Monday, March 26, 2012

Great Week in Mexico!

Hey guys!

Well so I'll bet you have all been waiting on the edge of your seats this whole week to find out what was with that story that I was going to tell you but I first want to start out with a little birthday shout out to Auntie Claire, The love of my life! haha. I hope it's a great day for you Clairabell. And also I am really glad that Auntie Mary is winning the march madness pull right now! That's my girl! And then on a serious note, to Aunt Marisa, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I sure love you and pray that you and your family will be at peace with her passing.

Ok so I just didn't want to write you guys about Reina until this week, because I didn't want to get my hopes up but, she is so boss. I contacted her about 4 weeks ago in the street, and she was really nice when I contacted her, so we tried to visit her a couple of different times. She wasn't there like the first three times we visited her, and I thought that she was just putting up a bunch of pretexts, but for some reason I just felt prompted to go by her house one more time before we just called it quits. Well that last time she let us in, and we had a great lesson with her, and one of her daughters named Brenda. It was a good first lesson, but not anything out of the ordinary. SO she came to church last week and I wasn't able to really talk to her about all of her questions because she left pretty fast, and because of that, I didn't want to get too excited about her last week. But then on Tuesday night we had an FHE with them and our ward mission leader, where we watched the Joseph Smith movie. It was an awesome night, and we also put a date for baptism with her daughter Brenda in a couple of weeks. Well then throughout the week, Reina has just grown soo much. She is really a chosen one that was just so prepared to hear the gospel. In one of our lessons she said, "should i feel bad that I didn't have the amazing opportunity to hear this message earlier in my life, so I could have taught my kids like the families I see in the church!" This comment made my testimony grow so much in that there are so many people just waiting for this gospel and I just need to find them. So everything looks great for her baptism this week for conference weekend, which will be a really special experience as well. I am pumped out of my mind to listen to conference btws.

Oh yeah and you guys asked about Andres! He is sooooo BOSS! haha. He took all of the youth hiking this weekend! Then yesterday in church he was set apart to be 2nd counselor in the young men's program. The transition into the ward has been picture perfect. He is preparing to receive the melchizedic priesthood and he is just the man.

Oh yeah and we also found a kid this week who's like 24 years old named Daniel, who had met with the missionaries about 2 years ago and was about to get baptized, but never did. Well this week I was looking through the area book and was impressed that we should go and visit him. Well we did and he just seems so golden! He came with us to church in a freaking suit and just looked super fly! haha. I hope that he will be able to drop a few things this time to be able to be baptized. He was talking to one of his friends from the church on Thursday, a girl who is in our ward, about how he wanted to come back to church. And then on Friday we show up at his door. Some might say "what a coincidence" but I know it is the Lord giving him another chance. I will let you know how things go with him, as well.

Oh also you asked about the earthquake! Yeah it was so crazy. I was in a house and the roof started caving in and stuff and we were super lucky to get everyone out before it just totally collapsed! The entire house! NO i am just kidding! haha. I didn't even feel a thing. We were in a bus and they are so bad at driving down here, so i couldn't distinguish between the tremble of the earthquake and the guys crappy driving skills! haha. But I guess a bridge in the distrito federal fell and crushed a comvee or something like that. Well nothing much else is new with me. I hope you all liked this weeks email! and I hope you guys enjoy conference! I can't wait. I sure love you all

Elder Holmes

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pyramids of Teotihuacan

Hi family.

This week was a little bit of a crazy week, like they have all been. We have been shuffling through a lot of our investigators rather quickly. Aide dropped us because she is having a bunch of problems with her husband and right now isn't the time. Elia has come across like a thousand different crazy problems that Satan has seemed to put in her path right before she was about to do something right. And yeah, we pretty much lost everyone that we had been working with. But not to worry, because the Lord blesses us in all different kinds of ways and we found an extremely nice lady this week named Reina. We had a good member lesson with her and then she also came to the church with us on Sunday. If everything works out ok with the word of wisdom and stuff, then she will be getting baptized on conference weekend, which would be pretty dope. We are working hard, but it hasn't been as successful down here in the State of Mexico as it was in Queretaro, which is pretty weird, but we will keep working hard and see what blessings the Lord has for the people here.

