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! ūüôā 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‚Äôs chunky soup, and 1 pack of Kraft singles. Clearly they were stocking up for the week haha. It just seemed funny to me haha. ūüôā 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 ūüôā 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!!! ūüėĬ† 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: ‚ÄúI told them I, too, was speaking in behalf of a mission field‚ÄĒmore 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.‚ÄĚ 15¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

 

DSCF4166

DSCF4161

DSCF4115

DSCF4114DSCF4103

DSCF4101

DSCF4100

DSCF4096

11021200_800409006704727_1282358029856025336_n 11001733_800409010038060_1723966569821418463_n 10951612_800409003371394_1259567380485113995_n

10981078_1042877625727991_57282444014211212_o

 

 

 

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 ūüôā

DSCF4029 DSCF4030 DSCF4031

 

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.

 

Love,

Sister Hollberg

 

 

 

 

 

February 2, 2015

DSCF4003

 

Happy February to everyone!!

 

The work has been going well here.¬†¬†It¬†turns out often¬†the people we want to meet with keep wanting to meet on the same night as someone else, and it’s slightly stressful because we reeeeally want to meet with everyone, but this means we’d have to split up and go with members. We did the split thing last week, but both lessons ended up falling through at the last second, so all 4 of us helped Danielle pack up her things for the move. I do think that is where Heavenly Father needed us that night, because Danielle was panicking with everything she had to do alone. Heavenly Father is absolutely in the details of every bit of the work!

 

Danielle moved on Saturday ūüė¶ we’ll miss her, but she’s going to go where the Lord needs her.

 

I get to go to the temple with the missionaries who leave in March!

 

This week we have been tracting with no avail ūüė¶ But we have been doing a lot of work with less-actives, and it’s paying off. We have had many appointments that fell through, but made contact with lots of less-actives, and ended up having 5 actual lessons with less-actives, plus we have had 3 members come out with us! January is still kind of on the fence about joining the church (well, more towards not joining) but still wants to meet with us. She isn’t on-date for baptism anymore because she’s not ready to make that commitment. She¬†feels our church is boring a little bit, which is such a shame! She’s used to the up-beat churches with the band, the “hallelujahs‚ÄĚ, clapping, dancing, etc. Basically more of the entertainment side. She really wants her whole family to be able to attend church together, and since we have the ability to translate into Spanish for Victor (her husband)¬†she might be interested in trying coming to our church. She loves the Sunday School classes though! We are¬†excited to¬†teach¬†them about the importance of the Priesthood tonight. She and her family are coming to FHE at the Bishop’s house tonight, so we’re going to make it an open discussion with everyone there. The Bishop hosts an open FHE every Monday for anyone who wants to come, it’s fantastic! Usually we watch a talk then discuss it afterwards, but since we have investigators coming tonight Bishop asked us to teach since we know them better. We’re going to make a treat for it too ūüôā mini (blueberry) cheesecakes in a muffin tin. It should turn out good!

 

 

We have been visiting members this week too, trying to strengthen them, get to know them, and help them with their missionary work. Yesterday almost everyone we went to visit was busy with their Super bowl parties, but we finally got to visit with someone who wasn’t watching the Super bowl! We watched a few Bible Videos with a widow in our ward who lives in a big beautiful house all alone! I thought for sure that her son and daughter-in-law (who are in our ward too) would be over watching the Super bowl , but we went anyway and it turned out to be a wonderful visit!

 

I love you all!!

Sister Hollberg

 

DSCF2517

We went to Maymont Park yesterday!

 

We went to Maymont Park yesterday with our recent convert Danielle!  She was so sweet to take us!!  So we had half of P-day yesterday, and are having the other half today.

 

 

I am going to send the recorder home today, so hopefully you guys get to hear it this week! The new companion is the BEST!!!! I adore her and we work really well together. I am learning so much from her, and she is very patient and understanding about what I went through last transfer. We are working hard and seeing the fruits of our labors!

