Monday, November 9, 2015

Hey Fam!

I SAW A NAKED MAN!!!!!
It was dark out so I didn't really notice at first but this dude was
just running down the street with his clothes in his arms and he saw
us and was like "im so sorry!" And I was thinking, "why?" And then he
got closer and ran past us and I was like "AH OH MY GOSH. THATS WHY."
So a car pulled into the drive way right as that dude ran out the back
door naked, with clothes in hand...so we have a pretty good idea of
what was goin on in that house. Salt Lake City is literally, the
weirdest mission ever. It's not like any of the other Utah missions at
all. Like this wasn't even the craziest thing that has happened.




Read D&C Section 6! It's super amazing. I'm probs doing
this whole ponderizing thing wrong, but I pick a chapter to ponderize.
And I've been ponderizing Alma 29. Amazing chapter. Oh and last Monday
we went to DI and I bought this copy of the Book of Mormon from the
70's and its big and fancy and super awesome hahaha. So now I'm
reading from the very beginning again and I like it cuz all the pages
are so clean and I can start fresh. My quad set scriptures have soooo
many markings on each page. So I'm going to start all over reading
this one and highlight awesome verses and write my thoughts on the
sides of the pages and then I can give it to my future children lol.

The work is progressing so much. We have a baptism on Saturday and
have 7 progressing investigators! And I still think we can be doing
better but my companion and I don't quite think a like haha. But I'll
just keep doing what I can do and work my hardest. The boy that is
being baptized on Saturday is 9 years old and he is so cute haha. Like
in his prayers he prays that all the other people who aren't baptized
will be baptized and he prayed that he hopes the prophet can come to
his baptism....yeah it was sad to explain that he couldn't haha. But
we told him about how the prophet will be at the Christmas devotional
and he got so excited. He said that he better be at the top of our
list who gets tickets haha. We just met him last week and he just
wants to get baptized so bad. He is a super smart kid! When we asked
if he had any other questions, he said "uhhhh everything else you
haven't taught me?!" Hahaha. He's awesome and has such a strong desire
to learn.

















Sorry I don't have a whole lot to write for this week but there's much more awesomeness to come!! Love you all! Write me! I look so unpopular at district meeting when everyone else gets their mail :P

My address!

Sister Sydney LaRee Holcomb
1535 S Edison St. 
Salt Lake City, Utah 84115




                                                          Reaction from my cute companion when she saw the snow.

Another Baptism!


Quote of the day:
"Have a good night Tony!"
"How am I supposed to have a good night when I have to sleep in a trash can!?"
He had to move out and didn't have a place to sleep last night so he
said he had to sleep in a dumpster. Lol I know I shouldn't be
laughing, cuz I think he was being for reals but it was just so funny!

Tuesday was the most bizarre day ever. We were contacting all our
referrals and met this guy who "had no idea how we got his info" but
that he's been "waiting for missionaries because he wanted to teach
US". Yeah, shoulda left then. He probably referred himself just so he
could talk to us haha. But he caught us and talked to us for sooooo
long. Like 2 hours. Apparently he has a doctorate in bible study or
something. And he just kept saying we didn't know the bible well
enough and he just kept reading us verses that I had already known,
but obviously we just interpret differently. I kept trying to get out
of it but he was like "this is what you're supposed to do right? Talk
to people?" And we were like "uhhhh" so we kept talking to him and he
wasn't argumentative or anything but he just kept quoting the bible
and telling us that things we believed didn't make sense according to
the bible. He ended with telling us that he was telling us all this
because he cared deeply for us and our salvation and that if we were
wrong and if we are teaching people false doctrine, then we can be
sending people to hell lol. Wahoo!! First person to tell me I was
going to hell! Haha we invited him to read The Book of Mormon and he
said no, that he believed he had all that he needed in The Bible, and
we said, "Well how do you know if you never read?" And then he invited
us to read The Bible to know if it is true and we said "Sure but we
already believe it!" Lol. And later in the evening, we came across
this Native American guy, and he said that he really admired the work
that us missionaries did and that it's good but that he has his own
faith...he said this all before we had even said hello haha. But he
sang an Indian prayer for us and it was actually very cool.

