February 26, 2015

10990906_1043653642317056_5320723374028791290_n10991689_1043654168983670_3639141823597211830_o

We went to the Washington DC Temple last Thursday! All the missionaries who are going home this month got to go together with President and Sister Wilson. I love the temple. It was such a beautiful experience.

We got about a foot of snow! I have pictures with Flat Stanley at the temple and at the Lincoln Memorial! 🙂 Sister Wilson was an elementary school teacher, so she knows all about Flat Stanley. By the way, we get to finish our email time right now, even though its not a Monday, so yay! Anyway, we went to the temple on Thursday. It was AMAZING. It was beyond that though. I got to see one of the new films that I haven’t seen yet. And the temple is so HUGE! Plus we got to see the visitor’s center very briefly. I bet you know this already, but there are only two temples that have the scale-model temple in the visitor’s center where you can see inside, SLC, and DC! So it was cool to see that. The Spirit was so strong there! I felt so at peace. I am so glad that I got to go! Are we going to do a session together when you come? If so, we need to have family names to do… just an FYI. Plus we have to make an appointment. I would REALLY REALLY like to be able to do that when you guys come to pick me up. Is that possible? https://www.lds.org/church/temples/washington-dc?lang=eng#tab=info

DSCF4106

So yeah! They DID move our P-day, but then we were snowed in today and all the libraries closed. It really was like a “state of emergency” for Virginia. At the Kroger all the milk and chips were gone. Cleaned out. People gotta have the essentials I guess! We went to Walmart, and there were two very…backwoodsy (to say the least. trust me) guys in front of us buying two gallons of whole milk, 10 cans of Campbell’s chunky soup, and 1 pack of Kraft singles. Clearly they were stocking up for the week haha. It just seemed funny to me haha. 🙂 I’m very glad I know how to drive in snow though, because if I didn’t we would have had a lot more trouble. We live up a small hill, but with no snow tires and front-wheel-drive only on a small car, we didn’t know if we’d make it up the hill or not. We were watching car after car (there was a small line) try and fail. But I was watching them and saw how they were driving wrong, and just seriously didn’t have any idea how to drive in the snow (like trying to idle up to the hill and apply the gas only when on the actual slope, with no momentum etc.) but we said a prayer that we’d make it up, and you know what! Heavenly Father answers prayers said with faith, because we made it up almost without a hitch.

ok so January Passed her Baptismal Interview!!!! It’s official that she is getting baptized on Saturday at 5:00pm 🙂 I’m singing a song at the baptism called “Come Unto Christ” https://www.lds.org/youth/video/come-unto-christ-2014-theme-song?lang=eng

Our investigator Hannah disappeared last week and missed TWO appointments with us!! We could not get a hold of her and her car wasn’t home either. We finally decided to try driving by one more time to see if she was home, and she WAS! It turns out that during all the bad weather she stayed at her parents house. Anyway she invited us right in, and we asked her if she wanted to have a tour of the church building so she could feel more comfortable when she comes on Sunday. She said “Sure!” We asked her if we could do that right now, and she said yes again! So she followed us to the building and we had a wonderful spiritual tour, and taught her about baptism and confirmation in the font room. She was all geared up to come to church the next day, and we were even going to go over early to help her get her girls ready for church. Then she texted us in the morning and told us she was in the hospital with her grandmother– she fell once earlier this week, then fell again that morning and it was more serious. Sadly, this means that she can’t be baptized on the 14th, which would have been AMAZING because you guys could have been at the baptism! But we’ll see if we can make an exception because I would LOVE for you to see the baptism of someone I taught!!! 😀  BUT she wants to come to January’s baptism on Saturday :D. I know that because she’s starting to recognize the Spirit, her testimony will grow. I love her so much!

ALSO some huge miracles this week– January and her daughter came to church, but her husband also came!!!! Sister Morales translated for him. He only stayed for Sacrament, but it was awesome!! And two less-active families that we have been trying to work with for the past two months showed up too! It was so amazing! Even though Hannah couldn’t come, we still had so many blessings.

