Monday, July 29, 2013

"she got all worried that he was a murderer or something crazy. Its was..lovely?"

Yay! Email and pictures from Sister Holmes! :) I love Sundays even more now that i get emails and pictures from her! I miss her like crazy, but holy moley i am soo proud! Here's her email :)

Oh gosh so get this, We have and investigator named Rhiannan. She is sooo awesome! She came to church -she even took work off early so she could come! The talks were good but man, there was a sister who got up and was talking about how to receive personal revelation. Well someone along the line she started talking about online dating and this friend she had who wanted to meet with this guy she was talking to they did but then she got all worried that he was a murderer or something crazy. Its was..lovely?
Lovely is something they say a lot here! Like everything is lovely. haha
I saw another hedgehog tried to take a picture but I couldn't get the flash to work. 
Had to teach gospel principles! That was fun. Sean is doing so well!!! It is so awesome watching him grow! He was talking about the Holy Ghost and how its helps him. He was saying it was like someone was sitting next to him and talking to him. He is able to make better decisions and he can see all things heavenly Father has blessed him with!
Chat has been really good!! It seems like I have talked to tons of people who accept to read the Book of Mormon and come to church. Then we follow up with email! Man Its super cool.
There was Time out from women this week in Auckland. Then some of the speakers came down to do youth and YSA firesides. The one that came to our building was Sherri Do? I probably spelled her name wrong. But it was sweet because Rhiannan came! She learned a lot which is awesome.
Our members are really "on to it" with missionary work. Its so awesome.
As a new mission we have been able to set some really good and obtainable goals! My mission president and his wife are so awesome!
Anyway this week was good. Looking forward to another good one!! 
Love and miss you all! Have a good week!
Sister Holmes 

Sister Hiyas

Sister Swindler

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"Killing me Softly" with a "Careless Whisper" because my " Foolish Feet Don't Got No Rhythm".

So I am really missing Sister Holmes today! I'm still getting used to not sending her a funny picture that I find on Pinterest or telling her something funny that happened at work, and ESPECIALLY sending her photos of the attractive guys on Vampire Diaries.Here are some pictures of her and the family right before she entered the MTC. We were able to spend the day before in SLC at Temple Square with her before we had to drop her off. I didn't realize how difficult it was going to be to leave her there knowing it was going to be 18 months until I would get to see her again! But I'm super proud of her!! Oh and the reason the title is based off of cheesy old songs, is because Careless Whisper and Killing Me Softly were 2 of Melissa's favorite songs!!

Sister Picture!
All the Holmes kids at Temple Square
All the Holmes Sisters. Becka, Melissa, Jessika, Molly
Group picture! Sort of normal.

Here she is in front of the Provo Temple right before we dropped her off at the MTC. This is where we said our goodbyes!

And she's off!

Monday, July 22, 2013

"They are painfully delish"

Happy Birthday to Sister Holmes!! Yep her birthday was on Saturday, July 20th. She's now 21! She seemed to have a great day and I love how special the other missionaries and members in New Zealand made that day for her. I also love how she puts "the church is true" throughout her emails. Because it is. The fact that she left her home to visit a far away country to teach people about it pretty much shows that it is true. She is such a great example to me and to all those around her. I know that she was meant to serve the people in New Zealand and I can already see how huge of an impact she has been there. She has an awesome personality that people are drawn to and I admire that. I am so proud to call her my little sister and hope to one day be as spectacular as her! She's only been gone for 2 months and I already see this miraculous change in her. She is still the same person (I can tell through the dorky/quirky/silly things she says/does) but she has grown into this amazing young woman! I love it! Well here's her letter! :) and lots of pictures! :D

Man oh man!! This week?? SUPA awesome!!!
I feel like so much happens in a week. Its insane! SOOO Sean's Baptism was amazing! The spirit was so strong! It was funny to see just how excited he was. Like normally Sean is a pretty quiet and shy guy..not on thursday! He was a chatter box! Almost hyper! After the baptism he was like "I feel like I could climb mount Everest!" It was awesome! Then we asked him what he was going to do and he said....go to wendys haha funny guy. Now he has been able to see the Lords hand in his life. He has been asking to get the day shift at work for months right? Thursday (his baptism day) he goes into work and his boss gives him his new schedule...guess who is on the day shift?? Yep! So awesome. He is really excited to get the priesthood! Man. This is awesome!

