Wk #32: S E V E N

Seven months. Where did that go?!

 This week was so great... as usual. :)

--> We taught a super awesome guy (we will call him "A" for short!) A is a rugby player at FSU. We contacted him and two of his friends while walking around campus one day. WE stopped them from their run and invited them to learn more about the gospel. A seemed super interested, so we called him and set up an appointment. We taught him the Restoration, and it was AWESOME. He accepted everything and the spirit was super strong. Well, he left and we were talking about how the lesson had went when all of the sudden he walks back into the Institute. The first thing out of his mouth was, "Um... do ya'll tow cars?" We were like, huh?! HIS CAR GOT TOWED FROM THE CHURCH! haha Talk about panic. So, we called the senior couple that works in the institute, and luckily they saved the day, but we definitely had some "bonding" moments with him that day, BUT he was totally awesome about it and was excited to see us again. YAY!!!

-->Sadly, we had to say goodbye to cute Sister Mathison! Poor girl did NOT want to go home! But, we were able to go out to dinner with President and Sister Smith on Tuesday night (where I tried calamari... and it wasn't too bad!!) We spent the evening with them, then said our sad goodbyes to Sister Mathison. 

-->We walked for H O U R S around campus this week, and met some pretty awesome people that we are excited to contact and teach! 

-->We also taught an atheist. First time for both of us! AHH. I have never been so grateful for the spirit in a lesson! I also have never been so grateful for the Book of Mormon. We're praying the spirit touches his heart!

-->We ate lunch at the COOLEST place on campus called the Sweet Shop. I had the best PB&J croissant in the world! SO so fun. I LOVE CAMPUS.

-->I stepped foot onto the FSU Tennis courts! My craving to hit a tennis ball has never been stronger. And it was SAWEET to be on those courts!

--> Sister Rindlisbacher and I laughed so hard yesterday that I almost had to lay down on the sidewalk because I couldn't breath. haha I've been blessed with awesome companions.

-->Speaking of companions... We're getting a part time comp! So it'll be a part time trio! say WHAT! SO.... A sister from Carro, Georgia left for her mission (Idaho), but had to come home from the MTC for some medical issues. So, President Burton, the stake president, called President Smith and told him that he really wants to keep this sister involved with the missionaries as she goes through her doctor's appointments and gets that figured out. So we get a call from President Smith (panic moment) and he told us that he has felt very strongly that she needs to be with Sister Rindlisbacher and I. 

      Out of all the sisters in the mission, I am SO honored that Heavenly Father and President Smith trust us to help this sweet sister! She will be staying with us a couple days/nights a week and being a third companion! Then the days that she isn't with us it'll just be Sister Rindlisbacher and I. I am now training two cute sisters! YAY! 

-->Update on my feet: They are good :) Modern day medicine is a HUGE blessing! 

-->Also, it reached 98* this week with humidity... and it's only May.. H E L P (written on a car window by a not so excited sister...)

I have felt so much happiness this past week, and I am so grateful for that. A lot of people email me and say, "Sister Holmes! How are you doing?! How are you REALLY doing. I know missionary work can be hard, and I want you to know that I am here for you. It's not always the funnest thing." And different variations of that. For those emails I am EXTREMELY grateful. More than words could ever say. And yes, while it's not always easy, when it's hot and I'm tired, when I have a difference in opinion than my companion, when the gospel is rudely rejected, when appointments cancel, I am still SO happy. 

You are blessed!

I can honestly say that everything about missionary work right now is amazing. I am happy, I am healthy, I am great friends with Sister Rindlisbacher, and I get to share the gospel all day everyday! How much greater can life be?! 

Take today to ponder the blessings, to see a light, and to lift those around you. As you focus on someone besides yourself, your burdens will ALWAYS be lifted. 

I love you all! Thank you for all the kind emails and letters! 

Love the happiest Sister in the South,

Sister Holmes :)

Wk# 31: The Week Full of the Unexpected!

