Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Missionary fun and what happens when your companion gets sick

Honestly, this week is a bit of a blur! I don't even know what happened!!
Well on Monday we had a really awesome P-Day with the whole zone and then after we had a Specialized Training Meeting with the Zone Leaders. I feel so blessed because I feel like I've had the opportunity to be trained by some of the best missionaries in this mission, and maybe even the whole world! Our ZLs right now are just phenomenal and they gave an amazing training on how to communicate better with investigators, which was perfect because I really needed the social skills!
So Sis. P and I got super pumped up to go out and baptize the world and then... she got sick. From Tuesday through Saturday. It was pretty miserable for her (well both of us really) but I still think the Lord was trying to teach me something. I was freaking out a little bit because of the appointments that we had to cancel and whatnot, but over and over again this thought kept coming to my mind "Be still and know that I am God". I've been trying to increasingly put things into the Lord's hands, which is a little difficult for someone like me who just wants to pridefully control everything, but based on all of my experiences from my mission the Lord micromanages this work. He delegates some things to us, but by and large He is in control. It's like it says in 1 Corinthinas 3:6-7: "I haveplanted, Apollos watered; but God gave‍ the increase. So then neither is hethat planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth theincrease." Our job is to work as hard as we can, then step back and let God give the increase.
And now, to break up the text, I will insert a picture from a sunset this week:
Anyways, on Sunday Sis. P wasn't feeling 100% better yet, but we went to church anyways because we were both speaking. The bishop wanted us to give a talk on missionary work, and while I was preparing I found this scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 33:
"Yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that the field is white already to harvest; wherefore, thrust in your sickles, and reap with all your might, mind, and strength.8 Open your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even as Nephi of old, who journeyed from Jerusalem in the wilderness.
9 Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you.
10 Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
There's a couple of things that I loved about that: first, the Lord tells us that if we open our mouths to talk about the gospel we'll be like Nephi. How cool is that?!? Second, in verse 9 the Lord says, "I am with you". I definitely feel the presence of the Lord most when I do missionary work, because it's literally the Lord's work.
Then later on Sunday we visisted this less active/part member family. The mom speaks English, but the dad only speaks Spanish. Score!!! So we went over there and I spoke to him in Spanish and he wants us to come over and teach his whole family!! Basically I'm really excited because I think he's the ONLY Spanish speaking person in all of Choctaw!
And then yesterday we had a lovely Memorial Day. The elders got together a bunch of investigators and youth and we played sports at the church (my face got in the way of an elder's soccer ball at one point but other than that it was fun. Don't worry I'm not all mangled now.) then we just chilled and played ping pong and went to a barbeque at a member's house and visited with the less active couple that came to church a couple of weeks ago! So even though last week was a little rough and we weren't able to do much, this week is going to be AMAZING!!
I love you all! Sorry I don't have more pictures, but I don't think pictures of my sick companion and me would be very appealing.
Con carino,
Sister Holloway
PS: Here's the video for the week! Enjoy!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Getting lost, baptisms, service and seeking Spanish speakers in Harrah

Aloha everybody!
This week was CRAZY. (But I'm pretty sure I have that disclaimer every week...) Here are some of the highlights:
#1: We got lost in the city! Again! (I basically don't have very much experience driving to the city/on the freeway so every time we go to the city it's a nightmare. One of these days I will get it!) On Wednesday we had to go to Moore (home base for the mission) for a new missionary meeting. Because we were already going to be in OKC we decided that right after the meeting we'd go to the bike shop because Sis. Peterson's bike ended up being to big for her (she's a wee one, just 4'10"!) and there were very kindly going to let us trade it in. Well, we got to Moore and realized that we'd forgotten her bike at home. Fail. So we talked to President and he generously granted us miles to go home, get the bike, and go to the bike shop. We successfully accomplished this, it just took a long time. At least we saw more of OKC and I got some freeway driving experience! :)
#2: We set baptismal dates for the girls that we're teaching! June 21st! The only issue with that is that we don't want them to get baptized and then go inactive because their mom isn't super active right now. So next lesson we're going to put the beef on the table and let her know how important it is for her to support the girls with her example. Odessa and Tana are so excited though. When we asked when they wanted to get baptized they just said "as soon as possible!"
#3: We were able to go with the Elder's Quorum to help Sis. Collett get her stuff moved in! And then she came to church and stayed all 3 hours! She really appreciated the help, and I get the feeling that we're going to be over there quite a bit because she signed up to feed us twice, still needs service in her house, and is willing to teach us how to quilt and crochet on P-Day! She's pretty much the best.
#4: THERE'S A GUATEMALAN MAN THAT'S MARRIED TO A MEMBER OF THE WARD!!!! I still haven't met him, but I LOVE GUATEMALANS and he's someone that I can speak Spanish to! Plus he hasn't be baptized yet, so it's something to work on!
Other than that... we're going to be focusing on finding new investigators this week and hopefully the investigators that we do have stop cancelling on us! Silly flaky people :).
I was reading in the gospel of Luke (chapter 12today and there was a parable there that really grabbed my attention:
 16 And he spake parable unto them, saying, The ground of certain rich manbrought forth plentifully:
 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall do, because have no roomwhere to bestow my fruits?
 18 And he said, This will do: will pull down my barns, and build greater; andthere will bestow all my fruits and my goods.
 19 And will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years;take thine ease, eat, drink, and‍ be merry.
 20 But God said unto him, Thou‍ fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee:then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
 21 So is‍ he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
I kind of take this as a warning for myself personally. I have had a lot of spiritual experiences and rendered a lot of service to my God. However, by no stretch of the imagination am I "done" with service. Even though I was baptized, graduated from seminary, received the ordinances of the temple, and successfully completed 8 months of missionary service I still have a LONG way to go. Progression should never stop. Spiritual progression especially should never stop. I think that complacency is the most powerful tool the Adversary has to try to stop the work of the Lord. Even if he can't get good people to do bad things, if he can stop good people from doing good things then he has won. "Therefore, fear not, little flock; dogood; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, theycannot prevail." (D&C 6:34)
Love you all! Have a lovely week!!
~Sister Holloway

So I've been kind of a fail at taking pictures lately, but this is an ok picture of a really beautiful moonrise that we saw as we were driving home one night this week. Harrah is gorgeous!