I know that story about Grandpa Bennett! I read it on LDS.org! Here’s the link https://www.lds.org/ensign/1982/04/the-microfilm-mission-of-archibald-f-bennett?lang=eng

Here is the part of the story that you told me about:

“From England, Brother Bennett traveled in the company of Alma Sonne, European Mission president, to Stockholm. At a gathering of LDS mission presidents from across Europe, Brother Bennett impressed upon them his own deep feeling for the immediacy of the work: “I told them I, too, was speaking in behalf of a mission field—more extensive and including more people than all the other missions combined. Despite the fact that it was under the Presidency of the Prophet Joseph Smith and was blessed with labors of numbers of the greatest missionaries for 117 years, not a single baptism had been performed in that mission. They had made converts, perhaps millions of them, but no baptisms [meaning that ordinance cannot be performed in the spirit world; it must be done on earth by proxy]. For their mission to succeed, the records to identify those in the spirit must be gathered from the nations and sent to the temples.” 15      

 

DSCF4166

DSCF4161

DSCF4115

DSCF4114DSCF4103

DSCF4101

DSCF4100

DSCF4096

11021200_800409006704727_1282358029856025336_n 11001733_800409010038060_1723966569821418463_n 10951612_800409003371394_1259567380485113995_n

10981078_1042877625727991_57282444014211212_o

 

 

 

Miracles of this week!

DSCF2206 (2)

 

This picture has the best story! So the 12th was Sister Rollins’ Birthday and we had an appointment with David. Last week I tried to whisper to him it was her birthday when she was busy talking to someone we had brought with us, but he said ‘WHAT?’ really loudly so I ended up basically having to shout it to him, so she knew I told him, but oh well! There are basically no secrets between companions– she knew what I was getting her for her birthday weeks in advance. But anyway! The next week when we went to David’s for the lesson, we bowed our heads in the car and said a prayer before we got out to knock on the door.

 

While we were praying, I heard his door open and he came out for a second, then went back inside. When we walked in after the prayer, the first thing we saw was his table! Usually it’s covered in various books, papers, and other things that slowly pile up (the majority of it is made up of things we gave him, books, pamphlets etc). He had cleared it off, and even cleaned the table! Then he had the cake, the candles already lit, the paper-towel napkins, forks and everything set out for us! Now here’s the thing– I never told him how old she was turning, and he has never asked our names (I think he sometimes gives up on trying to remember people’s names, because he has a hard time with it– he just calls us his ‘Mormon girls’ or more often just his ‘girls’). He had called his daughter who we met on Halloween to ask her what Sister Rollins name was and also her age, so he could get the cake iced with her name. It was so sweet!

 

He was so happy to be able to do this for her, none of us were expecting it! It blew us all away and it meant so much to Sister Rollins. Even though it wasn’t my birthday, I felt his love too because I knew he would have done the same for me. THEN (and here’s the icing on the cake, pun intended) after we sang ‘Happy Birthday’, he said ‘Well! We need a prayer now!’ and promptly bowed his head and offered, for the first time in front of us, a prayer. It wasn’t even my birthday and I feel like that was the best birthday present I have ever gotten! The prayer was so sincere and special, praying for each of us and thanking Heavenly Father for sending us to him and asking for the Spirit to be with us and to keep us safe, and so many more things. We have tried and tried to get him to pray in front of us. He always would tell us ‘Nope, not ready’. Then, last Wednesday he did it! We didn’t even ask him! I couldn’t stop smiling.

 

There is something so special about hearing someone pray out-loud in front of you for the first time– so much faith in Heavenly Father, pure trust in him, and trust in the listeners. It brought us all to tears– not just the things he prayed for, but the spirit he said it with, and the Spirit he invited into our lesson. I have so much love for yim! I know it’s slow goings with respect to the gospel, but I fully expect to see him in the Celestial Kingdom with his wife, whether or not he accepts the gospel in this life or not. We are fulfilling our purpose and doing what Christ would do in meeting with him. We are truly bringing him closer to Heavenly Father and Christ.

 

This morning I listened to last week’s BYU devotional, and I thought about David a lot http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=2212. Listen to it!

 

He has basically adopted us. We are still working our way through the Plan of Salvation this week, but we’re almost done! We have also been teaching him about faith and repentance.  Last week I asked him “So David, do you believe faith is like a muscle we have to exercise, or we’ll lose it?” and he said “Absolutely!” and he went on to say more good things about faith and how we exercise it and strengthen it. We again took someone from the ward with us. This person needs a lot of love, and David just keyed right into that– he always takes special care to let her know he loves her and that she is a special person. This is just as good as any medicine and what Christ would do.

