What the Monday! I can't believe it is here once again! Time is a flyin right on by! Not a whole lot happened this week. We had all but one appointment fall through. ALL BUT ONE. And they all cancelled an hour before. It was a little frustrating, but we made it into an adventure and ended up having the time of our lives! We ended up sharing the gospel with SO MANY PEOPLE on the streets of Panama City!! We were LOVIN it!!! We rode our bikes along the shoreline, and the weather was perfect! A little humid, but I'm not complainin because I know that in a month I'm gonna want to die. haha

Archie is doing awesome! It finally got a white shirt and tie and wore them to church and looked so handsome! We just love him. He also was asked to say the closing prayer in Sunday School and as soon as they asked him he turned, looked at us, put his fist out for a fist bump, and grinned his "million dollar" toothless grin! He was so honored. haha What a guy!

Walt is also doing AMAZING! He has a baptismal date set for July 11th and he is going to be ready FAR before that, so we are hoping to change it! He has the strongest testimony. He came from a non-religious background and a very dark past, and here he is. A COMPLETELY changed man who turns to the scriptures for ANY situation. We are SO honored to work with him!!

We haven't been able to see little Jazzanae as much as we'd like to, but her baptism is still set for the 18th of April. We are HOPING to move it to the 11th, but we'll see how that goes!

I was able to go to the General Women's Meeting on Saturday night, and wow. I didn't want it to ever end! I've always watched it from home, or there in the conference center. But to be across the country, watching with the Sisters here in Florida, a whole new spirit filled my heart as I came to realize how incredible this day and age is in the gospel. I hope all you pretty ladies were able to watch it, and if you weren't, here is the link so you can!


We also had quite the amazing Sabbath day yesterday. Sister Rohwer and I both needed to hear exactly what was taught for our companionship and the work here in Callaway. We've been so overwhelmed with personal revelation and answers to prayers that we are just so grateful.

I want to share a scripture with ya'll that I came across in my studies this morning. It is in 3 Nephi 6:20, and it says "And there began to be men inspired from heaven and sent forth, standing among the people in all the land, preaching and testifying boldly of the sins and iniquities of the people, and testifying unto them concerning the redemption which the Lord would make for his people, or in other words, the resurrection of Christ; and they did testify boldly of his death and sufferings."

As we approach this conference season, how truly grateful we should be to have men inspired from heaven, to testify boldly of our Savior Jesus Christ. We have a worthy Prophet who loves us, who prays for us, and who shows us the way to be like our Savior. We have apostles who teach us, who live the gospel, who encourage us to live righteously. We have many other leaders in the church who are true examples and disciples of our Savior. What a blessing to be led by worthy, valiant, soldiers of the Lord!

I just want to leave you with my testimony today on my Savior. I know Him, I love Him, and I am deeply honored to represent Him for 18 months of my life. I'm grateful for the atoning sacrifice that he paid so that I could return to live with my divine Heavenly Father. I'm grateful for the Resurrection, for the knowledge that He lives. I'm forever grateful for the resources that Heavenly Father has given to us to learn and grown and help one another. In Matthew 25:31-40 we learn that we will be judged for our actions here on earth. Like Elder Holland, I too would like to be caught in the act of something good, of something Christlike and in the middle of sharing the gospel when the Savior comes again. I encourage you to watch this video "Because He Lives" and with a prayerful heart recognize the eternal significance of Easter.

I love you all, and I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!

Love from the heart of the South,
Sister Holmes :)

Wk #23: Tribulation Builds Testimonies

It's definitely been a rough week in this neck of the woods. I want to start off by thanking everyone for the
sweet, sweet words about my very loved grandma! I've been overwhelmed with the love and support I have gotten. As hard as it has been for me out here, I know that she will be my extra companion in this cherished mission of mine.

I have been EXTREMELY grateful for Sister Rohwer this past week. She has done everything in her power to help me and make sure I'm okay. It's been a humbling experience as she has been so selfless. I had the incredible experience of being able to feel Heavenly Father and my Saviors infinite love for me through Sister Rohwer. It has been a week full of emotion and heartache, but one of overwhelming gratitude and love. She has truly shown many Christlike attributes towards me, and has taken me under her wing. She has the biggest heart, and has cried with me in times of sorrow.

