Wk #63: A Christmas Miracle

Together again, even for just a few minutes.... Priceless. An emotional reunion.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all my favorite people!!

I hope you had a wonderful, white Christmas full of happy memories and special moments. Mine wasn't white, but it sure was one I will never forget!

Thank you SO much for all the gifts and letters. I definitely felt extremely spoiled this Christmas! I am so grateful for all the love!

Family Selfie
On Christmas Eve, our zone got together and had a bonfire at the institute building and played games and cooked hot dogs! It was such a fun night! Then, Sister Evans and I woke up bright and early, (no later OR earlier than 6:30 I assure you...) and opened our awesome presents! We each took a turn and watched each other open the gifts. It was SUCH a good morning! We studied, read about the birth of Christ in Jesus the Christ by Talmage during Comp study, then headed out to breakfast! The Dalley's (the senior couple here) made all of our district breakfast and then we spent the day playing ping pong and foosball and scrud and lots of fun things! We weren't expected to proselyte (plus there was NO one here in college town to talk to) so we got to just play all day long! It was awesome. I then got to skype the fam bam which was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I was so happy to see everyone. 

It was then that I received my Christmas miracle. The last I had heard was that Cade was supposed to skype home at 11, so I knew we weren't going to be able to talk at all, which I was super bummed about. So when I skyped into mom and dad, they were skyping with cade! We couldn't get a three way to work, so Cade finished up with the fam, and then called  me and we got to skype with each other. Words cannot express the happiness and gratitude that filled my soul. It was the greatest Christmas gift I have ever received. It was such a tender moment as we talked about our missions and the things we are going through. I am so proud of Elder Holmes, and am extremely grateful for the relationship I have with him. Heavenly Father knew that we needed to see each other, and a way was provided. Like I say every mother's day and Christmas, HEAVEN BLESS THE CREATOR OF SKYPE. It is such a tender blessing!!

Later last night we went to the Bacon's for Christmas dinner, which was delicious. I may or may not have eaten like seven rolls... We had so much fun! Tira is off to Utah for school, so it was super sad to say by, but I'm so excited that she's going to MY home! whoo hoo! I love her.

It was definitely a great week filled with unforgettable moments. 

I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to spend the Christmas season here in the Florida Tallahassee Mission. I have come to understand and appreciate Christmas on a much deeper level. I'm grateful that Heavenly Father loves us so much that He sent us a Savior. He didn't just send a Savior, He sent a Teacher, an Example, a Friend, a Brother, His Son, a Healer, and a Light. I'm grateful that the world comes together to celebrate the birth of Christ, that we become unified if only for a small moment of the year. I'm grateful for the prayers and the support that ya'll give me time and time again. There is NO where I would rather be right now!

I hope this week, and this new year brings blessings to recognize, and happiness to carry you through. 

All my love, 

Sister Holmes

ps- ignore the crying eyes on both sides. haha LOVE THIS ELDER.


Christmas Jammies
Spoiled girl!
Christmas Eve
Don't mess with us!

Keepin the tradition going. Ugly Christmas morning pic for life.

Elder Grandpa Dalley
Sister Grandma Dalley
Sister Hall
Sister Vailea from Tonga! Love the face Sister Hall!
Christmas is tiring! Naptime with Maleek...

This weather though....
Just keeps getting hotter!
Merry Christmas everyone!



Wk #62: Happy, Happy, Happy!

Can you believe Christmas is this week?! I sure can't!

I have been SPOILED ROTTEN. Thank you so much to everyone for the Christmas gifts and letters! I am definitely feelin the love.

We had our half mission Christmas conference this week, which was SO much fun! Yes, I PLAYED THE PIANO as a musical number. I played Mom's song, and then I accompanied Sister Evans. I was a nervous wreck, but they went well. :) My secret is now out in the mission. But, I definitely felt Grandma Dixi

Their "CHRISTmas" tree this year.
We played minute to win it games and had lots of yummy food and so many talented musical numbers! It was nice to relax for a little bit and have some fun. I LOVE THIS MISSION.

