Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Centennial 13

We made the person in-charge of our cars a Christmas card
For FHE [Family Home Evening] we made cookies.  Toby [the ward mission leader] had this idea of delivering cookies to everyone on the "part member families and prospective elders list" before Christmas.  We did not quite make it so his new goal is New Years. Sister Webster and I made some ugly sweater cookies.  They turned out pretty cool.  
We volunteer at this place called Hope. It is a food pantry and a thrift store.  This week they had us help them get ready for their Christmas lunch.  They were having a Christmas lunch for the homeless.   On Wednesday we spent two hours washing the potatoes.  On Saturday we spent an hour stabbing potatoes.  The lady in charge said she would laugh if we ended up having baked potatoes that night for dinner. We also helped them set up and get ready.  
I gave a training this week on recognizing the Spirit.  I made everyone watch the light the world video then we all went around and shared how it made us feel and what our favorite part was.  I was going to do more and talk about how what everyone said they felt is the Spirit.  I did not really have time because going around took longer then planned because the district was twice as big as usual.  We had combined two of them for the day.  
This week we started teaching this lady named Ashley.  The Orchard Elders had been teaching her husband then they moved.  The Orchard Elders thought they moved to the Littleton Ward so the Littleton Elders were teaching her.  They realized last week that it was actually our area.  That is how we found Ashley.  She was on date for the 14 of January but she did not come to church so we will have to push it back a little.  
On Friday night we went Christmas Caroling with the entire Sabey family.  They live in a neighborhood by a referral that we had never been able to contact.  The family was like well let's go try them.  This time they answered and we actually got to meet them.  They are still okay if we come back so that is great.  
On Christmas Eve the Older Sabey family invited us over.  We all talked about what we are grateful for.  We also read the story in Luke about Christs birth.  The family that we had dinner with does this Polish meal every year.  It was super good.  I do not remember what everything was called.  
A few weeks ago we met this man on the street.  He was a refugee and could not speak much English.  We ended up inviting him to church.  He said he would come on Christmas.  We had not heard from him so we figured that we would just stop by and see if he still wanted to come.  He was still willing to come.  Toby picked him up and sat by him.  Toby ended up finding the book of Mormon in his language so that made him happy.  A less-active family also came which was exciting.  The youth came up and asked if he could meet the Young Men's president so he could start coming to activities.  
On Christmas we went to the older Sabey's for dinner.  That made it three days in a row contact with them.  They are fantastic.  I also got to Skype my family which was glorious.  
We saw a fire truck

Monday, December 26, 2016

Centennial 12

Ariel Got Married :)

That was definitely the highlight of the week.  I am very grateful that I was able to get permission to go.  I had to find a way to make it a missionary opportunity.  Luckily the fiance's family was not members so that worked.  One problem, they only spoke Spanish.  I tried though.  
I also went to the dentist this week which is always a blast.  I found out I chipped a tooth and that is why it was turning brown.  Phew it was not a cavity I am still cavity free *fist pump* 
The elders accidentally went tracting in our area.  They found someone of course though.  I feel like people are starting to think we don't do anything because we never find people or end up teaching lessons but other people always are finding.  Anyway the guy is super cool and sounded interested; we have another lesson with him this week so we will see what happens.  
It snowed this week and got to the negatives in the same day.  Since there was snow we were not allowed to drive, but we had to be out and working, so that was cold.  I am still alive and have all of my fingers.  
Another day we felt prompted to go visit a potential investigator.  We arrived at a very interesting time.  At first we could not find the house so we started just walking around the neighborhood.  We ended up close to a house and every one was dressed like they were from the 70's. We looked at each other and we were like, "no, it wouldn't be." It was.  We found the house we wanted to find.  
The Rice's dog killed one of their chickens while we were there.  That was exciting.  She had killed eleven other chickens and there where two left now there is one.  There dog is thirsty for chicken blood.  She like, hopped the fence and everything. 
 We took a picture with all of our crazy socks. 
All of the presents that we got for salvation army(they were 8000 short of their goal for the year so they asked for help)
Our tree

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Centennial 11

#SoLongCornerstonePark and back again
Brother Lathen (the ward mission leader in Bowles Grove) was kind enough to let us borrow a Christmas tree.  When we were picking it up the Lathens got a call from their neighbor.  She was wondering if we could help this guy move.  I recognized the name of the guy and realized it was the name of one of the Elder's investigators.  He was moving into our ward and we called the Elders so they could also help him.  He just cannot escape the LDS missionaries ;)

Wednesday it snowed which was fun.  We also got to go to the temple which was super nice.  When we got back from the temple we shoveled Sister Smith's (the lady with live with) drive way.  That night it was the Relief Society Christmas Dinner.  That was fun. Sister Webster sang a song.

We had our last district meeting of the transfer on Thursday.  We played Book of Mormon trivia which was super fun.  It was kind of hard but super fun.  The Sisters ended up winning by a lot.  We volunteered at the Bridle shop which was fun.  It is kind of a weird place for missionaries to volunteer but whatever. 

Friday we had mission tour.  That was fun Elder Grow from the Quorum of the Seventy came and talked to all of us. He talked about setting realistic goals.  If a goal for baptism is zero that is okay because if there is no way we will reach it that week then why make it anything else.  If our goal is zero then we know we can always reach it.  His point was also to have a higher goal later in the transfer that we have been working towards.  If the other weeks are lower that is okay.  I also said the closing prayer at the mission tour that was exciting.

Saturday it was the ward Christmas breakfast.  The Primary put on a super cute program.  They gave everyone ornaments at the end so now we have two ornaments on our little tree.  Santa also came which was fun.  I got the transfer news call and I was going to Meeker, so over the mountain. 

