Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 80

Dear Everyone

Sorry this email will be short today. Such an awesome week... so dramatic. So crazy. So, Kim Su Youn didn't get baptized last Saturday.. She disappeared about a week ago. She didn't come to church last week and hasn't answered our calls or texts since then. We've tried to contact her several times each day but we haven't heard from her all week. It was really really hard at first. I went to the temple on tuesday with a heavy heart. but there I felt peace that everything would work out, and that we would see a miracle this transfer. It wasn't the miracle that I expected though.

Kim Seo Youn is getting baptized this week.

I can't describe adequately in words the emotions I felt this week.  
This last week her older sister got very very sick, with a severe kind of blood poisoning that was quite life threatening. We honestly didn't know if her sister would live. Kim Seo Youn said she prayed harder than she ever has that she would do anything so her sister could live. She said that's when she got her answer that she needed to be baptized. It was such an amazing experience that I'll never forget. We called her and cried and cried on the phone together. I didn't know these feelings were possible. I've never felt so happy. I know that through our trials and afflictions God humbles us and helps us see clearly, because that's what He did for her. Luckily her sister is okay. She is out of the emergency room and should be able to go home within this week. Kim Seo Youn already had her baptismal interview on Saturday. Everything is set. I can't believe it. I feel like its a dream. All the frustration we felt, the countless lessons, inviting, testifying.. everything makes sense now. Everything came together. Everything prepared her and now her faith is strong. She is set. I am so happy. Miracles are real. God answers prayers. I feel so blessed to be ending my mission with this feeling burning in my heart stronger than ever.

Love you all. 

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Week 79

Dear fam

All is well. I'm having a bit of a panic attack as I'm realizing I'm starting to experience the "last time" for a lot of things. Its starting to set in a little bit that I'm leaving soon and I'm experiencing a crazy roller coaster of emotions. But its all good. It was another great week!

We had a 'mission tour' this week. Which means one of the area seventy over our mission came and spoke to us. President Ringwood!! I was super stoked about seeing him after  the killer talk he gave at general conference.. and yes he gave us another killer talk this week. Wow. What a spiritual feast. I honestly feel like everything that was said was everything that I needed to hear. He talked a lot about the influence the mission will have on you for the rest of your life if you let it.. He talked about how important the habits we develop on our mission are and to never 'adjust' back to the old ways. It really helped me cope with some of the crazy emotions I've been feeling this transfer. But most of all I loved hearing him bear testimony of the Savior at the very end. There's a special spirit that can't be described when you're in the same room as a general authority and they bear divine witness of Jesus Christ. 

Things are good with Kim Su Yeoun. We're preparing for her baptism this Saturday! Pray that everything goes through with this girl! She is so prepared! She is still concerned about her family and boyfriend situation. Pray that it won't hold her back from taking the step of being baptized.
Kim Seo Yeon!!! This week she actually made a comment that brought us a lot of excitement. She said she really does want to get baptized before we leave. She's praying and fasting about it. I can't even imagine how amazing that would be. Such an answer to our prayers. But that being said, whatever happens will be okay. Because she will be baptized someday. So it doesn't really matter if I get to see it or not, right? That would just be a bonus. But whatever happens will happen! She says that everything as of late especially general conference has helped her faith so much and just assured her that she really is where she needs to be.

Other exciting things this week.. we had a really awesome stake music night. All of the missionaries in our stake performed special musical numbers. It was SO much fun. We performed a special arrangement of 'Abide with me 'Tis eventide'. Some of the other districts were more fun than us and sang things like 'Somewhere over the rainbow' but hey can't go wrong with spiritual haha. It was great a lot of our investigators came and really enjoyed it. Also the Elders had a baptism yesterday and me and 3 other Elders sang "My Kindness shall not depart from thee"! Yes mom, it was so pretty! It was just a really singy week.

This week should be great.. temple day tomorrow and I get to see some of my converts from Sinchon!! I'm going to lunch with Kim Dong Hee tomorrow, I'm so excited.. I'll actually be able to understand her now!

Welp gotta split! Love you all have a great week.

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Week 78

Dear fam and friends and all you loved ones out there

I'll have to be honest. I'm really starting to dislike emailing. Only because it means another week has come and gone and its already time to email you again... Time is going faster than I wish it would. Anyways, it was a great week though! For lots of reasons... The Piano Guys! They came to Korea and we had a devotional with them last night!! it was amazing. We brought our investigators and they LOVED it. The music was incredible, and they bore powerful testimonies of the gospel.. It was so amazing. They cello guy, Steven Sharp Nelson, served his mission in Korea! So did one of the other producer guys. So they were so happy to be in Korea and see the Korean people again. 

Kim Seo Youn is still progressing really well and preparing for baptism. We had a really great lesson with her last week when I was on exchanges with Sister Neidhardt. We talked more about the role of prayer (that's what we focused on with her a lot this week) and how essential it is to her conversion. We asked her if she'd really prayed to know if what we were teaching her was true.. she admitted that she hadn't actually prayed to know for herself! She said she just believed it and thought it was good so she didn't see the need to question it! We talked about the importance of personal conversion. We said a kneeling prayer together and she offered the prayer. It was such a special experience. She's really excited to be baptized. She even started making her own baptismal clothes haha she didn't know we had some for her to use already.. whoops. What a sweetheart. She is so prepared. Her biggest worry/trial right now is just that her dad, brothers, and boyfriend don't want to accept the gospel. She wants so badly to live the gospel faithfully for the rest of her life. Her family doesn't mind that she's getting baptized and becoming a member of our church, but they don't want anything to do with it for themselves.. and to be honest they're kind of bad influences on her. They don't live commandment keeping lives in any way.. so she just keeps saying how hard it is when she goes home after church or after meeting with us and all the light she felt with us seems to go away when she's with them. She says its really hard for her, and I can totally understand that! I just hope she keeps pushing through and when she receives the holy ghost she'll get that strength and help beyond her own to stand strong always. PRAY FOR THIS GIRL!

