Monday, September 28, 2015

Pictures!

Eating dinner on Saturday evening, after a special Fast that their Zone did together, to help find new people to help/teach.  What an incredible group of missionaries!


The Elder in the front with his back to the camera is Elder Bewley, Elder Holt's companion from the MTC.  It's neat they are in the same Zone in the field.  :)

Gavin loves the missionaries in his Zone!  Great things are happening in Las Vegas!!


The greatest zone in the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission!  The Lakes Zone!


Enjoying the new sunglasses and blanket that I sent to him this week!  :) <3



A hot air balloon right outside the church.  :)



A little too much fun on the iPad.  :)  Haha!  Glad to see those smiles!  


One of the apartment complexes in Gavin's area, where they do a lot of appointments.  He said there is always police and emergency vehicles there.  :(  Never a dull moment!


A beautiful 'almost' sunset view from Elder Holt's front porch.  :)



Elder Holt and his companion, Elder Duce had an appt, and the lady had to leave before they got there.  So she left them a note, a bottle of water, and a banana!  :)  





Q&A Week Five

1.  Have you been able to teach any part of a discussion yourself yet?  If so, what did you teach about? 
I've taught a lot actually, and basically all the lessons in PMG. Whenever we teach, Elder Duce and I just switch off in each topic of the lesson.  
2. What is one thing you learned this week? 
Umm, that finding people to teach, by using the spirit, is just as important as teaching our investigators by the spirit. 

3.  What has been your favorite part about the area you are serving in right now? 
Our ward mission leader is so incredibly involved, and the members are always willing to help out with coming to discussions. So my favorite thing is probably the members and the help they give us :) 

4.  Who has influenced you the most this week? 
Probably Elder Palmer, because he has been so excited for this amazing Saturday we had. We fasted all day, and just went tracting ALL day. It was such a hard day. It was overall extremely rewarding though. It was awesome :)

5.  Name one thing that you appreciate right now and tell us why.  
Honestly, I didn't realize how blessed I was just to have a bike.  Brother Woolley, our ward mission leader, (who is flipping awesome by the way) said he went to Spain just a few months after the first Spain mission opened up, and he had to walk to an area as big as our area.  So I'm so grateful we even have bikes, although a car would be nice  ;)

Week Five (Email from Elder Holt)

Hello hello everybody!! :)

Week 3 in Vegas, is in the books! It seems crazy that the weeks are already
seeming to go so quickly. And I know it's only going to get faster. I
can't decide if that's a good thing or not yet :) but this week was
super super awesome!!!! I had some AMAZING experiences this week, in
my companionship, and in my zone. We talked to so many new people this
week. 

Tuesday, we were walking through the Apache Pines apartment
complex, which is where we have tons of work. Tons of the work in my
ward is in there. But anyway, we were walking through to go to our
dinner appointment, and we saw a family moving in, and went to go help
them! They almost had all the stuff out of the Uhaul truck already,
but we got to help for a little bit anyways :) and through that, we
got to meet a family, their names are "G" and "K", and their two
boys. We are actually meeting with "K", and hopefully the boys, but
"G" isn't really interested in learning more. But we are so excited
and grateful we get to teach her! She seems really eager to learn
more! Service truly gets you missionary opportunities. I've heard of
lots of other experiences so far of how missionaries have gotten the
opportunity to teach people just from helping them out with something
first. So, get out there and help some people! ;) 

Saturday was definitely the most amazing day of my mission so far. Our
entire zone decided to fast and pray for people to find on Saturday.
Then, we spent the entire day knocking doors, and talking to everyone
we came in contact with. We met SO many people. Most of them weren't
interested, but we hopefully planted a seed in them. Elder Duce and I
found several less active members, and got their contact info, so
hopefully we can meet with them and get them coming to church again!
So many cool experiences happened in our zone as well. Elder Claypool
and Elder McBride, the two elders who are in my apartment with me, met
a family, and found 4 new investigators, and set three of them with
baptismal dates, in one house. It was so crazy to hear. Talk about
people being prepared :) Our zone through the whole day ended up
knocking on over a thousand doors, talked to over 400 people, found 23
investigators, 92 potential investigators, and set 8 baptismal dates!
That is so crazy awesome! Each one of those numbers represents a
person. A person who is extremely special to Heavenly Father. And now
so many of those people will hopefully grow a lot closer to Him again
:) Miracles are real.

