Monday, December 28, 2015

He is the reason for the season


It was so great to see your cute faces on Skype!! I want to first say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who wrote letters for my Christmas package. That was so nice of you and I really felt so much love. Thank you:)

So this week was pretty much a massive P Day! I'll give you the highlights:)

So our mission wide Christmas conference was 2 days. So. Much. Fun. The whole thing was just kind of a massive surprise. Tuesday we were told to wear p day clothes and that was it. We all went to the Confluence, it's a river in Lyon. We met up there and took a massive mission picture!:) Then we all just played games and had fun. It was great to catch up with old friends and companions. It was honestly the perfect last Zone Conference, because I was able to see everyone I love for a last time.
Later on we headed to an Aquarium that the mission had rented out for the evening. There we had a presentation by President Brown where he told us that we had reached our goal of teaching with 1000 members in December! Not only did we reach it, but we passed it! Right now we are at 1112, and we still have a couple of days to go! So cool. It was just awesome to see the members combine with us the missionaries to really work together to bring people to Christ.
After the presentation we played some minute to win it games that Soeur Brown came up with and we watched the Lion King!!! Best day ever.

Wednesday was the more spiritual side of the conference. The conference consisted of beautiful musical numbers and powerful talks and testimonies given by President and Sister Brown and also members of their mission presidency. It was so edifying and I could really feel the real spirit of Christmas.

Christmas Eve was awesome! With all the Lyon missionaries we went and sang Christmas songs at a nursing home. It was so fun. We went from floor to floor singing to these cute little old people. Tears filled their eyes as they were touched by the Spirit. At one point we were singing White Christmas and Soeur Sweeney walked up to this little old lady and grabbed her hands and sang to her and this little old lady just started to cry so then we all started to cry and it was really just tender. That is what Christmas is all about. It isn't about the presents (even though they are nice) but it's about sharing the love that the Savior has for each of us.
Later on that evening we went to the Monclin's house. They are hilarious! Before this night, I had never really spoken to them, but they are just lovely! We spent our whole night laughing and it just felt like being at home. I loved it:) They even went to a fancy American store and bought us Rootbeer!!!! It was a perfect Christmas Eve!

We had planned on sleeping in, but our bodies still decided to wake up early:( So we woke up and did presents and made crêpes. Yum. Then we headed to the Conesa's house with the other missionaries in our ward for lunch. We ate duck for the second day in a row. It's actually pretty good!
Christmas night after Skype we went to the Sweeney's and watched Wreck it Ralph with a bunch of other missionaries! It was ADORABLE. Also it many multiple French references so I was so sparked. It was a great Christmas spent with so many people that I just love:)

After going hard with all the holiday fun I got hit with the flu/coldish thing! Sad right?? I think it started early on in the week but I tried to ignore it because I didn't want to miss out on any fun! So by Saturday I was beat. We pretty much were stuck in our apartment all day except for the lesson we had with Jonas. So bad news with Jonas... he moved:( Since he is a refugee his situation isn't all that stable so they moved him to another shelter in Lyon. Bad news is that it is in a different ward. AND when he was in the process of moving someone reached into his pocket and stole his legality papers and all his money that his daughter had given him. Isn't that horrible?? He was so sad. But during our rdv with him he just kept talking about how even though everything is really horrible right now, he just keeps turning to God. He said that he has just been praying constantly and that he knows that everything will work out how it needs to. WOW. If I had just been through all of that, I don't know if I could say the same thing. His faith is incredible. He is a remindeer to me, that no matter how bad things get, God will never leave us without help. He will always be there to comfort us and help us. I love Jonas. I don't know what is going to happen to him, whether he will go to another ward or not, but I know that everything will work out how it should. God's hand is in this and we just need to trust in His perfect plan.

Sunday I was feeling a little better, so we went to Church and it was great. I think that is something I will miss the most, going to church in France and having church in French. It'll be odd to have it in English again. haha After church we went to the Piscitello's house. They are easily my favorite family in the ward:) I love them. They wanted to do another meal together before I go home. They have really been like family to me and I have felt so much love from them the past couple months that I have been here in Lyon.

It was such a good week! Even though I was sick haha but really my heart is filled with so much gratitude. I'm grateful for President and Soeur Brown who put so much time and effort into the conference. I'm grateful for the senior couples and all they did as well. I'm grateful for my mission friends who are more like family. I'm grateful for members who opened their homes up to us this Christmas, I'm grateful for Jonas, Sarah, and Martha who are doing their very best to follow the Savior and who will forever be examples to me. Above all I am so grateful for my Savior who is the reason for the season. Who gave His life for us. He is the best gift we have ever recieved. I love Him.

I love you all:) I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are excited for the new year:) I have one week left, so I will be sending a short email next monday morning ok?

Soeur Holmes

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!

I hope you all had a wonderful week and you are excited for Christmas!! We had a good week! Oddly enough it's been kind of warm here.. not like warm warm but there are times where I don't even zip up my coat! But today it's kind of rainy:/ but at least it isn't snowing so I'm happy!

Highlights of the week,

So Tuesday and Wednesday we went to Clermont Ferrand to do a district finding day/district meeting!! It was so fun! Clermont is ADORABLE. We got to Clermont and we all switched up companionships so I was with Soeur Gerritsen:) I love her:) Seriously I love being back with her:) She's great. We spent the first half of the day contacting and trying to find people to teach, I had some pretty good conversations! I met this one lady who was pretty athiest but she still wanted a card to give to her friend who is Christian. It wasn't anything huge, but I was touched by the fact that even though she didn't want to accept what we were offering, she was thinking of others who might be interested in our message.
Then later we went to go visit a less active women who legit lives in the mountains. We got off the bus and did a small hike to get up to this women's house. I got to the top of the hill completely out of breath! we had a good rdv with her and committed her to come back to church and start living the commandments, so we'll see if she stays true to her word:)
Then we did some more contacting and met the coolest lady! Her name is Lincey and we only talked to her for maybe 3 minutes and she was all like "yes I want to learn about your church! I love talking about Jesus!" and just gave us her phone number! So cool:)
At the end of the day all 11 of us missionaries went caroling in front of this giant Christmas tree:) It was great:) I mean we aren't professionals, but all these people just stood around in awe as they listened to us. I don't think it was because of our beautiful voices ;) But because of the Spirit that was there testifying of Jesus Christ. Soeur James was walking up to people and handing them cards while we were singing and they just kept saying, "this is the best part of my week." :)

