Wednesday, November 26, 2014

David Archuleta is coming!!!

Bonjour!

This week was a good one! We got in contact again with Aurech!! Praise the heavens above! So we are planning on baptizing him this Saturday, I keep praying all will go well. He says he wants to contact his family first and make sure they are ok with his decision. It made Soeur Zenger and I a little nervous but we hope he feels more at ease once he talks to them. I know that everything will turn out how it needs to. We jus have to have faith and really trust in Heavenly Father.

Julie is doing wondeful! And progressing so fast! We're almost done teaching her everything and her baptism is in April! I just keep praying that she'll move her date up. She's beyond ready. Our lesson this week went really well. She opened up to us about how she just doesn't feel "perfect" enough to get baptized. She was like "I'm trying so hard and doing my best, I just hope God knows I'm trying." We explained to her that she'll never be perfect in this life, none of us will be. But that God is happy with every small step we take towards Him. He never expects us to be perfect. I love this quote by President Uchtdorf, "We have all seen a toddler learn to walk. He takes a small step and totters. He falls. Do we scold such an attempt? Of course not. What father would punish a toddler for stumbling? We encourage, we applaud, and we praise because with every small step, the child is becoming more like his parents.
Now, brethren, compared to the perfection of God, we mortals are scarcely more than awkward, faltering toddlers. But our loving Heavenly Father wants us to become more like Him, and, dear brethren, that should be our eternal goal too. God understands that we get there not in an instant but by taking one step at a time."

I love that quote. We'll never really reach our full potential in an instant. It takes time, luckily we have a loving Heavenly Father who is always willing to hold our hand and walk with us if we let Him.

In that same rdv with Julie, we were finishing up when a man walked up to us in the library and said, "I know you! And I know that book!" I guess he used to meet with the elders, we asked if he had read it lately and he told us no, that it was too long and too hard. As he walked away I looked over at Julie, she looked kinda puzzled. She said, "That's too bad, I hope he understands one day before it's too late, but God is good." God is good and He loves all His children, even the ones who have gone astray.

So this weekend we had stake conference in Bordeaux and it was wonderful! That was the first time I've heard President and Sister Roney give a talk in French, it was really cool. It was really cool to attend a conference all in french, I was worried that I would have a hard time understanding but amazingly I understood most of it. The french is coming, slowly but surely! In the conference President Roney said about 3 different times, "Invite the missionaries over". It must have sunk in cause that night we got invited over by two different families for this week! There is something special about teaching members, it's hard to describe but I love being in members homes and teaching them.

OH I ALMOST FORGOT!! So we had zone training this week and they announced that David Archuleta is coming to our mission for our Christmas Zone Conference! Cool right?? I mean I've never really been like a hard core fan but he has a nice voice. Soeur Zenger was pumped and literally started to cry, she's a big fan, so this will be goood :) Also at zone conference we talked about something really cool that the church is doing for Christmas! In about 2 days you can all go to http://www.mormon.org/christmas/countdown and check it out! This video they are launching for Christmas is soo cool and we are going to be using it a lot this season to find new amis. The church is putting this video as the main banner on youtube the whole month of dec, so each time you go to youtube it'll be there! Which is awesome cause like the whole world is going to see this video! ALSO it'll be one one of the giant screens in timesquare in NYC the whole month too! The church is getting legit with social media my friends I am pumped.

This week was great! I'm so grateful for all of you and all your prayers, I feel them in my life. Have a great Thanksgiving and keep a list of what you are thankful for this week! I love you!

