Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Week 28: Welcome to Liberty!

HELLO friends and family!!!!
We've had some major plot twists this week.
Plot twist: I'm in a trio.
Plot twist: With my older "sister" (in missionary terms)
Plot twist: We cover the whole stake.
Plot twist: We're not in Bountiful anymore, Toto.

And that's basically my week in a paragraph.

Monday we had some fun activities, then met with a sweet family who's daughter is not a member. There are some really rough family situations here, and it makes me so grateful for the family that I have. We also had a lesson with a woman who just had brain surgery that a member family invited over. She is pretty interesting, and we're still trying to figure her out haha. BUT she committed to read the Book of Mormon!!

Tuesday we had dinner with an amazing woman who wants to go on splits with us all the time! Love these people. Then we visited a less-active sister and shared a wonderful message about how much Heavenly Father loves her. The Spirit was so strong, and she really wants to have her testimony strengthened. We found out one of our recent converts was nowhere to be found and I had a slight panic attack as we tried to figure out where she was. We finally said a prayer and we all felt at peace. 

Wednesday we visited with a few Relief Society presidents who are super excited to have us here to help out with visits and finding less-active sisters who need help. This area is so different from Bountiful :) 

But the highlight of the day was our little district lunch at the church building. Sister Hansen had to go home for a few months because she needs to have surgery on her knee. So we helped her pack up everything and handed her off to her parents, then our new companionship was created to be over the whole stake!! 

So now I'm with Sister Bill and we are co-training Sister Tucker. And I love them both so much. I haven't laughed this much in a very long time. We have a blast together, and they are both such powerful missionaries. 

We had some logistical things happen that made working out schedules a little difficult, but it's all going smoothly now :) The stake just needs to adjust to having the three of us over the whole stake. 

Thursday we were all just physically and mentally exhausted from the commotions of the past few days, so we had some nap time after a lunch up in Salt Lake with one of our ward missionaries. We had some fantastic visits, several appointments cancelled on us, but all in all it was a good day. 

Friday we had a combined district meeting up at the Capitol Hills church building. Awesome training about the importance of church tours. You all should be doing those. And great weekly planning trying to combine people from both sides of the stake. Fabulous dinner, wonderful visit with the cutest eighty-year-old woman ever who wants to be baptized, and then a miracle lesson with this couple who really are interested in the gospel and in changing their lives. Miracles everywhere.

Saturday we started moving stuff from our disgusting apartment downstairs to Sister Bill's apartment that those Elders actually left spotless. We helped out a young family with packing up dishes since they will be moving soon. Lots of people not home. Or ignoring us. One or the other.

Crazy things in Liberty: a fuzzy pink moustache on the front of a Jeep, a man walking around the parking lot in his robe, cats and dogs barking at you from before they can see you and after, and so many other things I can't even begin to describe.

Sunday was Easter Sunday. We spoke in a sacrament meeting, met two potential investigators, had Polynesian curry for dinner, added a new investigator who is totally going to be baptized soon, and had a turkey dinner with three less-actives who love doing missionary work. We sang in a ward choir, too, and talked with a million other people throughout the day.

Oh, how I love Easter. Usually I either watch this video or read this talk, Sunday Will Come, by Elder Wirthlin. One of my favorites. Easter Sunday is the perfect time of year to celebrate the hope that the Atonement of Jesus Christ gives to us. Think about how much our Heavenly Father must love us to send Jesus Christ to provide the Atonement, and then think about how much Christ must love us to actually follow through with that plan. I love Alma 7:11-13. I love how every single page of the Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Every single page. It's amazing. I know Jesus Christ lives. I know He loves us. I know that through His Atonement, we can be healed, strengthened, and forgiven. I know this Church to be His. I know that He is at the head of this incredible work. I consider myself so blessed to have even a small part in it all.

There is so much I want to share with you all. So much happened this past week. I want you all to know that serving a mission is the best decision I have ever made in my life. I thought I had a strong testimony before I left. Now, as I continually see other children of our Heavenly Father - my brothers and sisters - really choose to rely on Christ and turn to Him and change their lives completely, my testimony is unshakable. The things that we see happen - people overcoming drug addictions, choosing to leave their families for Christ, turning aside a whole different way of life to keep the commandments - are things that the world would deem completely impossible and illogical. But because of the Atonement, it is possible. Because of the Atonement, we can become perfect like our Heavenly Father. Because of the Atonement, we can feel His love in every single moment of our lives.

I love this gospel. I know it is true. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am forever grateful for what He did for us. He loves us - you, me, and every single person we pass on the street. I love being a missionary and focusing on the gospel every second of every day. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. I know it. And I want to share it with everyone! I know that through the gospel we can experience true joy here in this life - not just temporary happiness, but real, eternal joy. And that is possible through the Atonement.

I love you all. So so much. Thank you for all you do for me, your families, your friends, and the random person you met in the elevator this morning. 

Expect miracles. Remember to smile.

Sister Holbrook

2 Nephi 5:16, 27 We can live after the manner of happiness as we continually keep our covenants!

I want to hear what you all are learning from Preach My Gospel this next week!!! I keep giving challenges but hear nothing. Here I am following up the best I can. Let me know how it's going and I'll let you know, too :)

Our fantastic district. We miss you Sister Hansen!!! Yes, that really is our entire district.
The wonderful trio on Easter. Happy Easter everyone!!! Go to easter.lds.org and watch the video there. So powerful. 

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