Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best Week Yet!


Here is Scott's e-mail for the week.  We sure had a wonderful call with him on Christmas day and he is seriously living his dream!  He looks good and his spirits were high (no big surprise with Scott!)  He sure loves being a missionary!  Scott wanted us to pass on his love and appreciation for each one of you and wishes you a great 2013!

xoxo -- Carolann


Dear Family,

Wow what a fun time it was to talk to all of you on Tuesday! That was the best!  I forgot to tell you mom, how much I LOVED that book that you sent me with everyone's favorite scriptures, quotes and memories in it!  It was really fun to read through all of that.  Please tell everyone who contributed how much I loved it and thank them so much for me!  That was the best gift ever!  I can't believe how fast this last year has come and gone, but one thing is for sure... This was the year most full of spiritual blessings and the best year I have ever had as far as strengthening my relationship between me and our Savior. I love the mission and I'm seriously receiving tons of blessings from the Lord.  It's unbelievable. The time is just going by a little too fast. I love the great blessings that I have received and am so grateful for the WONDERFUL people we have met! 

Well so this week for many in our mission was kind of a tough one, because of all of the vacations and stuff, and most people haven't been in their houses, but for us it was one of the best weeks that I have had yet! We found some of the most prepared people that I have ever met in my entire mission!! SO let me tell you a little bit about them. On Wednesday we really still hadn't found anyone because of the holidays, but we had a reference that we had received from a funeral service that they had here in the stake. About two weeks ago, a joven of about 20 years old (named Aaron) died in a car accident. A week ago they had a funeral service for him, and we then received a reference of a 20 year old girl named viviana who was really good friends with Aaron. We went on Wednesday in the night, to find their humble little apartment. Viviana answered the door and immediately invited us in. We walked in and also met her twin sister Viridiana and the mom, Angeles, along with a little 5 year old boy named Salomon.  We started to teach them the first lesson when the mom interrupted us and said "I have already read your book and I already know that it is true". She then went on to tell us how the boy who had died told Viviana about a week before he died that he was going to give her a book that would change her life. He then died and was never able to give them the book. When they went to the funeral, a member of the church approached her and gave her the Book of Mormon and told her it was from Aaron. SO when they got home, they started to read the book as a family, and then we got there wednesday in the night. Throughout the whole lesson they were in tears and they told us that they were sure that all this was a sign from our Heavenly Father. The mom and the two twins accepted to be baptized, and it was an extremely powerful moment for all of us as we felt the spirit. Well, we put another cita with them on Friday to go back and meet her other two daughters, Angy and Luisa. Angy is 14 and Luisa is 17. We kind of had some doubts in our mind that they would also accept everything, but the second lesson was even better then the first one! At the end of the lesson we invited Luisa to say the prayer, and without a question, she started the prayer. About half way through she started crying and was thanking the Lord for sending her and her family these two angels that were answers to all the prayers that she has made in the last year! SO as you can imagine by this point tears also start to fill my eyes as I realize the work that our Father in Heaven is actively doing with his children, and how he sent us at the PERFECT moment to find those that need the gospel most. What an awesome experience it was. Walking out of the lesson we were on cloud nine, and had told them that we were going to pass by for them on Sunday. That always gets me a little nervous of the things that could happen to prevent them from going to church, but we put our faith and our prayers in the Lord, and when we went for them at their house on Sunday, they were all there waiting for us outside in dresses. I can't believe the blessing the Lord gave us this week! The mission is really the LIFE! They all loved church, and tomorrow we have another cita with them.

Well Happy New Year to everyone! I hope that you can all make your goals for this next year, and that you guys have a great night tonight. As for me and my comp, we have to be in the house at 7:30 so that is going to be a party! haha. I love you all so much,

Love,  Elder Holmes

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!


MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

I want to wish everyone that is reading this card a very Happy Christmas, and I hope that Santa brings you everything that you guys have asked for! That is, of course, if you have been good this year.  I also want to wish Elise Chilton a Happy Birthday this next Sunday! i hope that you have a great day. 

Well I don't have too much time today, and the good news is is that I will be talking to you guys TOMMORROW!! I hope that you guys are all excited, and that you get some good questions to ask me! This week was extremely busy and a really fast one that went by. I can't believe that it is already Christmas! I sure do miss you all, but one thing that is learned on the mission is the real importance of the holiday. What it really is all about, our savior Jesus Christ. What an awesome time of the year, and I hope that you all remember the WHY of such an important holiday. Because of Jesus Christ we as sinners can be forgiven of our sins and return to live with our Heavenly Father through the eternities!  What an incredible love that has been shown for us.

I am super wiped out today because we went shopping almost the whole day with our recent convert Adrian. I treated myself to some boss new pants and ties! haha. He is a really amazing convert. I was so blessed in meeting him and the miracle that occurred in his life and in mine, as well! I love you all and will see you tommorrow!

Love,

Elder Holmes

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wow! What a Week!


Here is Scott's letter for the week.  When he is talking about going to a meal with "Lino's dad" -- Lino is a good friend of ours here who was our family's home teacher for several years, before he was called into our Bishopric.  His dad was so nice to take Scott and his companion out this past week. You'll be able to read how much it meant to Scott. Hope you all enjoy a very merry Christmas!       With love.....Carolann






Hi everyone!
Well I think that you are going to be pretty shocked this week with a couple of the announcements that I have for you guys because last week I really didn't tell you guys too much about our teaching pool. First of all, I will be staying here in Queretaro with Elder Hoopes and I will end up killing him (being his comp as he finishes his mission) because this is his last change in the mission. I have never killed an elder before so that is going to be pretty exciting. Second of all, this week Lino`s dad took us out to eat this week!! I had forgotten that he was an ex seventy and ex mission president. What an awesome experience it was being able to talk to him and his wife! (I will also attach the fotos that we took with them when we went out to eat!) My comp was a little bit surprised when we first saw them because Brother Alvarez was all dressed up in a suit and tie, and his wife was in a nice dress. We touched on that topic later, and he commented on how special our calling is, and he would never disrespect our calling by dressing just in normal clothes!  I thought that was kind of cool. He went on to tell us a bunch of fun stories like when they went out to eat with some of the apostles or the meetings they used to have when he was a seventy of the church. At this moment, my comp and I were both feeling pretty special because he had taken us out to eat!!  We had a little change of plans and went to eat breakfast instead of dinner, so we went to the Ihop here!  Then after that they took us to a bread shop to buy all the bread we wanted! Wow what awesome people. Brother Alvarez reminded me a lot of Lino and what a nice man he is! He set for me a great example on how home teaching should be done. I am just realizing that i forgot Hno alvarez`s email address to send him the pictures so please tell lino to forward them to his dad! It was super nice of them to spend their morning with us!

