Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pictures from our Favorite Sister Missionary

Our family has been so blessed to have Aimee serving the Lord in Cambodia! We have watched her grow in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and share her incredible testimony of the Atonement of the Savior! We miss her and look forward to seeing her again. Hopefully we will be able to join her in Utah at the end of her mission.

Hello families!!!

*flails around* mom you dont have to worry about us here in Cambodia. The senior couple is having all of the Viet missionaries over to thier house on Wed. to have a big thanksgiving dinner. Elder and Sister Snyder are the BEST! *flails around* i'm so excited for that!

okay i'm finally sending more pictures home.... but only like 3 this time because i filled up my other memory card and i had to buy a new one. i forgot the old one at home.

Pic1- me with Co Anh...a super strong member who helps us all the time. she lives alone and she does nails for her job. but Heavenly Father is blessing her so much because of her sacrifices to help us.

pic2- Em Tha Nat...he's the son of one of our recent converts, chi hang. His birthday was on monday so we had a FHE with them followed by a birthday party. he is sooooo stinkin cute!!

pic 3 this one is from this morning. Co Kim is the branch president...she sells co'm xuong. i love co'm xuong. anyway she sells here and we bought some from her for breakfast this morning. ^-^ pic 4- a random dragon fly tied to a string..... yeah ^-^

So our week was so good! Chi Trinh went on exchanges yesterday so i was with a native cambodian missionary who doesnt know any vietnamese, (and i dont know any cambodian :) ) luckily she knew a ton of english. her name was sister un. she was so nice and sweet. ^-^

I feel like i'm finally hitting the prime of my mission. things are doing so well! we are having a ton of success, even if no one is close to baptism yet. chi trinh and i work so well together and we are happy all the time. :)President Smedley wants us to really focus on finding potential .....Mel..Kes..idic..(*struggles to spell this word...sounds out the up*) Higher Priesthood holders. and thier families. last sunday we fasted to find men with potiental and we have been really blessed to have like 8. some we are already working with and others we just contacted monday and tuesday. its so exciting. i hope they make it. Cambodia is in desperate need of worthy men. sometimes i have lost faith in the men here because we see so many unrightous things going on. but i know that if it wasnt possible the Lord would not have opened a mission here. In district meeting on tuesday we talked about faithful fathers. it really made me realize how essential worthy men are. literally. and also why would anyone want to marry a man who is less than a worthy priesthood holder? *rhetorical question*

This week i finished the Book of Mormon. I bought a Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine teachers manual to study with this next time. and i love it! i'm learning so much from it and i'm just barely studying lesson 1. ^-^ i've also started doing the same thing for the New Testament too. and i'm learning so much more. I'll admit i've struggled alot to understand the bible and the teachings in there. so i'm going to do better at that. :) All in all things are so good.

I can hardly believe the holidays are here because the weather has not really changed at all here in Cambodia...except that it's stopped raining. but the sun is out more...and i've started getting sunburned again...what the heck?

Also it sounds like your mission activity was super successful ^-^ congradulations! *looks over all the spelling mistakes in this letter* english is gone... i'm sorry. XD

Anyway i guess i'm going to go. I love you guys so much!!


Sister Holloway

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sister Missionary Update

So I know this a long time in coming, but please forgive's not my fault!!! Stupid blogger has been having issues and I just didn't want to fight with it. Any way, here is this week's update from our favorite sister missionary!!

Helloz familiez!

This week was awesome because we managed to avoid all rivers this week! success!Except that we still get wet from the rain that is coming everyday. But thats okay because i have a 5 pound poncho that keeps me nice and somewhat dry ^-^No I havent gotten your package yet, :( sister snyder said last week that a package did come with a paper slip that had my name on it, but when they looked at the box it was addressed to an Elder MEXICO! *fail* so i hope that the elder who got my box is smart enough to return it...maybe here in the next few weeks...i hope.On the other hand Wendy's package came it!! I was so happy when i opened the box and i found lots of hearts with messages from people back home! :) i started crying it made me so happy! I have them all taped to my wall above my desk! ^__^ Thank you everyone for the notes of love and encouragement!

Sunday was a really weird day, for some reason i had started remembering all the things i had done wrong in the past and it really got to me. but through that experince I was reminded about the Atonement and how none of us are perfect. and I even found a really good scripture that talked about repentance. D&C 58: 42,43 "Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I the Lord, remember them no more. By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins- behold he will confess them and forsake them." I talked to president smedley about it too, and he said that sometimes Satan makes us think that either we have to do more than that, or that we will never be forgiven. I'll admit I have a hard time seeing why or how the Lord could forgive a person such as i...but then I suppose that's where our faith and our actions lead us to a hope of that. This week I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for His infinite and eternal sacrifice and love. I know right now i cannot fully comprehend all that that encompasses, but i know that He is merciful to those who come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And after we repent all we can do is press forward with a smile. :) We will be watching conference this weekend! I'm so excited!

