Monday, June 23, 2014

Going to a differentchurch!!

So recently I was informed by my mother/blogger that the blog post that got the most hits was the one titled "I got a boyfriend!" Thus, I have been trying to come up with more "shocking" titles to increase my readership.
We actually did go to a different church this week. Someone that the elders are teaching invited them to a "revival" for their church (the Choctaw Church of God) so we tagged along. It was a good experience, and gave me a new perspective on everyone that we're teaching. It's always important to know where people are coming from so that you can better teach to their needs!
But anyways, this week was FANTASTIC as usual. We had to move Odessa and Tana's baptismal date again, but they are FOR SURE getting baptized on July 19th!!!! It'll be a great late birthday present :). And Odessa went to Young Women during church for the first time and LOVED it. Now we just need the rest of the family to get on board and stay for all of church.
We also did my favorite thing this week:

Drive through farmland as the sun goes down! I'm so grateful for being in an area that covers quite a bit of the middle of nowhere but is still a short drive from the city. Only in Oklahoma!
The Easteps also committed hardcore to come to church this week! They're an old couple that hasn't gone in a long time, and they told us that the only reason why they haven't gone is because their laze. Lame excuse. We have a good enough relationship now that we were able to tell them that we would not leave their house until they agreed to come to church. And it worked! They had already promised their daughter that they'd go to the Baptist church with her yesterday, but this Sunday they'll be there!
Another highlight: we got a media referral! That almost never happens! But a guy went on and requested a Book of Mormon so we brought it to him and we're going to go back and teach him this week. So share those links to church websites! They work!
Finally, we were going to go with a member to go visit a recent convert who lives in the boonies, but they cancelled so we decided to go visit some other less active people that live way out in the boonies (basically in Norman). After that we went to visit an old member couple for a little bit, and they were so nice and gave us a bag of potatoes from their garden and wild sand plum jelly that they'd made themselves. It was awesome! Missionaries get so spoiled it's not even funny.
But anyways. I've been thinking and studying a lot about member missionary work lately, and especially this talk by Elder Ballard from last conference. Here are some parts that I like:
I’m a great believer in the principle of follow-up. As it says in the missionary guide Preach My Gospel, “extending an invitation without following up is like beginning a journey without finishing it or buying a ticket to a concert without going into the theater. Without the completed action, the commitment is hollow.”2  
Preach My Gospel teaches everyone not only how to invite but also how to follow up on our invitations. The purpose of missionary work is defined as inviting “others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.”3
Inviting is certainly part of the process. But notice that there is much more to missionary work for members than simply extending invitations to people to listen to the missionaries. It also includes follow-up with the missionaries in the cultivation of faith, the motivation to repentance, the preparation for making covenants, and enduring to the end...
In the spirit of Peter’s example, may I suggest that we can all be more consistently involved in missionary work by replacing our fear with real faith,inviting someone at least once a quarter—or four times every year—to be taught by the full-time missionaries. They are prepared to teach by the Spirit, with sincere and heartfelt inspiration from the Lord. Together we can follow up on our invitations, take others by the hand, lift them up, and walk with them on their spiritual journey.
To help you in this process, I invite all members, regardless of your current calling or level of activity in the Church, to obtain a copy of Preach My Gospel. It is available through our distribution centers and also online. The online version can be read or downloaded at no cost. It is a guidebook for missionary work—which means it is a guidebook for all of us. Read it, study it, and then apply what you learn to help you understand how to bring souls to Christ through invitation and follow-up. As President Thomas S. Monson has said, “Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him.”5
I don't want to bore you with excessive citations, but the moral of the story is that prophets and apostles have said it over and over and over again: the best way to grow the kingdom of God is through the members and missionaries working together. The members will take the lead in finding and fellowshipping, and the missionaries will take the lead on teaching and preparing for baptism. There is no better feeling than watching someone you love and have prepared enter the waters of baptism, and Heavenly Father wants us all to feel that way. So keep up the good work and serve and love and find those that the Lord has prepared for you!
I love you all! Have a wonderful week and keep smiling because LIFE IS SO GOOD!!!
Con much carino,
Hermana Holloway