So we have this outer ville in our sector called L'isle d'abeau, it's where most of our members live. Well we hadn't been there in a while because usually we take a train out there and we can't take trains. BUT we found a bus that goes out there!! So we went there 3 times this last week! It kind of took up a lot/ most of our time, but it was worth it. The 3 member families that we visited needed us. We saw the Piscitello's, Ngavet's, and the Leroux's and I love all of them!! The Piscitello's feel like family to me. They have a daughter who is 20 and going on a mission soon and we are best friends, I want to adopt her into our family. The Ngavet's are hilarious and I literally laughed so hard I was crying the entire time we were there. AND they fed us RACLETTE:) My fav:):) The Leroux's are also fantastic, really struggling, but she talked to us a lot about trials and her mission, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. It was a really inspired weekend in l'isle d'abeau:)

I gave a talk in church! Even after 18 months of doing this I still am terrified to give talks in church! The subject was perfect, Jesus Christ. I formed my talk around the scripture in 2 Nephi 19:6 where it gives Him all the titles, like counselor, prince of peace, etc. I love talking about the Savior, I love Christmas because it is centered on Him. It's really easy to get wrapped up in the stuff that doesn't matter, but I know if we really try to center our lives on Christ, we can focus on the real reason for the season:)

She is doing so well! She recieved the Holy Ghost on Sunday and it was beautiful:) We are no preparing her to go to the temple! We have been helping her with her family history and all that jazz! She is so prepared and ready to go!

He is doing well:) He is in Paris visiting his daughter so we weren't able to see him, but we try and call him every other day and pray with him:) He's adorable:)

Ok kids that's it for the week! Sorry that this email isn't super exciting but I ran out of time:/ I'm so excited to talk to you in just a few days!!! I love you all and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!:)

Soeur Holmes

Monday, December 14, 2015

The best early Christmas present!!


This week was great! It really is starting to feel like Christmas:) Lyon is super pretty and decked out for Christmas and the mall smells like Christmas and there are lights in the street and everyone is just happier and it's great! I'm so happy:)

So lots of great things happened this week, comme dab I'll give you the highlights:)


It was so wonderful:) This whole week pretty much consisted of us helping them get all ready and prepared for their baptisms.  They both went so so so well:) Saturday was Jonas' baptism and it was a beautiful service:) When he came up out of the water he gave Jeremie (the person who baptized him) the most tender hug with tear filled eyes. My heart was so warm and I just could feel so much love from Heavenly Father in that moment. At Jonas' baptism with the some other missionaires we sang Homeward Bound. It's my favorite song because it talks about our journey here on Earth and returning back to Heavenly Father. I've always kind of thought of it as a song about endings but since the whole song is about returning home, I thought it was fitting for a baptism since baptism is the first step to returning back home:) We recorded it so I'll try and send.

Sarah's baptism was also great! They had to baptize her 3 times cause her feet kept coming up, but hey she's like super clean now right?? haha She bore a beautiful testimony about the Gospel and shared how she first met missionaries when she was a teenager and then multiple times after that, but now was the right time for her to accept the gospel. It's really cool, because when we called her the first time, it was the day after the attacks in Paris. President had us call everyone in our areabooks and invite them to church and she was one of the people we called that night:) Miracles:)

This week we also had the ward Christmas party. You bet your life we acted out the Nativity. Guess who I way? Mary. Guess who Soeur Clancy was? A donkey. hahaha it was funny. So the Nativity was a Nativity of just missionaries so that was kind of weird. Joseph was another missionary in our ward. Awkward. We literally stood a mile apart from each other haha It was just weird. But something to remember haha I'll send pics.

So we did the hot chocolate thing again! SO FUN! It is seriously the best contacting activity and we always talk to so many people and we were able to show the Christmas video to a ton of people as well. We even found a new potential out of it:) I'll let you know what happens with her:)

I was also able to go on exchange with Soeur Gerritsen this week and it was so great! It was so fun to catch up and talk about the good old times in Cannes. It felt like we never left:)

Sorry this is kind of short but our whole week consisted of seeing Jonas and Sarah. I'm so grateful for their decsion to get baptized. It's the best Christmas gift they can give to Heavenly Father, to join His true church on the Earth. Their lives will never be the same and I feel so blessed that I was able to take part in their journey:) I love them so much!

So I want to share something from my studies this week, as I was reading in the Book of Mormon this week, I came across a scripture that really hit me. In Alma 5:37, it talks about how after knowing the ways of righteousness people still go astray and it says, "O ye workers of iniquity; ye that are puffed up in the vain things of the world, ye that have professed to have known the ways of righteousness nevertheless have gone astray, as sheep having no shepherd, notwithstanding a shepherd hath called after you and is still calling after you, but ye will not hearken unto his voice!"

Now this scripture is kind of harsh, but I think it can easily be applied to our own lives. How often does Heavenly Father ask us to do something or change something? But we don't because we let pride get in the way. Our free agency is the only thing God can't take from us. But as the good shepherd He calls after us again and again beckoning us to change to be more like His son or to come back to the fold.

This quote goes along perfectly with this concept, "I have struggled to banish the mortal desire to have things my way, eventually realizing that my way is oh so lacking, limited, and inferior to the way of Jesus Christ. “His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.” Can we love Jesus Christ and His way more than we love ourselves and our own agenda?"-Neill F. Marriott

Giving up what we want for what the Lord wants isn't always easy. Something I really am working on, I know that by doing God's will we will always be happier. I love this Gospel and every blessing it brings me! I love this Christmas season and the opportunity we have to talk about the birth of our Savior. It's the best message we have to share:)

I love you all:)

Soeur Holmes

                                                                      BAPTISM PICTURES!

