Wednesday, April 22, 2015

4-20-15 Marshmallows, Evictions, and Bingo

Hey Everyone!

Wow this week has been so great! Hard work really pays off, especially in the mission! I'm so happy after the past week that Sister Saintonge and I have had! We haven't really had any baptisms or any investigators at church, but we met more of our goals than usual and we were able to teach so many people this week! As you can tell from the subject line for this week, we had a lot of exciting things that I'm going to talk about!

So starting with last Monday, we were doing all of our usual PDay stuff, like shopping, car washing, emailing, etc, and we decided to go back home to put our groceries away when to our great surprise, we got an eviction letter on our door! We were so confused and we had no idea what to do! So we just called the mission offices and tried to work it out through them. It turns out that it wasn't really a problem on our end of the deal, but rather to the previous owners, so we're trying to get that worked out. We still have an apartment and all our stuff, so that's alright! We hope that we'll be able to stay there so we don't have to pack up and move somewhere else!

On Tuesday there were some training meetings for the older missionaries, so I got to go on my very first splits! It was pretty fun, and I got to go to the Retirement home to play card games and horseshoes! That was pretty fun. I was with Sister Andana, from the Philippines. She's been a member for about two or three years and she's been out on her mission for about 5 months. We had a great time playing games with the seniors and having fun!

On Wednesday I got a package from my dear grandmother with a marshmallow shooter! I was super excited about that because 1) it is a marshmallow shooter and 2) we had weekly planning that day, and that can get pretty long and boring. So throughout weekly planning I spent my time practicing my aim at Sister Saintonge's nametag and this picture of Samuel the Lamanite. It was super funny because none of my marshmallows hit Samuel and flew around him just like in the scriptures! However, I was able to hit Sister Saintonge in the nametag and in the face!

Marshmallow Shooter

On Thursday we went back to the retirement home (because it was our actual day for service and we weren't on splits), and we spent some time with some of the older seniors who aren't able to do much physically or mentally. We made some flour/salt dough and made some fun little sculptures with it. After that we went to go play Bingo with the other seniors. They are serious when it comes to their Bingo! They have all different ways and games to play with bingo. There was also a lady who sat with me to play who was deaf, so I'd have to hold the numbers up for her to see them.

Friday night, we got to go and get frozen yogurt with the Elders and Ward Mission leader! That was probably the best part of the day for me and Sister Saintonge because we LOVE frozen yogurt!

Yesterday we taught the Junior Primary 4 year old class about the Word of Wisdom. It was so fun because we didn't really have to do much except for tell them, "Don't eat bad foods." and then we played a game where I made a sock puppet "eat" good and bad foods drawn on paper (like apples, bananas, broccoli, bread, milk, and also wine, beer, and cigarrettes). When the puppet ate a good food, he gobbled it down and let out a loud, satisfied belch, while when he ate a bad food, he would let out a terrible scream and explain very simply why we don't eat bad foods. Four year olds are really hard to keep attentions, but they're a lot of fun to watch learn about the different parts of the gospel! Afterwards we all went outside and ate some yummy orange sherbet bars. Sometimes, I wish that the world could be as simple as it is when we're 4 years old. It would be so much easier to teach and help people understand each other!

Last week was a tough week for Sister Saintonge and I. We spent a lot of our time talking with a lot of people that would not be interested and we had some people stop taking visits from us, and we were very discouraged. However, this week, we decided that we cannot just rely on Heavenly Father to pull us out of tough spots, but we need to work in order for Him to be able to help us. In this video, we watch a man go out and get stuck in the snow. Even with his 4-wheel drive, he is unable to get out and help himself. Instead of staying stuck in the truck, he decides to get out and so the work that he originally went out to do. As he works, he is able to load his trunk with weight large enough to give him traction and get out of the snow. Do the fruits of your everyday labors give you the spiritual traction to move forward from day to day? I have felt my load increase this week, but at the same time, it has helped me move onward. I hope that in any task you undertake, that you'll be able to bear it well and that the weight of your task will not drag you down, but give you the traction to move forward.

I hope you all have a great day and that you can do all the things that you need to do! Have a great week and God Bless!

Photos of apartment:
Sister Saintonge and her desk

Sister Denton's desk

4-13-15 Transfers, Breakups, and Guarana!