The most amazing thing happened!!
We've been teaching this guy named Tony and he's .... An interesting
fella haha. He has a batman tattoo on his face and he's like 40
something. He said that he was shot in the head, so he has a really
hard time remembering things but he is so funny. He was praying once
with us and this guy walks up and tries talking to him in the middle
of the prayer and he was like "Dude! I'm trying to pray with my
women!" He always calls us his chicks. But anyways, he's been being
taught for a reallyyyyy long time. Like over a year. But all the other
sisters wanted to drop him. They just didn't want to put in the
effort, because he talks off subject a lot and can't remember things
well. But we have been working so hard with him. And so we invited our
district leader to sort of practice interview him because we just
couldn't tell where he was at spirituality and like where the line
would be if they weren't like 100% mentally there. So we were present
for the interview and oh my goodness. It was the most amazing thing
ever. The spirit was so strong and Tony answered every answer
perfectly. He was remembering everything and he started crying and
bearing his testimony. So we didn't have him on date, and at the end
of the interview our district leader said "I know you don't have a
date picked out yet, but you know what, I just have a feeling you need
to be baptized on Saturday!" (This interview happened on Thursday
night!!!) so we threw together a baptism in 1 day and it happened!
Haha he almost slept through it though. We had to go wake him up.

We have a 9 year old named Dylan on date for November 14 and we have 6
other investigators. The work is going so well here. It's a miracle.
Just gonna continue to do my best!

Love ya all! Write me!


 

P-day attire!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Too many awesome things to count


I'm writing this email using Siri so if any punctuation is bad don't
blame me. LOL I'm just way too lazy to type.

OMG MY SISTER IS MARRIED! Like whaaaaaa?!?! And my brothers had
homecoming 😢 they're growing up too fast man!! And congrats to my not
so baby bro Noah who is going to districts in cross country!! I miss
and love you all so much! 💕

Wow, what a week! Update on the bedbugs. I have over 30 bites but at
least I'm still alive. The mission is sending someone to clean the
carpet and the mattress next week. Pray that I don't get eaten alive!
But last Monday was fantastic! Every Monday we get to go to sister and
brother Perkins house to eat pizza and play pool. I lose every time.
But by the time I come home from my mission I'll be a pro pool player.
This Monday was a little different though. Sister Perkins heard that
my birthday was last month and insisted on having a mini birthday
party for me since I most likely wouldn't be in this area next year.
They bought me a cake and a birthday card and even sang happy
birthday. They are so sweet! We taught Ali after dinner and the lesson
went great. His friend Shafiq occasionally listens to the lessons & we
have a good feeling about him and hope that he will take them himself.

On Tuesday we ate dinner at a recent converts house. He made real
authentic Mexican food. They were so good! We brought Sister Farias
with us so that we eat in his home and well, he may have formed a
crush on her. He asked us if she was single! But she is sooo....are we
missionaries or match makers? :P after that we got to go to the church
building and watch a face to face thing with the Piano Guys. They are
so awesome and really made me want to play the piano again. I've been
practicing a little and I can play most of the hymns pretty well.
Maybe they'll ask me to play some time during my mission. I'm working
on an arrangement of nearer my God to be, our saviors love, and where
can I turn for peace. But it will take a while for me to figure it out
since I don't have a lot of free time or a piano LOL.

On Wednesday we taught Tony. He is progressing so much and truly has a
desire to be baptized. He has a hard time remembering things, but we
help him remember as much as we can and make sure that he knows that
we're always there for him. He can't read or understand the Scriptures
very well but he is really making an effort to do it anyways. He has a
really good heart and we hope that he can get to the point he needs to
be at to be baptized. We also taught Ali again. Sister Sharanion came
to the lesson and it was great to have another member present and for
her to share her testimony as well. Again, Shafiq was at the lesson
and when we were done teaching Ali, we were chatting with Shafiq a
little bit and I felt really inspired to give him a Book of Mormon and
to bear my testimony of it and invite him to pray and read about it as
well. He said he would, but he reads Persian so we are getting him a
Persian Book of Mormon tomorrow, and are taking him to see The
Testament tomorrow at temple square.

We taught him on Friday as well and invited him to be baptized and he
said yes! He used to be Muslim but has a very strong faith in God. He
understands everything we teach him so well and he wants to change his
life so badly. Shafiq has to quit smoking but we helped Ali quit so we
have faith in Shafiq as well. We are praying for what day we should
commit him to. Our dinner fell though on Friday and this random girl
driving by stopped us and gave us a $50 Olive Garden gift card!! God
is real hahaha. We didn't go that night but we are going today. We are
going to go into the city and enjoy temple square. I love being so
close to the temple. It's only a mile and a half from our apartment.

Well there's probably some stuff I left out but this should do haha.
Over all I'm doing a lot better and each day improves. Still just
trying my best to be a good missionary and to stay positive. I love
and miss you all so much!

Write me!! Can't wait to hear from y'all.