I cant believe it will be my last conference in Cambodia! TT___TT I'm so sad! Everytime i think about going home i get all anxious and nervous...and not in a good way! >__< so i try to not think about it too often...6 Months ack!

Mom. I'm trying to take lots of pictures. I guess i should take more. orz. maybe i'll do better. Today we are going to the National museum...i have no idea what is in there..but i heard they dont allow pictures and they charge 3$ *fail*

As for our investigators right now. They are all moving so slowly. It's so hard to have patience sometimes with everyone here. I guess that would be the reason why i was sent learn patience. Oh well thats an attribute i need for the rest of my life anyway. :) Lets see right now we are teaching Co Hoang and Em Vy. They are good. Em Vy is really good actually. She has been willing to pray and to listen and she understands what we share. Except she hasnt understood what she's been reading in the book of mormon so we need to help her with that. I'm afraid her mom, Co Hoang, might have lost intrest. She doesn't ever want to pray and she doesnt want to meet us if Em Vy isn't there. But she had tons of questions for us at the beginning...I dont know i guess just have patience.Chu Xu'o'ng is an older gentleman we have been meeting for about 3 weeks now. we had invited him to pray but obviously he didnt want to. so we let him get off the hook when he promised to pray at home. we came back but he was sick so he couldnt meet for 3 days. we finally met him yesterday and of course he said he hadn't prayed. we spent a while trying to convince him to pray. (i hate it when it we have to more or less fight them to pray) finally he prayed, but it just know.... what it needed to be... *shakes head* Anh Ca Chinh said that if an investigator wont even pray then odds are they will not progress. but have patience and maybe he will come around.We finally got an investigator to church on sunday too and the other sisters had like 4 investigators and the elders had 12. so many new people at church! our investigator...Co Cam. she was so good. she reads the bible she believes in Christ and so willing to meet us...but then on sunday at church there was an old man who came and shared his testimony. and in his testimony he said that no one here was rightous except for the americans and that this church was not true. I couldn't believe he said that! Of course all the members already knew that this certain old man was kinda crazy so none of them listened..but our investigator..our ONLY investigator at church listened to him!! *cry of frustration*...I dont understand how she would listen to only one man's false testimony and ignore the 7 or 8 other true testimonies (mine included) that was shared that this church is the ONLY true church on the face of the earth. *shakes head* I guess maybe she was only looking for something bad...but still why on that sunday did that only guy have to come! *shakes head* orz...satan....okay well i guess thats all the big news this week!I love you guys so much! i miss you all!

Love Sister Holloway

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stupid Blogger

I have been trying for a couple of days to load pictures from our Luxembourg trip last week, but it won't let me for whatever stupid reason. So as soon as I get it figured out I will post about our trip and share our pictures.

Monday, July 18, 2011

So Much to Catch Up On!

Be prepared to enjoy many pictures since I have about four weeks worth and lots to catch up on. Most of the pictures were taken by Kaitlyn, she's turning into a great photographer.

Several weeks ago we received a phone call from a family, the Johnson's, in our ward asking us if we would like to show them where a certain pond was that had turtles. So we got in the car a drove down the street to the African Museum in Tervuren. The complex itself is beautiful on the outside, we haven't yet been on the inside to see all the treasures there. But the outside is beautiful.

I'm sure that when it's up and running in all it's glory the outside is beautiful with all the fountains running and the lights lit. The Tervuren park is very extensive and is probably several kilometers long with a walking path all the way around it. It is also surrounded by woods.

We were able to find a ChiChi's Tex-Mex closer to our home in Waterloo, rather than having to travel all the way downtown in the middle of Brussels. Right outside of the restraunt is a "Pizza'a Box," the most bizzare thing I've ever seen in my life. There is NO ONE inside to make your pizza, it's available 24 hours a day and makes your pizza hot and ready to eat in 3 minutes! Don't know that I would ever be brave enough to try it though.

Happy 12th Birthday to Kaitlyn, July 14!! I can't believe my baby is 12 and will be moving from Primary to Young Women! She has been such a joy in our family. After several years of heartache, trials and sadness, we were blessed with this sweet girl. Three years before she was born we were told we would never have any more children, so we thanked Heavenly Father for the two daughters we had already and promised to be righteous in order to raise the two children He had already called home. I'm sure that Dave's Mom and Dad pleaded with Heavenly Father to bless us with another child, and He saw fit to bless us with our last one. We love her so much and have had to work hard at keeping her here with us.

