Monday, January 30, 2012

I'm Really Close to Being Able to Roll My R's!

Well I would like to start out like always with the happy birthday shout outs!! This week we have Bryan Padua on the second and Mear Bear padua on the third! I hope that you both have fantastic birthdays and that you both know that I will be thinking of you! And mom, your birthday is coming right up here soon. My comp Elder Ostergaard has the same birthday as you. But unfortunately for him, I think I will be going from this area next monday, the day before his birthday. But who knows. There still is the possibility that I will stay here in Queretaro, which wouldn't be too sad, because it is pretty legit here. I have some great converts and friends here.

Oh btw, mom, i want you to send me my old furry sheets! haha. It isn't super cold but all of the houses are made of brick so they are pretty chilly usually. I was thinking about my furry sheets last night when it was actually pretty cold, and how nice it would have been to have them to crawl into!

Well as for the week, it was a pretty good one. Roman was baptized on Saturday and received the confirmation on Sunday. The service went pretty well, but he didn't want too many people there, so it was really small. He was pretty happy about it. Also we had another guy that contacted us in the street and he is also progressing along well. All of my converts are doing well. It is a little hard because we have church at 8 in the morning. So sometimes it is hard to get all of them to church, but for the most part, they are all doing really well. Oh yeah and like 2 weeks ago one guy came to church all by himself. He is the dad of one of the members in our ward. This member had told me that he had sent like 10 different missionaries to the house of his parents and that they were never successful with him. SO this guy approaches me in church and asks me what I did to get his dad to church. I was like what? Who is your dad? haha. He had just come all by himself! Of course, we started to teach him more this week and when we got to the word of wisdom, he told us that he had a big problem with cigarettes. His name is Augustine, btw! We taught him the word of wisdom last week and had him write down his goals of what he was going to do. Well to this day, he hasn't smoked a single cigarette. He was smoking like packs before. It is really amazing what we all can do with the help of the Lord. The next obstacle for him is going to be getting married. It is another situation where they have been together for 35 years and still aren't married! So we will see how things work out with him this week. Well, that is all that i can really think of as far as what is going on here.

Thanks so much for the pictures you sent. Wow Christian looks so much older! I love the pic of him where he is about to fall asleep right there in the band concert! haha. That's my boy! And hey, a big congrats to Spencer Groner! That is really so awesome that he exercised his faith and is doing so well!

Today we went to bowl in the morning and then we went out to lunch as a district! It was really fun, but i didn't bowl too well! Oh well, everything is going great for me here. I do still have those days where i feel like my spanish still bites! But i definitely have come a long way! I am really close to being able to roll my r's. haha.! I love you all and miss you lots!

Elder holmes

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Messi Never Rests!

Well a Big happy birthday shout out to Seanie Cassity this week. I hope the birthday is just awesome for you on the mission! I want you to know that i am reading your letters and you are doing such great work! Sure love you seanie! It's also hard to believe that it has been two years on friday, that dad had his kidney transplant. Uncle Lee, i want you to know that a day hasn't gone by that i haven't thanked Heavenly Father for your amazing sacrifice! i love you so much. And Lee Holmes, congrats on the eagle scout award! The pictures were awesome and i sure wish i could have been there to sit in the eagles nest! Let me guess, Grandad tried to go sit in the nest like he always does!!! Maybe if he would have left his mother side as a child to go camping, he could have sat in the nest as well! haha. I am just kidding g-pa! You are still pretty hard core and your support means the world to me and the fam!

Well everything down here is still going well. We didn't have too much success this week but i did have some pretty cool experiences. On Thursday, we had a zone conference where we learned a bunch of good stuff and it got us really excited to work! And then on Friday i went on inter cambios with my district leader elder marquez! He Is really awesome and i learned some great stuff from him! We had a ton of success when we worked together and I learned more really good stuff. I can see and feel myself progressing in my lessons and in my teaching. So as for the baptisms, Roman the brother of Alan and the son of Sara, should be getting baptized this saturday.

