Tuesday, July 2, 2013

WELCOME HOME, ELDER HOLMES!

Hi everyone!  Just wanted to share our final blog entry with each of you, and thank you for your love and support these past two years.  Our extended family was happy to welcome Elder Holmes home last Wednesday, and as you can see, it was a great moment!  May our Heavenly Father bless each of you with similar joys in your lives.

Click the following and Enjoy!  (A great big thanks to Scott's cousin for filming our reunion!)

WELCOME HOME, ELDER HOLMES!

Love you all.....

Carolann, Scott & Family

Monday, June 24, 2013

FINAL SURPRISE!















Short and sweet - yet wonderful - this week from Elder Holmes.  He is truly finding great joy in serving His Lord up until the last minute!  This woman he speaks about was a convert he had in his first area.  How thrilling.  She has been so great to her "Elder Holmes" throughout his mission!  We look forward to welcoming him home on Wednesday!  YAY!



Thanks for all your interest and support throughout his 2-year mission!  It has all been appreciated more than you will ever know. 


We love you.

Carolann




SURPRISE!!

I wanted to give you guys a nice surprise this week on my last P-day of  the mission!!  REINA WENT THROUGH THE TEMPLE!!!  I am completeing 2 years today, andit was definitely one of the most special days I have had in the mission! I Attached are the pics of this great day!   Ammon (the ward mission leader that we had in that area), his wife, Elder Rojas (who was my companion when we baptized Reina), Elders Hyde and Dove all went with us!  Wow this is truly what a missionary lives for!! I am so pumped right now!  I love you all and will for sure tell you all about it on Wednesday!!  As for my special requests for food that day, ICKY STICKY sure sounds good! 

Love,

Elder Holmes 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Most Special Thing I Have Ever Done!

Hey Family,

Well I want to start by wishing a Happy Father's Day to all of those dads that are reading this email!  I am so grateful for my dad, and everything that he has done for me.  I love you so much dad, and I hope that it is an awesome day for you, and the rest of the dads that are reading this.  I loved the video that you sent me, dad!  What impacted me the most was that dad out in the rain changing the tire.  I have so many memories of road trips, and different difficulties that we have had on some of those trips, and it reminded me of the attitude that you always have, and how you are always just trying to make us happy!  I also wanted to send you a video, but I couldn't download it, so for all the dads out there, go to mormon channel and go where it says mormon messages and watch the one that is called:  "Earthly Father Heavenly Father!"  (I guess you could just google that title, too!)  I love that movie.  Anyway, also a FELIZ CUMPLEAƑOS to David Lewis and Janice Savage!! I hope that you both have great birthday celebrations.  I sure do miss you all, but I guess I will be seeing you pretty soon!

So this week was kind of the same with all of the interviews.  It was another crazy week that we really haven`t had any time in our area to work.  We have just worked a couple hours like last week, but it has sure been a great experience to be in those interviews.  We give the same Training every single time, so I am getting pretty good at it after my 8th time! haha. It has definitely been a blessing because i have learned and strengthed so much my testimony on the law of chastity and the blessings that come from living it.  In the talk that Elder Bednar gave in the last conference, he talked all about our potential as children of God, and then explained the blessings that we lose by breaking this very sacred commandment.  He promised us that by keeping this commandment, not only will we see God, but that we will be comfortable in His presence! I love that blessing, because it is one thing to SEE him, but a whole different thing to feel comfortable when we are with Him.  

I was sure glad to hear about the Book of Mormon challenge that you guys are all doing as a family! I was sure grateful, because it also got me to echar mas ganas in my reading!!! I had kind of slowed down there for a little, but this week I finished Alma and I am now into Helaman.  I loved the scripture Alma 44:4 where he is talking about the warriors in times of battle.  It is something that I actually sent in a card to all of the leaders of the mission.  The scripture says that the only way that they would lose the battle would be if they disobeyed the Lord and denied the Faith.  I related this scripture to us as missionaries.  The only way that we won't accomplish our goals of the months is through disobedience and denying our faith.  I love the testimony that those young men had in the Lord and the great faith they always exercised.  

So in the interviews with President, the Hermana Call has been serving hot dogs to every zone! What does that mean?? NINE days of hot dogs for Elder Holmes!!  I am going to get off the plane looking like TOMMY BOY! haha. I will need some gym buddies when I get back.  Today we went to bowl, and I didn't play too great but I still trashed these two companions of mine! (they are reading this as I write!) Well that is about it for the week! I will write you guys next week for my very last time! i can't believe that!!!! I love you all so much, but I am realizing that the hardest thing for me will be taking off my tag!  Being a representative of Jesus Christ is the most special thing I have done in all of my life, and I still don't want to think of the day when they are going to take off my tag!

I Love you all,


Elder Holmes

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Great Baptism! June 8th.....

So here are some pics for you guys! 



And then another pic of when i was working in Hidalgo! Everyone has sheep there.  
That's the stereotypical mexican pueblo! 


The before and after pics of the baptism!  
I am so stinkin big that I am covering up the hermana on the day of her baptism! haha.  

Hey fam,

Happy birthday to Aunt Jill today!! And also to my little brother Nick on the 11th.  And Nick Chilton on the 13th.  I hope that you guys have excellent birthdays!  Elder Holmes is thinking about you guys, and I sure love you a lot.  