Kaitlyn has been begging for a year or so to have her hair cut short, but Mommie thought that all little girls should have long hair. On her 12th birthday Mommie gave in and allowed her to get her hair cut into a more big girl style. Of course, Mommie cried to see that her baby truly isn't a baby any more!

Dave had to go TDY for the first time the weekend of Kaitlyn's birthday, so he was able to get it approved for Kaitlyn and Pam to go with him to The Hague in The Netherlands. It's only a 2 hour drive but we were authorized to rent a car and spend the night! What a great way to spend Kaitlyn's birthday weekend!

We stayed at the Carlton Beach hotel in Scheveningen, Holland, The Netherlands. The hotel sits right on the beach of the North Sea!! We arrived to blue skies and a slight cool breeze.

We were unable to check into our room for several hours, so while Dave went to his meeting, Kaitlyn and Pam walked the boardwalk and along the beach.

The beginning of the boardwalk!

It was so quiet and there was no one around until midafternoon, so we walked all along the beach and watched as the vendors and restraunts received their shipments for the day.

When Dave returned from his meeting we went to this Mexican restraunt for dinner. It was so yummy!!! All the restraunts had indoor and outdoor seating, we chose indoor because of all the birds flying around. It's quite common to have the seagulls join you for dinner any where you sit. We saw a couple walking along the boardwalk eating their french fries and there were seagulls RIGHT OVER their heads trying to swoop down to steal them some fries!! It was funny, glad it wasn't me!!

The air was pretty clear, or at least clear enough that you could see the ships out along the shipping lane. We were really surprised about how dirty the water looked, maybe just because it was low tide?

Each hotel has a "beach club" on the beach where you can get a drink, a beach bed, and a snack. This beach club had a cool "sand castle" right on it's floor! When renting a beach bed in the beach club beware that it is clothes optional! We were used to it because we saw topless sunbathers at the beaches in Italy while living there, so really no surprise to us. But Kaitlyn was still grossed out by the topless sunbather.

The Dutch love them McDonald's! It seems like where ever we turned we could see the Golden Arches. For lunch we found one along the beach and shared our meal with the pigeon. I know it's not very sanitary, but what do ya do?! I must say that European McDonald's is 100% better then American McDonald's!!

Here is a view of our hotel from the beach. Very unique design! Our accomidations included breakfast, so we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast on Saturday before we left to go home. We would have loved to stay another night, especially after the wonderful bed we slept in. Maybe next summer we will have to book a long weekend.

This Momma had to rest after spending several hours walking on the beach and boardwalk. We bought our usual souveniors, thimbles, magnets, spoons, and had to get some wooden shoes!!

Here is a view from our balcony on Friday! Doesn't it look so lovely?

Kaitlyn and Dave found this crab that washed up on shore on Saturday. They found some unique seashells for our growing collection. We totally forgot to bring a baggie for sand from the shore, maybe we will remember the next time.

We woke up Saturday morning to this....rain! It rained ALL day as we traveled back toward home.

I love the sound of the sea/ocean as the waves come into the shore. I have several CDs of the sounds of the waves, but nothing sounds better then the real thing in person!!

Going into and out of the resort town of Scheveningen where we stayed for the night, we passed UNDER several buildings!! It was the most bizzare thing I've ever seen! Here we are headed to the temple in Zeometeer.

There are so many bridges where ever you go in the area because so much of the land is surrounded by water! It's a good thing that the car we rented had a GPS because we would NEVER have found the places we wanted and needed to go!

Kaitlyn is now old enough to perform Baptisms for the Dead at the temple, but since she doesn't have her recommend yet we decided to just stop by so that she can see the temple where she will have her first experience in October.

It is a very small temple, but just as beautiful as all the others around the world.

Following a GPS may be good sometimes, but if you are trying to pay attention to the cars in front, behind and at the sides of you while still trying to follow the directions that the mechanical monster gives you, you and still end up lost in Rotterdam, The Netherlands!! We noticed a lot of sailboats on the rivers.

Okay, so when I think of The Netherlands, I picture big huge wooden traditional windmills....we couldn't find any!! Dave found this replica of one a few blocks from the temple, so this was as good as we got.

Do you see the spots hanging in midair from that building? Those are PEOPLE repelling!! CRAZY!!! Dave says he thinks that it's some kind of amusement park in Rotterdam.

Another of the many bridges we crossed.

This was weird. I sure hope that the floor of that building isn't seethrough!!

We were pretty shocked to see so many Muslims in the area and even saw this Mosque!

This is the only windmills we saw in The Netherlands and the only ones we see in Belgium!

We decided to meet up with some friends in Antwerp on our way home. We were not impressed at all with the city.

