Wk# 41: Be Still My Soul

FSU Missionaries before transfers
Words cannot even begin to express my gratitude this week!!! Minus all of the stress and anxiety of transfers, I have never felt so happy. :)

Speaking of transfers..... 

Big News.....

Last night with Sister Rindlisbacher

Oh. I can't even explain the great devastation I felt to be leaving my FSU home. Tears, LOTS of tears for days. Not only to be leaving FSU, but to leave Sister Rindlisbacher! Pure devastation was going down in apartment 113. I felt like my heart had just been ripped out! BUT, Heavenly Father's plan is absolutely perfect, and I was very willing to go wherever my next calling was.

Hump Day! Transfer Day (Sis Rindlisbacher, Lexa, Sister Dillon, Sister Wood)
Sister Charles on her way home!
Interestingly enough, I had told Sister Rindlisbacher on Saturday that I was conflicted because when I was serving in Callaway, I KNEW that the work I was sent there to do had been completed. So, I knew I was going to get transferred, and I did. But, this time around I had so many mixed feelings. I felt like I wasn't the missionary that was supposed to be working with the investigators that we had (which broke my heart, because we had some INCREDIBLE people we were working with), but at the same time I didn't feel like I was supposed to leave the area. I wanted so so badly to stay in the ward and the district I was in. Then Sunday came and we received the dreaded transfer call.

Love Woody from Callaway! Saw him at the transfers location.
So, after some tears, I began packing my things (which I loathe by the way.... how do you accumulate so much junk!?) We had a crazy two days full of lessons and goodbyes, and more tears.... and then, it was wednesday. We left bright and early to head over to the church for the training meeting since cute Sister Rindlisbacher was going to be training (told ya she was pre-trained!) then after meeting all of the new missionaries (which by the way, I met Elder Andersen! Blake and Sue's son!) Sister Wood and I (the head sister training leader who was also on of the other sisters in my district) made the 2 hour trek over to Crestview for transfers. Her companion was getting transferred as well. Now, my anxiety level was about a 99.6 on a scale from 1-10. It was awesome. We waited and waited as the companionships were being announced, and then, all of the sudden....

FHE... 'We are CHAMPS!'
Sister Holmes, you will be serving with SISTER WOOD on TCC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU GUYS!!!! I'm still a campus sister! Serving on Tallahassee Community College! Which MEANS.... I'm still in my same district, still in Tally, still around FSU's investigators, with Sister Wood who I have adored for two transfers now, and A HEAD SISTER TRAINING LEADER. Talk about an overwhelming calling and one I am extremely humbled by! And, talk about the greatest blessing EVER!!! I get to go on exchanges with the sisters serving on FSU! I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY!! And yes, I have still been full of tears! Grateful tears!!! Heavenly Father is definitely aware of us! I'm extremely nervous about my new calling because I haven't even been a sister training leader, let alone a head STL. But I am looking forward to the challenges and growth that come along with it!

And to make transfer day even greater... It was HUMP DAY!!!!! I can't believe I have been out nine whole months already! I feel like this is still my first transfer out. It was super fun though because in Crestview at transfers, All of my MTC sisters were there! So we got to celebrate our 9 month birthday together! We took a picture... but I have to wait for it to be emailed to me. I was SO happy though! Sister Wood and I also celebrated with some Panera for lunch :) 

Thickest southern accent award goes to Ryan
TCC is quite the adjustment, but I like it already. It's about a sixteenth of the size of FSU, so that's weird. I did get to chase some geese yesterday on the field though! My poor companion. hahaha I am super excited for this transfer and everything it has to bring!!! 

Also, it's the weirdest thing being in a place that doesn't celebrate Pioneer Day. 

That's all of the exciting news I have, but I'll leave ya'll with this:

"If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley—but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Investigators & Therese at Institute
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.
If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail—
Be the best of whatever you are!

I give you my witness that I know by personal experience that, the more you serve the Lord, the greater are his blessings to you. There is no greater joy than being a builder in his kingdom. I challenge you with all of the great power and potential that is within you to be the best of whatever you are, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

Elder L. Tom Perry

I love you all SO much! and I love THE MISSION!

Peace and Blessins,

Sister Holmes :)

Wk #40: I am grateful.

Tender mercies

Errick (L), Antonio (R)
Once again, it was another great, hard, miracle filled week! Campus has had a weird vibe the last couple weeks or so, and their is a lot of opposition. There has been a lot of rejection, but that comes with the work. :) It also has been the hottest week of the summer. Everyday has been in the hundreds, and somehow I am still alive! We hear that August is pretty brutal, so I'm just trying to enjoy what I can now! 
Donut break!

There have been some pretty crazy storms again. The other night, the lighting was so bad that the sky was purple for about half an hour with pure lightning, nonstop! I have never experienced anything like it. I was a little nervous. The rain was comin down pretty hard and the wind was crazy too! As much as I LOVE and pray for rain, I'm not sure the aftermath is worth it! Talk about HUMIDITY! We walked outside the other day after a rain storm, and there was steam coming off the pavement EVERYWHERE. It was so hot. Also, the puddles here are about 187,000 degrees, puddle jumping is a very big no go. Unless you want your feet to be boiled off...

