Serving February 4, 2015 - January 16, 2017

Serving February 4, 2015 - January 16, 2017

WRITE ME!

WRITE ME!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Minha Querida Familia e Amigos (12-21-15)

So I will apologize once again for the lack of photos.  I have taken lots, but because our normal internet place has not had internet for 4 weeks, we have been going to another one and it doesn't download photos, so sorry.  But this week was fantastic.  The beginning of the week elder Sharpe and I really focused on just working.  we ended up getting some new families as well as new investigators with a baptismal date that are working to progress.  Then this weekend brought some long-awaited miracles.  It started on Friday.  In my first transfer Elder Keck and I worked really hard to get a reference from a really strong member family in t3.  They finally gave us on towards the last week of the transfer, but it was in another area in t3.  Lo and behold the next week I was transferred to the other area, where I got to start teaching this family.  I taught them for two transfers with Elder Mataveis and Elder Brown, but they parents wanted to wait to get married so they couldn't get baptized when I was with elder brown.  However, we baptized their children with their permission at the end of my 3rd transfer.  Then I went to Magoanine and talked to them every once in a while, and then Matola, and finally on friday 7 months to the day I invited them to follow the law of chastity by getting married so they could be baptized, they did it.  It was a lot of stress but it happened, I am also super grateful for elder brown for sticking with them for so long.  But the wedding was nice, but the all around best part was on saturday when They were baptized be their son, who I baptized and ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood.  Then on Sunday Elder Sharpe and I baptized a family from our area.  It was a fantastic weekend, now we just have to keep working with our other investigators to get them there as well.  

I will end though by sharing my thoughts about christmas this week.  I will paraphrase from one of my favorite stories: The Forgotten Carols.  In it Uncle John says, "think about it, wise men coming from the east because they saw a new star in the sky, angels singing to shepherds, a virgins having a child.  It sounds absolutely absurd, but we believe it is real because something about the season makes us feel that it is."  I am sorry I cant quote it off the top of my head.  But what I have come to feel with the lack of presents, lights, and christmas trees is that the christmas spirit is still there.  I dont focus so much on the things that this christmas lacks, because it isn't about santa and his sleigh bringing toys on christmas day, its not about christmas cards or sparkling lights ago, because far away and long ago he was born to straw not snow, in swaddling clothes, the newborn king, our heavenly lord, our everything.  I know he lives, I know he came as the scriptures say, and he is "more than the babe in Bethlehem.  More than the carpenters son"  I know he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He it is who saved all mankind, and through him we become clean of our sins, and he knows every single one of us personally and intimately, he has helped me through my darkest times and saved my sanity when I thought it would be gone.  I testify to all that He lives, and I will do all I can to testify that to all those who will hear me, I encourage you all to do the same.  May you all have the Merriest of Christmases and Remember the reason for the season.

With My Love,

Elder Anthony Holt 

Feliz Natal (12-14-15)

Hello dear family and friends.  This is Elder Holt here.  I am currently in a internet cafe in Fomento, Matola, Maputo, Mozambique.  In case you all forgot.  But I am just here writing a weekly follow up of what i did this week.  So I knocked some doors, taught some lessons, and sweated profusely.  It got very hot this week, and humid.  I have a feeling that God sent me here so that I could know what it felt like, and make me very sure to be a good person so that I dont go to hell.  But it is all good, its like sitting in a sauna, and it refreshes you, just not your white shirts, haha.  But that doesnt mean I am not loving it.  This week was a very slow week.  But I think the Highlight of the week was yesterday, we went to church and the stake president called me up to the stand, and asked me to translate for the man with him , who I came to find out was the area seventy.  i think his name was elder ungunlani.  It was super cool we went up to the pulpit together, and I translated his talk into portuguese for the whole congregation.  He talked about the sacrament and challenged everyone to make a commitment to never miss the sacrament again, he said, I am here because I made this commitment, I will need to be in Johannesburg, but the sacrament is more important and so we moved our trip back a few hours to come to sacrament.  It was really good.  Other than that not a ton happened, we just worked and sweated.  We also had a christmas party, very different from home, but fun nonetheless.  I will send this now without pictures or anything.  Because the internet place is having so many problems.

Love,

Elder Anthony Holt

A semana de trabalha (12-7-15)

I wont lie, I am kind of excited to hit my year mark here soon because I forgot how many weeks I have on the mission, and that will be really easy to catch me up.  But I still have a little bit of time and I promise I am not trunky, I just thought of that because I couldn't think of a subject line.  So this week started of with change  Elder Sharpe and I received notice that instead of serving in the Matola b area, we had been moved into the Mozal b area.  So for the 3rd time in 4 transfers I am opening an area, and training.  Boy that was a bit overwhelming just writing it out.  I guess the Lord is trying to say he trusts me, or just giving me endless chances because I need to learn something from doing it again.   But it is all good.  We have a brand new ward with a brand new bishop, he is super awesome, and asked us to help him as he is new and doesn't really know what to do in terms of working with the missionaries.  But yeah, we also have had a good week.  We had a bunch of days of just trying to find people, which I wont lie, they are really long, but I am kind of learning to love.  Thankfully though parts of the area I am opening had missionaries working in them before, I am just opening it as its own area, so we have a father from a part member family that will get baptized this transfer, and we are praying for a miracle that we might find some others as well.  We had a great week this week finding, we found one guy and we sat with them and we got there and then another man sat with us, and then another, and then another.  Turns out they all were brothers, and all lived at the one house with there wives, unfortunately the wives weren't as interested, but we will still work with them.  We found another family as well that was really cool, we were walking down the road at 10 in the morning which isn't a good time to find families, but we saw through the crack in the gate a man as we were walking by, and we stopped knocked, and next thing you know we were teaching the restoration.  The man told us he wouldn't be able to make it to church, but he sent his wife and two daughters, and they came and enjoyed it, so that was a really good sign.  Elder Sharpe and I are really focusing on constantly finding as we teach so that we can always have a good teaching pool.  I wont lie, the temperature is getting hotter, and the fruits from when I first got here are starting to be sold again so I realize I am starting to have some time here.  But other than that Elder Sharpe and I came up with a quote this week in a comp study where we were talking about God stretching us.  It goes a little like this, "Miracles are like the lotion God uses to rub us down when we are being stubborn and dont want to stretch, but usually they are like Icy Hot and burn the whole freaking time... But they are effective."  So I hope that doesnt make you all think that I am super weird.  I love and miss you all.  Especially the cold you are feeling, dont complain, I will take it any day all day I promise.   But remember you are in my prayers, and I hope this week is amazing for all of you.