It was extremely crowded, the streets that we walked down were dirty. Maybe it was because it was raining and Pam was having a hard time walking and Kaitlyn was cold, but we were not impressed at all. So we took some pictures, bought a couple of souveniors....

The carvings in the cathedral was amazing.

visited with friends from our ward, the Nielsens and Rasmussens...

had drinks and then we headed home while the rest went and did more sightseeing. We had a most enjoyable weekend and call it our mini-vacation. We wish we could have stayed longer, but when you have a missionary, a college student, and trying to follow the Prophet's counsel to get out of debt we have to be moderate in all things including our vacations.

Here is Kaitlyn on her first day of Young Women's! She bought this dress while we were on vacation. She was so excited yet scared to be doing something new at church. She's very excited to go back next week and can't wait for September to get here when activities will begin again. All activities are suspended during the summer holiday because so many people leave on vacations, seems weird to us Americans, but that's the way they do things here in Europe.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Missionary Wednesday

Good afternoon my awesomely awesome parents and awesomely awesome littlest sister!
Ack. no i'm still in the same branch as before. the new sisters wont come until the middle of Augest we found out. so we still have some time :p
Ack our branch has issues. sister sparks and i were trying to do some service for two memebers and the branch president basically told us not to help them because he didnt think they deserved our help. and he's denying one of them a temple recommend because he doesnt like the person. i dunno its a stupid personal reason. sister sparks and i are still going to help her because she is still a faithful member. (plus he cant really tell us who to serve and who not to serve :p)
wow 89 degrees! i would kill for that kind of temperature! i think lately the temp has been about the same here.... a steady 7 billion degrees F. :) it's nice though ^__^
We have just about lost all of our investigators again. >__< We think the Jehovah's Witnesses have been around our area and they told Co Bay some bad things about us. (Its funny we never actually SEE the jehovah's witnesses, but we know they are out there. *cough*satan in disgues *cough*) So Co Bay has been avoiding us. we are thinking we might have to drop her. :(
Chi Lieu and Anh Hu'o'ng have disappeared off the face of the earth. at least through them we were able to meet Em Buoi, Em Phuc and Em Thien...the three cutest most awesome kids on the entire planet!! (none of them are related they just live in the same neighborhood)
Em Buoi is 13 years old. She's studied about Christ before. her faith is so strong and she is so knowlegeable. she loves reading the book of mormon and as soon as she goes to church for 8 times she can be baptised! ^_^
Em Phuc is 11 years old. He loves singing the hymns! We talked to his grandmother yesterday and she agreed to meet with us at 5pm today. hopefully she will start learning with em phuc to and she can be baptised as well.
Em Thien is about 11 or 12 i think. He talks really loud and he loves reading too. He's more of a challenge to teach because he gets bored and interupts alot.
Because of these 3 kids we have made our lessons more fun and more interactive. and literally if i could i would shove them all into my suitcase and take them home with me. ^_^ no joke. that's how weird i've become on my mission. I worry so much after sister sparks and i leave who will be there for them you know? *headdesk* ack..i cant think about that it makes me soooo sad!
the other day when we were teaching them, sister sparks was testifying. Em phuc started to get really really close to her and all of a sudden he wacked her on the forehead. Sister sparks was a little taken back and i couldnt stop laughing. Em Phuc was like "moi" which means 'mosquito' and he wiped it from her face. XDD it was seriously the funniest think i have seen on my mission! Co Nu'o'ng's progress has been amazing too. she participates when we teach her kids Em My Lam and Em Kim Anh. her knowlege is growing so much and she smiles so much more too.
As for using my art talent...orz i try but i dont have much time to draw these days. we've been using the pictures for like sunday school and primary though. usually when i do draw its for other missionaries to like cheer them up and stuff. but there really aren't any sidewalks here in Cambodia to draw on...its like italy where everything is right on the street. and the few sidewalks they do have are in front of government buildings...and i dunno if they would appreciate Joseph Smith's face on their front step. XD ahaha
yeah wendy told me about the mis-hap...goodness gracious. *shakes head* what are we going to do about them? :) I'm sure wendy is taking good care of them though.
Well i should go now. Another week down. one more to go :)
Sister Holloway

I got your package last week!! thank you soooo much! i love the cds! i play them everyday!!
also the dresses were a bit...large for i'll have a sister in our branch tailor problem
Thank you again!! I can't belive i almost forgot to tell you!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Missionary Wednesday

Good Afternoon Mommy Daddy and Kaity!

Whoo, today we are all so exhasted already...and its only 1215! we hurried up and did our grocery shopping this morning so that we could go to the Russian Market. :) We went to KFC after for lunch.

