Tuesday, October 22, 2013

2nd Week in Argentina...


This week we did a ton of walking. and clapping at houses.  but we now have 11 new investigators.  and 4 of them have committed to a baptismal date! 3 of them are scheduled to be baptised on November 2nd, and the other investigator is scheduled for baptism on November 19th.  The people here are so humble & so nice!
Two of our investigators were found while we were on our way to teach a lesson to a potential investigator.  We were walking past some food markets, and my companion stopped by to buy an apple real quick.  And the man that worked at this little market we were at started a conversation with us - And he was so nice!!  Then his cute wife, who also works there, joined the conversation too.  We ended up giving them some pamphlets from the church, and he asked us, "how many pasos do these cost?" and we told him they were free, and he got really excited!
Later that night we came back to that little market, and he wanted us to come inside and have a lesson with him and his wife!  So we did, and then afterwards the wife wanted a picture of her and i, because i have blonde hair.  haha :)  Apparently there´s not a lot of blondes in Posadas.  So yeah, then her husband took a picture of us.
Oh Thursday night, we went to a cute little restaurant to eat dinner.  & the lady that worked there asked us what church we were from, and wanted us to come back to have a lesson with her.  So we came back on Saturday night, & her daughter was there too.  So we had a lesson with the lady and her daughter, and they both committed to being baptised on November 2nd :)  They are so cute and so nice!
Sunday was mother´s day for Argentina.  So after Sacrament meeting, all the women in the branch got together in the branch president´s office, & we watched a cute mormon message video about mother´s day.  One of the cutest quotes i heard from this video was this: "Life didn´t come with a manual, it came with a mother" :)
After church, we had lunch at a less-active´s house.  And they had a whole pig rosting over a fire in their backyeard!  Like, a whole pig!  So that´s what they fed us.  Along with bread & 7-up.  Afterwards i got my picture taken with the pig´s head.
After lunch it was a long walk home, & it was super hot outside, and my companion and i were exhausted. So we took a small nap.  And it was soooooo nice.  It was my first Sunday nap in months.
Later that evening we had a lesson with an investigator... & she committed to being baptised on November 19th :)
It´s starting to get really hot here in San Viente... but i have a cool tan line now! :)
Oh, & we have a huge cckroach hiding in our apartment somewhere.  When i found him, i tried to catch him and kill him, but he ran up the wall really fast, & hid in our ceiling... Now we can´t find him.
We have been working with the elders every day so far, & they are awesome!  We have so much fun with them.  One of them is a black elder from Equador, speaks only spanish, and he{s like a giant brown monkey with the biggest smile!  And he loves to cheer people up.  Right now his companion has been trying to teach him a little English.  And so far his favorite two things to say are, "Was´up bro??" & "Aw fetch!!"  He is so funny.  & his name is Elder Landires.
His companion, elder Burke, is from Orem, Utah.  & he´s helped me so much.  He´s pretty much the only person i can speak english to right now, and he{s helped a lot with translating everything for me.  And he´s a goof-ball.  We have had sooo much fun with him.  He´s hilarious.  And he kind of looks like Pter-Pan/Justin Bieber.  But yeah, they´re funny.

Oh, and i just found out that bubble-wrap packages can get here in less than a month!
& when you email me, you can write as much as you want.  Because i print all my emails off!

I love you all very very much :)

con amor,
hermana holmes

ps:  Oh, and there´s no such thing as dinner here.  They just have a huge lunch and that´s it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

1st Letter from Argentina

Sarah got her Visa right before conference weekend!  We got a phone call from a random number (and answered it) after the Sunday Session - it was Sister Holmes!  Her visa had been approved and she was flying out to Argentina this next week.  So many prayers were answered and she is going to Argentina.  She is so excited!