It was stake conference this weekend most of it focused on missionary work which was cool.  Elder Driscoll came and spoke at that.  The stake president talked a lot about hope and how faith can lead us to hope which can lead us to charity.  I got the call after church from President Gifford that there was an emergency.  I was like, "oh no! what happened?"  He said that he had to go pick up a sister from over the mountain (my "new" companion) so I was no longer going to Meeker, but would stay in Cornerstone Park.  :)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Centennial 10

When You Can Quote the Sheep You Know it's Baaaaaad

[I think this is the video Ana is referring to in this letter]

This week has been a roller coaster.  
Tuesday we taught a lady.  Her daughter is a member and she feels like there is something else in our church but just is not sure what.  She knows a lot about the bible and asks a lot of questions.  It is really good and you can tell she really wants to know.  It was a super good lesson and the member that was with us asked if we could come back the next day.  The member we brought also knows a lot from the bible and they ended up getting a long really well because of it.  Wednesday we went back and she had made lunch for us. We had another super great lesson.  She said she knew the church was true and she wanted to get baptized.  Then Thursday we got a text that she was moving back to Utah on Saturday.  We were a little worried because she had met with missionaries in the past and said they just didn't work and she liked to meet with us because she feels like she got farther and that the member had helped answer a lot of questions.  We stopped to say good bye and she told us she has already looked into meeting with missionaries where she is moving.  She will miss us a lot.  She has a meeting set up with one of the apostles in Utah because he is in her daughter's stake and wants to meet her. We figured "well I guess that one of the apostles we can trust with helping answer her questions." 
The other Family with the Less-Active mom.  On Tuesday the son decided that he was going to be baptized on the 17th and we were like "yay!"  He super loved church and had been reading his scriptures.  Saturday he came with us to a baptism and was even more excited.  Then Yesterday we got a text from his mom saying that he is now living with his dad. Basically he moved.
It is the curse of Cornerstone Park as soon as some one starts progressing then they get evicted or move.
This week for mutual everyone shared their favorite Mormon Message/church video.  One of the youths was the old old nativity video.  Sister Webster and I could quote the sheep which is kind of sad.  
Last week we got our windshield fixed and so the thing that tracked our driving got moved around a lot.  The guy that was fixing it when he was done told us the the box thing kept screaming at him.  We had to call the people to see if they could clear Sister Webster's crazy driving record because she did not roll the car a bunch.  
Thursday I gave a training in district meeting.  I was telling my companion that I have given one every transfer and she was like, "wow I think I have only given three my entire mission."  I gave it on eternal families and most of the things I could find also had to do with eternal marriage.  Apparently that is a really weird topic to give a training on.  I guess I really need to learn about it then.  
Sister Davies and I went on an exchange again which is always a party.  It is fun to be able to see your trainer again.
I learned why the Family does the lights that bright.  He told us the he puts the nativity scene in the center and all the light comes out from around it.  Then a member told us it was because there was this girl in the ward that was dying from cancer who loved his Christmas lights.  He promised her that he would make them so bright she could see them from heaven.  I feel like that could just be a story that spread around or it could be real but either way it is super cute.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Centennial 9

This Is Your Christmas

Toby keeps locking himself out so he calls us so we can let him in.  We gave him his key so he could make a copy and have his own key to his house.  
Tuesday for mutual we decorated boxes and filled them with food for some families in the ward.  We ended up helping to deliver the one to the family we were going to eat with so that was fun.
 Wednesday this lady took us out to dinner at a Japanese restaurant.  It was super delicious but we later learned that it was out of the mission. Oops. That is one down side to serving on the border of the mission.  You are so close to the edge that when you ask people about fun things to do they tell you places that are out of the mission. We also called the people to come and fix or windshield.  There was a crack in it for a while.  They are coming to fix that today.  
Thursday we helped the Rice's cook for Thanksgiving.  Jenny, Sister Webster, and I ended up creating the best gravy ever but we have no idea what we put in it to recreate it.  We got to meet a lot of Toby's family and that was a party.  All of them are not members which was exciting.  After the Rice's we went to the family that actually signed up to feed us.  That was fun to be at because it was just the family and us so we got to be their guests for thanksgiving.  
There is this family in our ward that has been preparing their Christmas lights and we finally got to see them.  We saw this glow in the distance and we were like, "wait, is that the Farmers house?"  We went to check and sure enough it was.  You can see the glow from about 3 blocks away.  It is crazy.  
Saturday was definitely the highlight of the week. Remember that family that I was teaching in Bowles Grove that had 5 people [ready to set a] date?  Well, one of them was baptized and I was able to go because she is in my zone.  It was super fun to see her again and to be able to catch up.  Her entire family was there so I also got to see them and it was great.  Ariel (recent convert in the Bowles Grove ward) was also at the baptism so I got to see her. 
Sister Walker, Me, Bianca, Sister Davies
Later in the evening we  helped the Rice's decorate for Christmas.  We were trying to ask Toby how he would like the tree decorated and he was just like, "decorate how you want."  We said, "it is your house." He was like, "Well, this is your Christmas."  
On Thanksgiving we found out that Jenny, S. Webster and I all like crazy socks and our favorite color is orange.  We decided that for Christmas we all needed some crazy socks.  While we were decorating Toby left and he came back with crazy Christmas socks for all of us so that was super fun and super nice of him.  I will have to take a picture and send it :)
Sunday the one family with the two boys came to church so that was exciting. It was also my 4 month mark so yay.   