This week was good. Co Nu'o'ng was confirmed on sunday! now we are teaching her 3 daughters. 2 of which are old enough to be baptised, but her younger granddaughter (who is so stinkin cute!) has to wait til she's 8...she's only 3 or so right now. :) It's been amazing to see the changes in Co Nu'o'ng these past few months. She's more loving toward her children, her understanding is growing, and she smiles so much now! When Chi Thuy and I started teaching her in March/April she hardly smiled and was so sad...but now she's smiling and laughing alot.

The lesson yesterday with Em Kim Anh and Em My Lam (Co Nu'o'ng's daughters) we came up with an awesome object lesson. We gave everyone an oreo and explained that an Oreo has three parts: 2 cookies and a cream filling. the two cookies represent Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ because they have bodies. the cream filling is the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost doesnt have a body so he can be inside of us. :) it was super creative i think. and at least we got oreos after the lesson :P

Chi Lieu and Em Bui and Em Phuc all have a baptismal date now! Chi Lieu, and Em Phuc will be baptised the end of july. Em Bui has to wait until she goes to church 8 times in a row because she's under 18 and we arent teaching her parents. we also have to ask her parents for permission to teach/baptise her. We pray that her mom's heart will be softened so that she can at least learn with us still.

Yesterday at district meeting Anh Ca Hung complimented me on how well my vietnamese is progressing....ack! *blush* its nothing really... moving on..

Friday was kind of a hard day. I suddenly started feeling anxious and worried about nothing! I havent had that problem since i've been here, then suddenly it just came up again! However i tried to focus my thoughts on other things and it went away when we met with Chi Hu'o'ng and we shared a scripture and tesified to her.

Monday we went and visited a member Chi Linh. You know those kind of members that are really good, but they kind of have thier hands in everything going on in the ward? yeah she's one of those. and she spend 1 1/2 hr talking about all the dirty secrets in our branch. awesome. well i've already faced the fact that branch 10 will never be my home ward in utah, so i just cant let what she says about other people bother me.

In my personal studies in the morning, i finished the book of mormon already and now i'm going through and reading all the footnotes. its been like 1 week and i'm still in 1 Nephi 2. :) It's been pretty fun doing that. i spent the whole 30 mins sometimes on one verse. ^-^

On sunday we didnt have any investigators at church. we were kinda bummed, but these past few days we've been trying to use the Book of Mormon to resolve thier concerns...which is kinda difficult sometimes. Like yesterday with Co Bay, she was worried because she didnt want to throw away her parents (give up being Buddist basically) so we shared about how families are so important in God's plan and how we can live forever with them if we live rightously. She went from wanting to be met every day to only 2 times a week...thats not a good sign. but who knows maybe she will change?

As of yesterday i havent gotten your package yet. we are going to the mission home again today, hopefully its there! I'm so excited for it!!

Wow i almost forgot Kaitlyn will be 12 next month! holy cow! so old already! :P

Sometimes i wake up and i still cant believe i'm actually in away from my family...and surviving! its amazing the things you can do with the Lord's help! The other night at dinner the other sisters were talking about thier older brothers and how when they got home from thier missions they cried so much. I know i cry inside sometimes because i know my time here is almost over. *sigh* also i wonder what it will be like having a native companion. they actually wont come unil the middle of Aug now. dang. but until then i'm working as hard as i can on the language so i wont struggle as much when they get here. (of course it will still be a struggle, i just hope i'm strong enough to handle it.) :)

okay well it think that's enough rambling for this week. all in all i'm doing great. I'm loving the person i'm becoming and none of this would be happening if you and dad hadn't talked me into it ;) i love my Savior Jesus Christ very much. I know he lives and he loves all of us. I know the Atonement is real and through that sacrifice we can be healed from our mistakes, sorrows, and disappointments. I love you all very much! and I will continue to kien tri den cung! (endure to the end!)

Sister Holloway

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

missionary update

cam o'n rat nhieu cho tat ca dieu ma cha va me da giup da con vo'i. con co thay thay ma Cha Thien Thu'o'ng da ban phu'o'c gia dinh cua con rat nhieu! Con rat cam o'n Ngay moi ngay cho co hoi de chia se Phuc Am cua Chua Gie Su Ky To moi ngay. Mat du ho khong muon nghe doi khi, con biet ma Giao Hoi cac Thanh Hu'u Ngay Sau cua Chua Gie Su Ky To co le that, va Sach Mac Mon that su la cac lo'i cua 'Thu'o'ng De.

okay that whole think will not make sense if you put it into a translator so i'll just tell you what i said
thank you very much for all the things you and mom helped me with. i can see that Heavenly Father has blessed my family so much! I thank Him for the oppurtunity i have to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ every day. Although they dont listen sometimes, I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true, and the Book of Mormon is the words of God.

