Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sorry It's Been Awhile

This is me!
I was able to get several new outfits for church in the last couple of months and I decided that today I looked really good so I had to have a picture taken.
It helped that I had several compliments at church.
Several people said how happy and fun I looked.
Happy and Fun?
But okay, it helped me to feel good about myself, so I thought I would share. ;0)
I have so much natural curl that I usually try to straighten it or wear it so it's not so wild looking.
But when I gel and scrunch it this is the result.
I've kinda been afraid of my gray and try not to make it obvious exactly how gray I really am, but I decided that I love my gray hair and it can be just as fun as all the curls.
I love my Kaitlyn, she's not too sure if she loves her Mommie though.

This week has been a bit of a challenge.
We've had a few days of sunny blue skies, and then the rest of the week has been VERY cold!
Those cold days and lack of a good night's sleep have been really bad on my joints.
Since I love to spend my time working on my handcrafts the cold can be especially hard on my hands.
I haven't been able to work as much as I usually do, so some of these projects have sat in idleness and been looking pretty sad.
After a particularly bad day, I huddled under the blanket, turned up the heat and started get some work done.
It felt so good after just wishing I could be working on them.

This piece I found through a fellow blogger.
There are twelve of these Doorways and I can't wait to get them all done.
I'm working them on 18ct Aida with two strands of floss.
Yes, it makes for a strain on my eyes, but I love them.

This little blessing gown has been a bugger!!
I've had to undo it at least 6 times and I've wanted to give up on it several times, but I know I can't since I promised to have it done and mailed before Zoe Kay is blessed in August.
It will definately be worth it!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Missionary Wednesday

Mommyz! and Daddyz! and Kaityz!!

okay i found out something that i wish they would have told us sooner...Sister Smedley, the mission presidents wife, has a blog that she keeps updated with all the mission stuff on blogspot.

I'm so glad you're all doing well and having alot of sunshine! (heaven knows i get enough :P ) How is kaitlyn doing in school? is dad tolerating work better?":) What the-? Spanish? in Belgium? XD well i guess that's not as random as Vietnamese. Let me know how that all works out! :) Hey! i can tell you how i do my language you think that would help? I set a goal for febuary that i would read better. Sister harlen and i read together a little bit in the Book of Mormon in Viet, so we decided that we would finish Moroni and all the one chapter books in the Book of Mormon before she leaves next month. so we pray in viet, we sing in viet, and then we read in viet. after that, I usually study a principle that we will be teaching the next day, or memorize some words from lessons. one thing though i've learned is that you have to study at least 30 mins to 1 hr every day, and no matter how tempted you are to use english (because maybe the investigator understands english) Dont do it! that was a hard lesson to learn.

I've been learning alot of hard lessons lately. Suddenly out of nowhere i'll start to feel really down and yesterday i uttered the most vile words ever..."i can't do it." I regret that so much. We were meeting a referral from the elders, and as i was sitting there listening to sister harlen i was just overcome with this huge desire to give up and go home, i really wanted to cry right then. and sister harlen turns to me and i tried to speak, but i couldnt think at all, all i could manage was 'i cant do it.' it was the worst feeling ever. and i still feel really bad when i think about that. How did dad manage to go through his mission? How do you overcome feelings like that? I mean its not hard really, being a missionary, but at the same time you just get these really high highs..then really low lows and its trying to climb back up to the high thats really difficult. But then as i was pondering on this during personal study this morning I was reading in Mosiah 7:33...i think it was. where he says something like turning to the Lord with all your mind and serving him diligently til the end. After reading that i knew what i had to do. Turn again to the Lord. This is his work, even if i make mistakes the work still goes on. if i mess up when i'm speaking, if the person is truely ready for the gospel my mistakes wont deter them.

I dont remember if i told you before, but i will be training the two new sisters who are coming next month. I feel so do you train with only 3 months experience?? I've been working so hard and i know i'm not perfect, i just worry that i'll do something wrong you know? I think though...just a random thought just now...i need to have more happiness and enthusiasm for the work. Sometimes i worry that i'm loosing my enthusiasm because sometimes i want to go home so much. but i've already decided that i'm not going home, i'm going to stay the whole time, because i'm sure the guilt and the regret will be way more than i can handle....Just make today better than yesterday, that's all I can do. and serve the Lord with more diligent efforts.

