Monday, April 13, 2015

All the right reasons the Philippines has my heart

​This week I've had kind of a hard time because I'm starting to realize that I'm actually coming home. . .So that's weird. But I think it's so hard because I've reeally come to love my mission. Here's 18 reasons Why :) 

1. I love trikes and jeeps. They are super way fun way of public transportation. :)
2. Going to the Market here is really fun because it's cheap even if I don't know how to haggle. :) 
3. I am no longer a picky eater... I have eaten balut, dinuguan (meat cooked in blood), buro (fermented rice and fish), squid, frog, crickets and much, much more
4. I have a lot of new friends! Missionaries, members, investigators, and people I just meet. I've learned how to get a long with all sorts of people
5. I have really found a deep appreciation and lvoe for the scriptures. I like the scriptures before and I would read, but I've really learned how to study the scriptures, to ponder and most importantly, apply it in my life :) 
6.  ​I LOVE TAGALOG. I love learning Tagalog and I love speaking Tagalog.  
7. I've got to learn a lot from going on exchanges.. I have felt like each exchange I've gone on has really been a lesson just fro me. 
8. I love being a part of seeing people change. It doesn't happen all at once, but it's amazing to see what people can do :) 
9. Everybody tells me I'm pretty. So I'm gonna miss that :) hah
10. I've overcome a lot of fears while I've been here and proved to myself that I can do things I didn't think I could do :) 
11. I now understand why people point with their lips here. It's so much easier. 
12. I have gotten to know both President and Sister Martino and Presdient and Sister Clark. I'me grateful for the thigns i have learned from each of them. 
13. I have a better understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and what He truly did for me and hopw I can show appreicationf or that. 
14. Even though I've had hard days, the good days make it worth it. :) ANd I've ahd a lot of good days. 
15. I LOVE my companinons :) I learned something from each one of them and I' so grateful for their kindness and the realtionships I've built with each one. 
16. I've got to feel the Spirit in a way I never have before. It's an amazing experience to really be guided by the Lord in His work. That's another thing I've learned, Missionary work is the Lor'ds work and He rally does know what He's doing better than we do. 
17. It's has been undescribable being apart of other peoploe's conversion. Seeing them struggle, ask questions, then start finding answers and gaining a testimony. They change their lives according to the knowledge they gain and before you know it, they are doing amazing things like giving blessings and serving in callings!
18. It's even betterknowing that I have become converted myself.Before my mission, I thought Iknew why I was coming... But now I've realized it was an experience I needed. Yes, I cam for the right reasons, but I didn't know all those reasons and probably won't know all the effects my mission has had in my life and in the lives of others. But I do know that I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I'm grateful to have served Him and our Heavenly Father for this short time n my life. I still feel like I haven't done enough, but I do know I did my best :) And that's all They ask of us. 

Love you all!! 
Can't wait to see you ;) ;) :) 
Sister Holmes

Monday, April 6, 2015

No Show Super Typhoon

I have a lot to say and only a little time to say it... 

We got to attend Women's Conference this week (Yes, I know we are behind but it was so good). I loved all of the talks and it's just amazes the how our leaders know exactly what we need to hear. I'm looking forward to general Conference this next weekend... I know all of you have already heard it.. but I'm still excited. 

We had zone interviews this past week... We are starting a new topic of Real Growth... Real Growth through Faith. I really loved something that PResident Clark told us. It's something along the lines of how we sometimes have doubts or get distracted from our faith, but the advice he gave us was just to stop it. It becomes a huge stumbling block.. .and I loved what asked us. He asked us if we don't have anything to think about, what we think about. That has a huge effect on what we do, so if we think faith-filled thoughts, our actions will also be faith-filled. If we have doubts-- even the slightest doubt, we are not showing our faith. Something lie that... I left my notes at home, but I know that all of us can experience Real Growth through our Faith. 

We were supposed to have a "SUPER TYPHOON" but it decided not to show up. It has been so hot, I don't blame it.

We had a real good easter... the Primary looked for eggs outside during their classes so that was real cute. I can't believe I was in Tarlac last Easter as well. . But I'm really grateful for a knowledge of a living Savior, that because of HIm we all have the hope of being resurrected and returning to our Heavenly Father's presence. 

