Monday, August 26, 2013

Smile and tell your face you are happy :)

So fun hearing from Sista Holmes this week!! (Apparently in order to sound like a "Kiwi", you must say "Sista's the New Zealand thing to do!) She went to Hobbiton and had a great time. The only bummer part was that she wasn't able to email much because she was there all day! Oh well, next week!I love love love the message that she shared from her Zone Conference, which is the title of this post. Smile and tell your face you are happy! That is just fantastic. & SO true. She had an exceptionally good week, ESPECIALLY since a sister in her ward brought her some Swedish Fish! Her favorite "American" delicacy. Want to send Sista Holmes a special present but don't know what to send? SWEDISH. FISH. it'll make her happy :) 

Wellllllll Guess where I just got back from....Hobbiton. Yeah that is right. It was soooo awesome!!! I will have to send pictures next week!! I got to have my very own Ginger Beer in the Green Dragon. Dont worry-non alcoholic. Man such a cool experience! Some of the Elders in our zone even joined us. Twas a jolly good time! 

Man, this week was Choice! It went by so fast and was just really awesome as well as supa busy!
Oh! A lady in my ward, Sister Golder went to Hawaii and guess what she brought me....Swedish Fish! haha Love her! as well as her family! They are soo awesome!
This past Friday we had the opportunity to have Zone Conference! It was AWESOME! That is where the Subject line "Smile. Tell your Face you are happy" President Rudd said that and I Love it! We talked alot about the Mission Vision which is Kia Kaha and Kia Ngaiwari. Kia Kaha we know means to be Strong and Have courage. We then read Deuteronomy 31:6 and Joshua 1:9 which explain Kia Kaha perfectly! What are we to fear when the Lord is with us?? Kia Ngaiwari is the 13th article of faith in two maori words. It means to be kind, teachable, humble, loving teachable. That is the kind of missionaries we are to be!

Okay so we rode our bikes out to the Koramatua ward area to meet with a part member family. Guess how long that bike ride ended up being...8 miles there and back! In the fog, rain and extremely busy streets with no foot path (side walk for the Americas) to ride on! We were super tired and basically wet from the fog. Has the worst case of helmet hair on the planet..was it worth it?? HECK YES! Its funny too how the Lord gives us opportunities that at the time we may not see! So here it is. We have weekly planning on fridays right? Thursday we had planned on going to the Koramatua are to meet the part member family. But this friday we had zone conf so Elder Krull (zone leader) told us to have weekly planning Thursday! We were like dang it! Our plans are ruined. So instead we had to go out to the Kroramatua areaSaturday. We did. The family was home and we met with the mom and it was awesome! She told us it was really lucky that we caught them that day because usually they are not home Saturdays but they had early morning sport. I know that Heavenly Father Blessed us with being able to make it to their house at a time when they would be home. Yes. Riding a bike for 8 miles in the fog and what not sucked. BUT it was all worth it!!
We had to give talks in church Sunday so you know that is always awesome! haha I like giving talks but I had like 1 hour to prep. But I guess that is better than no hours haha
There is a lot of untapped potential and Sister Swindler and I are exceedingly joyful. The members in Temple View are so loving and wonderful to the missionaries. We have officially met with all the Bishops and they are all awesome. 

I feel like so much happened this week and I feel like I am forgetting lot! Just know that it was an awesome week here in Temple View. 
Oh yea guess what we made?? Cafe Rio Pork Salad! Well a spin off of that..they don't have chilies OR enchilada sauce here...They are not big on Mexican food which is sad.. but back to the pork....I had to cut the skin oh man was it nasty. There was still poor little piggy hairs on it! SICK! Sister Swindler took some pretty funny pictures. I will have to send them next week. But the pork was pretty good. Lasted us for many many Meals. They call them "feeds" here.
If  you guys could not tell I absolutely LOVE being a missionary. It is hard..but the best thing I have ever decided to do with my Life. Man. Words can't describe the awesome!
Anyways! Ready for another great and busy week! Hope you all have the same! Love you and miss you more!