[PS] You guys should as a family check out the Christmas initiative for the year [https://www.mormon.org/].  It would be super cool if you participated.  The video looks super cool.  I think there is going to be a different video each day. There is a different service activity to do each day in December.  Maybe I will send 6 light the world pass along cards so everyone can give one to someone and tell them about it.  If I can/remember. If we did we could share an experience about it in the weekly email to each other that could be cool.  I am not exactly sure what I am thinking. Well I love you guys.  I cannot do the one on the second so I will do it on Christmas instead. :)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Centennial 8


It was super exciting.  We were in district meeting getting ready to leave.  The Elders walk out and all of a sudden you hear a scream.  We all go running out of the class and they are freaking out. We were like "what?" then they just point at the window.  Then I freak out. My companion thinks we are crazy :) I, unfortunately, did not get a picture of the snow so next time.  We were supposed to rake some leaves that day, but that did not happen.  The snow is basically gone though so later this week we will do it. 
We taught a lesson to the less active mom and her two boys again.  We decided to teach CPR (church, pray, read) We had a family come with us who has boys the same age.  The boys ended up getting along really well with each other so that was good.
Wednesday it reached 88 degrees.  We did some service for a non-profit organization called HOPE. They needed help polishing silver.  It took a lot longer then the people thought it would because the silver was super tarnished.  I can now say that Sister Webster and I are super pro at polishing silver.  Since it was so hot Toby thought we all needed to go to Yogurtland (he just was looking for a reason to go). It was super fun.  Toby kept singing "cause I gotchu on my mind" to his yogurt. There where some high school kids on a date and Toby wanted to give them a law of Chastity pamphlet but we did not have one.  It would have been funny though.
Thursday IT SNOWED. We also did service for another non-profit organization called She She's Corner.  They are a bridal shop, so we had to steam some dresses and that was fun.  
Friday it was Sister Van Wagoner's Birthday (she works in the mission office). We had to go and get some things. We were in the right place at the right time and got some pie. We sang "Happy Birthday" and ate pie with the rest of the mission office. It was fun.  We went to mutual and helped the Laurels plan for the upcoming year activities they are in charge of.  The two boys that we are teaching also came, so they planned for the combined activities their age groups were in charge of.  Toby also had to kick out the less active that was living with him.  That means I will probably never see the 6 year old again which is super sad.
Saturday I was on an exchange with Sister Walker (Sister Davies's new trainee) We helped Toby take out all of the mans stuff and put it on the front porch.  Toby also changed the locks on his door.  We went and played volleyball with some people from church.  Some less actives come so the members thought it could be fun for the missionaries to be there so they meet us in a more relaxed way. 
Sunday the one family did not end up coming to church.  The boys went to their dad's house and the mom had to do some laundry. :/ We did teach a lesson to this couple who has met missionaries before but they do not want to change.  We had a really good lesson though and talked about the priesthood.  We brought another couple who was more their age and I think they liked that.  The people we brought are really good at listening then asking them a question then responding and clearing things up.  I think that is what made it work because all of the people there are listeners so we listened then asked questions then talked.  The couples ended up exchanging numbers so that is a good sign.  

I hope you all have very great week.  Enjoy Thanksgiving :)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Centennial 7

The Chalkboard Doesn't Care

Monday was Sister Paongo's last day in Colorado so I told her we could do what ever she wanted.  She decided that we should go play basketball so that is what we did.   

Tuesday was exciting, it was transfers.  My new companion was coming over the mountain so I was with a different Sister for the day.  All of the Sisters went out to breakfast after the meeting.  It was fun.  We met this lady who wants missionaries to stop by and teach her so that is exciting.  Sister Davies's new baby [I'm guessing Ana means her new companion straight from the MTC] is cool.  She goes to USU and is majoring in education so I guess if sister Davies has to train someone else I am glad it is her.  
That afternoon we went to vote with Elder Johnson.  They let me vote but they would not let him; he was slightly bitter about it, but I think he is doing better.  [I got a phone call from the Mission President's wife saying, "I hesitate to call because I don't want to cause concern that something is wrong, but Ana is bound and determined to vote and has been standing in line for a long time and doesn't want to lose her spot, but she needs her social security number".  I thought she was going to do an absentee ballot, but MN is kinda strict- must have a notarized witness or another verified MN resident witness and be living in MN for 20 days before and after- so I'm guessing those were road blocks and she decided it was easier to register in CO.] 
We stood in line next to this lady who said she was glad she was standing next to missionaries because then she would be blessed at least for voting and our positive out look would affect her attitude.  Later she mentioned she had friends in Minnesota and that she really liked it.  Elder Johnson and I were like, "we are from there."  She was like, "no wonder I like you guys."  That evening I picked up my new companion and we went and got some smoothies. 

Wednesday we taught a family.  The mom is a less active member who wants her son to be baptized.  We are teaching him the lessons.  One of the boys in the family seemed interested in the priesthood and how exactly that works.  The family does not really have a desire to come to church though.  Hopefully we can show them the joy that the gospel can bring to there family and they will be more enthusiastic than treating it kind of like a check list item that they have to get done. 

Thursday we taught this man who is crazy. The Elders have been teaching him and they are transferring him to us so we teach him.  He thinks he used to be a dragon and he wears a dragon tail and Jedi robes every day.  He did agree to take off the robes for church though.  He wants the priesthood so he can prove dragons are real.  We might have to drop him because he is not someone who can be held accountable we told the Elders that if he does need to be dropped then they need to do it.  We had district meeting.  There is me and Sister Webster, Elder Goold and his greenie (Elder Kerry), then Elder Johnson and his greenie (Elder Roberts).  The meaning behind my subject line:  I learned that Elder Johnson cannot spell.  The Elders kept correcting his spelling and then he just ended up saying, "you know what? The chalk board does not care."  That was the funniest thing that happened this week. 

Saturday we helped a family pack to move.  They are moving because the mom's ex-boyfriend is getting released from Prison early.  They do not know where they are going yet but they are leaving so he does not know where they are.  We also found out that a lady that we have started teaching is getting evicted from her apartment.  She is moving in with her sister so we are going to tell the missionaries in her new area to go find her. 

Sunday a less active family came to church.  A dad and his 6 yr. old son.  They live with Toby and Jenny Rice.  The 6 yr. old is my best friend.  He did not want to go to primary and in sacrament meeting he just played video games.  In sacrament meeting we started to look at the pictures in the pamphlets and then he went back to his game then later said lets look at more pictures of Jesus that was fun. When it was the end of sacrament he asked if he went to primary if I would go with him.  I told him sure for his first Sunday.  The dad felt sick though so they went home right after sacrament meeting.   