We watched "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration" with Kim SOO Youn this week. I realized that watching this with investigators is hard for me because every time I watch it I cry for a good 15 minutes straight after, and there's nothing I can do to control it haha. She was almost crying with me. To cheer ourselves up we decided to watch Elder Holland's testimony of the book of mormon (mormon message). It reminded me why Joseph Smith died the way he died, suffered what he suffered, did what he did. Because the book of mormon is true!!! I think it helped her a lot, I know for sure she felt the power and testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith when she watched it. She continues to progress. Slowly. But progress none the less!

 We continue to see lots of miracles every day. Haven't had any luck finding less actives yet.. But but my district leader said something encouraging in our district meeting this week. He reminded us that even if we don't find these less actives and the only thing we do is confirm that they have moved addresses, we are still doing something that needs to be done sooner or later! We are still doing the Lord's work! It's a cool feeling. Also it gives more direction in our missionary work. Instead of just going out to jundo for 2 hours, we are going to find the lost sheep and God puts people for us to talk to in our path along the way. It's great.

I've been studying a lot about prayer lately and yesterday at the devotional John Schmit said some great things about prayer that I needed to hear. "PRAYER IS REAL" and "The Lord doesn't say cry unto me for some of your support, or most of your support, but ALL of your support". Prayer is something that I easily take for granted. I forget how important it is sometimes, and especially how important praying with real faith and intent is (you'd think I'd know these things by now, how long have I been on my mission? Sheesh) Specific prayer brings specific blessings! Its so true! I love the Bible definition of prayer. It says something like "as soon as we understand the relationship in which we stand with our Father in Heaven, prayer becomes natural, almost instinctive on our part". God is our Father. We are his children. He wants to talk to us. All the time, every day, no matter what. 

Love you, have a great week and don't forget to pray.

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매
P-Day at a cute fancy restaurant.

last night…Sister Lee (from Sinchon) came to the piano guys concert!!!! :) It was so good to see her

Week 77

Dear everyone I love!

Another monday is here and I'm sitting down emailing again, its unbelievable. This week was super busy and zoomed by in a blink. Mission leadership council was great and so was our Zone meeting. The focus for our mission this month is still the book of mormon, but we have an extra focus on less active work! We gave our zone the commitment this month to visit every member, active and less active, in their ward this transfer, and to share the power of the book of mormon with them. I'm excited, there's gonna be lots of cool miracles, I can feel it.

Kim Soo Yeon is progressing amazingly. She loves everything we teach her and accepts it all so well. Still preparing and excited for baptism on May 2nd. She's given up coffee completely and hasn't slipped once! I am so proud She would definitely be ready to be baptized before then.. She has already come to church 3 times if you include general conference and we meet with her 2 to 3 times a week.. But that's the day she wants to be baptized. because May is the 5th month and there are 5 people in her family, its special or something like that! Anyways she is doing so well. I feel so blessed that God put her in our path.

Kim Seo (so) Yeon (yes I promise our investigators aren't the same person mom haha). She came to all 4 sessions of conference and loved it! So that's great. She said she really came to understand a lot of things better. Before conference we had her write down any questions she had about our church or doctrine.. Her questions seemed to all be really specific and kind of weird.. Me and Sister Yoon were thinking "great she won't get answers to those" but the craziest thing happened.. for almost every one of her questions there was a talk that answered it! I'm serious! For example she asked that if among missionaries/leaders in our church if its some sort of "power game" or competition. President Ringwood's talk answered that one spot on! (which by the way was one of my favorites). It was such a cool experience and a manifestations to me that God knows her heart and He knew that this general conference specifically would answer her concerns. So cool. She continues to meet with us, read and pray and come to church. So yes she is progressing. To say she's excited for her trip to Utah would be an understatement.. literally.

So General conference was amazing right? I hate myself I forgot to bring my notes. but some of my favorite talks from the top of my head were Elder Ringwood, Elder Redlund(? the one about becoming true latter-day saints) and Elder Holland and President Uchtdorf. I feel like the 2 main topics hit were FAMILY, and the importance of personal conversion. Must be important or something. This general conference felt different to me than ones before. Everything just felt like it had more of an urgency to me than they ever have before. The general authorities seemed to be more direct and specific in their speaking than ever before. Especially with what happened on Saturday during the confirming and sustaining of the church leaders, when someone shouted out "Opposed". My heart shattered into a million pieces.. but in that moment I felt my own testimony grow inside of my heart that I know these men and women are called of God, and I will sustain and defend them forever! It just makes me sad to think those people went there just to do that. I feel bad for them. No hand (or voice) can stop the Lord's work. The call to be a valiant member of the church is stronger than ever before! We cannot be passive! We cannot be apathetic! We must defend and share our beliefs. We must live according to what we believe.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYONE!!! Love you all. Peace out till next week!

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

벚꽃  :)

Week 76

안녕하세요 :) Hi.

I hope you all had a wonderful easter and conference weekend!! Easter was a special day. Its not really a big deal at all hear in Korea but there were some lovely testimonies shared about the Savior during fast and testimony meeting that filled my heart with the easter spirit. Also a ward member that served in Utah when she was young brough hard boiled eggs for everyone (not decorated but hey I'll take it). It was a wonderful day. I can't wait for conference this weekend! Every week is flying by faster and faster I can hardly believe it.. Its still unreal. I have so little time left but there is still so much work to be done! It doesn't feel like my last transfer at all. Thinking about leaving brings me to tears every time so the less I think about it the better. Anyways, all is well! So well. 

