Serving February 4, 2015 - January 16, 2017

Serving February 4, 2015 - January 16, 2017



Monday, February 29, 2016

Semana De Achando (2-29-16)

This like my subject says, was a week of finding.  Elder Stewart and I worked hard, especially with two weird days where we lost a lot of time, but we managed to teach a ton, and find a ton, and they all seem to have potential.  Unfortunately of the two best looking families we found, one gave birth on sunday, and the other had to work on sunday, but his wife came, so we think that is a good sign, and he told us he would come next week when he didn't have to work on sunday.  Here most people work a shift called turnos, it is like 2 days off, and then 2 days starting in the morning, two days starting at night, and then it starts over, and because there is 7 days in a week, their days off are always different, but we are working with them, and they were a reference family so that helps a ton.  Other than that, Mendes is being a straight bum, and just doesn't want to get married which is a major roadblock for the whole family, and so we are kind of unsure what we should do, but we will keep praying for him, I have started praying that the lord will let something happen that will help him be a little more openminded.  But we also started teaching a part member family this week.  His wife is the relief society president, they are super wealthy, she went to Bern, Switzerland to receive her own endowment...  But yeah, his name is Hanibal, and we were meeting him, and he was a little drunk, so we didn't teach him, but he sure likes to argue against the church, he is a non practicing super devout catholic, just like every other catholic in this country. He is anti any religion that claims to be the only true religion, so it will be fun to break it too him that the catholic church claims that... He also was in boxers when we showed up, smoking a pipe, so that was fun.  But he is very intelligent.  He was attacking the practice of polygamy or something, and I said, Hanibal, if you want to know what we teach, and understand it, you have to go to good sources, you are never going to learn the truth from an anti mormon site.  As soon as I said this his wife was all like, ''See that, they know...  you just like to get on the anti sites, but the men are inspired they know!!!''  I guess it was inspiration, but I just figured he had been looking at them because he was the first Mozambiquan in my year here that referred to us as Mormons, and the Mormon Church, so feel free to remember him in your prayers, fasts, and on the prayer roll.  But I felt inclined (not sure if I can say inspired yet) to promise him that I would baptize him, and I talked with his wife on sunday and I guess that made him reflect a lot.  So basically Elder stewart and I are doing as many spiritual push ups as we can, and sharpening the sword of the spirit, because we are about to take on goliath, except instead of a 9 cubit height, I think it is a 9 cubit diameter, just joking but he is a big guy.  So other than that I will send a poem I wrote a few months ago, I have picked up on poetry lately because song writing is really difficult as I have lost all of my english vocabulary, and I dont have a guitar.  But it is called I'll shine for him each day.

Jesus wants me for a sunbeam,
he has called me from my youth
To do what sunbeams do the best
To light the world with his truth

A sunbeams job is never easy
and never has it been
Through clouds of darkness I must fight
But light will always win

And where I am not, its plain to see
for without light nothing grows
but as you let the savior in
your life begins to glow

A sunbeam works without much rest
but its a job that must be done
So forever I'll work because I know
my light comes from The Son

So I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.  I love and miss you all and wish you the best of weeks and Days.

Elder Anthony Holt 
Elder Holt carrying a daughter of an investigator

Elder Stewart carrying the same daughter of an investigator
*photo found from Elder Stewart's Blog*

**Found this from blog surfing, it is from Elder Holt's new companion.  I hope it's okay for me to post here.  Elder Stewart gives a little more incite to what the area is like and the work they did last week.**
I like my new area a lot. It is sandier and bigger. We have a main road that has lines on it. That was a big change. The road runs strait to South Africa. A lot more of the members here have been to the temple. We are working with one member's husband, and she can afford to drive down to the temple every other month. I can see the difference with members who have gone to the temple. 

