Monday, April 27, 2015

Crazy week, but so good!!

Bonjour!!
This week was a crazy one! But so good!! I really don't have a lot of time today, so I'll give you the highlights!
1) Super SICK lesson with Ludivine! So we went over to her house to get Soeur Gerritsen's hair cut, her situation is really different from other people I've taught. Mostly because she doesn't really know we are teaching her haha let me explain. SO she likes coming to church and talking with us but she isn't like crazy willing to join a religion. BUT she is really having a hard time right now and needs friends and she considers us her only friends. So whenever we see her, we teach her obviously but it's a slow process. So she loved church! And when we went to her house we asked her if she had any questions from church, she said that the only question she really had was "why was everyone calling it the true church??" It was such a golden question! We explained to her the Restoration of the Church and the Spirit was really strong. She wasn't exactly sold on it, but she said she needed some time to really think about what we had told her. We told her the only way she could really know was to pray. She told us that it's really hard to knowwhat church is the "true" one since there are SO many. We again encouraged her to really pray and ask God what church is true, we assured her that if she asks, she will get an answer. I hope and pray that she does, because she is so so awesome!!
2) GREAT lesson with Pascal! We  had a really good lesson with Pascal on Tuesday about the Book of Mormon. He's like reallly Catholic, but I think we could change that:) he talked a lot and asked good questions. He told us he thinks that it could be true but he would need to pray about it as well. Prayer is the key.
3) We had great less active lessons  with our 2 favorite old ladies Soeur Fily and Soeur Rouby. I love them! The only reason they are "less active" is because of their health. But they really are so cool and I love reading the scriptures with them.
4) last but not least would be the mission conference in Lyon!! It was seriously SO cool to have a conference with the entire mission!! All 250 of us:) Oh we didn't get our ipads but we should be getting them soon! The conference was really great. First off, we took an 8 hour bus ride Friday night from Nice to Lyon and it was such a party. Our zone was on the bus with another zone and we all just bonded and it was so fun! Then the conference was Saturday and we had the privledge of having Elder Kearon and Elder Nielsen of the Seventy with us. Our conference was about the ipads but more about how we the missionaries are still the messangers we are still the instruments in the hands of God, but the ipads are just a tool to help us do our work. It was really great and it was a blast to see all my friends!!
5)Sunday we went to church in Nice and it was just great!
Ok I'm super out of time but I love you all and I can't wait to talk to you in 2 weeks! I love you all and have a great week!!:)
Love,
Soeur Holmes
Soeur Wallace, Me, and Soeur James

The District

Me and Soeur Zenger

Selfie of  me and  Elder Barnes
 K town swag!!!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Gospel is simple

Bonjour!!:)
So this week was really great!:) The week started off with a killer exchange in Nice with my home girl Sister Wallace! It was SO great to work with her. It was just really cool to see how much the both of have changed and grown since the mtc. It was a great exchange and she is a great example to me of a really great missionary. She gives it her all and she does it with love and a huge smile:)
Wednesday we had District Meeting! I always love district meetings, but this past meeting I really learned a valuable lesson! So pretty much our whole district meeting consisted of role plays. To be quite honest I do not like role plays, I've always kind of thought they were a waste of time. So I heard we were doing role plays and I was like great. So me and Soeur G start doing a first lesson with our zone leader/fake investigator Françoise:) This role play wasn't anything special or spectacular but it really reminded me the importance of teaching simply for understanding and really teaching according to the needs of the ami. As missionaries sometimes we get so caught up in just teaching all the doctrine and getting it all out on the table, or not teaching simple because we finally got comfortable with the language, just little things. But this role play really brought me back to my roots, the basics. It was a reminder that I needed. We need to be teaching simply enough that even a child could understand it. I think the basics are the basics because they work:) The Gospel is simple so our teachings should be also.
Thursday we had an exchange with the Montpellier sisters! They both came to Cannes so there were 4 of us working in our area. I was on exchange with Soeur Andersen, she's from Denmark and this is her second transfer in the mission, a little baby bleu:) but she is great! Such a killer missionary and her french is rocking! On our exchange we had a really great lesson with Ludivine and one of our members named Laeticia who just got back from her mission 6 weeks ago. We took the lesson slow, and we just really explained the Bom to her and the importance of it. She promised to read it and is reall interested to continue learning more about the Gospel. Baby steps, but we are getting there! She literally is so awesome, she has this light about her that is incredible, I can't wait for her to just see the happiness the Gospel brings:) Later that night Soeur G and I went to visit a less active named Elodie, ok ya know Eva Longoria (totally spelled her last name wrong but you know who I am talking about) anyway Elodie looks JUST like her. Like they are the same person. Elodie is fantastic! 35, two kids, went to BYU, her dad is the patriarch, but for some reason she's "on and off" about the church. But she said "maybe one day I"ll come back, we never know" I think she really does want to come back, but her husband isn't a member so it's hard. But I really want to work with her cause I think they have a lot of potential:)
Saturday was the baptism of the elders amis Elizabete and Leony. A mom and daughter! We all fasted together that Leony would be able to get the permission of her father to get baptized, and guess what? She did:) Fasting works my friends. The Lord truly does answer our prayers. My testimony on the law of the fast was really strengthend this week as I saw this super cool miracle come to pass. The baptism was beautiful and us the missionaries sang Nearer my God to thee:) The Spirit you feel at a baptism is just incredible.
Yesterday was GREAT! Ludivine came to church AND our other ami Pascal came!! It was a miracle! It was really cool to have them there. They both really liked it and want to come back next week as well! Ludivine even said she is going to bring her mom!! #miralces
Today for p day we went to a ville called Grasse, they are known for their perfume! We went to a little museum and just explored, it was super cool!
Ok folks well I am out of time!! I love you all and I hope your week is great! The Lord loves you!
Love,
Soeur Holmes
 Me and Soeur Wallace (my MTC companion)

