Monday, December 26, 2016

Feliz Navidad

Today is the start of my second change! It feels like yesterday I was just a wee little greenie... I guess I still am a greenie but still I feel older so that´s nice. We got to have a christmas zone conference this week where we watched the Christmas devotional and ate a lunch with everyone and traded gifts. I got somebody one of those creepy little cats that just stares into your soul and waves at you. I don´t know why I did that to the poor guy....

If you want to do something fun watch a president monson talk in spanish... It cracks me up every time he starts to talk `my beloved brothers and sisters` and then the translator comes on over the top `mis queridos hermanos y hermanas` I don´t know maybe nobody else will think that its funny but I always get a kick out of it.
Secret Santa Gift Clayton made so you're always dressed
when you look in the mirror.

The Elders helped put up this sisters Christmas Tree
Christmas celebration with the mission.

Clayton and his companions Elder Benitez from Ecuador
and Elder Clements from Idaho
It was good to see everybody and their smiling faces on skype! That was definitely a good christmas present! We celebrated by sleeping in until 8 o clock thanks to president, and we found the bottom half of a christmas tree on the side of the road so you better believe we took that back to our house and decorated it. We put our presents underneath and opened them in the morning. We got little shot glasses from the bishop.. and mugs with tea in it from some investigators.... *facepalm* hahaha no it´s herbal so don´t even worry about it.
Family Skype

We got to have dinner with the bishop on nochebuena with his family. It was really good! The bishop told us to tell everyone hi! He likes to kiss us on the cheek so that´s neat. It´s a chilean thing.... or is it...

I hope that everyone everywhere has had a wonderful christmas!! I love hearing from you and seeing pictures! Keep on keeping on. 

Remember that Christmas is cool because we get to remember christ but that just because it´s not christmas doesn´t mean that we shouldn´t be thinking about him. We get to go to church every week to do that and say our prayers everyday and read his counsel for us in the scriptures. We get to remember him cada dia.

Elder H

(Since chileans can´t say my name...)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This week has been quite eventful! I am now in a trio for the last little bit of this transfer with Elder Benitez and Elder Clements. Elder Clement´s companion had to go home to help his family out with some things but he will be back in a jif! So now we have two areas to cover because we inherited their area as well. Our ward is split into the two areas and so the ward has had two sets of missionaries. Now they only have three.. It has been quite a bit of walking but it has paid off! Now that we have three we are able to enter any house we want. Before if there was a woman alone we would have had to wait and set a date for another day when we could return with someone from the ward. That has been really awesome! 

We were also supposed to have a baptism this sunday, one of elder clement´s investigators who was all ready to be baptized but when we called her the day before her interview elder clements told her, just so you know in your interview they are going to ask about coffee and tea and stuff just to make sure that you haven´t had any this week. Annnnnnnnnnd she had had coffee that last sunday. The rule is that you have to keep the word of wisdom for one week before your baptism... so unforunately we had to move it back a week. It was kind of funny to tell you the truth because we went to visit her later and she just said sorry I forgot... then she showed us the can of coffee she had and it said caffeine free on the front but on the nutrition facts showed that it had caffeine. Oh dear what are we going to do. But she is going to get rid of it she told us!

I am stoked to here that everyone´s soccer games are going well and that you´re putting the hammer down and just megging some kids. Every chance I get we play with kids and I can never help but go for the meg when I see the opportunity. 

On Sunday we ate with a family who the husband is from brazil. He does the brazilian fight martial art thing I can´t remember what it is called.... but he is so ripped. Anyway he was telling us about when brazil won the world cup in 2002 he was living in chile and he ran outside with his brazil flag in the streets. When Chilean teams are playing soccer it is pretty funny because everyone is just watching the games. We go to a door and they just yell to us that they are watching the game. And when a goal is scored everybody knows because the streets get a little louder. 

It has been a good week in 4 poniente I hope that everyone has built a few snowmen and gone sledding at least once.

Elder Holdstock

Monday, December 12, 2016

Hola Hola,

Hope everyone is staying warm... if you ever need to warm up just think of chile and you´ll be sweating through your shirts in no time! It is a little strange to see christmas lights and christmas trees being put up when it is 90 degrees outside. 