Sister Holmes. 
ps if you want to say my name like a kiwi.. say "sista homes" haha Love the people here soooo much!
Remember! Smile and tell your face you are happy :) 

Zone Conference
 the picture in the christus room sis swindler and I had JUST gotten back from a 8 mile bike ride in the fog and rain...hence the terribleness of my appearance. 

Sista Holmes & Sista Swindler


Monday, August 19, 2013


Fantastic to hear from Sister Holmes this week! :) She's doing great and I really, really, really hardcore love this Email. It's so fun to hear her talk like a "missionary" and I can see how much she is growing and changing with each letter and email she sends. I know I say this like EVERY post, but she really is a great example to her family and all those that she has come/will come in contact with. Here's her email and some random pictures :)

So we had transfers and the out come is.........................................................................................................................................................................
Still in temple View! Only difference is I am with Sister Swindler, we were in the MTC together and we are now covering all 5 wards on top of serving in the VC. Needless to say we are pretty busy. And there are now only 2 companionships in the VC. busy, busy, busy.
This week was good. Consisted of alot of moving around, for me it was not too bad, I just moved my stuff from the flat to the house just down the street. It was only like 3 houses down from the flat. So that was nice. I am going to miss Sister Qaqa, she is one of the new sister training leaders now and she is up in Auckland.
This week we have been meeting with the Bishops of the new wards and trying to get to meet as many people as possible in out area. There are alot of people to meet!!
Before transfers we were able to have dinner at president Rudd's house. That is just one of the perks of being close to his house! But its pretty cool to be able to see him so often.
We have 2 wards at 9am 2 wards at 11am and 1 ward at 1pm. It is a bit overwhelming but I know that the Lord will quide and direct us down the path we need to take.
We had a fireside last night...It went alrighish haha I had to give the spiritual thought. The theme of the Fireside was Thanks to Christ. I read the Poem Footsteps. One thing I have learned is how the atonement applies to everyone, in everyday and in everyway. There is nothing that we are going through that Christ has not felt. There is no pain or sorrow that He cannot remove. Even when we feel like we are alone helplessly abandonded by everyone. We are not. Jesus Christ suffered for US SO THAT WE WILL NEVER HAVE TO BE ALONE. My counsel to you my dear friends and loving family is to TRUST that you are never alone. Have faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement. Have the Hope that the best is yet to come. Pray for the warm and loving arms of the Savior to surround you. Seek to find the Lords hand in your life and you WILL KNOW PEACE.You WILL KNOW PURE JOY. The trials and challenges will be but steping stones towards your eternal progression. The Adversary will have NO power over you. The man who suffered all things is on our side. He wants us to succeed. If we place our faith in Him and do what He asks of us there is no possible consivable way we can fail. I know this to be true.
I love you all  more than you can possibly imagine. But you know..that love I have for you is nothing compared to the Love that our Heavenly Father has for each one of us.
I am so blessed to be able to serve my Lord and Savior in His redemptive work. I love Him and am so greatful for all He has given me.
You are all wonderful and I hope you have a super wonderfuly awesome week!!!
LOVE YOU ALL TONS (Lots of love pounds)
Sister Holmes

All I can think of is Mary Poppins when I see this. But she looks cute nonetheless!!

not sure....

Sister Holmes and Sister Swindler

Somebody made sushi and guess what? She ATE it! I am SHOCKED! this mission is changing her in more ways than one!

Sister Holmes & Sister Swindler

Saturday, August 17, 2013

"Melting like a popsicle on the 4th of July"

Here's Sister Holmes' email for the week! Sorry it's late. My hubby was out of town and had the computer, but better late than never, right? Right. Anywho, the picture of her wearing the Tiger shirt cracks me up super hard because of the caption she sent with it and the reasoning behind it. BACKSTORY! Holmes Girls' La-La-LOVE musicals ESPECIALLY Les Miserables. I'm pretty sure she's been looking for a tiger shirt since the movie came out just so she could say "and the tigers come at night". Gosh. END BACKSTORY! She's doing really well in NZ. I laughed about how excited she was for a member bringing them Wendy's. haha Oh, Sister Holmes. Welp, here's her email and some fun pictures!