Love and Hugs,

Elder Anthony Holt

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Transfer Day (11-30-15)

So transfers came and I will be staying in the same area and finish Elder Sharpes training.  I am pretty excited for this, but the difficulty is ,that because of the new ward we will be in a new area, and would you guess, whitewashing again, WHOO HOO.  I think that was a little sarcastic, but I will do my best and need all of your prayers, I cant believe how hard it is, and that president has trusted me to white wash 3 times in 4 transfers, It is super hard, but we will work hard and all should go well.  This week was good we celebrated thanksgiving with a good old turkey bowl, and then on thanksgiving day we had a feast.  We found a turkey, and made all the classic stuff except stuffing, but that is all good.   I even pulled off a Pumpkin Pie, thanks to my angel mother who sent me a recipe, and it was very good, we just didn't have molasses so I used syrup, haha.  But yeah.  I thought I was going to die after all the food, but it was good.  And I will send pictures next week because we are kind of short on time.  We also had a bunch of non-alcoholic champagne bottles.  I got to fulfill a bucket list Item I never thought would be possible: Popping a cork, it was hard, but I got it.  I will be using the same bottle to send a message in a bottle, so feel free to scour the beaches to find it.  Other than that the work was normal.  We are super grateful because our investigators are stopping smoking.  One has already kicked it, and the other two are fighting hard, but we are sad because they were the jewel that we found this whole transfer, and we will lose them from our area, but all will go well.  I just want to wish everyone a merry christmas, and remind you all that we can all try to ignore the Christ, but he is the center of all the celebrating.  And I am so grateful for that first christmas night, because I testify to you all that the baby boy grew to become the Savior and Redeemer of the world.  The atonement is real and personal for every single one of us, and his sacred power is present on the earth today.  This week I had a man ask me how I could go around and tell people that there church was false and that my church is true.  It was amazing that without thought and in Portuguese I am not sure I could use on my own, I responded, Because I am an Authorized Set Apart Representative of the Lord Jesus Christ and as such he has revealed to me that this is the only way to achieve life eternal.  I have never seen him, nor heard his voice, but I have felt his power change my life to become a more perfect person in every day.  I have seen his face in the faces of the people I see use his atonement, and I have felt his touch in the most difficult moments of my life pushing me forward, step by step.  So I know that I am on the other side of the world, for that dont send me a christmas present, instead, look inside look at your life where you are and where you want to be, where you feel you should be, and "let him in" let him change your life and begin again.  He is the Savior of the World and he is the Savior of every individual, this is my testimony in his name.

With all the love in my heart, Merry CHRISTmas,

Elder Anthony James Holt

Carta Do Elder Holt (11-23-15)

Bom Dia Meus Queridos,
Hey, so this has been a good week.  We spent some time working like normal.  We had a practice for the christmas program we are doing.  Thankfully it got moved to the matola chapel, which saves us a ton of time and energy.  But yeah, this has been a good week, we have had a lot of difficulties, but in the end we have seen some results.  Elder Sharpe and I have been trying to find some elect families, but we are enjoying little successes right now.  We have a cool family that should get bapitized next transfer, but they have a smoking problem so if you could pray for emma danilo and arcilio that would be cool, they really need it.  And then we are just trying to find new families.  We have a lot, but they are really hard usually.  I will say I am a living witness of the prophecy made by jacob in the book of mormon that people will all say, We Have a bible and we need no more bible, is true.  I cant say I have bible bashed really because people here do not know the bible well enough to fight, but man they sure love the bible.  I think that might be why god sent me here, becuase other places I would have just fought, but here fighting is impossible because these people are convinced the one scripture they have memorized validates the bible and contradicts, almost 19 years of experience in the bible and book of mormon, haha.  But yeah, yesterday was stake conference.  It was all south east africa and we got to hear from Sister Esplin of the Primary General Presidency, Elders Cook and Clayton of the seventy, and Elders Renlund and Cook of the twelve.  It was a good broadcast and they talked about good things, but the translators had a really strange accent, that was like impossible to understand.  But because it was stake conference I got to see 3 men that I taught in T3 recieve the Melchizedic Priesthood.  One of them was Dique, I baptized him like 5 months ago.  Anyways, I was in there and the 2nd counselor asked who he wanted to ordain him.  And out of no where he picked me.  I just about pooped my pants I was so nervous.  I have never conferred the priesthood, let alone in portuguesse.  Ordaining my brother was nervewracking, but I thought I was going to pass out.  My comp said I was white as a ghost.  But thankfully all went well, and I succeeded.  I actually was the only one that said the ordination in the truly correct portugues, according to one of the senior couples.  But I did mess up on one part.  But I was helped a lot, It is really a cool experience giving blessing in a second language, I would never expect to recieve inspiration in anything other that english.  But the oppurtunities I have had to give blessings have been some of the times when I had the most clear concise thinking in portugues.  Anyways I wish you all a happy thanksgiving.  I am thankful for each and every one of you.  But I have a turkey bowl to win, so until next time...

Love,

Elder Anthony Holt

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mais Uma Grande Semana (11-16-15)

So, the work is going here in Mozambique.  This week was good.  It was filled with lots of chapas, and going in and out of the city, haha.  So on monday we went to play futsal with president koch and some other missionaries and members.  I really wish I would have played before the mission, haha.  But it is all good, I am getting all of my training/embarrassment from brazilians, and they are really good, so that was chapa one, the next one was on wednesday going in and out of the city for a training for trainers, and then again on friday, for a meeting about a singing thing that we are doing as a mission.  It was kind of interesting, because it is being put together by one of our senior couple missionaries, and she put it all together and then selected who would be in it, and somehow my name got selected as someone that knew more or less how to read notes, haha.  But yeah, it will be a lot of fun, I think it will be on christmas day, and yeah, I am excited.  It just is rough because it is like a 5 hour time committment once a week, on our most busy day of the week, haha,but it is all good, us here in the Matola Zone we just keep taking ones(hundreds) for the team.  But yeah, those were our chapa adventures, I think I am finally walking normal again though.  We had an alright week working.  I think the rainy season is starting, we had two storms, but nothing super huge, but it got us soaked to the bone, and then stopped.  Then we lost power for two afternoons, and it is super funny because no one wants to visit when the power is out, haha.  So we struggled lesson wise, but then yesterday we had a great day.  We had a ton of lessons, and contacts, and 13 new investigators, all in one day.  They were some interesting lessons too.  In one we had a peacock walk through the middle of it, big huge feathers and all, and then it flew up on the roof.  Then in the next one it started raining, and they had a tin roof, so it was impossible to hear.  I improvised and cupped my hands around my mouth and yelled the First vision, kind of like: I SAW A PILLAR OF LIGHT ABOVE MY HEAD!!!!!!! I think the spirit was still there though, or at least God understands.  Other than that the work is going, somedays like yesterday it is running at a full sprint in the middle of a rainstorm, and others it is crawling.  But I am glad to see progress, I have gotten to be really good at being grateful for little successes.  Because they are the ones that count.  In most missionas I am sure the numbers we put up, are unheard of, but anyone will sit with you, but not a lot will progress.  I have faith though that we will get a family by the end of the year.  I just need your prayers.  I dont know if you all enjoyed that email or wanted to hear about it, but it felt good writing.  I will also include a picture from the machamba this week.  We worked, and then everyone wanted to take pictures, so we did.  Then they put a baby in a capulana on my back.  For those of you mothers out there, do not worry about the head.  Here they dont worry about it, and as far as I can tell the babies turn out more or less ok.  But yeah.  Have a fantastic week, adn enjoy living.  I miss you all.  If you want to pray for me, please pray for Luis, Biel, Joana, Virjulho, Adalaide, Gomes, Tania, Horacio, Maria, micha, emma, danilo, and hercilio as well.  They need it more than me I Promise!!!

Abracos da Africa,
Elder Anthony J. Holt
Notice the Capulana on Elder Holt's Back With the Baby In It!
Elder Holt and Elder Sharpe at the Machamba (Farm)
Anthony didn't tell me who these guys are-picture taken on September 2.
Elder Holt - far right.