Aimee is doing very well!! The first couple of paragraphs are excerpts from her latest email to her Daddy. She is an amazing woman!! We are so very proud of her, miss her tons, and love her so much!!

Today is our Wendy girl's 21st birthday!! I can't believe it!! It seems like just yesterday that we were holding in our arms for the very first time! She is an amazing woman! She has been such a great help to our family! She had to learn to be responsible at a very young age due to my health and she has never once showed any resentment toward us or our situations. Now she lives so far away from us with her Grandparents. She works and attends University. We miss her so much! We really didn't realize how much she does for our family until she left in November, but it's okay. She had to leave the nest sometime. She has so much love and patience to share with others. She is studying to be a kindergarten teacher, she loves children! She has been a great friend to those around her, she's helpful, caring, loving, understanding, and full of life. She is always happy and always smiling! She brings sunshine to the lives of everyone she touches.

We love you Wendy!! Hope you have an AWESOME day!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Missionary Update and Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and mothers yet to be!!

What a great day it was for us!! We had the two of the three sets of missionaries over for dinner and let them all call their Mommies! It was great to hear these young men and women talk to their families. Made me want to talk to my missionary, but I had to wait one more day.

Monday morning began for Dave at 3am! He couldn't sleep so he came downstairs to flip through movies and catch up on the world news. Five am arrived and our Skype began was our Aimee girl!!! He came upstairs to wake me and Kaitlyn while Aimee bought more time for her phone call. It was so great to hear her voice!! She sounds so happy and so excited about being in Cambodia. She has been learning a lot about the culture, people and a simpler way of life! She has also been teaching these beautiful people the Gospel of Jesus Christ!! She has grown to love rice and fish since arriving in country. As with any other mission, they are going through a dry-spell right now. They have had a few baptisms since January and those members are doing great. The sisters of the church in Cambodia are faithful and try to do their best, the brothern are slow in converting. She has had a few experiences with mice, cockroaches and monkeys. Our germaphobic daughter is learning that the things of nature aren't going to kill her and give her diseases just by existing. ;0) She rides a bicycle everywhere she goes and thank goodness hasn't had any accidents except maybe a hip bump or two by the "crazy" drivers. Two of the sisters with her are from Utah and one is from Hanoi, Vietnam. There are several senior couples called to serve in the mission as well and Aimee has had to do quite a bit of translation for them. She is slowly becoming more proficient in the language and I'm sure the more she practices the better she will be and by the time she is ready to come home she will be very good. I can't wait to hear her bare her testimony in Vietnamese!! The American missionaries are unable at this time to get Visas to travel to Vietnam so their teaching pool and area is quite small (consisting of a small area in the capital city of Phnom Phen). The Church is so very new to the people that the Elders are teaching the Branch President how to give priesthood blessings and perform baptisms. An amazing experience for all of them.

The Church has relaxed the dress code for the sisters since Aimee entered the MTC. When she entered the dress code was more business attire and now they are encouraged to wear brighter colors but still stay modest. They have been trying to find some modest clothing at the street markets that would fit American women, but have had no luck, so we have to send her some new dresses in the next month or so. We try to send a box to her every three months or so with different things that she might enjoy, she was extremely happy to get the Crystal Light mixes that we sent to her for her birthday and Christmas. So I guess we will be sending her some more. I can't believe how happy she is!!

She has asked us if we will be able to meet her in Cambodia a few days before she is sent home next year, but we had to tell her no. :0( But we will meet her in Utah when she arrives there!! ;0) We are planning to be on vacation when she comes home. We are sad that we weren't there when she was set apart for her mission so we WILL be there when she is released!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Missionary Update

Thank you everyone for your support, kind words and understand for our decision.

Aimee is doing very well. She had two baptisms last week and both sisters were confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

Aimee was able to send some pictures this week, so I thought I would share them with everyone.

We haven't been doing much of anything this past week. Easter weekend was spent with our little family, watching the Harry Potter movies, cleaning, feeding the missionaries, grocery shopping, and soaking up the sunshine.

We've enjoyed the sunshine for the past couple of weeks, but now the cloudy skies and rain are back. I suppose it could be much worse. After watching some of the news clips on the internet and have seen some of the devistation caused by the severe weather in the US. We continue to pray for the people who have been affected by the weather.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Missionary Wednesday?!

Well, I've been trying to figure out how to write this and be "politically correct," but I don't think I can so I'm just gonna write it and let the chips fall where they may.

I will no longer be forwarding Aimee's emails to everyone that requested or that she requested for them to be sent. My reason is simply to help her be more focused on what she is suppose to be doing...serving the Vietnamese people, the Lord, and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those who are ready to hear the word. When I have forwarded the emails to everyone, she has gotten a few replies that are not encouraging. Quite frankly, they are judgemental, harsh, critical and sometimes down right mean to her. I won't stand for it any longer!! I realize that she is going to come up against critisism and harsh times, but she shouldn't be hearing it from people who have professed to be her friends and family. I will, however, post updates here on our blog, but not post her emails.