I was extremely happy to hear about the family goal to read the whole Book of Mormon before I get home!!  I hope that you guys are all keeping up with me! haha.  Actually this last week was EXTREMELY busy, and I almost didn't have time, but you just motivated me even more to finish the Book of Mormon.  I am excited to see us all complete that awesome goal.  What an awesome mom that we have!! I love the Book of Mormon, and like Joseph Smith said, "It is the most correct book upon the face of the earth and it will bring us closer to God than ANY other book on this earth"! What a great promise, and a promise that I really have seen in my life! 

Alright so this last week we almost saw a big surprise here in the offices!! The other new assistant came in so that he can be trained before the big split!  IT IS ELDER DOVE!!  He has also been one of my best friends here on the mission.  I am sure that you remember hearing his name in some of my letters home! He is a great kid, and it sure is a fun time with him and Elder Hyde here.  So with that change of having one more assistant, President didn't have enough missionaries in the field and he was thinking about just sending me out to the field for my last 3 weeks.  I wouldn't have been too sad because he was going to send me back to my old area of Lomas! But Elder Hyde and Elder Dove felt like they still need a lot of help and training so... I stayed here in the offices.  It would have been a little hard to leave this area and everything just for the last couple of weeks! 

But speaking of LOMAS... Last sunday NATALIA got baptized!!!  I am sure you don't remember who she is, but I baptized her daughter named CARMEN about a year ago!  She, the mom (Natalia), could never get baptized because she wasn't married, but then just this last month, she got married and then baptized!  I remember contacting her in the street as if it were yesterday!  Well last Sunday was stake conference, so i got to be at the baptism of the Hermana Natalia and even directed the baptismal service!!  It was a super special experience for me, where a lot of tears were shed.  I will send you guys some pictures today, and maybe you will recognize them from a year ago.  I love them a lot, and I am so glad that they have progressed soooo well! 

This week like I said was an extremely busy week, and we haven't worked even 1 minute in our area!  This afternoon is the first time that we will work in the ward. 
On Monday we had our meeting with President like always, and then we had to plan the presentation for the interviews and the trainings that we are giving.  Then on Tuesday and Wednesday we were up in Queretaro for training and interviews.  We stayed the night up there with Elder Hurst and Elder Smith.  Then we went to Hidalgo for the next two days, and we just got home last night in time to plan and go to bed!  I am pretty tired because of all the traveling, and whenever we travel we have to stay in the houses of the elders.  Here in the mission the houses only have two sets of sheets, two pillows, and two blankets (for the missionaries who live there)!  So what do I get when i go on divisiones with them?? Usually a really awesome mattress! not!  Actually its usually a sweatshirt that i can use to cover myself up with if it gets cold.  And if i want a pillow, then i can use my white shirt from that day!! haha.  So you can imagine that I always sleep really well! haha.  I am pretty tired today, but I will get over it.  Next week we will be here in the state, so I will be able to sleep in my own bed! YES!! 

Its been really weird saying goodbye to all of the elders in the training meetings, because this will be the last time that I see all of them! I can't believe how fast the time has flown by!! I love you all a lot, and I dont want to think about it, but I will see you in 2 and a half weeks!!

Love you,

Elder Holmes

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wow! June 1st Already!





I would like to start off my letter wishing Happy Birthday to my cousin Alex Holmes this next wednesday! I hope that it is a awesome day for you! Know that I am thinking of you on your special day!

This week was another extremely busy week, and I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT IT IS ALREADY THE 1ST OF JUNE! I have said this a million times, but the time is just going by way too fast for me here! This week we had consejo with all of the zone leaders (my last one) and yesterday we had an awesome surprise from president.  All of our zone got to go to the BALLET of the church school that is in the DF that is called the Benemerito de las Americas!  We were the only ones that got to go because the theatre was in our zone! I will explain a little bit more further on in the letter!

So I didn't think the day would ever come that I would give my "last testimony" in front of all the zone leaders and president in the consejo. I have been to that meeting for the last year every month and have watched missionaries give their last testimonies, and this time it was my turn.  It was a very emotional moment for me and all the zone leaders from my generation.  It's weird though because i feel like I still have a lot of time left in the mission.  SO that was also the last junta I prepared for all of the zone leaders, and I feel like it was a great success.  

While we were planning the junta with president, a thought came to my head when we talked about prayer.  We talked about giving our whole heart to God, and leaving the little things behind that prevent us from having the success that we want in our missions.  In that moment I thought of the "VIEJO" that we do every year at our new year's party.  I thought about what a fun tradition that is, and so i looked in my old emails and found the pictures of the viejo that you guys did this last year.  So immediately I put the picture in the powerpoint that we were putting together so that I could share the idea with all the zone leaders.  Obviously I wasn't going to make a viejo and light him on fire in the house of president, haha, but I wanted to do something similar by talking about leaving our bad habits behind and committiing ourselves to be 100% obedient.  So In the junta, the picture of the viejo came up, and i started to explain what we do as a family every new year.  Many of them got a good chuckle out of it, but then we told them that we were going to do something similar.  We all went to different places in the house of president to pray, in order to ask our father in heaven what each one of us could do better, and in the same prayer, commit ourselves to being better with that one thing and leaving our weaknesses behind.  They all wrote the thing they wanted to leave behind on a piece of paper, and as they came back, I told them to all throw it in the trash (because it would have been a little to extreme to burn them!) But the hermana Call insisted that we take them out back to burn them!! I told her to ask president because i was afraid to ask him to burn stuff on his back yard! haha. SO what the Hermana Call says goes, and we ended up burning them! haha.  It was a great moment, and the spirit was felt really strong by everyone, as each one of us bowed down and prayed.  I think everyone really liked it, and it also helped me achieve one of the goals that I have been working on.  I will send you the pictures that the Hermana Call sent all of us! 

