Wk #76: E A S T E R

Happy Easter Weekend! 

I am so grateful for this time of year to reflect on the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. I can't believe it's Easter already! What a beautiful day. I want to start off with the First Presidency's Easter Message because it is so good. "Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Jehovah of the Old Testament, and the Messiah of the New Testament. He died and was resurrected, and He lives in glory with our Eternal Father.

Lunch with I-Jah
Latest hair trends?
As a result of our Savior’s atoning sacrifice, death, and resurrection we become the beneficiaries of His mercy and grace. In a world of trouble and uncertainty, His peace can fill our hearts and ease our minds. Jesus is in very deed “the way, the truth, and the life” for God’s children everywhere (John 14:6).

Hair by Melvin
At this Easter season we give our sure witness that Jesus is the Christ. Though He was crucified, He rose triumphant from the tomb to our everlasting blessing and benefit. He stands as our Advocate and Savior. He has done for all mankind that which no other could have done. God be thanked for the gift of His Beloved Son, our Savior, the Redeemer of the world, the Lamb without blemish who was offered as a sacrifice for all mankind.

Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf"

This week has been a good, but stressful one! We went on two exchanges which was crazy, but really good! We had some incredible lessons this week, and set another baptismal date with our investigator Patrick!!! All of our other investigators are still on date! Speaking of that, Hunter quit smoking this week!!! YAY!!!! 

Sister Evans and I had Melvin do our hair this week. Such good memories. hahaha So funny! 

Also, we opened our mailbox, and inside was junk mail. Not exciting, right? But wait! we open this junk mail and lo and behold, 2 DOLLARS!!! haha sometimes it pays to get junk mail!!!

I'm out of time, but it was an awesome week and HAPPY EASTER!!!!


Sister Holmes


Wk #75: Happy Saturday :)

Empanadas in honor of Elder Holmes
Time!! It goes so fast!!!

We taught SO MANY INCREDIBLE PEOPLE this week!!! I can't even begin to express how I feel! We were blessed with TEN new investigators.. all of which are extremely solid. What a miracle!! We were able to teach some incredibly inspired lessons and were most definitely led by the spirit. 
School was back in session this week, so the campus was full of happy people! 

Dinner with the sisters!
Derek at the temple
The week started off wonderfully as Derek spoke in Sacrament Meeting about his conversion and his temple experience. What an amazing convert. No doubt he's got some awesome things ahead of him. We also were told that "President Duke from the Orlando Temple Presidency spoke at Panama City Stake Conference of meeting Derek at the temple and was so impressed with his going that far to do that work after just a few months of being a member!" :) What a happy thing to hear!

We also are teaching the #2 point guard in the nation.. and he just signed with Wichita St... and he's SO HUMBLE! His lessons have been some of the most powerful I've experienced! His dad passed away in 2012 and there is no doubt in my mind that his dad is preparing him for the gospel. We are hoping to set a baptismal date with him this week!! 

On St. Patrick's Day we went to a Cuban restaraunt and I got an EMPANADA in honor of ELDER HOLMES!!! I was so excited when I saw it on the menu that I HAD to get it. We had a great time with the other sisters. 

So much happened this week that I can't remember any of it right now. haha I'm so sorry! Scattered email. But it truly was an incredible week. 

If you haven't already, check out the new easter initiative! it's my favorite!!!

Sister Holmes
Reunited and it feels so GOOD!


Wk #74: MIRACLES up in HERE!

Okay you guys, Heavenly Father has been B-L-E-S-S-I-N-G us this week! We have experienced some of the most sacred, powerful moments in the world. This gospel is beyond amazing. AH! I'm so excited to share them with you!!!!!