Being on a mission is tough, hard, and challenging. You hear all kinds of things from non-believers, doors slammed in your face, told you are going to Hell, and sometimes even spit at. Sometimes you don't get along with your companion, you might argue with the other missionaries, there are different personalities place in very small places. Every missionary that has ever served or will ever serve can say that they have had the perfect companion EVERY time or gotten along with EVERY companion/missionary that they have encountered...if they profess that they are lying. Not even married people get along ALL of the time, there are going to be differing opinions!

So with that all being said, I'm sorry that it has had to come to this, but something HAD to be said about it.

On a good note. Aimee is doing well, she has been training a new sister the past couple of weeks, had a couple of baptisms, planned a wedding, and become a senior companion. She is loving her mission because she has met wonderful people who do the best they can with what they have, seen some beautiful things, taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are ready to hear, had a few disappointments, grown tramendously, and has had her testimony strengthened.

It's hard to believe that she is 1/3 of the way done with her mission, just one more year!!! We are so proud of her! She is a great example to her family, especially her sisters. We love her and miss her greatly!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Missionary Wednseday!!!

Whew i'm glad we didnt decide to go email first thing this morning then cuz i would have missed your email! that would have been sad! okay so this week has been pretty awesome. I think this week i'll tell you about some of our investigators Bac Ut was baptised on sunday...except she has to be baptised again because the elders did it with thier left hand and they didnt think it mattered but i double checked and surprise! it does matter! who would have thought? *eye roll* oi cac anh ca.... so anyway we had to go back and explain why she had to be baptised again, luckily shes got alot of faith and she wasnt like 'well this church isnt true. see ya.' Chi Hu'o'ng is doing well. she is being baptised for the first time on sunday! yay! we were going to visit her on monday, but she called and cancelled. the only thing i could understand (because she speaks in the northern vietnamese accent its so difficult for me to understand) was that she couldnt meet monday but tuesday she could. so we went back yesterday and she was sad. she said something about her baby and being sick. Sister sparks was like "i think she is sick like morning sickness kinda" i was like "no i think its something else..." so in my super simple vietnamese i asked "Chi Hu'o'ng da co bao phai khong? Nhu'ng bay gio khong co bao phai khong?" (You were pregnent, but right now you're not right?) She nodded then suddenly I understood that she had a miscarrage and that was what she was trying to tell me over the phone on Monday, but i hadnt understood. Sister sparks and i were so sad for her, i felt especially bad because i had no idea. we tried our best to comfort her and we retaught the plan of salvation. I think that was the most spiritual lesson we have had because all we could do was share our pure testimony about Christ comforting us in our trials and the Plan of Salvation. We both agree though that Chi Hu'o'ng will make it though because she understands the gospel alot more than others. and she wasnt angry at all toward God like some people would be. President Smedley said one time that the investigators who go through trials of faith while they are learning are the ones who grow the strongest. So if she overcomes this trial correctly, she can be so strong still. :) Em Nhung is such a cute girl. shes 14 and her father was a member but he died along time ago. Em Nhung lives with her aunt, Chi Lang, and they sew shirts all day long (anywhere between 60 and 80 shirts a day) She hasnt come to church because the sewing takes up so much time, but she promised that after the Khamae new year she would have more time to go. I hope she does because she is so sweet and the Gospel would help her so much in her life. Chi Thu works in a tailor shop (I think Anh Kiet, and maybe Chi Hu'o'ng, knew her because she has one of those pictures with Anh Kiet's name and address on it on her desk, and a bunch of other old elders too) She is such a cute lady! She is so smart and she always asks us questions! She says she feels so happy when we visit her and she's always so excited to learn with us! We decided we would make her more of a priority, even if she claims she cant go to church because who would watch her tailor shop? :) we will just have to work on building her faith that if she goes to church she wont need to worry about that. All in all the work is going good. :) I think the biggest learning experience for this transfer has been and is about the Atonement. I know how they say He will take our burdens and make them light, I never really understood that until now. Truely understood.Like I know i should feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being a trainer, senior companion and for all the souls Heavenly Father has entrusted us with at this time, but i dont feel the burden, as long as i'm keeping positive and opptimistic. The moment i begin to doubt or feel afraid is when everything like weighs down again. So everyday i try and stay as postive as possible. Also i just realized that on this day 7 months ago is when i entered the MTC! Holy cow! i've been on my mission 7 months already! Its crazy! :D but so much fun! I love it! This morning during personal study i read Alma 42 when he is talking to his son corianton about the plan of salvation and the fall and the whole justice and mercy thing. I finally understand how it works! (hurray for line upon line precept upon precept!) Mercy is for those who repent and truely follow Jesus Christ. Justice is for those who have not repented and do not follow, they become subject to the punishment because they did not obey the laws. okay that short explination did not do my discovery justice, i appologize. :) Okay well i'm sure i've taken up so much time already. I love you all and i miss you all so much! *loveslovesloves* Sister Holloway Chi ca Tam ^_^ v