I told you about our Kim Soo Yeon last week right? Well she is continuously an amazing miracle and she's progressing so well.. I have been so blessed to meet so many prepared people here in Sanggye. Everything we taught her this week she accepted right away and has such a desire to change. We taught her the restoration and plan of salvation last week, and also the word of wisdom and the law of chastity. She has a pretty bad addiction to coffee. Usually drinks about 10 cups a day... and after we taught her, she quit cold turkey!! Taught her about it on Thursday and when she came to church on Sunday she hadn't drank one cup! She showed up to church a little late because she had such a horrible headache from not drinking coffee... but I just can't believe she even came! She was so sick! She is so devoted to this gospel already. She knows the change will be hard but she's not afraid of it. She wants to have an eternal family. She even found the mormon channel on her own and started watching the I am a Mormon videos.. and loves them so much. Something else I was really impressed by was when we taught the law of chastity and she said she wanted to start dressing more modestly, before we even addressed it. Normally she wears low shirts and high skirts, and she wants to change. And the best part is she is SO happy and so excited about all of it. As we teach her we ask her if there is anything she doesn't understand or is wondering about, and her answer is always "No... because I believe it all!" I have never met anyone quite like her.

Our other main 'progressing' investigator right now is Kim Seo Yeon. We're in the same boat we've been in with her for the past few months. She comes to church every week, prays and reads the book of mormon every day, and knows its all true. She's coming to Utah in July!! and they've already planned everything out, to visit missionaries, temple square.. she is so excited. She knows its all true. But she's not ready to take that step towards baptism. It has been a frustrating time with her, but at the same time I feel at peace right now. We know she will be baptized someday. Her biggest fear is getting baptized and becoming less active. She says she will not let that happen. So if that's her biggest fear I'd say things are okay. As long as she truly is doing her part in exercising her faith, everything is okay. Maybe this is the Lord's plan and for some reason she needs to wait a little bit longer. I'm not sure but I'll continue to trust in Him and pray for her continual progression.

This morning in my personal study I started the book of Ether again. While I was reading about the brother of Jared I realized why he is so cool! Because he built trust in the relationship! He was a faithful servant who kept the commandments and went to the Lord in prayer every day.. so when the time came that he asked for help to guide his family his friends and his people, the Lord willingly gave help... "and thus I will do unto thee because of this long time ye have cried unto me". Just like my investigators and the people I meet on the street here in Korea, the Lord respond when He knows he can trust us.

This week should be a great one! Its already time for another missionary leadership council and zone training this week! And general conference!! Yes spiritual feast week! Should be a great one.

Love you all, have a great spring break fam.

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

District photo before the Elders transfer. Sushi with Nam Sung Won :) Yes. I paid too much for a few tiny pieces of raw fish. Okay

Got milk?

Week 75

Dear fam and friends

Well the new transfer starts this week. My last transfer starts this week. I can keep saying it and saying it and it just isn't real.... Sister Yoon and I are killing eachother! We'll be staying together for our last transfer and we're going home together.. I am so excited. I have heard its an awesome experience to be companions with someone that is going home with you your last transfer. We've set some goals to 'die strong' and to keep eachother going hard till the end. SO EXCITED. Also we are getting a new district leader who is parkour so that's sweet. I'm not kidding. Jeremy Carpenter everyone, look him up on youtube. MY DISTRICT LEADER!

HUGE Miracle this week!!! I would say we found a prepared person this week but that would be lying.. she found us! Her name is Kim SooYoun. She showed up at our english class on saturday, she found out about it through the internet. I talked with her after english class wanting to introduce the family english program to her, and she was all ears. Before I could even invite her, she asked if she could attend our church service the next day. She said that she has a lot of interest in our church. Well she came to church the next day, stayed for all 3 hours and really liked it. We had a great lesson with her after church where we found out more about her, and her desire concerning our church. She wants a new start.. she has had a LOT of really hard things in her life. She needs this gospel more than anything and she is ready and willing to accept it. Were able to give her a baptismal date for May 2nd. I feel so blessed to be serving here in 상계 right now and seeing the miracles we are. I feel like I do nothing but then God hands us these miracles, these people to teach and nourish in the gospel. Its amazing.

We went on exchanges with Sister Butterfield and Sister Neidhardt this week (the other sisters in our house). It was really good for both of them. I went over to their team with Sister Butterfield. She's been struggling feeling like she's a bad missionary and a bad trainer. I remember feeling the exact same way when I was training Sister Stancliffe. I didn't know what to say except to tell her how wonderful of a job she is doing, how much she really is helping Sister Neidhardt... She can't see it but Sister Yoon and I can see it clearly. She is doing a great job. I kept reminding her that Sister Neidhardt is her number one investigator right now. They're doing great. We had an awesome exchange together.. We were able to meet some great people and set up lots of return appointments.. one lady we met that day randomly called them the next day, wanted to meet, and has become their new investigator. Exchange miracles are the best! Wow such a week of miracles! 

Our amazing Lee Bom shared her testimony about prayer during our combined relief society and priesthood meeting  yesterday at church. Just about everybody in the ward came up to her after and told her how much they loved and appreciated her testimony. It was so excited to see the conficence in her smile and her eyes as they thanked her. Her faith is growing every day.. She's been doing great as always, but she does feel like now that she's baptized there have been more temptations to break the commandments than ever before. Well of course!! Satan is working even harder than ever right? But she's doing a great job not yielding to them. She is so awesome..