Still the happiest sister in the south during the this week full of the unexpected!
Man. Heaven bless the creators of Skype! Technology these days is a huge blessing! It was SO good to see everyone. Goodbye's are the worst, but it was definitely much needed!

This week was full of unexpected lessons, new investigators, procedures, and rain!

Summer semester at FSU started on Monday, so there were FINALLY people walking around campus! It made the days go by much quicker. We were able to meet so many awesome people. There were so many who were receptive to the message! Huge blessing.

We were able to meet with 5 recent convert/ less actives this week which was super awesome, and I love them all! This ward rocks. Gotta love the singles ward!

As we were out contacting this week, we came across a man waiting at the bus stop. We talked to him for a little bit and asked if he had ever seen missionaries before. After he had replied with no, we shared a short message with him and asked him if we could set up a time to meet with him. He responded with "How about right now?" OKAY! As we taught the Restoration the spirit was so strong and he had incredible questions that were leading into the Plan of Salvation. We ended up setting a return appointment and are meeting with him next week. Heavenly Father is definitely preparing people to receive the gospel, and that was made extremely clear to me through multiple experiences this week!

We also had an appointment with a guy that we had contacted on the street. We weren't sure how solid he was, but to our happy surprise he came to the appointment and even brought a friend! We had a very powerful lesson and they both wanted to keep learning. It was a huge blessing! I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!

As we have walked, and walked, and walked...... and walked... and walked... I have acquired a beautiful blister covering my entire heel on the bottom of my foot! So, I promised mom I would go get it looked at because it was looking like it was getting infected. So, I did just that. Called the mission nurse, tried a few at home remedy's that didn't work, and ended up going to the doctor. I was quite anxious to go since the receptionist was a little on the unkind side over the phone, but I was a big girl and went anyway. The doctor was SO nice and I'm 98% sure he was a member, but he surprised me with the sentence "Looks like we're going to do a little procedure today!" WHAT THE! So, I went with it and ended up having a chunk of my heel cut off! haha then the nurse asked me if I wanted to keep it... I said yes.... haha so that's what the picture is. Me holding a little cup with my heel in it! Okay, it's just a thick slab of skin, but ya know. My comps and the doctor thought I was so weird, but I know mom would be proud! ;) It actually feels a lot better though. I'm just trying to be careful so I don't create another blister on top of the raw skin.

We also had a massive rainstorm this week and got DRENCHED. Lovin the southern rain!

We had Zone Conference yesterday, and it was the spiritual push I needed this week. I LOVE PRESIDENT AND SISTER SMITH. What incredibly Christlike people they are! I learned so much and left spiritually filled. We also talked about hurricane prep which terrified me out of my mind. so that was fun.

To end, here are some thoughts I've pondered this past week.

So often we find ourselves unhappy. Unhappy in some aspect of our life, whether it be ourselves, those we love, our circumstances, or our unaccomplished tasks. We find ourselves wishing for the better, hoping for a difference and pondering on the sorrow. Why? Why do we dwell on those things that weigh us down, those things that pain our hearts? "Keep your faith high and your head up!" Take a deep breath and look up. Look at the tender mercies Heavenly Father continually places in your path. Look at the blessings that have come from the things that you DO have. We have been blessed with the knowledge and tools to be happy. Pick up the Book of Mormon, pick up your journal, and let the spirit fill your soul with everlasting happiness. See the good in all. Find the happiness hidden under frustration, and "let that desire work in you." It is through our Savior, and our Savior only that peace can come. Forgive those around you and forgive yourself. Start today with the decision to love, to live, and to go forward.

I love you all!

Sister Holmes :)

Wk #30: Campus Life = The Hot Life

Greetings from FSU!

This area has been quite an adjustment for me! But a super awesome one at that. It's a HUGE difference from Callaway, but I'm gettin the hang of it, and loving every second of it!

We walk, and we walk, and we walk, and we WALK! It's awesome. And we sweat. A LOT. Right now campus is really slow because summer semester doesn't start until Monday, but we've been able to meet some pretty interesting people. As a matter of fact, yesterday we met a guy who meditates naked in the sun for two hours everyday, and wanted to know if he could use the roof of the church! Gotta love college students! I also ate a black bean burger for the first and hopefully last time. Vegetarian food anyone?