I like my new companion a lot. He is nice, funny, and works hard. We have 4 Elders in our house, 3 Americans and one Brazilian. He doesn't speak English, and his accent is different to me, so I still don't understand him very well. We take turns cooking, but I didn't know that last week, so I bought lots of food, and then didn't have to use a lot. This week I don't have to buy as much. We eat out once or twice a week. There is an Indian restaurant across the street that is good, and then I am right by a KFC that I want to go to today. We go there usually on p-day, and then maybe one other day of the week. The food is a lot better down here. We have a lot bigger of a selection. Up north it was only ShopRite, and another smaller store. Here, they have several super markets. Some of them are bigger and more expensive so we don't go to them. I am going to one today that apparently sells skittles. 

We have a bunch of investigators right now. Last week we found 11 investigators. We are doing lots of house contacts; contacting people we get rides from, and then referrals from members. I think that I like the work here a little better than my last area. Contacts are a little harder, and people are as well, but I like it. I am really happy to be serving right now. In the conference with Elder Anderson, he said we have and are building temples in Africa, why not here in Mozambique. I think that it would be built down here in Maputo. It is more developed, and they could use workers from South Africa to build it. The style here is not that strong. They just make stone blocks from sand, a little cement, and then water. If they are well off, they will spread the sand cement mixture on the walls, and maybe paint. It is sandy here. I walk on the tire paths because it is more compact. 

I like my new area. It is a lot bigger. We got a ride in a semi truck the other day. It was an awesome ride. We just hitchhike depending on how far we are from our house and the time. It is a little hard not knowing the area, or the people here. I am starting to get going though. It is funny because an investigator that I visited when I worked in Matola my first week in country is in our ward. I am in the same area now. It was funny because I recognized his house when we went there. 

We put in a good 24 lessons this week, and had 11 new investigators. It was a good week. Our ward had around 100 people in it on Sunday, so that was good. They fixed the AC for the Elder Anderson conference, but they don't know where the remote went, so they didn't use it on Sunday. I haven't got my Christmas package yet, but I will let you know when it comes.

I will try to stay safe with the crazy driving here. I have to say, they don't give you space when they drive; sometimes it feels like they get closer. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

6 Missionarios na Casa, 5 Dias Duros, 4 Pesquisadores, 3 Autoridades Gerais, 2 Companheiros, e Uma Semana Maravilhosa (2-22-16)

Whats up my homies, as in my family and friends at home.  This was a great week, I wont translate my subject, I hear they have apps for that.  But yeah, so I really dont know where to start.  So this week Elder Sharpe and I worked really hard, and did a lot of good, I will start by writing about one of the more spiritual lessons of the week.  We were out knocking doors, and it was a little late, and we were talking to this woman about the church and asked if her husband was home, and she told us he had passed away 2 years ago.  I have a soft spot in my heart for widows, as the greatest person I know is one.  So we asked to sit and talk with her.  I felt that we should talk about the plan of salvation and temples, so we did.  It was absolutely wonderful to count to this sweet woman the possibility that she can one day be together with her husband, we came to find out that her only child had also died and that only made the lesson that much more bittersweet, I felt heartbroken as I watched the tears fall from her eyes, but took solace as I remembered that the atonement heals any wound no matter how deep, and so grateful that I could help this woman to understand a little bit more of the sacrifice of the savior.  Now to explain the subject line, on saturday we got a phone call telling us to stay in the house as we would be recieving 2 more missionaries, this means that we were 6 people in a 4 person apartment for a few days but not too bad.  Because of the saturday mix-up we only got about 4 hours of work and the same with sundays conference, but the other 5 days were extremely hard and rigorous.  We have 4 awesome investigators that should be baptized this month, and we had a visit from 3 general authorities, Elder Neil L Andersen of the 12, and Elders Carl B. Cook and Stanley G Ellis of the seventy.  so that was pretty cool, they brought all kinds of technology from south africa that I forgot existed, like headphone translators, unfortunately they broke, and so we had to send some elders to translate for the district leadership from swaziland, then, after they had picked those elders, elder cook comes back and says I am going to need one for myself as well, and all the older missionaries had gone, so I didn't hesitate and got up, and translated for yet another member of the seventy, it was pretty awesome especially the proximity I had with elder cook, elder ellis, and elder andersen, I was closer to them than the bodyguard, haha.  But yeah, they got the translators going after like 30 minutes though, so it was all good.  2 companions because one of the missionaries that came down in elder stewart, and he will be my new companion so I walked with two for the weekend, he is super funny and it looks to be a good transfer.  Finally it was an awesome week, I am grateful for all I learned, and the reaffirmation of the spirit of the reality of the calling of the 12 apostles, they are truly wonderful, inspired men.  Words cannot describe the feelings that come when an ordained witness of the Lord testifies that he knows the Lord is resurrected.  So I am super happy for the experience if you want to know more, I guess ask a question or steal my journal if you want to know more.