SO Now on to the other part of the week! We had 3 baptisms this week!  I know that you are probably wondering where they all came from, and you are probably as surprised as I was on Sunday when Adrian and Koskanny (2 young single adults that were going to get baptized last week) came to church on Sunday and told us that they wanted to get baptized that same day! Wow! The good thing was that they had already had all of the lessons, and so we just rushed the district leader over to our church to do the interviews, and then into the water they went! It was amazing and so special.  They had a ton of their member friends there and there was a wonderful spirit.  The other baptism was for Iris and we had her baptismal service on Tuesday! Her Uncle was scheduled to come home from his mission on Tuesday, and she wanted to be his last baptism as a missionary. SO we rushed over to the church and when the returned missionary got to the church, Iris surprised him by asking him to baptize her! It was a really special occasion and both of them shed plenty of tears. After the baptism, he went to talk to the stake president and got released. At the Sunday baptismal service, the bishop baptized Koskanny and Adrian`s best friend, who has been a member for about one year baptized him. That is what the coolest part about working with the members is. They do all the work, and they are the ones that are so involved in the conversion of their friends and family! It is really amazing to see! i will send you some really fun pictures today of all of them! I love the work, and i love when the work is done with the help of the members. It really is a much stronger conversion for everyone! 
This next week is going to be a super busy one. Tomorrow we set up a service project for the whole zone. Thursday is the ward Christmas program/talent show, And Saturday is our Christmas party with president! Should be some fun stuff! Tonight we are going to do our act of service for a family in the ward and I will tell  you all about it next week and send you the pics! The work is awesome!
I love you all lots,
Elder Holmes

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's All Good Stuff Here!


Hey everyone,
Well to start off my letter like always, I want to wish the following very special people a happy birthday: Tammy Wonnacott, Marisa AND Miguel Holmes, Susan Lewis and Anthony Winters.  I hope that you all have a great day, and I want you to know that I am thinking of you all! Feliz Cumpleaños. 
This last week was a pretty eventful week. On monday we went down to the state of mexico to have the zone leader conference, like we do every month. It takes us about 5 hours to travel from our house here in Queretaro to the offices. We have to go in one of those nice fancy buses, which is kind of fun. Tuesday we had the junta and it was a really great one. I wonder if Hermana Call sent you guys all of those pictures or if you would like for me to send you them to you?  We came back home and on wednesday we gave a junta to the zone here in Queretaro. It was also a super spiritually uplifting junta, and I really do love getting to speak to all of the missionaries. ON friday of last week I also asked permission from President to go and work in my old area of Fresnos for the day! SO I did an inter-cambio with one of the missionaries there in Fresnos, and we spent the whole day working my old stomping grounds. I was able to visit many of my old friends, converts, and members. The one convert who i would say is doing the very best is the Hermana Yolanda. She is a really such an awesome lady, but her sons aren't attending much right now because they have to work on Sundays. I hope that they will put their pilas (translated means "batteries") back in! haha. 
SO Mom I see that you are already asking me about Christmas day! Do you think that I think that far in advanced? haha. I really still don't know what we are going to do. We are kind of wondering whether my comp or I will have changes this next week. We will see. For some reason, we kind of feel  a change coming on.  But I will for sure let you guys know what is up next week about all of that, and which family we are going to help! The ward here is going to have a fun Christmas party with a talent show. The missionaries are also going to participate in the festivities with a couple of fun ideas on how to find people. And who knows, if I am feeling good by then, maybe I will share with the ward my snorting the noodle talent!! haha.  
We have some great investigators still, but I don't really know what is up with a couple of them. I feel like we should have a couple of different baptisms here in the next couple of weeks! A girl named Iris should be gettting baptized this week, and two other guys who have a come a couple of different times to church. One of them is named Adrian and he is so awesome! He is the friend of one of the members, and he is loving the whole church thing. His friend is a convert of one year and one of the most solid members that I know. He is the secretary of the ward and also the president of the young single adults program. SO with those two callings, he is always in the church. SO adrian just kind of follows him around and literally, the kid is in the church or in a church activity every day! Anyway, yesterday he said he definitely wants to get baptized but that it might take him a little while, so we will see what happens there!  It's all good stuff here! I hope it is there too.
I sure love the Christmas spirit!!!! 
Love,
Elder Holmes











Monday, December 3, 2012

Blessings!!


Hey guys.  How's everybody.  I'm on a little early today and just received a nice letter from dad. I sure enjoyed hearing about his fun vacation that he had with andrew this last weekend. It sure sounds like you guys are just living the life! I am glad you got to have some good father-son time. I would sure like some of that right now as well! haha. But that will just have to wait. As for now, I love the feel of the Christmas spirit that is in the air, and I LOVED the conference that was given last night from the Prophet, Elder Eyring, and Elder Uchtdorf. What great messages they shared with us, and I was really moved by some of the different stories they shared. In this last week I remember actually talking with my companion about how sometimes when we receive a gift that we don't really want, we make a bad face or just pretend to like it. I loved the talk that Elder Uchtdorf gave about how we need to be more grateful for the things that we receive. That is a Huge part of the Christmas season. What a great way to start out the holidays! And just to let you know mom, I did get the first package that you sent, and we are really enjoying opening up all of the presents. 
So something that I wanted to address from dad's letter that he sent me was how he went to a spanish speaking ward with Andrew, and how for fast sunday all the members of the ward went up to bear their testimonies and how they all sat on the stand. That is something very typical here in Mexico.  I have never been in a fast and testimony meeting here without just a ton of people sitting up there on the stand!! That is why I haven't been able to bear my testimony too many times here in Mexico during fast and testimony meeting!  But it has sure taught me just how much we should always want to share our testimony with other people. It is always kind of funny though to see them all jammed up there on the stand. I love the mexicans!  They are my BOOOOYYYSSS!!  
This week was a pretty special week because EVA got baptized!! She is an investigator who the elders have had here for a while, but she finally decided to take the step and be baptized. She had a really special day, and a really special baptism. The only bummer of this week was that I haven't really been feeling too good lately. Just the other day they gave us our flu shots, and I think that also had something to do with it. I haven't really felt too good, but the other night I had a cool experience with the power of the priesthood. I was going to bed on Saturday night and I felt TERRIBLE. My entire body started to ache. I had a fever and a terrible throat. I felt impressed to ask my comp for a blessing. For some reason, I have never felt such great faith like I did in that moment when I asked him to give me a blessing. I absolutely knew that I was going to be ok and that I wasn't going to be sick when I woke up. In that moment, I just knew that God would do that for me. Right after the blessing, I went to sleep, and I woke up on Sunday feeling Great. I am so grateful for the priesthood that we have, and for blessings that are done with faith. We ended up having a great day as well yesterday in the church. A friend of one of the young single adults came named Adrian, and he seems to be like a great new investigator. We will see how things end up with him, and some of the other people we are working with. Oh and about finding a family to help for Christmas, I am still looking, and these next couple of weeks we are going to be working a lot with the less actives, so we will try and find a family! I also want to talk to the bishop about it!  I sure love you all!  I hope you all are feeling the Christmas spirit!! 
Love,
Elder Holmes

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Great News!