My companion and I were talking about the symbols of easter and why we have an easter egg... I really like what we came up with. When I chick is inside the egg, it has to work its way out from the inside, and the chick is "trapped" inside. We are similarly trapped in bands of death and sin. But because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we will all have the power to overcome those things, and break out from our shells. 

Let us continue to use and recgonize Chris'ts Atonement in our lives. 

Love you all!!
Sister Holmes

Monday, March 30, 2015

Because Jesus didn't do it

Another week na naman... ang bilis talaga ng oras!! :) ( Again time flies by so fast)

This week... we had something going on almost ever day so we've stayed pretty busy. 

We taught our investigator family about temples and eternal marriage. We told them after one year after thy are baptized that they can got to the temple and be sealed. They asked if Sister Gerardo and would come when they are sealed. Sister Gerardo said she would do her vry best and I told them I wasn't sure but maybe.. Brother then said something like "How much is it anyway, I'll pay for you.." And then in english he said "You come here for our buklodation" . . So Buklod is the root word for seal in tagalog.... Sister Gerardo and I laughed and laughed, and ten when we got home, were still laughing about it. It was also a really awesome experience though because they are so excited to be sealed ! :) 

We also asked one of our really hyper investigators (He's a part member 14 yar old) when the last time he read was, and he told us "tomorrow"... After that we reviewed with him about the Word of Wisdom and we asked him why it is important and he told "Well, because Jesus never smoke, and he didn't drink. Well, actually only a little bit, but he just tried it."  I mean, I guess he has a good point . . 

The work was SO good this week... probably one of the best weeks of my missions. It's all about diligence and obedience... If we are striving to be obedience and doing our best to be diligent in following the commandments, there are miracles! 

It's Holy Week... so that means no sleep! There's this thing called Pabasa. .  They sing to statues all day and believe that their sins will be forgiven . . But mostly it just sounds like something you can't understand/ chanting of some sort. I don't know. It just makes me feel blessed that we have a correct understanding of the Atonement. 

We are just ending our three month study of "Real Growth through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." How Grateful I am for the knowledge of a Savior who loves each and everyone of us enough to atone for our sins and that He showed us the perfect example. I truly have grown as I have applied the doctrines of the Atonement in my life. As Easter is approaching, let us not only remember that Christ dies for us, but that He also lived for us :) 

I love you all! 
Sister Holmes

Monday, March 23, 2015

J issues Really.... or is her english that bad?

SIDE NOTE:  We had talked about fixing all the "J" issues, but we found it so funny we left it in... I hope you all enjoy it.
Pambihira.. Thisj "J" on the keyboardj is broken so good luck. Wjjell seehow it goes. Another jjjquirk of the interenet shops here in the Philippines :) 

We movejdj thisj week so that wasj fun. We jjjjgot pretty much everything moved out on tuesday. We were busy from 7am- and got mostly settled in around 5pm. It was a good day and we got all organized. I was gonna send pictures of the new place but I forgojt . . I'll just send some next week. . hopefully. It is kinda weird adjuststingj to the new place jbut it's jgood. .It's a little bit bigger than the old one, but more people will fit in it. . I think it's my favorite apartment of my whole mission. The problem with the moving business. . j jjj is I didn't do my laundry for like a week... so thatj jwasj a fun experience this morning. It TOOK SO LONG. jjjBut I'm glad I know how to do my laundry by hand now :) 

I also got my x-ray jdone last week. . thatj was weird. jBecause first of all, I had to go into the xray room alone.. and I felt weird that I had no companion. . And it wasj a brother who did the x-ray that made it even more weird.  And on top of all of that, i hadj to take off my nametag :( jWhich jjjjjjjwas kind of the sad, surreal, I don't know what kind of experience. Man. . . 

