Wk #64: 2016 = The Year of Deeper Conversion

Hello my wonderful people :)

How truly grateful I am for the year 2015. As I said my final prayer for that year, the spirit touched my heart so deeply as I reflected on the very special privilege of being set apart as a full time missionary for every second of that year. The spirit was with me at every moment, every trial I went through taught me a valuable lesson, and every moment of joy (which was many) was because of the the gospel. I couldn't have asked for a better year, and I am forever grateful for it. 
I'm also grateful for the year 2016! A new year to serve, to love, and to grow. In the same prayer, the spirit very clearly told me that this year my life was going to change, and that I would be more deeply converted. What an incredible whispering of the spirit. Accomplishment or trial, rain or shine, I'm looking forward to the lessons Heavenly Father has in store for me and for the spirit to penetrate my heart. 

This week was definitely a good one, like they all were, but man! Did we have some good times!

On Saturday we went and played TENNIS! I can't even express how happy that made my heart. It felt SO GOOD to play. I just want to play all the time! But, I will limit myself... I was so proud of my strokes too! I've still got it ;)

We taught Johnnie this week which was super good. He is really progressing, and I am SO proud of him! We also taught Derek, and man. That kid is incredible. He is growing SO much and is becoming more and more converted. He has changed my life. What a prepared young man. I wish the whole world could meet him!!! One of his new years goals is to read a chapter of the Book of Mormon everyday this year, so we are doing it with him. yay!!!

Wednesday we went throughout the mission to do splits with some companionships since there is NO ONE on campus. We wanted to use our time most effectively, so we packed up our car and hit the road. One of our stops was in good ole CALLAWAY, FL. Guys. there is NO place like HOME! I was SO happy to be driving those streets! When we got with the sisters, they said "Sister Holmes, we were NOT going to let your time here go to waste." I wasn't expecting to see anyone I had taught because we were only going to be there for a few hours, and we were going to teach as much as we could, but they surprised me with a family history lesson with ARCHIE AND KAREN!!! So, Sister Rindlisbacher and I headed out to the Family History Center and got our camera's propped to surprise them because they had NO idea I was going to be there. Talk about one of the sweetest, most tender moments of my life! Karen instantly sobbed! Through her tears and tight hug she expressed how much she loved me and how good I looked. Archie was in disbelief and just giggled the whole time. It brought me to tears! I was SO excited! What a gift! :)

We saw some beautiful parts of the mission full of beautiful sisters. I am SO grateful that I get to work with so many of them! I learn something from every single one of them. I'm surrounded by incredible teachers and examples.

For New Years Eve we got together with the sisters in our district and brought it in at 10! haha we had lots of fun, and had lots of fun adventure doing it. I also brought in the new year on a Tongan's shoulders, so that was an experience! haha We said a prayer as sisters to end the year off right, and then Sister Evans and I had some sparkling cider :)

New Years Day we had lunch with the Knudsen's which was delicious as always, and had a really good talk with them. Later that evening the Dalley's cooked us all an amazing Ham/Turkey dinner! All of our district was there, as well as a few members that were here by themselves and Derek and Johnnie :) It was SO much fun! 

Then today we had a last minute MLC, so we got to see all of our wonderful missionary best friends and get ready for transfers! Which I cannot believe are this week!!!

All in all, it was a great week, and I am SO excited for this year! 
I hope you each have set goals to help you grow and strengthen your testimony. If not, I encourage you to prayerfully think about it! Nothing helps you grow more than effective goals, and the experiences that come when accomplishing them :)

President Monson once said, 

"1. Study diligently.
 2. Pray earnestly.
 3. Serve willingly."

"A study of the scriptures will help our testimonies and the testimonies of our family members...Your talents will expand as you study and learn. You will be able to better assist your families in their learning, and you will have peace of mind in knowing that you have prepared yourself for the eventualities that you may encounter in life.

The second goal I wish to mention: Pray earnestly. The Lord directed, “Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing.” Prayer is a defense against temptation. It is through earnest and heartfelt prayer that we can receive the needed blessings and the support required to make our way in this sometimes difficult and challenging journey we call mortality.

Finally, serve willingly. You are a mighty force for good, one of the most powerful in the entire world. Your influence ranges far beyond yourself and your home and touches others all around the globe... You are, of course, surrounded by opportunities for service...I extol you who, with loving care and compassionate concern, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and house the homeless. He who notes the sparrow’s fall will not be unmindful of such service. The desire to lift, the willingness to help, and the graciousness to give come from a heart filled with love. Serve willingly...

May our Heavenly Father bless each of you, married or single, in your homes, in your families, in your very lives—that you may merit the glorious salutation of the Savior of the World: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” I pray...in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."


Love you all!!

Sister Holmes
Love in Callaway with Karen, Archie and Sister Rindlisbacher
Love Them Forever.... Karen and Archie
New Year's Selfie
District Sisters
Bringing in the 'Sparkling' New Year
A little TLC!

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