Monday, June 16, 2014


Another transfer down! Number 6 is in the history books! As such we switched over to the new planners yesterday... and I left my old planner at home. So I'll try to remember what we did last week, but mostly I have no idea.
We got a new elder for the Choctaw ward! (we have one set of elders and a set of sisters, not sure if I specified that...) His name is Elder Rodriguez, he's Hispanic, has a Mexican accent, and quotes Nacho Libre all the time. Pretty much the best. Also I have someone that I can speak Spanish with!
Also I just realized that MY HALFWAY MARK IS THIS WEDNESDAY WHERE ON EARTH DID THE TIME GO!?!?!? I can't believe I'm about do start on my downhill, and everyone says that the second half goes by so much faster. Basically I don't know how to feel about it, but I'll just keep chugging along like always. Missionary work is distracting enough :).
Anyways, we had a super awesome miracle lesson with the Batesons last week. We just talked about families and why their families are important to them and why God gives us families and the Spirit was so strong! Then we asked them if they would start to prepare themselves to be sealed in the temple, and while they didn't give us a straight answer, both parents started tearing up so we know that they'll be thinking about it! It was amazing!
We also had a good lesson with Sis. Pruett, who's been inactive for about 20 years. We just read Alma 32 (here is a link to this awesome discussion on faith with her and her grandson (who is a super smart 9-year-old) and it really brought the Spirit and (I think) the feelings that she used to feel when she was active in the church and a desire to feel that again. It was a huge testimony builder to me that we are not the teachers, and only if the Spirit is there can we do anything!
Sis. Collett is still doing really well! We hung out with her last Monday (the only day we're allowed to hang out) and just talked. We're basically besties. She keeps her freezer full of popsicles just for us. It's a good relationship.
And yesterday was Father's day! The primary children sang, the dads got candy, and we had a Thanksgiving-style dinner with one of our member families. I think that that would be a good tradition to start. Thanksgiving is too good for just once a year right?
We're looking forward to a transfer of miracles! Last transfer was a lot of figuring things out, building relationships, and being patient. Now we're ready to baptize and add more people to the Choctaw ward! Something that our zone leaders has emphasized a lot is this scripture (Moroni 7:33):
And Christ hath said: If‍ ye will have faith‍ in me ye shall have power to dowhatsoever thing is expedient‍ in me.
What does that mean? Well in a nutshell it's telling us that if we have faith, if we truly believe in Christ and His divine help, then we will have POWERto do His will, or what is expedient in Him. They have said over and over that it is expedient in Christ, it is His will, that we baptize in this zone! So we are ready and excited to do so.
Well that was my week. I hope all y'all have a great one this week and always remember to SMILE and BE HAPPY! Because life is amazing.
Hermana Holloway
PS: I only took one picture this week, but it's of a really cool stripey orange moth, so that should be worth like 5 pictures right? Right.

Monday, June 9, 2014

I don't know WHY I am so happy :)

Dear everyone,
So funny story, I responded to all my emails, wrote to President Walkenhorst, and then started writing a letter while waiting for everyone else to finish when I realized that I hadn't even sent out my main email! Good thing that I remembered or y'all would've gotten nothing.
Anyways this week was super fantastic. There are LOTS AND LOTS of good things going on over here in Choctaw! We had an awesome lesson with the Jones family, and Odessa and Tana came to church with their family totally unexpectedly! We have a lesson planned for them tonight and we're going to commit them to GO TO THE TEMPLE so that they can be sealed and be a family forever and ever and ever.
We've also been going over to Sis. Collett's house a lot. She's just amazing. I just love going over there and ministering to her and in turn have my faith and testimony built. That's why we NEED each other as members of the church. Because we grow in more ways when we gather together than when we just remain separate.
Yesterday was transfer calls again. I'm staying here for another 6 weeks and another Spanish elder is getting transferred to this ward. So this ward will be half Spanish missionaries :). We're taking over! Por lo menos tendria alguien con quien pueda hablar espanol!
So yeah. I have two overwhelming feelings from this week: exhaustion and pure happiness. This week totally kicked my fanny, but I am truly finding that there is no greater joy than the work of the Lord I know I've quoted this a few times, but I think that I understand it better now than I did before:
Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, say unto you, there never were men  that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and myjoy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all powerall‍ wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is merciful‍ Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
Now if this is boastingeven 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, who are branch‍ ofthe tree of Israel, and has been lost‍ from its body in strange land; yea, say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers‍ in astrange land.
Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful‍ of every peoplewhatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen. -Alma 26:35-37
Sorry I don't have anything more exciting to say. I love you all and I'm grateful for your constant love and support as well as your efforts to do missionary work.
Hermana Holloway
PS: District Picture! Only Sis. Chevalier (2nd from left on top row) is leaving. Pres. W. doesn't really believe in moving people around very much.

PPS: here's the talk for the week. It's about TRUTH. Watch/listen/read and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I got a BOYFRIEND!!!