Adventures in Englishland!!

This week was a great week! Well it wasn't all great... The other day we were out knocking a bit and we came upon this house--Well to preface a little bit, I am determined to find the Hispanics in the area. They have to be here!--Anyways this house had a flag on it that said "mi casa su casa". Of course my Spanish senses started tingling and I got really excited and made a beeline for the house. I knocked on the door.... white guy. (He also wasn't interested) Oh well. I'm still positive that there are Hispanics out here!
But here are our super amazing miracles from the week:
#1: On Thursday, we went and visited this couple that hasn't come to church for about 20 years. Usually we aren't this up front, but we asked them "what's been holding you back from coming to church?" Well the wife was surprised but happy that we asked and she brought up some concerns which we were able to resolve then bore testimony about the blessings of coming to church. It was a powerful spiritual experience, but the best part is that THEY CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Milagro!!!
#2: On the same day as the fake Hispanic guy we had just eaten dinner, our somewhat appointment fell through, and we didn't know what to do and didn't really want to tract anymore. So as we were sitting in the car trying to decide we get a text from a lady in the ward who gave us the name of this other lady, Sister Colett, and told us to go visit her ASAP. Well we didn't have anything better to do so we go over to her house, and she is so happy to see us. It turns out that she's a member who was going to the Shawnee ward (one town east) even after she moved to Harrah, but her bishop had recommended that she go to the Choctaw ward because it was close and whatnot. Well her records never got switched over so she ended up getting lost for a little bit until she met one of the members at the dollar store! We talked with her for a while and got the elder's quorum to come help her move some stuff and her records should be in our ward soon! It was a wonderful experience in ministering and being able to feel Christ's love for this wonderful sister who had wandered off a bit and needed some love.
We have been trying to find investigators (of course) but for now we're teaching a couple of people that the elders were teaching and this part member family who has 2 daughters and a husband who are nonmembers. So far the daughters are on board with getting baptized, but the husband is not as enthusiastic. We still feel strongly that it will happen for him though!
Ok, ready for some spiritual food? One benefit of training is we get an hour a week so Sis. Peterson can do her online training and I can watch random videos and stuff on lds.org. It's pretty much the best. Here's some that I found this week:
They both remind me of what my purpose really is out here. It's to help people come unto Christ. That's all there is to it. Jesus Christ is my Savior, my Leader, my Teacher, and my Friend. Ultimately, my desire is that all will come unto Him and experience the same joy that He has given me in my life. That is my purpose.
In the words of Ammon, the great missionary:
"Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, say unto you, there never weremen that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea,and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has allpower, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things,and he is merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repentand believe on his name.
 Now if this is boasting, even so will boast; for this is my life and my light,my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea,blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, whoare branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in astrange land; yea, say, blessed be the name of my God, who has beenmindful of us, wanderers in strange land.
 Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoeverland they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels ofmercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving;yea, and will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen."

~Hermana Holloway

Monday, May 5, 2014

Just a little out of the middle of nowhere

Aloha from Harrah, OK!! (BTW that's pronounced hair-uh, not "Hurrah for Israel!")
Man it's just been a CRAZY couple of days since transfers on Wednesday! I got my brand new greenie, Sister Peterson, and she's AMAZING and super ready to go out and baptize the world!! It's awesome! Unfortunately it's been a little slow going because we don't know anybody and so we're trying to meet people, but things are starting to pick up. The ward is AMAZING, and our first day here we met with the bishop and he gave us a ton of things to do! Yes! Then we met the Relief Society President and she also gave us things to do! Double yes!! The ward members are just excited to have sisters and they want to help us out in any way they can. It's gonna be a transfer of miracles!
So Harrah and Choctaw make up the Choctaw ward. Harrah is about half the population of Weatherford, but probably about double the area because unlike Weatherford there's really no town, just grids of farmland. Basically almost everyone has 3 or more acres of land and the houses are much bigger than I'm used to. It's also covered in trees, which is a change from the semi-desert that is Western Oklahoma. It's basically amazing and totally different from any other area I've served!
Let's see... I'm not really sure what else to report on since most of the last couple of days was meeting people and those names would mean absolutely nothing to you anyway.
Here's some pictures from my last P-Day in good ol' Weatherford!

At the Route 66 Museum in Clinton with the district

Making corn tortillas with my favorite Guatemalans!

Don't ever let an Elder touch your camera... you'll get a million of these. (*coughcough* Sam *coughcough*)

Also this morning I was studying a bit about faith in Preach My Gospel, and this sentence really stuck out to me, "having faith in Jesus Christ includes having a firm belief that He is the Only Begotten Son of God and the Savior and Redeemer of the world... we know that He has the power to keep His promises". That really hit me. The Savior has promised us a LOT of things! How much confidence to we have in Him that He can and will keep them? Or do we try to do things on our own and deny what He can do? Just some interesting things to ponder on.
I love you all! Hope you have a wonderful week and I can't wait to see my lovely family next Sunday!!
Sister Holloway