Today we went to play a little soccer and basketball but i have a little bad news! I think i kind of pulled my muscle last week! Last sunday Roman was joking around with me and he went running out of the church, so of course I started to run after him and yeah, you can take it from there! I am that stiff and weak right now! So i played last monday and could hardly play, but today I used a ton of icy hot and a bandages! haha. Messi never rests! It was really fun though and we had Allan come play with us and also my convert Israel, who can play really sick! So as you can see, everything is going pretty well. I think i will probably be gone in about 2 weeks but who knows? I wouldn't mind staying here. All of the people here like me and i need to watch out because whenever i say something is cool, they give it to me! Even the shirt off someones back! haha. I feel like i am robbing them if I take it from them, but they take offense if i don't!

Well still working hard and everytthing is going great!! I love you all! keep me in the prayers! I always need the help!! Peace out boy scout!

Elder Holmes

Monday, January 16, 2012

More Marriages and Baptisms!

Well so this week was again a pretty great week for the work down here in Mexico! Except for we did have a couple heartbreak situations! I will start with the good news! We figured everythijng out with the matrimony of Sara and Jesus. They were married on Wednesday and then she was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. What a great week! After her baptism, we did a sweet bonfire for all of our recent converts and we bought hot dogs and marshmallows to roast over the fire. Everyone had a really awesome time! I will try to send some photos of the baptism and the fire and everything. Sara is extremely happy and is doing great in the church, as well as her son Allan, who was baptized a week ago! Bishop just called him to be the first counselor in the priest quorum, which he is way excited about! He really loves everything about the gospel and is getting ready to leave on the mission next year! Sara's son Roman is a little bit more serious and isn't really too sure about a baptism, but we are going to talk to him some more this week.

Well so now to the tough part of the week. We were teaching Maria on Wednesday night and we taught her the law of chastity for the second time. After teaching, I asked her if she has any questions or doubts about what we had taught her and she said no, that everything is fine. So i committed her to live the law of chastity after i asked her if she had any problems with it and her answer was that everything is good. Ok so then my comp said SO you have been married civilly right? And she said "no! Is that going to be a problem?" Yes that is a problem! haha. She has like 30 years with her "husband" and 8 kids and has never been married! I almost died! So we will be working with them, too, on a way that we can marry them this week so she can be baptized! We will just have to see how it all goes! I guess she didnt really understand the law of chastity the first 2 times I taught it to her! haha. As for Bizmar, he doesn't really have the desire and hasn't received his answer to prayer yet, so we are still working with him.

SO this week we lost two complete days of work in order to go down to the state of Mexico to marry Sara and Jesus, so the week was a little bit slow, and we didn't have too much time in our area. However, we did bring some new people to church on Sunday. They were some of the people who contacted me in the street and they are really cool people, so we will see how they progress, as well. Everything is going great though, and i am still loving my area. Things are still looking up, however our leaders got a little bit mad at us because of the baptisms that fell through this week, but hey I am working for the Lord and not for them! haha.

Oh and to answer your question mom, yeah we see President quite a bit! We are going to have a conference this week with him. It is usually about every six weeks that we see him and the assistants! I hope all is going well with each of you! I Love you all so much and miss you too!

Elder Holmes

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Am the Luckiest Guy to be here in Mexico!

Well what is up!!

I will just start off today by saying that I didn't throw my back out! But I might have dislocated my shoulder playing soccer today! Just kidding mom, but it hurts like none other. The baptism was awesome! We Baptized Salvador and Alan on Saturday morning. They are both pretty shy people and they didn't really want anyone to come to their baptisms. As for sara, we couldn't work out how they could get married, so her baptismal date is for this following Saturday. Elder Ostergaard and I are going to go down to this place that is really far away to get them married this week. Alan is real legit and i had the honor to baptize him as well on Saturday. We have a really strong relationship and he is pumped to leave on a mission in a year.

Well i am trying to think of what else I could say in this letter. I am thinking back on this last week and really don't remember too much of it! haha. After the baptism, we went over to Salvador's house and he cooked pizza for about 20 different people! Including sara, alan and their family, so that was also a great experience and a bonding time for them with some of the other members from the ward. Salvador cooks like a boss and he is always so generous with us. He was like a totally different guy after his baptism. I had never seen him happier. He was participating in all of the classes on Sunday and was just so positive. He always hated being in groups but something happened over night that now he just seems really at peace and happy. I think it is safe to say that his baptism changed his whole perspective on life. The guy is really awesome and I am the luckiest guy to be here in mexico!