We went on two exchanges this week, and both times I was at FSU. It was SO much fun. The campus's are really dead right now due to the Christmas break, but miracles NEVER cease! We've had some pretty good moments this week. 

"The best mission dad in the WORLD!"
We had dinner with the Knudsen's this week! I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. Every time I leave their house I feel like I'm leaving my Utah home all over again. They are incredible. 

We taught some really great lessons this week! Nothing TOO exciting to report on. 

Derek is still doing incredible. He got confirmed on Sunday and has been on a spritual high ever since! He is preparing to receive the priesthood and wants to serve a mission! what an awesome guy! all of our investigators are progressing, and I'm as happy as can be! It's been getting REALLY cold here. It's starting to feel like winter! BRING IT ON!

Mission Momma!
OH! before I forget, so Saturday night we decided to go to the mall. We are having a great time, looking around, we go to find the other sisters in H&M, and boom. CHAOS. all the sudden CROWDS of people are SPRINTING and pushing each other into the store. I look up and Sister P and Sister V are running towards us panicked. They gate down the store, actually the entire mall. Come to find out, there was a gun shot in the mall. Talk about an anxiety attack! We were locked in the store for a good amount of time, talking to people about the Christmas initiative "A Savior Is Born", then we were finally able to exit from the emergency door to find that we couldn't leave the parking lot. There were helicopters flying around with spot lights, TONS of police cars, and lots of panicked people. We all got out safe, but it was SO SCARY. We've heard a lot of different stories about what actually happened, but all I know is that it was not something I want to experience ever again! 

Well, on that note! ;) haha I love you all so much and can't wait to SKYPE!!! WHOO HOO for technology!!!!!

"The Christmas season is a time to reflect and act upon the blessings and opportunities we have because of the birth, life, Atonement, and Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. As our Heavenly Father “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16), we express our love toward one another and toward God and his precious Son by giving of ourselves."

I hope each and every one of you feels of the Christmas spirit this week and reflect on why we celebrate it.


Sister Holmes

Ice in Florida? Nah....
The RINDS.... love her!
SOOO Tall!
Plain City represented!

Wk# 61: There is SUNSHINE in my soul today!

Hello from the Sunshine State! It's December 12th and a balmy 78* :)

So today... DEREK GOT BAPTIZED!!!! I have never experienced such a powerful baptism. Not only was the spirit overwhelmingly strong, but everything went SO smoothly! The baptism started at 10:00, and he got here at 9:30. He got dressed in white, we took pictures, and said a prayer together. He was SO nervous this morning, but was really excited. As SOON as we began singing the opening hymn, which he chose to be There is Sunshine in My Soul Today (perfect, right?), I was already crying. You guys. The spirit about knocked my out of my seat. The talks were incredible, the baptism was A M A Z I N G (words can't even describe it), and Derek bore his testimony at the end. So powerful. It was a beautiful day. Also, not only did he get baptized today, and not only is he STOKED to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost tomorrow... he cannot WAIT to receive the Priesthood so he can pass the sacrament, AND he told us his plans to serve a mission. I'm a proud sister over here! He is going to do incredible things in this world. OH! We had bought him a tie and got him a triple combination of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price and wrote our testimonies in the front, and he thought it was the most incredible gift in the world. He was so sweet about it. What a tender guy!!!

This week was such a good one, and the baptism just topped it all off. We had 5 investigators to church on Sunday which we were so excited about. It was way funny though because we took up an entire pew. Sister Evans and I were on both sides, and all the guys in between us were black. It was the greatest family moment ever. It made me so happy. haha We even got Derek to come to the Christmas Devotional! Which, as always, was amazing. 
We had Zone Training this week, which is always good. We were asked to teach in another zone, so we got to go there! We taught and trained about teaching to the next ordinance. It went really well, and it was fun to see our sisters in the other zone!

We taught some incredible lessons this week, and got a few awesome investigators! And we got to exchange with a couple of our sisters this week! That's always a good time. 

We had our ward Christmas party on Thursday night. It was SO. MUCH. FUN. We did a white elephant gift exchange, and it was so fun. I ended up with some jewelry and chocolate. Not bad eh?