Me, Jonas, and Soeur Clancy

Me, Sarah, and Soeur Clancy

Saying Good-bye
I sure do love this sweet girl!!
We started this wonderful journey as MTC companions, and  we will end our journey just a few weeks apart from each other as we return home.
Friends Forever!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Love is the key


It's been another great week in Lyon. I'm just going to stay here forever:) I love being a missionary. At the beginning of my mission I always thought I had so much time left and that it would never end. But now all I want is more time! It's funny how that happens, I think it just goes back to love. You learn to love the place you are serving in, you learn to love all of your companions, you learn to love the language you are speaking, you learn to love your investigators, you learn to love the people who are mean to you in the street, you just learn to love. One of the biggest lessons I have learned on my mission stems from one of our mottos, Love is the Key. It's true, love is the key. It's the key to everything we do. We do missionary work out of love. Love for our Savior and love for our fellow brothers and sisters we are serving. God loves us so He sent His son. Christ loves us so He died for us. Love is the key:)

So this week we were pretty busy getting Sarah and Jonas all ready for their baptisms on Saturday and Sunday:) I'll give you the highlights,

Sarah is incredible. Her faith is amazing. She has so much of it. We teach her a principle of the Gospel and she just accepts it. She knows what she is learning comes directly from God and she puts her trust in Him. This morning we had a lesson with her and she kept saying, "I wish I had found the church sooner!" She is an example of someone who has been prepared for a long time. The first time she was taught by missionaries a couple of years ago, she wasn't ready. But she is ready now:) She keeps telling us that this is the time, she is now ready and that she wasn't ready before. I have a testimony that everything happens for a reason in the time frame that God wants it to happen in. I'm so excited for her:) I think the thing that touched me the most was when she was explaining that she is so excited to get baptized because after she will be a new person and she will feel different. She just gets it. She is exactly right, that when we get baptized the Savior washes away our sins and makes us whole again. :)

Jonas is also incredible! I have loved being on this spiritual journey with him. He was the first person Soeur Clancy and I taught together:) He is so excited to get baptized! He keeps telling us that he is going to take lots of pictures and send them to all his friends in Africa:) Jonas has now come to church 3 weeks in a row and has stopped drinking coffee:) He understands what kind of committment he is making with our Heavenly Father. I'm convinced that his brother who was a member who has passed on has been helping us this whole time to get Jonas to this point:) At the end of our lessons he always thanks us a billion times for bringing Him the Gospel. But honestly we didn't do anything. It was all Heavenly Father. We are just instruments in His hands. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has given me the opportunity to bring the Gospel to my brothers and sisters in France, these friends of mine that I'm certain I knew before this life began. I just love them. When I think about Jonas and Sarah the word that comes to my head is love. :)

Martha is doing well and is beginning to make lots of friends in the ward:) This past week she just seems happier. The Gospel makes our lives so much better and so much happier, I can't imagine my life without it. I am eternally grateful:)

So we had Zone Training this week and I think the best part was the potato soup the stls made! Just kidding:) but really it was SO GOOD. I love soup. But the training was also good! We talked a lot about the new initiative we are doing Mille Membres en Décembre. (1000 members in december) meaning that we as a mission are going to teach with our amis with 1000 different members this december! It's a great way to get the members involved in our lessons so that when our amis get baptized they actually have friends. Also doing this will help us be able to teach more at members houses and such. It's been cool and the members have been pretty nice about helping us out!

So with the confluence missionaries we gave out free hot chocolate outside the institute building and shared the new christmas video on with people on the street! It was really cool and people would walk by and just light up and after they watched the video they would just kind of stand there silently. Too often we forget the real reason for the season. I love being a missionary and reminding people why we celebrate Christmas:) if you haven't seen the video yet watch it,

So Saturday we had such a fun Christmas relief society activity! We ate lots of yummy food, and people sang christmas songs in different languages, christmas stories were told and it was such a fun time. Martha loved it and made so many friends! The ward was really kind to her and gave her a bunch of stuff to welcome her into the ward, it was great!

Ok so this Sunday in church was incredible. So the past couple of months that I have been in this ward it has been a little bit of a struggle getting the members to help us do missionary work. But yesterday almost every testimony that was given was about missionary work!! And how they have been praying for experiences and they have slowly started to see opportunites come up to share the gospel! It was so cool! Also this is the first time this has ever happened in my mission, but a meal sheet for the missionaries was passed around in relief society and it just filled up so fast! SO COOL! AND we the whole being in by dark rule it's been rough doing missionary work at night but the cutest sister came up to us and offered to drive us home from lessons at night time so we could still do missionary work after six pm. It was so cool! It was just amazing to see the ward really open up to missionary work:) I'm really grateful for the ward here and their willingness to help us out. Also for our cute relief society president who ran around after church with the meal sheet and made like everyone sign up to feed us. SO NICE! I am beyond grateful:)

I love this Gospel. I know it's true. This is the greatest thing I have ever done, and I am forever grateful to my loving Heavenly Father who has given me this opportunity to wear His son's name for 18 months. I love Him.
I love you! Have a great week and go out and see miracles!

Soeur Holmes
 “If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?” (Alma 5:26.)

Free Hot Chocolate,YUM!!!

Zone Training

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pray too much..


I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving and ate lots and lots of turkey;) Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in France, but we celebrated it quand même:) I'm so thankful for many things in my life. My Savior, family, the Gospel, friends, France, food, health, tender mercies, trials, awesome companions, portable heaters, a bed to sleep in, French pâtisseries, our ward in Lyon, president and sister Brown, AND SO MUCH MORE. I am blessed beyond measure. I hope you took some time this week to reflect on your many blessings. :)

So highlights for the week:)


He just keeps getting better and better. We had an awesome lesson about baptism and confirmation with Terencia. He is so ready and so excited to get baptized. He talks about it all the time:) He is all set for the 12th of December, so if you could please please please keep him in your prayers that everything will go well, that would be great. Like I've said his health isn't great so some extra prayers could help. He came to church yesterday! He was SO happy. He kept turning to me and saying how everyone is just so nice and welcoming. Before he left he told us that he felt like he was in a big family :) and that is exactly what the Gospel is. A giant family. All united helping each other make it back to our Heavenly Father. Also he has been completely coffee free for 4 days now! My favorite thing about being a missionary is watching people change. On my mission I have seen the Gospel change lives, including my own. It's a beautiful thing to watch someone become converted to the Gospel they once knew. :)