So okay enough with the pity party, lets get on with the good stories from this week :)
So Sunday's are always interesting. We dont have time for our studies in the morning so every sunday i pray that i can feel some sort of good sprit in church. yes and my prayer was answered (kinda) by an older woman named Co Va. Co Va was baptised less than a year ago, she was Sister Harlen and Sister Vo's investigator. Co Va is... an interesting daughter of God. In sunday school we were talking about how we dont follow the law of moses anymore, we follow the higher law of Jesus Christ. and we got onto the topic of eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. Co Va decided that that was the perfect time to admit to everyone that her husband was abusive (not uncommon here in Cambodia i'm told) and she tried to kill him 3 times with rat poison. (He eventually died of HIV instead). Co Va then nudges sister curtis (one of the senior couples) and points to Laviticus 11:39-40-something then exclaims 'hay qua! hay qua!" "So good! so good!"....yeah she's an interesting one alright...

Before church we went and picked up an investigator named Ba Hai. Ba Hai was a referral from Co Ba and we had taught her once before, but then she disappeared. Co Ba said she moved but then one day when sister harlen and i ran out of plans we prayed for guidence and we were led to where she lived and she was sitting outside crying. She shared a scripture with her and invited her to church the next day. I was so glad that she did in fact come to church! ^-^

We also had another mouse in our kitchen. We are out of mouse traps and we forgot to buy more. the little bugger was hiding under the stove, and we devised this ingenious idea to get it. I lit the stove, which scared it and it ran under the microwave. Sister harlen got ready with two shoes (one to throw and hopefully hit and stun it, the other to..i guess beat it to death with). I stood on the left side of the microwave, and we planned that if i shook the left side, the mouse would naturally run out the right side right? So i gave the microwave a shake and lo and behold the mouse must have read our minds because instead of going out to the right, or maybe even to the came out right at me!! I gave a shriek of wait it was surprise...jumped back and the mouse came running down the side of the counter. sister harlen was just a split second too late with the shoe and the mouse got away!! curse the clever creature!

Okay i promise next week i'll send pictures via snail mail because the computer is retarded (i'm sure wendy has told you already) so i will print them and send them.
also isnt reading the Book of Mormon great! I'm learning so much more than i ever have before! Personal Study time is my favorite time right now ^-^

Hurray! a care package!! i will def let you know when i get it!
Okay i should go now.
I love you all and i miss you all so much! I pray for you all the time!
Sister Holloway

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Another Missionary Wednesday!!


Yay! i'm so happy to hear that you all are healthy again! ^-^ That totally makes my day!

Okay this week was a harder week physically. Since we are only serving in branch 10 now we have to spread out alot. It's been crazy. But we have been blessed with more investigators to make up for the ones we lost in branch 3. (and i've slimmed down even more...hurray! :)
But we've had some awesome miracles happen as well...for example
my bike tire... stupid thing keeps going flat. i've had it changed 2 now and still it goes flat. so on monday we were in a mad rush to get across the city to meet the elders so they could show us a referral. and my tire went flat. so we stopped at the first tire fixer person we saw and attempted to ask how much it would be. (he wanted 10$) luckily there was a woman there who knew vietnamese and she translated for us. but somehow in the translation there was a mix up and the kamai guy fixing my tire started cutting the inner tube!! Sister harlen and i were like OoO OoO "NO!" ...but alas it was too late my bike tire was gone. ... *moment of silence* meah i was starting to hate that thing anyway.... so anyway as we were watching him replace my tire we contacted the viet woman whose name is Bat Sao. She seems really good and we gave her a pamphlet and explained some things (she doesnt know how to read). then a khamai girland man came up and they wanted a pamphlet (luckily i randomly had 3 pamphlets in khamai). and the guy doing my bike tire lowered the price to only 5$...which is still way expensive. i got ripped off i know it. but still. tender mercies.
so anyway we went and met the elders, met the referrals they had for us. a family of 4 girls and just now the elders called and said that family wants to learn everyday. O_O woah right! they are so good though, we taught Em Vi and Em Thuy yesterday. they met us at the church and we taught them about Heavenly Father and prayer. As they were sitting there they had this like light in there eyes. They also want to learn english really bad, they said we could teach some of the lesson in english...which was a huge mistake because when i tried that i forgot all my vietnamese and when i tried to teach in english i was way more now i know i'm supposed to share only in vietnamese.
I've also figured out that i'm pretty sure everyone has a huge lesson they have to learn while on thier mission. i dunno what everyone else has to learn, but mine is overcoming fear i'm sure. and the way to overcome fear is in Moroni 8:16. it says something like Love overcometh fear or something such as that. (sorry bad scripture quoter!) So that's my goal for my entire mission. Overcome fear though faith in the Lord and love for his children...even if they are crazy drivers :)

Okay well i guess i should go now. We have shopping to do still. hurray for bayon! and for Lucky Burger for lunch! ^-^
Sister Holloway

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stitchin' 'n' Crochetin' Away the Day

This was my day yesterday....
My Dear Husband informed me yesterday that he needs two baby boy gifts for women at work, so I went down to my stash to see what I have. Only three more baby boy patterned blanket sets. So I guess I'll be workin' on those the rest of the week.