This is a quote that describes perfectly how I felt on Saturday. It's
Elder Marvin J. Ashton, from General conference in 1983 in his talk
called "The Word is Commitment" (go read it!!!)

"When one is wholly committed, added strengths and talents become
evident. Assistance comes from unexpected sources. Who of us has not
accepted some assignment with fear and trepidation, feeling totally
inadequate to take on such a responsibility? But with concern and
obedience we move forward--working hard and praying often. As the task
is completed, to our surprise, we have been successful. We humbly
realize that our own abilities have been added upon." 

On Sunday, we got a text that said we needed to teach the Gospel
Principles class, and so uh, we weren't too prepared. But it was on
Eternal Families. But the lesson actually went great. Lots of people
participated, so that helped. But something that was brought up
throughout the lesson, was forgiveness in the family. And how
important it is to quickly forgive like children do. Because the
holding grudges, and refusing to forgive someone, no matter how hard
it may be, doesn't fix anything. It doesn't help your family get
closer together. It pushes it away. And I know that's true. At the end
of class, I gave everyone in it a challenge. So I want to give it to
all of you too :) The challenge was just to recognize something you can do, or
say, or NOT do or NOT say this week, and then do it, or don't do it,
(if it's a bad thing) ;) I know that if you do, you, and hopefully your
family will be happier. Sometimes, it's just a tiny difference we need
to change to make a big difference.

One more thing about families, "C", his mom is "D", he shared
something about families today in class. He said one time a guy shared
an experience of a sign he saw, that his dad had up on his front door.
The sign said, "the most important part of your day is about to
happen"  So every time this guy would walk in the door, he would stop, and
think of his troubles he had throughout the day. And would think of
how his family was important to him. So he would try and fix his
attitude before he came in the door, so he didn't upset his family. I
think we can all learn something from that. Family time really is the
most important time. So try and be happy around your family :) 

Small little thing to think about:
Being obedient brings blessings. We know that! Disobedience doesn't
actually ruin your blessings, or things like that. But disobedience
makes you lose opportunities. Opportunities where you maybe could have
made just one person happy today if you did what you should've. 

So yeah, that's all. And that was my week! I hope you all are doing
great! And I also hope you are all doing good things that are bringing
your closer to your Savior. I love you all so much! I'll talk to you
next week! :)

- Elder Holt

Monday, September 21, 2015

Q&A Week Four

1. When is the last time you laughed with your companion?  And why?  :) 
Umm, probably when elder Duce just jumps and tackles elder Claypool at night. It cracks us up afterwards haha! 

2.  Have you had any opportunities to do any service yet?  If so, what?
Only twice, and both times we were helping people move!

3. What is the strangest questions you've been asked by a person you've come in contact with?
Umm, not too many questions. But lots of people talking about how the Book of Mormon is so false, and how the bible says so. Haha. It's hilarious because obviously they haven't done what they need to do,  to find out if it's really true or not. 

4.  What has been your favorite scripture from your scripture study this week? 
Alma 37:6-7

5.  Name one act of kindness by someone that you noticed this week.
          A lady paid for our lunch at Taco Bell.  It was so nice.  She was such a nice lady and said 
         her niece was serving a mission right now too!

Email from Elder Holt - Week 4

Hola everyone!!! :) 


Second week down!! Saturday is my month mark! I can't decide if the past month has flown by, or felt like it drug on and on. I guess it was kinda both. Haha! But I hope everything is going well at home!!! Things have been great here! I had a pretty amazing week until Friday and Saturday! They were still good days, but all our appointments except one cancelled between both days. So Elder Duce and I were a little frustrated. But we are ready to start this week off well!!! We could have at least 4 baptisms in October!!!! :D the 'J' family (three people) might be able to be baptized all at the same time! The dad works as a truck driver though. So we might not have enough time to teach him before the others get baptized. But it's still going to be an amazing experience :) I'm so excited for them!!! Liz and Michael, the mom and son, are both so ready to be baptized! It's so awesome!! 