DSCF2641

DSCF2643

 

Yes we got an ice storm! Or rather freezing rain. Our car was encased. It took us a good half hour to chip it out so we could drive (after the roads were safe of course) because it turns out we DON’T HAVE AN ICE-SCRAPER. What? Anyway we probably won’t get any more of those so it should be good from now on! Still cold!

 

So as far as the week goes, I feel like we’ve just had an outpouring of love from Heavenly Father in the form of success in missionary work! Finally we are teaching some lessons and finding new investigators! I am so happy! Wheew! My New Companion is Sister Morales and she is from CA. Her parents are both Mexican,¬†and she was raised here in the US. All her extended family is still In Mexico. She is bilingual! She is a Nauvoo missionary spending her out-bound portion of her mission (6 months) here in VA. She already spent 6 months in Nauvoo, then she will finish 6 more here in April, then head back for the last 6 months in Nauvoo. She is a powerful missionary! She is bold and loving and is so good at bringing the atonement and her testimony of it in everything we do and teach. She is a hard worker, and I know we’re going to have a great time together ūüôā

 

Sister Hollberg and Sister Morales

Sister Hollberg and Sister Morales

 

Here are some pictures from Maymont Park, but I don’t have time to send all of¬†them this week! I will send them next week. I really am trying to get everything done that I need to in our email time, but there just is not enough time for me! ūüė¶

 

You’ll get the recorder and a better letter next week! I love you! Bye!!

 

Sister Hollberg

DSCF2515

DSCF2521

DSCF2525

DSCF2536 DSCF2540

DSCF2548 DSCF2551 DSCF2554 DSCF2557 DSCF2560

DSCF2562

DSCF2568 DSCF2570

Yes that's a grave in the bear enclosure!

Yes that’s a grave in the bear enclosure!

DSCF2580

DSCF2582 DSCF2584 DSCF2585 DSCF2586 DSCF2587 DSCF2588 DSCF2589 DSCF2592 DSCF2593 DSCF2595 DSCF2597 DSCF2598 DSCF2599 DSCF2600 DSCF2602 DSCF2603

DSCF2642 DSCF2644

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transfer Week!

DSCF2490

 

It is transfer week and we were notified that Sister Ngosha is being transferred and I am staying here for another 6 weeks.  Sister Ngosha loves the skirt and shirts you sent her!

 

Sister Rollins just told me that they are closing Rock Hill for sisters! Our friend David cried ūüė¶¬† I feel so sad for him!¬† He really did live for the weekly visits by the Sisters.¬† He is so alone!¬† When you come to pick me up, can we visit him?¬† He would love to meet you guys.

 

Ok, so this week we met with our recent-convert Danielle! She is a single mom, 29 years old, and so sweet! She is on-fire with the gospel! Because of her, her best friend Michelle is now investigating. Michelle knows she wants to be baptized, and knows it is all true. She never thought she would be baptized, and even when she came to Danielle’s baptism she even told Danielle that she was never going to be baptized. Then Michelle started having dreams about attending this church! She took the dreams seriously and started asking questions, and meeting with the sisters in her area. Now she has a testimony! The only problem is that she lives with her boyfriend and some kids she has with him, and they need to either move out or get married for her to be baptized. The¬†boyfriend isn’t as interested right now, but they want to get married and even have children together. He knows that she wants be baptized, I hope they will get married soon! They will, I know it.

 

Danielle is excited to go to the temple to do baptisms for her family members! Family History is one of my favorite things, so I’m excited we get to help her with it. I wish we could go with her! But sadly, no. I know she will have a good experience no matter what though.

 

Today we had Zone P-day. Not very many missionaries from our zone were able to make it (also, we have a small zone) so there were only 8 of us. But it turns out it was actually more fun! We played a game called ‘umpa loompa’ which is a favorite of missionaries here, and basically is what zone p-day is all about. It’s ultimate Frisbee rules, played with a football, on a basketball court, using the hoops for the goals. Shooting a football in the small round hoop is a challenge, but it’s fun! We had a blast.