 

At the end of our lesson David looked around at each person and said very seriously that we were fulfilling scripture, then he quoted Matthew 18:20 which says “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”. He says he still hasn’t ‘felt’ the Spirit answer his questions and prayers yet, but I know he is starting to little by little. I am so humbled that I can be a part of his journey to Christ and God. I can’t describe the feelings I feel for the people we teach; I can’t even begin to.

 

I love you all!  Have a good week!

Love,

Sister Hollberg

 

Sorry, not very many pictures this week!

DSCF2163 DSCF2162

Did you see all the pictures we sent on Facebook for our Mission Media Day?????  We had such a great day!  Thanks for sharing all the pictures!

we love serving !!!  Go to   ‪#‎LdsinVA‬ ‪#‎Mormons‬ ‪#‎Rockhillmissionaries on Instagram to see pictures!

PLEASE ASK THE MISSIONARIES TO RAKE THE LAWN. They would love that. Seriously, we were thrilled when we had this opportunity! Especially because our Mission President wants us to do service in some way each week– but there are no places to volunteer at in our area so we rely on serving individuals in the community. However, no one wants to impose on us so they don’t ask! Or they don’t accept! We love it though; we get to wear pants 🙂 That was the first time in a month or two that I actually got to do some service.

10689895_732598706831197_5065829763837874602_n

10447803_732610776829990_6905885310765161873_n 10392384_732610343496700_8810035016949311533_n 10389078_732610690163332_5644276207497240153_n 10351456_732608750163526_2726038408794555197_n 1535193_732646333493101_732635790160822_58147_373_b 10784_732610580163343_7447687938801163507_n

David is doing well! As of now, he has read the entire D&C, Matthew, Mark, Luke, 1 Nephi-Mosiah, and is reading James now. He is on a roll! That all got started because he wanted scriptures about the Pre-existence, but there are not very many that are clear outside of the P of GP and the D&C, so we decided to give him some from the Bible, Book of Mormon, and the D&C. Because of his bad eye-sight, we put the scriptures on his computer and he listens to them. Since he listens to them, he has to listen to the entire chapter, and can’t just get to the verse. Once he listened to the chapters with the scriptures we showed him, he was intrigued by the D&C and started in section 1 on his own. The next time we saw him, he was on 75. We were blown away! But you can’t really stop him, so we just decided to let him read as far as he wanted. He likes it a lot, but has a lot of questions. He is waiting for his answer, and reading along looking for the truth. It’s hard for him to process the possibility that the things he grew up thinking might not be correct or might not be the full truth, but he isn’t completely close-minded. He is really trying to understand and wrap his mind around the Plan of Salvation, but it’s going to take time.

Tabitha is doing wonderful, embracing the gospel and the church. We met her at the library on Tuesday and did Family History. She already knows her way around Ancestry and Family Search, and has quite a sizable bit of her tree filled in. She is trying to find the info for someone who has been dead for more than 110 years so she can take them to the temple without needing permission from family. She’s so close! 🙂 We taught her daughter and her cousin’s daughter again, they are so sweet! Next we will teach them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Basically, they teach us. Primary is pretty amazing– even though Delia (Tabitha’s daughter) has only been going to Primary for 6 months, she already knows so much! 🙂 And she has a sweet little testimony growing.

We saw Josh & Megan twice this week! We taught them the Restoration one night, then met them at the meeting house for a tour of the building and we explained how our services work and everything. We asked them to read Alma 42 in preparation for the Plan of Salvation, and they in turn asked us to read a chapter out of the Bible. Who am I to say ‘no’ to reading the scriptures?! They actually (not purposely) picked the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119. I haven’t finished it yet, and I’ve never read it before, but what I have read so far has struck me deeply. It has some of the most beautiful scriptural language– as I was reading I felt like I was being filled from head to foot with the Spirit. Vs. 19-20 says, “I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me. My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.”. It reminded me of the second verse of “Oh My Father” where it says

Yet ofttimes a secret something

Whispered, “You’re a stranger here,”

And I felt that I had wandered

From a more exalted sphere.’