Oh my goodness I forgot the most important thing!! Ali was baptized!!
We are so proud of him. He's so awesome. We had to go to one Ward to
see his confirmation then had to book it to another right after he was
done to give talks. Covering 5 wards is so hard!!! Especially when 3
all start at 9! Sister Sauers forgot her name tag lol



Sister Boswell and I! We were roomies in the MTC. We got to see each
other at the trainer trainee  follow up meeting.

Sister Allen and I! I finally got to meet her!! She lives like an hour
away from me in WA and we met on Facebook when we saw we were called
to the same place, but we never got to meet up before she left! So
happy I got to see her.

Sabella and I! So glad I brought her on my mission <3 really. A little
piece of home :)




Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lots of happenings


FUN FACT: The nasty apartment we moved into has bed bugs and my whole
body has been attacked! I have at least 10 bug bites. Yay. Hopefully
that gets taken care of ASAP.
UPDATE: Ok might not be bed bugs. I have no idea. But I have no other
place to sleep lol. So I'll just have to deal with it tonight and get
someone to check the bites out tomorrow. And the bed just in case.

So since I forgot my journal last week, this will be an update for the
past 2 weeks. I'm sorry it is so long! I promise it won't be for next
week! I hope you read it all though!!

Oh! & I forgot to mention, when I was at the MTC, Vocal Point gave a
devotional and sang a couple of hymns and oh my goodness it was so
beautiful. I got to shake all their hands after too. I was like "Oh
come on. They're bringing a bunch of attractive guys with amazing
voices to a bunch of missionaries?? That just ain't fair." I kid, I
kid. Half of them were married anyways but for reals tho. The music
was amazing. Look up Nearer My God to Thee by Vocal Point.
October 6:
Well, today's the day! We're going to Salt Lake City, baby! I'm
nervous all over again but am so excited to teach real investigators!
Last night, the elders in our district were able to give us sisters
blessings. Elder Giles gave me a blessing of confidence and a love for
those I teach & that helped a lot. I've been so nervous & felt so
unqualified, but I know the Sprit will guide me & will provide a way
for the people to hear what they need.

Later in the day when I arrived in Salt Lake City:
I'm now at the mission presidents house! So when we first arrived
here, we got interviewed by the pres, then we got a tour of temple
square! The beauty of it blows me away every time I go. Its so amazing
that I'll be able to bring people there all the time. We had the best
taco salads for dinner too. AND they brought out frosted animal cookie
ice cream! Did you know that was a thing?? I didn't! But it is soooo
good. Day one and they're already trying to make me fat! The mission
pres lives across the street from President Monson (not his appt in
the city but his original house, he still goes there but it's got 24/7
security)! I touched the Prophets fence!!! Hahaha I was so excited.
Pres Monson still attends the ward there and the mission pres son has
passed sacrament to him. Super bummed it's in the Salt Lake City East
mission :( over all I'm just bursting with excitement. I can't wait to
meet my trainer tomorrow. I'm so excited to teach. On the train ride
to SLC, my comp and I tried to teach but most people were already
Mormon. The mission pres has already challenged us to give out a Book
of Mormon tomorrow and have someone on date for baptism by the end of
the week. I'm so pumped.

October 7:
I'm in Liberty Stake and my companion and I cover 5 wards. We just
moved into a new apartment and oh my goodness. 
It's is filthy (thanks Elders who lived here before us
-___-). I was definitely shocked to find out that Salt Lake has a
ghetto part of town. Most of the time I forgot that I'm even in Salt
Lake City. It's kinda scary. Missionaries stuff gets stolen a lot here
so yay. And I'm afraid to shower..it's too dirty haha. It's definitely
not home, but I'm adjusting. But all the people are super nice. Tony
is homeless but he is sooooo funny. He comes to church every Sunday
but can't get baptized till he's sober. Same with Ali. He has to quite
smoking. He was on date for baptism last week but now has to start
over. My companion is good. Her name is Sister Sauers and she is from
South America. A small country called Guyana. It's right above Brazil.
She's very quite but is hard working. It's hard to feel comfortable
here but I'm getting there. I know I came to this area for a reason
and that God has prepared SOMEONE here to receive the gospel. It's
definitely pushing me out of my comfort zone but I know it's helping
me grow and become a better person. I miss my district from the MTC.
And normal human interaction. Since my companion doesn't talk much.
But I know sacrifices are necessary for this. I heard a quote today
that went like this, "I wouldn't say that the mission was the best 18
months of my life, but I will say that it was the best 18 months FOR
my life". That's definitely true. I know that as long as I'm obedient
and work hard that I will be blessed. I just need to forget myself and
go to work. I just needed tonight to write about the hard stuff but
now I'm good. Tomorrow is a new day and it will be great.