I'm out of things to say. Everyone have a wonderful Easter and general conference weekend!


Everyone watch this video. I love my Savior. I'm so glad that He lives.

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

A day in the life. Great food makes things great.

Week 74

Dear everyone

Another week has passed and I can't believe its already p-day again... Time is getting shorter and shorter and faster and faster every day.. Transfer calls are already this Saturday? Its unreal! This was definitely my fastest transfer yet. I hope my last one doesn't go by as fast.. I'm not ready yet. This week I received a letter from my mission president that he sends out to the missionaries who are about to start their last transfer. It was such a great 'pump up letter' and a reminder to stay working strong until the very end. "Don't send your spirit home before your body" I am so excited to dedicate the time I have left to the Lord and leave nothing behind. I love this work and Korea more and more every day. The idea of leaving soon still hasn't hit me, and I feel like it won't be possible for me to leave this place.. I'm not kidding.

Our sweet Lee Bom received the gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday in sacrament meeting. It was such a special experience. Like I said last week, I've never met someone as prepared and ready to feast upon the gospel as she is. She loves everything she learns and intently listens during all 3 hours of church. We're going to start the new member lessons with her this week. She wrote us the sweetest letters this week thanking us for helping her to make that special covenant with God. Although I wasn't involved in her teaching process for too long, she thanked me specifically for the principles that I did teach her, specifically the plan of salvation and about the temple. She is amazing.

Drama with our investigator Kim So Yeon..  She thought that seeing Lee Bom get baptized would be a good turning point for her, but instead she felt like it was so commercialized, it was something that wasn't sacred or special. We can understand why she would feel that way, Lee Bom's baptism happened really fast, it was kind of a crazy and stressful experience with lots of people.. but it was perfect for Lee bom. Kim So Yeon didn't think so.. She says her desire to be baptized went away for right now... but she will someday. I feel very strongly that she's going to for sure be baptized someday. Yesterday we got permission to go to the temple with her. She's been once with the sisters before, but asked if we could go again. Our recently reactivated member Sister Pak (who is basically best friends with our investigator) came with us, and we had a lesson outside on grass. Sister Pak is really struggling right now. She was baptized in 2002 and went less active right after but the Elders met her husband on the street last November and she's been coming back to church ever since. Anyways, she is having a hard time right now because she wants to have strong faith and be a faithful member of this church, but because of a lot of things (mainly family not approving) she feels like her life doesn't "match" our church. Before we could even say anything, Kim So Yeon bore her testimony to her and told her not to give up. Keep coming, keep praying. She said "I'm doing the same thing too right now you know, and I know that God will give us an answer." Instead of having a member present lesson, we had an investigator present lesson to our member haha. Pray for these 2 wonderful ladies please. I love them both so much and I don't know how to help them, but I know that God does.

Found some new favorite verses in 2 Corinthians this week.
".. He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."

I hope this week we can all think a little less about ourselves and a little more about those who need our help. I hope we can all serve each other cheerfully and feel happy knowing that God sure loves us.

Love you.

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

Week 73

Dearest loved ones

Miracles happen! And one happened yesterday. Our Lovely Lee Bom was baptized yesterday. At the beginning of the week we weren't sure that everything would work out. She still wasn't quite all the way committed, there were some fears about her family not letting her and what not.. so we were a little bit stressed (and when I say we I mean we. Sister Yoon is as cool as a cucumber, I'm so lucky she's my comp haha) but EVERYTHING WORKED OUT. Lots of prayers and fasting and everything came together. She commited to it on friday, had her baptismal interview on Saturday, and was baptized on Sunday. It was such a beautiful service and she bore the sweetest and purest testimony ever.. She is probably one of the most prepared people I've met on my mission.. if not the most. She accepted everything so well, and understands perfectly why obedience to God's commandments is so important.. Something that SO many of my investigators on my mission have had a hard time understanding. She has such a strong desire to choose the right and to be the person God wants her to be. Her faith has been such a testimony booster to me, and also a reminder to me of how small my role as the missionary really is. I get so down on myself sometimes because I feel like I'm not doing all I can, or that I can never be a good enough teacher or presenter of the message.. Teaching Lee Bom reminded me that all we have to do is find those prepared people. She was ready. All we had to do was find her. I'm so grateful to Sister Lee and Sister Yoon for finding her last transfer, and for the short amount of time I was able to teach her before she got baptized! I didn't do anything but I got to witness the miracle and to see the fruits. Wow I'm so blessed.

Along with being spiritually blessed I was also blessed with the temporal blessing this week of being stuffed (literally i've never been so full in my life) with delicious food wherever I went. We visited less actives and had great lessons with investigators.. just a great week. SO BLESSED.. that's all I can say.

Well I've been on my mission 17 months today and I can't believe it at all. Time flies when you're having fun. Oh and you know preaching the gospel and what not.
"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." (3 nephi 5:13)

I love being a disciple of Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary. I know I say this in almost every email but I can't say it enough.

I actually have to go now, sorry this was such a short email today! Love you all and wish you a wonderful happy and lucky week (happy st. patty's day tomorrow I guess)

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 72

Dear family and friends and those reading this letter!