 

and a verse from the non-very-well-known hymn “The Wintry Day Descending to it’s Close”

 

“I cannot go to rest, but linger still

In meditation at my windowsill,

While, like the twinkling stars in heaven’s dome,

Come one by one sweet memories of home.

And wouldst thou ask me where my fancy roves

To reproduce the happy scenes it loves,

Where hope and memory together dwell

And paint the pictured beauties that I tell?”

 

I can’t wait to finish reading the chapter and to feel that Spirit around me, testifying of the love Heavenly Father has for me as an individual, and his desire for me to return to him. I know He feels this way about all of His creations. When I start to think about the scope of his creations and this love for each individually it is a little overwhelming, but I remember a poem I read in an Ensign from 2013 a month ago by Janielle Bailey:

 

“My tiny soul

in His warm hands

glows and grows

with the care of a

Father

who forms

stars

from dust.”

 

If you haven’t read Psalm 119 before, please read it!

 

Anyway, gotta go! I love you!

DSCF2173 DSCF2172 DSCF2164

 

 

We had dinner in a pumpkin yesterday. It was SO DELICIOUS! You would have LOVED it! Basically brown rice, vegetables, some (just barely) spicy sausage, and some spices. You should make it! I will get the recipe. It is seriously right up your ally. It reminded me of stack-ups. The best part was that the pumpkin was cooked, so when you dished up you could scrape some pumpkin from the sides and eat it– tasted like squash. There was butternut squash in cubes in the mix too. It was so good!

DSCF2182

 

 

Week of 11-3-14

Kind of a short letter this week, but I’m sending pictures of how beautiful it is here!!

DSCF2115

 

I have thought a lot about you all this week with Steve Evans’ funeral.  I am still heartbroken about him, but I am working hard as a missionary, because I know that is what he wants me to do.  I can only imagine the spirit in that meeting.  I’m so glad Chris could come.

About our work here, David is doing well! He is learning more, and has now come to church twice! Last time he stayed for all three meetings. Unfortunately the Sunday School and Priesthood lessons were both on Family History, which he has zero interest in, plus he barely knows how to use a computer…. But he did a good job sitting through the lessons, and he liked how warmly people greeted him 🙂 We spend Halloween evening with David passing out candy 🙂 David lives just down the street basically from Tabitha, so we told her she’d have to come to David’s for trick-or-treating! When her boy Kaiden saw me open the door, he said “how come you guys live here??” all puzzled. That was sweet!

DSCF2134

Teaching some kids on Halloween!

 

DSCF2138

Handing out candy with David on Halloween!

DSCF2143 (2)

This is what David gave us after we left his house on Halloween. We met his daughter, by the way! She is amazing! We also met one of his other daughters, via face-time. They both told us how thankful they are fur us, and what we’ve been doing for their father. They were so sweet! It really touched me. The daughter who was at his house had a lot of questions for us. It was a neat opportunity!

 

This Thursday we have Zone Conference– a meeting with 3 zones. I was asked to perform a musical number with two other Sisters. We are singing 3-part harmony “There is a Green Hill Far Away” a capella– except for Sister Rollins who is playing her flute for part of it. It’s going to be really fun 🙂 If I have the recorder by then, I’ll make one for you to listen to.

 

I love you guys so much! I have to go now unfortunately, but you’re all in my prayers!!

 

Sister Hollberg

DSCF2151

 

DSCF2145

 

DSCF2121

 

DSCF2119

 

DSCF2113

 

DSCF2068

 

DSCF2076

I might be in the very most beautiful mission!!

 

DSCF1996

 

Hello Everyone!!!

This really might be the most beautiful mission!  Look at these pictures!

 

DSCF1991

DSCF1990

Lake Arrowhead in the fall! So beautiful!

DSCF1989

DSCF1984

A very pretty tree outside the library! Trees like this are everywhere.

DSCF1986

Also a huuuuge mushroom in one of our members’ yards. We stopped by for a visit and saw their Beehive-age daughter out in the front yard with a shovel removing the mushrooms. So what did we do? Ask to help! She told us they didn’t have any more shovels. We asked if they had any rubber gloves and a couple of plastic bags. Bingo! Probably the most random service I’ve done on my mission. They were surprisingly easy to pull up! Surprisingly creamy underneath. Just kidding! Well sort of. Anyway, the girls’ brother is serving his mission in Salt Lake, West! He just left actually. I was here for his farewell. He entered the MTC exactly a year after Sister Rollins and I did.