So the Thanksgiving celebration was pretty awesome over here in Mexico!  The only bad news was that I got a little bit sick the day of Thanksgiving, but I have some fun things to share with you guys. Exactly one year ago on Thanksgiving, I was doing an inter-cambio with Elder Coley from my generation and this year I also spent Thanksgiving with him on an inter-cambio. We had a good day of work, and that night, they had some members who invited them to go to a Thanksgiving feast at their house. The area of Elder Coley is a really rich area, so we went to eat at this huge house of one of the members in their ward. They had invited like 20 people over, and had made a really big turkey. My comp actually met up with us in the night to go to dinner with them and with us. We also made a nice Thaksgiving dinner for a family in the ward, and the dinner turned out super boss, but I sure miss your food mom! haha. 
OK so the most exciting announcement of the week is that ADRIAN GOT BAPTIZED!  For those of you who don't remember Adrian, he is the husband of Mayra who I baptized in my last area, along with her children.  Adrian is thedad, who was just waiting for permision to get baptized. He is so awesome, and he finally received permission this week and everything went great in the baptism. I couldn't believe it when I received the call from Elder Marquez this week telling me about his baptism. I was able to talk to Mayra just for a couple of minutes, and she started to cry talking to me on the phone. That was a really special moment for me, as well. 
As for my area, everything is going well but I have felt pretty sick, lately. I have got kind of a cold and my nose is all congested. I feel like I should be getting over it soon, but I still feel super wiped out. Today we went to play soccer because it was Elder Rojas' birthday yesterday. It is always fun to see him, and some of the other elders of the zone. The rest of the day we spent visiting the other families up here that I still haven't visited. They were sure happy to see me, and we had some cool experiences with them today. I hope that it will excite some of them to go back to the church. I think that it is the perfect time for them, especially with the christmas season in the air. Mom I want you to know that i have started listening to Christmas music so you would be proud of me, but it isn't the same without the Chipmunks. haha. I am really excited for the Christmas season, and I want you all to know that i miss you! 
Love,
Elder Holmes





Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


Is time just freaking flying or what???  I am loving life right now, and I am super excited for all of the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons!! I hope that you guys all have fun as a family and that you do some fun stuff. I want to start out by saying what I am thankful for! I am so thankful to be a member of the Lord's church here on the earth. AND that through his teachings, I know that I have an eternal family. I am so grateful for the family that I have and everything that you guys have taught me. I don't know where I would be without the direction from my parents, and I am so grateful for the life that I have, especially that at this point in my life, I am serving our Savior. I am so grateful for His sacrifice that he made for us, and the opportunity that we have to be cleansed from our sins. I don't have words to describe how grateful I am for His great sacrifice. I love you guys so much, and you are the best thing that I have in my life!!

Well so to start out, this week went pretty well for us with the family of Ashley!! Her mom and dad got married on Friday! They invited us to go with them, and the mom (Alicia) said something really cool when they were exchanging the rings. She said that this is my promise that we are going to do everything possible to enter into the temple in a year and get sealed! That was really special. After the ceremony, they took us all out to lunch, and then we went back to work. The next day we had his baptismal service (George) and he wanted me to baptize him. I don't have much time here, but I feel like I have a really strong connection with him in the short time that I have spent here. They are a really special family, and it was a really amazing weekend for them with the wedding Friday, baptism Saturday, and the confirmations of Ashley and George on Sunday! It was a really spiritual weekend!

We have some other great people that are progressing, but they all have their different difficulties, so we are working with them, and hoping to see their progress here in the next couple of weeks. Iris is going to be out of town this week, and she has some fears about getting baptized because of her really Catholic family. The thing is though, she has received an answer to her personal prayers, and I think she will take the next step here soon. If you can't tell, I love my new area.  The ward is really fun and the zone is great.

Well for Thanksgiving we are making a little Thanksgiving dinner for a cool family in the ward tonight, and on Thursday some people invited us over to make us a turkey and everything!  Should be really fun. Mom I definitely take you for granted, because today I tried to make a jello salad kind of like yours, but I totally messed it up! haha. There is nothing like your great homemade food, mom, and your ORANGE ROLLS, of course! haha. Hope you guys have a great time. 

I love you,
Elder Holmes

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's Great to Be Back in Queretaro!

Hi family.  So I'll bet you guys were just as surprised as I was with the cambio that brought me back here to Queretaro. I really do love it here!  It is a super pretty place and a really safe one as well, so you don't have anything to worry about. This last week was pretty fun because we got to go visit some of my converts in barrio fresnos, and then Sunday was actually stake conference, so i was able to see lots of people from the ward. The ward is really struggling though, and there aren't really many people who are attending church. I hope that I will be able to go and work there with the elders so that we can reactivate as well! That would be really nice! 

My new area is looking great, and we have some really great people who are progressing. Actually this last Sunday we had a baptism of a girl named Ashley. She is the daughter of a less active, and is 11 years old. She is a super smart girl, and was extremely ready to get baptized. It's so awesome because we actually have some great plans with the rest of the family this week, as well. The mom and the dad are going to get married on Friday. They are really excited and have invited us to go and see them get married. Then on Satuday the dad is going to get baptized, and will then be able to get confirmed with his daughter on Saturday!  They are an awesome family, and are extremely active in the church and with the ward members. 

Then we also found an awesome girl from a reference of a member family! Her name is Iris, and she had been to church already a couple of different times, but the missionaries always thought she was just a member. So it was kind of a miracle that we found her this week. We were walking on the street and this member who isn't from our ward picks us up and says 'hey you guys should pass by with my cousin who lives in your ward. She has gone to church a couple of different times, and she is really interested!'  So the next day we went with her and to visit her cousin and she was great. This last week she went to some of the young single adult's activities, and then she went to church again on Sunday. She loved it, and she actually ended up crying from the great spirit that she felt in the conference. We will see if she gets baptized this week! 

Also we found this other lady who also had been going to the church for a while, and this last week we taught her all about fasting!  She actually fasted all day Saturday to be able to receive her answer from God as to whether she should get baptized this next sunday, as well!  So everything is going pretty great in our area!  Nothing to complain about!  I LOVE THE WORK BABY!! 

