Serving February 4, 2015 - January 16, 2017

Serving February 4, 2015 - January 16, 2017



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. 
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,
Elder Anthony Holt
Elder Holt with some children. (Not sure who they are as he didn't tell me)
 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.  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sorry this isn't a kwality email (7-13-15/End of Week 17)

So this week I don't have a lot to write about.  We were just out here in T3 working, sweating, somedays freezing.  I had to wear a sweater 3 days this week.  It gets cold in africa, granted my body has adjusted a lot to the temperature here.  We kept teaching our investigators, we have 6 that will be baptized on the 25th, I am so excited, they are super awesome.  Especially Joana.  We met her on the first week of last transfer and invited her to church.  She felt like she should come and did for 3 weeks, and because of how many people we talk to, we didn't remember who she was.  As we visited her house we remembered knocking on the door, but anyways, she has progressed immensely and wants to be baptized so we will baptize her.  She has such trust in the Lord.  A few weeks ago we found out that she would have to leave the house she was in because the landlord's brother had been in a huge accident, and needed to come to T3 to be close to the hospital.  She prayed really hard and we prayed with and for her, and she found a house and she mad a huge sacrifice to stay within the area of the church.  She makes 1500 metacais a month( about $40)  And her rent is also 1500 a month.  She has no money for anything, but she has the faith to pay tithing, and I feel that she will be immensely blessed because of it.  I love these people so much, they are so humble and they are amazing, I have learned a lot about what living is really about, you don't need a million dollars, all you need is xima and beans and a smile.  Life is amazing here, I can't imagine being anywhere else, I love and miss you all, but the thought of home isn't home to me, I am Mozambiquan, and these are my people, so don't worry about me, I am the best place I can imagine, even if it is making me a little bald.

I Love you all, ate proxima,

Elder Anthony Holt

Sweet Note from Anthony's New Companion (6-29-15)

Good Morning Mother of Elder Holt,
I just wanted to tell you that I am happy to be serving with your son! Even though he uses a fanny pack I am still proud to call him my companion!
I can tell the love he has for You, His mother and the rest of the family! It truly does make a difference when he bares testimony of eternal families.
He has learned the language faster than any other missionary I have seen on the mission. I have over a year on the mission and I can say he speaks better than most people who have much more time than him. 

Well I just wanted to say thank you for being a wonderful Mother to Elder Holt!
Elder Holt & His companion Elder Brown (He is the one on the far right.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bom Dia agui fala aquele gordinho voces amam (7-6-15/End of Week 16)

Bom Dia

So if you didn't understand my subject line, I said Good Morning, this is the little fatty you all love.  I swear, africa is playing games with my mind, somedays I am looking nice and trim, others I swear I look like a ate a little child, it makes no sense to me.  Also my comp likes to tell me im going bald with doesn't help with my self esteem at all.  I just think that I am getting old, this morning we played soccer with a bunch of jovens we won, I marked 7 times, it was sick, I nailed a corner kick to when the game, but the jovems all whined and said it didn't count because someone wasn't ready.  But it was all good, because two minutes later I nailed a sick shot from mid-field.  I really regret not playing soccer now, I might not have been good, but I walk all over the africans, so maybe they would have let me wear a jersey.  Oh well.  The reason I told that story was because I said I was getting cold right... so this game ended, and I felt really good all game, and then as we walked out my body just started to ache.  I am so out of shape, and I think that this is just a sign that my life is on the downhill, but it is all good, I don't want to get old, just live my life have some fun, get married, adopt a couple black children, and then kick the bucket.  Sounds perfect right?  So as bad as my body hurts, its just a part of the dream.  So that was probably really weird, but I can't really think straight, so oh well.  