 

So last year our Mission President’s wife gave the mission this challenge called “More Fit For The Kingdom” in January kind of like weight-loss challenge. You get points for every pound you lose and for every day you exercise. We had weigh-ins and everything, it was serious! This year we have “More Fit For The Kingdom II: Nutrition on a Mission”. It’s basically the same as last year, but there we get booklets to mark off our points and to keep track of our weight. It’s pretty intense! But the best is what it says on the back of the booklet: “Go big, or go HOME big!”

 

Thanks for all the love, support, prayers, and understanding during this past while. I have complete faith in President Wilson and his choice to put me with who he put me with. I know that he asked me to complete that assignment because the Lord prompted him to. When I received a blessing from him in the beginning I was told that the Lord needed me and that I would have gratitude for this assignment. I do have gratitude because I have learned a lot. He is carefully putting the people that he needs to in my path so I can grow in ways I could not have otherwise.  Thanks for all the letters of encouragement!

 

DSCF2496

DSCF2489

 

I’ve been transferred to Richmond!

10750452_989364317745989_1526816069414472045_o

With my new companion!

Her name is Sister Ngosha, but it is pronounced like ‘Go-sha”

She is from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

She has been out for 3 months

She is still learning English. Her first language is Swahili.

Her father suddenly passed away on Nov. 12 from a stroke. Imagine being 8,000 miles from home and having that happen! She decided to stay on the mission, but she needs our prayers because things are so hard for her at this time.

In this area, Bon Air, basically Richmond, the mission home is in our area, and the mission office.

I have been doing a lot of praying, and I have been receiving lots of guidance from the Spirit. We had Stake Conference, and I just have a big testimony that when we enter any meeting with prayers that need answers, Heavenly Father will answer them if our mind is in the right place. There was basically a constant flow from the spirit.¬† I really felt that I was receiving personal answers to some of the most important things I needed at that time.¬† What a blessing!¬† Some of the things I’ve been feeling are:

Be Christ-like

Heavenly Father is mindful of us, He is by our side.

‘What if Love Were My Only Motive?”

“Be Thou Humble” lyrics

Keeping covenants gives us power

“If every day we are a little better than the day before, it is enough”- Elder Bednar

Tender Mercies are all around, look for them and be grateful.

These have been some serious answers to my prayers and I am so grateful! I have so much more to say, but not very much time! I will record about the rest of the things I have to say, and mail it to you today.

All my love to everyone!!

Love,

Sister Hollberg

 

I’m going to be transferred tomorrow!

Guess what!¬† I am being transferred…! It’s sad to say goodbye to everyone again, and to leave Sister Rollins– She was one of the best comps ever! But I am sure the next area/companion will be great too :).

IMG952361 (2)

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here ūüôā We were invited to the Bishop’s house with the Elders. We had a very serious Ping-Pong tournament. I even beat Sister Rollins! I am as surprised as you that I beat anyone. Actually I won in doubles too again the Bishop and Sister Rollins, with the Bishop’s son on my team. I got a video of it too! But it’s too big to email soooo… yup. But I never realized how much I really do love Ping-Pong haha.

 

I got the Thanksgiving package! I love listening to the recorder! I listen to it a lot. I love hearing the babies! I caught my breath when I heard them for the first time! I can’t believe they’re a year old now! I am making a lot of recordings for you guys. I might be sending it back today! We’ll see. But I absolutely LOVE the skirt! Thank you so much for it! I love the colors, and I already wore it once. I am going to wear it tomorrow too.

 

We got a brand-new ford fusion! 2015! It’s awesome! Of course I’m being transferred now though. Oh well! It was good for the 4 days I got to ride in it.

New car for the sisters!

New car for the sisters!

 

 

We had a good lesson last night with Josh and Megan! They fed us too, even though they just got home from Thanksgiving with their family, and an 8 hour drive. They said such a sweet prayer for both Sister Rollins and I when we left, we really love meeting with them, and they are still going to have the Sisters over on Thursday. I am excited for the new sister to meet them!