avec amour,

Soeur Holmes

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Golden

Bonjour!
The word that describes this week perfectly would be golden! Let me explain:)
So we have a golden investigator named Julie as I have kinda talked about in past emails. She is the best and progressing quickly. We had two really awesome lessons with her this week. We started teaching her the commandments so we thought we we get the two hardest ones out of the way first. We taught her the word of wisdom and the law of chastity. And because she is so golden and amazing she accepted both of these commandments with such ease! She even bore testimony to us of how important she thinks they are and how she wishes that more of the world could live these standards. She is truly one of those people who are ready for the Gosepl. I always heard that there were golden investigators, but I never really believed it until we met Julie. ALSO we got Julie to pray aloud for us for the first time! She was so nervous, but she did such an amazing job and the Spirit we felt was incredible, I know she felt it to.
EVA
We saw the most beautiful miracle this weekend. As we were walking home from a long branch council I turned to Soeur Zenger and said, "let's contact a few more people on the way home." We were hungry and tired but it felt like the right thing to do. So we began and quickly didn' have much success. As we kept walking I saw a woman to my right and the thought quietly came to me, "contact her" so we did. We got through about 2 questions on the questionnaire when this woman looked down, and began to cry. She looked up at us and said "I'm sorry, it's just that you have something very strong with you." She continued to try to compose herself. Soeur Zenger and I just looked at each other and began to cry as well. We began to tell her why we were here and that the strong feeling she was having was the Spirit. We testified of the Book of Mormon and how Christ's true church has been restored to the Earth. As the discussion came to an end we fixed a rdv and parted ways. As we began to walk home with tears in our eyes, we looked down and realized we still had the Book of Mormon in our hands! We quickly ran to catch up with her. Once we caught up to her we gave her the book and again testified of it's importance. She said to us "well of course it's important, you ran back."
We walked home filled with the Spirit, we literally felt like we were floating. It was a miracle I will never forget. God loves His children. People are ready for this Gospel, we just have to watch for them.
JIMA
On Saturday we had another "golden experience" with contacting! As we were approaching a bus stop we saw a woman standing there. I felt like I should talk to her but I kinda just pushed it aside. (never a good idea) She got on the same bus and the whole ride I wish I would have talked to her. Luckily for us she got off at the same stop and got on the same connecting bus we were getting on! We had to contact this lady! So we did. She began to tell us out of the blue that she had just lost her sister and she hoped there was a way she could see her again. We testified hard core about the plan of salvation and I just happened to have a pamphlet with me! She was really excited to hear about this message and we'll be seeing her again next week!
So some sad news, remember Aurech our ami who is suppossed to get baptized asap!! Well he kinda went MIA. We've been trying to get ahold of him all week, but his phone just rings and rings and then disconnects. We even went to his house, but he wasn't there. We left a note on his door but no response yet. My heart broke a little. We've been working so hard with him and he is ready to be baptized. I keep praying that he will show up again. Please pray for him.
This week really was golden. The work here in Poitiers is really expanding and I feel incredibly blessed to be part of it. The Gospel is true, I know that. We really are God's children. I love Him.
I love you all! I hope your week is great and that you can see miracles in your own life this week. They really are there, we just have to watch:)

Love,

Soeur Holmes

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Poitiers

Hello my darling family!

Turns out I am staying in Poitiers for another transfer! This transfer is kinda weird cause it's only 4 weeks but then the next transfer is 8 weeks, that's just kinda how it worked out with the new people coming in and stuff.
So yes I am staying here and I got a new companion! Her name is Soeur Zenger and she is from St. Louis Missouri and we are already great friends. She is actually only 1 transfer older than me in the mission so we're one of the youngest companionships in our mission. We're excited to get a lot of great work done here.

Aureche...so he probably has the most opposition out of anyone I have EVER met and it makes me so sad. He couldn't get baptized because our branch president was out of town and we didn't have anyone else to preside over the baptism AND we don't have a font here so we have to take a 2 hour train ride either to Angoulême or Limoges to get him baptized so that's also kinda frustrating. So we are praying to get him baptized this weekend because if it isn't this weekend it will be in December and he really can't wait that long with all the oppositon he is facing right now. Please pray that a miracle will come to pass and we can get him baptized ASAP!! He is so ready and his testimony is strong, it's just figuring out the small things now.