We met with "E" again this week, and we talked about the Gospel of Christ, and he took it really well. We asked him to read 3 Nephi 11, where the Book of Mormon talks about Christ, because he already has a really strong relationship with Christ. It's so cool! He's such a spiritual guy. I really want him to read, and pray so he will know that he needs to be baptized. We also met with 'S' again, he isn't really progressing at all, sadly. He doesn't keep commitments at all, which is probably why he has been investigating for 30+ years. But we're not giving up on him :) 

So yeah, that was basically my week! We've tried to contact some of the people we've met Tracting and whatnot, but most of them don't answer to our calls, or don't answer the door when we try and visit. So it's a little discouraging. But we met a few more people this week that hopefully will want to meet with us more! 

We rearranged our apartment as well. It's a lot cleaner and nicer now. We took out the extra desks and stuff we don't need, so there's a ton more space. It's much better :) and we are for sure going to get a car next week!!!! :D so only one more week on this bicycles. Hopefully it's not too hot this week. 

I just want to let you all know, that I know the power of prayer is real. I would not be able to do this without prayer. I'm so grateful for being able to ask Heavenly Father for help. So many times this week, I would ask something to myself and ask Heavenly Father. And so many of my questions were answered through the week, but especially on Sunday. It was such a cool experience. I love being out here though! I'm learning so much. And I love helping the people here!

(Here are some of the notes I took, at the end of each day): 

Monday: We played football and basketball today with the South Zone! It was a lot of fun! We didn't really get to proselyte very much today because it takes us 30 minutes to just get to our area. So we got about 1 hour of tracting in. It was fun though! Hopefully some of the people we talk to will call us back. 

Tuesday: talked with "S", a guy who has been taking missionary lessons on and off for 36 years. He is really stubborn about weird current political standpoints of the church (he talks about all sorts of homosexuality cases and such) and says that's what he is having the hardest time accepting about the gospel. We had dinner at smashburger today. And the guy who took us for dinner, Bro. Leavitt, gave us 20$ for dinner another night as well. What a guy! After that we tried to tract again for a little while and didn't have much success. Oh! And we had a lady pay for our lunch at Taco Bell! She was so nice. She just saw us about to pay and ran up and offered to pay for us. She was very nice :) 

Wednesday: Started the day off with personal study, as usual, but then before companionship study we had a service project for a family in our apartment complex. The whole zone came to help, and we were helping a family move, so we helped them move their stuff into the U-haul truck. We talked with the J family again, and M (10) is still excited to get baptized. He was supposed to be getting baptized Saturday, but wants to wait for his dad to get back from trucking so he can be there. So hopefully soon :) and his mom, L, is going to be baptized soon too! I'm so excited for them!! 

Thursday: Today we got to do a "blitz" which is where we go to an area of a companionship in our district, and tract there to look for people to teach for that companionship. It's really cool! We did it in Sister Strange's and Sister Savea's area today. It was a more wealthy neighborhood and most people either didn't answer, or just flat out denied it. Some people threatened to release their two Great Danes on Elder McBride and Claypool. It was kinda funny haha. But we also taught Steve again today, and hopefully he is getting the spirit at home so he can keep learning. And we taught "E". He is from Algeria and he is a devout Christian. He knows so much about Christ. It's super amazing how faithful he is. But that is hard in a way, because it's hard for him to realize that his baptism wasn't in full authority. He sees his baptism as devoting his life to Christ, which is true, but it's hard for us to teach him he needs the priesthood authority involved. But we're getting there :) he's understanding more and more. But overall, an awesome day!!