So now on to the story of the BALLET!!  It was AWESOME!! I  will be sure to send you guys some pictures, and maybe a couple of the videos that I took.  The pictures didn't turn out too great because it was really dark in there.  The Benemerito has a great dance program, and they put on a great show of all of the traditional dances of Mexico.  One of the dances (my favorite of the night) had all of the girls dancing with a glass bottle on their heads, and the guys with machette´s!  The whole night was filled with awesome traditional clothing and famous songs.  I was kind of surprised that president let us go, but it looked like he also enjoyed himself a lot.  The Benemerito is closing down, so it is the last performance that they are going to ever do! It was sad for a lot of people, but I was glad that I had the opportunity of seeing them in person! It was a fun little gift from president! Also, I saw a ton of people that I know, because the theatre that it was held in is one of the biggest ones in Mexico, so everyone went to see the last show! Super fun stuff!!

SO it looks like my last weeks in the mission will be spent going to different capacitacions!  President is going to be having interviews with all of the missionaries, since the mission will be splitting, and this time he invited us to go with him, so that we could give the training while he is doing all of the interviews.  That means 9 different days of training because of the 9 zones that we have in the mission.  I am pretty excited though, and surprised because I didn't think that president would want us to come.  He usually just goes and does them himself.  SO we are pretty excited, but it looks like I will be traveling a lot in these next couple weeks to finish my mission.  Hopefully we get a couple days in to tract but it will be tough.  

Well that's about all that is new with me!  I love you all so much.  I know that this is the true church on the earth.  As I bore my testimony the other day in consejo, I reflected upon all the things I have learned in these two short years, and the most important thing is that this is HIS work and the ONLY true church on the face of the earth! 

Love,

Elder Holmes 

May 25th Letter from Elder Holmes




Hey guys,

Sorry that I am on so late today, but I thought that I would give you guys some time to write today because everyone always gets mad at me for getting on too early!  Looks like you guys are having a great time in Steamboat.  I think i would need the hands and feet in everyone in the family to count how many family vacations that you have done WITHOUT me! haha.  I can't believe that Elder Stutz gets home today!! That is so exciting, and I am sure that he did amazing things! I know that he was just a total stud as a missionary and that everyone just LOVED him. Congrats T stutz! 

As for me, today we went to visit some of the converts of Elder Hyde in one of his old areas.  It went well, but it was a pretty busy day.  In the morning, I cleaned the whole house, so it has been a busy day with no rest time! This week didn't have too much excitement besides the baptism of Regina!  Her brother got home from the mission on Tuesday at about 9 o clock at night.  We asked president for permision to stay and at least be able to see the baptism of Regina.  Right when he got there it was right to the water for the baptism.  It was a really special moment for all of the family, and there were definitely some tears shed!  The spirit was felt really strongly, and I hope that it helps the family return completely to the church.  They are a great family, but have had some different challenges within the church.  But that is pretty normal for every great family.  We just have to stay strong, and lean on our testimony of the true church on the earth today.  

Other than that, nothing really else went on this week.  We went up to Queretaro on Thursday to do some inter-cambios with some elders.  President wants Elder Hyde to be really familiar with the areas in Queretaro so that when the new mission is made, he will be able to help out the new president with everything.  While we were up there, we also ate with Elder Hurst (my old comp) and Elder Smith (one of my other best friends here in the mission) at a place called Pampas.  It is a place really similar to 
Tucanos!! It is sooooo boss, and some of the best meat that I have ever eaten here in Mexico!  They bring all the food to your table on swords just like they do in Tucanos.  I will send you guys some pics of everything that happened this week! 

To finish, I will answer some of the questions that I received in your emails:
  • How did the elders in the mission take the changes last week?
  •   All the missionaries are taking the changes well with the new mission, but it has been super hard for President and the Hermana Call because they now have 2 years in the mission, and all the missionaries that are here, arrive with them as their mission president. 
  • Will the President visit those zones to say goodbye to those missionaries placed in the new missions?  
    • I think this next month he will be doing interviews with all of the mission, so I think that he will just take advantage there to say his good-byes.
  • Were you asked to extend?  For how many weeks?
    • I was, but he understands that I am going to be THE BEST MAN! He knows I have a bunch going on.  It would have been for just 2 weeks. 
  • Are things really ramping up with the split of the mission? Is that happening June 1st or July 1st? 
    • They have been making adjustments and everything for the new mission, which will take place July 1st.  They are building new offices and everything for the new Queretaro mission. 
  • And how is your back.....
    • The doctor here ran a test and said that it looks like I may have some calcium build up and that I should just drink a ton of water.  This hermana gave me some weird tea stuff that has seemed to be helping me.  I have also been pounding water though.  I have to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes but I guess that's a good thing!  It gives me pena to go into the hermanas bathrooms every rato. haha. (That was some good spanglish! Let's see if you can figure it out, because thats how I am going to talk when I get home!) haha. 
Love you guys a ton,

Elder Holmes

Monday, May 20, 2013

It Was Great SEEING You all Last Week!