She is so great!! We were able to see Sarah twice this past week. We talked about temples in our first rendezvous and she was so touched. She's been looking around and she saw the photos of the Paris temple and she was wondering what the temple was all about, well we just happened to teach her about the temple after she saw those pictures. She really loved the fact that we can do work for our ancestors who have passed on. It was a cool lesson, because now Sarah knows that her goal isn't just baptism, but the temple. That's what we've been trying to do in our mission is really help our investigators see that though baptism is a huge important decision, the goal is the temple. Baptism is just one of the steps to get there. Sarah also came to church and had a great time, she has a huge fear of leaving her house, but always feels calm and at ease when she is at church. She should be getting baptized the 13th so please pray for her as well:)


Ok so a couple of months ago, President Brown launched this initiative to do business contacting. Meaning find small businesses (not chains like McDonalds or something) but businesses that are self owned and operated. Businesses that would be easy for us to walk in and strike up a casual conversation about the Gospel. Well this week we were out trying to find a less active when we saw this super cute postcard shop so we walked over and were casually looking at the shop. The owner came out, she was maybe like 65 and asked us to come in. Turns out she has owned this shop for like 20 years. As we looked at her adorable postcards we explained to her that we were here as Missionnaires for our church and we were sharing a message about Christ. We gave her out card and she gave us a free post card and thanked us for the work we were doing. It was so cool! Business contacting is so cool because it's a cool way to meet people that you normally wouldn't get to meet because they are working when we are out proselyting. We are excited to go back and see if she visited the website and give her a Book of Mormon for Christmas:)


So we were really blessed and had the opportunity to go to President's house for thanksgiving dinner! It was SO good! I haven't eaten something that American since I left America. Haha it was fantastic. And mom, sister brown even made orange jello salad!! I really felt at home:) I'm grateful to be led by the Brown's who love us like we are their own family.


So we organized a Thanksgiving activity for our amis and members on Saturday! It was SO fun! We didn't have tons of amis there, but we were actually surprised with the amount of people that did come! Martha our recent convert came and she was so sparked by all of it, she was having the time of her life! Then Laura a recent convert in our ward brought her friend with her! And we had some members and the elders had amis there and it was great! We all cooked for hours getting ready for this and I would say it didn't turn out too bad :) The pictures are on another elders Ipad so I'll send them next week.


Ok so as we were walking here to the church to do our emails we ran into the elders recent convert Gabriel who got baptized on Saturday! He was with his friend Ludovic and he just straight up asked us if we could teach him the missionary lessons!!!! SO COOL! We set up a rendezvous for Wednesday and we are pumped!

This week was a really good one, the first week of the transfer always feels kind of long, but I know now that the week is over the rest of the transfer will fly by. Too fast probably. I want you all to know how much I love this Gospel. It is true. I know that God and Jesus Christ lead this church today through a living prophet.

So I decided for the rest of this transfer at the end of each email I'm going to put something that I have learned on my mission or something that has really touched me, ok?? So for this week it is pray too much. That has been a theme in our mission since way before I got here. I think I have prayed more on my mission than in my entire life. I have gained such a powerful testimony of prayer. God wants to hear from us all the time. Throughout my mission I have met too many people that say, "Well you know I pray when I need something or when life is hard, but when it is going well, I don't really think about prayer or religion." It is so sad. I love this quote from Preach My Gospel, “If prayer is only a spasmodic cry at the time of crisis, then it is utterly selfish, and we come to think of God as a repairman or a service agency to help us only in our emergencies. We should remember the Most High day and night—always—not only at times when all other assistance has failed and we desperately need help” -Howard W. Hunter. It is so important that we communicate with our loving Heavenly Father all the time. It is through prayer that we come to know Him better. :)

I love you all:)

Challenge: Share the Gospel with a neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member. You can do it!


Soeur Kira Holmes
                                                                  The beautiful city of Lyon

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Well today is a new transfer! Soeur Clancy and I are staying together in Lyon, no suprise there. I am officially starting my last 6 weeks as a missionary. Where did the time go? Today we went with Soeur Zenger to drop her off at the office and oh my lanta it was so sad! On a mission you become like family, you would think you would get pretty good at saying goodbye, but I never really mastered that skill:/ Anyway, I'm excited to start this last transfer, I plan on treating it like it's my first:)

We had a good week! So with all the crazy stuff that went down in Paris our mission got some new rules. We have to be in by dark, no metros or trains, no highly populated or sketchy areas, etc. The rules are great, but have made missionary work kind of hard because it takes a long time to get places on the buses, but ça va:) The most important part is that we are safe!

Highlights of the week!

President's P Day! Last Monday since it was the last p day of the transfer all the Lyon missionaries went to President's for p day. So fun. We all sat around and did nothing but I was so happy! It was a beautiful day so it was nice to just be outside and soak up the sun and spend time with everyone:) Also Soeur Brown is a bomb cook and made this amazing chilli. Yummmm.

Jonas! JONAS CAME TO CHURCH!! Yayayayayayay!!!! We were so proud of him:) He loved it and he was even able to get a blessing after to help with his health situation. He is progressing so well and we have high hopes for him to be baptized on the 12th of December:)

Sarah!! Ok so cool miracle. Last week we were calling people on our potential list and we came across someone named Sarah. Sarah is French and about 60. We called her up and she was so excited/surprised that we called her. Well this week we had 2 lessons with her and she is AMAZING. Over a year ago she was meeting with the sisters and almost got baptized. But due to health issues and family issues it didn't happen and she kinda just fell off the face of the Earth. She explained to us that she felt horrible for just kind of ditching out on the sisters so she felt ashamed to call them again. Well when we called she said she knew it was a sign that it was time to come back. Even  though it has been over a year since she has had lessons, she remembered so many things! Also she still has been keeping the word of wisdom! Isn't that awesome?? She told us that she knows this is what God wants and that she is coming back to stay this time:) If all goes well she will also be getting baptized on December 12th with Jonas:) OH and she came to church and LOVED it. It was the primary program so it was adorable and super spirit filled.