This week though was very hard.  On thursday we recieved news that my recent-convert Gina, who I baptized a while ago.  So she moved to a place pretty far away and a little crazy, but in the middle of the night her house was robbed and she was raped.  It was super sad, and it just hit like a ton of bricks.  In that situation, nothing else mattered, we just got to the city as soon as possible.  A true tender mercy was that she told us she got out of the house as soon as possible, and that she brought only the clothes on her body and her book of mormon.  She hadn't slept for 5 days when we found out and first visited her, and we sat in what was probably the most powerful lesson I have ever sat in on my mission.  We had no clue what to say, but the only thing that seemed to make sense was the atonement.  Which is something I have been a little weak in in my testimony lately.  I realized though as I was bearing my testimony that the advice, "A testimony is only to be found in the bearing of it" is so true.  As I went to say I believe in this...  Or I believe in that...  the words wouldn't come out, because something deep inside me told me that I knew these things were true.  I don't think I have ever felt more powerful words leave my lips.  They were my words, but they were truths that I have learned for myself.  I gave her the same advice that was given to me almost 6 years ago.  You have two options: Embrace God, or push him out of your life completely.  God didn't make it hurt less, he didn't take the pain away.  He did the same thing he did for the people of Alma.  I became strong enough to bear the burden.  I have seen this happen countless times on the mission.  And I am learning more of it every day.  Only now that I have the oppurtunity to be the person brings the Palavras de Deus(word of God) do I have the oppurtunity to remember and learn for myself that Jesus Christ is the Word.  When we share our testimonies we share Christ with the people who listen.  As an ordained representative of Jesus Christ, I am only starting to get a glimpse of the significance of this designation.  I had the oppurtunity to be the mouthpiece for my Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ.  For those of you preparing to serve a mission, never forget that you are ordained to represent the Lord Jesus Christ himself.  His words are yours, his actions are yours.  And whenever you bring Christ into the life of someone, you are blessed immensely with more personal knowledge.  Only this week did I learn my answer to why after nearly 6 years I can't simply forget the things that happened to me the day I lost my father.  I vividly rememebr every minute from that morning.  But the thing I learned is that these things that happen in our life cut us, not physically, but spiritually.  And its like stitches.  I nearly cut my finger off 4 years ago, it hurt, forever.  I have an ugly scar that I see everyday, that reminds me of what happened, and the stupid things I shouldn't have done.  But, I wouldn't take away that scar for a billion dollars.  The Atonement is the same way.  I can't forget these events because they made me who I am today.  Do they still hurt, sometimes, but not a ton, and not for long.  But without them, what would I not have.  For me it took 6 years and a traumatic situation of someone I love to figure it out.  But I testify, that the atonement is the most real thing we have.  I can't express my graditude for it.  I know that through Jesus Christ, Gina will be healed.  I can't imagine her life had she not recieved the missionaries 6 months ago.  That is our purpose as missionaries.  I am a living, breathing, and Imperfect representative of the Ressurected, Breathing, and Perfect Savior of the World.  I have felt his words leave my lips, and I have seen his healing power touch lives.  Only 3 days ago did I have the oppurtunity to be the Tool by which he alleviated nightmares that kept Gina from sleeping for 5 days.  She slept without a problem since then.  It wasn't me, I have no power like that.  I only was blessed enough to be the tool by which Our Savior healed her.  I am so grateful for that.  And if any of you ever wonder why I am serving, this is why.  I have the oppurtunity to bring Jesus Christ into the lives of all the people I talk.  And as he touches them, it touches me.  I know He lives.  His atonement is real, and there exists no thing on this earth that is not subject to his immense power.  I am his Representative.  I have seen his hand only this week.  His words are mine.  I love him so much.  And I am so grateful for the oppurtunity which I have to walk side by side with Him every Day.  He is my fourth companion.  Elder Brown, Jesus Cristo, and My father.  This is the true church, and 2 years is not enough time to repay him for all he has done for me, I hope that you all will use his atonement, and be healed, he will touch your life, I know this without a doubt.  The door is open, you just have to choose to walk through.  Obrigado por suas orações e amor.  Estou imensamente grato por seu apoio.  

Com Amor,

Elder Anthony Holt

Chapas and more Chapas (6-29-15/End of Week 15)

So bom dia all of you,

Here in mozambique we are having a good time.  We had a week sort of interesting this week.  We had like 3 meetings in matola and maputo so all of the traveling left us witih like 3 complete days where we were inside of chapas or belayas(hitchiking).  We learned a lot, and have sore lower halfs if you know what I am saying.  Along with that our numbers were kind of low as well.  We went through and really analyzed the area and we dropped a lot of people, which means we are doing a lot of finding.  Finding is not the funnest, and it means we will have a lot of really long days, but our area has kind of a really bap reputation in the mission, and we are working to try and change that.  The weather is pretty chill, i have worn a sweater a few times.  Portuguese is good, I feel comfortable speaking in basically all situations.  I think I might try and start learning the dialect, it is so freaking hard though.  We had a family that is getting ready to be married, so I am super excited for that.  We also will continue to help our other families progress. There wasn't much interesting that happened this week, we said goodbye to president and sister kretly.  It was sad, but we are grateful for all they have done.  President Koch will get here on wednesday and president kretly leaves on thursday, it could be a very interesting week, that could be crazy, but I don't think to much will change here at first.  We are just going to keep working, and praying for our families.  If you all want to no something, feel free to ask.  Also I am going to send a picture of my jerseys.  We can pick them up cheap here, and I think they are stolen from South Africa, but oh well, they are sweet.  I am starting to love futbol as well, it is pretty much my favorite sport now, other than Mata-Mata(Kill-Kill) this game they play here.

Thanks for your love and prayers, sending my love,
Elder Anthony Holt

The Jerseys are in order Top and then bottom: Black Ronaldo Madrid with dragons, Long sleeve south africa from the 2010 world cup, cote d'ivoire drogbah, Ghana Black stars, Rooney, Manchester United Long-sleeve, White madrid, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Brasil Ronaldinho.

Pictures with some African Children