Sorry I've missed posting Scott's last few letters.  We had a GREAT Skype with him on Mother's Day. He's doing great - no surprise!  His very best friend in the mission was just called to be his comp - again - and Scott is thrilled!  They are both just loving life together!  

Thanks, as always, for your love and support.   xoxo - Carolann

May 18, 2013......

HEY FAMILY,

I have a bunch of Happy Birthday shout outs to give today!!! Happy Birthday to Chris Cassity today, MY DAD tomorrow, Mike Winters on tuesday, MY BRO andrew on wednesday and Uncle Mitch on Friday!  It is sure a busy week of birthdays!  I hope that you guys all have special days! I love you sooo much! 

SO this week was a CRAZY week! We had tons of things going on, and i only slept in my house like once!  This wednesday a bunch of the missionaries went home, and whenever they go home, we have to sleep here in the offices and they don't even want to go to bed because it is their last night in the mission! SO it is always hard to sleep, and it was also fun to talk with Elder Messner before he went home.  He has been a great friend to me, and I am excited to go back and study with him at BYU, as well.  I will send you guys some pictures today of us with his parents! SO his parents came for him, as well as the family of an elder named Elder Tebow.  Let's just say that I am the most AWKWARD person ever now.  I think that I almost kissed their dads right on the lips because the hug down here is to the right instead of the left!! haha. I don't know what I am going to do when I get home!  SO everyone that is reading this email, just know that most likely I will hug you with my head to the right, and it will probably be the most awkward hug of your whole life!! haha. 

So then after all that, Elder Hyde and I didn't have a single day that we were alone.  We did get to work a little bit in our area, and we got some good references from the hermanas in the activity we had on Wednesday for all of the moms, so we hope to see some more success.  I am so grateful for the first-hand knowledge I have received of the wonderful blessings that a mission brings!  

This next week we are going to have the baptism of Regina, the daughter of the hermano that I told you guys about last week on skype! She is super excited about it, and I am super happy for her and her family! Her brother gets home from his mission on Wednesday night, and he is going to baptize her the same night before being released. It will be a really special night for them.  She has been waiting forever to get baptized, and is just the cutest little girl! I will send you all the pictures next week! 

Everything is going great for me, and I am really enjoying my time with Elder Hyde, and in this area.  My back definitely is feeling ready to go home, but I will keep working hard until the end.  You guys will probably have to pick me up in an ambulance, like Elder Holland said, but it is worth it! I  have felt really bad pains in my back, but its not like a sore back kind of pain! I don't really know what it is, but one of the doctors who is in my ward told me to drink more water, so now I am just pounding water!

I love you all so much,

Love,

Elder holmes

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy in Mexico!




Hey,
So right now i am pretty pumped up! You want to know why? Alright I guess I will tell you guys that today (my P-day) I went to the Nike Outlet that is pretty close to our area to look for some new shoes! I have now been running with my comp every morning and the old tennis shoes that i have are now soo worn out that I am pretty much running like Frodo everyday in my bare feet! haha. SO I figured that I would go to the store and find some nice tennis shoes to run in in the mornings but also to use when I get home. SO right when I walked in I saw these dirty looking shoes (When I say dirty that doesn't mean like they had polvo on them but that means that they were sick!! haha). I then glanced at the price and didn't really like what i saw!  I tried on a couple of different pairs but didn't like any of them as much as that one pair. SO I decided that I was going to have to buy them! But as I got into the line I realized that they are having a discount in the store that I could buy more things in the store to get me a discount on what I was buying. SO I worked my math, and I ended up leaving the store with those dirty shoes, and three FREE shirts! I was soooo pumped and I knew that mom would be happy with me! haha. I know that dad is rolling his eyes right now, but I will take a pic of all that I bought, and then he will be impressed! 
Alrighty so now on to the real spiritual stuff and the reason as to why all of you read my Emails!  I am going to start by now answering some of mom's questions! I bet she felt left out in these last couple weeks because I was only answering dad's, but he was the one that was always all over my back! haha. 
  • Anyway, We are super interested to hear if you were able to have Maria's baptism last week.  If so, how did you solve the problem on the NO AGUA EN LA CAPILLA?  I'll look forward to that story.
    • Alright so this is a good story! Buckle Up! SO we finally ordered a pipa to the church. A pipa is a truck that comes with water to fill up the big tanks that are found on the church properties.  SO once the truck got there we were pretty excited because we were going to be able to have the baptism in our own church, but then we started to fill up the pilla and the water was coming out green!  My comp thought that maybe it would settle and that it would end up being clear again so we let it fill up all the way! When we came back to check on it, it was still bright green!  It looked like the little swamp that we run around every morning!  So we waited for everyone to get there, and we had everyone go to a different church building, where we had also filled up the pilla to have the baptism! So we all went up there and the service was packed with people! It was the baptism of the hermana maria, but also of a little 8 year old kid in the ward who has a ton of family! The service was really awesome and really spiritual! I will obviously send along photos today of the baptisms! Then on sunday hermana maria got up to compartir her testimony to the ward. It was awesome, and she is just in love with the church! it was so amazing!
    • Are you bonding with Elder Cruz?  Does he have a fun - or serious - personality?  
      • Elder cruz is a boss, and he is a great missionary! I am loving practicing my spanish with him just like I used to when i had mexican comps. I feel like all this time with gringo comps has kind of affected my spanish!  But I should be coming home super mexican with an alright accent! haha. He is fun, and we get along great. Honestly, I have been thinking about it, and I have never had a comp that I didnt get along with! I have had awesome comps!
      • Anything interesting to share from your week?
        • This week we had a zone conference with president and the Hermana Call. In these conferences we don't go with them. But it was our turn to hear the conference with our zone on Thursday! It was great, and they talked a lot about repentance! They also had an anouncement from the area presedency about the sister missionaries and how there will now be assigned sisters to be the leaders of the other sisters! Should be a good change! 
        And now to answers dads questions! 
        • It looks like the weather is really warm there?
          • WOW it is getting ridiculously hot here! haha. During the days the son is just owning my face! haha.   
          • Is the humidity bad?  Is it tough to sleep at night or does it cool down?
            • I dont think that the humidity is bad. at least I can't feel it anymore, and every night I sleep with a fan at full blast pounding the air at my face so that I can sleep good! HAHA. But other than that, I usually sleep pretty good, but my back feels like it is just getting owned! 
          Well I love you all so much! 
          Love,
          Elder Holmes 
          As for the pics:  First one.....all that for the price of the shoes!!!  haha.  Then the pics of the baptism of the nino in the ward that got baptized and then the pic of Hermana Maria when she was baptized! Hermana Maria's son baptized her! He is a member of just 2 weeks, but is super powerful! He looked as if he had been a member all his life!