Friday: Honestly, one of the hardest days of my life. Haha. It was difficult. We had all our appointments fall through except one. Oh well. Bad days will happen. Hopefully tomorrow is better. We had a zone training today and that went well! So we had one good part at least ;) and Auntie Alison dropped off some packages!!!! That made me super happy!! (Even though I didn't actually get to 'see' her)  :)

Saturday: I went to Elder Forred today, who is the person in charge of 'Missionary Health' in the mission. My apartment all thought I should go because I've been having really bad, chronic headaches again all day, like I did after my concussion in the spring. So I went to the see him, so I will be working with him to try to get to the bottom of these darn headaches.   Oh, and all our appointments cancelled. Again. Yay. Not a fabulous day.

Sunday: We had a really good sacrament meeting today! A girl spoke because she is leaving on her mission Tuesday! She's going to Ecuador! She was really really happy about serving :) it made me remember how excited I was. At this point, I don't know what I'm feeling. Haha. I really do enjoy being here, but it is so hard sometimes. And my headaches are driving me crazy. But I'll deal with it :) but we had a really good Sunday! We got to talk with C and D again, and D is 40 days clean and sober now!! She's doing amazing! C is starting to get harder to have him come read the BOM with us. But hopefully he'll realize he needs it more. We're praying for him. But yeah, that was our Sunday :) it was a good week! Frustrating, and hard. But it was good. Heavenly Father helps us. Even it seems like he's not helping you, he really is. I promise :) 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Q&A Week Three

 1. Do you eat most meals together?   
We eat breakfast together, and then sometimes lunch, depending on the day. We basically have dinner appointments every night. So that's good :) 
 Tell us one thing you've prepared and eaten for each meal since you're arrived in your first area....
Breakfast: Cereal... Duh ;) 
Lunch: ...Cereal... And some restaurants around town because it's too much work to bike back to our apartment every day
Dinner: Chicken flautas. Those were super grand. :)

2.  Tell us one attribute that you like about each of the Elders you are living with:
Elder Duce: He's very hardworking. He's a farm boy! haha!
Elder Claypool: He is pretty happy and positive. They all are I guess. But Elder Claypool stays happy all the time. It's cool:)
Elder McBride: He is very funny. Haha! He does stupid things that make us all laugh. 

3.  What is your favorite part of each day?   
Getting into Air Conditioning. It's so hot outside. And I love helping people. 
      Least favorite?
Biking for sure.

4.  Do you have any 'free time' during the week, and if so, what do you do during that time?
Our only free time really is Monday.   We just go shopping and email, etc.  But today  we are going to play sports at some field.  But the tiny bits of free time during the week we just rest. Maybe when we get a car we can go use the free time more wisely. 

5.  What do you wish you had been doing at age 16 or 17, that if you had done, would've better prepared you for what you are  doing now?
Probably just learn to talk to strangers more.  And to be willing to share the gospel with my friends that need it.  It is scary to talk to some people.  But it gets easier the more you do it.  :)

Pictures!

Elder Holt & Elder Duce at Biaggio's Pizzeria!  The owner is in the same ward, and lets the missionaries come and eat - free of charge - whenever they want!   I am so grateful for people that are good to our missionaries!

Elder Holt, Elder Duce, Elder Claypool & Elder McBride made 'forts' in their living room.  :)   They might be missionaries, but they are still BOYS at heart!  :)

Elder Holt with President and Sister Ahlander when he arrived in Las Vegas!  :)

Week 3 Email from Elder Holt

Hey everyone!!!! 

Week 1 in the mission field is down! :) it was such a cool week! I met lots of the families the Elders have been teaching here! There's a really cool guy named Emmanuel, and he's from Nigeria. He is about 50 and has been part of a Christian church since he was 40. He really loves learning more about the Gospel, but when we talked to him about baptism, he said he had been baptized already, so he didn't see why he needed to be baptized again. So we've been talking to him about that. It's really cool though! He is super solid at doing what we ask him to do and he has been coming to church every week for the last 4 weeks! We're going to keep teaching him more and more and I hope he will open up more! 

But yeah, other than that, we haven't had any super amazing teaching experiences. We met a guy named Rick while we were knocking on doors. He really doesn't like organized religion, but definitely wants to keep meeting with us and learning more. He seemed really really interested. We basically taught him the entire restoration lesson at the door. It was really cool. 