Baptism on 10-17-15!
Well, Elder Holt & Elder Sharpe are carrying something, but he didn't tell me what it was! 
Coração de Boi, I believe is the name of this fruit, from my intense internet search.  Elder Holt didn't mention anything about it, so I will be sure to ask him about it next week!
Watering at the Machamba!
Elder Sharpe & Elder Holt- Work It!!!
He ate Cow Tongue & Intestine Lining this past week!


Thursday, November 12, 2015

41 Things I love about my MOM (10-30-15)

Tribute from Elder Holt to his Mom on her 41st Birthday...

(THANK YOU to Aunt Julie & Uncle Rhett for helping
with some of the technical issues and for helping make it all happen!)

Elder Holt surprised me with this super touching video he made for my 41st birthday.  It was so personal and well thought out.  I am so grateful for this Tender Mercy.  It made my whole night, day, week, month,  and probably year-possibly the rest of all time!  Thank you Son!
I LOVE YOU!


P.S.- Of course I noticed he skipped #27, which was, "Her Other Children"
P.S.S.- NO judging allowed...because of info disclosed in this video!

Bom Dia (11-9-15)

This has been an amazingly short week, but it is still fun out here in the mission.  We have just been doing the normal thing, of preaching, and trying to save peoples salvation.  It is a truly fullfilling work.  Pretty tiring as well, but I am glad to be a part of it.  We didnt have too much out of the ordinary happen this week.  But it was a good week anyways.  I am really learning the importance of studying, haha.  I have more or less been anti studying my whole mission, but this week during a study I actually found something that change my whole perspective on teaching, haha.  So suffice it to say, I will continue studying even when it seems boring.  But yeah, we got to see some improvement in our area, and after three weeks, I think our area is running pretty efficiently which is really quick on a whitewash, I am grateful for that, because it is super stressful whitewashing.  But yeah, we could potentially have a few baptisms by the end of the transfer, but I am not sure we still need to wait a little bit and establish if they fit all of the baptismal requisite,  but next transfer this area will for sure be baptising.  Elder sharpe and I are doing well together, just working, and training.  I am honored to still be training, but part of me longs for a chance to go into a normal dupla with an older missionary and just work the streets to death, but that will come, right now I have a calling and that is an honor for me.  We had an interesting experience this week that happens a lot but I dont think I have ever written about it.  But yeah, I have grown up in the church and I feel that I have a pretty solid grasp on the scriptures.  And christianity here is fairly young (less than 150 years i think)  and so for that a lot of people dont really know a ton about the bible, especially because they all use the bible in portugues, and most people dont speak portugues very well because it is their second language.  But yeah, a lot of the younger generation clings to christianity and the bible though, and they think they know it all.  But really they know about 5-6 scriptures. Jokes on them, I got 100 scripture mastery verses, haha.   Just kidding, but it happens a lot that someone will try and bible bash you, and it is kind of like bible bashing with a 3 year old, because they recite one scripture and they assume it means what they want, like for example, "Where two or three are gathered in My name, there will I[Jesus Christ] be also"  so I have told some people they cant drink, but they say christ is always with them, even when they drink, others say, well there is two of you and on of me, so this counts as church and I dont have to go this sunday.  It is almost funny how much people look for excuses to get out of things.  In portugues there is a phrase, Haver de,  and when someone uses it they are expressing sincere desire and need to do something,  to the point that most countries that speak portugues will never use it because it implies a level of obligation.  But here in mozambique it is the biggest lie imaginable.  But yeah, in spite of this we have been blessed to find the people who are ready for the message, and they are coming to church, and I am grateful for it.  I am sorry I dont have any cool stories, I will try to be a better missionary this week, so I can tell you about them.  I love you all though, and am grateful for your support, I will pray for all of you, and thank you for your prayers.  Have an amazing week.

Love,

Elder Anthony Holt

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Another Week Down (11-2-15)

Bom Dia Minha Familia e Meus Amigos,
So this was a Great week but this will be a short week because the internet really sucks.  But yeah, this week was a good week of super hard work.  We spent a ton of time finding, and didn’t have a ton of success.  But we have like 3 families that are all legally married and they are all accepting visits.  Unfortuately they are a little more difficult in terms of accepting the truth.  But they are starting to feel the spirit and I know that they will do good eventually.  We also had a crazy miracle last night.  We ran into this woman named Berta Nhambire and she is a member.  She was baptized in Portugal in 1992, which makes her one of the oldest members in the entire country of Mozambique, a pioneer for sure.  But she has her husband, Gomes who is a member of the roman catholic church.  They are legally married, so that is good, but he is very hard against the church.  I have faith though that the spirit can touch him though, and ask for your prayers for the two.  Other than that we knocked a lot of doors, and we just did normal missionary work.  So I want to take a minute though and shout out my mom.  Last week was her birthday, I wont say her age because it doesn’t matter.  But I planned a surprise with my aunt, or I would have given this shoutout last week.  But I just want to, as publicly as my little group email will allow, publicy tell the world how great she is.  She has been my support and I love her so much.  The talks from Conference about moms definitely made me really mom trunky because I miss her so much.  She definitely fits the descriptions of those angel mothers to the letter and I am so grateful for her.  I know I was a punk about it before the mission, but I am and will always be a mommas boy, and she is my momma.  So if you see her, give her a million hugs for me. Anyways, I am gonna finish now so I can get to your personal emails, I hope you all have an amazing week, please send your prayers, I definitely need them.  I miss and love you all soooooooo much. 
With my Love,

Elder Anthony Holt 

Bom Dia (10-26-15)

Meus Queridos, 

This has been a fun week.  By fun I mean the type of fun that I enjoy in starting an area with absolutely nothing and just figuring out how to find and teach people.  It ended up being really productive and the lord blessed us a lot.  I am in a super wealthy area, it is amazing.  I rang a doorbell for the first or second time in my mission.  Acutally like 20.  But it is super cool.  Our area in a period of about a ten minute walk turns from normal rural mozambique to like some of the nicest houses I have seen in my entire life.  It was super cool.  I am grateful because a lot of the families we found were legally married, and they all seem very elect.  We had an amazing experience.  The whole time I have been on my mission I have been really struggling because I feel like I wasnt feeling the spirit.  I went and evaluated everything, from unworthyness, to lack of testimony, to making myself the exception to the rule that the fruits of the spirit come to everyone, and all that because I didn't feel overwhelmed in the spirit.  In this battle I went through and evaluated everything, and fixed everything that seemed broken, but for some reason the spirit still wasnt overwhelming me like I had felt before in my life.  I have never prayed harder, and in some of the times I honestly felt that my prayers went unheard, that I was the exception to the rule, that I had screwed up to bad, or that I was based on a lie.  It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  But, when I fixed what was wrong in my testimony, in my work, when I rebuilt what I knew I expected to feel a flood of the spirit, and it wasnt there.  I started feeling better though a few months ago and finally decided that if it was real, God would tell me eventually, and I would know.  I finally in a Zone Conference 2 weeks ago was translating when I had the thought fill my mind, "Just because you are not overwhelmed by the spirit doesn't mean it isn't there."  So for these last few weeks I have made a serious resolve to always look inward when I teach to see if I could feel the spirit.  As I did so I started to realize that it is there.  It is always there.  When we are in an environment where the spirit can reside, those of us who have been baptized and confirmed by proper authority of God, which exists in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Our lives literally change.  We receive a constant comforter, and friend, that even when we stop believing in him because he isnt making himself so obvious to us that we cant ignore him, he is there, he is subtle, but he is always there.  I realized this as I was teaching a Restoration lesson, one I know like the Back of my hand, when our investigator prayed, in the middle of the lesson, when he asked God if it was true, and after the silence I looked into his eyes, and I didnt even have to ask, because I knew that he had recieved his answer.  I am so grateful for the time I have in this short mission of mine to learn and love, and live.  It is something that has changed my life, and I can not describe how grateful I am for it.  I love every single one of you and wish that those of you who dont share this happiness that comes from this gospel might open your hearts to the message, I promise it will change your life.  It is also my prayer that those of us who know this message, who have this good news, might not keep it in, there are billions of people in this world who do not know that God is our loving heavenly father, that Jesus is the Christ, the redeemer of mankind, and savior of the world.  That through him and by him, we can become eternal beings living and loving forever with those who we truly love.  I know that these thing are true, and as we open our mouths, even to someone who doesnt appear to be the "mormon type" they will be touched because what we teach is not a new doctrine, it wont be the first time they hear it. But because of the Veil a loving heavenly father has placed in our minds, we our the only way they have to remember it.  I love every one of you, and pray for you every day.  I ask for your prayers.  The work is hard, and I need them so badly.  Know that you are always in mine, and that I pray for your well-being.