Derek Terry baptized Willie

We taught a guy named Cedric the Restoration. This was our first lesson with him, and as a zone, mission and most importantly a companionship, we have set a goal to invite people to be baptized on the first or second lesson. As we are going through the lesson, we invite him to be baptized, and he responds with, "YES! I have been wanting to get baptized!" WHAT. 
Derek with his recommend
We then teach Richard, who by the way is extremely prepared. So, last week we taught the Plan of Salvation and invited him to be baptized. He told us that he had been baptized three times already and didn't want or need to. We were super bummed but kept our faith high. We decided to teach him the doctrine of Family History and temples. Come to find out, his brother died when Richard was little and it's been really hard for him and his family. We talk about baptisms for the dead and explain it, then invite him to prepare to enter the temple to do the work for his brother. Starting to get emotional, he accepts then asks "Wait, would that mean that I would need to be baptized?" We answered with the affirmative, and now extremely emotional, he says, 'Yes. Yes I will do this." We committed him to be baptized on April 16th :) The spirit of Elijah was SO strong. Plus, if you remember from last week's email my experience with Grandma Dixie, when he got emotional, I too got emotional because I know his brother and Grandma Dixie were right there with us. 
First temple names!

Wesley in our ward took us out to lunch as a last minute surprise to a place called Midtown Caboose. It's a super fun restaurant that has a TON of crazy hamburgers! I got a PB&J burger... Yep. It had peanut butter and strawberry jam on it, and it was delicious!
We then taught Hunter at a beautiful Park with a lake, and he bought us italian soda's which was also divine, and he is just so prepared. Gah. We are so excited for his baptism! It's still a go for April 9th! 
After we got done teaching Hunter, we were walking to the car where we met a homeless man named Frank. He was really...interesting. He hit on us hard core with his toothless grin and kissed our hands. He then told us that we stole his car. We got out of there real fast. haha
THEN, we had the wonderful privilege of going to dinner with President and Sister Smith! Nothing makes my heart happier than being with these two perfect people. They have forever changed my life. We had such a fun time :) I felt so spoiled. 

We had Zone Conference!! We had the wonderful opportunity of training on the new Easter initiative #Hallelujah. You guys. That video is SO powerful. It comes out tomorrow, so WATCH IT!!! 

We taught a guy named Daishon for the first time. We had contacted him on campus LAST summer, and called him again and he was very anxious to meet with us. It was one of the most powerful lessons. His dad passed away a few years ago, and he is now the man of the house with all sisters and has needed something/someone to look up to. He was deeply touched with the gospel and is so ready to have it in his life. 

Now, for Willie's baptism.... What an event that was! We get the font filled, the chairs set up, programs placed on the chairs, and I get the strong feeling to call Willie to make sure he is okay. When we got our phone, we had a text that says, "I can't make it tonight... I'm in the hospital." Panic.. We call him to find out that he was sweeping his roof and FELL OFF. What the heck, Satan! We ask what injuries he had, and luckily he only had bruised ribs. He told us he would try to make it, but didn't have a ride to the church because his grandma wouldn't take him. He lives 45 minutes away, and his baptism was scheduled to start in 45 minutes. So we frantically begin looking for a ride and had zero luck. Since it's been spring break everyone was gone! The Zone Leaders got permission to go pick him up, which was a huge relief. He got there late, but eventually got there. The program was beautiful, and DEREK TERRY BAPTIZED HIM! I couldn't have been more proud. At the end, Willie got up and bore his testimony, which was the sweetest testimony I have ever heard. He was so grateful, and the spirit was extremely powerful. 

While waiting for Willie to get to his baptism, a guy in our ward told Derek that he was going to the temple the next day and offered to take him there too. Derek was supposed to go on a trip with his family, but after lots of prayer decided to sacrifice the trip to go to the temple. So after the baptism, Derek got an interview for his first ever temple recommend! He was SO excited! WE decided that we HAD to find at least one family name for him to take to the temple. So, we went into the family history center, said a prayer, and opened up his family search account. We have worked on his family history before, but had hit lots of dead ends and hadn't gotten very far. Determined to find names, we begin searching, and low and behold we found a record! That record led us to find SIX names for him to take to the temple! I can't even describe the spirit that was in the room. Derek was so excited and we all could feel his ancestors there with us. He had an incredible experience at the temple, and is speaking in Sacrament on Sunday!!! To make this story even better, there is a statistic in the church that if a Recent Convert goes to the temple with their own family names within the first 90 days of their baptism they have a 90% chance of staying active in the church. While laying in bed, ALMOST asleep, Sister Evans excitedly said my name and said, "Sister Holmes... tomorrow (Friday, the day Derek was going to the temple) is his 90th day!!!!" What a miracle!!!

