Monday, November 17, 2014

80 to 30 in 12 hours

The above title is in reference to the temperature. This time last week it was a balmy 80 degrees. we spent the day outside in short sleeves and enjoyed the sunshine. That night the temperatures began to drop until Tuesday morning it was a frigid 30 degrees with bitter cold wind. Why? I dunno, it's just Oklahoma. I've lived in quite a few places, but the weather out here is nothing like anything I've ever experienced.
But anyways, I don't want to bore you by just talking about the weather. We actually did have a really exciting week. I wasn't in my area for a lot of it, but it was still exciting. 
...........................................I don't really know how I want to organize the events, so I'll just go with a 3rd person narrative. Read it in your best storyteller voice. :)
Once upon a time there was a missionary named Hermana Holloway. She had been on her mission for a long time and was enjoying a wonderful P-Day when all the sudden she was on exchanges with one of the Spanish sisters in her area! She enjoyed a wonderful meal of delicious Mexican food, which was the first meal like that she'd had in a while. She really had missed endless corn tortillas and salsa. After the meal they went to a member's house, where they taught an investigator about the Plan of Salvation. The Spirit was so overwhelming and wonderful that the investigator felt a desire to get baptized and they set a date for December 12th!
The next day Hermana Holloway rejoined her companion, Sister McKenzie. They had a wonderful Relief Society activity at the church and were even able to pick up some people to come with them because a member drove them in their very big car. They enjoyed wonderful dinner and company and came home satisfied with the food and the work. 
The next morning they were surprised to get a phone call from one of their members, Sister Wright. She had a problem and decided to "Ask the missionaries!" for help! One of her friends was having a problem at work and Sister Wright knew that the gospel could change her life for the better. So she asked the two stalwart sister missionaries to meet her at Braum's for hot chocolate with her friend. At Braum's the missionaries and Sis. Wright talked to Bridget about the gospel and the Book of Mormon. Bridget still feels happy in her church, but she was able to feel of Sis. Wright's love and was uplifted by the Spirit that she felt as the was with the missionaries and read the Book of Mormon. Hermana Holloway was impressed by how Sis. Wright had shared the Gospel and resolved to be like her when she was no longer a missionary.
After this lovely experience they went to the church with 3 of her favorite people: April, Emmitt, and Dylan. Emmitt passed his baptismal interview and then they all went out to lunch. Hermana Holloway loves all of the people that she's met here and is glad that they're her friends.
Later that afternoon they went to go teach a lesson to Maggie, one of their new investigators. She already loves the Book of Mormon and has agreed to be baptized on December 20th. She even came to church and announced her baptism in Relief Society. Hermana Holloway is so grateful that the Spirit is there while she teaches because it really helps people come close to Christ and experience conversion.
Hermana Holloway and Sister McKenzie also made a cake for one of the sisters in their dominion because it was her birthday. Service and doorbell ditching are so much fun!
Hermana Holloway and Sister McKenzie then had a lesson with Comesha and Elijah and Tieasha at one of their member's houses because Elijah is preparing to be baptized this Saturday. He is so excited to be baptized and Hermana Holloway loves the special Spirit that is there when you teach investigators in member's homes with their family. There is really nothing quite like it.
All of this was leading up to one of the best weekends of Hermana Holloway's whole life! On Friday Hermana Holloway and Sister McKenzie got in their chariot and drove 85 miles on I-40 to the mystical land of Weatherford to do exchanges! Hermana Holloway got out of the chariot and said farewell to Sister McKenzie and prepared for a wonderful day. She got to spend the day with Hermana Haddock, who has become one of her good friends and is an amazing missionary. That night they taught an investigator who is also getting baptized on Saturday and was so excited she asked if she could get baptized that Sunday! Hermana Holloway believes that the work is truly hastening up in here!
The next day they had a wonderful morning of studies and that afternoon not only did they get to go out to lunch with one of Hermana Holloway's favorite members from Weatherford, but Hermana Lemke, one of Hermana Holloway's favorite companions, was also there visiting! They had a lovely lunch and then they went to meet with Hugh Taylor's son. Hugh Taylor was being taught by Hermana Holloway and Hermana Lemke until he passed away in February. His son agreed to let the sisters come over and teach him more, and Hermana Holloway really hopes he will accept the restored gospel.
Then they went to teach a lesson to Cody together, and to Hermana Holloway it felt just like old times. Then they taught one of Hermana Haddock's investigators who is also preparing for baptism. There are so many baptisms that you might as well call this place the waters of Oklahoma! Hermana Holloway is so happy to see so many people preparing to make covenants with Heavenly Father.
Afterwards they went to a baptism that the Clinton Elders had and she got to see many members and missionaries that she loves. The best part, though, was going to a familiar place, the Arney's house, to have dinner with their family. For Hermana Holloway it really was like going home and she was so enthused to be there with Hermana Haddock and her old companion. It truly was a magical (no sarcasm intended) night.
And then on Sunday it was back to normal life. Emmitt's baptism was scheduled for Sunday night but unfortunately a big bad snow and ice storm came and made all the roads too icy to drive on! Hermana Holloway was helpless to battle the elements, so they rescheduled the baptism for the next week. Hermana Holloway and Sister McKenzie still had a good time in the snow, though. They ran into some former investigators that fed them soup and even though they were not quite ready to accept the gospel, they were able to have a god experience with them. Then the were able to give a Book of Mormon to a nice lady who hopefully will help that planted seed grow. All in all, it was a WONDERFUL week and Hermana Holloway is so happy to be a missionary and so happy that people love her, are praying for her, and send her stuff in the mail. The church is true, the book is blue, and Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Hermana Holloway
1. Lesson with Cody. He's still a champ!
2. At the Arney's. LOVE THEM!
3. Tracting in the snow. Holla!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