Soeur Meyer:) Soeur Meyer is our relief society president and to be honest she scares the crap out of me!! We kind of thought she hated us, but last Tuesday we went to her house for dinner with the elders and I think we softened her up:) She gave us chocolate peanut butter brownie mix, so I'd say we are friends! We were earlier to her house so we helped her do dishes, giving us some good old bonding time. She is incredible and does so much for the ward, she even gave us a whole list of less active women to visit. Score.

Ahmed's baptism!! Ok so Ahmed is the Val de Soane elders ami but also the coolest person ever. He knows all of us missionaries in Lyon and we all just adore him. He is like this big teddy bear and just great! He got baptized on Saturday and it was a really tender experience:)

Sunday was the primary program and I was in Heaven! The little kids were so adorable! It brought me back to the good old primary days:) I loved watching them sing and say their little parts, it was great. We also had 4 amis at church on Sunday and they were all just loving the program. It was a perfect week for them to come.

It was a great week! The Lord truly is blessing us. I'm grateful for our amis, our ward, the other missionaries, our families and friends back home, and so much more. I love this Gospel and I would be so lost without it. This is the Lord's work:) I hope you all have an incredible week! Happy Thanksgiving!! Eat lots of food for me ok?? Love you!

Soeur Kira Holmes

Me and Soeur Clancy

President's  P-day

Ahmed's Baptism

Monday, November 16, 2015

First of all, I want to thank everyone for all of your prayers and emails. Don't worry about me, we are safe:) We are just being careful and not taking metros and being out when it's dark, but other than that we've pretty much gone back to normal. Please keep the people of France in your prayers.

So we had a good week!! It was kinda crazy and seems like a big blur but I'll do the best I can to tell you all about it!

P DAY!! It was Zone P day so we went bowling:) Let's just say that my skills haven't improved since last transfer haha I still stink at bowling. Soeur Clancy killed it and showed us all up!

Jonas! So we had an awesome Spirit filled lesson about prayer, scripture study, and obedience. He is so cute and took lots of notes as usual. He also told us all about what he is reading in the Book of Mormon. He's incredible. I always just want to give him a big hug and tell him how proud God and Jesus Christ are of him! The only struggle right now is getting him to church, his health is still bad and getting to church by 9 is hard for him. Please please pray for him. We keep having to push his baptisimal date back because he hasn't been to church yet. So yes prayers would be great:)

Christelle! So Christelle is actually the elders amie but she might be getting passed to us because of some stuff going on in her life right now. Anyway we helped her do some of her family history work! It was so fun:) She was so excited to put pictures on Family Search. She is just cool. Her story is cool because she wanted to do family history so she just showed up at the mission office one day and she has been seeing the elders ever since then. She has a lot of faith and is incredible!

Liliana! I don't know if I wrote about Liliana last week, but she is from Mexico and adorable! I love her:) Her Mom is actually a recent convert in Mexico so that is what got her interested in the church. We had a beautiful lesson about the temple and the importance of doing work for out ancestors. The Spirit was really strong.

Soeur Convert: She is the cutest little member from La Reunion:) We read a conference talk together and then did some grocery shopping for her. When we came back from the store she gave us the mini pineapple! It was too cute! haha

We saw Liliana again! We talked about the Restoration because she had some questions about the Priesthood. It was a good lesson and I think it answered some of the questions she was having.

Martha! We saw Martha and we've started the missionary lessons with her again:) We taught the Restoration and we brought the Elders in to talk about the importance of the Priesthood and why it is so vital to have the Priesthood.

Meyinjou's! They are a part member family in our ward who is lovely:) Her husband is taking the lessons from the elders so we went with the elders and talked about the importance of baptism! He said no to baptism for the moment but I really think he will one day. Then she fed us yummy pizza. Mmm:)

District meeting! We had a great district meeting!!! We talked a lot about the Temple:) I love the temple so much and I am so so so so so so so so excited to go when I come home. We are SO blessed to have a temple so close to us, we really need to take advantage of this blessing.
Then we started our exchange with the Annecy sisters, so I took a nice long bus ride to Annecy:)

I was on exchange with Soeur Nikka in Annecy. Annecy is about two hours from Lyon and it literally is so so beautiful. It's like this cute little fairytale city in the mountains! It was real cold but gorgeous so it was ok:) We actually ended up contacting most of the day, something I haven't done in a really long time; a full day of contacting. But it was actually really cool and we met some pretty incredible people. The thing I love about missions is just all the different people I meet from all walks of life. They all have such different stories and lives but the thing we all have in common is that we are all children of God. God truly does want every single one of His children to come back to Him.
Soeur Clancy and Soeur Castagno came to Annecy to switch back and oh my goodness I was SO excited to see Soeur Clancy!!! I had a lovely exchange, but we just missed each other so much and we were pumped to be back together! We talked the whole train ride home like we had been seperated for years. haha I love her a lot:)

Ok so this was the day we found out about all the stuff in Paris. We weren't allowed to take any public transportation so we walked for an hour and a half to get to the institute to teach our lessons:) haha it actually wasn't that bad! We saw Martha again and watched the Joseph Smith movie with her and she told us about what she is reading in the Book of Mormon:) It was nice!

Richie! Remember Richie?? He is our ami from Nigeria, we lost contact for a bit but we got back in contact with him! We talked about the Restoration and he seemed to get it, it's hard cause his english isn't great and he can't read but he got the idea. We'll be taking it slow:)

Ok this was the best part about Samedi! So we got done with Richie and we were going to walk the hour and a half back to the apartment but it was getting dark so we didn't think that was too good of an idea, so we called up the senior couple the Mahaffey's who live by the institute. The happily agreed to take us home but they totally fed us dinner first!! YUM! Nothing like good old grilled cheese, soup, ice cream and cookies to end off a crazy day:) I love them:)

Ok so President fixed this goal for our mission to have 200 amis at church on Sunday. So Samedi night we all went crazy and texted and called everyone in our areabooks inviting them to church. In our ward alone we had 13 amis at church and the whole mission we had 218 amis at church! It was cool to see us all work together to obtain this goal:)

Wow. Sorry that was really long. But a lot of stuff happened! I love you all and I want you to know how much I know with every part of me that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ. He loves us and wants nothing more for us then to come back to Him and Heavenly Father one day. I love you all:) Stay safe and have a great week!