We spend a lot of our time visiting less active members. There are a lot of them here, because lots of the time people will get baptized with a hope that the church will help their financial problems. Which is true. But then they don't stay committed to the church. So anyway, we visited the Frys family.  they have a cat, that plays fetch. It's flippin hilarious. They are a pretty cool family though. We are trying to get them to come to church, but they won't :/  But, it's alright. We'll keep trying  :) 

We constantly have people yelling at us while we're riding down the street on our bikes. People cuss us out, and tell us all the Mormons are going to hell. It's kinda funny. But also kind of sad. Because they don't understand what they are really turning away from. One UPS truck driver saw us, and turned around and came and gave us some water. It was so nice. It gets so dang hot. Me and elder Duce get so sweaty. Blech. 
And another UPS guy saw us at a stoplight and yelled "Hey Brethren keep it up!!! The book is blue and the church is true!!! Stay strong bothers!!"  That was super cool. It gave me a huge spiritual boost. It gets discouraging seeing all these people just point and laugh at us as we bike down the road. So it was comforting to have someone actually see us and say something to lift our spirits :) 

I am really liking my companion still! He loves to work hard and doesn't like sitting around. Which is awesome. I also love my apartment. The four of us have tons of fun! We have made mattress forts, and all sorts of other stuff.  Haha!  We actually cleaned the apartment this week. It was filthy when I got here. But yeah that's basically my week! 

I'm excited to keep on working! It's hard to be here and work all day every day. But I can feel the strength I get from our Heavenly Father whenever I'm feeling down. I love it. And I love all of you! The church is true!!! Never forget it!! I'll talk to you all next week!!:) 

-Elder Holt 
The book is blue and the church is true!! 

Note from Karen:  Some other interesting things from Elder Holt this week are:
-He almost gets hit by a car several times a day, every day.   :(    This is not good news.  Please pray for the drivers in Las Vegas to BE MORE CAREFUL!  
-He and his companion should be getting a car soon.  The area they cover is farther away than the area their roomates cover, so a car should be coming their way to help!  Let's hope they can BE good drivers themselves, and can avoid bicyclists.  ;)
-He loves getting letters and emails and says that they help him more than you could know.  So if you have a few minutes and would like to send a quick note - you'll find his email and address under the 'Write to Elder Holt' section!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Q&A Week Two

1. What would you say is the most important thing you learned in the MTC?
To work with members. For sure.  I can already tell how much help they need.
2. What will you miss about the MTC the most?
The people I was with and the cafeteria food .
3. What was your first impression of the Mission home in Las Vegas?
I didn't actually go to it yet, but I'm sure it's great ;)
4. How many Elders/Sisters were on your flight? How many greeted you at the airport? 
We had 3 sisters and 16 elders!!! And it was two elders that picked us up along with some of the mission presidency.  Including the mission president, President Ahlander, and his wife.
5. Did you get to meet with your Mission President? 
I only got one minute with him. The rest of the missionaries took the rest of the time.   ;) He only had time to ask me if I was okay and if there was any medical concerns with me.  So that was it. But he seems pretty darn awesome!  

Week Two (Email from Elder Holt)

Hi everyone!!! 

:D I just got to the mission field yesterday, and so far I'm loving it!! My companion Elder Duce is such an awesome guy. He's been out around a year, and really loves it here. I'm looking forward to working more with him. I also love the area so far.  It's really cool. But I'm on bike. So it's hot. That was kind of confusing... But yeah, it's more hot than cool here ;)  But I met a mother Debbie and her son Chris. Debbie is drug free for 32 days now. Which is SUPER amazing.  She is excited to get to the temple so she can get her daughter, who passed away a while ago, baptized and confirmed in the temple. She stays motivated with that thought. Her son is like 23 and lives at home. He was also on drugs for 5 years. So they're really trying to turn their life around. Which is amazing!

