny because I actually really like street contacting! I kinda like just walking up to strangers and talking to them about the gospel, it's always interesting and it's cool to see people really open up.

I hope you all have a good week! I love you so much! This is the true Church. I'm sure.

Sister Holmes

While teaching Aureche, in the closing prayer I tried to say thank you for his faith which is "merci beaucoup pour sa foi" instead I said "merci beaucoup pour SON foi" which means thank you so much for his liver. hahahahahahaha

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

sushi night!


Hello family and friends!
This week has been chuck FULL of miracles! Multiple a day! It was the coolest week I have had on my mission thus far.
So last p day we went exploring and saw a bunch of really cool old things in Poitiers and then we went shopping for winter gear with a recent convert named Laurence! She is so cool and has such a strong testimony. But she helped us find some good stuff (yes mom I bought a coat) and then we went and got sushi with her after and just tried to strengthen her confidence. She is the only member in her family and she doesn't really have any friends, so it was good to spend time with her and just try and boost her up!
We had a really great experience with one of our recent converts Catherine and her soon to be husband Christian! They were only baptized like 4 months ago and are the coolest couple! They are adorable and just so in love and they are so stoked to get married in the temple! She talks about it all the time, shes like "When we get married in the temple on August 14th 2015 at 2 in the Swiss temple!" They are just so excited to be with each other for eternity and they both have really strong testimonies about the gospel. I am really excited for there future. Oh did I mention that they're like late 50's early 60's?? haha they are my favorite.
Later on Tuesday we were just out contacting and we met this really cool guy named Elias, we taught him the restoration and the whole time he just looked so happy and that what were telling him was like something he had wanted to hear for a very long time. We asked if we could pray with him and he's just like "yeah of course! I have never prayed, but I'd like to!" WHAT?!! That doesn't happen every day! So we are going to keep meeting with him once he gets back from vacation. In France people take reallllly long vacations randomly throughout the year for like 6 weeks at a time, luckily he'll only be gone for 2 weeks and then we can meet with him again soon!
We had a great lesson on the importance of prayer with our ami Erwan. The Melon kids taught with us and they are probably my favorite family in our branch! They are so cool and they have such a strong desire to share the gospel with others! So Erwan, he knows it's important, but he just has this weird reasoning behind prayer and that all of his thoughts are a prayer to God so he doesn't think he needs to actually pray. False Erwan. Hopefully he will grasp the concept as we teach him more.
THEN we had Soirée Sushi!!!!! So every wednesday night we have young adult fhe with our amis and the young adults in our branch and it's always the best thing ever! So remember our Chinese friend Songyu that we met on the bus last Sunday?? Well she came! And she brought her roommate Sophie! It gets better, then one of our young adults named Junior just met this guy at the bus stop and brought him along too! AND THEN our ami Ange who we haven't been able to meet with in weeks just shows up!!!!! So we had 4 amis and it was so cool!!!!! We all just made Sushi and had so much fun! Then at the end of the soiree we shared Alma 7:10-16 with everyone and we gave Sophie and Songyu a Bom in Chinese and they were so excited to read it! It was seriously the biggest miracle!
We contacted two really cool people who are super interested in the gospel and we set up rendez-vous' for this week with them!
Later that night we had another giant miracle with our ami Aureche! So Aureche has a baptisimal date for November 1. Like sooo sooo sooo soon!! And we just weren't super sure where he was at with his testimony cause he was just being kinda weird. But we were able to have an awesome lesson with him!!!! Good news is that he has a testimony and still wants to be baptized but he just "isn't sure yet" we promised him that as he keeps praying and studying that he will be ready cause HE KNOWS IT'S TRUE. We just keep praying that everything works out for him to be baptized in two saturday's! Please keep him in your prayers!
Had another miracle lesson with our ami Julie! She is seriously so cool and from the islands! She was just like "yeah there are so many churches and I just haven't found peace at any yet and then I heard about yours and I got really interested!" CAUSE IT'S TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! haha we had the best lesson and she just accepted everything we taught and she accepted to be baptized!! She was just staring at the Bom and just running her fingers over the leather, I got chills and just knew that she knew it was true. We'll keep teaching her and fix a date next time!
Saturday was kinda crazy! So we're on the bus heading to go see a member who lives kinda far and Soeur Caldwell turns to me and she's like "hey contact that guy across from you" and I was like "umm ok, it's kinda awkward cause the bus is SO loud and he has one of his headphones in..." but I just turn to him and I'm like "Excuse me, excuse me!" Finally he looks over and everyone on that bus is just staring at me and it was so awkward, BUT he was interested and we are going to teach him more next Sunday! It was really cool. I learned a good lesson that day about being diligent even when you just want to enjoy the bus ride and watch the sunset. If I wouldn't have contacted him we would have missed an opportunity to bring someone closer to the Savior, and that would have been really sad. I'm glad Soeur Caldwell followed that prompting and pushed me to do something even though I was a little nervous. The Lord is aware of all his children, I'm sure of it.
Not only was church amazing as always, but we had another miracle! On the way to church we just start talking to this guy on the bus named George from Russia. He has no family or friends and is just all alone. We started talking about the gospel and invited him to come to church with us right then! He was like "yeah I'll come!" So he came to church with us! We were able to teach him a little more with our branch president and he seemed super interested! We are going to meet with him again on Wednesday!
This week was truly a week of miracles. Heavenly Father blessed us so much. Those blessings come from being diligent and working hard. By the end of the week I was exhausted, but so happy. I love being a missionary. I love my calling even when it's hard and I am tired and hungry and sick of people saying no. Each time someone says no it's confirmed to me how true this gospel is. And each time someone says yes the same confirmation happens. How sad would our lives be without this amazing message. I am blessed to know that He lives and that His gospel has been restored to the earth today. Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and he is guided and inspired. I love this church. I love all of you!! Thank you for your prayers, please pray for Aureche! Have a good week!

