Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy in Mexico!

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! 
          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!  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