Silly Sisters
Also, lizards and squirrels rule campus. The squirrels I can handle... but the lizards? SO GROSS. Oh, I can't even tell you. I hate them. I also got chased by one yesterday and made a big fool of myself, but what else is new?
On a more awesome note, you know how every once in a while you'll find some change in your couch? Well, let me tell you a story.
The many faces...

We come home for lunch after sweating our guts out, and I sit down to open a package from mom. (THANKS MOM!) I'm lovin my life, and am enjoying the yummy treats. I stand up to do something and realize that I am wet. But not just a little wet... I am W E T. There was NO WAY I was that sweaty! and if I was THAT sweaty, it would be a serious problem! So, after Sister Rindlisbacher stops laughing she comes over to see what was going on. I went to change, and she realized that my water bottle had been tipped upside down and had dumped out onto the couch and me! How I didn't feel it in the process, I have no idea. So, I grab some towels and start trying to dry the couch. We decide that it would be easier to just take the cushion off, so I did, and low and behold.... I found my pink pen that I have been missing forever! I was so excited!! Then, Sister Rindlisbacher points at the couch and says "What is that?" There were some folded papers stuck in the back of the couch. I reach back there (which is always gross... you know how it is..) and grab the stack. Before I pulled it out, I noticed a 100... no way... I pull it out... $100, $50, and a $20... ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Who finds $170 in their couch?! haha I am still mystified and speechless! Tender mercies BABY!

On another awesome note, we got three new investigators this week! Heavenly Father has been pouring out blessings on us. I am SO grateful! One of our investigators is a Corner on the FSU football team! We were excited about that :) He's working hard to get into the league! And he is the most respectful guy I have ever met! He is from Jamaica and is super awesome. They are all awesome! OH I LOVE THE GOSPEL.

This week I have been overwhelmed by the things I have learned on my mission thus far. I am eternally grateful for the physically trying moments, the moments of despair, pain, sorrow, loneliness. I'm grateful for the moments of opposition, rejection, rudeness and adversity. I am grateful for the feelings of inadequacy, fear, embarrassment. The times in which I feel like I cannot go on any longer. I am grateful for the Savior's hand that is continually reached out to ME. For the times I have felt the physical push on my back helping me make it all the way home. I am grateful for the profound joy I have been able to experience that is beyond anything I have ever felt before. I'm grateful for the many opportunities that I trust in the spirit, and say the things that are put into my heart at the exact moment of testifying. I'm grateful for the strength that has and is continually being added to my testimony. I'm grateful for the knowledge I have of my divine potential and the person I know Heavenly Father wants and needs me to become. More importantly, I am extremely grateful to serve my Father and my Savior. I'm grateful to have this time to do nothing but represent Jesus Christ, and this is a time I cherish and will forever hold dear to my heart.

I love you all, and I am so grateful for the continued support you give! 

All my love,
Sister Holmes

ps... transfers are this week! We find out on Sunday. SO if I get transferred off of campus, my next email will come on a week from Monday. stay tuned ;) 


Wk #39: B L E S S E D

Sister Holmes for LIFE
 We got two new incredible investigators this week! Their names are Charline and Kerrol. Charline is from Haiti and she is amazing. When we talked to her on campus she told us that she was looking for a church! We met with her and had an incredible lesson on the Restoration of the Gospel and invited her to say the closing prayer. It was a BEAUTIFUL prayer, and so so sincere. We had the privilege of seeing her twice this week, and she is coming to church tomorrow!!
Kerrol is also super awesome. He and his twin sister go to FSU and he is just the sweetest ever. We met him on a bench on campus, and he was so excited to meet with us. We also had a very powerful lesson on the Restored Gospel, and his prayer was incredible as well. We saw him twice too! The second lesson we had with him, we invited him to pray to know if the Joseph Smith was a true prophet and if the Book of Mormon was true, and in his prayer he told Heavenly Father that he believed that all these things were true, and hoped that they were. SO POWERFUL! It was amazing. We are being SO blessed right now!

Antonio is also progressing so quickly!! Tomorrow we are going to invite him to be baptized on August 1st. I can't even explain how amazing our experience has been with him. I know that I was sent here to Tallahassee to teach him and be a part of his conversion! Pray for him!!

Yesterday we were on exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders and it was quite the miracle day. I learned a very powerful lesson on faith, and one that I am eternally grateful for. Faith leads to miracles, and if you trust in Heavenly Father, your life will be filled with them.
There were a few times this week where I really thought I was going to die and have to be scraped off of the cement. We were in the low 100's all week, and boy. If there is one thing I have learned in this area it's that I can do extremely hard things with the help of my Savior and Heavenly Father. I seriously don't know how I made it home some days.