Brother and Sister Burton

Me, Soeur G. and the Elders

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

All over the place

Bonjour!!
Wow this week has been all over the place! I'll try and collect my thoughts so this email makes sense:) haha

Tuesday:
So we went and saw this awesome family named the Borgogno family! Frere Borgogno was living in Canada doing his studies when he met the missionaries there. His cute wife to be was living in France and she had no idea that he got baptized into our church! Luckily she converted to and now they are like in there 70's and like the happiest coolest couple ever. When I'm old I want to be them:)
We went and saw the Ashton Family tuesday night. They are from Arizona (shout out to my homie Sista Barton!) and like less less less active. Frere Ashton served a mission in Hong Kong, but as of like 12 years ago just completely left the church. No one really knows why. I guess it was like deep doctrine stuff? Anyway it was a miracle that we were able to go to their house cause I guess they never let missionaries come over. So we went over and it was literally so sad. They just don't have the light of the Gospel in their lives anymore. And the thing that makes me the most sad is they know exactly what they are missing. But they won't come back. All they talked about was all the fancy trips they have been on, and instagram, facebook, money, etc. It's all that matters to them now. We left their house and I cried on the bus ride home. The Gospel is literally the most important thing, and I want so badly for them to find it again. We're going to work with them  and get to the bottom of this!!:)

Wednesday:
COOOOOOLEST MIRACLE! So we had our first meeting with our ami Claude who we have been trying to get ahold of forever! We taught him the restoration and he literally agreed with everything! He was like,  "this just makes sense! Of course it happened like this!" I almost died. #golden I asked him if he thought it was true and he told us yes. He also said he has been reading the Book of Mormon every day that the other sisters left him with. He said he would like to be baptized! Now we just have to fix a date! Such a miracle!!
Wednesday night we saw Soeur Fily who is less active. She's so great. She's always so annoyed when we just show up at her house but by the end of the visit she was just giving us tons of bisous' and telling us how glad she was that we came. I love her and she showed up at church on Sunday so that was really cool!

Thursday:
Thursday I hit my halfway done with my mission mark! CRAZY! I feel like I left yesterday and it makes me sad to think it's half over. So we went and saw Ludivine on thursday! Halfway done with a mission calls for a little haircut so she cut like 4 inches off my hair! ah! Then we sat down with her and explained to her why we are here as missionaires and a little bit about the church. She said she loved the picnic because everyone was so happy and nice. She was like french people just aren't like that! She was so amazed by how happy the members were that she like wants to "hang out" with them again! She told us that she really wants to learn about what makes them so happy:) spoiler alert! It's the Gospel:)

Friday:
We were able to see Ludivine again! We got ice cream with her and gave her a Book of Mormon with out testimonies inside of it. We're kinda taking baby steps because she has heard a lot of "weird" things about Mormons so we're trying to show her we are normal. She was really touched by the Bom and she is coming to church with us next week! She really just wants to surround herself with positive people with good values. I think she's found the right church:)

Saturday:
haha oh la la Soeur G and I were practically lost ALL day! We decided to go find a bunch of old amis but we literally ended up walking through like a jungle! It was great though and we laughed a lot and met a lot of cool people along the way! Including a couple from englad! The husband served his mission here in the 60's! So that was really cool to meet them!