We also met another cool family. The parents are Alex (Alejandro) and Brianda. The kids are Alex, 18 and Valerie, 16 and Lucious (Loo Shus) who is 10. The kids love Pokemon!  And Valerie plays the flute in the marching band. I didn't actually meet Alex the 18 year old. But they all seem super anxious to come to church again. They're all members. And yeah. Those are the two families I met. They're awesome :) 

I have four Elders total in my apartment. Elder Duce (my companion) and Elder Claypool, and Elder McBride. They're all studs. I'm really excited to get to know them all more.  So yeah. I don't have much to say yet. Second day down, too many to count to go. ;) But I'm really loving it so far. It's amazing!!! I love everyone here! Have fun everyone!!! The gospel is true!! I know it with all my heart. Don't ever forget it. I love you all!!! 

Elder Holt 

Notes from Karen:
-Elder Holt's first area is right in Las Vegas.  After googling it, we found he is only about 8 miles from the Las Vegas Strip  
-It was 104 degrees in Las Vegas today!  (gulp)
-He went straight from the airport to an LDS Meetinghouse where they did Missionary Transfers, and received his first area assignment.  He spent 6 hours there, doing traning, etc.  Then.....got straight to work!  


Elder Holt, Elder Duce, Sister Savea, and Sister Strange

Elder Holt with his first companion in the mission field, Elder Duce, from Idaho



Monday, September 7, 2015

Leaving the MTC

We woke up this morning, to a phone call from Elder Holt! He was calling from the airport, while he waited for his flight.  Happy Day!!  He sounded terriffic!  He said that they had left the MTC at 7:30 this morning to head to the airport, and that the driver that picked them up, had already taken 2 other trips to the airport that morning with missionaries!  There were 19 missionaries on his flight, 3 Sister Missionaries, and 16 Elders.  His MTC companion, Elder Bewley, was going as well.  He loved his experience in the MTC, but said he was excited to get to going, so that he can begin his work as a missionary.   It was so good to talk to him.  We can't wait to get his first report from Las Vegas.  In the meantime.....Bon Voyage Elder Holt!  Our thoughts and prayers go with you!

-Karen


Elder Holt's MTC District

These are the twelve Elders that make up Elder Holt's District.  He LOVED each of these Elders, and was grateful for the time he was able to spend getting to know them, even though their MTC time was short.  (12 DAYS).   4 of them will be going to the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission.  The other 8 will be going to the Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission.   This photo was taken by one of Gavin's favorite MTC teachers, and emailed to them with the caption, "Give 'Em Heaven Elders!"     Love it!





Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Q&A - Week 1

My sister started this with her missionary, and it's been so fun, so I decided to do it with Gavin too!

I will send him 5 questions to answer each week, that we will post on his blog.  :)  I was so excited to get his first Q&A back today!


WEEK ONE:

1. What has been your favorite meal in the MTC so far?

Favorite meal was a Teriyaki burger, because it was one of the few edible things ;) jk, most of it is edible, but I end up eating a cereal and banana almost every meal ;) jk. I like the food. Sorta.

2. Who has been your favorite speaker at the devotionals and why?

The sunday Devo. we had Charles Dalquist speak to us. He was an amazing speaker, and I learned so much. Mostly the thing that stood out to me was when he said that you as missionaries are never going to be where you want to be. So stop getting down on yourself. Then he asked if you're improving. And I said yeah, I am. So that was a turning point, and I realized that I wanted to stay more positive, and that helped a lot.

3.  What is a typical daily schedule?

We wake up, and change. Then study for an hour, then have breakfast. Then go back to class until lunchtime, then have lunch. then class again until dinner :) But the classes are amazing! I learn so much from them! They just seemed long at first, but now it's getting better. Then after dinner we have almost 3 hours of study time either alone, or with our companion. Then on certain nights, we have devotionals with the Branch Pres. or stuff like that.

4.  What is the funniest thing that has happened, that made you LOL?

Nothing really that funny tbh... Except Elder Thompson who is in my district talking about how he was scared and ran away from his mom right after he got his wisdom teeth out haha!