The work has been a little slow this week seeing as how my cute companion and I have both been sick, but we did get two new investigators, and they are amazing. Walt has come from a very dark past, but has completely changed his life around and has an incredible testimony! The elders were working with him, and after scripture study Wednesday night that Sister Rohwer and I taught, him and his girlfriend (a member in our ward) came up and asked us to continue teaching them. We had a very powerful lesson after that, and we have felt so honored! And the other is Lacreesha! She is a SWEETHEART.

We are so excited :)
Sister Petersen & Sister Palmer. Both went home last week. My Sister Trainers. Very hard to see them go.
We are still working with sweet little Jazzanae for her baptism in a few weeks. She is a doll, and we love her to death! Keep praying for the 18th of April!

We also went on quite the bike ride on Saturday (both sicker than sick) and SURVIVED. 20+ miles in humidity ain't got nothin on us.

We also have discovered that the other two sisters have a little grill... so we have used it multiple times this last week! And no, I did not eat those veggies. haha

With General Conference fast approaching,  I would like to invite you to prayerfully think of questions you'd like to have answered. Search the scriptures, talk with your Heavenly Father, and write your special questions down. Ponder them over the next couple weeks and prepare your minds spiritually for the words the Prophet and leaders of the church will speak. Your questions will be answered!


Sister Holmes :)

Wk# 22: A Life Changing Baptism!

What an unforgettable week.
We have been able to see Archie everyday for the past few weeks as he has been preparing to be baptized, and it has been quite the beautiful journey. As we have taught him, listened to him, and watched him grow, I have been able to truly witness a change in heart. 
Friday afternoon Sister Rohwer and I got a call from Archie and Karen wondering if we could come see them later on that evening, of course we agreed and ended the conversation. When we got there, Archie was definitely having a hard time. Very small things were making him extremely upset, he wasn't excited for his baptism, and he was far from happy. Satan was workin pretty darn hard. So, we sat down on his front porch and started talking to him. This was one of the most powerful lessons I have ever been a part of. He recognized that Satan was doing all he could to keep Archie from being baptized. Archie told us that Satan told him to go buy a new pot for his coffee, to not show up to the baptism, and kept trying to get him to lose his temper. On top of that, their house ended up having a massive water leak.
Sister Rohwer and I honestly could not tell you what we told him that night, what our conversation was about, or what we were doing, but the spirit was definitely present and leading the conversation. We read a few baptism scriptures, encouraged him, and went inside to say a kneeling prayer. (The prayers that are really spiritual? He calls them heavy prayers. haha) So we experienced a heavy prayer with them, and he was a changed man. The happy ole Archie that was excited to be baptized. He told us "Satan ain't gon' win!" haha We ended up going to get a pre-baptism celebration treat and ending the night off with some laughs. 

Then Saturday morning rolled around.
We wake up, get ready, and head out the door. We get to the church, start filling up the font, and in walks Archie Brown. :) He went and put his baptism suit on, and tears. Instant tears for this sister! He was SO excited and so ready. We listened to some church music, talked, and soaked in the spirit. We took pictures outside and waited for everyone to come. Well, we had quite the crowd there! So many people came to support him, and it was amazing! He was so funny. When he walked into the font, he plugged his nose and tried to dunk himself (he got confused) and then everyone laughed and he laughed at himself. haha Then, when he came out of that water, he was truly a changed man. The biggest grin I had ever seen on a human. Again, tears. Okay. I had a constant flow of tears ALL MORNING. (That made playin the piano fun... haha) 

It was the most special, spiritual baptism I have ever been a part of. I am beyond grateful that out of the 200+ missionaries in the FTM, the thousands upon thousands of missionaries in the world, and that have ever served, Heavenly Father trusted Sister Rohwer and I to be an instrument in His hands to work with Archie. My life has forever been changed. As I've watched a grumpy man, hard hearted against the gospel, come to apply the Atonement in his life, come to know the truth, and gain a testimony, I have been humbled and have felt a little piece of Heavenly Father's love for him.

He is now 100 times happier than I have ever seen him. A COMPLETELY changed man. And I am a completely changed Sister.

Sister Rohwer and I have also had many wonderful memories made this week! We may or may not have taken a turtle on a bike ride and taken it home.. and we may or may not have tried to feed it golden raisins. haha We've enjoyed the gorgeous sunny weather, read our scriptures outside, and laughed until we've cried and ALMOST peed.
We also get to stay in Callaway together for another transfer! WE ARE THRILLED. She's more than just my sister in the gospel, and I am SO grateful for the opportunity I have to continue serving with her!
I love ya'll, and I appreciate each prayer said on my behalf and the prayers said for Archie. I've definitely felt them and seen them this week.