My companion-Sister Sauers
October 10:
I feel like yesterday was the answer to my prayers. First, we went to
a district meeting, and Elder Haight, the district leader, gave the
best talk. He said, "The Lord does not bless us THROUGH the work we
do, but BECAUSE of the work we do." He also said, "He, the Lord, does
not always bless us in the ways we anticipate." And he ended with
saying, "Work through the hard times. Be patient with the Lord & His
work. That really hit home to me. It was exactly what I needed to
hear. When I got out here I was expecting immediate results and when
things weren't going the way I planned, I was being a baby. Then later
that day we found a family for 7 to teach! They are the Deschines. How
awesome is that? I'm super excited to teach them. Then later that
night something amazing happened. So there's a lot of homeless people
where I am. And a lot of the time, I'm scared to talk to them. To be
honest, a lot of them grossed me out and I wasn't being Christ-like at
all. So like I was saying, later that night there was this homeless
man sitting in the grass, and my companion who is so open to all
people, walked over and say by him and started to talk. Of course I
then had to follow. We let him tell us his story. How he was a good
man who made some bad decisions. He was ashamed of his past and felt
like he couldn't move on from his past. My companion showed him a
video of a man who had a similar story to his. He was in and out of
prison and struggled with drug abuse and suicidal thoughts. But the
man in the video was able to find Christ and turn his life around.
During the video, the homeless man we were teaching began to cry. And
when I saw that, I started to cry because I had judged him and not
seem him through the eyes of the Savior and our loving Heavenly
Father. I didn't see him as my brother & how he needed the Gospel of
Jesus Christ just as much as anyone else did. It was a very humbling
experience. I bore him my testimony of God's love and of Jesus
Christ's atonement. And then I read him Mosiah 4:15-20. We are all
beggars, asking for God's mercy. I am no better than him. It
completely changed my perspective of the area we are in and of the
people I am serving and teaching. Before, I sort of gave up or didn't
want to try with the people we met. They all smoked or were
alcoholics, we even met women on the streets who were trying to sell
themselves. I'd see them and think to myself, "They are too hard to
help. What is the point?" & meeting David, the homeless man, really
changed my view on all of it. Like I said before, this area is such a
humbling experience. These people NEED the gospel and NEED to know
they are loved. We have a message that will change their lives. I'm
starting to see people through God's eyes and as my brothers and
sisters in heaven. Im starting to truly understand what Charity means.
Yesterday was just amazing and really helped motivate me and strive to
be a better and more loving person. It helped me understand my purpose
better. Today was good as well. We helped clean a new converts house
and taught several messages. We put Ali on date for baptism too! He's
from Iraq. As long as he continues not to smoke, he will be baptized
October 24! It's very exciting. Oh and yesterday we had dinner with a
member and her son invited his friend who was interested in the church
and we ended up teaching him and inviting him to read the Book of
Mormon. It was an amazing unexpected lesson. Overall the past 2 days
have been amazing. My companion and I get a long fine but sometimes I
feel really lonely since she doesn't talk much. Sometimes it is
difficult to teach together, we don't always flow very well but we
continue to get better! Just takes practice!

One week later!

October 17:
Today was a lot of fun! We started the day of with the Deschine
family. The dad is a member of the church but no one else is and they
have 5 kids. We only taught the mom this morning but we are hoping
that next week all the kids will join us for the lesson. They have a 7
year old, 9 year old, 12 year old, 17 year old, and a 19 year old. I'm
super excited to teach them. They just moved here 3 weeks ago, but the
mom is so prepared for the gospel. She was so open to everything we
had to teach her. She said that she goes to the temple all the time to
feel peace and comfort and I was just like "Dude!!!! That's the Holy
Ghost!!" Im so excited for the next lesson. We are going to invite her
to be baptized and I have a really good feeling about her. The middle
of the day was kinda slow. It was rainy all day and I was so tired but
we kept pushing haha. We had dinner with this women named Sister
Stringer and she is 60 years old and is sooo funny. The whole hour she
just told us her whole life story and about her new finance and how
the way they met must've been from God planning it because it's a
crazy story and it just all worked out. Totes was meant to be :P it
was so cute. Then we took a recent convert to see Meet the Mormons in
the Joseph Smith memorial building. I love that movie!!! This was my
first time watching it but I thought it was AWESOME! (Btw it's on
Netflix, everyone check it out!) It was funny and cute and moving and
yeah. Just awesome. Also I've really missed watching football,
especially around this time of the year so it was nice to see a bit in
the movie haha. Temple square and the whole city is so beautiful at
night. I can't wait to go during the winter time when all the lights
are up.