We taught Melvin from India! We taught the Plan of Salvation which was so good, and he seemed to really enjoy it. We were on exchanges and he asked Sister Nielsen how she KNEW the gospel was true, because he hasn't been able recognize the spirit, so she gave a beautiful answer and THEN, we get a text a few hours later saying that he finally felt the spirit at work! We were all so excited! We are SO sad that he is going back to India in a few weeks, but we will be friends forever!

I am emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted, but man. When Heavenly Father said "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!" he really meant it! My joy has NEVER been so full. That scripture has meant more and more to me as I have done my best to labor diligently and seen the fruits of a repentant soul. 

I am SO grateful to be a full time missionary. Nothing brings me more happiness, and I know that these experiences that I've been blessed with with fill my heart for the rest of my eternity. What a beautiful life we live, and what a beautiful gospel we are a part of. 

I love you all!! I hope YOU experience a miracle this week! 
Thanks for all the love and support! 

Sister Holmes

Only Alexa would climb a tree in a skirt!

Good luck getting down...


WK #73: H E L L O :)

Letter from Elder Holmes!
Happy Saturday!

It's been a great yet extremely tiring week! We have been so busy that I'm pretty sure I have lost all but one of my marbles. 

We had MLC this week, and as always, I loved every second of it. The training's were prime. Sister Evans and I lucked out and didn't have to train this time around! So we got to sit back and soak it all in, which I was really grateful for. We had the privilege of watching the new Easter initiative, and you guys. It is SO good. I am so excited for ya'll to see it!! 

The Milton Sisters (Sister Brown, Sister Willis and Sister Carter) came down to Tallahassee after MLC for an exchange, and it was SO much fun! It was so good being comps with Sister Brown for a little bit. I have missed her, and it was so fun to reminisce on good ole MTC days. 

We saw SO many miracles on our exchange. We met some super prepared people, and derek has such an incredible missionary. He is doing SO well, and I couldn't be happier. AH! HE IS PERFECT!!! 

We are teaching a guy named Melvin, who is from India, and he is HILARIOUS. He has the coolest story in the world and is sincerely seeking for the truth. He stayed with a Mormon host family in Utah, and went to church and Temple Square, talked with missionaries there, then came here and found us! He has an incredible story and we are praying that he receives and answer to his prayers that THIS church is true!! He leaves for India in two weeks and we are really bummed about it. 

Also, as we were teaching Melvin, we were sitting outside of a grocery store on some tables, and this homeless man with a shopping cart walks up and starts staring at us. So we stop talking and ask if we can help him. He goes on to tell us a TON of false doctrine and really out there stuff while yelling, and proceeds to tell us that we are preaching lies to a world that doesn't even care. It was quite the experience! After he walked away, Melvin says "What was he talking about?! He has lost his mind!" hahaha we all just laughed and talked about how important it is to pray to know the truth. Oh, the joys of a mission!


I'll end with this experience. Last night was really hard, harder than usual. As I was saying my prayers I asked Heavenly Father for an extra portion of strength to overcome how I was feeling. I was overwhelmed by the spirit of Elijah and I know with everything that I am that Grandma Dixie was kneeling right beside me giving me a hug. The power of the other side of the veil is real. Heavenly Father  is so aware of us and knows exactly what we need. He loves us. He loves us so much! 

I love this gospel. I am so grateful to be serving a mission. 

Hope ya'll have a wonderful week! 

Sister Holmes