I finished the blanket and burp cloth that Wendy asked me to send for her friend. It turned out really cute!

I have been crochetin' the same pattern for those cute baby dresses for four years now, so I decided to try another pattern out. So far I like it. We'll see how good it looks when I'm done with it.

I had to start December Santa Bear over again!!

I was stitchin' along for a couple of days while watchin' movies thinkin' I was doin' pretty good! Then I realized I had made a HORRIBLE mistake in counting!! I was about half-way done and there was NO way I was gonna unstitch HALF of what I had completed. So I had to start over. I got two rows done and put it away. Maybe I'll get back to it next week.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Missionary Wednesday!!

Still no pictures, sorry!

Xin chao mommy! and everyone else who will read this!!

I'm glad to hear the sun is finally out for you guys. Sometimes i wish the sun would just burn out here haha XD jk the humidity is rising so its getting hotter. the sunsets are so pretty! so purple and pink! Ack! i took pictures but i forgot to buy a usb plug thing to email them to you! *epic fail* sorry! next week i promise! (oh btw i've lost 2.2 lbs...maybe more since the last time i weighed ^-^) i'm excited to hear how the play goes! Yes yes please send me pictures! :)
The food here is so good. its spicy!! XD the first few weeks i couldnt eat the spicy food much because i was so used to the bland MTC food, but now that i'm used to flavor again i love it! Pho' is so good! we've only had it once, but i still really liked it! and theres this egg dish that Sister Harlen makes with rice that is just soooo yummy! ah! and in the vietnamese food they use fish sauce (you know how much i dont like fish, or the smell) but its gotten to where when i smell the fish sauce my mouth waters XD hahaha

*Que epic Star Wars theme song*
Soo 6 weeks is up and yesterday we found out about transfers!! ^-^ So i'm pretty sure i forgot to mention that i was serving in Branch 3 and Branch 10 before. (Branch 3 takes up the north part of phnom penh, Branch 10 takes up the central part, and branch 6 is the southern part.) So starting on Friday Sister Harlen and I will be serving just in the Branch 10 area. :) we are kinda sad about that because most of the people we are teaching and are getting baptised are in branch 3. dang, but i guess the Lord needs us to concentrate on Branch 10. So we will be serving with Elder Nhan and Elder Vu there.

Ah! in Branch 10 we do have 2 progressing investigators: Bat Ut and Co Hai. They are neighbors and Bat Ut's grandaughter Em Thu is already a member. On Monday we gave Bat Ut a Book of Mormon in Cambodian (She cant read vietnamese) and she said that her son gave her some of his salary and she's going to use the money to buy some really nice reading glasses so that she can read it :)

Oh! on sunday there was a member from Branch 6 at the branch 3 meeting, his name is Anh Tai. he's deaf and he is mute, but his testimony is so strong i can tell. He was telling elder Chinh about how he was going to stowaway on a boat to a country with a temple. He brought a map and was asking us which countries had temples. Elder Hung was like 'yeah he's been saying this for months, but we always see him the next week." XD Still I really admire Anh Tai for his faith. so in Sunday School, usually the elders translate for Anh Tai, by writting down whats being said and showing him the scriptures (Anh Tai can read) but the elders had to teach sunday school for the teens, ans sister harlen translated for the senior couple, so i had the AWESOME opportunity to translate for Anh Tai. I couldnt really understand what was being said, but i showed him scriptures and drew pictures to help him understand words. ^__^ that was so awesome! Everyone could use some faith like him, and like dispite not being able to hear or speak he doesnt let it get him down. He does what he has to, and i could even understand him when he signed. :D

The people here are really good, the Cambodians and the Vietnamese. the other day my chain fell off my bike and this nice cambodian woman helped us put it back on and she got water and soap so we could wash the grease from our hands. :) if only we were taught Cambodian too we could have shared with her. dang it.

So later today we are going to go bowling with the elders, one last hooray before they split us up into 2 districts. yeah thats right! The vietnamese zone is being split into 2 districts. branch 6 and 10 are now one district and branch 3 is its own district! i'm sure the returned missionaries from cambodia are excited to hear least i hope they are...i dunno is this something to be excited about? ...anyway....