          Monday, April 15, 2013

          Greetings from "The Captain"





          Hi everyone.  
          Hope this e-mail finds you all just livin' the dream there!  Mom, so glad to hear that your surgery went well.  Hermana Call actually sent word to me on Thursday night that all had gone well with the surgery and that you were doing fine.  She sure has been nice to me!
          As you guys probably already guessed, this week was also an extremely busy week for us. Like every single week that i have had since I have been here in the offices. This week President wanted us to visit a couple of different companionships and work with a couple of different elders, but most of them were way far away! On Wednesday we went to some district meetings in Atotonilco and than we traveled about an hour and a half in bus to go and do divisions with the zone leaders in Valle de Mezquital (Hidalgo). We were up there with them the whole day working in their area, which was a good experience for us. One of my good friends from the mission, Elder Dove, is there. It was good to see him and work with him for the day.  We slept in their house (which is always my least favorite part -  sleeping in the houses of the other missionaries!  It is only my least favorite part because the elders never have any extra sheets, blankets, pillows, etc!  The night that we were up there I slept on some nasty matress with a super nasty blanket. You know those blankets that smell SUPER good and feel like silk? Yeah not those! haha. SO usually i don't get much sleep when I'm travelling, so that kind of plays in to my being tired sometimes. 
          And then on Friday (yesterday) we went up to Queretaro to study with some of the elders up there. It is always fun to go back to Queretaro! It is so pretty up there, and I just love it. It was sad to see Elder Hurst leave last week, but they are just killing it up there in my old ward! It kind of makes me jealous!  Anyway, here are a few answers to some of your questions.
          SO today is the baptism of the Hermana Maria and a little kid that is 8 years old from the ward! But the problem is that THERE IS NO WATER IN THE CAPILLA!  Unreal. We should have a water truck coming to fill up the pila here in a little but I hope it gets here. If not, we have our plan de respaldo in a different church building that is close by. So we will see what happens, but she is super pumped up for her baptism!
          • How is the rest of your teaching pool?
            • The teaching pool is struggling a lot right now in our area. We haven't been finding any one lately, and the ward has been tough to get references from. We are working hard on it though, and I hope to see some miracle here in the next couple weeks! 
          • Are you getting much time during the week to work your area?  
            • We dont get too much time to work in our area! This last week we worked all day Tuesday and a little bit on Thursday night. This next week we should get a little bit more time in our area, but we also have a bunch of missionaries arriving, which means more training sessions. We have about 9 new ones that we are going to train this next Tuesday.
          • Does Elder Cruz speak any English?
            • No not really, but we are working on it! The other day he gave his testimony to the new gringo elders that got here. He is getting better! 
          What a great conference it was last weekend! It was so inspiring, and I was able to receive some great revelation for me, the mission, my area, and the investigators we have right now. The power that is felt when the general authorities speak is a testimony to me of the truthfulness of this church. The spirit that I felt as Elder Holland bore testimony literally shook my body! They are prophets and apostles of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 
          Love you all,
          Elder Holmes






          Sunday, April 7, 2013

          Crazier than I Had Thought!




          So big news here in the mission.  Our e-mailing rules have changed!  President just this week finally gave us the same rules as all the other missions in the world, that we can now have contact with anyone through email. The only rule is that we can't email people of the oposite sex within the boundaries of the mission, which is pretty obvious. We now have an hour and a half to write, which is Double the time we've had actually! Kind of a big surprise for all the missionaries, but everyone was pretty excited about it.  SO if anyone wants to write me here in these last couple months then they can write me at my email address scott.holmes@myldsmail.net!  I doubt there is anyone out there that is dying to write! Especially since my bros don't even write anymore! haha. 