EXCITING EXCITING NEWS!!!!!!!!  We might be having a baptism this week! Our investigator Lee Bom had her baptismal date set for next Saturday, the 21st but out ward mission leader asked us if it was possible for her to get baptized this week at our stake conference! We had an awesome member present lesson with her after church yesterday, and we finished teaching all of the commandments. She accepted it all really well... I've never met someone as prepared as her.. She understands the gospel so well and has such a desire to live her life according to the principles of the gospel we've taught her. She is amazing. We talked to her about having her baptism on the 15th and she has no problem with it. The only thing we're worried about now is the fact that she hasn't told her parents about it yet. She's not a high school student anymore, she graduated last year, so she doesn't need their permission to be baptized.. but she says she doesn't know how they'll take it so she doesn't want to tell them yet. We talked to her about it on the phone this morning and told her to think about it and pray about it a lot. Hopefully she tells them soon.. Pray for her to have the courage to tell her parents, and for them to accept it well, and for her to be baptized this sunday!!! Her name is Bom, which is korean for spring! SPRING IS HERE!! And also the weather really is warming up!!

As for other investigators. Kim So Yeon. Oh.. we love her so much.. and she is so frustrating. She knows its all true. But she's still holding back. We met with her several times with her this week, had a great member present lesson with her and our relief society president.. She knows its true. She says she knows she'll get baptized  within the year. There's not much we can do but pray that she decides that's sooner than later. Sister Yoon and I want to see her get baptized so bad..  But really whatever happens, even if we don't get to see it, it will be okay. We went hiking with her this morning. she is the sweetest nicest and most prepared person I've ever met. She will get baptized someday. Nam Sungwon has been really sick lately.. She started school and her rigorous new schedule has been hard for her to bear. she didn't come to church this week we were able to meet with her this week once.

We had an awesome zone training and mission leadership council this week!! It was so spiritual and amazing, as always. Our mission's focus this month is revelation through the Book of Mormon. Best focus ever. We did something special this zone training, we had some time at the end for a testimony meeting, and it was amazing. I felt my own personal testimony of the book of mormon strengthen as I listened to the personal testimonies of the missionaries if our zone. I hope all the missionaries in our zone felt the same special spirit I did. It was wonderful. One of the commitments President gave us at our MLC was to pray for guidance on how we can more effectively use the book of mormon in our mission.  Last night we had dinner at the bishop's house and we shared with them the mormon message of Elder Holland's testimony of the book of mormon (watch it right now. ), and our personal testimonies. The bishop loved it, and asked us if we would share it with all the members we visit. We also invited them to help us and pray for us to know how to apply the bom in our mission. They willingly accepted. I really hope we can unite our ward together and see some miracles.

The book of mormon is true.

Things are great here. I'm so happy. I'm so grateful. That's all I can really say!
I love you all and I'm so grateful for the love and prayers you all give on my behalf.

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

Fun p-day pics! Bowling last p-day (yes I got a triple strike this week and I'm humble about it)

Sor bing su with Nam Sungwon! MOST DELICIOUS THING EVER. Shaved ice, cocoa powder, sweetened condensed milk. It will change ya.

Hiking this morning!

Our investigator thought we were freezing to death so she bundled us up before we could do anything about it.

Week 71

Dear Fam

This week was just one of those weeks where you look back and think, wow how did I survive all the crazy that happened? We had a lot of weird experiences this week.. But great ones too! I can't believe its already March.. Time is getting faster and faster with every passing week, its almost unbelievable. Everyday my heart is getting fuller and fuller with gratitude for the opportunity I have to be a missionary right now.. I don't have too much time left.. so I want to give my all to the Lord every day!

Right now one of our investigators has a baptismal date, Lee Bom. She is progressing and accepting everything so well. Her date is set for the 21st of this month. She came to church this week. She's so awesome.. Our other investigator that had a date has some issues that we have to figure out before can give her another date, but we're still working with her! As for our other investigators.. This week we had dinner and a lesson with one of our members and our investigator Kim So Yeon. We talked about a lot of things.. eternal marraige, living prophets, and obedience.. but somehow it all tied together and we brought it back to baptism. She still has a lot of fears and concerns about baptism but we're not really sure what they are.. We're having a hard time understanding her as of late. She knows its all true. She feels great when she reads the book of mormon and comes to church.. but she feels like she needs to know every single detail of the gospel perfectly before she commits to baptism. She's taking her time. As long as she's moving forward, no matter how slow it is, that's a good thing, right? We invited her to fast with us on Sunday, to try and get an answer about baptism. We need to talk to her about it more, but I pray that she had a good experience and that the Lord helped to soften her heart as she fasted.. As for Nam Sung Won.. She's been so busy and sick this last week. She canceled on us several times, we were only able to see her once, we visited her at her parent's cafe. She starts school this week and she's really nervous. She has been living at home doing nothing for the past 2 years so she's so scared to start this new busy life... and its kind of affected her desire to meet with us and progress in the gospel. She didn't come to church this week. She sent us a really long apology text last night expressing all of her stress and concern and told us that she's still praying all the time and trying to strengthen her faith, so she told us not to worry too much. So I decided to do that. I've been so stressed and discouraged about her lately.. but really, all we can do is invite and continue to express our love to her. So there's no need to be discouraged!

Miracle this week!!! Kim Ji Aey, a recent convert here in Sanggye finally came to church yesterday!! The first time since I've been here! She hasn't answered any of our texts our calls.. but she came to church with her 2 daughters Hye li (haha I guess its just Haley in english..) and Hye lyon! She's been going through a rough divorce, and I think things are finally finalized. She is so sweet, and she seems to have such strong faith. She is still in contact with Sister White, the sister that baptized her, yes my same sister white from Sinchon. I love her.. and I'm so grateful in her dilligence in staying in contact with her recent converts and people she taught here in Korea even though she's home. Such an inspiration to me! Anyways, we're going to her house for family night tonight with her and her daughters. I'm so excited :) 

Found a new favorite scripture this week in Romans. Verses 35 and 37: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?.... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Nothing can overcome the love that Christ has for each on of us. No matter what we may be going through.. tribulation, heartbreak, pain- physical or emotional.. whatever it may be, we can conquer anything through Him that loves us.. because He loves us, He suffered every pain we've ever felt. So He knows us better than anyone. We can be more than conquerors... We can become like him.