Me and Josh and Megan!

DSCF2320

 

Love you guys so much!  You are all in my prayers!

Love,

Sister Hollberg

“I’ll teach you how to sweep, you teach me how to pray!”

Last Thursday morning we went over to help¬†David clean off a trailer that he build about 25 years ago, and has been sitting in the woods long enough to get so much dirt on it, that there were plants growing out of the bed of the trailer. We raked off the leaves, and random things we found in there (completely rusted shovel end, without the handle, because the wood decomposed, random other rusted pieces of metal, pipes, old dirty rope, worms, worms, more worms, sticks). We helped him grease up the wheel bearings, or rather watched while he greased up the oil bearings. He used straight gasoline to clean the bearings. With his bare hands. In an old plastic coffee canister. When he finished, he had me dump the dirty, disgusting gasoline in a HUGE rusted metal barrel full of random garbage, sticks, and leaves, aka his BURN BARREL. By the way, people burn their garbage and leaves ALL THE TIME here. It’s not uncommon to be driving down the road and see someone standing next a huge fire in their front yard, straight up on the grass in the ditch between their house and the road (there are no sidewalks). It smells gross, and it’s completely legal. Anyway, so David has several metal barrels, rusted clean through in some places that he fills with random things, then burns. By the way, he not only had me dump the dirty gasoline in there, but he had me put in the plastic coffee container too. Doesn’t burning plastic produce toxic fumes?

Something David told me when we were helping him sweep up the dirt— he told me I wasn’t sweeping right, “I’ll teach you how to sweep, you teach me how to pray!”

DSCF2247

We spent SO LONG building a paper arch to use in a lesson with David about the Book of Mormon as the keystone. It was so hard because we were doing it all without a protractor, and just eyeballing it! It turned out pretty well, considering. Not sure if it actually helped him understand… he told us that he is a kinetic learner, so this was one attempt at helping him with that. Any ideas on how to teach a kinetic learner?
DSCF2245

DSCF2242

Pictures of David’s beehives in action!

DSCF2251 DSCF2250

 

Really neat experience:

We had dinner and a lesson with Josh and Megan last Thursday! It was an amazing lesson. The Spirit really¬†helped us find the right words, and we really needed it! Josh asks us questions that we have never thought about before that we have no idea how to answer. For example, he asked, “If you believe that God was once like us, and you believe he sinned, but you believe Jesus Christ never sinned in mortal life, doesn’t that put Jesus Christ higher than God the Father?” Sister Rollins and I looked at each other wide eyed. I started to tell them that I had never thought about that before, but then I just asked him if he believed that repentance wipes away sin completely, as if we had never committed the sin. Josh thought for a second and said ‘yes’. Then I told him to picture two people, one who had committed many sins, but had received forgiveness through repentance, and one who had committed no sin at all. Then I asked him which was cleaner. He said they were the same. Then I told Josh that because of the very nature of repentance, it erases sin so completely that in essence God the Father never sinned either, because He reached His perfect, exalted state, so God the Father is still greater than Jesus Christ because He is His Creator. He thought for a minute, then told me that made sense. Wheew! Seriously I have never thought about that before, and had no idea what I was saying/asking. Heavenly Father really does make weak things strong. We then gave Josh this article called ‘Becoming Like God’ https://www.lds.org/topics/becoming-like-god?lang=eng¬†I recommend that everyone read it! We asked him about it yesterday, and he says that he hasn’t finished it yet, but he is going over it paragraph by paragraph, checking each citation and doing deeper research. Intimidating…..But honestly he doesn’t ask these questions to argue, he NEVER argues! He honestly wants to know how it works. He and his wife are so sweet! We basically have a standing appointment with them on Thursday nights for dinner and a lesson.

I love you all!  Have a great Thanksgiving!

Love,

Sister Hollberg

 

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 ūüôā 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! ūüôā 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! ūüôā 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