Dear all,

This week has been an exhausting one! I never thought that I would have problems staying awake after a workout and a shower, but morning studies are still just about the same as early morning seminary to me! I"m still doing great though! An Elder from my zone gave me a 2 liter bottle of Guarana so I guess you can say it's also been a pretty good week!

Sister Saintonge and I have been working hard visiting the members of the ward here. We try to reach out to those who don't come to church that often and we like to share a quick message with them. A lot of those members are really nice to missionaries, but they usually don't like coming to church anymore for one reason or another. It makes me a little sad, but I guess everyone has their reasons.

So transfers was this week and we sadly had to move Sister Miller to a different area, but that's mission life! It's just me and Sister Saintonge now, but that's all fine! I've been on my toes with her and we have a lot of fun together. She's been teaching me how to sing "When you Believe" from the Prince of Egypt in French, but I mostly just mumble along in the English words that I remember! I've been trying to teach her some little phrases in Portuguese, but I think her previous knowledge of French messes her up. but it's all good.

This week we had a lot of "breakups" or investigators dropping us. It's really sad sometimes because we have certain goals for each week and it's a bit frustrating not being able to make those goals. I pray everyday that we'll find people who want to be taught, but it's challenging when people think that they have everything they could ever want! We've found a couple of people searching, but they were either not in our area or they don't speak English, so we had to pass them off to the Spanish Elders! I'm still glad though, because these are people who are coming closer to Christ, and we're just a stepping stone on that path!

Well that's about all for this week! I hope everyone is doing well and that you've been having a wonderful spring! If you need some uplifting for this week, you should check out this video! It's a great story from a man who spent a long time in his life trying to discover himself and his beliefs in God.

Have a great week and God bless!
Huntington Beach Sunset 4/6/2015

Monday, April 6, 2015

4-6-15 Week 1 in Field!!

Crossroads not far from the apartment
Hey People!

How's life in the real world? Life in the field is sweet! After the last 6 weeks that I spent in the MTC this week in the field has been GLORIOUS! In California, the weather is always beautiful! It's never too hot or too cold, but it's always just right! I feel so blessed to be sent to a place like California. Here, the work is hard, but it's so satisfying when you find someone to teach! Most people here are Born-Again Christians or Catholics and have no interest in hearing anything at all about Jesus Christ! It can be disheartening sometimes, especially when you are trying your hardest, but I know that this is a true work and that god is preparing people for me to teach! In the meanwhile, we talk to EVERYBODY, so if you're in Long Beach California, watch out! Because we might just want to come and tell you all about Jesus Christ and how much he loves you! Haha! 

This week, we got to talk with a man named Mike. Mike at first didn't want to talk to us about the message that we have, so we left and tried some other people on the street. Later, as we were walking back towards our car, we ran into him again and he decided to humor us and to let us talk to him about the Gospel. He had a lot of questions about Joseph Smith and a lot more questions about the Book of Mormon, so we stood there next to his garage and talked with him a bit about the Book of Mormon and why we read it alongside of the Bible. He still has some doubts, but he's going to let us come back and talk with him and answer more of his questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Please pray for Mike so that he'll be open to having us over more. I can see some good things in him.

I hope all of you are doing well! Did you watch conference? I did! It was phenomenal! If you haven't, no worries! Here,you can visit and listen or watch the current Prophet and Apostles of the Church speak to the world about the most important things in life: our families, our faith, and our Lord Jesus Christ! 

I hope your week has been a good one and that you had a wonderful Easter! 

Love you all!

-Sister Holly Denton

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." D&C 64:33

3-30-15 Ola!

From March 30, 2015

Well I've just had a SUPER day today! I arrived at my mission today after a wonderful plane ride to California! All I've got to say about California is WOW! I love it here! So far I've seen about ten surfers, twenty dogs, and a lot of really excited missionaries! Me, Sister Magleby, and Sister Taylor arrived about a week before scheduled transfers, so we've been put into two trios and a group of four! I'm so excited to be here and to be involved in the Lord's work in California! I'll keep the email today pretty short, but I just wanted to say Hey! and I'm doing well! 
Sister Miller, Sister Denton, and Sister Saintonge
This week is General Conference! Who's ready? I know I am! If you don't know about General Conference, you can learn about it here . I know that God calls prophets in these modern days to lead and direct us. This week we get a very special opportunity to hear the words of the prophets, so take advantage of it! 