I love you all and wish a great week upon you all. 

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매 
Temple day! I love my comp. And I love long-ffles (a long waffle on a stick that will change your life) I HADN'T HAD ONE IN 6 TRANSFERS...it was a glorious reunion.


Week 70

Dear loved ones of mine...

This week was so great.. this transfer is off to such a wonderful start. I am having so much fun with my new companion Sister Yoon... we're basically soul mates. At the end of last week I was like geez my face is sore! I realized it is because of the amount I've been smiling and laughing haha. She is such a wonderful and hard working missionary! Sister Butterfield got her new trainee! Sister Neidhart from Germany!! Yep that's right, we've got such a diverse house.. a Korean, a German and... 2 sisters from Utah.. Why are we so lame? Anyways, our house is so much fun and we're all just so happy together!! I just feel so blessed to be where I am right now! I LOVE IT!

This week was the Korean holiday, Solnar. So we had a combined zone conference that was SO awesome. We got to watch the movie "Meet the Mormons"!!! It was sooo good. Everyone who hasn't see it, go watch it right now because its so amazing and life changing. It has given me a stronger drive in my missionary work this past week. Also it was just so fun to be able to 'watch a movie' haha I forgot what it felt like. Also I got to wear Hanbok!! Korean traditional clothing!! Pics to come....

On saturday we had a baptismal service, on of the Elder's investigators got baptized. 2 of our investigators attended, Kim Soyun and Nam Sungwon. They are both progressing very well.. but at the same time they're also stuck at a spot in their progression. They are kind of very similar in their thinking. And it doesn't help that they are really close so we think that they get together a lot and discuss things about our church, which can be dangerous, you know. But they both really liked the baptism service and have good feelings towards baptism.. but neither of them are ready or willing to commit to a date quite yet. They were so shocked when they heard that this young kid that got baptized had only been taking lessons for about 3 to 4 weeks.. they asked us "How could he do that? There is know way that he knows everything already!" We explained to them that he didn't get baptized because he knew everything.. but he knew enough. He knew that it was what he needed to do, and he wanted to do it. We have explained to them so much about baptism being the gate, not the final destination.. They know they are prepared, they know they know enough.. But to be honest they both still have a lot of doubts and questions.. But they are praying every day, reading the scriptures, coming to church (mostly.. Sungwon didn't come this week because she was sick), so they are moving forward.. even if it is little itty bitty baby steps. 

We actually have 2 other baptismal dates right now, 2 of the investigators Sister Yoon was working with that we brought over to our companionship, Pak Jongyoon and Lee Bom! They are both about 20 years old and they are so sweet. Their dates are actually set for sooner than they'll be ready because we haven't been able to meet with them enough to teach them everything that needs to be taught, so we'll be postponing them this week when we meet them. We are teaching some pretty wonderful people right now! I love them all. We had a fun Solnar party this week with all of our investigators that our ward mission leader planned (he is the BEST ever). We got together and played some korean traditional games. Our investigators all had such a fun time and it was just so dandy. 

Shortly another cool miracle this week: we got a referral from some Elders in another area, they met a woman who had lots of interest in our church, her name is Yoon Eh Ryong.. she said she wanted to come to our church service on sunday! We called her the night we got the referral and she said she would come! To be honest, we forgot to follow up with her again before church, we completely forgot. But she came to church!! and stayed for the whole 3 hours! It was such a cool miracle! She is a very religious person and has a lot of knowledge.. but because of bad things she saw going on in her church she stopped attending for the past year or so, so she wants to find out more about our church. Teaching her won't be easy, because she is kind of set in her knowledge and she comes off a bit prideful.. but she keeps saying that she has a very open mind! We are gonna meet with her again this week and I pray that the message of the restoration rings true to her when she hears it.

This week I got a special letter in the mail from my mtc teacher. It was a letter I wrote myself in the mtc.. My teacher kept it and told us she would send it the last few months of our mission.. Reading it was so surreal because I remember exactly how I felt when I wrote it, the hope I had to become a true disciple of Christ. To be honest I was nervous to read it because I was worried I would feel disappointed if I didn't meet the standard I had set for myself as a young missionary. Well I'm not perfect, but luckily I didn't expect myself to be perfect. I just expected progression. And if there is one thing I've learned about on my mission, it is about progression.. A continual striving to become more like the Savior every day, that's what matters most. We don't have to be perfect. God doesn't expect us to be perfect, but he does expect our perfect effort. When we humble ourselves and accept that, He can do wonders among us. Something my companion said this week to one of our investigators (I think the spirit prompted her to say it because it helped me more than in probably helped our investigator) "Humility is Spiritual confidence."

Love you all. Have a wonderful week and talk to you soooooon

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

Week 69

Dear family and friends and everyone!

I don't have too much time to email today so I'll keep it short! Its been a crazy day! Today was transfers!! I sent of Sister Jeon and picked up my new companion! Sister Yoon Jung in! She and I have actually been living together for the past transfer, so I already know her really well! I LOVE HER! She is so chill and so fun. Right now I'm actually in a temporary threesome! with Sister Yoon and Sister Butterfield! She is gonna be training here in Sangye, and the new missionaries don't come in until wednesday.. so we get to have a 3 man team for a few days here!! I love Sister Butterfield, we were in the mtc together and we'll leave together, so I'm so excited to be living with her. It will be so much fun. Because Sister Yoon was in the other companionship and they had a lot of progressing investigators, she just moved to my companionship with her investigators. So we have a lot of wonderful people we're teaching right now, and I'm so excited for this new transfer!!! We are gonna see miracles.