Sister Holcomb
[Additional notes] 
I met this family from Brigham city yesterday. She said she grew up a block away from the Holcombs and she was in Melissa's grade growing up.  Her name is Melissa Reese. She says one time Connie hit the back of her car when she was backing out. I was like, "Oh, that is a good memory of my grandma :)"
  My new companion is fun.  She is from Kansas City.  She has three little brothers and a little sister.  The brother that is just younger than her runs XC and is a senior in high school.  Her family is going to Minnesota for Thanksgiving.  We started saying something like it would be fun for you guys to meet up or something.  Then our brothers could go for a run because her brother will not know where and would probably like another fast person to run with.  I would like to see pictures of the house because I still have no idea what it looks like.  [We're working on it]

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Centennial 6

Where is the best place to learn how to make the best ice cream treats? Sunday School!
Monday was Halloween. I was Iron man and my companion was Captain America. We unfortunately did not get a picture.  I realized about half way through the day that last year on Halloween I went to a basketball game and this year on Halloween I was watching a basketball game.  Watching the Missionaries play is a little different then watching USU, but still that is kind of funny.  The lady we live with, her grandson came to visit, and that was super fun.  He was super cute.  

I also found out this week that Tonga is a polyp. Sister Paongo was impressed I know what that was.   
Saturday was definitely the highlight of my week. We went to Highlands Ranch for a mini MTC.  They do this mock MTC for the youth every year.  I am really not sure everything they did.  I know that the night before they had a devotional thing.  They were put into districts and went to a member's home for the evening.  The had exercise, personal and companion study in the morning then came back to the church. That is where we come in.  They assigned each missionary to a district.  The members then drove us to an area in their ward.  Then the exciting thing happened, the youth went tracting.  The youth had to knock on the doors then ask to share a video or thought.  The missionaries were there to supervise and if they needed help to step in but we were not supposed to talk unless they needed help.  The youth were all super nervous but it was good practice for if they go on a mission because that is what we do.  I was put in charge of three girls.  We ended up finding someone who wanted to learn more.  The girl shared her scripture and her testimony about it and they guy said, "wow that really applies to what I am going through right now thank you."  She was like, "no problem."  I then stepped in and asked if he would like to learn more about the church he said yea.  We got his information so we could give it to the elders in the ward.  She was so excited about it so I let her give it to the elders and tell them all about it.  After all the youth got back together and had lunch then the missionaries left.  I am not sure what the youth did for the rest of the day.  I do know for dinner they went to a member's home and the member was supposed to invite a friend and the youth had to teach them a lesson at dinner.  

Sunday was the regional stake conference.  Two of the people that Sister Paongo taught earlier in her time in Cornerstone Park came since it was her last Sunday.  They sat by the stake president and his wife.  The speakers focused a lot on how important the temple is and how it blesses our lives.  The temple is a place where we can go to feel peace and to feel guidance in our life.  They talked about how important it is to bring our questions to the temple.  

This week is transfers.  I am staying in Cornerstone Park.  :) Yay! I get to stay in an area!


Monday, October 31, 2016

Centennial 5

Happy Halloween! 

"The only ghost I believe in is the Holy Ghost"
That is a quote from this lady we talked to who does not believe in Halloween because it is evil.   

This week was a party.  On Monday our Ward Mission Leader has a Family Home Evening(FHE) at his house that we can invite people to come to.  Last Monday we carved pumpkins and it was Sister Paongo's first time.  

On Thursday I gave a training on the Plan of Salvation in district meeting.  Then Sunday the topic in Sacrament meeting was the Plan of Salvation.  Then in our class after The Ward Mission Leader (Toby Rice) was like Sister Holcomb you should teach us the Plan of Salvation.  Sister Paongo was like good choice this is her topic.  I totally had to wing it though so it was pretty bad.  
Friday was our Trunk or Treat and as Toby's mom would say it was the Bomb.com.  We went over earlier in the day to help Jenny(Sister Rice) and Cinida (Toby's Mom) get everything ready.  Our trunk was really intense.  We also helped make chili which won by the way.  *insert hair flip* Cinida framed her certificate.  Our trunk was a carmel apple stand.  They still had a lot of apples.  We set up a place for the kids to dip their apple then put topping on it and we blasted Halloween music.  Camri also helped us out.  For the trunk or treat Sister Paongo was Harry Potter, I was Luna Lovegood, and Camri borrowed the Ravenclaw robe so we would all match.  

Cinida also said she would come to church next Sunday since it is sister Paongo's last Sunday on her mission.  Toby told Camri and I that if we got his mom to church he would buy us each a car.  Watch out Toby.  

The story of how we met Camri is kind of funny.  The first time we were visting her mom and sharing a thought. The family does not come to church anymore.  Camri listened and just kind of sat there.  Then a few weeks later we went to help her neighbor take down a picture from her wall. Her neighbor is not really interested in hearing about the gospel but she let us come help her.  We enlisted the elders and Toby to help.  We were running late with Toby so the Elders had already taken the picture down.  It is a good thing though because then Camri came over to warn her neighbor that there was an animal killing raccoons so make sure to keep her dog in.  Toby was like, "what an animal killing raccoons?" So of course we had to go check it out.  We went over and found out it was a coyote.  Through this whole adventure Camri ended up becoming friends with Toby.  Now she is basically always at the Rice's.  Her home life is crazy so we are all okay with her always being over there and getting out of her house.  She is also 19 and we are the only 19 year olds in the ward so go us.  She comes to our FHE thing and she has come to church a few times.  

1. our pumpkins
2. the caramel apple station

3. Toby Jenny and us sisters
4. All of us

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Centennial 4

When Your Stunt Double Steals Your Identity

I went on an exchange with sister Davies on Wednesday and it was a blast.  We ended up teaching this guy who has this really crazy intense story and I guess the gist of everything and the root of all his problems is that his stunt double stole his identity.  We also of course got McDonald's ice cream cones and some triple filtered water because they are the best.  