I've definitely grown a lot this past week. There have been some pretty long, hot, frustrating moments, but I work alongside awesome sisters. Sister Mathison LOVES to remind us to drink water. She drinks more water than anyone I have ever met. So that's super good for me haha
We are still just trying to find people to teach. It's a slow process, but you've gotta find to teach! So that's what we'll do! There isn't a ton to update on today. I have a blister the size of two quarters on the bottom of my foot! So I've been grateful I wasn't a pioneer!

Love ya'll! and HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the pretty momma's out there! Especially mine! ;)
Love from a Seminole,
Sister Holmes


My missionary dream has come true! I'M SERVING ON CAMPUS! 
Sister Rindlesbacher, Sister Mathison, Sister Holmes
What an awesome transfer call that
was!!! And... I love it already! I'm in a trio with two beautiful sisters, training Sister Rindlisbacher! Sister Mathison (the one in the middle) goes home on the 20th, so we'll only be a trio for a couple of weeks.

New home away from home
This week was super crazy. Leaving Callaway was a little harder than I expected it to be! I have come to love so many people there, and those goodbyes were rough. Especially leaving my sweet Sister Rohwer! But, on Monday we went to Panama City Beach with some missionaries in our zone and had a BBQ... in the RAIN... It was so much fun. Our zone/district was so great. Then we had district meeting and district activity on tuesday which was also super bittersweet! Two of us were getting transferred, and three of them were going HOME! So there were lots of goodbyes. Then we played a game called "Whack a Cracker" (... i know, i know.) So basically it looked like the hunger games in the church field with pool noodles. haha it was super fun. Then to end my days in Callaway, Sister Rohwer and I taught the law of Chastity to Walt. haha gotta go out with a bang I guess! We had a fun road trip to Tallahassee Tuesday night, stayed with some sisters, then got our cute companions Wednesday morning!

Best buds; S Rohwer, E Christensen, E Black, E Lovell, S Holmes
It was a surprise to me when I found out we were going to be in a trio! Sister Rindlisbacher and I met, then after some anticipation we found out we would be serving on FSU campus and would need to go to Crestview to pick up our other companion. So we had a LONG car ride to get to know each other. You guys. She is ADORABLE! I love her so much! I keep forgetting she's new.. she rocks the missionary life.
Sister Rindlisbacher is from Rexburg, Idaho and Sister Mathison is from South Jordan, Utah!
Saying goodbye for a time... SO very hard.
All in all it's been a good week! Not a whole lot more to report on we're all settled in here and super excited to get to work! No car.. all walking. And bikes, but it's easier to walk here. Hello sore feet and Saturday P-days! ;)

My new address is:

1924 W Pensacola St. #113
Tallahassee, FL 32304

Candace, S Mathison, S Holmes, S Rindlesbacher, Victoria
Once again, the mission life is the best life, and I'm SO EXCITED TO BE A SEMINOLE!

To end, President Uchtdorf said, "Whether your testimony is thriving and healthy or your activity in the Church more closely resembles a Potemkin village, the good news is that you can build on whatever strength you have. Here in the Church of Jesus Christ you can mature spiritually and draw closer to the Savior by applying gospel principles day by day.
S Rindlesbacher, S Holmes, S Mathison, Victoria
With patience and persistence, even the smallest act of discipleship or the tiniest ember of belief can become a blazing bonfire of a consecrated life. In fact, that’s how most bonfires begin—as a simple spark.
So if you feel small and weak, please simply come unto Christ, who makes weak things strong, The weakest among us, through God’s grace, can become spiritually strong, because God “is no respecter of persons.” He is our “faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments.”

Love ya'll!!
Sister Holmes :)
Trevor, Dylan, S Holmes, Abby, Austin. Love them!!!
Ricky & Rusty; Callaway Apt Maintenance Men. Many gospel discussions with them... the seed was planted.

'nuf said.....