Today we went to play soccer, and we tore it up! haha. My 'son' Elder Rojas is in the zone, so it is pretty fun to play with him again. One of the goals that I did score though, I fell and smacked my face pretty hard on the ground! I felt my tooth smack on the ground and I was freaking out because I thought that something had happened to it. You know me with my teeth! I love them! haha. Anyway, I ended up with this huge bruise on my chin but that didn't stop me from winning the game!!!

Well that sucks that Obama won. I am sorry mom, but I am going to have to extend my mission for another four years so I dont have to be in the states! haha.

love you all,  Elder Sholmesy




Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Home Sweet Home!


Here is Scott's most recent e-mail.  Many of you have asked where you can send Christmas cards.  Go ahead and send them to the mission home.  They do a good job forwarding them on quickly.  The address there is:

Elder Scott Holmes
Mexico City North Mission
Apartado #98
54740 Cuatitlan Izcalli
Estado de Mexico
Mexico


Well I'll bet you cant guess where I am at right now??? I am sitting here in an internet in QUERETARO!  They sent me back to where I started the mission. And the funny thing is, is that I am in the area that is right next to the area I was in when I got here!!  Can you believe that?  Kind of crazy how things work out. I never thought that I was going to come back here, and actually I didn't even think that I was going to leave my last area in Tepotzotlan. But everyone was sad to see me go.  The rain also came in like crazy in these last couple days.

Well so now I am with my new companion, Elder Hoops. The funny thing is, is that he is one of the best friends of my 'son' Elder Hirst, the comp who I just loved!  Hoops lives in North Ogden as well, and he and Hirst went to the same high school together. He is a really cool kid, and he only has a little bit of time left in the mission. SO today I got here to Queretaro, and I went to visit some of my converts here. I went to visit Lourdes and her family, the Castillo family (the member family that was always so great to me), and some other members along the way. Everyone was wicked happpy to see me, but the barrio is kind of suffering. I think the Lord sent me a little sign on how I have to reactivate some of the people who were so solid in the church when I left from here just 10 months ago!  Lourdes has had her fair shair of pruebas but she tells me that she is going to come to the church this week! I hope to see some of the other converts i have as well.

Well so it was another teary farewell for me there in Tepotzotlan. The good news is though, that I left all of my converts there in really good hands. They are all active, and they are all doing great. I was able to say goodbye to almost all of them on Sunday. It was sure nice to say goodbye to the family Torres (an awesome member family), Yamina (who is the friend of mom on facebook), Marlen (with her mom Felicitas who are doing really awesome in their testimonies), and Mayra, Adrian, and their daughters. It was sure sad to leave them behind, but I hope that sometime soon Hermano Adrian will be able to get baptized. We saw some other great miracles in the church yesterday.  We had this one guy come who is golden! It is amazing to see the blessings that God has for us. And I was able to bare my testimony for one last time in Tepotzotlan. It was a really great experience, and a big surprise that I was leaving. I couldn't believe it. It is my first area where I have spent less than 6 months.

Well I know that the Lord puts me in the right place at the right time, and that all of the changes are given to me so that I can learn and grow. I know there are people that are here in Queretaro waiting for me, and that I have some work to do as well with my converts here. Thanks to everyone for the support,

Hugs and Kisses - Elder Holmes

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Big Changes in the Mission!


Hi Everyone.  Well maybe you guys have heard this annnouncement from some of the other missions in the world, but on Friday we went to a junta with the president and all of our zone, and they announced to us that we are no longer allowed to knock doors!! They also told us that we are not to make contacts unless we feel inspired to do it!  It is a pretty huge change in the mission, because throughout my whole mission it has been 140 contacts weekly, and when an appointment falls through, it has been right to knocking doors. Before they told us this announcement, they gave us a huge spiel on security and all that jazz. Because of increased dangers, none of the missionaries in Mexico can knock doors or make contacts. Our main job now is to just teach the members, rescue the non-members, work with references of the members, etc. So we will see how it all goes for us here in these next months.

In this last week we found a man that has been studying with the Testigos de Jehova for the past 2 years, and he has a lot of doubts. He accpeted a baptismal date, and he went to church with us yesterday, but I'm not sure whether he really liked it or no. He is kind of an anti-social kind of guy, and he doesn't really like being around people! haha. But we are going to work with him this week and we will see if he can progress. The funny thing about him is that we found him this week knocking doors!  I guess that he will be the last person I will find on my mission knocking doors, so we will see if he gets baptized. Anyway, that was really the only success that we had in this last week. 

The time seems to be passing by so quickly, and I dont really remember what even happened during the weeks anymore. This last week, like I said, we had the junta with President Call and his wife and we talked about how to work with members. It is our job to teach them the gospel, and to help them in their "missionary work". That is now the difference. It is not the work of the missionaries anymore, but it is the work of every member. SO if you are reading this, PLEASE help out the missionaries that are in your ward right now! haha. It's the only way we will have success as a church, and the only way we will grow the lord's kingdom here on the earth.

Well yesterday I got permission from president to call some of my converts on the phone. I talked with hermana Reina, and she is doing SO AWESOME! She told me that yesterday was the first time she was able to give a class to all of the women in the relief society! Everything is going great for her, and her son gerardo (my convert as well) just had a baby boy on Saturday! Exciting stuff. I also asked permision to go and visit her, so i think I will do that in a couple weeks. Also speaking of converts, Mayra was called as the second counselor in the young women's program and Marlen (the daughter of Felicitas, who is 21!) is the secretary of the young womens. They are also both really excited, and doing great in the church! That is the best feeling! Knowing that your converts are progressing in the gospel! Well that is about it from me!  I love you all!

Love,

Elder Holmes

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Birthday Wishes!


Hi everyone.  Just a short birthday e-mail from Elder Holmes this week.  Crazy kid!  Sorry I'm so late on getting this out.  He had a good day and maybe next week he'll write more about his actual week!  We miss him and appreciate all of you who continue to offer your support to him.  He - and we - certainly appreciate it.    xoxo - Carolann  

Well just want to give a birthday shotout to Elder Holmes this week! haha! Wow can you believe that I am now 21 years old. Most of the teenagers in our country are waiting on hands and knees to turn 21, but for me it isnt that big of a deal! I guess it would be different if i weren't a member of the church! I do feel like i am growing up way too fast! As I am writing, I'm also passing my 16 month mark point in the mission!  Hard to believe.

Well Just to tell you how pumped i was about my SOOOOOOCCCCKKKKSSSS! Wow I dont think I could have been any more excited haha. THe problem with the package was that when the ap´s gave me the package on Wednesday, they wanted me to open it with them, and my comp went right for his gift. He ripped open the one that said Elder Marquez but found the Broncos shirt that mom had sent for me!  SO there went that surprise.  haha (btw, my comp loved his jersey, and it fits him nice and tight just as he likes it! ). SO then i only had the package from christian left to open. I saw that it had his name on it, so I knew it had to be something super cool. So today in the morning as I was super excited to open my gift, the only thing i opened was a package of socks!!! haha. As my comp was wetting his pants laughing I continued to look in betwween every pair of socks to see if there was money or SOMETHING, but nothing but some sick socks! haha. My comp thought that was pretty funny!