Man. I just am SO happy and full of gratitude. I LOVE MY MISSION. And I love this time of year!!! I hope the Christmas spirit has touched your heart, because it's touched mine!

If you missed the Christmas Devotional, I HIGHLY suggest you look it up and watch it! I'll leave you with Elder Whitney L. Clayton's testimony. "The sweetest gift given at Christmas will always be the one our Savior Himself gave us: His perfect peace. He said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Even in a world where peace seems far off, the Savior’s gift of peace can live in our hearts regardless of our circumstances. If we accept the Savior’s invitation to follow Him, lasting fear is forever banished. Our future has been secured. These are the “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” “Fear thou not,” the prophet Isaiah reminded us, “for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).

Because of the Savior born two thousand years ago in Bethlehem, there is hope—and so much more. There is redemption, release, victory, and triumph. “The wrong shall fail, the right prevail” (“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” Hymns, no. 214). No wonder a choir of angels suddenly appeared as a heavenly exclamation point to the angel’s announcement of the Savior’s birth, singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” No message could ever be more reassuring. No message was ever filled with more good will toward men.

May this season be one of peace and joy for all of us, “for unto [us was] born [that] day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."


Sister Holmes :)

Masks to do family history....

Where family history work is done...
"My sad gingerbread house"
(l-r) Derek, Kaleel, Curel, Derrick.


Mini van queens!
A chilly hello to all ya'll this fine Saturday morning!
Mission Leadership Conference

Raccoon anyone?
The temperature has finally decided to drop, and drop fast! We went from 80* to about 56* within like two days! It's FINALLY starting to feel like winter here.

Elder Inbody hanging with the Sisters
This week was a good one. A little harder than usual, but still full of miracles and tender mercies. 

Emailing on p-day
I have been so overwhelmed with gratitude and love for the investigators that Heavenly Father is trusting us with. We have SO many extremely prepared people that we are teaching right now, and it continues to change my life and my perspective. 

Some of the highlights of this week include:

>> What did I eat this week? RACCOON. Yep, you read that right! I had some good ole COON! (which is what the picture is) To compare it to a meat, it's like roast beef. Super interesting. I think I would have been okay eating it if I didn't know what it was. I could only eat a bite. haha Gotta love having investigators that love the woods!

>> We set TWO more baptismal dates!! Curel and Derrick! They are brothers, and wow. incredibly prepared young men. Curel is really special, and I have a neat connection with him. I LOVE THEM! Derrick and I also have a funny relationship. I love being a missionary! 

>> Once again, we had Curel at FHE which was HILARIOUS. He had SO much fun and the ward loves him so much! We had a less active there as well! And then for institute we had Curel, Derrick, Johnnie, Derek, and Kaleel! SO many awesome people. It was really neat because almost all of them participated a lot during class. 

>> We had MLC again this week. It's always SO good. Bishop Wells from the Callaway ward is now in our mission presidency, so that was way fun! I love that man. He helped me a lot. And he always makes me feel extra loved. Sister Evans and I were given huge compliments by both him and President Smith on our teaching skills. That made me feel really good! Hard work pays off!!

I have learned so much this week in my personal study and from our investigators. I am forever grateful for the decision I made to come on a mission, because I don't think I ever would have learned these things if I hadn't! 

I've been a little sick this week, so I'm hoping it doesn't turn into anything more. We've got an insane month ahead of us! "There's too much to do to get the flu!!" 

Derek is still on for his baptism on the 12th, which we are SO excited for!
We FINALLY got a hold of Andrew... now just to get him confirmed....

 I'm SO grateful to be out here and full of the Christmas spirit. What a perfect time to celebrate our Savior, to reflect on His gift, and to share that with others.  The First Presidency said, "Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is peace because we have found peace in the Savior’s teachings. It is the time we realize most deeply that the more love is expended, the more there is of it for others." 

If you haven't already, go to this website and watch the videos and explore. Christ truly is the reason for the season. 


Sister Holmes