Ate La no Ceu,

Elder Anthony James Holt

Monday, October 19, 2015

Bom Dia (10-19-15)

FUN VIDEOS OF ELDER HOLT DANCING THE MARABENTA!
(a traditional Mozambiquan Dance) 
Video Credits thanks to Neila!
video

video

So it looks like my days in magoanine have come to an end.  Today is transfers, and for some reason the transfer slide hasnt been sent out yet, at least I havent gotten it, but I have been told by many people that I am going drumroll.... back to the matola zone.  I will be going to matola 2c, but that is still slightly debateble because I havent seen the slide, but I will be training, if that changes though, I will let you know.  This week was super fun, we had zone conference, that was super cool because I got asked to be a translator for those who didnt speak english.  I was very honored, but thankfully it wasnt my first time, but my last time translating was for president kretly and he has a super different accent from president koch, so it took me a little while to get used to hearing president kochs.  But the best part about it was that because it would kill someone to translate for 8 hours straight, we divide in partners and 2 people translate for 3-4 and switch every 30 minutes.  Anyways my team translator was none other than my Trainer, Elder Keck, it was super fun to get to go from him translating for me, to us translating together for my trainees.  The next day we had some difficulties because of rain and power outages, we were walking in rain above our ankles and everyone decided that we weren't working that night, but we really were.  We had a lot of lessons fall this week, and between that and meetings it wasnt the best of weeks.  But it was all good.  We got soaked through and that was fun, afterward we had a new elder come to the house.  The transfers just came out and I will be in Matola 2c training elder Sharpe he is a new elder and I translated for him at zone conference.  But yeah, the next day we had an activity, so we spent the next day learning the marabenta, and that was fun, I think my mom has a copy of the video, the file is to big to email, but I think that a friend from the ward sent it home.  We had our three baptism after that, I only got a photo with one of them, but I will have elder combs send me a copy of the pictures he has, so you will get that next week.  It was a great week though.  I am really sad to go, but I have a new adventure awaiting me, so that is really nice.  I am excited and loving the work.  I think the best thing I have had this week was when I got to really feel the love of christ for my investigators.  I think I realized that when you tell people you love them, you really start to love them.  So I love all of you.

Love,

Elder Anthony Holt
BAPTISM!

Ao Meus Queridos (10-12-15)

Bom Dia,

Everything is going great here in moçambique.  We are working and having little successes a lot.  I am glad that I am here, even though I have spent all my mission until now walking in deep sand.  T3 and Magoanine are famous in our mission for being super sandy, but it is all good.  We are in the last week of the transfer and we will see where things go.  We should have at least one baptism this weekend, maybe three.  We had a boundary discrepancy and we dont know exactly what will happen, but I will let you know next week.  Other than that we spent a lot of time in the house this week.  Our house was getting completely rewired and so we had to spend a few days in the house because of that.  Then we helped out with a dupla that was double booked.  Elder combs got lucky and went teaching, I on the other hand got to spend the whole night in the new house waiting on a refrigerator to come and construct chairs and dressers.  It was all good though because I downloaded conference and we got to a ton of it.  We taught in the little time we had in our area, and have done quite well on our organize the ward project.  The bishopric is on board now, and we are chugging along.  We found 5 new part member families doing this, and I am so excited to see what happened.  Africa is still africa and everything is going well.  I guess everything is just routine I dont have anything cool to write about.  Next week will be good though because we will have our activity and a baptism, it should be great.  Please pray that it will all go well.  I am stressed about the activity, but living in africa is a natural stress reliever so dont worry about me.

Love,

Elder Anthony Holt

Monday, October 5, 2015

Bom Dia (10-5-15)

So, this was a nice week.  We worked really hard had some good success until we got to the weekend and had a lot of distractions.  One of them was the first session of general conference.  We watched it at our bishops house.  It was quite a party, I need to find the liahona email link though, and see if I cant get our picture in the next liahona.  The session started at 6pm for us, and it was in portugues, but it was all good because I actually understood it. It was to the point that I had to mentally switch back to english because I couldnt understand the song, haha.  It was fun though.  Then we left because the 2nd session didnt start until 10pm, even though all of the return missionaries there were telling us to stay, haha.  But yeah I just downloaded all the english talks so we will listen to them during the week.  Technology is nice.  Other than that we had interviews with president, which was really good.  I like president koch a lot, he really gives good advice, and I need to listen to it.  Like having a study journal, oops.  I have been really bad about that.  But yeah, I havent missed yet since my interview.  Also I realized how grateful I am for organization.  Because of the lack of time and technology mozambique has had, our members register is super unhelpful.  So this week and for many more, elder combs and I will be looking to find 308 random mozambiquans with a name and a gps coordinate.  It would be really nice if we had a gps, haha...  But yeah, I think as we organize it we will have a lot more success in our ward.  We are also planning a super awesome activity of cultures.  It is going to be super fun.  I am going to learn a traditional mozambiquan dance called the marabenta.  I will be sure to send you all a video.  But other than that work is going pretty normal.  I still miss you all, but I am loving life here.  I hit 8 months the other day, so that is really wierd.  It seems like its been 2 weeks since I first went in the MTC, but yeah no ones counting anyways.

I love and miss ALL of you,

Elder Anthony Holt
Watching 1st Session of Conference at the Bishop's House
Me and my homie Marcos with our fanny packs!
"THAT IS RIGHT, I AM STILL ROCKIN IT..."