          OK, so this week was even crazier than I had thought it was going to be, because as you guys have heard, my companion Elder Hurst is no longer my companion. Sunday morning President told us that Elder Cruz would be coming here with me to the offices, and that Elder Hurst would be going to go to my old area there in Queretaro! I am not going to lie. I am pretty jealous because that area is just exploding and it looks like they should be setting some new records in the mission!  But we will see how they do! Thinking about it, I could have still been there with Elder Hyde! But you can't have your cake and eat it too!  So I was then made from one day to the next Assistant one, and took on a lot more responsibilities as well. I thought it was pretty nice just following Elder Hurst around! haha. The consejo for the zone leaders was canceled last month, so I had never given a consejo as an assistant, and this week i had to plan the whole junta with Elder Cruz (and the help of Hurst) and Cruz and I both gave the junta (it being the first one for the both of us!). I am not going to lie, I was pretty worried about it this week, and I didn't really sleep great. The days felt a lot longer because I was stressing over it. But honestly, it was one of the best juntas that I have given, and everyone really enjoyed it. We should see some great stuff happening here in the mission! I also think that President and Hermana call enjoyed the junta which is always a good thing. We talked about the teaching of the mission, and I remembered a cake example that I saw at BYU when they talked about how to teach! I dont know if I ever shared this with you but I bought a cake for the consejo, and when I pulled it out, I asked everyone who would like some of the cake.  Of course, everyone raised their hand! I related the cake to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I then said just like this perfect cake, everyone should want the gospel in their lives, and asked "so why do some people reject it"?  I then grabbed the cake with my hand and threw it on a little plastic plate.  I asked everyone who wanted a piece now. I then related that to our teaching. We have the perfect message, but it depends on the way that we "serve" it to the people. I thought it went really well, and I had done this activity with some of my other zones before. We talked about how the doctrine needs to be in our hearts as missionaries and did some great practices, and really felt the spirit!

          As for the rest of the week, Monday and tuesday we had a bunch of new missionaries coming in that we had to train, and also a bunch of missionaries that were headed home (like Elder Marquez and my old comp, the other Elder Cruz). We gave 3 capacitaciones to the new missionaries and the trainers, and also went down to the mtc in the DF to pick them up. That night I had a good talk with Elder Marquez, and as you can imagine when missionaries go home they are so excited that they don't even sleep!  SO me sleeping much here in the offices isnt too likely!

          As for our baptism, Hermana Maria isn't going to get baptized this week because her son wasn't able to come down here to baptize her. We will be having the baptism next Saturday instead. She is still really excited, and went to the first session of conference with us today in the morning! WOw what a session it was and what great testimonies! The testimony of Elder Eyring was just so powerful!  This is the true church. There is no doubt about that!  You can sure feel it as the prophet and apostles speak. I am excited for the rest of the sessions. 

          Now Just to answer some questions that you guys had:
          • So what are the training plans the next 3 months? How many missionaries will you be receiving?
            • President really still hasn't let us know whats going to go down, but all I know is that for the two new missions,  we have to train an assistant for the both of them (2 assistants) and 2 secretaries as well. And then for our mission, we will need another one, so we will see what happens! 
          • When do the two sister assistants get called?  Just like you go out on splits and study with the elders the sisters need the same treatment.  Mom's mission president was sure inspired 30 years ago. I'm surprised it hasn't been done more in the past.
            • I actually talked about this with president the other day, and he also thinks that it is something that they will have to do with so many new sister missionaries! We are going from 25 sisters in the mission to about 100 so we will see what they end up doing for the leadership.
          Watch the conference everyone! They are special witnesses of Jesus Christ! I love you! 

          Elder Holmes



          Friday, April 5, 2013

          HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE! (from March 30th)


          Wanted to send these pics so WILCOX can see that I'm still dominating at MATA MOSCAS!  Yeah baby! That is definitely why I got an "A" in her class!  Anyway, my comp and I have been teaching some English classes to the ward sisters down here and they like the game too.  It has been fun to teach the members English, as well as how to better live the gospel!


          Here are some pics of my comp and I, with a member of the ward.  We had just finished bowling on our P-Day.



          Hey family.  I can’t believe that I forgot to wish the only girl that is waiting for me a Happy Birthday last week!  Claire Chilton! You better still be waiting for me! I hope that you had a great day, Claire, and I bet you just look even younger than ever! I sure love you lots!

          Sure glad I finally made dads life, by answering the million different questions that he asked me last week, so I guess I will answer his questions again this week. I have flipped over a new leaf! Anyway......

          1. So how was the week?


          This week went pretty well for my comp and me. Things have been pretty busy planning for the big week that we are going to have next week! I hope to write you guys next week with the two baptisms that we should be having in our area, and all of the events that will be going on! Today we have changes for the mission, so this week we helped president out a little looking at the changes, as well as the leaders in the mission. He Invited us up to his house to eat lunch with him and his wife, and then we talked about changes for a couple of hours. Tonight we should be looking at them as well. He asks us for different suggestions, as we are the ones who see the whole mission, and talk to the leaders every night, but it is truly amazing how he receives inspiration before making every change! It really is the Lords work. He knows exactly where we need to be, and with who, in order to have a successful mission. I surely have seen that in my mission. 