Well today I am writing so late because as I had mentioned last week, Andres took us to the pyramids. It was so awesome and pretty fun because it was just packed with tons of people. We met a bunch of members there from different parts of the world and we were like famous there because every Monday the missionaries always go there, so every single person that is selling stuff is looking for the elders, saying "i have good stuff for you. Here, here, the elders always treat me well!" It was really funny as every single vendor would call out "elder" to try and sell us stuff. haha. I decided that since it is a once-in-the-mission experience, I bought some pretty cool souvenirs. I bought a sick mexican man purse (or "murse" for those who are a little more hip!), a sweet knife, and this pretty cool looking flute. Yeah with my mexican satchel, I am looking pretty legit mexican! Haha. All of the people there wanted to take pictures with us, as well. A few times it was a little awkward with the girls who would like try to hug us! haha. But it was a really fun experience and Andres and his wife just spoiled us! They are so awesome. We went with elders named Elder Hyde and Dove. They are from the same generation as my comp Elder Rojas, so it was a really great time. I will be sending some great pics along today.

What a fun week that you had as a family, and the opportunity you had to have Andrew at home, as well. I sure miss all of you, but my mind is pretty dang focused right now. That's awesome that Cade will be working with you and that is fun that you will be going out to California. As for your question as to whether we get to go to the temple here, mom, the answer is "No". I am still like an hour and a half from the temple and it's out of the mission, so we can't go. I would really die to go right now.

Well there really isn't much else. I have been noticing more the hand of God in everyday of the work. It has really been amazing, and I will tell you a story next week if everything works out with this one guy we found! (I bet you are all on the edges of your seats now, but you will just have to wait, just like the cliffhangers in "24"! haha. I love you all,

Elder Holmes

March 12th: Bye-Bye Elder Cruz

Short e-mail this week from Scott. He sure loves and appreciates all of you! Hope all is well with you and yours! -- Carolann

Well as you can see from my title, this week Elder Cruz left our area, and is now one of the secretaries in the offices of the mission. It was really hard to see him go, as he was one of my favorite comps that I have had here on the mission. We really got along well. So you are probably wondering how everything is going now that it is just me and Elder Rojas. Well everything is going pretty well. We had a pretty good week but a couple of bummers as well. With Elia and her girls, we had an awesome lesson on thursday night where they were so excited to get baptized and everything, and the mom even invited us to come to her birthday party which is today, and everything was just grand! Well then after that lesson, they just bailed on us the whole week! Her mom got sick on saturday and then she never answered any of my calls, so who knows what the problem is there. We will be going tonight to their house to eat dinner so we will see how that all goes. We also brought four new people to church this week, so we will also see how they progress throughout the week. I will let you guys know what is up with them. And finally Aide: we had a church activity on saturday that she came to that she really liked, but then wasn't in her home sunday for church, or anything like that. Andres is doing really awesome. Yesterday he was confirmed and received the holy ghost. That was great. I think next Monday he is taking us to the pyramids of "teoteokaun". Really I have no idea how to spell that place! So that should be pretty sick.

Ok so I also wanted to tell you guys a little story that happened at one of our lunch appointments this week. Oh my gosh. So this one lady signed up to give us food every Thursday for the entire month! I wasn't looking forward to going to this ladies house but we still went. When she opened the door, you got this crazy smells from her dogs and everything was a complete mess! So....we went down the stairs to enter into the house and she told me to go through this one door. I pushed the door open just to see tons and tons of junk all over the place. There were clothes thrown everywhere, rotten food and trash all over the place and just everything you can possibly imagine. I said "in here, hermana". She said "yes, just go take a seat on the bed". In my mind I'm thinking "where in the heck is the bed?" Literally the whole room was completely full with trash, leaving like a 6 inch path that we walked on to get to the middle of the room where we could see the bed! No joke! The room was also really dimly lit, so really it was like a scene from one of those creepy scary movies!! SO you are probably all thinking the same thing that i was, THERE IS NO WAY IN THIS LIFE THAT I AM EATING THIS FOOD! HAHA. But I ate it.... NO just kidding. I bet mom just about lost it right there!! The good news is that she had forgotten she was supposed to feed us, but she did give us some nice rotten apples that we could eat on the road, that had massive bugs coming out of them! haha.

Well so there is your fun story for the week. Maybe we can take a picture on Thursday when we go back! And every other thursday for the whole month! Well other than that, there isn't much too new with me. My comp and i are getting along great and i am really growing a lot spiritually in the position that I am in. It has been crazy hot here, but we are working hard, and we should have some great success in the future! I was hoping to send some pics today but I'm out of time. I sure love you all.

Elder Holmes

Monday, March 5, 2012

Toma Frito!

Hi everyone! I have to say that this week might have been one of the hardest of my mission!! I will go into a little bit more detail as to why, but I would like to say that I am thinking of Poppy this week, as it would have been his birthday this coming saturday, I believe.