On Thursday when we got out of a lesson with a member there was this giant marching band festival going on.  I got to hear some of the songs as we drove by. It was wonderful.  

Friday I had to call the tiwi [?] place to see if they could take the aggressive driving off my card.  For like three days every time I turned right on one road it would give me an "aggressive driving."  When I called I had a total of about 15. The guy I talked to was super cool and friendly.  I found out he served his mission with David Archuleta.  

Saturday we helped the Rice's(the ward mission leader) can and make things.  We made apple sauce, apple butter, spaghetti noodles and sauce, and a cake.  I decided I really like using the food processor and juicer.

Sister Paongo and I decided that we are going to be Captain America and Iron Man for Halloween this year. I feel like that describes our relationship. 

Sunday at dinner this lady told us this story that I am going to try and repeat.  So you are at a baseball game and Satan is the pitcher.  Love steps up to bat and makes it to first.  Faith steps up and makes it to first.  Wisdom steps up and also makes it to first.  All the bases are loaded.  Then Grace steps up who kind of looks like this little guy.  Satan is like we got this.  Then Grace hits the ball, the ball hits the pitcher in the head knocking him out and the ball goes over the fence.  Everyone makes it home.  This story shows that we can have all the love, faith, and wisdom in the world but we need grace to get back home to out Heavenly Father.
Sister Holcomb

Monday, October 17, 2016

Centennial 3

 [Ana didn't send a picture to go with this letter this time, but I've included lots of links- if you have any questions about the links please ask and/or visit mormon.org or lds.org]
This week was exciting.  On Wednesday this lady the Elders were teaching got baptized.  That was super exciting and we got to go because she wanted Sister Paongo [Ana's companion] to sing with the Elders.  
At the baptism I met this little 5 year old who is my new best friend. I saw her again on Saturday at the Fort Collins Temple cultural event.  She wanted to sit by me the entire time :) I also got to see Ariel.  Jose also was there so it was really nice to talk to them and see how they are doing.  Jose said that even though he was not baptized he has been able to see the difference that the gospel has made in his life and he is glad that I knocked on his door.  That was nice to hear especially since we have not been able to find anyone. 
The cultural event was great. I am pretty sure Camille Toronto [someone who used to live in our stake here] was in it so that was exciting.  President Uchtdorf said something that I loved.  He stood up and pulled two things out of his pocket.  His temple recommend and a mini For the Strength of Youth pamphlet.  He said he always has both of them because "you cannot have one without the other."  If you are obeying the standards in the For the Strength of Youth then you are a worthy temple recommend holder and if you are a temple recommend holder then you are following the standards.  It was a good reminder of how important it is to follow the things talked about in the For the Strength of Youth even if the rest of the world does not.  You really cannot have one with out the other. Even though that is simple it is true. 
Uchtdorf mentioned the importance of the youth and preparing to be temple worthy.  He also said to make sure we are studying our scriptures and strengthening our testimony in Christ.  It was also really emphasized to make sure that the temple is the center of our lives and not worldly things.  It is super important to take all of our concerns and doubts there.  Sunday was the temple dedication and that was also super nice.
We met this lady named Danelle this week.  She was really sad; we found out that it so happened to be her birthday and no one had remembered.  We sang to her and talked for a little. She was not interested in learning more, but I am still glad we met her and could brighten her day. 
I love you all

{in addition to that letter here are some questions I asked Ana and some of  her letter back}
Good morning Ana :-)
How are you doing? 
How are things going with your companion? 
How do you like the ward mission leader in the ward you are in now? 
Did you get the package I sent? 
How are the fall colors?  The leaves are really looking pretty around here. 
Is it getting cold out there?  Let me know if you want long underwear or anything to keep you warm.  Grandma mailed your package last week so you should get it sometime this week if not today. 
When you transfer do you text some members of the ward to say goodbye?  I remember some missionaries have done that to us before, but not lately.   
I also mentioned we still don't know what we are going to be for Halloween and the ward fall party is Saturday, sent her the picture of Isaac & his XC team visiting him at work, and my parable of the crock pot (if you aren't familiar with it and are curious, message or email me).
  My companion and I seem to be doing a little better.  I love the ward mission leader in my ward now.  He is super great.  I got your package and  I also got grandmas package.  
The leaves look really pretty.  It really has not gotten too cold yet in my opinion, my companion might disagree.  When I left Bowels grove I texted Ariel to say bye but I got to see her again on Saturday because the stake was having a picnic.  We just ran up to each other and hugged for like 5 minutes and the elder she was sitting by said guys it has only been 3 weeks.  We were like three weeks too long.
[Ariel is the mom that Ana told to call me with a question she had, and her daughter, pictured in a previous post super loved Ana.]
You could always be super heroes for Halloween. The fall festival is always fun.  I am glad Isaac's team is so fun. It is true that Heavenly Father will place people in your path.  Every time I  start to think I miss home I remember all of the new people I have met.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Centennial 2

This week we had to drop all of our investigators so now we have a teaching pool of zero.  That does mean that it can only go up from here.  We are trying to work with less actives.  Jose also decided he no longer wants to be baptized since he does not want to pay tithing.  That was really hard.  We heart attacked the Bowles Grove sisters with over 100 hearts to try to cheer them up a little.  We are doing a lot of finding pretty much all day. 
On Friday we had our interviews with the mission president, so we could get our temple recommends for  the Fort Collins Temple dedication next Sunday. The stake is having a picnic for the cultural even so that should be fun.  That is on Saturday
This Sunday was busy because we got a new Bishop.  It was my first time in that ward so I did not really know the old one.  Apparently there was a lot more people at church then usual. LOL I wonder why... The house we had dinner at had a cool garage though.  There was this less active family that came to church.  We realized after that they are not in our area they live in Denver.  They had to walk over 8 miles to get to church so that shows dedication. 
Sister Paongo and I are trying to figure out what to do for Halloween.  Any ideas? Reminder that we do still have to be in proselyting clothes

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Centennial 1

Cornerstone Park
[this is a picture from Ana's USU best friend's mom to me- Ana and someone from Kate's home ward met on exchanges <3]
I am not sure what to say.  I am still trying to get over the fact that Charlie Puth was at USU last Friday and I missed it. 