          2.    Are you loving being an AP?


          There are for sure some fun things about being ap, but there are also a couple things that I miss about the field such as the hours spent proselyting. I love how we are able to study with all of the new missionaries, and see the progress that they are making. It has really helped my teaching as well, because we are always doing practices with them and studying hard to help them grow. I like also how president is always close by. Wow what a amazing man he is.  He amazes me on how he always stays focused and is always praying in his mind. Its been an amazing learning experience for me, to say the least.

          3.    Do the zone and district leaders respond to you well?


          I feel like the majority of the district and zone leaders respond well to me. I feel like I have built a pretty good relationship with them over the year and a half that I have as a missionary. I always try to earn their confidence. Something I liked a lot from one of my teachers in high school (mr. Clark) was how he talked about confidence and respect. Clark Began by asking all the members of his class if we respected him. We obviously all said yes, and he asked us why? We answered that we respected him because he was a teacher, and he was older than us. He then taught us that respect shouldn't just be expected with the position we hold, or with the age we have, but that we should win/earn the respect of everyone. He told us that he was going to work hard to earn our respect, and I feel the same with the position that I have been given right now.

          This week should be busy with the changes and the training for the new missionaries. The consejo de lideres de zona (which we always have in the house of president), the zone meetings on Thursday, Conference Saturday and Sunday, and then the couple of baptisms that we will have on Sunday.  My good friend Elder Marquez is leaving this week with all the miss arises who are going home. It will be sad to see him go, but I was sure glad we became great friends here on the mission.  

          I am so excited for General Conference next week, and I am so grateful for this Easter season that we are in!  The sacrifice that was made on the cross was something so important for each of us to understand and appreciate, but what is more important this Easter season, and rarely remembered, is that He Lives!  I am so grateful for the resurrection, and the sacrifice my Savior made for every one of us!  I love being a missionary for His church!  

          To finish my letter with a funny story, I will tell you guys something that happened to me last week as I was on the bus ride up to Queretaro.  I drank a ton of water before the trip, so I had to go to the bathroom about 10 times on the trip.  My bad karma is that I never flushed the toilet because those toilets are always nasty!!  SO  one of the time when I got up to use the bathroom, I had my phone in my hand and when I entered, the bus driver hit a bump and there went my cell phone into the very full toilet!  YES!!  So I pulled it out real fast with my hand and let it lay out for the whole night.  When I turned it on the next morning it was as good as new! However, my comp refuses to use the phone now!!!  

          Love you all so much,

          Elder Holmes

          Monday, March 25, 2013

          Much Better!


          Wow, so this week was a definite improvement with the emails that were sent to me!! haha. It was sure fun to hear from all of you. We had a pretty great week with some really cool events that happened in our area! I am going to start off by telling you guys what we did today! We went to watch a kid from our ward open his mission call! I was so happy to see him open his call, because i was kind of sad that I missed Nick's call. This made up for it, and actually he is going into the mtc the same day as Nick! His name is Alejandro, and he was called to serve in the North Carolina spanish speaking mission! Maybe he will get to meet my friend Chrissy! haha. Oh I heard she is going to get married! Tell her congrats for me!! Speaking of friends, I also want to congratulate Lauren Cochran with her mission call to Africa! Too bad you leave the exact same day that I get home! You will do great Lauren! 



          Ok so the baptism last week of Angel went just great, but we were a little worried because his boss didn't let him off of work until 8:30 that night, so we had a really late baptismal service for him, but it was super special, and he is extremely happy. He Is progressing great in the gospel! 

          SO i want to tell you guys about a miracle that we had this week, and something that rarely happens on the mission! Her name is Maria Christina. Last week we received a reference from some elders that attend our same church building. We tried contacting her last week, but we couldn't find her in her house. On Monday we went to go visit her, and the first thing that she told us was "I am going to be baptized next week!" haha. This took my comp and I so off guard that we started to laugh a little bit, because we are the ones who should be putting a fecha with her, and not her just telling us! haha. She then goes on to tell us that Her son is being baptized in another mission this weekend, and that he will then receive the priesthood, and will baptize her. So all the work was kind of done for us! We then talked to her about the organization of the church, and how she needs to be baptized here so that she can have visiting teachers, etc. (because she was going to get baptized in the ward of her son). She was just pumped with the idea, and this last week went to two of the activities that the hermanas of the Relief Society put on, and she is just in love with the church and the hermanas! So this weekend she is going to the baptism of her son, and hopefully by the 7th of April, her son can receive the priesthood so that he can then come and baptize his mom! How awesome would that be? He will see if that all works out! She is just pumped to get baptized, and she already is progressing a bunch! 