On a more funny note... SOMEHOW I have gotten Sister Rindlisbacher to trust me.. maybe a little TOO much. yes... She asked me to cut her hair. hahaha you guys. The only experience with cutting hair I have is a summer buzz on dad and hunter!!! She asked for a baby trim. That's not too hard, right?! Nah. Let's just say, when she turned around to see how much I had cut off, she about died of laughter. There were like 4 hairs on the ground. hahaha I am not experienced, but it's better to be safe than sorry! I ended up doing quite a nice job. ;) Ah, the missionary life.

Today I want to end with this cute Mormon message that just came out. how grateful I am that my parents knew that the LITTLE things are what matters. I'm grateful for the time spent individually with Mom and Dad to learn, and to love. I'm grateful for all the things I have been taught, and I'm grateful that I have been able to apply that on my mission. 


My challenge to you is to remember the little moments, because those moments are what matter the most.

Love to all!!
Sister Holmes :)

After the storm...

Amazing FSU stadium
Where in the crap do I live? ha ha ha....



I'm in Florida serving a mission, and the Fourth of July still somehow wins one of my very favorite holidays. SO MUCH AMERICAN PRIDE OVER HERE.

This week had a lot of... events. I guess you could call them events! Not a whole lot of details go into them, but they happened. haha

-A tornado touched down in Tallahassee (yes, massive panic on my part. but I'm still alive. Luckily it ended up being on the other side of town.) We had a few really massive storms this week. We had to take cover quite a few times, but it was super awesome to watch! Luckily, we never got stuck in them.

-Our investigator, Antonio came back in town and is as solid as ever! We taught him an awesome lesson about the Plan of Salvation and committed him to be baptized when he comes to know that these things are true, and we got a solid YES! Keep him in your prayers! I was sent here to find this kid. Some pretty awesome experiences have been had with him!

-The new summer semester at FSU just started so there are TONS of freshman on campus! JACKPOT! Lots of fresh blood, and we have had little rejection so far! We have been LOVING it!

-We just got finished with a super fun 4th of July cookout with a ton of Senior couple missionaries and all the missionaries in my district! Lots of yummy food and lots of laughs. It's been a super awesome day so far :) and the WHOLE city, and everybody in the city is Red, White and Blue. :)

-I'm so sad about President Packer! Lots of changes happening in the Twelve!

and last but not least...

-My bike got stolen, and sister rindlisbacher's got damaged.

The tornado touched down. Extreme wind & rain, terrifying! But gotta get a picture! :'}
So, to end off, I want to share something that has been a theme in my studies this week. Timing is perfect, and I was able to experience something really amazing.

The Atonement. The most selfless act of service in the history of the world. An act that brings the enabling power of forgiveness and the enabling power to forgive.
In True to the Faith it says, "In the everyday circumstances of life, we will surely be wronged by other people--sometimes innocently and sometimes intentionally. It is easy to become bitter or angry or vengeful in such situations, but this is not the Lord's way... We should pray for strength to forgive those who have wronged us, and we should abandon feelings of anger, bitterness, or revenge. We should also look for the good in others rather than focusing on their faults and magnifying their weaknesses. God will be the judge of others' harmful actions."
President Hinckley said, "My brothers and sisters, let us bind up the wounds—oh, the many wounds that have been caused by cutting words, by stubbornly cultivated grievances, by scheming plans to “get even” with those who may have wronged us. We all have a little of this spirit of revenge in us. Fortunately, we all have the power to rise above it, if we will “clothe [ourselves] with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace..“To err is human, to forgive divine.” (Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, 2:1711.) There is no peace in reflecting on the pain of old wounds. There is peace only in repentance and forgiveness. This is the sweet peace of the Christ, who said, “blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matt. 5:9.).”

As we walked past the bike rack yesterday, we were surprised to see an empty spot where the fourth bike should have been, and the tire to Sister Rindlisbacher's bike sitting on the ground. With shock and confusion, I was surprisingly extremely calm. Not one thought of bitterness, worry, anger, or frustration ran through me. The only thing I thought was, "Maybe they needed it more than me." After taking a quick little walk around the complex just to make sure it hadn't been moved, I sat down and opened my study journal. Forgiveness. I had just experienced true forgiveness, and oh, what a spiritual experience that was. 

How often do we keep grudges? How often are we avoiding those who wrong us? How often do those actions effect other people, people that we love? Who are we to hold onto the wrongs of others? Who are we to wait for an apology, when our Savior Jesus Christ has forgiven us long before we have wronged somebody else? Who are we to not forgive, when we are always forgiven?

I invite you to reflect on your life. Who has wronged you? Who has hurt you? Forgive. Let it go, and use to Atonement to forgive. The peace it brings FAR out ways the heaviness of a grudge.

I love you all and I am extremely grateful for the freedom we have. Without freedom of religion I would not be serving a mission. HUGE thanks to all of the armed forces, and those who have served in the past. My prayers of gratitude are ever so deep today. 

Have a bright, sunshiny week! :)

Sister Holmes