Well to start off, Elder Cruz still didn't get his new comp so we continue in a three some, and so that is still a little bit tough, but we are trying to work through things. Also, this week all of a sudden it got extremely hot! Like I'm telling you it is hard to believe that it is March. Sometimes i am jealous when I read Sean's letters to hear how cold it is up there in Finland! Anyway, we worked like crazy this week. We were knocking doors like crazy, contacting everyone, asking references, the whole nine yards. And we were having absolutely no success whatsoever! Literally, I was just thinking about laying down on the side walk to take a little nap! haha. The first day it got hot I didn't put any sunscreen on and I ended up with a blister on my nose from how scorching hot the sun was. No one really realizes what a mission is really like until you are actually living it. I knew it was going to be hard, but sometimes I don't even know how I am still walking. haha. Anyway, after all of this you would think that our numbers would be terrible, but you are wrong. The Lord blessed us so much this week it isn't even funny. Andres got baptized! ! The change he made was absolutely amazing! He was able to overcome all of his scientific theories and put all his faith in the Lord! The lessons with him were so amazing this week and I grew so much spiritually! To see someone completely change like he has is definitely one of the reasons that I am here. His wife was crying just about every lesson and was so grateful for what he has learned and the changes he has made! I think he will be one of my best converts! They love us so much, they will do anything for the missionaries. That is not even it. On saturday night at 6 in the night after a whole week that just was so hard, we found this lady named aide. She accepted everything and then joined us at church on Sunday. We will have to work with her this week because I think she was a little bored in church. You know how some testimony meetings are. haha. Anyway....that's not even it. Then this lady named Elia called us Saturday night and said that she and her two kids would be joinging us for church as well. Well in the church we talked about baptism and then she and her 2 girls accepted a date for two weeks from now. She thanked us so much and said how we had come into her house at the perfect moment and how we have changed her life! So, i hope everything progress well with them this week as well. Anyway, after you have read this you are probably thinking "wow what the heck is this cat complaining about? Everything is going just fine!" But all i have to say is that it was a hard week! I am worn down physically but there isn't anything I can't do with a little help from the Lord. I know he always blesses us after the trial of our faith. It is so true and we just need to excercise a little more faith sometimes.

Well today I am writing really late because we had a zone activity where my comp, Elder Cruz, cooked a ton of meat and we all played a bunch of sports, which was really fun, but my white little legs got owned! haha. Well I sure love you all,

Elder Holmes

A Little Slow Posting -- This is from February 27th!

Well wow that is extremely exciting to hear about the pregnancies of amberlee and elise at the same time. Congratulations you two! And i was pretty dang ticked to hear about abbie and her broken ribs! You have got to be kidding me. Yeah the lie detector is necessary, mom! That is my dog they are messing with. And yeah i hope the titan car is doing ok! haha. I am just kidding mom. I am so glad that nothing bad happened to you or the lady that you crashed with. And last of all, of course I am ticked about you selling the condo, dad. haha. But i know that you only do what is the best so i guess it is ok. I hope that you get a new one by the time that i get back, though!!

Ok well as for me here, we only had two of our three baptisms this week. The dad (Miguel) got hit with every sort of problem in this last week and come sunday, he was working because he has absolutely no money to even buy food for his family. That was kind of a hard experience, but we will see how he can progress this week. Elder Cruz did the honor of baptizing Marisol and her daughter Angeles, which i will send the picture of their baptism. It was a really nice service and the two of them were both really happy and content. The week was a little bit tough though, as well. As you can imagine, a threesome is a little bit more difficult in every aspect. We are still trying to find how the best way is to teach with three of us. President told Elder Cruz on Friday that there are a bunch of new missionaries coming in tomorrow, so we will see if he gets a new companion then. We still don't know what/when they are going to do with all of us and how they will separate the area. Oh yeah and all the missionaries received cell phones the other day, which is pretty exciting, and makes things a lot easier for us here.

As for the area, we have some really great investigators, but we are having a really hard time bringing them to church. We have two named Alberto and Faustino. They have kept every one of their compromisos and do everything we ask, but they can't come to church because their mom is bedridden and they can't leave her. They have read a ton of the Book of Mormon and they tell us that they know it is true, but I think we will not continue with them because they can't fully progress without coming to church. We also have a family named Elizabeth and Alfredo. They have three girls who were baptized, but they still can't be baptized because they are not married. The wife is still waiting for him to change, and right now he is in a "testing" period from his wife to see if he has actually changed. They are attending church every week and this guy is completely changed, but still a no on them, so we will try to work with them a little more to see what we can do. They are so awesome though. I actually made crepes for all of them for a family home evening the other day and they all loved them. Actually I have made the crepes like 5 times since you sent me the recipe! And just the other day i made toad in the holes for my comps, which they really liked as well. Well as for me, everything is going well and obviously I am still happy! Just have a couple of things to sort out! love you all

Elder holmes