Sister Holmes :)


First Florida Sunburn. Watch out for those overcast mornings.
Missionary Muscles.
A hot mess after 20+ miles on the bike... All in a days work.
Wow. I just am so overwhelmed today with gratitude. So many blessings have come into my life, and I just can't get over it! This morning, one of the ward members bought all three sets of missionaries groceries. ALL OF IT. What a selfless thing! We are part of such an amazing ward!

Little update on ma home boy Archie! He is doing AMAZING!!! Living the Word of Wisdom, coming to church every week, and calling us ALL the time with questions and to make sure we are coming back to teach him! His baptism date is still set in stone for this Saturday, and Sister Rohwer and I are THRILLED!!!! We have been counting down the days for this for a while now!

The elders had a baptism on Saturday night, and guess who overcame their little fear of playing the piano in front of people... THIS GIRL! Okay, so I maybe haven't overcome it quite yet, but I did agree to play at the baptism, and I got SO many compliments. I'm just surrounded by a bunch of southern sweethearts!

Sister Rohwer and I have had more amazing experiences this week. We got a new investigator, Diane, and met a couple people who are REALLY interested! We are so excited to start working with them!

It's also been WWAARRMMM. :) Which makes for two happy little sister missionaries! Which brings me to the picture I attached... I indeed have experienced my first Florida sunburn. Trust me. It was about 20 times worse in person. It even turned purple! haha The darn Florida forecast fooled us the other day. We rode our bikes a good 20+ miles (Yes, I thought I was going to die and be left on the side of the road) but man did we have a good time! Also, heaven bless the person who discovered Aloe Vera.

We have had the greatest times this week, and once again, I am so overwhelmed to have such an amazing companion!

The scripture I want to leave with you is Alma: 27:17-18.
I am beginning to understand what pure, Christlike happiness is, and I've had an inkling on a taste of what Ammon experienced! I hope we can all love our brothers and our sisters as much as Ammon did. I hope we can truly apply and love the gospel in such a way that radiates light!

I'm so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ! I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to represent Him everyday, and share the gospel with all those around me.

I love you all!!

Sister Holmes:)

Wk #20: There is Sunshine in my Soul Today!

Wow! (I think I start 90% of my emails home with that word..) WHAT A WEEK! I've said it so many times, but I'll say it again. I have never been happier than I am right now.

We taught sweet Archie four times last week, he gave away the rest of his coffee and his tea, he came to church, got a blessing, and is doing SO GOOD! He is a completely different man. So, so happy and full of the Light of Christ. Sister Rohwer and I can't talk about Archie and Karen without crying our little eyes out. Tears of happiness and gratitude, or tears because we are laughing so hard at the funny things that come out of his mouth. Always tears. This has been one of the most life changing experiences for me to be apart of. What a BEAUTIFUL thing the gospel is! I feel so inadequate, but highly honored to represent my Savior, Jesus Christ everyday. What an opportunity. Archie's baptism is still on for the 14th, and we couldn't be more excited! They announced it in Sacrament Meeting yesterday and he was grinnin ear to ear. Melted my heart. I may or may not have to play the piano at his baptism ( -__- hhheellllppp ) but.. I'd do anything for that sweet man!

It was cold cold cold this week! I was wearing my big green snow coat, and sweat pants under my skirt once again bikin my little heart out! It was awesome! Painful, but awesome! It's finally 75* here and gettin humid, so we are all happy!

Sister Rohwer and I doing so great, and loving every minute of our mission together. We laugh and laugh and help each other so much. I've been blessed with an extraordinary companion and life long friend. Missions are the best!

I don't have too much more to report on, but I want to leave ya with a scripture! Alma 5:14-16. Are we doing all we can to serve the Lord? Are we doing all we can to learn and to grow, to help those around us, to do good? I challenge ya'll to do a self check and see how you can improve and grow in any way. I know that as Sister Rowher and I have done this, both individually and as a companionship, we have received blessing after blessing. The Savior's hand is ALWAYS extended. No matter how far away you feel. Strive to move forward, and take the hand of those around you.

I love you all, and I am SO grateful for all the sweet emails and letters I get. There are no words to express how happy they make me!

Love from the South,

Sister Holmes :)

ps-I didn't take any pictures this week! :(