Ola Minha familia e outros queridos (9-28-15)

So it has been another good week here in the land of the red sun.  Granted I havent really seen the red sun this week.  But this week was really good.  We started out working hard, and that is what we did all week.  We did better than we have ever done with lessons since we started whitewashing, including 10 in just 2 days.  But we are going to keep upping that and try for even more this week.  We finally have a really good investigator pool to start with.  We have like 14 families, and then 4/5 individuals.  We are super excited for their progress but are working to get even more.  I think we could have 30 by the end of the transfer.  We have been blessed with some new part member families.  But all in all I think our biggest success this week was with an inactive member.  She was baptized 11 years ago went to church for the lst time 10 years ago.  She has since had a kid, seperated from her husband and is now living in our area.  She is super cool, and us meeting her was definitely a miracle of being in the right place at the right time.  We were walking down the road when she stops and says hi.  We talked and found out she was a member but very proudly inactive.  So we took her number and inv
ited her to church.  We called her the other day and as we were planning our lesson we decided that we were only going to read the book of mormon with her, and let the spirit guide her to church.  This was advice from Elder Hamilton that we got a few weeks ago, and we decided to try it.  It worked really well.  We didnt say a single thing about church in our visits, but she came.  Now we will work with her more, and with her son who is of age to be baptized.  We had many other miracle this week, but I just love this one.  Especially because a lot of our investigators all decided to travel on the same weekend, and we were sittin in church, bummed out because hardly anyone came, when Marta walks in, and I was just so happy and I cant explain it.  Other than that, the week was very good as well.  Summer has started and the weird rain from last week is long gone, lots of hot days and new tans.  My hair is also getting lighter, so its pretty nice.  I am loving life, and very tired all the time.  I definitely miss the southern utah dry heat, as this humidity is making me sweat in places I didnt know I had.  But it is all good, maybe I will finally start losing some weight.  My muscle is long gone, but maybe my fat will leave now too.  I am so grateful though for the Lord in my life, and for his Tender Mercies.  They are so real, and I am so grateful to know he cares enough about me to send them.  I also am sending a picture of our "home gym"  I would say it is really helpful, but between no motivation and only 30 minutes I am not taking a ton of advantage of it.  I will be better this week though.
Love,

Elder Anthony Holt

Home Gym...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Alo (9-21-15)

Bom Dia Meus Queridos,

So I want to start off saying, that whatever you have been praying for this week/doing... KEEP DOING IT!!!  I think I had one of the best weeks of my mission this week in terms of physical success.  We only were able to work 4 days because elder combs was sick.  And in those four days we found 7 new families.  3 came to church, and we found 3 others on sunday after church.  We were so blessed.  And absilom and adalaide were able to get their documents, and we are opening the process tomorrow, in other words "I can hear the bells.'  It was a great week.  Elder Combs and I made a really hard goal two weeks ago, and we sat down and made a plan to reach this goal, and now we are being blessed because we took the plan to the Lord, and worked our butts off.  When last night rolled around, I was more tired than I have been on my entire mission.  Anyways, yeah.  The week was good.  We were in the house on the hot days, because Elder Combs was sick, but on the cold rainy weekend(which is super weird for this time of year) we were working.  I got to finally wear my rain jacket haha, it works really well.  And one pair of my shoes is still water proof, so that is really nice.  Well yeah.  So I really cant think about much else that happened, but we worked a lot, and I really dont know much else.  I am just super ecstatic because of all of our families.  I really pray that all will go well with all of them, and all of the families that we will find this week.  I guess my spiritual thought this week comes from a dream I had this week.  It was really interesting, kind of like a dream in a dream in a dream.  But I remember getting into bed, and I was a returned missionary(I promise I am not trunky), and as soon as I fell asleep, I dreamed I was teaching absilom and adalaide.  This was the first time I have consciously realized I was dreaming in portugues.  Anyways in the dream absilom asked me, why it was that Jesus is so important?  I dont know why but in the dream it really hit me, and I started thinking and next thing I knew I was swept off to a flashback, where I was studying, and I was reading in the bible in Isaiah 53.  It was really weird because it was super realistic. But then I remember reading, "Surely he was bruised for our iniquities... and with his stripes we are healed"  About this time I woke up to go to the bathroom, and then when I laid back down I stayed there for like an hour just thinking, "With his stripes we are healed."   I couldnt stop thinking about them, but I just had the strongest feeling that they were true.  And I want to testify to you all that I know that my savior lives, and that he loves all of us, no matter where we are, or what we are doing.  He suffered for every pain, sin, and difficulty we have or will ever have.   This was confirmed to me, and I know this is true, and that is truly why I am out here, because there are so many people here that dont know that that need it.  I love you all and am so grateful for you support.  Until next time.

Abracos,

Elder Anthony Holt

Monday, September 14, 2015

Faz Calor (9-14-15 End of Week 26)

Bom Dia Meus Queridos,

So this has been a good week, we had transfers, missionaries came and went, and it rained, then it was hot, and then it was cold, and then it rained again. The weather here has been so bipolar, it kind of reminds me of the weather patterns in utah, haha.  But other than that, we have taught some, found some, and discovered new parts of our area.  Our area is super huge, but I finally think I know the boudaries more or less.  It is super hard too because I know that there are really good people in our area, so we are either knocing all the wrong doors or something is up.  I dont really know, haha.  But me and elder combs made a decision to try and work our area in a way that I dont ever think it has been worked, we have put together some plans and we will start tomorrow.  I am super nervous, because it is going to require working at a level that I never thought was possible, and it is going to require the longest days we can possibly put in, but I have a lot of faith, that after putting it into practice for a little bit, we will see the fruits, but if you dont here from me next week, it is because I will be spending my whole p-day recuperating, haha.  I am super excited though and will have to pull into some of my old athlete tank and imagine my coaches saying alright one more 1000 times or so, haha.  If all else fails, we will find out and try something else.  This week we had a really cool experience with a family we found. It really showed me the importance of talking with everyone as a missionary or a member.  So there is this guy we met named ozorio, and we contacted him by knocking the door.  And when we knocked he let us in, and we shared our message, he said it was really interesting that we were there that day because earlier that day a coworker had talked to him about his church at work, and he was really interested.  So we come back 4 days later and we were talking to him again, and the guy says first thing.  So I went and talked with my friend and shared what you guys told me, and he said, those are missionaries from my church, listen to them, they will help you out a lot in your life.  I got to think about this experience and I was amazed at the situation, I cant say it was coincidence, because I have to know better being a missionary, but it was so amazing to me, and I got to thinking how much easier it would be if people would share the message and invite them to recieve the missionaries in our home.  I know references are a million times better than contacts, so you should all think of someone, and then share are message with them, you will never know who the Lord has prepared for you, and if you do this the missionaries will love you for forever and ever.  This gospel is a message of 100% happiness, so spread the joy, dont be selfish and keeps this knowledge fo eternal families, and life after death to yourself.  We know what we know is true, and we know everyone needs it, so if we just open our mouths the lord will bless us.  I know this church is true and that god is our loving heavenly father.  I know that he is the same yesterday, today and forever, and that he loves us the same as his children in ancient times, for that reason we have a prophet today, thomas s monson, he talks with god, and he receives revelation for all of the world.  The priesthood is the power of god on the earth, by and through it I have seen miracles.  Most of all I want to share my testimony that Jesus Christ is our savior, he suffered for us, and he know us perfectly.  Through his atonement, we learn that all of this is possible, and we recieve the strength(grace) to do the impossible.  There is only one true church and I am so grateful for the knowledge that my heavenly father has given me through my prayer and study, and desire to to know, that I can say I Know.  I Love you all so much and look forward to the day when I will see you all again.  A-Frican have a lot of work to do so until then.