Sister Holmes

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Best ice cream ever!!!

Bonjour ma famille!
So transfer calls came and I have been transferred to Poitiers! And let me tell you, it's GORGEOUS! And the best part is that Soeur Caldwell and I are staying together! We are white washing here in Poitiers, it used to be part of the Paris Mission, but now it's in ours and they haven't had sisters here in over 10 years!!! Crazy right?! So we kinda have no idea what is going on cause we are the only missionaries here, but I am sure we'll get the hang of things soon! I'm sad I won't get to finish watching Henriette progress to baptism, but I know she'll be in good hands.
So this last week was a tiny bit crazy haha but it was good! We did a lot of contacting which is pretty normal cause France, but it was a miracle week! We contacted so many people who were actually interested! That never happens. But we set up some really great rendezvous' but then we had to end up going to Pau from Thursday to Monday! So we didn't get to meet with any of the people we set up meetings with! Sad right?? But the new elders in Tarbes should be able to meet with all of them and take care of them!
So we spent from Thursday to Monday in Pau. We had district meeting and just a bunch of other stuff so it was easiest that we just spent the rest of the week in Pau instead of Tarbes. Pau is so pretty and big! Tarbes was pretty small so it was kinda fun to get a taste of a bigger city and to be in a place with other missionaries! So it was really great. District meeting was great as usual as we continued to learn how to be master teachers and to treasure up the word. We also practiced teaching the lessons which was good, cause I could use all the help I can get with French. And one of the best parts was that we had Taco Thursday! My district knows how much I miss Taco Tuesday so our DL decided that we would have Taco Thursday! Ahh it was so great!!
The rest of the week in Pau was great as well, we contacted quite a bit and actually found a new amie! Her name is Effigenie and she is from Synagogue and so cool. She just moved to Pau and was looking for some comfort and friends! (Know of any churches that offer that???) BOOM I DO!!!! So we taught her and she agreed to continue meeting with the sisters in Pau!! It was so great!
On Saturday we had Samedi Sport which is so fun!! It's where each Saturday they play soccer with their investigators and members in Pau. Ok let's all take a second to remember how good I am at sports hahahahaha Oh my goodness it was hilarious. I was wearing my Usu shirt so a bunch of the amies just kept saying "Utah!! Hey Utah!!" In their cute little French accents, every time I missed the ball or did something funny. It was so much fun and so great to meet so many cool people. Then that night we went street boarding with the Pau elders. Pretty much street boarding just means that you have a big board that says something cool on it about our church and you just contact EVERYONE. It was a lot of fun and we taught some great lessons. Then after we all went and got ice cream THE BEST ICE CREAM I HAVE EVER HAD at this cute little blue van behind this gorgeous cathederal. It was great.
Sunday we attended church in Pau and it was so good. Their ward was awesome and so cool! They even fed us after! We then just repacked a bunch of stuff to get read to head here to Poitiers!
We arrived here yesterday and I already love it! I guess when the branch found out that sisters were coming they just cheered and went nuts!! We have had so many members already call and text us to welcome us! I am so pumped to serve her. Today we had a lesson with a two recent converts Christian and Catherine! They got baptized a few months ago and are going to get married in the temple in a year! They are awesome and so kind! I actually understood most of what was happening in the lesson so that was great news! I can tell I will love it here.
Thanks for all you prayers and love and support! I am so happy to be here on a mission and to witness miracles all the time! Have a good week everyone and get ready for conference! I am so pumped!!
Love you,
Sister Holmes 