Sunday:
It was fast sunday and I love fast and testimony meeting. French people have so much faith. they amaze me every single day. So I translated for the first time ever on Sunday! There is a girl in our ward from Utah who is nanny in Cannes for 3 months! She doesn't speak any French so I translated all the meetings for her, I was so nervous but it went good and I hope it all made sense:) Then we had a ward meal and it was so fun to get to know people better! I love these people, they are so warm and I'm getting attached so I better not get transferred!

Sorry that was kinda long and not terribly exciting! I didn't email yesterday cause we moved apartments! So mom I'll get you the new address when I know it. Our old apt was just not in good condition so we switched with the elders. We cleaned ALL day yesterday but now it's all good:) Ok well I love you all and I hope your week is great! You are all great! The Lord loves you:) Always turn to Him. Good times, bad times, He is there.

Love,
Soeur Holmes
                                                                              SELFIE!!!
                                                                        Seour G.  and  me




       Half way mark!!


                                                            Me, Soeur G. and Ludivine

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

conference as a missionary is literally Christmas!

Bonjour!:)
I hope that everyone had a great Easter and ate lots of candy and searched for lots and lots of eggs! But I hope you had an even better time watching general conference! Conference as a missionary is literally Christmas. I get so pumped. We are so so lucky to get to hear from our incredible prophet and other amazing general authorities. We are so blessed. Picking a favorite talk for me is like picking between a really good steak and swiss chocolate. They are both SO incredible but completely different categories so you can't really pick which one you like better! I loved all of them, but for sure there were some that really touched me. All give you some highlights, sorry if they are not quoted word for word,

Elder Holland: "The Savior extended His brotherly hands for all of us."
Elder Clayton:"Our actions are evidence of our belief."
Elder Bednar: "Godly fear dispells mortal fears. Godly fear is loving and trusting Him. His love is perfect and perfect love casteth out all fear."
Elder Christofferson:"No child of God is pre-destined to not recieve all of the blessings that Heavenly Father wants to give us."
Elder Wilford Andersen: " I can teach you to dance, but YOU have to hear the music."
Elder Renlund:"A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying" "No failure ever need be final"
Elder Ringwood:"All I really want in life is to please my fathers."
Elder Caussé: "Never do anything to risk the loss of the companionship of the Holy Ghost."
Elder Uchtdorf:"Grace unlocks the gates of Heaven and opens the windows of Heaven."
I haven't seen Sunday afternoon so I'm sure there are many other great things to add but those were some that stuck out to me. I love conference and getting spiritually fed, we are so blessed!

In other words, we had a great week in Cannes! We did a little bit of everything! I'll share a couple cool miracles that happened this week,

Miracle 1: So we have been hearing about this less active in our ward named Anna for a couple of weeks now. I guess no one can ever get ahold of her and she never responds to anyones messages. Well we decided to do the "missionary stalk" and just show up at her house! So we did! She was not only home, but let us in!! Her story is really sad, she is from the Philippines and a couple of months ago her husband just up and left her and her two little girls. She hasn't been to church in a really long time and when she was going it was mostly because of her husband. So we just visited with her and talked about her life. We didn't want to go all hard core crazy missionary come to church right this second, so we just shared a scripture in alma 32:21 about faith. She was very attentive and told us we could come back:) We'll be seeing her again this week:)

Miracle 2: We were on the bus heading to the church when I saw this lady get on the bus. I kinda had the thought that I should contact her. Well I kinda just pushed it aside and thought about contacting the lady that was standing right next to me, I was going to start contacting her when I had a little thought that was like, "no, walk up to that lady and contact her." So I went to contact the first lady I initially had seen. Her name was Lisa and she is from Portugal and possibly the nicest person I have ever met. I did the family questionnaire with her and she opened right up. She said so many things that are in line with our beliefs and doctrine. I asked if we could see her another time and she quickly agreed and gave me her number. I'm really excited to see where things go with her! Heavenly Father really does put people in our path who are ready for the Gospel.