Conference this week end was really great though.  I found it so interesting that they focused so much on the gospel of Jesus Christ and the plan of happiness because that is basically what we focus on as missionaries. 

It was hard to say goodbye to Sister Davies I am very grateful that I get to see her all the time.  Even though we do not really get to talk for that long though. 

I miss Bowles Grove (especially Ariel ;))but the members in Cornerstone Park are nice.  I also drive every where now which is exciting so I will not forget how to drive.  

My new district leader is from Minnesota so that is cool. 

A lot of drama is going down with the investigators in Bowles Grove as of Sunday night so we will see what happens with that.    

There is this really amazing smoothie shop in my area now.  This could be bad for my finances but I don't feel bad about it because smoothies are healthy.  I think that it is probably a good thing that I have never been to Jamba juice otherwise my smoothie shop love would have started long ago and I would have no money.  

Monday, September 26, 2016

Littleton 6

This Ward I like it...Another
I am being transferred to the Cornerstone Park ward this week.  That does mean I have to say goodbye to my trainer and we will definitely miss each other.  The good news is that we are still in the same zone and stake.  The bad news on the other hand is that they are sending the bright blue ford fusion out west.  The APs called to tell us and we were pretty bummed. 

When we got the call it was right after Women's Conference and the President called the Cornerstone Park sisters and we went with them to hear their news.  He said, "Sister Paongo, you will be follow up training Sister Holcomb in Cornerstone Park." We all just got really wide eyes and stared at each other.  We had to stay completely silent it was crazy.  Then after they got their news Sister Paongo was like, "actually the Bowles Grove sisters are here" so he then told us our news.  That means that I am moving over a ward and will now be with Sister Paongo my Tongan friend.  She keeps following me and shouting "fourth floor last door! you ready sister Holcomb?"  This is going to be a crazy transfer. :)

It has been hard to say goodbye to my Bowles Grove people but I am excited to meet the people next door in the other ward. 

The other great thing about being right next door is that I will still be able to come to the three baptisms.  One is set for the 8th.  The bishop announced it in church and Jose just looked in shock.  We did not know that the bishop was going to do that and Jose had kind of been like, "we will see, that is soon."  After Sacrament we asked him what he thought and his response was "well I guess I better ask for the day off then."  So way to go bishop being bold.  Bianca and Alberto's we will probably move to the 22 because it would have been the 15 but the 16 is the temple dedication so we did not want their first Sunday after to be that.  They might be like "what have we done? they act normal until you join then suddenly it changes." Bianca is super ready and prepared she talks about how she reads the book of Mormon right before she goes to bed and as soon as she gets up because it is always good to start and end your day on a good note.  Bianca and her son came to church yesterday and her son cried when it was time to leave so I guess that is a good sign.

Sister Davies and I decided to make zucchini bread it was super fun.  We each made a separate batch  and mine turned out and hers got weird.  So watch out boys I can cook.  She is better at cleaning though so I guess it evens out.  We of course had to pose with the zucchini because it was so big. 

Also on Monday I was forced to play basketball again and guess what I "broke" someone's finger. There is a reason I do not play basketball people.  I do not even know how I keep injuring these people because I am the most unaggressive noncompetitive person I have ever met.
 I totally forgot to talk about something ahhhhh.  Thursday I was on an exchange in highlands ranch and I was at dinner with the Ward family.  They were asking the common question of where are you from?  I said Maple Grove Minnesota their jaws dropped and they were like Maple Grove, we are from Maple Grove! It was the best.  She is a chef so she was super good friends with Sister Dubois.  They also had a saxophone lamp that made me very happy.  They were nice enough to let me take a picture.  We just talked about Maple Grove Minnesota and my companion was just super confused.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Littleton 5

 Why I Do Not Play Basketball
Sunday night on 9/11 we went to this fireside that someone gave.   She was serving her mission there when it happened.  It was cool to hear about it from a missionaries perspective instead of just like the videos you watch in school. She had some pictures that she had taken and that some elders had taken.  She showed this picture of everything black and you could kind of see this small speck of light that was the sun.  She said she had never really understood what a mist of darkness was until that moment when she was surrounded by one.  She also had never realized the joy that the smallest bit of light can bring when you are surrounded by darkness.  I also learned that for a time the mission was changed to a humanitarian aid mission instead of proselyting. 

On Monday we played basketball(my worst enemy) while we were playing I threw the ball and someone tried to intercept the pass.  The person trying to intercept ended up face planting into the floor and probably got a concussion.  This is why I do not play I just end up hurting people. 

On Wednesday I was on an exchange with Sister Harshaw.  We made cookies and we also went to this smoothie shop.  It is my new favorite place.  It is probably good it is not in my area otherwise that would be bad.  
Also I got the AP to video President Gibbs technology training*.  Bonus to having them in your district.  :) Our last district meeting this transfer was Thursday since the APs and my companion have a meeting next Thursday.
  *President Gibb is I guess you could say like the missions version of president Holland so it was just really good. ...It was about how we are all addicted to technology and how we can avoid it.  He also talked about how everyone struggles with pornography and the real question is when did we last do it.  Also how to avoid it when thoughts come to your mind. 
On Saturday I was on another exchange and I got to help with this stake Activity Days activity which was super fun.  At the end they gave everyone a ring that was shaped like an arrow to remind us to always follow the prophet.  It was super cute.  After that we went to Crave for lunch apparently it is a pretty popular burger place.