Lesson on Chileanos for this week

1. They´re always ocupado. Which means they´re busy. Which means they just don´t want to talk to you.

2. They´re watching the wawa. Which means baby. Which means they don´t want to talk to you.

3. They like to wag their fingers through the windows. which means they´re busy watching the wawa. Which means they don´t want to talk to you.

hahaha we just laugh every time any of these things happen at this point. But for every twenty of these people there´s always one person that´s cool and will talk to us! So I´m thankful for them. 

you asked if I can keep up with the kids when playing soccer...

We were playing the other day for a few  minutes with these kids and I always pretend at first that I am not super good... but I just saw an opportunity and had to get the nutmeg... needless to say he had to sit down the rest of the game because his pride was gonzo.

It sounds like Christmas Season is in full swing! We are doing Iluminate the world here as well it´s called Ilumina El Mundo and we are giving out tons of cards and showing the video to anyone and everyone! I love the little advent calendar and all the suggestions that it has of how we can help our neighbor just in our own way. By small and simple things, great things come to pass. 

I´m glad the house is all decked out (for Christmas). It did rain here super hard one day this week! So I got to break out the jacket and sweater! I love hearing about everyones week! Everyone always asks about my family so we talk about you all the time! We just got word from President Woodward that we will get to skype on christmas! Can´t wait to see your smiling faces.

Nos Vemos,

Elder Holdstock

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hola - po,

In Chile they say everything with po at the end... its sorta like a canadian saying eh. Do you like the food? Si'po... hahaha it's funny. Chileans speak kinda like the're singing. I am working hard on my accent... during companionship study I read a few pages from a book and my companion marks every time I pronounce a word bad, at the end I have to do three push ups for every mistake. So at this rate I won't be getting a latino accent but I will have pretty huge arms! 

This week has been a lesson in humility. Our area has a reputation of not being able to find very many new investigators. So this has been the topic of my study this week. There's an entire chapter in preach my gospel dedicated to finding people to teach. Anyway we have decided to take a few of those points and try and use them. After a few days of effort and quite a few prayers we had an awesome day where we found 3 nuevos! It was a lesson to me that we need to always lean on the lord in every moment not just the really bad ones and not just the really good ones.

I forgot my cord to send pics today so I will hit you up next week. But It's so funny because the people here are blown away to see a gringo that can juggle a soccer ball. Hahaha I have a video of me with like 10 kids surrounding me as I juggled for them. It's a good conversation starter that's for sure!

I hope everything is so good at home. Don't forget to apply your sunscreen because It is hot outside!!

Elder Holdstock

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hola Hola (chileans love to say hi twice)

This week was a good one! the stake president asked me to play the piano in the priesthood session of stake conference and so we got special permission to attend. I ended up only playing one of the three songs that I was supposed to because we ran out of time but I´m grateful that we got to attend because they talked lots about member missionary work and how priesthood leaders can work with us. 

This week we met a man named Roberto.. he let us come in and we taught him a little about the restoration and about baptism. We invited him to be baptized and he accepted to our surprise he told us he would like to but along with his wife and daughter. BOOM miracles do exist. hahaha for me that was a real life example of ¨the field is white already to harvest¨ 

In my study of the Libro de Mormon I have been reading about the Missionary work of ammon and about faith. Faith is the driving force behind all things in the gospel. Through faith we try to do better by faith the brother of jared saw the finger of the lord and enos was forgiven all his sins by faith. I have been sharing with people this week that if we have nothing else we should at least have faith. But as we cultivate our faith we will grow into the people that the lord knows we will be. 

I hope that everyone is enjoying the cold! I have to put sunscreen on every day before I leave because I´m gringo... oh well... haha We celebrated thanksgiving this year by going out and doing missionary work!! hahaha I love hearing everyones experiences. 

Mucho amor,

Elder Holdstock

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hola Hola Hola!!