Wow my mind is kind of drawing a blank right now on this past week.. It was so crazy! Sister Jeon's last week so we had a lot going on, we taught a lot of lessons and worked really hard! One of the hlghlights was going to a meat buffet with one of our members and investigators.. I still smell like meat but it was glorious. That, and Nam Sungwon is progressing so well.. She came to church on Sunday again, and we had some awesome lessons with her this week! Valentines day was fun! We had english class that day so we made cookies and valentines for all of our english class members, and they loved it.

Okay.. Well this was a lame short email and I apologize.. But you know, no time and all!
LOVE YOU ALL! Talk to you next week.

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

exchange with Sister Lee Sungmi this week. we ate ice-cream.

Last Sunday! District pic! (4 elders are missing)

Reunited with Taebaek fam at transfers!

Goodbye old comp, hello new comp(s)

Week 68

Dear family and friends

Holy cow, its the last week of the transfer, and as usual with time, I can't believe it. Where is my time?? Its nonexistent. Next monday is transfers and I'll be getting a new companion! Sister Jeon is going home, its official. We sent all her luggage out this morning! Our time together was short! I feel so inadequate and not ready to take over the area, but luckily I don't have to do it alone! God's always on my side, and I'll have a great new companion! Sweet I'm set.

Anyways! Zone training!! It was awesome! We decided to try something new! We talked about 4 different parts of Christ-like teaching: 1. using scriptures, unity with companion, listening, and personalizing the message. We split up into 'stations', each zone leader and sister training leader taking one. I was personalize the message. I talked sharing personal experiences, using parables/analogies, and testifying. Wow it was awesome. Because our zone is so big, its really hard to get that one on one connection with the missionaries, but this experiment allowed us to do that! Almost everybody had the opportunity to share their experiences and feelings, and the spirit was so strong. In each station we had each missionary write down one way they could improve that teaching skill. At the end of the training, we had everyone pick one and specify it. We asked everyone to focus on that one thing this month, and to keep themselves responsible every day, by writing down every night how they applied it specifically that day.Also, we did a zone fast this last friday to saturday. After thinking and praying about it, we decided that we should do a fast for eachother. As missionaries we fast a lot for others, for our investigators, recent converts.. but I've never really thought about fasting for other missionaries! We fasted together that we would all be able to become more christlike teachers, a more christlike zone. It was such an awesome experience. Every time I felt my stomach rumble while I was fasting, (on any other fast sunday I feel the urge to complain and say I'm hungry) I thought, wow it is such a privilege that I get to suffer this small amount of hunger for the missionaries in our zone. I felt the spirit so strongly that day. It was an amazing experience!!!! Such a great zone meeting.

I went on exchanges with the Sisters the sisters in our zone who serve on the military base, so they're in the english speaking branch... So I was basically in America for a day. It was the biggest culture shock of my life. We were invited to dinner with a member family, and I couldn't believe it, we had nachos! Yes, real nachos with real cheese sause. I though that was just a make believe thing! It still exists and its real! Real cheese exists!! Afterward we were knocking doors in their apartment building and almost everyone that lived there was from america. I didn't know how to respond when they answered the door. I don't know how to be an english speaking missionary haha. Sister Ellis (the sister I was with) said that I was ridiculously awkward and I kept bowing to them haha.. Oh great. I've got a few months to try and de-awkward myself.. but I don't see that happening. It was so much fun.. but SO surreal!!

We had so many appointments cancel this. Which is always a bummer, but it was almost hilarious how everything fell through! Sometimes you have days, weeks, and sometimes even TRANSFERS where everything seems to fall apart, but the only thing you can do is to get out there and work! And that's exactly what we did this week, and it felt really good. We talked to A LOT of people. Our only progressing investigator right now, Nam Sungwon came to church yesterday!! That's the first investigator we've had at church this whole transfer! It was such a tender mercy and a miracle. She is progressing so much. This week she finally got accepted to a college, and she attributes that to her prayers and our prayers.. that is huge for her. She told us on saturday after english class! We said, well you better come to church tomorrow to show God that you're thankful to him then, right? She said "Yeah I think so!" she promised she would come if she could wake up... she doesn't have a phone, but we found out her house phone a few weeks ago so we called it in the morning, she woke up, and she came right on time. She stayed for the whole 3 hours. During relief society I leaned over and asked her if she believes in God yet. She says that when she prays, she truly feels that He is there and listening, but other than that she still has a hard time believing there is a God with all the bad stuff that goes on in the world. I didn't know what to tell her except to draw on the feelings she has when she prays, to remember them always, especially when she feels doubt. We're meeting her almost every day this next week before Sister Jeon leaves.. hopefully her progression will be speeding up even more. She leaves in march for school, so we're hoping and praying we can baptize her before she leaves.

Here's a great quote I want to share with you all:
Where can I find hope?
"Everyone of us has times when we need to know things will get better. My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need. There is help. There is happiness.. Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying.. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come... Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."  Jeffery R. Holland

I am so grateful for this knowledge. I hope this valentines day that we can all love others enough to share something greater than any amount of flowers or chocolates, even the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Love you all, happy valentines day this week!