          This week we did a bit of traveling again, and today I would like to answer some of the questions that dad asked me! Yah dad that's right, I am actually going to answer your questions! haha
          • How do you like the ward?                      
              • The ward is a really awesome ward here in atlanta! They have been really good at giving the missionaries references, and they all understand that we have a really full schedule, so sometimes we can't come to eat in their homes or visit them, and they don't get mad about it! haha. I have met a lot of people that get kind of upset when the missionaries don't visit them. 
          • Do you live close to the mission home?
              • We lIve about 30 minutes away from the mission home. 
          • Is the mission office separate from the mission home?  If so, are they close to each other?
              • So we have the offices and the mission home. Two totally diferent places. The house of president is in a really fresa(nice) place in valle dorado, and the offices are here in Cuautitlan. 
          • Do you eat with members or is your schedule too sporadic and you eat more on your own?
            • We eat with the members, but lots of time we have to cancel because we aren't in our area, and then we usually eat with the other missionaries. And of course, sometimes we have to eat on our own. But the hermanas are super good about it here in our ward. 
          • Have you seen any area 70s?  Are any general authorities scheduled to visit before you leave? 
            • We listened to Elder Alonso the other week when he came to the mission, but there are no others planned before I leave the mission. 
          • Did you get my photos from last week?
            • Yes i did get your photos!! I love getting photos so keep them coming. Oh and mom I also got the package with the jersey and Rafa just loved it! As well as his wife! She says it makes him look extremely guapo! haha. thanks!
          So That is all there is from me. I love you all a bunch! 


          Love, Elder Holmes

          Monday, March 18, 2013

          March 17th - "Remember ME??"



          Hey Guys!

          Remember me? My name is Elder Holmes and I am actually currently STILL serving my mission!! haha. I am not home yet bros!!!  What ever hapened to "perseverar hasta el fin"?? haha. I would love to see the pics of the opening of nicks mission call, the video, pictures of moms trip in london, etc..... What if I all of a sudden just stopped sending you guys emails and pics? Do you at least still read my emails?? I am not going to complain however because mom did write me a pretty detailed email about what has been going on, but my question is, who in the heck is even playing on the nuggets team?  I hear all this talk about us tearing it up, and I don't think we even have anyone good. Sure sounds like a lot of fun going to the Knicks and Grizzlies games this last week and everything. When does march madness start? You need to send me my draw!!

          As for me, the weeks are flying by, and we have been all over the place with tons of things to do. One of the fun parts about being in the offices is that we get to travel, and I get to know the parts of the mission where i have never been, such as Hidalgo! This last week we went to study with a companionship there in a place called Valle de Mezquital. It is extremely far away from the offices!  We had to take one of those big coach busses and then three diferent comvees just to get there. It took us about 3 or 4 hours, we studied for 2 hours and then we came all the way back! We thought that it was going to just be a little morning trip, but it was a lot further than we thought. I took some pictures there because I had never been there and I also was able to try the famous food from there called pastes!  They are wicked good! The other trip that we did this week was that we went to Queretaro again yesterday in the morning. We went to study with some missionaries and then I was able to work the whole day with Elder Hyde. We wanted to help them out because Elder Smith hasn't been able to leave the house for the last week and a half, and the doctor says that he still has to stay inside for the next couple of days. He is recovering well, but the doctor doesn't want it to get infected with all of the polvo and what not. He should be good to go this next week. It has been fun for me to go there though and see some of my converts and the people that I left in teaching that have now gotten baptized. Yesterday when we worked we found a great guy named Alejandro, who accepted a date to be baptized and to come to church. I know that there are still tons of people waiting for me, to teach them the gospel. We got back from Queretaro today in the morning, and now we are pretty tired so we have spent some of our p-day just chillin.The weather here in Mexico has been pretty cold for the past week, but it's great weather to work in!  It has been super cloudy and yesterday it actually rained on us a little bit.
           
          On Thursday I went on a division with Elder Watson, my MTC companion. It is pretty amazing to see how far we have come in our spanish and in our teaching! In the mtc, I remember stuttering over words and not knowing any spanish at all, and now the both of us can actually teach pretty fluidly in spanish!! He is a great kid. One thing that I have definitely learned in my mission is how important a baptism really is! I always knew it was super important in my life, but sometimes we are way too casual in sharing the gospel when there are thousands of people around us struggling, just because they dont know where to find the truth. I have learned to invite everyone to be baptized and in any situation. It is the first step on our way back to our Heavenly Father. Watson and I talked about this before we started the day, and during the day we focused on inviting EVERYONE. We acutally ended up putting a baptismal date with a taxi driver while he took us from one part of the area to another part! haha. He was actually so excited to listen to us, and he was so pumped when we told him about baptism. He accpeted a date super easily, and it was a great testimony to me that God is preparing his children to hear the only true gospel!! Baptism is the best decision someone can make, but it is also just the begining of what he asks of us! For some reason, every time I have been in divisions I have had a bunch of success! I think the Lord is trying to make me miss the field!!  I hope that some of those blessings also start to come in my own area!!

          We have had some great success with a young guy named Angel in our ward! He has progressed a lot, and today he is going to be baptized at 8 o clock! He is really excited, and he has definitely been a tender mercy of the Lord for my comp and me. I will be sending you guys the photos as well of the baptism but not until next week. My testimony has grown so much in the time that I have as a representative of his son Jesus Christ, and I know that there are people all around us waiting to here the word of the Lord! Work hard with the missionaries. We will only receive our salvation, if we help those around us in need! I love you all so much!

          Love, Elder Holmes


          PICS INCLUDE:  
          1)  The pic with the big teddy bear is a family there in Queretaro that really liked me!
          2)  A pic of the land scape of valle de mezquital!
          3)  The pic with the two elders is the first church that was built in our mission, and one of the first ones built in mexico! Pretty cool stuff!