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

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! 

March 10th - A Crazy Busy Week!


How are you guys doing???

I am doing pretty well, but I like how dad asked me if I've caught up on my sleep that i needed! I got a good laugh out of that!  This was definitely not the week to do that. But I did just take a little nap for about an hour or so, so I am feeling a lot better. This week was a crazy busy week! The time seems to go by so fast, that I don't even remember everything that happened in this last week. It was also filled with a couple of diferent adventures. 

I would like to start by adressing one of dads questions of what we do on p-day. Well it is a lot diferent because we are the only missionaries with their p-day on Saturday instead of Monday so we really cant do anything with the other missionaries. So these last couple weeks we have been visiting converts of my comp and what not. Last week we went to make some pizzas with one of his converts and that was really fun. I will send you guys along the photos of the sweet pizzas that we made. And you might be asking why haven't you visited some of your converts, and the answer is that we are going to go visit them today because it is the baptism of Karla at 6 in the afternoon, Mayra and Adrian's daughter, my converts in Tepozatlan. She just turned 8 years old about a week ago, and my comp Elder Neyra who was with me when we baptized Mayra, came down from Tijuana to baptize Karla. SO that is going to be a really fun afternoon. I hope to see most of my converts from Tepo there in the baptismal service. Great stuff! 

Ok now i am sure you guys are just anxious to hear about the week! On Monday we got to go down with President to the airport to pick up six new american missionaries that got here to the field. Let me tell you, it was soooo Weird to be in the airport to pick all of them up. I havent been there since I was first getting here over a year and a half ago. They are all extremely excited to be here in Mexico. They had been serving in Ogden for about 4 weeks when their visas finally got there. It was fun to see their faces as we went back to the house of President. I remember just looking out and soaking all of the mexican culture in. We stopped off at a little tienda and bought them a bunch of mexican treats. We went back to presidents house and ate. They then had all their interviews, and then we came back to the offices so that they could sleep before their big next day. The next day we had the training meeting and they all then found out who was going to be their trainers. During the meeting, I received a call from Elder Hyde and Elder Smith in Queretaro. They told us that Elder Smith was really sick and that he wasn't going to be able to give the zone capacitation tomorrow there in Queretaro. When the meeting was finishing up, and they were all going to their areas, we got another call from them and found out that Elder Smith went to draw some blood at a little hospital, and then had gone to the bathroom to do a urine test, when he fainted and smacked his face on the toilet. Well with that bad fall, we found out that he had broken his nose and that he was going to need surgery. So Instead of following with the normal plans that we had, we had to travel up to Queretaro real quick so that I could go to some meetings with the Stake Presidents, while my comp stayed with Elder Smith in the hospital. I stayed the night in my old house there in Queretaro (just like old times with my bud Elder Hyde) and then the next day, I went to give the junta to all the elders there in Queretaro. They were all really surprised to see me there!

While i was up there in Queretaro in the church building, I saw an hermana that was good friends with the Amaya family (my converts whose member friend had died). She calls up one of my converts right then on the phone, and before I knew it, she was there in the church to say hi to me! haha. It was Viviana. We talked just for a minute because we then had to have the juntas with president. I was able to talk to the rest of them on the phone though, and they were all excited to hear from me. It was crazy how that worked out. The next day I went to eat with a great family there and I went to say hi to a couple of my converts. They all seemed to be doing awesome. We then went back to the hospital where we found Elder Smith getting out of surgery, so we just had to take some pics with him!!  My comp and I then traveled back here to the state of Mexico and got here at about 9 o clock at night! Thursday and Friday we studied in the mornings with new missionaries and we just had the afternoon to work and find new people. But it has been extremely hard to find people to teach in our area. When we are here we are working like crazy, but we haven't seen much success. I think that guy named Angel that I told you about will get baptized next week, but that is the only person we have right now. Well I think that is about it.  It was a pretty crazy week, but filled with some great and tough experience. 

Love you all,
Elder Holmes

PICS INCLUDE:  Making pizzas with Elder Hurst; Making sure one of our converts never forgets me; getting the new missionaries some mexican snacks; visiting Elder Smith in the hospital; the baptism of Karlita!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Wow! I am Mad!