So today we went to play soccer with some of the guys from the zone and they had a really nice surprise for me waiting at the end of the game. They lined everyone up in a spanking machine (about 12 missionaries and some other hermanos) and I had to pass through all of them. When i got to the point where I couldn't feel my backside anymore, I laid down on the ground and suddenly someone smacked me right in the head. I immediately thought "well that was unnecessary"!  Then felt some slimy stuff sliding down my face, and to my surprise, they all started to egg me and dump flour on me! What a great way to say happy birthday! NOT!  20 eggs and a bag of flour! I left there saying that I hated birthdays. haha.

After that fun celebration, I came back to shower and then took 9 other missionaries and an hermano from our ward to eat at Chilis!  Let me tell you, it was great! I haven't eaten a steak like that in over a year, and the hermano rafa told them it was my birthday so they gave me some dumb birthday hat and sang to me! I hate when they sing to me and the whole restaurant looks over at you! I am now getting back and we are going to work, and maybe stop by with Mayra towards the end of the day. So that is about it for the birthday celebration. It was a fun one, and all of the missionaries that I took to Chili's thought that they had died and gone to heaven!

The rest of the week was a little rough. Claudia couldn't come to church with us, but another younger girl came with one of the jovenes from the ward, and she accepted a fecha, so I will let you know how it goes there. I cast my ballot for the president today online. 

I love you all.



Elder Holmes

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tough Week


Hey well I want to start off by congratulating my cousin Miguel on receiving his eagle scout award! That is so amazing buddy, and I am really proud of you. That award will surely help you as you continue to grow in life!

I really liked the new paint job of the house! I think that it looks a lot better than the green that we used to have on the house! Just kidding ya mommy! I dont know if I will even be able to recognize the house when I get home from my mission. 

Well like the subject line of my letter says, these last couple of weeks have been pretty tough, and my companion and I really haven't been seeing the success in our area that I would like.  It still looks like as a zone we are doing well. We have been working hard, but I think that we have to work even harder. We have been trying to focus more on working with members, and we have kind of lost the focus on doing our 10 contacts daily. It might seem like a small thing, but I know that the Lord blesses us as we show him our full diligence and obedience!!  That is amazing that Peter Jensen is already home from his mission! I want to congratulate him for all of his hard work in the service of the Lord. It made me think today if I would be ready to go home today. I know that I still have so much more that I need to do here, and the time seems to be passing by a little too quickly. Sometimes it scares me how fast time has passed, and how I am now just about 8 months away from finishing this wonderful journey. That, though, only motivates me to work even harder in the time that I do have!!  As for companion, he finishes his mission in March.  He is really great and definitely one of my best friends here.  

Well we did recieve a great blessing from the Lord this week with this lady named Claudia! She lives extremely far away from our house and where we usually work, but the other day we went to eat in this pueblo that is far away, and we found her contacting. She gave us her direction and we set up a cita for the next day. We went the next day, and taught her everything and she accepted everything, including a baptismal date.  She was so prepared to hear the Lord's message. And on Sunday she came to church and I think she really liked it. She had to leave early from the church, but she told us that she would be coming back next week as well. It was about the only good news of the week!!! haha.

Today we cleaned our house, and it took us about 5 hours, but it is now probably the cleanest and best smelling house in the mission! haha. I don't know how Ana (the cleaning lady) does that every day. My back is killing me, and it wasn't that much fun! haha. But at least it is now a much better place to feel the spirit. And what's this about Lee skipping the Columbine game!! Even if they are horrible, it is a rivalry game.  That is like the Utah quarterback just saying that he is going to sit out against BYU because they are bad! Get better Lee so you can play!!!

I had commented to dad that I wanted to use my birthday money to take the whole zone out to eat or to go bowling, but the problem is is that they still aren't allowing us to get together as a zone. I told dad that I would rather spend my birthday money on the missionaries than on stuff for me, because you all know how much I love bonding! haha. It might just end up being a couple of companeros of the zone. I will let you know how it goes in my next letter home!

I Love you all,
elder holmes

Friday, October 12, 2012

What a Great Conference!

These are photos of the two baptisms we had this week.  Mia (the friend of Mayra) and Maria.  They were both amazing!  The other photo is of Elder Son, Elder Watson and me.  Watson was my comp in the MTC and Elder Son was in our District there.  They are both now Zone Leaders, as well.



Hey family,

Wow what a great conference that we had, and the great oportunity that we had to listen to the voice of the prophet and his 12 apostles!  Everyone was extremely surprised on the new announcement of the age that the new missionaries can now leave. I have been a witness, though of the missionaries who leave at 18 years old here in mexico, and it is true what President Monson said about their maturity level and their desire to serve. What a great push in the direction of the missionary work for the church. I would believe that the number of missionaries will go up by at least 10 or 20 thousand with that new report. But I was thinking about it, and how all of the girls back home are going to be peacin' out for their missions now! haha. I guess I will just have to wait for them!  

I love the messages that they gave us this week, and it was another amazing experience to receive the answers to my prayers. I had a couple of questions in my mind as I entered this year's conference, and it always amazes me that the talks are exactly related to the needs that I have. It is a great testimony builder to me that the prophet and the leaders of the church receive directly from God, the things that we need to hear. I was blown away by a couple of the talks, and the great spirit that I felt. This really is the Lord's church, and the leaders of the church are 100% inspired with the words of our Heavenly Father.

My companion and I kind of had a tough week here. We faced a little bit of a trial of our faith, but this week should be a lot better. Although we invited everyone to the church to hear the voice of the prophet, we just had a bit of success. It was tough to find and even harder to committ the people to coming to church this week. I know that this week will be better, as I apply all of the things that we learned in the conference. One upside of this week was the different capacitationes that we had. We had one with all of the zone leaders, and then on Wednesday, we were able to teach the zone everything we had learned. We learned some great things on how to work with the members. The mission is really taking a turn, and focusing more on references and lessons with members. They say that one day we won't even be able to contact or knock doors. It's a good thing that we are preparing now, and everyone knows that when we work with the members, we will have a lot more success.

Ok well another trip to Lake Powell without me! SWEET! haha. I loved seeing all of the pictures, but I am not going to lie, I was a little bit more jealous of the pictures I saw of all you guys together at the conference center! I would have loved to have been there to watch the prophet and listen to him speak in english! I was only able to watch the priesthood session in english. I hope that there isn't another Lake Powell trip planned, or any other trip for that matter, before i get home! haha. I think you can wait 8 months, can´t you! And then we will party!

love you all,
Elder Holmes

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Thanks for Making Me Sad!