Love and Hugs,

Elder Anthony Holt

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Another Day a New Transfer (9-7-15)

So yeah, we had transfers today, I will continue training elder combs in our same area.  I am super excited, because I actually am feeling like I know the area a little bit.  Other than that, the entire mission changed, haha.  But yeah, I am super excited for this transfer.  We should be opening the marriage process for Absilom and Adalaide this week, which will be sweet, because I haven't had a marriage and baptism yet, and I am so excited, and ask for your prayers that all will go well.  But yeah, today I realized that I am in my 5th transfer, which really isn't all that much, but that is like 5 more transfers than I ever imagined would pass by.  The time is definitely going, somedays really slowly, others a lot quicker, but it is a blast, that is for sure.  This week we had our mission tour, which is where an area presidency member gives a tour of our mission, so on wednesday we got to hear from Elder Kevin S. Hamilton of the Seventy.  He was a great speaker, and he talked a lot about the purpose of the plan of salvation and the family in our work.  I can definitely see how important it is, and I am learning more everyday.  It is basically that the plan of salvation is our fundamental doctrine.  It was lost with the great apostasy, and there are a million churches with a million different interpretations of the same scriptures, but between the book of mormon and modern revelation we have 100% surety of why we are here, where we come from, and where we go when all is said and done.  I dont understand why people dont just flock to the font sometimes,  I talk to people who go and mourn for weeks after a passing away, and have no clue where their loved one is, but as soon as someone offers to tell them where he is, and how they can see him again, they dont want to know anymore.  It is weird, it is like we are holding a million dollar check in their face, but they are turning it down because they dont want to go to the back to cash it.  It is probably the most frustrating part of missionary work, and the greatest gift god ever gave us: Agency.  The other thing I am so grateful for is a living prophet.  The more I think about it the more it only makes sense that we have someone on the earth to direct the church with his authority.  It is another golden truth that makes no sense to me when people turn it down.  Satan is definitely rampant, and it sucks, but it is all part of the work.  We also have been working with two families and they have talked with bishop and will go to the temple in november, so that is super awesome, there is so much sacrifice at times, but I think Joseph Smith once said, A church that doesn't believe in sacrifice will never have faith sufficient enough to produce miracles.  So yeah, this was a little bit of a slower week work wise, which gave me a little more time to think, but I see miracle that come from faith.  Heck, my being here right now is a miracle, especially when I think of everything I was doing a year ago to get here.  It all seemed so distant and impossible, but it definitely isn't, that is for sure.  This week I will hit a year since I turned in my papers, it is crazy.  I Love you all, and hope you have an amazing week.  I cant wait to hear all about them.

Love,

Elder Anthony Holt

Monday, September 7, 2015

Meus Queridos... (8-31-15)

Boa tarde,

So, I am just sitting here sweating.  Summer is starting here, and man It is gonna be a warm one, that is for sure...  But yeah.  This was definitely a good week here in the vineyard.  I guess you could say we are pretty close to the part of the vineyard the lord is burning because it is very very hot.  Sorry for that missionary humor there, I guess that sounded better in my head than on paper, or the screen i guess...  The lord is definitely blessing us though, we had two new families found and elder combs and I both feel really good about working in a part of our area that has hardly been worked.  This means a lot of walking, in the heat.  But like I said the Lord is mindful of us, and our hot water broke so we have nice cold showers to get our body heat down to temperature normal when we get home.  I also notice that my shirts were not very white compared to my companions this week.  That is realy depressing because when I look at them I think they are super white, but when he stands next to me they just look not white at all.  But it is ok because I have 8 brand new ones in a space bag to be opened in a few months.  My area is still very sandy, but we had the best contacting experience this week.  So we were walking down the road when a member told us to come play a game of dama(checkers on steroids) with him, so we did, and while we were playing he called his neighbor over and taught him the restoration with us.  It was a super prepared guy and he has a member friend and everything and we have an excuse to play dama every few days when we go to teach him.  We got to teach the 5th sunday lesson yesterday about how to help the missionaries, that was really fun, I really love teaching.  I guess I love being a missionary in general, I dont know if I dont remember my last life, but I really love what I am doing, and I love every single day more than the one before it.  We are being so blessed though.  So 3 weeks ago elder combs got here, and we started working in our area with no one to teach.  Now we have 8 families, and another part-member family, and the icing on the cake is that one of the families will open the process next week.  The lord is blessing us immensely.  We still have a ton of work to do, and unfortunately will have to drop a few families, but I trust that we will always find more.  We also got to try a new fruit this week called masala.  It is like a coconut shell with a seed pod inside, so you open it up and then you take a bite of the fruit and suck the juice out and spit out the lima bean sized seed.  It tastes like mashed up bananas, so it was a good experience.  There are also like 100 seeds per fruit and it looks like vomit.  I think my most spiritual experience personally this week was as I was reading the book of mormon.  I prayed to know if it was true and all the sudden this weird thought came into my head.  As a child I never asked a magic 8 ball or anything if the book was true, something deep withing has always felt it was true.  I was not doubting my testimony or anything, but I just wanted to ask again.  And I will say,  don't doubt what you have always known. Our strongest testimonies have been with us since we were innocent little children.  Anyways, I love you all, I miss you so much.  Have an amazing week.

Abracos for everyone, except the women because I am set apart ;)

Elder Anthony Holt
Trying a new fruit-MASALA-he says it tastes like mashed up bananas--not sure he is loving it!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Novidades do outro lado do mundo (8-24-15)

Bom Dia,

So this has been a really good week.  It passed really well, but felt super long.  We had two division, I had one with elder larsen, and the other with elder hruby.  They talk about a division curse, and I am sure it is a load of crap, but for some reason on those days we had 4 or more lessons drop.  I guess I am getting used to it.  Unfortunately contacting didnt work super well those nights either.  I guess we were just supposed to learn something and I havent figured out what it was yet.  I have been good though.  I am getting more used to the hard work every day.  I love being with Elder Combs.  It is super cool to be with a brand new missionary, because when missionaries leave the mtc they have some kind of a light within themselves, and it is helping me alot to be more spiritual.  As much as I thought a mission would be super spiritual for 2 years without stopping, being honest I have never been so spiritually exhausted in my life.  But I think at those times I have felt something guiding me along.  It is definitely super hard, but at the end I know that I am recieving more strength than I have, and more energy than I have.  That doesnt mean I wont still take a super good nap this P-day afternoon,but it is still good.  This week we found a super cool investigator name Paula.  She is a single mother of 2, and we found her knocking doors.  On the first day she was asking us about church and in the second lesson she asked, "How do I get baptized?" I being stupid thought she was asking about the way she gets baptized and I was like, "So you will get into a font with a man that has the priesthood, and then he will say a prayer and put you under the water..." She cut me off and said, "No, not that, what do I have to do to get to that point?"  I was very taken aback, but we explained the process and her next question was, "well then how fast can you teach me the lessons?" We are super excited for that, she came to church with her kids, even though the member that was supposed to take her forgot, and we are having a family night with her tonight.  I dont think it will be possible to baptize her before the end of the transfer, but the first of next transfer for sure.  I think we might wait until the 26th of september though,and we have 3 other families with that date for their marriage and baptism.  Other than that this week was very much a run of the mill week, but it is all good.  I have learned a lot about the importance of prayer, and the temple convenants in the field.  I was reading in doctrine and covenants, and preach my gospel, and I think I understand why missionaries get their endowment before the field, and not before marriage.  The Lord has really listed out specific blessings that come with this Endowment of Power from On High.  I am still learning how to recognize these promises in my own work, but there are such amazing things in the scriptures if we just open them with the intent of coming out better that we started.  I love and miss you all, and am so greatful for your support.