Elder Anthony Holt

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Mais Uma Semana na Matola (2-15-16)

Bom Dia, so this week was a good one, I really cant think of much to say except we did a lot of the run of the mill missionary work.  But that is good I guess, I am tired, so that is normal, but I will try to stay awake writing this email.  The most unordinary thing that happened was that we had a practice for a musical number next week.  Because Elder Andersen is coming, president picked 6 elders and 5 sisters to do a musical number, I was one of those 6 elders.  I swear, sometimes I ask myself how mormons can be sooooo weird.  We were there and I realized that going to primary, and high school choir, gives every member of the church the mentality that they have a double masters in music, and directing.  It is so annoying, everyone wants to throw in their opinions, and for me a very opinionated person, it was just a headache, especially when people made suggestions that make no musical sense at all.  So you could say I have been learning, because instead of getting in on the opinions, I just decided to be quiet and let the other people beat it out.  Afterward elder sharpe and I just looked at each other and said, "I hate Mormons" haha. But yeah, we are definitely a weird bunch.  Other than that we had some decent progress finding, except no one came to church.  But our principal family here is named Mendes and Maria.  They have 4 daughters ages 20-24, the mother and 3 of the daughters are some of the strongest testimonies I have ever heard, unfortunately, their father is a testament to the stubborness of Men.  He has come to church once, but he is super hard, and the family is so worried about it everytime and always ask what they can do, I really dont know what to do.  It is super hard here, because no one gets married, and legally speaking marriage is hard and expensive.  Plus you throw in all of the traditions and it is like asking someone to break every tradition they have ever been taught, so satan just has a big double edged sword, because those who are capable of marriage he beats with tradition, and those who are willing to put their testimony before their tradition he beats with the poverty side, so it is a fight.  But I am not disheartened, I just really want to be able to help someone, so yeah.  Other than that not a ton happened this week, so have a good week you all.  I would say something about valentines day, but that is everyone else already did, so whatever, happy presidents day, the calendar my mom sent told me that, haha.  I love and miss all of you.
Elder Anthony Holt

One photo for my mom, the other is our investigator maria, she is one of my mothers...

Elder Holt in front of an African Picture, he is hoping to find someone to make him one!
Elder Holt bought this Coke on his year mark.  It says "Share with your year"
The Mission Chappa-this one is taller than the normal Chappas, but as you can see it's just a tad bit crowded!

well like wow... (2-8-16)

