Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Have a Great New Area - Except for the Scorpions!

Hola, Hey there everyone. Thanks a lot for all of the fun pictures that you guys sent me today from Powell. It sure looks like you guys had a killer time and that you are all just living the life. I like how Nick just emailed me and was all sad that there weren't any more trips planned this summer. You have got to be kidding me! You guys pretty much traveled the whole world without me! But that is ok because my new area is really cool and I am really liking it! II is really touristy and all I ever think is how much dad is going to love this place! It is so him with all the little restaurants and the museos! There is a huge catholic church in the center of town and every weekend all the foreigners come in and they set up all of the tiangees and all of that jazz to sell stuff. We live just about 5 minutes walking from the center so it is really fun. However, I think our area is the biggest in the whole entire mission. We have a bunch of pueblos in our area that are all about 30 minutes by bus. It is so big because this actually used to be two wards. And the zone is also huge, so that means that I am going to be spending even more money! We are all over the place, not only with our area, but having to visit all of the different districts and to do all of their interviews, as well. It has been a busy week and i feel completely exhausted but I already think I will like it a lot. I have a really great zone. Well so on Tuesday we went to the df ("District Federal" -- which is like Washington D.C.) to go to the hospital with Elder Ocampo. He just had his surgery and with the doctor visit and all, they decided that he will be leaving tomorrow to go home to try and recover, and will then come back out on the mission. He kind of wanted that and he isn't too sad, so it is all good. It was fun to go to the df because that isn't a part of our mission. It is ridiculously big and fun to see all the people there. Anyway, because of all of the doctors visits and everything we had going on, it felt like we hardly had any time to work in our area. We have two investigators that are progressing really well and we are hoping to baptize them in the new church that is going to be dedicated on the 12th. Right now we just have a casa de oracion (house of prayer), but they have been building this beautiful church in the area and they are just going to dedicate it. We might be the first ones to baptize in it and go down in the history books! All of the members are really excited about it, and I think that our whole zone will be there to sing for the opening ceremonies or whatever it is called! I will send you guys a couple pics of the church as well! Ok so now on to the little scare of the week. I was studying the other morning and my comp got up from his chair and hurried over by my desk to kill a freaking scorpion that was crawling at me. I was freaking out! That was the first one that i have ever seen, but he says that that it is a weekly occurence in our house! Oh boy. I sure hope not. And wow, I can't believe that about Michael Phelps. What is he doing! Thanks for the olympic updates, mom. And finally, that is great news that everything went well with grandad. Please tell him that I sure love him. I love you all so much, and I really love the work of the Lord. I am so happy that I am here, and the time just keeps going by even faster and faster. I wish it wouldn't go so fast, but that's the mission, I guess. I love my Savior Jesucristo and I know that we will be happy when we follow his example and teachings. It really is that easy! love you all, Elder Holmes so here are a bunch of the pics of the new church, me saying bye to everyone, the freaking boss trophy reyna made me, the angel de independencia (some of the pics didnt turn out as well because something that i have learned is that mexicans aren't the best at taking pics! haha. youve got to love them though!), and one with ros and me in front of our new house.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Tearful Goodbye to Lomas