OH i got to make a phone call to France, I am going to make one to India later. Super cool. We are the first people to try out this new phone system so that awesome! Who would have thought I would like talking on the phone!?? Thanks to EMSI I am not afraid to talk on the phone haha
As you may know it was my birthday on Saturday. It was wonderful. Sister qaqa sang happy birthday as soon as we woke up. We went for a run and came back to the other sisters decorateing our flat with balloons and streamers. went to the VC and there was a wedding. We all get pretty excited when there are weddings because we get to see all the flowers and dresses its awesome. Any was we had cupcakes. THEN someone brought in donuts. YES Mommas donuts. They are painfully delish. They stacked them together and sang Happy Birthday. President and sister Rudd came in and wished me a happy birthday! Then we took a picture. Sister Rudd said "lets do a fun one!' then we all made faces. President and Sister Rudd are seriously the best! Sister swindler made cookies and spelled out the word "CAT" on them and made an insanely ridiculous cat collage card. Because they know how much I love cats....hahah Then if that wasn't enough we had dinner at the Golders. They are awesome. They made a cake and sang Happy Birthday. THEN we had comp study and the other sisters flat that night. We finish out study then Sister Simkins comes out with a plate of "Tim Tams" (super delish new Zealand cookies) A thing of Nutella and Ice cream. Once again they sang happy birthday. Also I went home and was able to open cards that Dad and the kids snuck into my suitcase before I left for the MTC. Such a wonderful day!!

Here is my funny quote of the week. When we were at the Golders their son Cody was talking about how he is never going to get married because girls are drama. He is 13. Then he says " you know, I am just going to serve and try my best and hope heavenly Father understands" hahaha
Our members are doing awesome!! They are all "going to the Rescue" Its amazing to see how excited they are to share the gospel with the people they work with and their friends. Last night we went to a home for dinner they invited a non member family it was awesome the spirit was really strong. Also We went to another house last Sunday and they invited a non member man and his daughter. We talked about the power of prayer. He is now reading the Book of Mormon. The church is true.
So for the most part the male members dont try to kiss the sister missionaries on the cheek right? Well some of them still do! It takes some getting used to! I had to men kiss me on the cheek this week and you all know how awkward I am hahaha luckily I was able to keep calm and keep my cool haha
I will tell you about one down side to this week...............ready.....? There is a mouse in our flat! I saw it and almost cried. Then I ran and got into bed haha we had a deep cleaning today but didnt see it. I hope it will just get tired of our flat and go live somewhere else!
Well the church is true. Love and miss you all!! Keep up the good work!!
Sister Holmes :) AKA Melissa.
haha oh man. she still has this sweatshirt?! We both got one on the Church History trip we took in 2006. That is awesome.

She looks super cute in this picture and that 'cake' looks super delicious. Those are "Mamma's Donuts"

This lady is Anit Rangi or Sister Parker if you will. She is the Family history queen! She knows everthing about the History of NZ and she out together all the info we have in the VC

This is sean and Tanil. They were married on Friday!

Her flat that the other Sister's decorated. How sweet!

Holy yum.

She looks SO happy! I love this picture!!


Monday, July 15, 2013

I just need to try harder to sound like a Kiwi!

So good to hear from Sister Holmes this week! She is doing really well and having a great time. She & I are doing a weight loss competition that ends on September 22 aka my birthday! whoever loses the most weight gets bragging rights and the loser has to send the winner a package! so it should be fun! :D here's her letter and some cute pics!
I would like to start off by saying there was a cat on my bed this week!
Yes a cat. There are like pigeons. EVERYWHERE! Just kidding there are not that many. BUT we left one of the windows open while we went out and we came back home to a cat just relaxing on my bed (its because my blankets are so lush and wonderful) then Sister Qaqa sees it and I went to open the door to let it out but nope. It walks right to the laundry room back out the window. Cats.
The Deseret Ward does this "boot camp" in the mornings. We joined them! Its terrible but fun. We have to run with tires and stuff. Definitely a good work out and it bonds us to the ward members. There should be a saying about those who work out together...I will try and make one up haha.
You guys I have an American Accent. A pretty bad one. There were two brothers that just came home from their missions and they spoke Sunday. They both went to America so they sound pretty American. Then they were all saying how they are trying to get ride of that twang! I just need to try harder to sound like a Kiwi! So I need to add say "sweet as" and basically add "as" on to anything haha I will have to practice and let you all know haha
Oh we are teaching a young man, His name is Scott. He really wants to be baptized but he is a foster child so he has to get permission from the agency he is under. He also has aspergers. It was really cool in sacrament though a sister gave a talk on baptism and the covenants we make! Scott got really excited! I knew that she was inspired to give that talk and it helped him!! So awesome! We all fasted on Sunday, if all goes well he will be baptized on Saturday!
We had a lesson with Nick at the VC and Showed him "God's Plan" and talked about how families can be together forever. We are going to visit him this week.
I do have some pretty great news! Did I tell you about Sean? Well we had a lesson with him Friday. He is getting baptized on Thursday!!!! I am so excited for him!! It was awesome though he is sooo happy!! The whole lesson he just kept talking about how happy he has been since learning about the gospel and how happy he is to be baptized!! Man, sooo awesome. oh and he is getting married the Next day! This is truly the gospel of happiness! I see it everyday and it makes me even more happy :)
Congratulations to Jasey for being baptized!! Love you bud! I love all of you!!! My heart it so full of joy and love that I just want to hug everyone! Luckily everyone hugs in New Zealand haha Its really different they all hug and kiss on the cheek which takes getting used to but its really nice just how loving everyone is here. Don't worry just hugging the women! haha
You are all insanely awesome and I love and miss you!! Have a great week!