Hi family.  Here is Scott's e-mail that we received today.  Just a little background on his first paragraph......we learned a few days ago that our dog Abby has an inoperable cancerous tumor in her head.  We are already seeing significant signs of her deterioration and the vet says that this type of cancer is fast and furious.  Scott has always been really close with our pup and we knew that this news would make him very sad.  On a happier note......I am including a photo and a message that one of the ward members posted to my facebook page this week.  The photo captured her feelings perfectly and we are so glad that Scott continues to find such great joy in serving his Heavenly Father.  Can't ya just feel it?????  

Have a great week -- Carolann

Well I am here writing you but I kind of just lost all of the excitement in writing when I read about Abby. My comp started laughing at me because I care so much about my dog. I really almost started to cry because I started to reflect on all of the great times we have had together. This might sound weird because I am talking about a dog, but I love Abby. It's like watching the movie Marley and Me all over again! :(

I do, though, want to wish my cousin Ellen Lewis a happy birthday this week, and I hope you have an excellent day! I cant believe that I only have a couple weeks left until my birthday! And that this week we are going to be able to listen to the words of the prophets. I am pumped out of my mind, and I hope that you all are able to watch all of the sessions. Make sure that you have a couple questions in mind, because I know that the words of the prophets are always inspired and they always talk about something that we need in our lives. I am pumped but I think I will watch it again in spanish. I really wanted to watch it in english because it really isn't the same feeling when it is being translated. But at least I can understand everything this time! My spanish is pretty good now that I have been with my mexican comps for a while!

So this week was a pretty fantastic week, and just like I told you last week, I will now fill you all in on the couple of baptisms that we had! One of our converts is named Mia. She is one of the best friends of my converts Mayra! She is about 30 years old, a single mother with a son named Emiliano, and has now experienced the miracle of forgiveness. She has been through a lot of things in her life, and has made a few large errors in her life, but she has now changed so much and is really solid in the church. It makes me reflect on the talk that Elder Holland gave in the last conference when he talked about the "obreros de la viña". And how it doesn't matter what time we get there, as long as we find our way back to the Lord's path. Mia is doing so great and it has been a great experience for us to teach people with the Hermana Mayra as well. Speaking of Mayra, this week was the primary program in the ward and her kids just killed it! (Laura and Karla). They looked like members who have been in the church their whole lives. They memorized their parts, and they knew all of the words to the songs! it almost made me cry! !

Ok now on to the baptism that we had yesterday! The hermana Maria! She is family of some of the members in the ward, and she is the one who came to church all by herself a few weeks ago. She has grown a lot, and yesterday was a very special day for her and for us! She is a very humble lady, and very sweet. It was a great miracle in my life to spend this past week with her. She won't be confirmed for another two weeks because conference is this upcoming week!

Well so that is about it for my week!  Today was a really fun p-day. We went to play soccer really early in the morning on some sick fields that are close to our house. Then after that we went bowling and my team just trashed everyone! haha. I love you all.

Elder Holmes

Message that accompanied the following photo was:  Hermana......on this occasion my family took the elders to look for an address that was very far away and we got caught in a terrible rainstorm.  Even with the rainstorm, the elders never lost their joy and happiness of serving the Lord. 




Monday, September 24, 2012

Que Honda!

 Scott with Yolanda and her family.
Scott with Marlen (who was baptized a few weeks ago) and her mother Felicitas.

Hey I want to just start off by recognizing my awesome Uncle Lee! I heard that you went through another tough hernia surgery and I just want you to know how much I love you and how often I think of you and the sacrifice you made for my dad and my family. Every time I talk about sacrifice here on the mission, I think of the great example you are. Sometimes we think life is hard, and many think living the commandments are hard, but they just don’t understand the meaning of the word sacrifice. If everyone could have a heart like you, Uncle Lee, this world would be a lot different, and we would sure see many more kind things being done. So thanks a lot bud, and I love you lots!

Now on to my exciting week! We didn’t have too much success this week because I felt like we were running from place to place, but we did end off the week with two amazing baptisms! The Hermana Felicitas and the Hermana Yolanda! I had the privilege to baptize Felicitas and a Bishop from a different ward (who is a good friend of Yolanda) got to baptize her. The Bishop of the other ward was actually the one who brought Yolanda to the open house with one of her daughters. Yolanda invited her whole entire family to her baptism, so it was a really special day for everyone! I was really grateful and happy to see all of the progress that the two of them have made in this last week! The story of Hermana Felicitas was really a great miracle that I will always remember. Her faith has grown soo much in this time and the last trial of her faith that she had was cutting out coffee completely from her life. Like I have mentioned before, her husband is really sick so Felicitas is up with him all night and has to help him with the dialysis of his blood 5 different times during the day. With such little sleep it is really hard for her to stay up and have the energy to keep pushing forward. Because of that she had been using coffee to help give her the kick during the day. Well with such great faith in this last week she told us that she had thrown it all away and that she wasn’t even going to look at coffee again. She was so determined on getting baptized, and that is exactly what she did. It was a really great experience and you could see the difference on her face the day of her baptism. 

Well we have a couple other people that are progressing and I think that a couple of them should be getting baptized as well in this week but I will let you know everything about them in my next letter. I like to leave you guys with a little of suspense, so you appreciate the surprises that I leave with you all. 

I gotta say when I saw the picture of lee in all of his football pads I was pretty jealous! I mean why in the heck didn’t I ever play football? You are definitely 10 times better looking than you really are when you are in all of your football pads! haha. I mean what girl doesn’t want a guy in those tight little football pants! Fetch i should have played football! haha. Thanks for all of the pictures! I am glad that you are all just having a great time! It would be nice if my other brothers remembered me every once and a while! haha. Like Nick I think he is just so wrapped up in the college life that he doesn’t even want to write me anymore!!! And lee, well i don’t even know if he is still alive, except for the photos! And Christian, I thought I was your favorite brother bro!!! 

Well I took all of my pants and my blue suit to get slim fitted. To be honest I have no idea who sold me the suit, but I think they measured the wrong guy! haha. They probably mixed up my measurements with a 300 pound guy because I was swimming in it my whole mission! 

More next week. I love you all,

Elder Holmes

Monday, September 17, 2012

VIVA MEXICO!

Well time is flying by really fast for me in my mission, and now one of the hardest things for me is to keep 
in contact with everyone that writes me! I have been pretty lame and this is literally the only letter that I 
have the chance to write every week! So I hope those that haven’t received a letter from me, don’t taken 
offense. With the time, you really just lose yourself in the work. I don’t know where the time is going and 
why it is passing by so fast!