What is up!! Well this week was a pretty good one, but also a pretty sad one. I had a bunch of pictures that I wanted to send to you guys, but I forgot my camera in my house! Ok well as you can tell from the name of my email, I left my area of Lomas. I will tell you a little bit about my new area, and then I will let you know how everything went in my last area. Right now I am actually with two comps. One named Elder Neyra and the other is named Elder Ocampo. I think that Elder Neyra will be my permanent companion because right now Elder Ocampo had knee surgery and we are going to go to the df tomorrow to check out what he is going to do. They might be sending him home. My comp has 20 months in the mission and is from Tijuana. The other, Elder Ocampo is from Oaxaca and has about 18 months in the mission. They are both really nice, and I think that we will get along just great. I am now in the zone of Cuatitlan and I am in the area of Tepotzatlan. It is a really pretty place, and it is actually a really big tourist place, so everything is like really classic Mexico! Where we live is pretty boss as well and the streets are really dope. I think I am going to like it a bunch. Ok well now on to the goodbyes from my ward of Lomas. Everyone was extremely sad to see me go. Even people that I really didnt even know started to cry when they were saying bye to me. I was impressed with how many people commented to me on the hard work that I had done. Sometimes as missionaries, we don't really realize that the members see how hard we are working, or not working, even if they aren't working with us. I had some really nice comments and another great experience with my Bishop. He and his wife both cried a little when they said bye to me, and I really enjoyed working with them as well. So after all of the meetings, we went to go say bye to Reina. I didn't think that I would cry leaving this area, but I was extremely wrong. haha. When I walked into their house, they had posters all over the wall wishing me good luck, and then she put on this slideshow that she had made me, and gave me one of the coolest gifts I have ever received on the mission! I will send pics of all of this next time, and you will have to see the slideshow she made me when I get home. Just saying bye to her was so hard, because everthing she always did for us, and how solid they are in the church. They are some of the greatest blessings I have received on the mission. Well after that, we went and visited Carmen and her mom, and other families in the ward that I got really close to. Carmen gave me a nice cologne, and they were also extremely grateful for everything that we did for them. They always call us their angels. They are also a great family. Then I also said bye to one of the youth in the ward, Victor, who always went out and worked with us. He also started to tear up and almost made me cry as well. Every one else I had already said bye to in the church because I just didn't have enough time to say bye to all of them. Well also one of the hardest things was saying bye to my comp Elder Hirst. He is a great kid and one of my best friends, for sure. I can't believe how close we became in just 3 months. I love the kid and it was hard leaving him this morning when he went to drop me off with my new comp. Ros also went to drop me off and it was a little emotional saying bye to him as well. He is one of my good friends, and I am definitely planning on seeing him after the mission as well. Let's just say that it was a little emotional with everyone! I understand now why everyone says the mission is the best two years of your life. I told my comp after leaving Reina's house, that there is NO feeling better then what I had just felt. It was a happiness that I can't even explain, and it is something that you could never feel in any other place. Wow, the church is true and I love the mission so much. Good luck getting me home! haha. So now I am off to my new adventure in my new area. I love you all, Elder Holmes p.s Mom you are going to be wicked proud of me because this week I had some spare time in the church so I sat down and learned how to play "Nearer my God to Thee" on the piano. I play it pretty well, and I wish I would have listened to you more. haha.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Flood!

Hey guys! Ok well this weekIi have a lot to tell you guys so i hope that there is enough time to get all of it said! But to start off, Happy Birthday to Grandad on Wednesday! I love you so much Grandad, and I will be thinking about you a lot, of course, in this week. You are such a special person, and one of my heroes in life. Ok, so to start off with a funny story that happened to us during this week. The other day we were leaving the house, and all of a sudden I hear Elder Hirst getting all ticked off. I turned around to see that he had been hit right in the shirt with an egg! haha. I almost peed my pants laughing, and it was this little troublemaker that lives right in front of us that threw it! He is always doing a bunch of junk, and we wanted to go pay him back a nice one, but with us being missionaries and stuff, we can't really do that! Now onto the really cool experiences of the week. First was the baptism of Reina´s sister, Lorena. She progressed great in this last week, and was able to be baptized on Saturday night. Lorena is the one that can't really speak too well, and when we first got there, she was really shy and didn't really want to talk to us, but she really warmed up to us and all of the people in the church as well. They even gave her a calling as well yesterday, right after they confirmed her, so that was pretty awesome! She is happy and feels like a big space in her life has been filled. But there was a story about the baptism which was another crazy story. We went to the church at 12 to start filling up the pila (font). There is a security guard there that works 24/7, so we left him in charge of turning off the water when it got filled to the top. We told him that we would be back at six to set everything up for the baptism at 7. So when we get back at 6 o clock. There is water pouring out the front door of the church! Every missionaries nightmare! The security guy says, "I went into clean the sacrament room and when I came out, it was flooding!" There was so much water in all of the church though, and I am almost positive that the guy fell asleep and forgot about the water. I would say there was a solid inch or two of water in every room of the church, besides the sacrament room. Wow! That was really hectic. We didn't even start the baptism until 8 because of all of the cleaning that we had to do, but it ended up being a way spiritual experience so it is all good! Reina was so happy to see her sister enter the waters of baptism. She has now shared the gospel with her son, daughter in law and her sister. How cool is that? The other family that we are teaching didn't come to church with us this week, so we will have to see what is up with them this week. I will let you know how our visits with them go. We brought these two other people to the church and they really liked it as well, so i will keep you posted on how everyone is progressing. I would imagine that the next week will be the last week that I write you from this area. I think I will be rolling in 2 weeks, which I am kind of sad about, because I really love this place, and my comp! The members are great, and really help us out a lot with everything. So today for p-day we went to the pyramids again! It was really fun! Our zone leaders had never gone, so they asked President if we could go as a district, and he gave us permission to go. We rented out this little van for about 110 pesos each person to go down there, and then we just spent the day down there again. It is a really cool place and there was only one thing i wanted to buy.... A mexican poncho! haha. There was this sick one, but they were all trying to sell it to me for like 400 pesos. I told myself that I was not going to buy it unless they offered it to me for 200 pesos! I went to every single little store that had them and the closest I got was 220. So I was going to walk away empty handed when this guy chased me down and offered it to me for 200! haha. Jackpot! It is a sick one and you will see the picture of it today! Well i love you all! The church is true, and Mexico is boss! Love, Elder Holmes