Soeur Kira Holmes

Challenge for the week: Read O Divine Redeemer by Elder Maxwell

Soeur Nikka and me in Annecy

Zone p-day 

The Fairy tale city of Annecy

me and Liliana

Monday, November 9, 2015

Martha's Baptism!!

You would think that after 16 months I would learn to write the big
email first and not last, but I haven't. Haha sorry this one might be
So we had an AWESOME week! I'll give you the highlights!

So remember Martha? She got baptized!!:) It was a great day! It was
cool because the missionary who contacted her on the street a year ago
was there, the sisters that started teaching her were there, and then
we were there!! It's really cool to see how much effort and love goes
into preparing someone for baptism :) she was beaming and it was
awesome! Then she got the Holy Ghost and it was beautiful. It's during
these moments that the Spirit is so strong:)

We had an AWESOME zone conference! First of all the Brown's has Master
Tacos brought in for lunch which is our favorite taco place in Lyon!!
It was so cool!! Then we had a beautiful zone conference. We talked a
lot about planning. President told us that "prayerful planning
precedes perfection." It's so true that when we truly pray to know how
we should plan our days and weeks, the Lord puts us in the right
places at the right time to help His children.
Soeur Brown talked to us about being prepared spiritually. We talked
about defending ourselves from Satan, surrendering our will to the
Lord, and putting our plans into action. We used her cute analogy and
had a massive nerf gun war outside the church. It was a BLAST! Imagine
60 missionaries with nerf guns. Too fun.

On Friday we ate lunch with the Tron family. You bet your life that
Soeur Tron was converted by the one and only Donny Osmond. Haha she is
now the fourth person that I've met on my mission who was converted by
that family. :) it's actually a pretty cool story. Her whole process
was like 10 years long. She has a pen pal in England who sent her a
book about the Osmond family. At the end of the book the Osmond's talk
about the church and give the address for the mission office in
England. So she wrote them and after multiple trips to America and
meeting that Osmond's several times she got baptized in Utah. The
whole story is more complex than that but still pretty sweet!! I love
them a lot!

Jonas! Doing great. His health is still bad and he still might be
getting moved from the refugee place he is living in but he is so
happy and loves the gospel and is progressing so so so well.
Eric! Eric is a testimony of the gospel changing lives. So Eric hasn't
seen his parents in two years. After reading in the Book of Mormon
about Nephi's family he really understood how important the family is.
So he prayed a lot and then went and saw his family that he hadn't
seen in years. He just gets it. He is applying the Gospel in his life
and really changing for the better.
The rest of the Amis are doing well and I'll give you a better update
next week:)

I love you all so much. You are great examples to me. Keep being
awesome. If you haven't read perfection pending by elder Nelson, go
read it. Really it's incredible. Have a great week!! Go out and see

I love you all!

Soeur Kira Holmes

Me and soeur Clancy

Me,  Soeur Zenger, and Soeur Hurd

Me, Martha, and Soeur Clancy

Zone Conference

Martha's Baptism

Me and Soeur Wallace

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween and a surprise baptism!!

Ok so crazy stuff went down this week!! So at like 8 pm Friday night
the Stl's called us and said that Martha (their ami who is now our
ami) just showed up at the institute and still wants to get baptized
November 7th. Ok so back story. Martha was being taught by the Stl's
but she lives in our part of Lyon. She was going to move to their part
of Lyon but never did. Long story short, she got passed to the sister
equipe before us and then randomly went missing for a month, so she
never got baptized. Well Friday night she just appeared and still
wants to get baptized!! So we've been running around like crazy people
trying to organize a baptism in one week. She's only been to our Ward
once so we want her to be as integrated as possible. So we set up lots
of dinner appointments with members this week:) so if all goes with
her interview she'll get baptized Saturday:) Please pray that it all
goes well.

Other than that the rest of our Amis are doing well and progressing
well. Jonas is seriously amazing and just gets the gospel.
Unfortunately he's really sick so it's hard for him to come to church.
We're working on it though. Also since he is a refugee he might get
moved from the shelter in Lyon to a different one in another part of
France :( :( please please pray that he'll be able to stay!!!

Anne Charlotte:) she is one of our Amis who is so flipping cute. She's
like 22 and adorable. Problem, she lives with her boyfriend who is a
member. #lawofchastityprobs so we've been telling her for ages that if
she wants to get baptized that she has to find a new apartment. Well
Saturday it clicked. We taught her about the temple and how baptism is
just the beginning and she just sobbed. She wants to get baptized so
bad but she's so financially unstable that finding an apartment on her
own is difficult. It's sad. Personally I think she should kick her
boyfriend,because he is a member of the church and he knows that she
can't get baptized until they stop living together. And this poor girl
doesn't know these things. This is all new to her. Ugh. Sorry for the
rant. Anyway she is going to pray to find a solution and so are we.

Eric. Eric is dope. So sick. He was an old ami. We were randomly
calling people and we came across him. It's been months since he's
talked to missionaries. So we set up a rdv and it went so well. He
said he feels just like Joseph Smith. So lost and wanting to know
which church is true. He told us he felt like God wasn't answering his
prayers and then we called:) after we called he picked up the Book of
Mormon, something he hadn't touched in months and began to read. He's
awesome. I'm excited to keep working with him and hopefully he'll be
getting baptized in December.

The rest of the Amis are doing well. The work really is great here and
I feel really blessed to be teaching such great people who are
prepared for the Gospel.

Halloween was awesome. We had a really fun party that the missionaries
put on at the institute for the members and Amis. We had an AWESOME
turn out!! Seriously tons of people were there. It was great. Anne
Charlotte came with her boyfriend and Martha came as well. It was fun
to celebrate Halloween, wasn't quite the same but hey it was pretty

I think that's it:) the church is true friends. I am so blessed to be
a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It's just
true. Have a great week and go out and share the gospel with someone!
Love you!

Challenge: read Perfection Pending by Russell M. Nelson

Soeur Kira Holmes
Me and Soeur Clancy

Happy Halloween from the Soeurs serving in Lyon!!