Hi family.  Here is Scott's letter for the week.  He was a little ticked that Nick hadn't opened his call before he wrote on Saturday morning.  He was able to go on a bit later and his e-mail to us then was simply "TELL ME WHERE HE IS GOING!!!!!"  We were fortunately able to e-mail him right back with the news of Sao Paolo Brazil, and his response was "YESSSSS!!!! Hey bud I am way pumped for you!!! Congrats! You are the boss! i love you so much!" We are thrilled that Nick and Scott will be able to enjoy 3 weeks together after Scott comes home and before Nick leaves.  Thanks to you all for your support this weekend - and ALWAYS!  Love you.....CA

Hi guys.  So I got here to the offices all early today to see if you guys had emailed me where Nick is going on his mission!  But no!  Sooo rude!  My guesses are (1) Argentina -- I'm sure he's going here!  But if he goes to Mexico, I'm guessing Queretaro and if he goes stateside, I'm guessing California.  I think I'm going to win!!!
Hey guys,
So this is going to be a really short email because I am super ticked at all of you today because I have to wait even more time to see where Nick is going to be going on his mission! haha. I couldn't even sleep last night, and now I have to wait another night just thinking about it. I did dream last night that he was sent to Vera Cruz mexico! I really hope that he comes here to Mexico! It is the best country ever! And it would be even sicker if he came to the mission that I am in or the Queretaro mission! But I am super excited to see where he will be spending the next 2 years of his life. The mission is the best experience that any young man can have, and a wonderful way to forget about yourself and work hard to help other people! Nick, I am so excited for you!  I just know that the Lord will send you exactly where He needs you!
Wow the weeks just pass by crazy fast because it seems like we always have a million different things that are going on!! Last saturday was the baptism of Loli, which was another great experience, and she was so happy! She is a really old lady, and lives in Chiapas. She headed back to her house this week, but she went as member of the church to take the message back to all of her family. She is such a great laady, and I will send you guys the pics of the baptism that we had. This week was spent in capacitaciones in the state of Mexico and the state of Hidalgo. We had meetings for all of the leaders in the mission. President and Sister Call, along with my companion and me, gave the capacitations. On wednesday after the meeting in Hidalgo, we stayed up there and worked with some of the missionaries. We got back about mid-day on Thursday and only had Thursday night and Friday to work in our area. It is kind of tough with so little time to work in our area but it looks like after this week things will start to calm down a little bit. On monday, 6 Americans are coming in! I am pretty excited to see them, because it gives me hardcore flashbacks to what it was like when I first got to the field. Also with nick opening his mission call, it has taken me back to 2 years ago when i opened my call and went through the temple. I actually just renewed my temple recomend because it had been two years since I first went in!  I cant believe that!  It feels like yesterday when all of that was happening. The time in the mission really has passed by soooo fast. Maybe I will just extend for another year! haha. (I would but I have to get home to be the best man in the wedding!) All this talk about me being the best man, and i have never once been asked to be the BM! haha. Then on Tuesday we have the meeting for all of the trainers and the new missionaries, and then on Wednesday we have the meeting with all of the zone leaders here in the offices. After that it should be pretty calm and then we will focus in on doing divisions with the zone leaders, studying with the new missionaries, etc. 
I don't know if you guys have realized, but I am trying to write better weekly letters since I have been here in the offices because it has been way too hard for me to write in my journal! I have been pretty good at writing in my journal my whole mission. I had never missed a full week without writing, and for most of my mission, I have written every single day. But right now there just seems to be no time. And many times we aren't even in the house! So, mom help me out by printing out all of my letters. I feel bad not writing, and I need to find the time to do it. Also this last week we successfuly switched houses, and the new house is pretty legit. I will have to send you guys some nice pics of it. It is the nicest house that I have lived in my whole mission. 
Now to finish my letter off I want to tell you guys of a experience that I had this last Sunday in church. We went at 11:30 with the bishop before church started at 12 to have a little junta with him and his counselors. When we were finishing up the meeting and going to get ready for the first hour (sacrament meeting) he says "Oh Elders, you guys are speaking today in church!  I love when they do that!!!  It was fun though because I got to present myself with the ward, and I talked a little bit about our example as members. I shared with them a quote that I like "Live everyday so that the people who are around you will want to know Christ, because they know you!" I talked a little bit about the Amaya family (my converts in Queretaro) and how because of the good influence of their friend who died, they wanted to know Christ. I think it went well. I have gotten pretty used to speaking on the spot!  Well I love you all!  Send me an email right when Nick opens his call!!!! I am pumped!!
Elder Holmes