DSCF1987

 

By the way, I have been doing more family history. It turns out to be pretty fun stuff! 😉

But I just really love it! We didn’t know much about it when we started, but we have learned by just trying, and helping other people to do their own Family History. This Saturday we are going to have dinner with a couple in our ward that are actually Family History service missionaries. Did you know that if you are stuck in Family Search you can call a phone number to get help on finding people? Or you can chat online with someone to help you! That is what these ward members do– they help people on Family Search. They are basically the ‘experts’! Plus, they know who Grandpa Bennett is! (Archibald F. Bennett)  Brother Hendrix (that’s their name) was actually at BYU as a student when Professor Bennett was there! Neat huh?

 

We were pretty sad because one of our most ‘golden’ investigator families (probably the most prepared people I’ve met on my mission thus far) dropped us. They told us they love meeting with us, and know we really believe and put our hearts into what we teach, but that they aren’t ready to make any decisions. They both want to explore the faiths they grew up in before being baptized somewhere else (Jehovah’s Witness and Southern Baptist). Of course we respect their agency and still love them ! But it’s still so hard to see someone turn away from the light! They will be ready in the future, I know it! That is probably the hardest thing about missions.

 

But the Lord loves us, and he gave us a miracle a couple of days later! We were visiting a less-active sister that our Relief Society President asked us to check up on– she told us that she had not been able to contact her by phone and was wondering if we would stop by. When we got to the home of Sister Sines, we looked down at the mat and saw a big “S” on it. We thought to ourselves “Yup! She still lives here”, but when the door opened, a man (early 30s) opened the door looking puzzled at us. We asked if Pamela Sines was there, and he immediately recognized the name. He said, “She doesn’t live here anymore! We actually bought this house from her about 2 months ago. Do you want to come in?”. We were so shocked that he would invite us in before we even said who we were, or that we were missionaries, or what we were doing! We said “Sure!” and went inside. We didn’t really know what to do, but we went into the kitchen and he introduced us to his wife. They are expecting their first child, a boy, in March! His name is Josh, and her name is Megan. They are both from Michigan. Their neighbor Glen was also over, and it appears they had just finished dinner!

 

They invited us to sit down and talk.  As soon as Glen saw us he said “Ah! Mormons! I’ve meet missionaries before. We’ve had some nice conversations.” We introduced ourselves and after asking some questions to get to know them, we asked them if they had any questions for us. This isn’t usually how we start, but the Spirit was guiding us in another direction. They immediately started asking us questions about what we believe, starting with “Who do you believe Jesus Christ is?”. We carefully answered each of their questions, which kind of led in the direction of the Plan of Salvation. We didn’t actually start teaching the Plan of Salvation, but we taught them about the Book of Mormon, gave them a copy, and asked them to read 3 Nephi 11. Josh was skeptical, but sincere in wanting to know the truth. We also watched the “Because of Him” video with them. They loved it! Josh and Megan go to a non-denominational Christian church right now. I don’t think Glen attends any church right now, but I think he is a Protestant of some sort. This was Thursday night. We asked them if we could come back to teach them more, and Josh said Tuesday!

 

We were very surprised because we couldn’t tell exactly what he thought of it all! More often people say “I don’t know, we’re pretty busy, call us next week” or “WE’LL call YOU.” and never do! But we’re going back tomorrow! We’re very excited! 🙂 Heavenly Father gave us a new family to teach when the Ross Family dropped us. The work goes on! We will keep praying for the Ross family though and hope that they want to learn again! Also, Tabitha wants us to start teaching her 8-year-old daughter so she can be prepared for baptism 🙂 that is wonderful! Tabitha is doing so well! She loves the Church and is embracing the gospel. We challenged her to read the entire Book of Mormon by Christmas as her ‘gift’ to Christ. She is reading 7 chapters a day to finish by then! Amazing! 🙂 She is also pondering receiving her patriarchal blessing. She is so much lighter with the Gospel in her life, it’s absolutely amazing! I wish you could meet her 🙂

 

Also, Glen basically invited himself over for the next appointment.  🙂

 

 

Love you so much! Bye! Gotta run!

Love,

Sister Hollberg