I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!

-Sister Holly Denton

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." D&C 64:33

Thursday, April 2, 2015

3-28-15 Minha Semana Ultima no CTM!!

Oy voces! Como vai? (Hey y'all! How's it going?)

This week is my last week here at the MTC! Today has been such a great day here! We had fun in our classes with Irmao Buttars and Irma Cowan. They showed us pictures from their own missions and people that they taught and places they went. Both of them had visa issues like the other Elders and Sisters in our district, so they shared experiences from both their stateside missions and their foreign missions (which, by the way, is not a common thing for those who are not familiar with LDS missions. Most people only go to one place, but since lots of people get called to Brazil and because of consulate issues, most people with Brazilian missions are reassigned in the states to serve until they receive their visas). Irmao Buttars shared about his reassignment in Lubbock Texas where members had a large collection of shotguns and where he befriended a woman from Louisiana by asking her about her "crawdads, cracklin', and collard greens." Irma Cowan showed us pictures from her mission in Billings Montana with a beautiful picture of a sunset by the mountains. We all took pictures as a district with Irmao Buttars and Irma Cowan because it was our last day with both of them... I'll send those in the next email.
MTC District and Irmao Buttars and Irma Cowan

District Elder and Irma Cowan

Distric Sisters and Irmao Buttars
So due to the fact that I have not yet received my visa to live in Brazil, I have been officially reassigned to Long Beach California! I'm really excited for this opportunity that I have to go and serve here in the states, so it's not really sad for me. I've heard that visas are coming through pretty quickly lately, so I might be getting i sooner than later and be on my way to Brazil! I'm going to leave the Missionary Training Center on Monday in the wee hours of the morning in order to make it to the airport on time, but I have a few travel buddies to come with me, my two companions, Sister Magleby and Sister Taylor, are going to the same mission as I am, and a few of our Elders going to Colorado and Texas are leaving at the same time as us.

Sister Taylor, Sister Magleby and Sister Denton received their reassignment letters. They will serve in the California Long Beach Mission while they wait for their visas.

Two missions to love!
So it figures that the last week that I'm here at the MTC that people that I know come in. I got to see Elder Penrod, a family friend today, along with Sister Pipkin, a friend from college! It was so exciting to actually know some people here when my district has been meeting friends here the whole six weeks!

Elder Penrod and Sister Denton

Sister Pipkin and Sister Denton
This week we had an opportunity to Skype native Brazilians members again to practice our Portuguese! It's a truly humbling experience when you try to say something that you think you want to say, but suddenly you have no idea how to say it! At one point my companions turned to me to see if I had something to say, and I just said, "Eu nao sei o que aconteceu..." (I don't know what just happened...) I guess I should study a lot harder from now on, because pretty soon I'll be in Brazil, and I'll have no idea what's going on and what people are saying. Eeek!

Today as we were leaving the residence, we saw a huge hot air balloon sailing clear over the MTC! It was so exciting! We live the same schedule seeing the same things every single day, so you can imagine how exciting it was to see something new for once!
How exciting to see something new for once!
If you ever wonder about what I'm doing here in Utah, and what I'll do in California and Brazil, feel free to ask me. I'm all for answering questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Just shoot me an email at this address!

This Easter season, are you remembering what is truly important? I know that I enjoy wearing cute new clothing and doing my hair nice, and I have fond memories of dyeing eggs and searching for plastic eggs in my Grandma's backyard in Memphis, but is that truly what Easter is about. While you see little kids searching for eggs, remember Mary, who found the greatest treasure and gift on the third day. If you have not yet discovered the greatest gift given, I would encourage you to follow this link to and watch the video that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has recently released just in time for Easter. I know that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and that on the third day, he was resurrected and rose from the grave. I know that because of this, we have Jesus Christ to turn to in good times and in bad times. I know that through Him, we can live again with our Heavenly Father. I know that HE LIVES, and that He lives to give us comfort and to guide us in times of trials. #BecauseHeLives

I hope that you're doing well and that you have an awsome week and a wonderful Easter!

-Sister Holly Denton

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." D&C 64:33

Experimenting with sponge rollers. You don't want to see the "before styling" photo!