Sister Holmes

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"The Lord doesn't care if I'm pale!"

So good to hear from Sister Holmes this week! She's doing fantastic in the great country of New Zealand. She was complaining about how everything is so much more expensive there, so she's not getting a hair cut until she gets back to the States. Also, that's where the whole "the Lord doesn't care if I'm pale" thing came from...she said that tanning lotion is too pricey. OH! and the little stink  only sent ONE picture! Well without further ado, here is her Email:

Well I would like to Start off by Saying Happy 4th! Yey for freedom!
Also Happy Birthday to Shon! Don't be too crazy!
You know something that comes up a lot that I never even thought would be a problem when teaching the gospel, is some people think it is an American Religion. That had never even crossed my mind.. and when it does come up I am just like..if it was an American Religion we wouldn't be here talking to  you! 
But since it was the 4th of July I was thinking about how America gained its freedom and everything they went through so that we could have religious freedom! Its insane! And there is no way that America should have won..But with God on our side we cant fail!! And He needed a country where the Gospel could be restored! Love America! Sad that I had to travel to the end of the earth to be patriotic.
Anyway met with president and sister Rudd. Super awesome! 
This week was great had a lot of people come into the VC Saturday, that was nice!!

Sunday was great! The Dessert Ward is so on to it with missionary work!!! Our fast and testimony meeting was all on missionary work! It has become such a big focus! Sister Qaqa and I were sitting in the meeting and then we get a note (Bishop Warick will sometimes write notes then have one of the boys on the stand deliver them..) We got a note that said "Hey Sisters, we would all love to hear your testimonies!" haha It was good because we didnt want to get up and take time from the members so it was nice to have permission haha 
But our wards are all really excited for missionary work and its awesome!!
One of the resources we use alot in the VC is Mormon Messages. Go right now and watch all of them! Every single one is simply amazing! They all have such powerful testimonies and make such a huge impact in a matter of minutes. And there is one called "Freedom To" and there is a British man who speaks in it and he and his wife are missionaries here in the VC!! Go watch it!! Also One thing that stood out to me was "He rescued on Mankind. Through His atonement He gives all of us hope for today and assurance in eternity" I know that my Redeemer lives. HE LIVES!!
Every morning we have personal study, so I usually read the Book of Mormon and write down things that stand out to me ( so now I have pages and pages from my reading) But this morning I felt like I should read my Patriarchal Blessing, I didn't know what but I just thought I should read it. So I went and got it and went back to my desk and started reading. Never before had my patriarchal blessing hit me so hard or meant so much to me. As I read tears filled my eyes and there was just an overwhelming peace in my heart so much so that I just had to pray to my Heavenly Father for gratitude for allowing me to have such a blessing in my life. I know that I was directed to read it this morning so that I could be able to learn and have it touch me the way it did. This is the true Church. I know it and I want you to know that I know it. I love it! I love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Love you all and miss you more!!! 
Have a wonderful week! Sorry this email is long...
Sister Holmes 

At the Visitors Center

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I need to remind them to share the gospel not the actual chocolate!!!