October 18:
Sunday's are soooo hard! 7 hours of church and 5 different wards is a
lot to deal with! AND I had to give my first talk as a missionary!
They asked us to speak just yesterday so even though I could've gone
to bed a half hour early, I had to stay up and write. But I was
feeling inspired and couldn't wait till morning to write it. It was on
Elder Renlund's talk called "Through God's Eyes" and charity (thanks
Dad for the email you sent me earlier this week that gave me
inspiration and scriptures to use). I'll send the talk in a separate
email. I think I did alright. But I was very nervous and didn't have
my computer to type and edit it so it looked kinda like a mess on the
paper haha. I have to give another talk in a different ward next week!
Haha I'm hoping I can just re read the same talk. So good news is that
Ali is still on date for baptism! He is doing so good with not
smoking. I'm so excited for him and so happy with the progress he is
making. His baptism is on Saturday. I'll make sure to take lots of
pictures. Today at church one of our less active members came and his
name is Edward. He had the best thing to tell me!! So last
week we stopped by his house to teach him but he had forgot that we
were coming and was working on his car. He hadn't been able to get it
to start and it was just giving him a lot of trouble so he asked us to
stop by later in the week. So we said ok but that we were going to
leave a short message with him. So as a joke, I read him Ether 12:27
about God making your weaknesses become strong and compared it to his
car and said that if he prayed for help that God would help him. So
when we left him with a closing prayer, I prayed for his car and that
he'd have a way to get to where he needed to go. So when we saw him
today he ran up to me and said that the prayer had been answered!! You
won't even believe what happened. Someone just showed up at his house
and gave him a new car with the title and everything!! He couldn't
even really remember the guy that brought it but apparently a long
time ago he was supposed to get the car. Isn't that crazy?! I was like
"Holy cow! I didn't expect for the prayer to be answered in that way!"
He was like "Hallelujah, God is real and answers prayers. This is a
miracle!" It was the craziest thing ever! I'm tellin ya people, TRUST
IN GOD AND THINGS WILL WORK OUT!  Tonight we had the best dinner EVER.
Stuffed cheesy bread, bacon wrapped chicken, salad, and stuffed squash
with sausage and cheese. Ya. I'm gunna get fat out here. Oh well. Then
after dinner we taught Michael. He's 9 and is a recent convert. His
dad is a member but has been inactive for a long time but he became
active about a year ago when the missionaries started teaching his
son. He's now active and a worthy priesthood holder. This was the last
after baptism lesson we have to teach Michael, but we are still going
to stop by and make sure him and his dad are doing ok. His mom passed
away a couple of years ago but was baptized so tonight we left them
with the invitation to endure to the end and to prepare to enter the
temple so that he and Michael can be sealed to the mother. I felt the
spirit so strongly and you could tell how happy it made the father to
hear that he could still be sealed to his wife. It was a great way to
end the evening. 

Here's my address:
Utah Salt Lake City Mission
1535 S Edison St
Salt Lake City,  UT 84115

Looking forward to letters from everyone!

Sister Holcomb
  

Quick update

I left my journal at the apartment so this one is going to be kinda short! 

First week as a missionary is finally complete! It's been interesting but I've already grown so much. So far it's been a very humbling experience and I've learned how to have charity and see people through God's eyes, to see them as my brothers and sisters in heaven. The people here are so kind and have taken me in like family. The wards are not what I was expecting! They're smaller than I thought and I think I saw a teenager only once! We are slowly but surely finding people to teach. It's more difficult than I thought to find people that can get baptized since so many people here have addictions. We live in "the bad part of town". But we remind them that the Holy Ghost will help them recover through anything so hopefully we will continue to progress. We just keep trying to remind them of how baptism is essential to gain eternal life. Since coming on the mission, I feel more like how the sons of Mosiah felt. That they could not bear that any human soul should perish. I'm starting to understand how that feels. Every person we meet I feel a sense of desperation for them to know the gospel. But that's part of the reason why it's been hard. We try to meet as many as the referrals as we can but it's difficult. Many of them have moved, or aren't interested. And we only have one or two progressing investigators. Some days I feel like I'm not doing enough and it's hard to not let the negative thoughts take over, but I've been praying and studying a lot. And I know all the right answers, forget myself and go to work, God doesn't bless you in ways you anticipate, stuff like that. But it's still hard sometimes. But I'm trying my very best to stay positive. I started making a list of blessings I saw each day and that helps. My companion and I are getting along fine. No problems or conflicts or anything. She's very quite but she made it her goal to talk more and she asked for my help for her to accomplish that so it's been getting better. Each day get's better and I keep my purpose in my mind and try my very hardest to fulfill it. I will go and do! 