Last week we finally got to the mission field. We met with President Woodward at his house and had a killer lunch and then headed out to meet our companions and trainers. My Papi is named Elder Benitez. He is from Ecuador. He is super awesome I am learning lots from him. We are in 4 poniente and I wish I could tell you where that was but I am still learning about where everything is. We live with two other elders in our ward. We eat lunch with the members every day and it has been really good. We ate at one Sisters house, her name was Hermana Digna and she reminded me of grandma smart just chileana. But everything that was on the table was coated in cilantro. But I ate it anyway and it really was pretty good. I guess the lord blesses your tongue in ways other than the language while you´re on a mission. 
Me and Elder Benitez in 4 Poniente (Chilean Erda)

Elder Benitez is a work horse. from the minute we are up to the second we go to bed we are going hard. Sometimes when we contact he pretends he doesn´t know spanish to get the people to come outside and listen to us. We try to have fun with it. We invite literally every person we talk to to be baptized. My first few days I think I invited like 7 or 8 different people to baptism. One guy named Fernando even said yes hahah he was like yeah where do we do it but we were like ok sweet but we gotta get you ready first. We havent been over since so hopefully we can work more with him. 

I am doing my best to remember that I cant be a professional missionary over night everything takes time. And it´s hard because I like to be the best at everything. But I was studying in alma about the experiences of Ammon on his mission and that the lord promises us that if we bear our trials with patience we will be rewarded with success. So I am putting that promise to the test. 

I played the piano in sacrament meeting this Sunday. I have a feeling I will be doing that all the Sundays but that´s alright because I enjoy it! It is so good to hear about everyone´s experiences! Keep them coming. Hopefully you´ll be able to see my pics this week....

Much love,

Elder Holdstock

P.S. Help the missionaries find people to teach and go with them! Seriously if you want to make their lives help them out with that. They like food and drinks but people to teach are even better.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Left the CCM for the mission field today
Dear Brother and Sister Holdstock,

Sister Woodward and I were pleased to welcome your son, Elder Holdstock, to one of the finest missions in the world, the Chile Santiago West Mission.  He is well and happy, and we are impressed with his enthusiasm for the work.  After departing from the MTC, he arrived at our mission home and I interviewed your son. He is a wonderful worthy person. We had lunch together and afterward, we went to the mission office which is the Stake Center of Maipú. My Assistants and office missionaries then gave him a brief orientation of the mission. He met his new companion, and they departed for his first area!

Elder Holdstock has been assigned to work with Elder Benitez, who will serve as his training companion.  Trainers are chosen for their competence, patience and dedication, and are selected after prayerful consideration.  With this letter we are including a photograph taken of your son and his new companion with Sister Woodward and myself.

Please accept our deep appreciation for raising such a fine son.  We feel a genuine fellowship with you in supporting and providing him this opportunity to grow spiritually as he labors to bring souls unto Christ.  It is my prayer that the Lord will inspire us all to sustain him in this challenging assignment. He will experience some of the most difficult as well as the most rewarding moments of his life here. Please write him frequently, weekly if possible.  Express your love, support, and confidence in him.  You will witness miraculous changes in his life as he engages fully in the service of others.

If you have any questions or if we can assist you in any way, please do not hesitate to write.

President Christopher G. Woodward
Chile Santiago West Mission

Elder Bello y Elder Baten
Secretarios Ejecutivos
Mision Chile Santiago Oeste
Alberto Llona 1580, Maipu


Clayton with President and Sister Woodward
and companion Elder Benitez

Clayton with President and Sister Woodward
1st day in the Misión Chile Santiago Oeste

Clayton's 1st area: Olimpo

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My companion at MTC.  Elder Corales from Uruguay
hola hola

Week 2 is in the books! It's been a good week! I am learning a little bit more about the gospel and about the language every day. it's slow thats for sure but it's all coming together. So we eat in the casino and pretty much every meal is either rice our noodles with some sort of salsa.. (sauce) and then meat.. it's good but i keep hearing it's a little better outside of the MTC.

On Sunday we had a visit from Elder Bragg of the Seventy. He came and spoke to us for about 15 minutes or so.. he talked about the language and how we've gotta be patient with it because it will come. I am feeling lot's more confident with it already though. Every day we have two investigators that we teach and I am able to at least participate in the conversations most the time! Yesterday I realized it was election day and how crazy that is. Then today when we went out to get elder corrales' hair cut we saw all the papers and stuff haha.