This jjjweek was aparently busy for me because I also went to Manila to get some fingerprinting and stuff taken care of for my exit visa. . (huhuhu :'(. . .) 
But it wasjfun because I was with my batch. There were so MANY jforeingers there though and I talked to this one guy from Pennsylvania and I jtried to explain about the Restoration jand stuff... man he jjust jjdid not gjet it and it wjas not because of him, but I literally couldn't jjjjjfigure out how to explain it well in English. So that jwjasj one big jstressful ejxperience. Then wej went jand jate ajt this place called army navyj thatjj hasj burritos and hamburgersj and other American food. . JAt that place though, if jyour orderj was ready they would just call your name. . they said "ma'am holmes" JWje all jgot a good laugh. 

Other than that, wthe jjwork went really well this week... That family that I talked about last week is really progressing.. they are not married but jwej arej working it out with the ward, and I think it can all mabe, possibly, most likely happen before i go home.  :) They are amazing though a nd incredibly prepared for the gospel. It is such a great experience tot each a family because you know that they will stayj together and will always have support. I mean, I have taught families before, but it's not like this family :) The gospel is for families and about families :) 

Anyway, I love you alll and hope jyou have a good jweek!! :) 

xoxoxo, Sistejrj jjHolmes

Monday, March 16, 2015


Forgiveness is an act of faith

I have a lot to say a little bit of time to say it :)

Sister Salvacion was baptized!! Half of the Relief Society showed up and the ward is just a great support to her. I really loved what Sister Salve said when she bore her testimony. She said that she feels like she finally found something she has been looking for for a very long time and that she finally feels, for the first time in her life that she belongs somewhere. It was just a wonderful experience to be able to help her help herself to change and to repent. she has changed so much and I'm grateful Heavenly Father really is preparing the hearts of His children. We sang "Now let us rejoice" For the closing hymn. I loved it when it said, "Now let us rejoice in the day of salvation" It really was Salvacion's day :) 

We also had a family come to church yesterday. We just met the father on Saturday and he brought his whole family to church the next day! Heavenly Father is not only preparing His children as individuals, but as families! :) Their goal date is April 18.... :) Maybe I am a little selfish. 
We also taught this Less Active Tatay that is deaf. I don't know if I talked about it before, but he's way awesome. He's pretty much only less active because he's 89 and has health problems. He lives alone and we visit him once a week, or sometimes every other week. We write to be able to communicate with him and then he responds, but mostly he just teaches us :) This week I learned a lesson from him. . He told us how his child was murdered and that the one who killed him was his next door neighbor. He told us he already forgave him a long time ago because he knows it will all work out. I learned that forgiving others is really an act of faith on our part, sometimes it's hard, but we put our trust in God and in the Atonement to make things right as we do so. 

In other news, last week was my last transfer announcement so that happened. 

Anyway love you all! Have a good week!!! 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Because of Him

This weekk..... has been SO busy. Sometimes it's hard living in Tarlac. We had extra people sleeping at our apartment almost every night this week.. We had MLC meeting and the sisters slept Monday and Tuesday and another group went to Manila, but they also stayed at our apartment... And now the departing missionaries! They are almost 20 of us in the house... so that's a little bit crazy. . 

One of investigators had their baptismal interview this week... She is super awesome and I'm excited for her. She just is so ready and was really prepared by heavenly Father. It's incredible the change people can bring about in their lives if they really want to. I have a cool video you should watch in connection to that. :)

Also... everybody here in Tarlac knows how to speak Tagalog obviously.. but their dialect here is Kapampangan (which I know very little of). Sometimes I still don't know hwa'ts going on, although it has some similarities to Tagalog. But the is no letter 'H'. . .Which means the little kids call me Sister Olmes.

Anyway I've been thinking a lot about why we have weaknesses. I've realized that weaknesses are really blessings... that through our struggles we ind ways to come closer to God. I've realized how  weaknesses are sometimes strengths but can become weaknesses again. It is all to help us to learn to constantly rely on the Savior, not just when we are failing or struggling. For me, one of my weakneeses before was that I didn't want to speak Tagalog because I was afraid I would make a mistake and people would laugh and me, but that weakness is what pushed me to be diligent in learning the language. :) 

Anyway, just a thought but I love you all and hope you have a good week!! :) 

SIster Olmes