SO VIVA MEXICO to everyone! On Saturday, the 15th, we celebrated the Independence Day here in 
Mexico and it was really fun to be in this area. Like I have told you guys, this area is really typical Mexico 
and whenever there are fiestas, the whole town is transformed. There were a ton of people coming into 
town this whole week and the center was a really fun site. There were a bunch of people selling and they 
had live bands going on all day. Obviously, we didn’t have the time to check it all out, but the Hermana 
Mayra made us a really typical mexican dish called Pazolli. She also made us something called chilles en 
nogadas and they are extremely famous here at this time of year. If you were to go buy one of those chilles 
in a restaurant, you would find them at about 200 pesos! So that was really nice of them. The bummer for 
everyone else is that at 9 o clock it started to rain like crazy and I think it kind of pooped the party! haha. 
It was a fun time to see all of the mexicans with all of their traditions during the week!

So as for this week with the investigators, everything went pretty well for us. The hermana Yolanda, who 
we found in the open house we did, is planning to have her baptism this week, as well as the mom of 
Marlen (the 20 year old girl). Her name is Felicitas and she has also shown a lot of progress. So if 
everything works out just perfectly, we should have those baptisms on Saturday in the afternoon! Be 
praying for us!! Also we had a great find this week of a lady named Lucia and her daughter Leslie. They 
were references from a young couple in the ward. This week the standards of excellence in our mission 
changed a little bit, and now we have to have 20 lessons with members and we need to contact 10 
references every week. It is a lot different than before and we are all focusing more on just working with 
the members to have the success and to find the escojidos.  But anyways, Lucia and her daughter Leslie 
accepted during the week to be baptized and they both came to church on Sunday. We had a super spiritual 
experience with her, and she felt really amazing in the church. She and her husband need to get married, so 
we will see how everything turns out with them. 

Well this last week I pulled out 1200 pesos (almost 100 bucks) and that helped me buy a nice new man 
purse that I use everyday, fix some of my pants with a seamstress, and buy three new long sleeve shirts! 
We will see if I buy a new pair of shoes here in the next couple weeks, as well! This is my “happy birthday 
to me”!!! 

Love you all and miss you a bunch.

Elder Holmes

I can’t believe that I forgot to tell you guys about the talent show that we had as a ward about a week ago! 
Obviously I had to show the ward how I could snort the spaghetti noodle up my nose and out my mouth! 
haha! I was the hit of the show!!  Here is a photo of it, along with one of our entire zone of Cuautitlan, 
and the best of all, when we went bowling today with some of the missionaries.  We had a great time!




Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"I Knew This Was Where I Needed to Be"


Scott mentions his birthday in his e-mail today.  It's not until the 22nd of October, but he is remembering how long the mail takes.  I know he would love to get a card from any of you who might have the chance.  His mailing address is: 

Elder Scott Holmes
Mexico Mexico City North Mission
Apartado Postal #98
54740 Cuautitlan Izcalli, Edo. De Mexico
MEXICO

Thanks for being so awesome in your support of him!  We sure appreciate it and love you all.

Carolann 


Well I want to say happy birthday to Eric Cassity and Joey Winters for this week, and I want you to know that I am thinking of you both and hope that you have awesome days this week!

Well as for me, I am pretty wiped out today, because we went to play on a brand new soccer field that belongs to one of the hermanos in our ward. They just built the field and it is directly behind our house! It is an astroturf field, and it is super dope! We had a lot of fun playing with some of the missionaries from the zone and the hermano that is from our ward. I played pretty well but got extremely tired, really fast, because I am extremely out of shape!

This week went pretty well for us, but we are also facing some difficulties in our area and in the zone. I dont have too much time to write today so it might be a little short, but I will let you know more next week on how all of our investigators are progressing. I do want to tell you one miracle that we had yesterday in the church. This lady, who is a family member of one of the members of our ward, came to the church all by herself yesterday. Her name is Maria, and she is pretty awesome! We were able to talk to her about baptism and also put a date with her to be baptized on the 23rd of this month. She told us "Yes I would love to be baptized. I don't even need to think about it. Right when I walked into this church, I knew that it was where I needed to be in my life." Wow! What an awesome testimony builder for me and my companion, that there are people that are ready and waiting, and all they need to do is enter God's church and they will feel it.

Well we aren't too sure about some of our investigators at this point, so I will let you know how they all progress next week. Sorry for the weak email, but right now a member is going to take us to the mall to buy a couple of things. Mom, don't worry about sending me anything for my birthday. The jersey for my companion should be just fine. He wants a small, long sleeved Rapids jersey. I think that today I will buy a couple long sleeve white shirts and maybe a pair of shoes. That will be my birthday gift! 

I sure love  you all a lot.

Elder Holmes

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Freaking Awesome Week in Tepotzotlan!



Well this week was a freaking awesome week here for us in Tepotzotlan.

On Saturday Mayra and Adriann got married!! It was a miracle, and we were extremely happy for the both of them! They seem extremely happy now, and i feel like we have really helped them change their lives. Also that very same day, Mayra and her daughter Laura got baptized. That was also an extremely special moment because Mayra asked me to baptize her, and my comp, Elder Neyra, baptized Laura. Hermano Adriann is progressing really well too, and he is still really excited about the church and also about getting baptized. This guy is a total stud. His first Sunday in the church he stopped smoking completely and after ten years of living with his wife, he got married on Saturday. I love him a lot, and i know that he will keep progressing just great. Just a little fun fact about Mayra and how awesome she is:  for the last two weeks she has been giving classes to the relief society on how to make diferent foods. Two weeks ago she did donuts and last week she taught them how to make empenadas. All of the hermanas already love her, and she feels really great sharing all her different talents with them, as well.

Now on to the other story, of Marlen. She also progressed really well in this week and we had a really awesome baptismal service for her on Sunday. Her dad was able to come (who is really sick) and i think that he really enjoyed it as well. We are going to keep working with her mom this week, and we will see how everything turns out. She is really awesome, and another miracle that my comp and I have received from our Heavenly Father.

So on Friday we had the zone leader meeting and it was fun to see all of the other missionaries that I have gotten to know throughout my time here in Mexico. One who has been a really good friend to me has been Elder Marquez. We were in Queretaro together and he taught me a lot of good stuff. SO in the junta on Friday, I was saying how sick it would be if we could be comps. I thought that there was no chance, but when they gave us the changes on Saturday night, they surprised us by moving Elder Neyra to Queretaro and putting Elder Marquez with me here. It was kind of a big surprise, because I thought that I was going to end up killing Elder Neyra (killing is used here in missionaries terms btw for when missionaries finish their missions). haha. But the change came as a surprise to many, and Elder Neyra left a couple different people here pretty sad. Elder Marquez and i have already started off great, and have been talking all day about everything new that has gone on. I think that we will have a really great time together with a lot of success! I will miss Elder Neyra, but the things always hapen for a reason, so we will see what the Lord has planned for us now!

