Sunday, April 27, 2014

Straight Up


Not quite sure what to write. I'm a very blunt person so I might as well just say it…It was a terrible, rough, exhausting, sad week. It's hard to be a missionary. I swear that some people just fake it all the time…like pretend that they just love their mission and don't ever feel tired and blah, blah, blah. Well that is ridiculous.  That is not real life and those people need to knock it off.  Don't think that I hate my mission or anything even close though.  It's challenging but ever so rewarding.  And no, I'm not talking JUST about baptisms.  Honestly…who cares how many baptisms you get.  What matters is if you are fulfilling your purpose to  "invite others to come unto Christ," whether that be through baptism, reactivation, and even just planting seeds. All is considered successful in the Lord’s eye.

I’ve been sick for weeks and weeks.  First the flu, then strep throat, now a sinus infection.  The last weeks or so has just been a fog…trying to do “the job” while living with a fever, attempts to identify possible food allergies, eating antibiotics.  Getting better now though.  Maybe just a new series of obstacles to handle.

Had to stay indoors for a few days to try to recover somewhat.  Some other missionaries came down to hang with us.  Sis Bowman can go out finding or teaching or whatever with one of them while the other sits here with me.  Being stuck inside most of the time I found a knack for creating native arrowheads from some rocks I found.  So there’s that.

I just want to let every person, missionary or not, know that it is totally A-Okay if things get stressful and you freak out.  I did…and I feel like I'm still a semi-normal person.  The thought that kept me going was that God gives us mountains and it's up to us to accept the challenge and climb the dang thing or to just sit a the bottom and complain.  Either way the mountain is still there, so get over it.  You don't have to smile the entire way, but you just have to keep going…and luckily He is with us the entire time.  Boy am I grateful for His help.  I'm not one to sit around at the bottom of the mountain…so I had to buck up and climb it, and I can truly say that I feel a whole lot better now that I'm at the top and can see what He was trying to show me.  And if you really think about it…Christ already climbed the mountain and made a little trail for us to follow…mind blown.

Anyway, just my thoughts. Take it or leave it.

I know that serving a mission was the right decision, even if it doesn't feel like it all the time. I'm grateful that I'm not out here in the Great White North all by myself and that my Father in Heaven is here too. Alma 26:27.

Keep it real holmies.

xoxo, Sister Holm

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fence hoppin', Joshua Smith believen', Date settin' Missionaries

Hola Mi Amigos!

I just can't seem to get rid of the Spanish vibe even though we haven't talked to Eliseo in a couple of days. He's doing well though, currently on 1 Nephi 20. I asked if he could read Tres Nephi Capital Once...pray for him.

Sister Bowman and I are doing great out here in our little village. We spent some time of the reserve [“the rez”] trying to track down some less-active [folks] and talked to some super sketch people. Also on the rez we hopped a massive fence and walked 15 minutes down a dirt road just to go contact a potential investigator.  The good news: became new investigator.  The bad news: might be a rapist. So there's that. Remember when I first got here and my first BOM handout was to someone similar? Well…let's just say this isn't the only two times I've attracted some dangerous creepers…but what can I say? Even THEY need the gospel.

Also while tracting, we ran into a man who told us that Joshua [Joseph] Smith was a felon and a dirty, rotten man. So...we asked who Joshua Smith was. (Clearly we knew who he was talking about…but you get bored and have to entertain yourself somehow). Anyway...we tried to clear that little misconception up to the best of our 19-yr-old abilities. I thought that was funny though. Poor ‘Joshua’.

We had a great week in terms of key indicators (numbers and stuff)! We set 3 baptismal dates…which is super duper great for this first-world, teensy-tiny town. People tend to think that because we are in Canada that we have a "cushy" mission. Well yeah…we do in terms of housing, food, hygiene, etc. But not in terms of finding people who are willing to hear our message. Because we are in a first-world country we have to deal with people who text during our lessons, have access to ‘anti-’ [LDS] material, and are just generally "too darn busy" to even give us the time of day. ALL missions are hard.  The difficulties just depend on where you are. 

ANYWAY...our three “dates” are Noreen, Holly, and Wei. All three “dates” have generally the same concerns: Church and Smoking. Noreen has been taught for a while now and she is very ill. She suffers from a kidney disease as well as something with her heart and then a million other things…so coming to church will be VERY difficult. Hopefully we can work something out so that she'll be able to get the sacrament at home or something. She has been to church once though. Oh! Her grandson Rori is now reading the Book of Mormon and he will become an official investigator in no time! Another “date” is Wei. He is Chinese and has been raised with no belief in God or even a higher power. He was willing to set a [baptism] date, but it's going to be slow helping him understand prayer and such. He also has an 8-year-old daughter named Ying-Ying and hopefully we'll be able to baptize her too! The other “date” is a woman named Holly! She is half native and looking for something more in her life. She has two daughters who are 6 and 3. She really wants them to know more about God…so that's the main reason she is meeting with us. She is in the process of quitting smoking. Pray that all of these will go through on April 26th!

Jim is doing well! He has received the priesthood, participated in baptisms for the dead, and is now taking a temple prep course all within a month of being baptized! I am so happy that I was able to be here when Jim finally decided to "get dunked" (as he would say). I know that we will be friends for life and I can't wait for the day that he can finally go to the temple for his endowments! He continues to ask if I will do the baptism for his mother…but he doesn't quite understand that I have to wait until after my mission. Oh well. That is still a huge compliment! What a gem!

Updates on me?
  •  Uhh...I have strep throat.
  • Hit 5 months.
  • Got testimony blocked by 2 members and then ran out of time. Bummer.
  • Dyed Sister Bowman’s hair brown yesterday. Thinking of going to hair school instead of going into politics…the world is going downhill anyway, right?
  • Officially gluten free (can't say I love it, but will have to adapt).
  • No longer fit into any of my clothes. Sorry mom but I've started buying new ones! #7incheslost
  • Learned how to make yams.
  • Crossed the US border for a solid 3.7 seconds.
It's been an uphill battle all week, but just as the ever poetic and clearly wonderful example to children everywhere Miley Cyrus said "It's the climb!"  1 Nephi 17:7

xoxo, A

On the rez.  Isn't it gorgeous?
Wild horses on the rez.
Osoyoos Lake at dusk.  Magical.
US Border.
Dying Sis Bowman's hair.
Missin' my Sis Larrrrrrsen!