If it was possible I would say this week went Flew by. But seeing as weeks cannot fly I will just say it went by supa fast! 

SO the Subject line? yeah NZ weather confuses me! It was super cold then it was warm and raining then cold then warm and raining..which is terrible! Sister qaqa and I were like Popsicle then I realized that for that to be logical in NZ I would have to say melting like a Popsicle on Christmas haha NOW to the good stuff!
Okay so we do alot of role playing on the mission right? It is something that freaks me out a bit but I am getting used to it. Thats not that point.. So we had zone meeting last Thursday and we had to do a role play on teaching about faith unto repentance. We had to teach the Assistants to the President. They are no different than the other Elders...BUT we were still nervous. Anyway they had a concern and we had to teach them and use the spirit to dicern what their concern was.  We did the role play and it went well then I didn't really think anything of it UNTIL..later that day we visited with a Less Active in our ward. You know same ol same ol we were just catching up with her then we got on the subject of the temple, she has not been to the temple-her husband is a non-member. And what do you know she has the same concern that we role played with the assistants! We were able to help her and reassure her. We told her going to the temple is like going Home.It was awesome. She has made it a goal to get to the temple and take the steps necessary to get her there. I was awesome. Man funny story with her too.....the first time we went to visit her we knock on the door and she was busy so we asked if there was a time we could come back she said no...dont come back..BUT..we went back anyway haha we have visited with her a few times now and this last time she said we cant leave because she NEEDS us. I was like man! The Spirit really can change peoples hearts!! It is truly wonderful! I Mean we went from..hey don't come back to..I NEED you two!! Our God is a God of Miracles!  

SPEAKING of the spirit changing people..There was this young lady, Selena, two elders brought into the VC a few weeks ago. She was pretty quiet didnt really look at us a whole lot. We gave the tour and everything and then they left. A few weeks later She came back in with the same elders for a fireside. At first we didnt recognize her but there was just something different about her. She was happy and smiling. She remembered us we talked for a bit then she went in for the fireside. Then we are like man..she seems different she even looked different. Then the Elder came up and was like yeah. She was baptized! Man I love this church! I love how it can change people for the BETTER! How you can see it work inside someone for good! SOooo stinking awesome. 

Saturday was super busy at the VC. There were tons of big groups that wanted tours and a bunch of missionaries brought their investigators in for tour! It was PACKED! Like supa packed.
So our Recent convert Sean called us up on firday and was like "hey whatt are yous up to" They he asked if we could have a lesson. When I first got into the area it was like pulling teeth getting him to a lesson. But now if he cant make it to one he will call us and tell us when he wants one! Its the same with him as it is with Selena. You can see a change within them and its sooo awesome. He was able to help bless the sacrament on sunday!! :D Yey! We taught him about the word of wisdom. haha it was funny he asked about the eat meat sparingly then we talked to him about it. They next day we went over to a members home they were having lunch and lesson with Sean and some other families. They were having steak. Sean was like..yeah I only ate one piece of steak. I am obeying the word of wisdom. haha funny funny.
Yesterday the Mission Prep class had a fireside at the VC. There was like 150+ people there! It we had to keep finding more places for people to sit! It was good because there was a lot of less active and non members! I stamp that a success!
Transfers are this week! We find out like Wednesday what all is until then I have not clue! I just know that the flat we are in now is going to be shut down so we have to clean it in preperatoin for that..There is so much missionary....stuff..haha in there! There has been sisters living in there for like years and years! meh... But you know its really comforting knowing that I can be sent to the wrong place you know? Like I know where ever I go it where I am supposed to be. I trust and Love Heavenly Father. He is the best.
Well thank you all for being awesome!! I love and miss you!! Have a GREAT WEEK!!!
Oh ps. a member brought us Wendy's for dinner..the chips-fries for you Americans- tasted exactly like the ones back home but the burger was better...who would have thought. It is also like 2Xs the price. Crazy.
Love you :) 
Sister Holmes/Melissa 

Her Favorite....Swedish Fish!