So I hope everything is going well for everyone! I miss you all a ton!
The church is true and Jesus Christ is our Savior, never forget that! :)
Sister Holloway

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


What a morning!
We walked outside at about 715 to catch the school bus when we see this...

the light blue sky!
It has been forever it seems since we saw that beautiful color!
Isn't it gorgeous?!

Oh how I miss the sunny days of Spring!
But it's just around the corner, or so they say.
I long for the longer days, the sunny skies, the cheerful bird's song, and the happy feelings in my heart because of those simple things.
I know it'll come, because it does every year, but I wish it would show up sooner rather than later this year.
I feel like I have been stuck in a dark cloud for six months!
I suffer from seasonal depression and so the cloudy skies and rainy weather isn't my favorite kind of way to spend my days.
Sometimes I feel like there is no end in sight, but the Lord saw fit to show me the light at the end of a long tunnel this morning.
We've decided after only six months in Belgium that we SO NEED to be in the warm, sunny climate of the desert.
Now if the right job will come along for that to happen!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Manic Monday

Here is my cute Kaitlyn during a calm moment last week. She has been extremely emotional lately! It has to be the age!

I have been so bored today! I have flitted from one craft to another because nothing is holding my attention today!

Dave's neice, Virginia, had her first baby in December! I have been so bad because I haven't gotten the baby gift sent off yet. I have it finished, or at least part way finished. I made her, baby Zoe, a purple dress and booties with a matching blanket and burp cloth. But I also am making a blessing gown for sweet little Zoe. I better get it done and sent off since they will be blessing her in July when her Grandpa goes to visit! Sorry Virginia for being so slow!!

Wendy asked me a couple of weeks ago if I could send a blanket and burp cloth to her for a baby gift for a friend of hers. Her friend is having a boy so I went to my stash that my Grandma, Mom, and Sister-in-Law (Angela) has stocked for me to see if I had one finished. I can't believe I didn't have a boy one available! So I pulled out this really cute dinosaur patterned blanket that Angela and Grandma picked out, Grandma hemstitched for me, Mom sent to me for Christmas a couple of years ago to add to my stash. Any way, you get the idea. I decided that I better get it done so I could get it sent off in the next week or so.
I have to tell you about my amazing Grandma! She is my Daddy's mother, she has been sewing most of her life. She has tried to teach all of us grand-daughters, there are eight of us, how to sew. I don't know about my cousins, but this girl can't sew a straight line to save her life! Any way, Grandma has been hemstitching blankets and burp cloths for years and then she crochets around them. Well, Grandma can crochet!!! She does beautiful work and has retaught me how to crochet. I remember learning the basics when I was about 10 or 11 years old, but I just couldn't get the hang of it. Grandma tried to teach me again when I was in my 20s, again I couldn't get it. I still knew the basics...a chain stitch. But in 2006 when we were getting ready to move to Italy and we were staying with Grandma for our last 3 or 4 weeks, she insisted that I try to crochet the baby dresses that she does. I was so scared that once again I would disappoint her and fail at this talent she was trying to pass on to me. With her gentle encouragement and my determination to succeed I did it. I have been non-stop since then. I have very fond memories of my Grandma, actually both Grandmas, working wonders with fabric, thread, yarn, and those amazing needles! Grandma Crook (Daddy's Mom) was very seldom seen without her hands working some kind of magic! Now Grandma is teaching my daughter, Wendy, how to sew, once again with gentle encouragement and lots of patience. I am so grateful for Grandma Crook and the talent of handwork that she has passed on to me. That talent saves me every day from the constant pain that I live with because it forces me to focus on something else besides the pain. And I have beautiful, even if I do say so myself, work to show for it! Like Grandma, I'm very rarely seen without my handwork with me and my hands moving right along. I hope some day to relearn the quilting talent that my Mom's Mom passed on to me.

And I did a bit of cross stitchin'!
I did manage to finish my November Bears.

I collect bears and I found this book that has hundreds of bears in different costumes. I love it! I turned them into magnets! Aren't they just the cutest?

Friday, February 4, 2011

This is the Week...

This is the week of finishes!
I was so happy to finally finish the cross stitch that I've been trying to finish for a couple of years.
Never mind the fact that we've moved a few times during that time.
My crocheting is so much easier to carry along with me where ever I go, so that's what gets taken with me.
So Thursday I was determined to work on it and finish it, so an hour at a time I alternated between projects.
I spent the day doing laundry, up and down those stupid stairs every hour to change loads.
Between changing loads I worked for 10 hours on finishing up those projects.
Here are the results of my efforts!
Here is the finished "Hanging the Quilts" on Thursday.
It took me FOREVER!
Two panels down, one more to go.