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Another Great Week in Mexico!

Well first off I can't believe that Lee is taking the boat out by himself! Are you kidding me? How old is he now, anyway? To me, he still seems like some little kid! haha. I do know that he is growing up just like the rest of you, but just make sure that he doesn't crash the boat! haha. Well thanks for all of the emails, and I can't believe that Nick is actually in Fiji. That just kind of blew my mind. I thought it was a joke because I always wanted to go to Maine and I never went! And that is in the U.S. What is that all about? I told Reina and her family that my brother was in Fiji and that it was because he is the consentido of the family (spoiled one)! haha. I went on to tell them about all my brothers and how Lee is the popular one who gets all the girls, Andrew is the smart and successful one, Christian is just the boss of the family at everything, and then they asked me what I was. I told them that I was the mancha (kind of like the black sheep)! HAHA. They got a good kick out of that! They are a reallly fun family, but right now they are kind of passing through a tough time and Reina is a little stressed out with everything. Gerardo and Rocio are looking to rent their own house because they don't really get along with Reinas other kids, so we are trying to help them through it! So we do have a new president down here in Mexico and it is the person that was rigged to win it!! Everyone told me that it didn't even matter how they voted, that this Peña Nieto was going to win it all. Supposedly in other parts of the country it was pretty dangerous, but here it was super calm and I forgot that they were even voting. They had a lady running for president named Josefina that I wanted to win because she was the mas guapa! haha. Well so on to the milagros of the week! This week was pretty boss! Lorena (the sister of Reina) is going to get baptized on Saturday and going to get confirmed on Sunday if everything goes well! Pretty cool huh! Also the two little milagritos from last week got confirmed yesterday and they are both doing really good. They actually have an older brother who came to play soccer with us this morning at the church, who was baptized with the mom around 6 years ago. Now we are just preparing him to receive the sacerdocio (priesthood). Ok now so onto the best miracle of the week. I was on splits like a week ago with my zone leader and we were working in my area. We were about to head to the church for a entrevista when I thought of some random lady that we should go visit. I was thinking in my head I have already been by there and she really doesn't want anything, and actually that was the same thing that my zone leader was thinking, because he had visited this same lady with me before, and she didn't seem too interested. But we went and yeah she rejected us like she always does, but as we were walking out of the privada (or her street) this lady came out and asked us if we were preachers. She told us how her best friend just committed suicide and that she felt an impression to come and talk to us when she saw us passing. The Lord works in mysterious ways but I know that we went with that old contact to be able to find this lady. She invited us in and we taught her and her family the plan of salvation and they are all super pumped. The mom, dad, and two of their kids came to church with us yesterday. Only one of their kids didn't come because he was a little bit sick. I think they really liked church, and the 19 year old kid came to play soccer with us as well in the morning. He is a way awesome kid. The only problem is that the mom and the dad have to get married, so we are going to talk about all of that this week, but I think they are really a great family! It was such a blessing and the Lord has so many people that are prepared to hear his gospel. He will always put us in the right place at the right time! Well I love you all! got to go! haha. love, elder holmes P.S. Check out this hamburger that we ate. It weighs 1 kilo! haha. I thought of nick. It had bacon, ham, cheese, and everything else nick would ever want! haha. We went with Ros and between the three of us, we didnt even finish it! haha.