I sure love you all,
Elder Holmes








Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Go For The Gold!



I would like to start off this week by thanking everyone for all of the suppport that you have shown thus far in my mission. It really means a lot to me, and i sure can feel the power of all the prayers that have been offered in my behalf. And also i want to congradulate my cousin elise and her husband andy on the new baby! he is absolutely adorable, and i hope that everything goes well for you three as you are starting your precious family!!

Well this week for me was a very eventful week with all of the activities that were going on in the new church building and with all of our ward. On friday there was a social event for all of the members of our ward and the other ward that shares the capilla with us. We just played with the jovenes and everyone brought a bunch of food to have a really nice dinner.  Then on Saturday morning, all of the young men and women from the stake got together for three hours to do a big proselyting activity. Also all of the missionaries from our zone were there so it was about 22 missionaries and 200 youth with their parents! It was a really good experience but also a little scary at first when i had to teach all of them how to make contacts, and invite people to listen to the missionaries. If you think talking in front of about 200 youth and their parents is tough in english, you should try it in spanish! haha. But it went extremely well, and by the end, my comp and i had all of them laughing and excited to go out and talk with everyone. The purpose of the activity was to invite the people to an open house at the church at 5 o clock in the tarde. The activity with the young men and young women went extremely well, and we sang them a song at the end (all of
the missionaries) which left a bunch of the people crying! The bummer of all of this was that for the open house in the afternoon the weather was really crappy and so i think that is a big reason why not too many people came. Those who did come seemed to really like it, and we were able to get a couple of really good references from them. I will send some pictures along of the activity. Actually, in the morning when we were teaching all of the youth we did a practice in front of all of them of what a contact should look like and what we need to say. I was acting as the investigator in the practice and when they asked me my name, i responded that my name was "nacho" (the most mexican name you can get! haha).  Everyone started to laugh, and now all of the youth in the stake call me Elder Nacho. hahaha. I was in a different capilla yesterday to do some baptismal interviews and all the youth were calling out "Elder Nacho, Elder Nacho"!

Sunday was the first time in all my mission that a bishop has invited me to
confirm someone a member of the church. I was able to confirm Alejandro and was a little bit nervous because they didn't tell me until i was up there in front of everyone! I messed up a little at the start but it was also a great
experience for me! They all were confirmed today and so that was great!

Well so those are the activities that went on this week in the church, and they were all really spiritual and uplifting experiences for me. On sunday adrian, mayra and their daughters came to church again! They are sooo awesome and we love them so much! They are progressing really well and they are scheduled to get baptized this sunday if everything goes well with them getting married on friday. Actually i want to tell a little story about something that happened with them yesterday in the lesson that we had with them. We got to their house and mayra wasn't really sure if she wanted to get married, and she felt like it might be a little too rushed. We had one of the most spiritual lessons with them last night though!! I was able to bear testimony about my family and what my parents had done for me. I told them that the best knowledge someone can have in this life is the knowledge that they will live with their families for all eternity. It brought tears to my eyes just talking about the family that the Lordblessed me with and how i know that i will live with them forever. Of course they all teared up when we sang a hymn to them, and committed her and her husband to get married this friday! It was a really beautiful experience and i am so grateful for the family that i have. I have heard so many times people say
that isn't it good enough to just believe in god and Jesus Christ? Why does it
matter what religion we are? I know that all of the religions work hard to help people come unto christ, but i also know that the only church on this earth where we can receive salvation, and go onto live with our families forever, is the church that Christ himself established: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints. I have always been a competitive person, and i always hated how in primary they would give everyone a blue ribbon and tell us always that we were all winners. We all knew that was a bunch of junk! haha. I know that God, in our final judgement, won't just give to everyone a blue ribbon and call them all winners. He is a God of order and a god who has placed the fulness of his gospel on the earth to guide us back to return to live with him someday. We can either follow his gospel plan and join ourselves with his church to win the gold, or we can justify what we are doing by saying that everyone is a winner, and end up with something much less than what we hoped.  I know that God lives and loves us all. I know that his son Jesus Christ paid for our sins! I hope this letter motivates you all to work your hardest so that we can obtain the gold medal that awaits us!

Love you all,

Elder Holmes

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Mission Can't Be Replaced by Anything!




Well so this week was pretty sick, I am not going to lie. It was the first time that I have ever really been a part of opening a new church and being with a ward that had been in a casa de oracion for four years,  and now they have their own church building. It was a really awesome day,  and all of the members of the ward were really emotional and pumped up to be in the new beautiful church building. It is a one of a kind design for the churches here in mexico,  and all of the people who aren't members are really curious about it and they always give us comments. So to open up the new church,  doris and alejandro got baptized, as well as two other little 8 year old kids who are from families that we reactivated, and they were able to get baptized yesterday, as well. It felt pretty awesome to see this whole family reactivated and in the church. I will send a long a couple of photos at the end of my email so that you guys can see how everything went. 

It was also an awesome day because we brought two new families to the church. They both have a goal to be baptized in about 2 weeks and one of the families is extremely special. It is a lady named Mayra and her husband Adrian. They have two really cute little kids and they all absolutely loved the church. Actually after the church they also invited us over to the house to eat with them,  and they always are super nice. I hope that they can progress in these next couple of weeks because they are a really beautiful family. They just need to get married,  and so we will be looking into that this week. The other family that we found is an older couple with a daughter who is 20 years old. The dad of the family is really sick,  and so we were able to talk to him and the whole family about the plan of salvation and the perfect plan that the lord has for him in this life. The parents are a little more stuck in their ways,  but the daughter seems really excited,  and I think that she will be getting baptized here soon.  

Well to answer some of the questions that I have received:  President was just in the church this last week to see the opening services and to see the baptisms that we had. We have 22 missionaries in our zone,  and the zone is made up of 3 districts and in my district, every companionship has someone from my generation, so that is pretty crazy. There are 4 of us in the same district. I still havent seen my comp, elder watson, since we left the mtc. Actually I guess that is kind of a lie because I have seen him once or twice in the offices. 

My testimony has sure grown a lot in the time that I have been on my mission. I have witnessed many miracles,  and I know that the church is true. I can say that with 100% assurety. I don't have a doubt in my mind that this is the work of the Lord and that I was called to this mission for a really specific purpose. The people I have met have changed my life,  and I wouldn't rather be in any other place in my life than here. Of  course, I miss the family,  school,  friends,  sports,  etc. but the mission can't be replaced by anything. I have experienced true joy,  and I believe that is why we are here on this earth. The gospel of Jesus Christ is eternal happiness. I hope that everything is going just great for all of you and that you keep me in your prayers. I love you so much and miss you all!  

Love, Elder holmes