So yeah, it has been a year since I sent my first one of these, so that is pretty cool.  But other than that not much changed.  To celebrate my year mark, I did.... nothing.  So yeah, it just kind of came and went.  But, yeah, I had probably the longest, hardest days of my mission the day before, so I was just wasted on the actual day.  But we did find some cool people to teach on that day, so what better way to celebrate.  Yeah, I had a division with the zone leaders on tuesday, and I was with elder ellingson, he like me really enjoys walking.  So naturally we walked... alot.  But even for us walkers, we were dead at the end of the day.  We went out at 10 and started working.  And we got really far out, and so it was kind of stupid to go back for lunch, because it would have wasted like 2.5 hours, so we ate out in the area, KFC woot woot.  I realized that something is wrong with us missionaries, becuase we both bought a family meal each and then a 2 liter of coke, and we ate it, at it was good, but like I think I still could have eaten more, haha.  Normally you walk out of a lunch like that with a stomach so full it hurts, but I walked out, burped and was ready to go.  Elder Ellingson goes home in a few weeks, and said he is going to miss being set apart as a missionary, because when you are set apart you can litterally eat anything and still be a little hungry, haha.  We missionaries know how to eat.  But then we had a full day of work afterwards, and skipped our language study, finally we had a lesson go a little long and then the chapas were bad, so we got home like 5 minutes late. it was the hottest day of the year, and it was work, but it felt really good to do it.  Except for the little sunburn I got, which was the first I have had in like 9 months.  But then we had a good week teh rest as well.  Especially on sunday.  MENDES FINALLY CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!  I was super bummed out because we found a ton, but no one came, and then as I walked out I saw mendes, and I honestly just about cried.  But yeah, that night we sat with him and his family and his wife and daughters already have super strong testimonies, and so we revised the restoration and then we all bore testimony to him.  And then at the end I said, "Now Mendes, everyone here has testified that they know it is true, and they have testified of the blessings of it, so would you like to know as well?" he said yes and I said, "Well then what you are going to do is get on your knees right now and ask the Lord if Joseph smith was a prophet."  We got down on our knees he prayed very humbly, and asked if Joseph was a prophet or not.  And I will say there is no better feeling than being able to tell him how he is feeling, becuase the spirit is telling you how he feels, and helping him Identify the spirit.  He is still a stubborn man but it was a great experience.  I was given a testimony of fasting again, becuase I have never had such hard fast as that one, but I would do it a million times again to help these people see why this is important.  I know this work is real, and I am grateful that the Lord Trusts me to take part in it.  I miss you and love you all so much, have an amazing week.


Elder Anthony Holt

Monday, February 1, 2016

So its been a year... (2-1-16)

Since so many of you decided to remind me of the fact that it has been a year, I just decided to make it m subject line.  this year has been filled with ups and downs, mostly ups though, but they all say I am on the downhill now.  A lot of you asked if I would be doing anything to celebrate my year, so here it is.  When I was packing for my mission I put 8 white shirts and 8 pairs of Underwear in a space bag and sealed it.  I will be opening it on thursday morning.  Other than that I dont plan on doing anything.  In our mission we dont burn anything, it is kind of a waste to be honest, I know many people that would kill for a white shirt, even a dirty one.  But yeah, I also might go eat like 6 krushers at kfc, it is basically a oreo milkshake, it is pretty nice.  But yeah, I will be working though.  Other than that, this week was good.  Unfortunately we got home from email last week, and Elder Sharpe took a nap, and when I woke him up to get ready to go out, he wasnt feeling to well, poor guy had a pretty high fever.  But we let him rest, and he is doing great now, but the week was pretty slow.  I did get to have some good time to read the scriptures, and such.  the doctrice and covenants is pretty dope.  I am recognizing a lot of things that never stuck out to me before the mission.  But I also read some really good talks on being bold, and it was basically revelation.  I have been having a really hard time lately with teaching,because I feel like it doesnt matter how many times I repeat the same things over and over, and how simply I explain things the investigators dont understand.  But I read a transcript from a former district president in the mtc and he said, explain to them how to pray and exactly how they are going to do it and what they will say (thanks for the missionaries, thanks for this new knowledge, is it true, did joseph smith really restore the true church, etc...)  then you just get on your knees and say, alright, you need this prayer more than I do, so you are going to say it. We used that technique once this week, and it worked, now we just have to help the rest of this family, they are super busy and a pain to sit with, but it will work out.  I also had a really cool experience this week.  So on saturday we passed by an investigator and taught them, his wife though had had something wrong with her, and was in so much pain that she couldnt even stand, not even sit hardly, I felt we should explain preisthood blessings, and so we did, and she wanted one.  So we were preparing, and as I would be offering the blessing I was praying really hard in m heart to know what I could say.  I asked Heavenly Father if I could heal her, and I felt a very strong confirmation, and so we gave the blessing. In it I remember blessing her to be healed, and quickly after we talked I remember asking her if she had faith that Jesus christ could heal her, and she moaned yes, and i felt very strongly that I could command her to sleep and she would be healed when she woke up, and we passed by the next morning, and she was up and about, super happy.  Unfortunately not even that was enough to encourage her and her husband to come to church, but it was definitely a cool experience.  But yeah, other than that I have just been doing the normal stuff.  I miss and love you all.  Please have a fantastic week.  