On Sunday this man named Bradley called us and wanted to know when our church meetings were.  He had been talking to his friend and wanted to learn more about the church.  He asked if he could be baptized.  We realized that he was not in our area so we had to give him to some other Elders.  I am sure it made their day though.  
Sister Holcomb
{Note from mom}
I shared this on Facebook:
 Just got a phone call from someone in CO- apparently a Sister missionary knows exactly what to do in this person's situation....

Call mom

made my day <3
(Just to be clear, Ana didn't call me, but she gave someone my number)
That person sent me a picture today:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Littleton 4

The Adventures of My Life
It all began on Tuesday night.  I got back from an exchange and my companion was not feeling well, like sharp pains in the stomach area.  We were on our way home when we realized that we needed gas in our car and we would be too busy to get it in the morning because we were going to the temple.  Good thing we decided to do it then.   Our card was not working so we had to call Bank of America and figure that out.  It took us about an hour.  We went back to our apartment and she still was not feeling well.  At about 11:15 she ended up getting a blessing from the ward mission leader(brother Lathen).  We ended up staying up 'til about 1:30 am.  We had to be at the temple by 5:45.  She was worried she would be too sick to go and she was right.  The next morning she went to the Ward mission leader's house so I could still go. The other Sisters came and picked me up. 
After the temple I went to the Lathen's to see what we were going to do about my companion. I ended up going with the other Sisters all day and my companion went with the mission president's wife to urgent care.   The other Sisters and I taught a lesson, went to lunch with Bro. Lathen, and did some service for super man.  Side note, so there are two men in my ward that look like Superman.  One of them looks just like Clark Kent and the other is a mix between Superman and Benedict Cumberbatch.  Okay, so after we did service for superman we went to pick up my companion from the mission home; this was about 5.  I got to drive our nice blue car, YAY.  When we got to the mission home since it was our dinner time we ended up eating dinner with the mission president's family.  I mean I ate dinner and my companion choked down some saltines.  We had tacos and the Gifford's have three boys. We also ate outside.  Two of them are home and one is backpacking across Europe.  Dinner adventure. At the end one of them went inside to get ice cream and came back out with a fly swatter.  Sister Gifford was like, "Jacob, why did you bring the fly swatter?"  He was like, "there is a bee and I am going to kill it".  Then she made him go back in for the ice cream.  While he was inside his brother took the fly swatter and started trying to get the bee.  This involved a lot of hitting the table and flipping plates and such.  Then the little brother came back and was like, "wow you still have not gotten it."  They then both attempted to kill the bee.  Both of them failed in the end.  The entire time sister Gifford was like whatever I give up on trying to stop you two this is just what happens.  Then the boys started to tell a funny story about how President Gifford got stung by a bee.  I felt right at home in a way, so mom it is not just the boys that go crazy during dinner sometimes.  It also happens to the mission president.  My companion is basically now best friends with all of them because she was there all day. 
The next day my companion was still sick.  She is stubborn though so she went and practiced her musical number for zone conference.  After that though she just came back and slept. 
Friday we had zone conference.  President Gibb gave a very inspirational talk on the safeguards using technology and avoiding pornography--it was awesome.  My companion had to give a training which she had no idea about, but she rocked it.  The best part of the whole day was the flu shot.  I bled through the band aid.  It was like this fancy band aid were they give you the shot through it.  The guy commented and was like, "wow you bleed a lot."  I was like, "thanks":/ I then said something like, "well if I bleed through you owe me a new shirt."  He said he was fine with that because no one had ever bled through them before they are great band aids.  I was like "okay."  A few minutes later I noticed a spot of blood on my shirt and I was like, "wow look at that I bled through."  I went and found him mainly so I could get a new band aid.  He was like, "I have never seen this before these band aids were new and improved."  Then another lady that was there was like, "Wow we have done over 1000 of these and I have never seen that before; even more, and no one has ever said anything about it, even all across the country.  We have people using these all over and I have never heard about this happening.  You are unique."  What I learned from this is that I bleed more than normal people :/
On Saturday Sister Davies was still sick so we mainly stayed at the apartment and did things from there.  She made the comment like, "being a missionary is great."  I was like "okay what made you suddenly say this?"  She is like, "when is it socially acceptable to go find people and map out where they live and figure out when you can meet them if they are complete strangers?  Never, unless you are a missionary. You are basically a full time stalker" ...okay Sister Davies :)
On Sunday two of our investigators came to church so that was fun.  Also this less active family that the husband is not a member, he said he wants to start attending our church.  He said nothing more but he would start attending.  :) Sister Davies is also feeling much better and can eat more than saltines and Gatorade without feeling incredible pain.
Sister Holcomb

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Littleton 3

Well this week was exciting.
First things first we went to Target.
We got 5 people to commit to baptism so hopefully that works out.

I got to drive on Wednesday and Saturday. I was on an exchange with a Tongan and a Samoan.  They could not drive so I did.  I am slightly concerned that I will loose that privilege.  The thing that tracks our driving screamed at me that I was aggressive driving.  I have not gotten called about it so I think I am in the clear.    

We went on exchanges and the family we ate dinner with had a three year old daughter.  We became best friends.  She ended up crying when I left.  I miss kids.

I also learned this week that I cannot speak Spanish at all.  I just cannot form the words for the life of me.  My mouth just does not let me do it especially names.

Oh our toilet is crazy weird. It had this problem when we first moved in of that we would have to flush it one time so it would start thinking about it then about the amount of time we took to wash our hands we could flush it again and it would work.  Then the person who we are living with dad came over to "fix it."  He made it worse.  Now we have to manually flush it you could say or at least manually fill up the talk on the back with water after we flush it so the next time it works.  It is a good thing we always had that messed up toilet so I knew how to somewhat fix one and how they worked.  My companion was very impressed and is writing her family about how I know how a toilet works so I could save us.  

My ward mission leader gave Sister Davies and I some cake and chocolate milk because he knows how much we love those things.  :)

On preparation day we were supposed to go play dart wars which is like lazer tag but with nerf guns.  The zone leaders cancelled it though.  Instead we played basketball and volleyball.  Actually that is a lie I watched everyone play basketball.  Then we went to target which was the best.