I miss you all so much. Please email me! I'd love to hear from all of you!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

MTC!!

My district! :)
Day one at the Missionary Training Center:
I'm very tired but feel so awake at the same time. I've learned so much already! I think the most important thing I've learned is letting the Spirit teach. It makes all the difference. Also letting the spirit help you hear. I never really thought about it but it is sooo important to truly listen to the investigator! Don't just start talking. Let the spirit translate their words to you, so that you can recognize what they need to hear. We taught 3 different people today and doing what I just said made all the difference. The 3rd lesson was great. We were all so tuned in to the spirit. But the first two were frustrating because no one was really listening to the investigator. They immediately started spouting generic missionary lessons, when that's not what the spirit needed them to hear. Over all, it's been a great day. I'm paired with Sister Ashley Keoppel. She is great. She is so good at listening to the spirit and she helps me a lot. We work well together. We are roommates with Sister Mya James and Sister Mercedes Boswell. I love the MTC so far. I'm so excited to see what's next.

Day two:
Wow. Each day here at the MTC feels like a month. We've done and learned so much today. So fun thing, I ran into Elder Jared Russell today! He's from Bainbridge Island. It was funny because we forgot to call each other by Elder and Sister. He was like "Sydney??? I mean Sister Holcomb???" but oh well haha. It's so hard to get used to that. Also, I missed the first few classes of the day because my companion wasn't feeling well. We went to the clinic and found out she has strep throat!! We got to go outside the MTC to the BYU student clinic to pick up her meds so that was a fun little adventure. We shared out testimonies at a branch meeting tonight and the spirit was definitely there. I cried for the first time here at the MTC during the testimonies. Home sickness is for sure settling in. I miss my mom and dad so much. But I know I have a great work to do here. Also, my companion and I were called as Sister Training Leaders for our zone!! It's super neat because usually the sisters don't have a lot of opportunity for leadership positions. Again, today was filled with testimony building experiences and so much happens in 1 day here. End of day 2 and I already have had my testimony increased on prayer, my purpose, why I'm going to Salt Lake for a reason and also that I was paired with Sister Keoppel for a reason. She is so kind and loving and truly embodies Christ's love. We really bring out each others strengths and work so well together. It makes me so excited to get out into the real worlds. I just know someone out there is desperately seeking God's gospel. It makes it so hard to be in the MTC when you know that! 

Day three:
Today has been an emotional roller coaster. The beginning of the day was great. We did a service project (cleaning the bathrooms lol) and went to the gym. I love how Sister Keoppel is like my own personal trainer. She is helping me stay dedicated to being in shape. I feel myself becoming stronger, both physically and spiritually. But today was very difficult as well. We taught our first "investigator" here in the MTC. My companion and I were so excited because we felt we had prepared well. When we did give the lesson, we still felt it went really well. Even though we made a planned and detailed outline of the lesson, we ended up just teaching by the spirit and sort of ignored some parts we planned because we were feeling prompted to stick with a particular subject in our lesson. Which was that God is our loving Heavenly Father, prayer, and how to feel and recognize the Holy Ghost and his importance. We felt that the lesson went really well and that the spirit was definitely there. But when we got back to class, a teacher (who hadn't even seen the lesson) told us we did it completely wrong. Which I don't think is possible if you're teaching by the spirit. She just kept saying we needed to teach the doctrine. Which we did...so I don't really understand how we didn't do it right. We are supposed to teach the people, not the lesson. Our investigator was personally struggling with loneliness so we taught how he could feel God's love. We were treating him as a person and were sincere about how the gospel could help him in his trials. I think we could have included more doctrine but we didn't do NOTHING right, like the teacher was telling us. It was hard for me to feel so confident and happy and filled with the spirit to be told I didn't do it right. A lot of tears were shed today. But I know all things will work out. And I will continue to learn and grow and listen to the promptings of the spirit. Our district is super awesome. There's us girls, then Elder Giles, Elder Sandstrom, Elder Clifford, and Elder McPherson. I feel bad for Elder Sandstrom though because his companion is really disobedient and it's making it really hard for our district to progress. But I will continue to pray that that can change, and that we could all still have a good MTC experience as well. Besides that, the MTC hasn't been so bad. I'm tired like ALL the time. 16 hours of learning is hard haha. But it's easy to work through it because I know it will be worth it. 

