Serving February 4, 2015 - January 16, 2017

Serving February 4, 2015 - January 16, 2017

WRITE ME!

WRITE ME!

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.

Abra├žos 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