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

Week 67

Dearest fam and friends

Every week it seems crazy that I'm sitting at the computer emailing again.. another week has passed. I can't believe how fast this transfer has zoomed by, its basically over. Its been a great one and I've learned a lot. I've learned a lot about myself.. about how I want to be a better missionary.. about how I want to improve, about how I need to improve. Today we had such a wonderful missionary leadership council meeting, and we talked about teaching like the Savior. The focus for this new month will be "Teach people, not lessons". We have zone training (again, already??) this Wednesday.. I hope we can prepare an inspired training to pump up our zone. 

Well, we haven't had a single investigator at church this whole transfer. To be honest its been quite discouraging. 2 of our investigators specifically promise they'll come to church every week, and then they don't show up. This past week I was feeling so discouraged at church. I was filled with disappointment that for a 3rd week in a row when neither of them showed up. My heart was broken as sacrament meeting started. I didn't want to feel this way, but the thought kept coming to my mind "Am I helping anyone?" Why haven't our investigators come to church? We continuously invite, follow up, testify.. I felt that I really was doing my part... I'm fasting, I'm praying.. why can't they come? After the sacrament, our district got up and performed a special musical number to start out fast and testimony meeting. We sang a Child's prayer mixed with Joseph Smith's first prayer.. and as I was singing I felt the spirit so strong and the confirmation in my heart that I had done enough, I had done my part, and I was helping this ward. Afterwards every member that got up and shared their testimony shared about how strongly they felt the spirit during our musical number, and how grateful they were to us. That simple expression of gratitude changed my day around. Even though I was so sad our investigators weren't there to partake of the special spirit that I felt, Heavenly Father helped me know that I am helping, despite what I feel sometimes.

We had a few investigators drop this week, but we found a few new ones so the Lord is taking good care of us. Our most progressing investigator right now is Nam Sungwon. Its been amazing to see the transformation that has taken place in her these past few weeks. Really when we started meeting with her she had no belief in God or desire to believe. Her faith is growing every day as she continues to pray. Prayer has taken a huge role in her change.. she prays and feels lots of peace. Every time we meet with her she says her faith is growing stronger. She loves prayer. And reading the scriptures. Now we just gotta help her feel that way about coming to church!! She doesn't quite want to yet. Obviously, because she's not coming. She says its just too hard to get up. And she doesn't have a phone so we can't call her to get her up. She's accepting our message so well, she's just not sure if she wants to come to church until she knows its true, or until her faith is stronger. We talked to her about how we come to know slowly as we exercise our faith, using light as an analogy. She said it was a beautiful analogy that really touched her. 

Something that I love that President said in our training today: "This is God's work, Elders and Sisters. He can do it without us, but he doesn't want to. He don't want to do this work without us." It is such a privilege to be a servant in the Lord's vineyard. He wants me here. He needs me here. I am so grateful for that.

사랑해요!! Have a wonderful week.

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매

Bowling last P-Day!

Temple day

Week 66

Dear family

And this transfer is over half-way done. Say it ain't so. Time keeps getting faster and faster and its freaking me out. But I gotta just keep making the most of it! This past week was absolutely crazy!!

This week we went on exchanges with some Sisters in our zone who have been having a really hard time getting along and working together.. One felt like she's been pulling all the weight even though she's a much younger missionary. The other felt like she couldn't do anything right and that her companion was always mad at her. We went into the exchange having been informed of the problem by their district leader. We prayed hard to know how to help them and what to say. Originally we had planned that I would stay in our area and one of them would come here, but last minute we felt prompted to change plans.. so I ended up going to the other area and working with the sister who is younger. Anyways, it was an awesome exchange where we were actually able to help them resolve their differences. My companion Sister Jeon challenged the sister she was with to bear her testimony to her companion. They texted us the day after the exchange thanking us for how much we helped them and that their relationship had improved so much over the course of one day.. it was such a cool experience!

We're seeing some awesome things happen here with a few of our investigators. One of our investigators in particular is progressing so much. Heer name is Nam Sung Won. Right before I got here she started meeting with the sisters. She started out with absolutely only english interest. No belief in God whatsoever, and no desire  to believe. Well its been really cool to see the change that has taken place in her as she has realized this is where she needs to be. She is so prepared.. its just a matter of time now. This past week she has been praying every single day and she loves the way it feels. She says she feels a peace in her life that she's never felt before. She says she's not just praying at night, but she prays in her heart as she's walking down the street, or whatever she may be doing. She is reading the book of mormon.. and she's really getting into it. We gave her the commitment of reading Alma 5 .. and to be honest I wasn't quite sure why we assigned it to her but it felt right. She read it and told us that she felt that God was speaking to her through it in verse 60 when it says that the Good shepard is calling you and you aren't listening... she said, I know that's me! "And look in the last verse it's telling me to be baptized!" I didn't know about those verses when I committed her to read it, but God sure did. She's so prepared. She's not quite ready to accept that fact yet. She didn't come to church yet because she feels that she wants to learn more about our doctrine before she starts doing that. Hopefully after we meet with her this week she will be ready. :)

We had interviews with president this last friday.. might be my last before my exit interview. Now that's crazy. It was great.. its always wonderful to talk to president and see how much i've changed. He challenged me to make some goals for the rest of the time I have left. It freaked me out a bit but I'm excited to keep working hard and hopefully keep becoming who the Lord needs me to be.
This week Sister Jeon finally decided when she wanted to go home! She's leaving in 3 weeks. So that was a good thing to decide soon. My time serving with her has been so short! I'm a little stressed that I won't know enough to take over the area by the time she leaves haha, but with God all things are possible. 

Sorry this email was kind of short! Tomorrow is temple day so our pday is tomorrow.
Have a great happy wonderful week everyone. Love ya.

Sister Holmes
홈스 자매