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Missionary Wednesday

This awesome email is being typed just for you by: Sister Holloway, the awesome wedding planner :P So this week has just flown right on by! I cant believe its April already and so many things have happened this week i dunno where to begin...@_@ okay so lets start off with the new companion sister sparks. she's so good, so much more outgoing than i am really, and i'm so impressed with her vietnamese! ^-^ Chi ca ay gio'i qua!! Together we are doing the best we can every day. :) Sunday was really awesome, Bac Ut got baptised! finally! after 3 long months! but it was all worth it. She's such a sweet old lady, all through the teaching process she kept saying "I wouldnt invite you here if i didnt believe it!" :) haha she's funny. Monday we had a wedding schedualed for one of our investigators, Chi Hu'o'ng. We prayed extra hard that she would come, her husband would come, that the elders could make it so they could witness ect...but the one thing we didn't pray for that we probably should have, was that the branch president would remember and come prepared!! *headdesk* luckily we got it reschedualed for tuesday evening and everything worked out. :3 she should be ready to be baptised by the 17th of this month! yay! ^-^ One thing that the mission president is having us do is to read the book of mormon and mark refrences to Christ, his attributes (Christ's not the mission presidents XD), principles of the gospel and other things. My book of mormon is so colorful now! man, i never really realized how much awesome things are there in the book of mormon. I've been trying to apply the things i learn there from like Alma and Amulek and Ammon. especially Ammon because Ammon was such a joyful guy it seems like. :D Ah! I saw the pics you sent! thank you so much! i cant believe how grown up Kaitlyn looks! daaaaang! TT___TT orz i miss you kaity! Ack! wait, you all are moving?! I'm thinking New Mexico...if you are then i totally called it when you said you had a prompting to learn spanish!...oh speaking of how is the spanish going?? and does this mean you'll be at the airport when i get home?...oh yeah i've been meaning to ask, what are the odds you and daddy will come visit me right before I end my mission? :P Yeah being extra friendly really helps on a mission, even if its just smiling at everyone as you bike past them. ^-^ Man the language is going so good now, sometimes i'll be talking or listening and suddenly i'll think "Man, i know vietnamese! yay!"....and then i'm instantly humbled. XD hahaha oh well. Ack, faith promoting stories....ummm lets see i know i have some, i just cant think of any right now. *fail* this my friends is why we keep a journal.... hmmm...well i guess the biggest faith building thing right now is that the Lord truely doesnt give us anything we cant handle. and even when the trails seem tough, through the Atonement we can feel our burdens become light. like seriously, i dont think i've felt the heavy burden of training, but i know thats only because of Jesus Christ. Seriously, if it wasnt for him i wouldn't be able to function here i dont thing. and every day we must always try a little harder to do a little bit more better...(sorry vietnamese grammar there i think) Well i'm glad everyone is doing well! and i will pray that things get taken care of quickly! I love you all so much! Love Sister Holloway, Chi ca Tam

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Sleeping Beauty

Brussels American School

Brussels, Belgium

1 April 2011

Kaitlyn the night before her debut performance!

Hair and Make-up. This girl has the longest eyelashes I have ever seen in my life! Even longer then Wendy's!!
Okay, so I know it's weird to have pictures of the bathroom but it was too good to pass up! The restrooms in the main hall of the school were taken from typical drab school bathroom to the chic upscale restroom of a typical Opera House! They even smelled snooty! ;0)

Please enjoy some of the pictures of this cute play that some of the elementary students put on for one night only.
Mrs. Allen welcoming everyone to this "theater in the round" production of SLEEPING BEAUTY.
We were reminded to turn off our cellphones, pagers and other devices by the "Wizard from DownUnder."
Megan and Kaitlyn as part of the "Royal Court"

Flower Fairies

"Morgana" and her "Ghouls"

"Aurora" pricked her finger and fell down dead

"Prince Ferdindad" and "Princess Aurora"

The cast

Mrs. Allen with some of the girls

This experience has been great for Kaitlyn. She has shown wonderful talent with her natural ability to be a drama queen. She has made friends and had a wonderful time! A great memory for our time in Brussels, Belgium and at BAS.