Elder Anthony Holt

I could put my week number, but who cares, counting is for the trunky... (1-25-16)

So I promise I am not trunky at all, but it seems like everyone else is pretty trunky for me, they all like to remind me that I am at my year mark almost, but my comp has even counted the days for me, haha.  He just does it to mess with me though, he knows better than to be trunky, becuase I will out trunk him every day.  So this week was a blast.  We got to work, and we had a transmission from the members of the missionary board.  It was really cool.  Elder Andersen spoke to start, and he mentioned that this next month he and sister andersen would be visiting The Congo, Zambia, and Moçambique.  Right after this the connection cut out for a minute and President turned around and says to everyone, So I would say that counts as confirmed right?  President is super funny, he is very strong but humble man, and he is always joking with people about something or another.  He likes to poke fun at me for my hair, the other day at zone conference we were getting a training from one of the senior couples about finances, and they mentioned that mission money could be used for personal grooming item, and president was sitting behind us, and say, "Elder Holt, you can't use it on hair gel though"  Then later in the day, he went up to Elder Sharpe and pulls out his comb and starts combing his hair, and says to a missionary next to him, "Hey do think I could get my hair to look like elder sharpes"  and then asks how long it takes him to use a thing of gel, to which president responds, "You got to talk to Elder Holt and tell him to train you better."  It was all really funny, President is a fantastic person.  This week elder sharpe and I suffered a lot of frustration.  We have a goal of averaging 5 lessons a day, which is super possible in our area, hard, but possible. But this week it seemed like all of our confirmed lessons fell, but the surprise ones worked out, so we just stopped calling and finally hit a 6 lesson day.  Our investigators are doing well.  I would like to ask for special prayers for an investigator named Mendes Fijomba.  He is the father of a fantastic family.  They are all progressing well, but he has been open to our visits but closed to change.  We think he isnt understanding well, but his family has progressed excessively, and they are ready and willing to do anything to get baptized, but without him, we cant baptize them.  So he needs all of your help.  But I am learning little by little this week, about a lot of things.  But especially praying with more sincerity.  I joke with my companion, that while most people prefer prayers like a long-distance quick call, I prefer skype session prayers.  But I am learning that prayer is really a communication with our Father in Heaven, and if we will shut our mouths/minds for a little bit he always has some pretty profound things to say.  I have also had a reinforcing of my testimony of repentance, in an experience more sacred to I prefer to share via email, I have come to know that my savior died for me.  And I can say like one of my favorite hymns, "I tremble to know that for me He was crucified."  I am not perfect nor close, but I am in the painful and fulfilling process of perfection and purification.  It isnt easy, but it cant be, and I testify that Jesus Christ is who He say He is.  He did what He says He did, and through and by Him and Him alone, can we be clean from sins, and enjoy all the blessing of the eternal gospel of the Lord.  That is my testimony, and I know it is true.  It has come from a billion frustrations, and countless nights on my knees, endless heartaches a little homesickness, and a lot of inadequacy, and with the time I have had so far, this has been a recipe for my testimony.  I am here because of the unrepayable debt I owe to him.  And I also know something my mom taught m with cooking, but I will apply it to testimonies.  It has a lot more flavor if you cook it slower and really take care of it. It is the seed spoken of in Alma 32, there is know better analogy to a testimony.  And as you will notice in the scriptures, the fruits of the testimony, are more abundant than the roots.  So have a faith filled week.


Elder Anthony Holt