...mostly because all of the stores in all the world already have their Christmas stuff out! Geez! Didn't we just barely get over Halloween?
AnywaysALOHA family and friends and strangers!!
This week was just downright amazing! We had a lot of fun doing a lot of missionary work! 
MONDAY we had a lesson with Comesha and Elijah at our high priest group leader's house. It was one of those LIFE CHANGING LESSONS that you just can't believe that you were a part of. We talked a lot about the Priesthood, because Elijah is 12 and can become a deacon after he's baptized. We really just let Bro. Lyon and his 12 year old son Grant teach the lesson, and hearing personal experiences with the Aaronic Priesthood from those two men just brought the best spirit and after that Elijah has just been so pumped to get the Priesthood! We set a baptismal date for November 22nd!
TUESDAY we had exchanges with the UCO single's ward sisters. It was a blast. We didn't have a lot of set plans in the afternoon, so Sis. Miller and I just biked, talked to a lot of people, and tried to find some inactives from a list that our Relief Society president gave us. Eventually we ended up driving to this apartment complex that wasn't really in biking distance right before dinner to try one more person. We knocked on her door, and nobody answered. We were about to get back into the car when I saw a car with Colorado plates. Maybe it was just the small part of me that's a Coloradan, but I thought "I really want to know who just moved here from Colorado". So we knocked on the door that the car was in front of. Nada. We went to get in the car again, but the Spirit wouldn't let us leave. So we knocked on the door next to the car and this older lady named Maggie opened the door. She invited us inside and we talked with her for about 20 minutes (PS she had just moved here from Colorado), and when we asked if we could come back she nodded emphatically before we could even finish the question. It was such a cool miracle!
Then later on that evening we had a lesson with Andy, who is one of our recent convert's (Paula's) best friend. We had had dinner with him a couple times before he started taking the lessons, and I thought he would never do it, but now we've been teaching him for about 2 months! We talked a lot about revelation in the lesson, and he said that he felt like he was heading down the right path. Then we asked where we thought that path led, and he said, "well probably to getting baptized." Let me just tell you, I NEVER would've expected that result 2 months ago! THE SPIRIT SOFTENS HEARTS. True story.
WEDNESDAY we had another really good lesson with Comesha and Elijah. Seriously the lesson at the Lyon's changed them. God is so good!
THURSDAY we took our car into the shop for a recall (I hate real world stuff like that). And then we had our ward's trunk or treat! We've been trying to really integrate ourselves into the ward, so we fully participated, trunk and all. Our ward mission leader got us candy and we taped it on pass along cards. We saw and met a lot of people, and Comesha and Elijah and Tieasha all came! It was a blast.
FRIDAY nothing really exciting happened. Let's just say that holidays aren't as fun as missionaries. Also we had to be in by 6.
SATURDAY we were on exchanges again, and I was with Sis. Stewart. It was another one of those days when you have a long day with no appointments, but we made it fun by going out with Lisa, who just got home from her mission in the Marshall Islands, doing a little tracting, and having a kind of lesson with an Okie talker that we probably will never see again. 
SUNDAY we had an amazing day at church! Comesha, Elijah, Andy, and about 10 other less actives were there! And they all loved it! Our ward has about 20 deacons, so Elijah gets a lot of fellowship. Our dinner appointment was in approximately Timbuktu, so we enjoyed a long road trip with the elders (let's just say that I had to keep the child lock on the windows the whole time) to a place that looked so much like Choctaw that it made my heart very happy. Then we had a wonderful lesson with April and Emmitt. Have I ever mentioned how much I love those two??? It's a whole lot.
WELL that was my week! I hope you didn't get bored halfway through. I hope you have a lovely week full of miracles and that you take time everyday to count your many blessings, but more importantly that you always have an attitude of gratitude.
~sister holloway
1. carving our pumpkin for our car at trunk or treat. It says on the side :)
2. Our car at trunk or treat. If you look really closely you'll notice that Sis. McKenzie and I are dressed as each other. I curled my hair and she straightened hers. We're wearing each other's clothes and bags and nametags as well :)
3. The elder's "trunk". Clever, right?