February 9, 2015

Being in Virginia = constantly surrounded by a wall of trees. There is no horizon. Most of the time it’s fine, but every once-in-a-while those of us who have known open spaces and wide views feel a little claustrophobic/enclosed. Sometimes you don’t realize how enclosed you were feeling until you suddenly get to see a view for a few seconds and it’s like a huge refreshing breath. I had one of those moments on Saturday! We went up to Charlottesville YSA (my first area!!) for the baptism of someone that Sister Morales had taught (since that was the area she just came from). It was neat to see many of the people I knew from the beginning of my mission! I didn’t expect them to remember me since I was only there for 3 months, but many of the YSAs DID remember me! They ran up to me and hugged me! The Bishop’s wife asked me about my singing which was really nice of her to say. Her daughter is in Women’s Chorus at BYU, a Soprano I, so I will probably see her back there! It’s such a small world 🙂

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Last week we were having dinner with a member of our RS presidency and she mentioned that she was the RS president when she was living in Sugar House, at about 2700 S and 1300 E a number of years ago. I told her that I had a sister who lived around there too about the same time! She asked how long ago it was, and I said about 10 years ago. She said that’s when she was there! She might have been Emily’s RS President!!! Her name is Emily Pike. Also, she served her Mission in California, and her Mission President was President Bowman! You remember the Bowmans that we know?!


But it’s such a small world, isn’t it!!


Our investigator January has turned a whole new leaf and is on-date for baptism again on the 28th! She is totally going to make it!  She came to church yesterday, and she came with her daughter. Her daughter was too shy to go into her Sunday school class alone, so we went with her, while January went to Gospel Principles alone. Usually we go with the investigator, but we knew it would be much better for January to go to Gospel Principles than Primary Sunday School. She loves the way our church does Sunday School and loved the lesson on the Holy Ghost yesterday! She got a Gospel Principle book and was marking the things she liked. Many people came up to her after church and thanked her for her questions and participation in Gospel Principles. Her daughter felt comfortable enough to go to Sharing Time alone, so we went to RS with January. She again participated and shared from her heart as we had a lesson on agency. She shared her personal experience about addiction and how making wrong choices really does take away your freedom, even though it appears as though it will give you more freedom. She was asked to give the closing prayer, which she accepted. She really prays with her whole heart. She brought everyone in the room together as she prayed so sincerely thanking Heavenly Father for blessing her with the gospel, and the new ward family she is going to have, and for the 7 sister missionaries who have taught her since August.  After her prayer many of the RS sisters came up to her and welcomed her and thanked her for coming. It meant so much to January! Another miracle: January has been needing some church clothes — Sister Morales gave January one of her own skirts and January looked so cute at church. Then our RS President brought us a bag a clothes that the Bishop’s wife has been meaning to get rid of for months that had just been sitting at her house. It turns out that these clothes were perfect for January! They were almost brand-new, some with tags still! It was a perfect fit for January and she was crying and saying “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!” as she pulled out each item and held it up. Her daughter asked her why she was crying, and January told her she was crying because she was happy.  She really has come so far, in such a short time! I think that her drug addiction that she is finally over really allowed the truth to penetrate deep in her heart in a way it just couldn’t with the addiction. She is truly free now!  She is a completely different person from when I first met her. She has been transformed by the restored gospel. She loves the Book of Mormon. She is going to quit smoking and coffee.  She is coming to Family Home Evening tonight at the Bishop’s house with her family where we are teaching the Plan of Salvation. Please keep praying for her and her husband.


Gotta go, love you, bye!!! Man there’s so much more to say, but I will record it and mail it as soon as I can.



Sister Hollberg







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