We received lots of pictures from Sister Holmes this week! It's so fun to see her...and especially to see how PALE she is! Am I a bad sister for getting so excited to see that her famously lovely, tan skin is now transforming to a pearly white?! Let me tell ya, she is not so thrilled with the transformation herself and promised to do everything in her power to not let me become the tan sister and her the pale one. We'll see about that! I guess it is winter there  & I should cut her some slack. But what's even more fun than seeing her "skin transformation", is seeing and reading how much SHE is actually changing. She is growing into such a strong missionary and I am one proud sis! Anyway, here's Sister Holmes' Family Letter:

Its almost 4th of July! I have an American Flag Pin that I can wear thanks to Dad!
This week was good!! I met the New Mission President and his Wife! They are really nice! It was funny though, they came to one of our wards and they were sitting on the stand. We were greeting people at the door then the meeting started so we went and sat back down. Sister Qa was like "oh my gosh, that is our mission president" I said no its not! It cant be! Then our Bishop introduced him and it was! Then we got to talk to them more at the VC! We are some of the few missionaries to meet them!
Oh get this, our Bishop from the Dessert ward Bishop Warick is awesome! He called us Friday night and asked us to speak in church and teach a lesson ( not the awesome part) I was on the phone with him and he just kept going on and on about how happy he is that we are in his ward and how they haven't had missionaries like us ever and basically just about how awesome we are. Then later that night I get a call from The Auckland Mission President that night, I saw his name on the phone and I was like oh dear...what did we do...then He just called to give us feedback, Bishop Warick had called him and told him how awesome we are and about the work we are doing! President told us to keep up the good work! That was the last time I will ever talk to him!
Any way when Bishop called we were out Talking with everyone in another area...I felt frozen!! But it was worth it!! We ended up stopping by a lady named Natasha's house she is a less active member. She let us in to her very warm home (score) then we just talked to her and her son Liam for a while. She hasn't been to church for 17 years. We asked if we could share a message, then we talked about the Plan of Salvation and we ended with a prayer. We asked if there was anything we could do for her before we left and she asked if would would come back next week. We were like ummmm YES!! haha It was good stuff!
Man...this ward came into the VC with their whole primary... then one girl threw up in the theater..then when they were leaving another one threw up right outside the front door.. I saw that one coming...she was like 4 and I watched her put her hand up to her mouth..then boom. all over the place.. Poor girl!!
Well like I said We had to speak yesterday..It went well! We had to speak on missionary work..surprise right? Haha any way I related the gospel to New Zealand's Chocolate...they loved that part haha here is a snippet: 

To me the gospel is like New Zealand's Chocolate, I had heard a lot about it, but it wasn't until I tasted for my self that I realized just how wonderful it was! Once I tasted it and knew how good it was I wanted to share with everyone what I had just discovered! I wanted all to know of them to have something that can bring joy and happiness to their lives! Because we all know chocolate bring that...
and since then people keep giving my chocolate....its terrible! I need to remind them to share the gospel not the actual chocolate!!! haha the missed the point haha
On thing that I learned while writing my talk is we have all heard people say things like "I don't know what I would do with out the Gospel" and I can agree with that, I don't know how I would make it through each day and the trials and challenges that we all face in life. BUT while we don't know what we would do with out it...MANY people DO NOT HAVE IT!!!! That is why it is important for all of us to share the gospel!!! I am not a good example of a missionary, but I know that the Lord doesn't expect any of to be perfect! He just wants us to try our best and He will make up for what we cannot do! I know The Lord will make any one who seeks to declare His words strong! I have seen this in the 3 weeks of being out here, He makes me strong enough to share what I know! He knows me and knows my weaknesses, and He is making those weaknesses become my strengths! I loved being able to give a talk yesterday! I  know surprise right!!? I loved it!! and I loved teaching the lesson for the priesthood and rs! I love talking with people! Where as when I first got here It was lucky if Sister Qaqa could get me to talk! He is making me strong enough and I am soooo grateful for that!!
I know that this church is true. I have seen daily how the atonement has blessed my life. Reading the Book of Mormon has helped me want to live my life like those prophets. With unyielding faith and humble obedience. I Love being a missionary and am so blessed to be able to have the privileged of serving my Lord and Savor.
haha this is pretty long..I will be done now..hopefully you made it this far..
Love you all and hope you have a great and warm week!!!
Sister Holmes :) 

Elder & Sister McLachlan

I love this. So much. (She does too by the way so I'm not being a mean sister for putting it up!)

"brown, brown, brown.... WHITE!!!!! Even my sweater is white!! Its terrible! Its like duck duck duck goose! its also Fijian Fijian Fijian AMERICAN!"

"NEW MISSION PRESIDENT!!!! We are some of the only missionaries that have met them!! They are soo awesome!!!!"
President & Sister Rudd with Sister Holmes

"Last Picture with Auckland President!"