Later in the week:
I didn't get a chance to write last night. I got back to the residency at around 9:30, so I was already completely tired and I couldn't stop crying. An Elder in our district was feeling overpowered by satan and he felt like he just couldn't shake him off. And It was so hard because we aren't supposed to offer advice to the Elders, but it was hard to see him suffering because I saw my brothers in him. And I wish I could've helped. I miss my brothers so much and am so afraid for them because I know how terrible high school is and how hard it is. Satan is real and knows us perfectly, just as Christ does. But Satan uses our weaknesses against us and tries everything he can think of to knock us down. I'm scared for my brothers because I know how hard Satan tries to stop Christ's work. And my brothers are going to be such great soldiers in God's army, if they remain worthy. I wish I could be there with them to protect them from the world, but I know I'm where I'm supposed to be so all I can do is continue to pray for them. I just love and miss them so much. I cant wait until Wednesday so that I can write them and tell them that and about all that I've learned. I can only hope that they can take what I've leaned and apply it to their lives as well. They have so much potential. Yesterday was overall just a very physically and emotionally exhausting day. So much stress and lack of sleep and homesickness just finally reached a breaking point. But today was a lot better. For the first time in so long, I really paid attention to the sacrament and what it meant. I t was also fast and testimony meeting. All the testimnonies were so strong and so powerful.I haven't felt the spirit so strongly in a long time. I fasted for almost every person in my district and I felt like it helped a ton. Today we just great. I've felt so much more peace and happiness since coming here to the MTC. It still is hard but I will continue to trust in Him. I know that the MTC is teaching me so much and that in the end, I will be grateful for my experience here. Each day is a new start and a new day for me to grow. It's crazy to think I've only been here for 5 days. Each day drags on like a week but there's no place I'd rather be. I love my companion and my roommates and my teachers and my district. They each individually teach me so much and have already helped me grow more into the person I want to be. 9 more days till i'm really out there! I can't wait. 

Even later in the week:
So much has happened! I got to view Richard G Scott's funeral (an apostle of the church) here at the MTC and i loved it. He sounded like such a christ-like loving person. I wish I would've paid more attention to his talks during conference. My companion and I continued to teach our investigators, Lance and Sydney. My nerves don't get the best of me anymore and I get better each lesson we teach. We watched conference today and I took a LOT of notes. There were so many great talks. Letting the Holy Ghost guide you really stood out to me. Also, Hollands talk about motherhood. I've always had a deep appreciation of not only my mother, but of many other mothers. Being able to be a mom is an amazing blessing and gift from God. Honestly, I'm scared out of my mind to be a mother one day but luckily I have a couple more years till I have to worry about that haha. My companion and I are still getting along fine and sister Boswell and I have been bonding a lot. I got two packages and a letter in the mail!! Finally I got something haha. Thank you family and David and Geeta Fyffe! I got Lindsay's wedding announcement!! So exciting. I hope the wedding planning is going well! I'm so sad that I will miss the wedding but Missionary work is way more important (; My district is so funny and they all have such strong testimonies of the gospel. I hope I can stay friends with them and see them after the mish! Lol we have plans to go to Disney world (Sister Keoppel works there) but IDK if that will happen haha. I got into BYU-I so now I have to make my decision. I'm gunna pray about it a lot. 

NOTE FROM THE RELIEF SOCIETY CONFERENCE: NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST, MY STORY CAN HAVE A HAPPY ENDING
Don't let the past dictate your future. Because of Christ, we can be forgiven from our sins and be cleansed.

Latttttter in the week: 
It's finally hitting me that tomorrow is my last full day here at the MTC. It's odd because I want to leave so badly, but I will miss the people a lot. I've learned so much here at the MTC but also have realized that I have so much more to learn. You never stop growing. Tbh, I wish I would've prepared more before the mission. I'm going to read the Book of Mormon again and strengthen my knowledge of the scriptures. I loved President Monson's (the Prophet of the church) talk this morning. IT was amazing. But towards the end he started to lean on the pulpit and he could barely finish a sentence. You can tell he was out of breath and week. It hurt me so much to watch him. I know the Holy Ghost is giving him extra strength. His time on earth is not up yet. He is such an amazing prophet and I know he's been called of God. We are all so blessed to have Him and his apostles on the earth to help guide us towards God and eternal life. How grateful I am for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and a modern prophet. "Come what may, and love it." Not matter how difficult my mission may be, I will strive to remain faithful, hopeful, and happy, because I know how important it is for everyohne to know the truth. That God loves them, that he's provided a way for us all the return to him, through the atonement. That he's given us the Book of Mormon and a prophet to guide us home. I love the gospel and I will continue to grow and become closer to Him. 

Today:
I'M LEAVING THE MTC TODAY! Off the Salt Lake City I go. I am so excited and nervous all over again. The sister's from our district received blessings last night from our Elders and the spirit in the room was so strong. It was exactly what we all needed. We are ready to go serve the people and bring God's children to the Kingdom of Heaven. 
I'll write again next week! Love you all!