Abraços Firmes,

Elder Anthony Holt

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Mais Uma Semana Na Africa (8-17-15)

Bom Dia, 

So this has been a good week.  I dont know if i mentioned this or not yet, but Elder Combs and I are whitewashing, and so we started the area out by dropping a bunch of people that werent proressing, then we started finding and this week we got to see a lot of the fruits of our finding.  We were able to give 8 people(4 families) baptismal dates, and they all accepted.  We also had the marriage talk with 2 of them.  They both accepted, but one of the families had a doubt about doing the marriage now.  There is huge traditions here with marriage, Lebollo, Presentation Ceremony, and the actual marriage, and it is super ridiculous, becasue it is all of the devil. I told one of the families that all this stuff was not designed to help make the marriage better, but only to hinder it, and my comp was very surprised at how direct I was.  I have learned very well how to be direct, because here if you just beat around the bush the people dont understand and it is super frustrating.  Anyways, none of them will be baptized within this transfer, but I they should be baptized next transfer, so that is super exciting.  I cant believe we are already in week 4 of this transfer, it is flying by.  On saturday we had a mormon helping hands project, it was at a school, and when we got there a bunch of kids that werent supposed to be there were using the facilities for sports, and because we cant do work in schools if there are children we  couldnt participate.  Instead president koch said, lets have a half p-day since you all came into the city, and we went and played soccer at a field near by, then they took us all out to kfc, it was pretty dope, but today we will cut our p-day a little bit to compensate.  We are finding a lot still, and it is the hardest part of missionary work, and I feel bad because my companion is struggling with it a lot, I feel super inadequate as a trainer, but I am grateful that I have the oppurtunity because it is forcing me to grow in ways that werent possible before.  I also am more tired than I have ever been in my life, I will not, and can not say that the mission is easy, but I am enjoying it, and I wake up in heaven every single, at least after I get up and going.  I am really loving it though, because I feel really comfortable with the language, and now it is just workand grind time.  I never thought is was possible to be tired spirituall, but I am feeling it a lot right now, but it is all good.  I did get to give a talk yesterday in church with about 10 minutes notice, but it was a good experience.  

I think the biggest lesson I have learned these last few weeks is about sacrifice.  I keep asking myself why sacrifice is so prevalent here, I never felt like I was sacrificing when I was back home, but I am sacrificing myself every single day, and I ask people to sacrifice to follow god every day as well, and I was really struggling with it until I was teaching a family the importance of putting God in the first place with getting married, and all the sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks.  The feeling I had reminded me of a talk by Elder Holland, where he says, "I am so convinced that Sacrifice is necessary because salvation is not a cheap experience."  In that moment my thoughts became his, and I realized that as we sacrifice we are literally doing the same thing that our Savior did for us.  We are nowhere near the level he was, but as we sacrifice, we learn a little bit about what he had to go through, even though it is smaller than a billionth of a part of what he suffered, for us it brings us that much closer to him.  And in those moments he reaches out to us and gives us his strength.  We may not sacrifice our life, we might not give our only begotten son.  But when we give up what is importance, we become as Elder Holland says, "more acquainted with the greatest person that has ever lived."  "Sacrifice brings forth the blessing of heaven," and these blessing come in the form of Him reaching down with His hand, to pick us up, when the sacrifice knocks us off our feet.  To succor the wound of which only he knows the pain, be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.  I am so blessed because I have been set apart by His holy Priesthood, to be literally represent Him, and to be a witness of Him to this people of this blessed land.  Because of this, I am blessed because I am starting to recognize His grace, and I am seeing His hand, in my life, more so than I have yet witnessed.  Is the mission hard?  Without the slightest shadow of a doubt.  It is the biggest sacrifice I have yet made in my entire life.  Yet, through this sacrifice I have come to know my Savior in a more personal way that I would have ever thought possible. I love you all and I miss you so much, but please do not worry about me, I am here in the only place I should be right now.  Please continue sending your prayers, we need them so much, and you could also send some pixie sticks and red vines if its not too much to ask, and if it is, just letters and emails will suffice. 

Ate O Dia Glorioso em que nos reunimos, Vosso Missionario, Amigo, e Irmao,

Elder Anthony James Holt

(Below are some pictures the family they baptized a couple of weeks ago posted on facebook for me of Anthony-Treasures for sure!)




Thursday, August 13, 2015

My Comp Came!!!!! (8-10-15)

So this week was awesome.  On friday my new comp came, and I finally got to get back under a mosquito net again.  I was very sick and tired of getting attacked a billion times every night, and I just dont sleep as well without a net.  My new companions name is Elder Combs and he is from Denver, he knew Elder Walton, so that is really cool.  We got to work on friday night as soon as he got here, and we were able to teach a family and help them understand the importance of not waiting to get married, and put the 
lord in the first place.  The accepted, and I am so grateful for that.  It will still be a long process to get there documents, but at least now they are focusing on the important things.  On saturday we had a zone training in the city, which was really good, our zone leaders did a really good job and I really feel like the Ideas that they presented will really help our work progress, I really feel like it was one of the best zone trainings I have been to on the mission.  That night we were able to put some of the ideas into practice and on the first door we knocked we sat with and amazing new family and I really hope that they will do well.  Then on sunday we got to participate in the first stake conference in all of mozambique.  The districts became stakes when I was in the mtc and my first weekend, and so I was really happy to at least be a part of the first stake conference.  The biggest blessing of the conference was getting to witness the first patriarch in mozambique be called.  He has less than 30 years and so he will be a patriarch for a very long time.  The spirit was so strong when he was called and it was truly a blessing for mozambique and definitely a tendr mercy to witness.  That night we found another awesome family, and had a great lesson with them.  I really hope that we will find some good families that will truly progress so that Elder Combs can see the fun side of missionary work.  We have been doing all of the nitty-gritty stuff, and it is really difficult, so I pray that I will have the strength to lead out on it, and make it fun as well.  We really dont have anyone to teach, so I feel bad, but it is definitley teaching me a new aspect of the work.  We will work with the bishopric this week to try andput together a better plan, and I am ingeneral excited for the things that will happen.  I still feel super unqualified as a trainer, I feel like I should be in training, and not doing the training, but Elder Combs is awesome, he speaks very well, and will be an awesome missionary.  I also had the oppurtunity on sunday to see my old ward at the stake conference, and one of my recent-convert families had written letters for me.  It was super moving to read the testimony of someone you taught the first lesson two.  These people definitely have a firm hold on my hearts, and I love them so much. I dont have a card reader today, so i cant send a picture of us, but I will try to find one.  I also love all of you, and am so grateful for your prayers.
With all my love,
Elder Anthony Holt  

New Week, No Comp (8-3-15)