Look at all of the yummy food here in Lyon!


                                                                       Me and Soeur Zenger

Me and Soeur Clancy

Monday, October 26, 2015

Happy Halloween!!

So this week has been great! I love Lyon and I love Soeur Clancy and it is just going so well! I'll give you highlights of the week!

Jonas is so cool. So prepared. This past week we were able to see him twice and it was fantastic. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and also the temple. Both of the lessons he accepted so well. He loved the idea of baptisms for the dead and being able to be with his family for eternity. It was just really cool because we planned his baptism for November but he is going to be out of town for a couple of weeks so we will probably have to push it to December. But the thing that was cool was that how he talked about how important baptism is for him and how he wants to be prepared because he knows that what he is promising to Heavenly Father and he is even more excited to go to the temple! He is doing great. Please keep praying for him! Also lots of crazy stuff is going on with his family in Africa so can you pray for them as well?? Thank you.

So we have a new amie named Angela and she is awesome. She is from Nigeria so she speaks English. She is looking for comfort and belonging so I think that this is the perfect place for that:) We are excited to keep working with her!

Charles is fantastic. He is another new ami. We sat down in our lesson and I wasn't sure how into it he was. But he surprised all of us! We started talking about the Restoration of the Gospel and he expressed his desire to change and repent of sins. He said that he really wants to change and become closer to God. He committed to keep seeing us and work his way back towards Heavenly Father. I'm so excited about it!

We had Zone Training this week and it was great. We talked about the importance of keeping our lessons as simple as possible. When we teach, sometimes it is easy to get caught up and just kind of vomit everything we know onto our amis. But for a lot of people this stuff is SO new to them that it really is vital that we keep it simple so that they can understand. I love the quote in preach my gospel that says something along the lines of the Gospel should be taught in a way that it is simple enough for a child to understand it. The Gospel is so simple and so beautiful that it is so important for the people we teach to understand the simple truths of the Gospel.

So we had stake conference this weekend and it was SOO good!! Elder Homer from the Seventy was there and it was fantastic. There were many uplifting things shared but something I really liked was when Elder Homer shared the story about Peter walking towards Christ on the water. Peter was doing so good and then he got scared and started to sink. He called out for Christ to help him, so Christ reaches his hand down to pull Peter up and said to him " oh thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" So we have all heard this story lots of times. But it really touched me when he was telling it. So often we let our doubts get in the way of our faith. Peter was literally walking towards Christ, he could see Him. But still he doubted. Even when we are completely focussed on the Savior sometimes we still have doubts. But he said that in times of doubt we need to hold fast to our faith and keep the commandments. Simple things, but they work.

After the saturday session of general conference we went to get tacos with President and Sister Brown! It was SO much fun! I love spending time with them and I feel blessed to be guided by such great people.

Today for Pday we explored  Lyon and took lots of cute pics! It was a blast. I'll send those next week cause they are on Soeur Zenger's camera.

It was a good week! The work is really moving along here in Lyon and I am so excited to keep rolling with it! I  love this work and I love the Savior. I know He loves all of you as well. Have a great week!!

Soeur Holmes

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

First week in Lyon

It's been a good week! It was kind of stressful, but good! It's been
quite the adventure! Brand new place, brand new companion, needless to
say it's been quite the adventure:) we haven't been too lost though!

So the week was crazy! So Monday I got to Lyon and pretty much just
hung out with Soeur Hurd and Zenger and it was a blast!! Tuesday
consisted of helping the stl's teach their lessons, and lots of street
contacting! Then the zone leaders took all of us trainers out to pizza
that night!

Wednesday I finally got my baby bleue!!! She's so cute!!! Her name is
Soeur Clancy. She's from Scotland and the cutest thing ever. She is
just so chill and happy and works so hard to speak French and she is
doing great. Then after we all went and visited this beautiful
cathedral together. It was so pretty, I love France. Then Soeur Clancy
and I were able to go contacting together! She just jumped in with
both feet. And we had a really cool miracle! We talked to this girl
named Clemence and let me tell you, she is so prepared to receive the
gospel! We started talking about the family and the temple with her
and she just burst into tears. She started talking about how her Dad
just passed away and how us telling her that she could see him again
gave her a lot of hope. So then of course I start crying as we
testified about eternal families. I'm so grateful for the gospel and
the knowledge that we have that this life is not the end.

Thursday we got all moved in to our new apartment. Home sweet home:)
then some of the elders gave us a tour of Lyon so we wouldn't be
completely lost all the time. Haha later that night we had our first
RCM (aka missionary coordination meeting) and out Dmp (Ward mission
leader) is soooo cool and so into helping us! I can tell this transfer
is going to be a good one!

Friday we had a great lesson with out ami Jonas. He is so prepared. We
talked about the retab with him and it all just clicked and he
accepted everything. He's all set up to get baptized November 21st:)
please pray for him!
Also we have this super cool recent convert names Laura that we met
with! She's so cool. Like just the best. Young, funny, so nice, speaks
English. A real gem. We had a lesson with her about service and it
went really well.

Saturday we had quite the rendezvous! We went and ate lunch with a
family in our Ward named the Venet family. They may or may not have
kept us there for 3 hours. Holy cow. So much food. Poor Soeur Clancy
didn't know what was coming! Haha they were so nice though and really
welcomed us into Lyon.  Then we were able to attend a baptism for one
of the sets of elders (by the way there are 26 missionaries in Lyon.
26. So many) it was so cool! I love love love going to baptisms and
seeing how happy these people are when they come up out of the water.
They always have the biggest smile on their faces and you just know
that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are just beaming up above. It
was great!

Sunday! First Sunday's are always an adventure. But the Ward was so
nice and welcoming so it was good! Then we had a lesson with out ami
Anne Charlotte. She's so cute. She loves the gospel and is already
bffs with all the young adults. Only problem is that she's living with
her boyfriend, so we're working on that. Other than that she's great!!

It was a good week! Exhausting. Every night I went to sleep exhausted
but so happy. I love Lyon, I love Soeur Clancy and I love being a
missionary! It's the best job ever and I love being able to serve
Heavenly Father's children here.

Have a lovely week!! And keep your eye out for miracles. I love you!!

