Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sprouts of planting.

 I cannot believe the changes I have seen in this area. I am starting to see the sprouts of my planting. :) Yay. It's nice to be a planter because I know I"m working hard (Promise that's not pride... I'm just doing the best that I can:P), but it's nice to see that my work is having an effect. 

We have one family that went Less Active about a year because of the choices of the father of the family, and it was really hard on the whole family. We have been really focusing on them because they used to be a really strong family and I just want to help them. We started teaching the oldest brother who is not a member as well as his wife. They came to church on Sunday, and the ward got so excited to see at least part of their family come back. The bishop told us he wanted either him or his counselors to work with us when we visit them so that their family can return, and that the investigators can progress. There are miracles happening in this area and I feel excited to be part of it. In our lesson with them though, I felt the Spirit so strongly and I can tell Heavenly Father really has a plan for them...something big in store. Their kids are kind of loud, but when we were teaching about Joseph Smith and about the words of the First Vision, they went so quiet and the Spirit was just peaceful. Man. Amazing. 

Also, I ate two dinners last night. Real big dinners. Only in the Philippines, but the members take good care of us here. :) I love all the friendships I have made here and for  the kindness of the members. I ate something called fish balls this week (street food- but only once! Never again promise.) Its like.... I don't know. But they taste real fishy. I don't think I liked it, but I'm not sure what I like to eat anymore. The secret is just eat it and think about whether I like it later. Probably I'm not a picky water anymore... but I don't real know.Also, I don't remember what American food is. I don't know what I ate before I ate rice. 

So, anyway... Sister Davis had her birthday on Tuesday, we decorated and surprised her with a cake while her a Sister Ganancial went to the palengke(market). She was so cute.. "Where did all of this come from?" AND THEN. We ate MAC and CHEESE. (Thanks for the package.) AS IN mac and cheese is my favorite food still. :) 

Anyway, I love you guys, keep on keepin' on. Fight the good fight and go lang ng go! 
xoxoxox, Sister Holmes!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pictures including HUMP Or BUMP DAY hehe

I survived Glenda

I am amazed at all of the things that are happening in this area... but I will probably only be here for another three weeks :) I'm really going to miss this area a lot, luckily I've still got time though! It is probably the smallest area in the whole mission, so I've probably talked to every single person here now. ;) Really though, I love this ward and the people here.

We had a "Typhoon" this week. I was Signal 3 here, which is strong, but it turned out find. We just weren't able to work for 2 or 3 hours because of flooding in our area, but it was just fine. The rain was heavy and the wind was crazy, but it didn't really hit that hard here in Tarlac. But I survived a typhoon so that's real cool. 

I can't believe how fast time is flying by! Some of my close friends I have made in the mission were halfway in their missions when I met them, and now their going home! :( I feel like I don't know anyone new in the mission anymore.. sometimes I still feel like the new one! :) Sadly for me, that's not so true anymore. I'm really grateful for all the experiences I have had on my mission though. :) 

One thing I have been thinking about a lot this week... well actually there's two. The first is about angels. There are both seen and unseen things moving this work forward. As missionaries, we have both unseen and seen angels. I'm grateful for leaders and for wonderful people back home who are my angels, as well as other relatives on the other side of the veil. I can really feel the strength that it brings me knowing there are so many people who want me to succeed. :) 

The second is about not giving up... on someone or something. Never give up. There are countless examples in the Book of Mormon when someone was about to give them success, and He brings the Holy Ghost and gives power to those people wo continue, no matter how hard it gets. Keep enduring! LOVE YOU! :) 

Sister Holmes (I don't know what I did to make this italics :) haha) 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Why we lift our feet....

Ah man... There is always something crazy. This week we were in one of our lessons, and their house is way small, but they have this kitten that's super mischievous. So in the middle of our lesson the cat is going bonkers and I'm like what the heck is the problem with this thing. I then noticed that it was chasing a cockroach around. It was actually super cute because it would pick it up in it's mouth and then like drop it because it freaked out.  But we had to keep lifting our legs up so the cat couldn't put the cockroach on our feet. Probably the most interesting fight I've seen on my mission. 

Also good luck for sure to my English. I can type okay ( and you have no idea how long these emails take me... and besides that how grateful I am for spell check). But in Tagalog, he and she is the same word, so that's a really common mistake in their English. And I've been doing it lately too on accident and I don't know why :( :( 

As for investigators, we are finding more. But the rule here is that they have to come to church four times in a row before they can be baptized and that's usually the biggest reason. So we have a lot of progressing investigators.. .but they don't come to church every week. 

This week has been so successful and so rewarding for me. When I first got to this area, I didn't know where to start... with the ward, with the members, with our investigators, even with our schedule. But I can see how much it has improved since I've been here. It makes me proud of the hard work of done, but more importantly, I'm grateful for the help of the Spirit in those changes. 

I can not express how grateful I am for this work and for all that Heavenly Father is trusting me with. I've seen so many changes in myself because of it. I absolutely do not regret my decision to come here. I was thinking about some of the hard things I've been through in my life, and this by far is the hardest. And then I asked myself... "Why would I choose to do something this hard? Why would anybody choose that?"  But I thought about two things. The first is it's about our priorities and our love towards Heavenly Father. But the thought also came to me is that it's so much better to choose to go through hard things, than to have hard things happen to you. It's all about putting our trust in Heavenly Father and then just doing it! 

ANyway love you alll!!! 

Sister Holmes

Monday, July 7, 2014

Let's not worry about the how

So the big news for this week is that we have a new mission President! I guess that also happened last week... but I actually met him this week! They are really excited to be here and I'm excited to see the direction the mission will go. President Clark is an attorney. Which means....he is really logical, so I think we will get along just fine ;)
Joke. I'm actually not logical. But I really do understand the way he thinks. There are some adjustments in missionary work that he was asked to tell us about (details in the way we work with members and teach certain lessons). One thing I liked about what he said is, "Let's not worry about the how, because the how will work itself out. Let's think about why the Brethren want us to do it, and make it happen." And his wife is also cute. She's very concerned about our safety and about our health (I thought you would like that one, mom). 

As for other things going on.... not a whole lot. The area continues to progress. I am having my anak take the lead in the area and in the lessons, not because I'm lazy though. :) It's because I love her and want her to be successful when I leave the area. I still have about 4 or 5 weeks here though. 

Earlier, I was talking to my kabahay that's an american and we were talking about how it first, the culture was hard to adjust to, the climate, the food, everything. But how I realized how much I've adjusted and how it's starting to feel like home now. Even the weather matches now! :) Not only that, but how much I have grown to love the people here. And now if I eat ulam (which is the word for what you eat with rice) without rice, it tastes weird and I it's like it's too strong for me. I think people would be surprised and how much rice I eat. As in. 

Anyway. As for me, I'm still the same height.... :( It's safe to admit I have stopped growing. But I am getting fatter thanks to all that rice I was saying earlier. And my hair is getting longer. But that's about all that's changed physically. But I cannot tell you how much I have grown spiritually and emotionally. (I think if I said mentally, I'd just be getting ahead of myself) 

Love you all soooooooo much! Next week ulit!!!
Sister Holmes