Well we left the mission.  #oops...actually the companion I am on an exchange with had a doctors appointment out of the mission, so it was approved by the president.

I will send pictures next week because the computer I am on does not have a place to put the card.

I think that is it.

I love you guys

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Littleton 2

First the most important thing is that Liam Payne's Birthday is this week so you guys need to party it up for me.
I made it a month YAY.  My companion wrote a nice message on the mirror congratulating me.
This week we had a meeting so I got to see my companion from the MTC that was great.  My companion is also a STL so I get sent on exchanges a lot.  I only went on one this week. 
This week two sisters had to be sent home so that is super sad.  It also means that we have a new sister in our zone and she is super fun. 
I found out that my companion is in a Mormon message. "What family means" you should all watch it.  It's super cute. 
 I do not really remember what happened.  I know I am boring :/
I mean I knocked on some doors.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Littleton 1

Ana has arrived in Colorado :-)  Her Mission President and his wife sent a letter and two pictures of them with all the new missionaries.
Dear Parents (and Bishops of Missionaries without a home e-mail),
We wanted to let you know that your missionary arrived safely in Denver this morning. They are at the mission office now for orientation and will have dinner and a devotional at the mission home tonight. They will meet their new companions early tomorrow morning and will head off to their area to start working!
We're grateful for their desire to serve and hope that you will continue to encourage them as they make the transition into the mission field. The work is amazing and challenging and we hope that you will remind them that they can do hard things. Please encourage them to be exactly obedient--miracles and great blessings are in store for them as they obey the mission rules.
With love,
President and Sister Gifford
Here's Ana's first letter home from Colorado: 
 I don't really remember what happened this week.  I remember that It was really hard to say good bye to my district.  Also my new companion is super nice.  I already smell like weed no matter how hard I shower and it is a struggle.  I am in a suburb of Denver in the Bowles Grove ward which is in Littleton Colorado.  Our ward has some super poor areas and some super rich areas.  The Elders are more in charge of the poor areas.  The problem with the nicer areas is that it has more gated communities that you cannot tract in.  The houses are super nice though and it is interesting to eat in the richer parts of town and get to see all their fancy houses.  I am like 20 minutes from the mission home.  This means the APs are in my district so we went to their place the other day to grab something.  We get there and it is a gated community.  We drive in and there are some lion statues.  My companion is like "well you know it is a rich area when there are lion statues."  I was like "well not as much as gargoyles then you know you made it."  She was like "true."  Then about 10 seconds later we found a gargoyle statue.  She was like "you know what might top this if there was a lady holding a pot in a fountain statue."  Soon after that we found one.  We finally pull up and we tell them "well this is a nice place you got here."  They were like "yeah the bathroom reminds me of the celestial room at the temple, the problem is you cannot talk to people about the church in here otherwise you get arrested." 
When we first got here we did not have a place to stay because the member that the sisters had stayed with before did not want them back.  The mission office did not connect that so we were homeless.  The ward mission leader was really nice though and let us stay he is super nice and great.  We were going to go hike a 14er today with him and a few other RMs that used to serve in this area but we had too much we needed to do so we did not have time. The member that was housing the sisters said she would take us back for a transfer.  We went over and she turned to us and was like I still have not touched the room since they left.  We walked in and you could tell why she did not want missionaries anymore.  It was a mess and that is saying something since it is coming from me.  We finally got it all organized on Thursday
We are whitewashing an area so basically neither of us had been here before.  My companions name is Sister Davies.  We are probably the most directionally challenged people.  We keep getting lost.  We have not driven out of our mission yet but we were close one time.  We are the ward that's right on the edge about.  We ran into the mission president and we said we kept getting lost.  He said, "well have you driven out of the mission yet?"  We said we were close.  He said well at least we hadn't gone out so we are good. 
There where 7 girls in relief society that go to USU and were on there way there so that was super exciting.  Even though it made me miss USU a little.
Mission related we were going through the area book because it was mess.  We decided to call some people to see if we could meet with them.  One of the people we called had changed his number but the new owner wanted to learn more about the church.  Then we were going door to door and we met this guy. he had met with the missionaries a few years back.  We found out he drove past Fort Collins to get to work.  We said we would come back the next day to give him an invite to the temple open house.  We left him a few scriptures to read.  When we went back the next day he said that he read the scriptures we gave him and all of the chapter headings in the book of Mormon.  Then he had started to follow all the footnotes in the verses we gave him.  He said it took him a while but now he wants to read the rest of it.  He also got out his Bible and would look up the footnotes from the book of Mormon referencing the Bible. He found that while he was doing that his Bible made a reference to the fact that who are we to say that Christ didn't visit his people in other places in the world and why wouldn't there be a record for it. He said he found it ironic because he was reading about Christ coming in The Book of Mormon. 
Sister Holcomb
Something I totally forgot to write about. 
The guy sitting next to me in the library is blasting one direction and is jamming out singing along and everything.
Also we have the nicest car in the mission.  The APs were supposed to get it but then they needed a better car for traveling out west.  It is a Bright Blue Ford Fusion it was brand new when we got it.  It had been driven from the dealer to the church so it only had 10 miles on it.  I will have to send a picture next week.  It has a button to start it.  And to put in park and stuff it has like this nob instead of a lever.  It has heated seats.  I think it might be the nicest car I will ever have. ;)LOL
Sister Holcomb
(some extra notes from Ana to our family)
You will have to let me know all about the pop culture things when I get back because I will have no idea what is happening.  I am glad William had fun at camp.  Also that the house is going well. 
My companion just came from Grandma Sharp's ward so she was super excited, she was really sad to leave that ward.  She said it was better though because she gets to train me and I am related to someone in that ward so it makes it better.  Here is a picture my companion took.  She is the one on the left.
Sister Holcomb