So, how are you all doing?  This week has been another great week here in Mozambique, as you all know, I was transferred last week to Magoanine.  It is nice, there is a lot of sand, but I am ver used to walking in sand, so it isnt a big deal.  I have still not received my new companion as he will not be here until thursday, but once he gets here we will hit the ground running.  We are whitewashing(two elders both new to the area), and there isnt a ton fo anything in the area, so we are starting from the ground up.  It is very hard work, but I am exciting.  I think my area has a lot of potencial, and I cant wait to put 100% of my focus to my area.  Because I am without a companion, I am walking with Elder Johnson and Elder Larsen in there area, and I have only had 3-4 hours a day in my area, which is not sufficient for what I need to be doing.  That will change though and I hope to be able to build a firm foundation for this area, I will definitely need your prayers for strength and what not, so feel free to keep them coming.  In terms of life here in mozambique, life is life.  It is a lot of fun, a lot of work, and the winter is very cold.  I cant wait to get some summer, but I am sure I will regret saying that here in a few months.  I am in an awesome ward, and house, I havent had a chance to take pictures, but I will send them as soon as I get them.  I really dont have any pictures, but this week we will have a stake conference and that is super excitings, especially because we will get the first patriarch here in the country.  It will really be amazing for the people, and I am so excited.  I cant think of much else to say, but I really feel like I am learning to speak by the spirit better, we have had a few lessons this week, where the words I said were not things I would normally say, but the feeling of peace was so strong, and I was so grateful.  My biggest advice would be to learn how the spirit feels for you.  I have struggled with that a lot on the mission, and now after 6 months I finally feel like I am starting to get a grasp on it personally.  I am amazed that 6 months has passed.  It has been arduous and so difficult.  But the time has really passed quickly.  Part of me wants it to slow down.  As I said some goodbyes to the people in t3, i really felt that in some situations I would never see some of those people again until the spirit world.  I love these people so much.  They are so humble and inspiring to me, and as much as I miss all of you, please dont worry about me, I have been adopted into the mozambiquan family, I am mozambiquan, and these are my people, they are taking care of me, and I love them so much.  I hope I will have some good stories to tell you all next week, but if not I will at least have a new companion to tell you about.  Thank you so much for your prayers, and love.

Love and Miss You,
Elder Anthony Holt

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sinto me que a missao é cheio com despedidas (7-27-15)

So this has been a good week.  Like my subject line said, I am feeling that missions are full of goodbyes.  Today I recieved the transfer notice and I will be leaving T3.  I was only here for three transfers, but I really love these people and this ward.  I can't say that I always got along with them, but in the end I will really miss them.  Today I will be going to magoanine(maw-gwa-nee-nee).  It is also down here in the south, I will move houses and zones, I will be a little closer to the ocean,but we don't swim anyways.  The area I have been in is the 2nd most sandy area in the mission, and my new one is the1st.  I might have a gut when I get home, but I will also have big legs.  This last week in t3 was good though.  We had a baptism on saturday.  Seovana, Dique, Djeni, Eron, and Lindalva were all baptised, they are the children of a family that will be married and baptized in december, but the children are very strong and we felt that they should be baptized without waiting.  The three oldest are already talking about going on a mission, and the oldest wants to leave as soon as possible.  She might wait a little bit to go to the temple with her family though,we will see.  I had the privelige to baptize Dique, he is my same age, and is super awesome, he will be a great missionary when he serves here in a few years.  On sunday I had the privelige to confirm lindalva, she is the cutest little girl I have ever seen, and started refusing to let us leave without giving a hug.  She told me yesterday that she wants to marry me...  She is 9.  We will have another baptism here in a week, and because I will be close and she asked me to baptize her, I will try to be there because it is very close.  My new companion...  I don´t know who he is.  On the transfer slide it has me, and then my companion is blank. I only know that I am training him.  We heard that a few elders were delayed in the mtc, and will be here in a few weeks, so I think it is one of them.  But I do know that I am training.  I am super honored, and really nervous, but it should be a lot of fun especially because we are whitewashing.  I gave a talk in church yesterday.  We were a little behind, and so the bishop asked me to cut it from 10 minutes to 5, I did my best and went a little over at 7 minutes.  I was feeling really bad, but the last speak (the1st counselor in the stake presidency) didnt care, and he just got up and spoke for 35 minutes, which made it an almost 2 hr sacrament meeting.  It was definitely an adventure.  I cant think of much else cool happening,but I will let you know what I learn about my companion.  I love you all, and am so grateful for your love and prayers.  Please keep them coming. 
Love,
Elder Anthony Holt
Seovana, Dique, Djeni, Eron, and Lindalva were all baptized, they are the children of a family that will be married and baptized in December.
This is a picture I found on the Facebook page of the mom in the top picture, so I am not really sure who is who and the quality is not great.
Picture of me making cookies, I am learning how to do it all from scratch, they were really good, I also made peanut butter cookies this week.
Elder Holt with Lindalva, the girl he confirmed on Sunday.  She is 9 years old and she told him she wants to marry him.

They say hindsight is 20/20 (7-20-15)

So I guess if you couldn´t tell by my title, i have been doing a lot of reflecting this week.  So I realized that hypothetically speaking I had not left ony my mission early, assuming I got the same call but the first available day after graduation, I would be coming into the field here in a day or two.  I decided I should look at the tender mercies the lord gave me, but I won`t right them all, because I don`t have that much time.  It starts from the first day I got here.  I had a goal to be fluent in portuguese before the end of my 2nd transfer.  A very hard goal, but I wanted it bad.  Between my two trainers, one a native and the other a very good speaker a brazillian missionary who lives in our house told me I was fluent in my 10th week.  I don´t think that could have happened without the situation.  The second thing was some of the people I met.  In the last two transfers we sent home like 40 missionaries, and I didn´t have a huge relationship with them all, but the ones that I was friends with taught me and encouraged me, to help me get through what was some the hardest weeks of my life.  I also got two and a half transfers with president kretly, who was amazing and did so many great things for this country.  I also get the chance to serve under two different presidents, which I consider a great blessing, and a great oppurtunity as I have the chance to work under two different amazing men who were called of god.  The blessing though that stood out to me the most was some lessons that I would have never had had I not been here.  We have 6 people that will be baptized on saturday and I taught all of them since I have been here.  I have been with them through the restauration until the end, and it is truly sweet to see them preparing this last week before baptism. Some lessons stick out however, the one with Irmã Gina, and then this last week had a lesson with Irmã Joana who told us that here sister died but because of money she couldn´t go to the funeral.  I realized then, that my experiences in my life helped me so much to testify of the truth of teh atonement and the plan of salvation, as the words left my lips I didn´t know I was saying them, only that I believed him.  I can´t say either that my investigators conversion was because of me,but my personal conversion that they helped me rediscover was something priceless.  So when I look at what I missed going out early, Graduation, senior trip, time with family, girls I was barely getting to know, jobs, wrestling, normal clothes, 2ply toilet paper, school, scholarship oppurtunities, water that doesn´t kill you if you don´t filter it...  I left a lot.  I know it is true, but I want to tell you all that I know I did what was right.  Never have I been so sure of something.  As I look at myself here in africa, I am a tiny little person in a marvilous plan of an all powerful creator.  I am so small.  But I am doing the lords work, I walk with my savior every day, and I get to know him better every day.  I see his light in the eyes of the people I teach, I see his touch in their lives, and I feel his arms lifting me when I don´t think I can knock another door, or teach another lesson.  So like we say her, é vale a pena. (It is worth it) 
I love and miss you all so much, but dont worry I am in my home,
Kanimambo,
Elder Anthony Holt
Elder Holt with some children. (Not sure who they are as he didn't tell me)
 A FEW EXTRA TID BITS:
 We found some playing cards in the market and so whoever doesn´t cook at lunch plays nerts, I taught it to teh elders in our house, holy crap that game gets intenses.  But yeah, other than that and normal missionary stuff I have just done manly stuff.  Like I fixed our sink with some plumbing problems the other day, and then I killed a rat.  It was super intense.  Every one was swinging brooms and stuff but I didn´t have one, so I just grabbed my sandal and dove and smashed the crap out of him.  Then we burned it.  It was super funny, I wish I could have got it on video though.