Julie:) she is our ami from Guadeloupe and she is the coolest person I have ever met. We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ this week with one of our recent converts and it was so cool. The Spirit was incredible. She is literally a sponge. She soaks up everything we teach her so quickly. You know how you hear people talk about how there are just certain people who are ready for the gospel? Yeah, she is defintely one of those people. She knows how much happiness this will bring her and she picked a date to get baptized! She has chosen April 11 which is kinda far but we don't want to rush her at all. But we hope with time she'll realize that she wants to get baptized a little bit sooner. Also she came to church for the first time this Sunday and it was amazing. She was beaming from ear to ear and she had this light in her eyes, it was incredible. During out ami class we talked about eternal marriage. Our branch president was there, a recent convert named Catherine who is preparing for her own temple marriage in August, and 2 sisters from Bordeaux one of which just got baptized two months ago, her name is Sara. So we're having this great lesson and everyone is just giving great comments and Julie is just smiling and making great comments as well and it's just the best. And then it gets better. We felt impressed to ask Sara the recent convert to share her experience with her baptism. She got quiet, smiled and tears filled her eyes. She expressed how she had never felt this way before and that getting baptized was the best decison she had ever made and that she has never been happier. She was crying, I was crying, Soeur Caldwell was crying, we all were crying, and Julie was crying! The spirit was incredible and I knew in that moment that Julie knew it was true.

This week was great. So many blessings. It's always sad to say goodbye to people you care about, saying goodbye to Soeur Caldwell was really hard. She was my trainer/mom and I was so so so blessed to have such an amazing companion. She taught me more in 12 weeks than I could have learned in a lifetime on my own. They do say you progress and mature at a much faster rate on a mission; and I really saw that these past 12 weeks. So though I am sad to see her head back to America, I am grateful for all the laughs and life lessons I learned.

Have a good week everyone! Look for a miracle every day. There out there I promise:)

Love,
Soeur Holmes

Monday, November 3, 2014

Me and Soeur Wallace at Zone Conference

Zone Conference 

Soeur Caldwell and I dressed up like CATS for Halloween



CATS

Happy late Halloween everyone! I hope you ate lots of candy and did crazy fun things! Soeur Caldwell and I were (drum roll please) CATS of course! Everybody wants to be a cat! So we dressed up like cats, perched on just about every surface in our apartment and took some great photos! It was a great Halloween!

This week we had zone conference and man it was SO good. Elder Kearon is not only so wise but so funny! He gave us great council that I will use my whole life.
Something he really talked about was choices. In the scriptures a lot of the time or just in life we say things like "take courage" but he was telling us to start saying "choose courage" it is definitely a choice to have courage it is a choice to be happy or sad it's a choice to be lazy or work hard. Our entire lives are made up of choices, some more critical than others, but they are all choices in the end. I am grateful to have a loving Heavenly Father who guides me to make the best choices I can. Our choices not only effect us, but the people around us as well, something we all know, but not something we really think about always.
He also taught us to "become the message" it's easy to say the message or preach the message, but it's hard to really become the message. To really practice what we are preaching.
It was such a great zone conference and I got to see a lot of familiar faces so that is always fun!

Unfortunately Aureche did not get baptized, he had to go to Paris for a family emergency. But he is on track to get baptized this saturday so please pray for a miracle that it will happen!!
On Saturday we went to Angoulême, because the sister's there had a baptism. This was the first baptism I have gone to in France and it was beautiful. It was so simple. The message was so pure. It wasn't about the food or the decorations, he didn't have anyone there for him besides us 8 missionaries and the bishop and I can't think of a more perfect baptism I have seen. The spirit was unreal and his sweet simple testimony was so strong. I love seeing people change their lives for this great message.

Sorry this email is short but those are just the highlights of this week! I included pics of Halloween and such! I love you all and I am grateful for your prayers and support. Thank you thank you. Have a great week!

Love,
Soeur Holmes

Oh you know you're a missionary when you call movie stars Elder Dicaprio hahahahah Soeur Caldwell did that yesterday and I have never laughed so hard in my life.