We also brought a couple other people to the church named Maria and this Bizmar kid again! We have baptismal dates with them for this coming Sunday, but we will see how it all turns out! Oh and one more thing. This week was pretty tough. I found myself just completely exhausted. I had no energy and it was really tough to keep pushing along! Saturday night came and I think the Lord knew the tough week i had had. And as we were walking back to the house, I had three different people contact me, asking us if we could come to their house! It was so random! Never in my mission has that even happened, so we will see what happens with these different people! I know that God has a plan for every one of his children and I am only here to find the ones who have been prepared to hear that plan! Well, love you all!

Elder Holmes

P.S. i will send photos of the baptism and what not, and of these sweet astroturf soccer fields we played on today!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Hi everyone. Here is Scott's latest letter. Always fun to read. When he mentions the "New Year's Grapes" -- for those who have never spent New Year's with our family, it is a tradition from Spain that Steve did as a little boy living there. We have continued to do it every year. You have to eat 12 grapes before the clock strikes 12 times -- and if you complete that -- you will have good luck throughout the year. It's not as easy as it sounds. Well -- hopefully 2012 will be a year of good luck for all of you! .......Carolann

Hi Fam. I would like to start off by giving a shout out to Elise Chilton for her birthday on friday!! Sorry this is a little late but i want you to know that i was thinking about you and i hope that all went well.

So the new year was fun and it was just a tad bit different being down here in mexico! haha. Let's just say that they party a little bit harder than we do up there! I went to bed on saturday night and put in my earplugs and everything, but was woken up a couple times in the middle of the night with extremely loud fireworks. I woke up to one that had actually been launched through one of our windows! I think i peed my pants a little on that one! haha. We spent the evening with the Castillo family again and we ate dinner and did the traditions of the grapes. I will send you some fun pictures. Let's just say that i didn't eat all of the grapes though, so i hope that doesn't affect my good fortune in this next year! Thanks so much for the pictures that you sent me about the new year's party there in the house. It sure looked like fun, and that is so fun that Chrissy, Corey and their mom was there with you guys.

So as for this week it was a little bit tough, but things are still looking up! One of the positives is a guy named Salvador! He is the dad of the family we took the dinner to the other night. I have been meeting with the guy forever. He has always liked the church but just never accepted a fecha for baptism! I have probably challenged him with about 5 dates and never been successful! Well this week we had a great talk with him and we put a fecha for this coming saturday. He accepted and is really excited and so am I! I was talking to him and i said "Well Salvador, I was thinking that Bishop could baptize you!" and he said "Well it is my baptism, right? And i get to choose?" And i told him of course you can have whoever you want. He then said that "I guess you should probably do it then!" I got a little nervous at this because the guy is way big!!! haha. That is why i recomended bishop, because our bishop is also a bigger guy, but he insisted! SO i will let you know how that goes in my next letter! Hopefully I dont like throw out my back. Oh yeah, and this week we have to actually go to make pants for him! I love the guy to death and i am so happy for him!!

The other positive is a young kid named Allan and his mom Sara. We are teaching their whole familly but Allan has really been the one who has just loves church. He is 18 years old and he tells me how he is going to go on a mission next year and everything and he will be getting baptized as well this week. The catch about the mom is that she still isn't married with her husband, so we will try to figure all of that out to be able to baptize her with her son.

Well the new year is here and I sure have been receiving the blessings! I hope that everything is great there as well! Today we went to what is called the peña de bernal which is the third biggest rock in the world! We climbed up some of it and it was really fun so i will send you some pics of that as well! Oh and I forgot to tell you this! I Owned my pants! haha. I was playing a game with Rodrigo Castillo and I went down really fast and as you can imagine with the 20 pounds I have put on, my butt is pretty big, and i just ripped right through those bad boys! haha (Mom you need to put this in the email!)

The pics here are one of me with the New Year's grapes smashed in my mouth. My comp was eating them all slow, but you know me! haha. The other is me and my district leader! Love the guy! He is my best friend here I think.

As always, thanks for all the support! Love you lots!

Elder Holmes