Miracle 3: Today we had a ward picnic! It was such a blast and I was laughing so hard because these people are so funny. Well one of our members not only invited 1 friend but 6 FRIENDS. And all of them came. All of them were super cool and nice! One of the girls was named Ludavine. Not only is she french, BUT NORMAL. That is rare my friends. She's 28, has a solid job, catholic background but not practicing (normal for france) so cute and nice! AND speaks English!! She lived in NYC and Miami for 4 years being a hair stylist! She was really intrigued by the fact that we are just here for 18 months talking about our Gospel. She was like "so you meet people and tell them about your church..what do you talk about??" Practically she said "so tell me what you tell people about your church!" We are going to go to lunch with her this week and tell her more about what we believe. I'm so excited.

We had an incredible Zone Conference this past weekend in Nice. Nice is really nice. haha punny. Nice is pronounced like niece.:) anyway we had a great zone conference. I am so blessed to have President Roney as a mission president. He is literally the coolest person I have ever met and all I want is to be him. haha We talked about trusting in the Lord more. Putting all of our trust in Him. Giving Him our agency and telling Him that we trust Him enough to do what He asks us to do. I love the Lord and I want to trust Him more. In P Roney's words "We can trust Him because He is perfectly trustworthy." So true. But then why sometimes do we hesitate when the Lord asks us to do something? I wish I had an answer, but I hope we can all try to trust Him more, because we can. Because He keeps His promises and because He is trustworthy. I love Him, but I want to love Him more. President also gave all the missionaries this beautiful book called The Life of the Savior. He didn't compile it but he like endorsed it or something. Pretty much it's matthew, mark, luke, and john, and modern scripture like bom and d&c compilled with no repition. So the life of the Savior is read like a storybook. It's incredible. I started reading it and I can't wait to keep reading it. The life of our Savior truly is incredible. If you get a chance to read the Gospels in the New Testament do it because I read them and it changed my life.

I love you all! The Savior loves you, and Heavenly Father loves you! I hope you have a great week!:)

Love,
Soeur Holmes



Thursday, April 2, 2015

kidney stones oh my!

Bonjour!!

Well everyone this past week has probably been the most interesting week of my life! haha Kidney stone surgery went well and I am feeling much better! Thank you so much for all of your prayers, love, and support! I feel so blessed to know so many amazing people.
I really felt the love of my Savior this weekend as I received so much love. I'm grateful for the power of the Priesthood on Earth today. I'm grateful for the power of prayer. I'm grateful for all the missionaries and others who fasted on my behalf. The Lord loves His children, and he takes care of His missionaries.

I guess I don't really have a whole lot to say for what happened this past week besides that haha
Ok well before all the kidney stone stuff went down we had a few exciting things happen! We spent a lot of time visiting less actives and trying to really get to know the members because we literally don't know anyone here. We had some really good experiences and I am starting to like it here:) We had a great rendez-vous with the Monier family, they are ward missionaries and SO eager to help out, they just don't know how. So we are going to try to help them get into some missionary work here:)

We had district meeting as well this week and well the part I was there for before kidney stones was really good! We talked about making goals and using our time wisely. We've all heard it before but it's good to have a reminder every once in a while. But using your time wisely is crucial. The time we are given as missionaries is so so so short. I feel very honored to give all my time and energy to the Lord. It isn't always easy, but it really is worth it. I love being a missionary for my Savior:)

I am so excited for conference this weekend. We are so privileged to hear from a living prophet and his apostles. I can't wait to receive such amazing counsel. My challenge for you all is to think of questions that you might have and I promise if you really ponder and reflect during conference something that is said will your answer your questions. I love you all so much!

Sorry this email is short and kinda everywhere, but know I love you and I am so grateful for all your love and support! Have a great week and Happy Easter!! #BecauseHeLives Go watch the mormon message Because of Him. It's my favorite, here is the link https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2014-00-1420-because-of-him?lang=eng


I love you all!!:)

Love,
Soeur Holmes
Before Surgery

After surgery