4 Months in the Mission field:

This week was CRAZY.  I am in culture shock.  I've never been so grateful for America in my life!  There is so much poverty here.  Streets are made up of orange-ish, red-ish dirt, there's tons of really cool birds & parrots flying everywhere, & it rains all the time.  And it´s hot here.
Lots of gross-looking dogs & chickens roam around in the streets.  And in the busier parts of the city, where there's a lot of traffic, women walk around with their babies & go up to each car asking for money.
The little kids here are adorable!!  I love playing with them!  The sad thing is - they're always really dirty & their clothes are ripping.  & their parents treat them really bad.  So when we come around, and treat them really nicely, they love us.  It's so cute but so sad at the same time.
The spanish here is really beautifl.  Buuuuut i have no idea what anybody's saying. & it's really frustrating because i really want to follow along with the conversations.  But the cool thing is - you can always tell when the spirit is there, because you can feel it, even if you don't know what they're saying.
One of the things that were a major culture shock for me, was the fact that women kiss each other on the cheeks instead of shaking hands or hugging.  That really freaked me out my first day here.  It made me uncomfortable.  Oh, the moms here are definitely not afraid to nurse their babies right infront of you.  On Friday, the elders took us with them to a lesson with one of their investigators, & the lady that we were teaching just started nursing her 2 yr old right infront of us, no privacy of anything.  The poor elders had to awkwardly look away.
So i pretty much spent all day Tuesday & all day Wednesday flying on airplaces, heading to Posadas.  Late wednesday night we arrived @ the mission president's home.  and that home was nice.  Thursday morning we each had interview w/ the mission president, and i loved my interview.  Then we had transfer meeting & met our new companions.  The rest of Thursday night was spent riding a bus to the area we're serving in.  We finally got to our apartment at 12:00 am, and there were no beds or furniture or anything.  But the elders brought over 2 mattresses.  After that, we crashed for the night.
All day Friday we went with the elders to meet some of the members of the branch, the less-actives, and 2 investigators.
All day Saturday the elders, us, and the young women hung out at the church doing a service project, making pastries to sell.
on Sunday we went to church.  & our branch is tiny!!  There's only 18 members in our branch, & the elders are the branch presidency!  & almost everyone in our branch is losing their teeth.   But they are very loving & humble people.
Yesterday was a holiday for Posadas.  So instead of having p-day yesterday, we had district meeting.  & that was crazy... it's a 3 hour bus ride just to get to the district meeting!  & then 3 hours back.  So it was an all day thing.
But yeah, the people here in Posadas need the Gospel & the spirit... BAD.  There are 13 year olds living with their 40 year old boyfriends, it smells like smoke everywhere, children look like they haven't had baths in weeks, & tortured dogs roam the streets.  It is the saddest thing.  Oh, there's garbage. everywhere.
Despite all the negative here, the culture here totally reminds me of the movie Nacho Libre.  Yeah, it's definitely Nacho Libre style here.  That, and pirates of the carribean.
Oh, and we have to do our laundry in buckets... I've never been so grateful for washers & dryers until now.
Oh, and we don't have a kitchen.
& instead of knocking on doors, people clap their hands a few yards away from the front door... & people place their dogs on the roofs of their houses.

The people are so humble here, & I love the kids here.  & everyone stares at us wherever we go.  It's so cool to be a representative of the Savior here!!!  It's so exciting to let your light shine here!  The little kids flock to us!  I'm allready buddies with the kids in the branch!  & the young women have allready been writing me cute lil notes :)
Oh, and my companion is awesome.  Her name is Hermana VillaReal. (Vee-zsha-rie-ell)  She's from Columbia, & speaks only spanish.  This companionship has been fun... Trying to get to know each other :)  haha.  But i love her.  She's kind of a quiet girl... but she's fun, really nice.
So yeah.. i'm excited for Posadas.  It's been hard though, i´ve been wanting to come home really badly at times.  But I feel like this really is where the Lord wants me to do missionary work right now.  When i met  my mission president here, and the other missionaries in this mission, i felt better.  This other sister missionary i met here was also a visa waiter, & she said she felt the same thing.
I love the Savior.  & I´m so grateful for prayer.  and the book of mormon is true.
Con amor,
Hermana Holmes

Monday, August 26, 2013

Heartfelt Notes

I couldn't help but share these little notes on the back of her envelope from her first few weeks in NC...LOVE them...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wildlife in North Carolina

The squirrels are a lively bunch....NOT?

maybe you can say they pretty laid back?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Happy 20th to my baby girl

It feels pretty special to be able to share my birthday with my daughter...well almost.  Sarah's birthday is the day after mine and it was a somber year this year!  Really missing the birthday lunch and pedicure!  But we had a fun swim with close friends to celebrate for her.