Aloha everybody!!
So this week was FABULOUS, especially because we weren't stuck inside. I can't believe that it's June already!! In 2 weeks I'll hit 9 months!!! That's halfway!! Then next month I turn doubldecades!!!AAAAAAA!!! (July 12th BTW, in case you were wondering ;)) Anyways, here's what happened:
MONDAY: We had a pretty good Memorial Day/P-Day.... Wait I wrote about this last week. Next!
TUESDAY: We did service for Sis. Collett, who is pretty much my favorite. She also has this dog:

who is also my favorite. Then later on we had a lesson with Odessa and Tana, and it was a little rough. For some reason the Spirit was just not there. We really want their mom to get active because otherwise they'll most likely get baptized and then go inactive again, and we don't want that to happen. But mom just doesn't understand why it's important! So it's a bit of a hurdle, but nothing we can't get through with the power of God!
WEDNESDAY: Today we went on exchanges with our lovely sister training leaders!!! Back in March I went on exchanges with Hna. Dupape, and I got a chance to go on exchanges with her again. It was kinda fun to see how we've both grown since then. Plus we're both Spanish Hermanas in English areas so we were able to talk about our feelings and how there is a light at the end of the tunnel (I miss Spanish a bit... English is great but not the same). It was pretty much the best exchange ever. We tracted a lot, but we met some really cool people and even tracted into an RM who's going to the single's branch! It was funny, she opened the door and just said "I'm Mormon!!!" and then we freaked out. THEN I met my boyfriend! His name is Alex and he's VERY social and 4 years old. Here's how the conversation went:
I have 2 girlfriends.
Oh that's cool. (not really paying attention to his incessant blabbering)
Say, "who's that?"
Who's that?
You guys!!!
It was the cutest. Of course, we had to get a picture with our boyfriend:

Then that evening we met with Sarah, a less active they're teaching who's slowly coming back. She just quit smoking. They actually had an appointment for the next day, but during comp study Hna. Dupape felt like we should drop in. Then we did a real play for her during comp study (like a role play but you pray before so that you can receive revelation for the person's actually concerns) and Hna. D said that the first thought that came to mind (she was Sarah and I was the missionary) was "I'm so glad you're here". THEN when we got to her house, the first thing she said was "I'm so glad you're here". REVELATION IS REAL PEOPLE!! It turns out that she had had a cigarette that day and was in need of some support. It was super cool.
THURSDAY: We tracted into members again today! Two days in a row! It was pretty crazy because I could tell it was an old guy (I'm kind of afraid of old people... too many bad experiences) but when we knocked on the door he invited us right in. I was SO surprised! But then it turns out that he's a member... not as surprised anymore. It was funny though. Then we visited this awesome part-member family with a girl who's preparing to serve a mission. They've never really let missionaries over in the past, but the dad let us set up an appointment for Tuesday. We're really excited!
FRIDAY: District meeting! Then we went to Tasty Burger! (hole in the wall burger joint... AKA the Then we did more service for Sis. Collett and she fed us. Then we went to teach an investigator... except he just talked the whole time. Okie talker probs. Still not sure if he's actually interested or just likes to talk.
SATURDAY: It was the last day of the month and we still had about 150 miles left, so we went to the Southern border of our area and tried to contact some people. We didn't have much luck but it was fun to explore the boonies a bit. Then we had to pick up the elders and drive to the boonies AGAIN. All told, we used about 128 miles that day.
SUNDAY: It was a pretty slow day at church. Nobody came. Darn summer vacation. But we were able to go out with a member after and find some more less actives which was fun. And yesterday marks a week until transfer calls!! Crazy!!
 This week during my studies I found an interesting Book of Mormon/Bible connection:

1 John 3:2-3 says: "Beloved, now are we the sons‍ of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like‍ him; for we shall see‍ him as he is. And every man that hath this hope‍ in him purifieth‍ himself, even as he is pure."

And then Moroni 7:48 says: "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray‍ unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers‍ of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be‍ like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified‍ even as he is pure."

They both basically say the same thing, that we have the potential to be like God. Moroni just goes into a bit more detail, though, and says that the way that we are able to become like God and be purified is to seek to have charity. Charity is the ultimate attribute of Jesus Christ, and if we have it we will become like Him.
I love the scriptures! And I love all of you. Just remember, if you really love a missionary... send them mail!!
~Hermana Holloway
PS apparently there are parts of my area that are considered part of the City of Norman. So close yet so far!