Soeur Holmes

Monday, October 12, 2015

Craziest transfer yet!

So get ready for this. I got transferred. I left Toulouse and I am now
in Porte Des Alpes (Lyon), I'm white washing here, and I'm training!
I'm having a baby!!!!:) I'm feeling lots of emotions. But mostly
excited to start this new adventure.

So this week was great! I'll give you the highlights!
Hamid!! We have a really cool ami named hahmid and he's great. I think
I told you about him last week, but he's just progressing so well!! We
had a really good lesson about the plan of salvation. He accepted it
really well and said he would pray this week to know if he should get

Samuel! So a couple weeks ago we met a guy named Samuel on the street
and we talked about the temple and the family. He was interested so we
got his number and set up a rdv. So we had this rdv and he was on
time!! Haha this is rare people. But the best part is that he brought
his seven year old son. :) He was so interested and loved our lesson
about the BOM. He has so much potential.

Angela. We saw her and cleared up a lot of confusion! We talked about
why we need the Book of Mormon and the bible and how the two complete
each other. She still struggles with accepting the fact that we do
indeed need the both, after showing her some scriptures in the BOM and
the bible she was a little bit more open to the BOM being the word of
God. She's progressing surely but slowly. :)

We did two exchanges this week!! One in Perpignan with Soeur Staples
and one in Toulouse with Soeur Tibbitts! They were great and I love
both of these girls so much. They are such good examples to me. The
best part about being an Stl was just being able to learn from such
amazing sisters. I'm grateful for their examples. If anything they
taught me more than I think I ever taught them.

Sorry that this email is kind of short but I'm out of time. I'm sad to
leave Toulouse, but I'm excited for this new adventure. I love you all
and I hope you have a great week!! Love you!!

Soeur Holmes
The Sordes

Me and camille

Me, Soeur Neff, and our zone leaders

Monday, October 5, 2015

I love Conference!!!

Wasn't conference fantastic?? I felt like I was 3 again opening up my
very first Elmo. It was that good! I haven't seen the Sunday afternoon
session yet but I'm super pumped to do so. My heart aches for our dear
prophet President Monson, he doesn't seem well and I was so worried
during his talk, please keep him in your prayers. I was also delighted
to hear the announcement of the three new apostles. I know these men
are called of God and I'm excited for the opportunity we all have to
learn from them.
So here are some of my highlights from what I've seen of conference so
far, excuse my paraphrasing:)
Rosemary M. Wixom:
"God sent us here to prepare for a future greater than we can imagine."

Linda S. Reeves:
"Sisters, I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but
it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and
everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day
of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, “Was
that all that was required?” I believe that if we could daily remember
and recognize the depth of that love our Heavenly Father and our
Savior have for us, we would be willing to do anything to be back in
Their presence again, surrounded by Their love eternally. What will it
matter, dear sisters, what we suffered here if, in the end, those
trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and
exaltation in the kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?"

Dieter F. Uchtdorf:
"God didn't design us to be sad, he created us to have joy." And
"exaltation is our goal, discipleship is our journey."

Neill F. Marriott:
"It will all work out.":)

Robert D. Hales:
"The Lord will always lead us, but will we let ourselves be lead?"

Jeffrey R. Holland:
"The closest love to the Savior's love is the devoted love that a
mother has for her child."

Dale G. Renlund:
"The Lord has called me for what He can do through me."

Henry B. Eyring:
"Only through the Holy Ghost we can see things as God sees them."

There were SO MANY that I loved but those are a few that really
touched me. Now my all time favorite talk was the talk by Elder Larry
R. Lawrence when he talked about what lack I yet? It's funny because
earlier in the week as I was studying the life of the Savior, I
studied that story. And so it says in Matthew 19:16-22,
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing
shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good
but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou
shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear
false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my
youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou
hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven:
and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful:
for he had great possessions.

This story always gets me. Like Elder Lawrence said, a lot of the time
we are humble enough to ask the Lord what lack I yet? But we aren't
always willing to change what He asks us to change. We are all far
from perfect, myself included. It's not always easy to go before the
Savior and ask Him what we are lacking or what is keeping us from
progressing. But as I've seen throughout my mission, if we are humble
enough to do it and follow through with the answer we receive, He will
change our hearts. And he will help us on our path back home to Him.

I guess I'll tell you about my week now;) besides conference being the
ultimate highlight we were able to find a new ami!
His name is Hahmid, and he has read the BOM twice now and loved it.
During our rendezvous he kept asking, why are there so many churches
when there is only one God?? That's my favorite question:) I'm excited
to keep working with him.

A super nice lady on the bus gave me her scarf! Cool right?? I was
like hey I like your scarf and she said I could keep it! There are
some really cool people in the world.

We had district meeting, it was great! We talked about the importance
of bearing testimony which goes along perfectly with our 30 day
challenge from Elder Adler to bear testimony of the Savior to our
companion every day for 30 days and not miss a day. We recorded
ourselves the first day and the last day we are going to record
ourselves again to see the difference. It's been a really cool
experience so far!

We did an exchange with Montpellier and it was fabulous. I was with
Soeur Grant. I did an exchange with her back in Cannes when she was
bleu. She's grown up so much in the past couple of transfers. She's
one of the most talented missionaries I've ever met. She speaks
incredible French, loves people, and is an awesome teacher. Also she's
just fun to be around. I love her:) also funny story! So we were
leaving their apartment and Soeur James and Soeur Nef were in there
making calls and such so you know we leave like normal and lock the
door. So we get to our next rendezvous which is super far away when
the Soeurs call and tell us we locked them in the apartment!! Yeah
it's one of those that like if it's locked from the outside you can't
get out. Poor things. They were stuck in there the whole afternoon
until we got home that night! But it was kind of funny:)

Well kids that's it for the week. Sorry this is so long. I love you
all and I'm grateful for your examples. I know our Savior loves us
individually. Have a great week!

Soeur Holmes

Conference Time!!

We bowl hard!

We found  the scripture John 3:16 on a wall in Toulouse

Lunch after district meeting

Conference Selfies

Me and Soeur Grant

On the train at 6 am!! Not fun!!