Happy 20th to my Baby girl!  Love you!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Piggly Wiggly???

2nd Month in the mission field

Sarah was really taken back at how southern North Carolina is.  She loved the accents and imagine the shock of the 'local piggly wiggly'...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pioneer Day Children's Parade

For Pioneer Day, our Stake was invited to have a float and the primary kids would march in the parade, the theme:  Missionary Work, and Anchor to the world.  Sarah's little sister Anna, got to march in the parade holding the Argentina Flag and march for the missionaries!  It was a fun day.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

North Carolina Bound...

And she's off...

Arriving at the Mission Home in Raleigh, NC.
Mission President:  Pres. Bernhisel
Companion:  Sister Diana Richardson
(Sarah would have Sister Richardson as her (training) companion until she left for Argentina)

Monday, July 15, 2013

New Friends and roomies...last night in MTC.

Cute photo of the 4 MTC roomies before they all head out to their respective re-assignments until visas are approved...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Last Night in MTC...

We got the email from Sarah that because her Visa had not yet been approved that she was temporarily re-assigned to the North Carolina, Raleigh Mission.  She was so excited to finally get out into the field and get to 'work'....these are the final photos in the MTC...

Sarah wrote and said this was the 'last supper' in the MTC.

Monday, July 1, 2013

1st Month in the MTC

1st month in the MTC in Provo Utah...

Sarah's favorite hoodie and pajamas....

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Work of Salvation Broadcast & MTC Choir

We were so excited to know that Sarah would be singing in the MTC choir at the 'The Work of Salvation  Broadcast' at the Marriott Center!  We had gone to the Stake center in hopes of seeing her sing, and caught a short glimpse of Sarah - or we thought it was here.  When we got home that night, we had received an email from her companion's parents, the Atoa's.  They are from Orem and were at the broadcast and were able to get pictures of Sarah and send them to us.  What a sweet tender mercy to be able to see her picture and smile!  And it WAS her we saw on the screen.  Later that month, someone from our ward brought us the church news and pointed out that Sarah was on the cover of the magazine for this special broadcast with ALL the sister missionaries in the choir!  It was truly amazing!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Having MTC fun...

3rd week in MTC....and they look like they are having some fun!

love the smiles....

MTC firsts....

Sarah's first Companion in the MTC- Sister Devri Atoa.  They have both been called to serve in the Argentina, Posadas Mission.

Sarah and her District in the MTC

Sister Atoa and Sister Holmes...temple day was a 'thumbs up'!!

Sarah and her district with the Mission President and his wife, Pres. & Sister LaPierre.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Entering the MTC...

Annnnnd here we are...

Just as you pull into the MTC, it is amazing the spirit of this wonderful place.  To witness the army of Young Men and Women answering the call to serve was an amazing sight...that alone brought on tears!  Watching these amazing youth!!  Totally awesome!

This Sister greeted Sarah at the curb of the MTC - it happened so fast, that we didn't get her name, only that she was called to serve in Brazil and had been there 4 weeks.

One last family photo at MTC.

And, she is off!  Such a humbling feeling to watch your 'baby' walk off with the army of missionaries!  She is in great hands and will do great things.

Moments with mom...

more family moments....

Dad, Sarah, and Mom

June 5th, 2013

The Big Day - June 5th, 2013

Today is the day Sister Holmes will enter the MTC in Provo, Utah.  Here are a few picture of the family good byes...

Top:  Lizzie and Sarah, Sarah & Bubba (Cameron) on the temple grounds in Provo.

ok, so i brought the WHOLE role of TP for the trip to the MTC.  And it came in handy, as it all started before we even entered the MTC parking lot.  Tears were tears of JOY and the amazing spirit that was there as you pulled into the drive at the MTC.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A FHE with Friends???

Sarah (and Dad) had planned a FHE night with a group of friends, or that is what they told mom!  The video says it all.