Since I finally finished the "Hanging the Quilts" panel, I decided I better do the final panel.
This one is called "Tending the Garden."
I'll start on it on Friday or Saturday.
I can't wait to get the whole set done!
I've only been trying to get the set done since 1990 something!

Wendy asked me if I would send a baby blanket and burp cloths for one of the ladies she visit teachers.
So I looked in my stash and found a cute dinosaur patterned set that I haven't crocheted on.
Isn't it cute?
I'm having a hard time decideing which color to do the edges.

I finished the crocheting on this dress for some lucky baby girl on Thursday.
It is little green, varigated green, and shades of green.
The pattern is one that I've been using for a long time, but I altered a little by adding layers so that it looks like it has ruffles.
I can't wait to get some ribbon, buttons, and ribbon roses on it!
I am working on the booties that go with it, I can't decide if I want to do the bonnet as well.
The lighting isn't very good in this picture, so when I get it COMPLETELY done I'll take a better picture.
(Kaitlyn, Elder Jackson, and Elder Watson)
We have the missionaries over for dinner about twice a month.
These young men, Elder Jackson and Elder Watson, have been in our area since about October and they are being transfered to new areas this week.
Elder Jackson has been so much fun for Kaitlyn since he plays "Guess that Movie" with Kaitlyn.
Elder Watson is very quiet and doesn't say much, but he's been fun too.
We still have two more missionaries in our area so we will be seeing them for a bit longer.
Good luck Elders in your new areas!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

One Of Those Weeks?

Have you ever had one of those weeks that you wonder what in the world you're doing? Did we really make the right decision? What are we gonna do to keep everyone happy? Well, this has been one of those weeks. Kaitlyn has been feeling the affects of being away from her sisters, she's had a cold, not been able to sleep, and cries at the drop of a hat. Every night she has cried because she misses her sisters so much, then she can't sleep because her head hurts from crying. I wish I could make the hurt go away, but I also know that she has to learn how to miss people and not dwell on it. Life is too short to be sad all the time. We've had four nights since last Friday that we haven't been able to get her to sleep until well after midnight. She's missed two days of school this week, mainly because she has that cold and was feverish. Her Daddy has given her several Priesthood Blessings to help comfort her in her time of sadness and it helps for a day or two. Sometimes I just don't know what do for her.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Another Weekly Missionary Update

Just to let everyone know, our little Brussels Family is doing well this week.
We have been fighting the winter blues, colds, migraines and boredom, but we are all here and waiting anxiously for Spring to arrive.
I can't believe it's been another week already!
Aimee is doing well and we are so happy for her.

Thu'a Cha and Mom!
(Dear dad and mom...sorry i cant type the word for mom right because i have no idea how to do vietnamese tones on the keyboard....*epic fail*)

Happy Chinese New Year! (yeah they celebrate that here big time :) ) ack! i'm sorry you're all sick :( thats no fun. Sister Harlen has been fighting a migrane and fever since sunday, but thankfully she's doing better now. because of that we havent been doing alot of work. Sister Smedley told us to go home and rest, so we did. Man it was so boring! *headdesk*
Man i wish we could use skype. but alas that might create some problems..
So with the chinese new year, alot of vietnamese go home to vietnam for a while, or they are too busy and they dont want to study, so i'm guessing we will be doing alot of finding these next few days until everyone returns.
Sorry that i dont have anything really exciting to write this week...agh..oh! i did find out that you can email me pics and i can print them out :3 also i will try and email pictures..if not then i will print them and send them to you.
ACH! i keep forgetting to ask you to add Liz to the email list! i feel really bad that i havent been writting her, please please please add her!
WAH! I've been here for exactly 1 month now!! Ack! only 14 months left for my mission! oh my gosh! it's going by so fast! I dont even remember what happened in January...except that i cried alot and gave a talk in sacrament meeting...AH! did i ever tell you that?! my 2nd week here Sister Harlen volunteered me to give a talk in sacrament! in vietnamese! orz! it was so nerve wracking...but i did it! :3 i'm so grateful to have an awesome companion like her!
So i just wanted to thank you and dad for always putting money in my account, and for all those people who are contributing to my mission fund. i was thinking about it last night and i dont think i've said thank you enough. and i'm sure the Lord is blessing you and all those people who are helping every day. :) so Thank you mom and dad and everyone else, plus i love hearing from everyone in emails even though i cant write back all the time.
So I love you all! and I pray for you all every day!! *bigbigbighugs and kisses*
Sister Holloway