& The Tigers Come at Night..with their voices soft as thunder...oh Gosh.

Monday, August 5, 2013

I will have you know that I acted calm and as dignified as you can with bird poop on your forehead

Yay!! Love hearing from Sister Holmes! :D Best part of the week for me. I DIED laughing when i read that she got pooped on twice...Melissa seriously LOATHES birds of all species. No love for the fine feathered friends. She's been pooped on by birds more than anyone else i know.  I super love hearing about all of her awesome spiritual experiences. It's so fun & a sure testimony builder for everyone that reads it :) She is soooo fantastically awesome and I'm soooo proud of her!
 Here's her letter and some grrreat pictures she sent!

Well I would like to start off by saying that I have the best family ever! Thank you so much to everyone who sent me birthday presents!! I got 3packages and 5 letters all in one day. I twas like Christmas!!!! I felt so cool and loved! Thank you all :) You are the best and I am lucky to have you in my life! :D

Now I have some tragic news....I had two. Yes TWO birds poop on me this week! You all know how much I love birds...(not at all) Turns out they like me just as much! The first time it was on my forehead the second time it was on my hand and got on my skirt. Gross. Yes laugh it up. I will have you know that I acted calm and as dignified as you can with bird poop on your forehead wiped it off. There is your "lol" for this week.
So I may have told you about the FHE we had to do last monday night? Well it went pretty well. We were already kind of nervous because it was like welcome home for one of the ward missionaries so there were soooooo many people there. Top it off guess who walks in....Mission President and his wife. Boom more nervous. haha But I feel it went well and everyone liked it so that is a plus. Another Plus they gave us the left over cake. Best. Cake. Ever. We had to give it away so we wouldnt eat all of it!
Sunday was a fast Sunday and we had a miracle! We have been working with Two young ladies Kristen and Chantel. They are best friends and Flat mates. aka room makes. any way we have been meeting with them- they are suuper less active and said they didnt have a desire to go back to church and they would go back one day...Guess who was at church sunday??? YEPPER! After the meeting we got up and saw them sitting in the back. Man it was like the best ever. We ran up to them and hugged them. Man I was so happy! Then I felt silly because someone asked "Why does sister Holmes look so excited" But Its all goods! They earned them self some cookies!
We did service for Sister and Brother May this week. Brother May is blind and Sister May has been half blind since childhood. BUT she totally met Helen Keller! Pretty cool ey? She even has s picture with her, Sis May was 6 years old but its still pretty cool! Speaking of cool elderly people, We were able to do service in the family history centre for Sis Parker. We got to type up some interviews from the labour missionaries that build the temple. Pretty cool!
This week we went on splits with some of the sister preparing to go on missions it was supa cool! The sister I was with and I were not sure were to we said a prayer and then were directed to a house close by. Then we talked to the man who lived there and he wanted to learn more so we are going to go back and teach him. Power of Prayer.
I would like to let you know how much I love the Book of Mormon. Man. I dont know how I ever had a hard time reading it. There is sooooo much good stuff just jam packed in there! Its incredible! And Not only does it have so many things we can learn its super interesting and pretty action packed! I mean a guy gets part of his scalp sliced off and held up on a sword. I probably shouldnt love the war chapters but I think they are awesome and Moroni? Yeah, he is pretty cool.
Anyway...this week was great and looking forward to anther one :) "I love Yous all" another NZ thing haha But really, I love you all and am so greatful for you and all you have done and continue to do for me. I am so greatful to Heavenly Father for blessing me with such amazing people. :) Have a GREAAAAATT Week :)
Sister Holmes

Those letters with the Red Stamps are from me (jessika). She looks so happy in the photo & I know she LOVES hearing from us here in the states, so send her letters, people!!

She made her own photo album :) The bottom photo is of the 3 oldest sisters holding our Sister Necklaces!

All her letters and birthday garb!

more photo album stuff. I'm not sure why the bottom got cut off...

She looks SOO happy!

Happy Happy Happy!