5.  What has been your favorite day so far in the MTC?

Sunday for sure. We talked a lot about the importance of that sacrament, and how insane it is that we take it so easily (without much thought or meaning). It's supposed to be such an amazing experience, and blessing. So yeah, sunday was amazing. We also watched an older Devo that Pres. Bednar gave, called the Character of Christ. He talked about how we turn in, when Christ would turn out. As far as helping others, or when things happen to us. One of the stories from that was how three mothers in a ward let their daughters stay out late, and during the night, the 3 girls got in a horrible car accident. one of the girls mothers got called, and said that one of the girls was dead, but the medics couldnt determine which girl it was because of how mangled they got in the crash. But that mother who was on the phone with someone at the scene, called Pres. Bednar at the same time, who was the mother's stake Pres. And that mother while she was telling Bednar what had happened, the medic told her that it was her daughter that was the one killed. But instead of dwelling on that for any time at all, that mother immediately asked Pres. Bednar to help the other two mothers know about the accident, and what she can do to help. 
Do you think that us, as regular people, could turn out like that? The mother did exactly what Jesus himself would have done. Not be selfish for even one second to think about her lost daughter, and that she'll never be able to see her again. In that moment, where when something bad happens to us, we all tend to turn in toward ourselves, and say things like "Well this terrible thing happened to me, so I can't help anyone right now." But Christ has never done that. In all his works, He never did that once. Not when He was betrayed, or forgotten, or anything. 
So those thoughts have been going through my head a lot. It's really touching. And sorry if that story was hard to understand... It's hard to write a lot with my time ;) But it was amazing. This week has been so great! I've learned so much and have been touched so many times by the spirit. I know Christ lives, and loves more than we can imagine. He loves each of us SOOO much. And I have felt that so strongly this past week. 

Week One (Email from Elder Holt)

Hello everyone!!! :D 

I hope everyone back home is doing great!!! Things have been doing pretty well here for week 1! I'm learning a lot!! And I'm definitely learning how to work. It's busy busy busy. But it's good! Without being busy, it'd be hard to stay focused. My companion, Elder Bewley, is from Virginia. He is very intellectual haha!  We get along pretty well, and he has taught me to be more loving of our investigators, and try my hardest to keep the Spirit. He knows a lot about the scripures, and has a really strong testimony. so yeah! 
I love my district also!! They are all super cool! I've learned a lot from each of them!! There are 10 total in the District, 4 are going to Las Vegas West, and 6 to the Milwaukee Wisconsin mission! It's pretty cool! I love the classes and my teachers! They are lots of fun and teach me so much!!
I'm about out of time, so I'll let you all know more next week! But it has been going well, and I'm learning a lot about being a missionary and our true purpose. 
I know the the Church is true. I know it can change all your lives, in ways you couldn't imagine. It has changed mine since I've been here. I'm so excited to go to Vegas, which is where I'll be flying to on monday!!!  
Thanks for all your prayers!! Love you all!!

-Elder Holt

It's Time! Our trip to the MTC

2 Suitcase + 2 Years = a ONCE in a lifetime experience! 











I can easily say this was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do.  Leaving my 'little boy' at the MTC, knowing that it would be 2 years until I get to see him again.  Lot's of tears!  We are so grateful for him.  And for his choice to serve.  This was truly a happy/sad day!  

Tucanos with Family


We had a fun night the Monday before Gavin left, at Tucanos, enjoying great food and even better company!  Thank you to those who were able to come, and make this a memorable time for Gavin.  










Farewell & Luncheon


We had a wonderful day on Sunday (August 23rd).  Sacrament Meeting was beautiful, and Gavin gave a wonderful talk about the Atonement.  Derek also had a chance to be the youth speaker, and talked about the importance of having Integrity.  My brother Ryan, who happens to be in our Bishopric right now with Jim, also spoke.  He gave an incredible talk on Faith.    Several of Gavin's friends performed a tear-jerking musical number when they sang 'As Sisters in Zion/We'll Bring the World His Truth'.   I don't think it could have been a nicer meeting.  It was perfect.  

After the meeting, we were grateful that so many family members and friends were able to stop by the house for lunch.  It was such a fun, memorable day.  And we appreciate so much all the love and support that was shown to Gavin.   Each one of you have influenced his life, and ours, for the better.