Sister Holcomb

Saturday, August 1, 2015

53 More Days

I am currently sitting in the North Vistor's Center in Temple Square. I love being on temple grounds. I feel peace and love surrounding me and I know this is a sacred place. I was here yesterday as well to take some pictures for my mission. I'll give ya a sneak peak :) 
I spoke to several sister missionaries here in the past two days. Hearing about their experiences and how much they love it here makes me even more excited for my mission. 
Our Utah visit is coming to a close! And I'm so sad :( but it has been amazing. It has been exactly what I needed. I'm glad I had this time to spend with my family before I left on my mission. We have gone on several little adventures :) For example, on Wednesday we took a skilift at Sundance up to enjoy the beautiful view. Thank you David and Geeta for inviting us!! It was breathtaking. And I'm usually scared of heights but I loved this. 
Washington is beautiful as well but there's something different about Utah that I love. I love how close the mountains are and the sun :) 

On Thursday I got to meet Maryn! 

We went shopping for a while then went to get our nails done. It was so fun just talking and getting to know each other. We talked about...basically everything. What we were most excited about, things we were scared of on our mission, plans after out missions and....boys of course :P I hope these next 2 months fly by! I feel  like every blog post I make, I say the same thing over and over again: "I'm so excited for my mission!" Haha but it's true!

I just want to make a quick shout out. I love everyone that has been so supportive of my mission, especially my family but also my friends from school that aren't members of the church. I know that it may be hard for them to understand why I would leave for a year and a half just to teach about church but all of them have been 100% supportive and I'm so thankful for the amazing people I have in my life :) even though I want to leave on my mission right now, I will still miss a lot of people. 

You all better write me! 

Well, I'm going to go enjoy the rest of temple squares. I suggest that if you haven't already visited temple square that you do so, SOON! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

57 More Days

Here I am in the great state of Utah! We left Saturday night and as we were driving in on Sunday, we drove past Salt Lake City. I've been there before but every time I see it, I'm still blown away by how gorgeous the city is. I'm so blessed to serve there. I wish I could leave right now and start my mission. My future (especially the mission), always seemed like a dream to me. It's finally setting in that it will be a reality. I'm so excited to be in Utah! I love it here. One reason: In N Out. 
I've missed the deliciousness of this place for too long! We were reunited and it was love at first bite 🍔❤️ 
Another reason why I am excited to be here is because I get to meet Maryn tomorrow! She is one of the girls I met on the sister missionary Facebook page. We have the SAME mission and we leave on the SAME day! We are getting lunch and going to get our nails done. It's gunna be super fun. I also get to meet Rachel when I'm back in WA. She gets set apart as a missionary in 11 days! She too is serving in SLC. It's so awesome how I can meet these girls who I could possibly serve with in the future! We've all become so close and we haven't even met yet! Our mission is going to be incredible. 
(SIDE NOTE: My friend Camille received her mission call last night and she will be serving in the Nashville Tennesee mission! How exciting is that?! So proud of her. I'm so happy for everyone who is choosing to serve a mission!!) 

Another reason why I'm glad to be in Utah right now is because I got to tour Utah Valley University! It's such an amazing campus and it has sooo much to offer. And it's close to Salt Lake City so I can keep in contact with all the people I meet on my mission! I met so many people on campus that told me about all the wonderful things the school does and I couldn't be more excited to go to school there after my mission. 

I've got a couple more days here and I'm going to enjoy every second! Well I guess that's it for today! 
Oh! One more thing. So there's this guy named Stuart Edge. He is one of my favorite YouTubers (check out his videos right now!!) and he's also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. On Sunday he was in Cali for VidCon and he posted this picture of him, reading his scriptures on his phone in a hotel: 
The caption says: "Sundays on the road. "When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place, or drop out of our lives." -Ezra Taft Benson"

Since I too was on the road on Sunday, I shared the post. It got a couple likes but it wasn't until Monday night that something awesome happened!! 
STUART EDGE COMMENTED ON THE POST! I had a bit of a fan girl moment and told him he was rad. Then quickly recovered and thanked him for sharing his testimony and being an example to me. It's not easy to be in the spotlight and be "famous" and still stay strong to your beliefs so I was impressed that he has such a strong testimony. So that was cool but then, once again, something even more awesome happened. He wished me well on my mission! I don't know exactly how he knew I was going on a mission but I once again had a little fan girl moment. It was awesome hahah. Ok. So now I'm done!

Don't be afraid to share your testimony with everyone around you! Be a light into the world! Someone will notice and you could change someone's life :) stay strong.