a week of many miracles

Wow this week has been INSANE. One, the mission is the absolute best, I would not want to be anywhere else but here. This is seriously the most life changing best experience.
So this week. It started off rocky, Soeur Caldwell was sick with the flu so 3 out of the 7 days we were in our apartment cause she was so sick, it made me so sad and I just wanted her to feel better so we could go out and do some work!! Studying from 8 am to 9 pm was just too much. haha you really know you're becoming a missionary when all you want to do is tell people about the Gospel, honestly being stuck inside was torture I just wanted to be out working!!
So once Soeur Caldwell was feeling up to par we got straight to work! I'll back up, so on Monday before she was sick we had a really cool FHE with one of our members named Blanca and her family. Her brother is inactive and the girl he is dating is also inactive and they are just kinda a mess so we taught them a lesson on The Gospel of Jesus Christ and it went so well! Blanca told us about a dream she had where she saw her whole family (none of them are members except her inactive brother) in Heaven and they were all in white and Christ was just saying "Come, come." Wow. It was so cool. It gave her a lot of hope for her family, maybe they won't except the Gospel now, but with time I think they will, even if it is not in this life. 
So that was great, now fast forward to Thursday. We went to Pau for district meeting, it's about a 40 minute train ride. And it is soooo pretty there. It's really close to Spain. Anyway district meeting was great and we talked a lot about what Elder Ballard taught when he came to our mission a few weeks ago, just really teaching simply for understanding and treasuring up the word. So that's exactly what we did and we saw many miracles.
Miracle 1: On our way back from Pau we were sitting on a bench at the train station when the women next to us said "excuse me, is this train going to Lourdes?" She said it in ENGLISH!! So we answered her question and asked how she knew we spoke english and she replied "I didn't I just kinda felt like you might..." So she is from Canada and is on vacation in Lourdes (look up Lourdes it is like world famous and has an amazing cathederal and people come from all over the world to see this giant cathederal and get healed by the holy fountain inside) so we got on the train with her and taught her the Restoration and we are meeting up with her in Lourdes this week to give her a Book of Mormon in English and teach her again!! So cool! It was so nice to teach a lesson in English, I felt like I could really express myself and the spirit was so strong.
Miracle 2:   So we have an amie (investigator) named Henriette and her daughter's family is in our Branch. When her daughter Soeur Bordieux joined the church like 20 years ago Henriette was really angry cause she thought we were just a weird sect (everyone here thinks that) but as time has gone on and her husband has died and her heart has been softened she doesn't think that anymore. So we took a train ride to her house to teach her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she loved it! During the lesson she just sobbed and talked about how she know's this is true. She showed us the BoM that her friend gave her with a testimony written inside and she was like Yeah I want to be baptized!!!! YAY!!!!!!!! So we have officially engaged her to be baptized!! She just needs to finish the lessons, stop drinking coffee and she will be gold!! I am so pumped! It was a miracle indeed.
Miracle 3: We show up to church on Sunday and we walk into Sacrament meeting and this cute little blonde lady is like "Hi, I'm here for work from UTAH and I don't speak French could you translate Sacrament meeting for me??" It was so cool!!! It is a rare occassion to see someone from Utah who isn't a missionary! Now this one was a miracle because I was feeling pretty fed up with French this week, learning a language is a very humbling process, you just have to accept that you don't really know anything and rely on the Lord to help you teach. But I was feeling down and I was thinking I wasn't a good teacher and I wasn't really contributing cause I don't speak French all that well, but helping Jennifer in Sacrament was cool. I translated for a little bit and yeah it was not perfect but I know more than I think. I just felt peace and comfort. Heavenly Father is truly aware of our needs and really loves us so much. We can't do anything without Him. We need Him every hour to guide our path, whether we are on a mission or not. We can't do this alone. I love this Gospel, I love being a missionary, I love seeing people change their lives for the Gospel.
I hope you all have a great week and that you really reach out to as many people as you can! Thank you for your love and support! Love you!
Sister Holmes

Ps: I may be getting transferred so stay tuned.........
Everyone and their dog here drives a BMW it's like driving Ford in America haha
Everyone wears shirt's with English phrases on them that always sound so funny. For example "Your style is who you're." ummmm what. So funny.