The weirdest thing about chile is that the sun rises on the opposite side of the sky and it throws me off so hard. Another thing I learned this week was in a devotional where we watched a talk from Elder bednar. he talked about the character of christ. The character of Christ is what we are striving for as missionaries. Loving and thinking of others before ourselves. When we do this we will have so much success and so much power BUT that can't be the reason we do it. We have to do it out of love. Sundays are my favorite days because President Brady Let's me go to the meetings with the other gringos. And I get to participate in english it's beautiful. I always tell the latinos that if they think the church is true in spanish they should hear it in english.

Every morning we get to play soccer on a little court. It's a party. the other americans don't understand how the latinos are so quick with the ball. it's pretty funny. 

I'll be out of here next week though and that's when it starts for real!!

Mucho Amor,

Elder Holdstock

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

This is why you learn to play the piano.
The mission always needs pianists.
Running around the MTC campus
Not sure who Elder "Wyoming" is,
but they seem to have hit it off.
Clayton was made Zone Leader.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


Just kiddin it's just me. hahahaha. Ok cool so this is my first update. I left slc at 3 oclock with a group of about 5 missionaries and we flew to atlanta. once we got to atlanta we met up with another little group of missionaries. My first bathroom companion was Elder Chapman from Gilbert AZ. Anyway so we boarded the plane and I was waiting for that culture shock of everyone speaking spanish but it didn't really ever come. All the announcements were in english all the flight attendants spoke english... I sat next to the old chilean man though who I talked to a little bit. I hooked him up with independence day on his little movie screen cuz he didn't know how to do it. I thought about trying to tell him he probably shouldn't be drinking that wine he had but I thought I might as well let him enjoy his flight... hahaha. When we got to santiago it was all smooth. Customs was a breeze! We met up with some members who got us to the CCM. Oh let me tell ya.. chileans are crazy drivers. they hate staying in their lane for more than five seconds and they use their blinkers but only after they've turned. The first day was pretty long cuz it was just lots of waiting around for everyone to show up. 

The next day rolled around and we got to meet our companions. Mine is named Elder Corales, Hes from montevideo uruguay shouts to the johansens...  p.s. I can't figure out this key board but i promise i do know about punctuation and stuff.... hahaha anyway elder corales and I are the zone leaders.. and we are still trying to figure out what that means... My companion knows less english than I know spanish so we do our best to figure it out. I am in the native class with fluent spanish speakers.. so I am learning how to be a missionary in spanish.. It's pretty difficult but im pretty sure that im keeping up and understanding most of it! I conducted my first meeting in spanish on..... sunday I think.. it's hard to remember cuz the days all blend together... but that was a fun experience! Elder Corales and I have taught 5 practice lessons now I think and each one is getting a little better! I don't have time to figure out how to get these pictures off my camera so I'll just describe elder corales to you. Just imagine like the poster boy of south american missionaries. He is big he's got brown eyes black hair.. I'm serious... like if you google south american mormons you'll probably see a picture of him hahaha. 

One of the coolest things about being in the native class is that out of the 6 people in our district I think that only 2 of us have been life long members. that means the other four are converts. Elder corales joined the church when he was 15. He even has this cool wolf tattoo on his arm that he got when he was like fourteen. Anyway I am just so impressed at their faith and obedience. It is impressive to see the fruits of missionary work right here in my very own district. Im learning more every day what it means to be converted and what it means to be faithful. i'm loving it here but i am feeling for those other americans who have to stay all six weeks because all these classes and practicing just makes you itch to get out. It's been kind of hard because they just thrown you into it. which is just how it is in the mission field. They're like ok now teach this guy! GO! uhhhhh I don't really know spanish hermano... hahah but i'm trying my hardest! Yesterday I had to lead our district Libro de Mormon study and we studied Ether 12\27 about how god can help us with our weaknesses. And I know that he can and that he will as we put in our effort. and come unto him.

I promised my teacher that I would write a little bit to my family in espanol so Pienso que voy a hacer esto ahora. Estoy feliz estar aqui en el ccm y por la oportunidad que tengo servir como misionero. un mision siempre me recorde por que estoy agradecido. como estoy agradecido a tener companeros en mi cuarto que pueden hablar en ingles entonces a noche despues un dia de solamente espanol puedo hablar un poco con ellos. y tambien agradecido por mi companero elder corales quien es paciente y listo a ayudame con la idoma. Bueno dios vive y jesucristo es nuestro hermano ven a el. y sigue su ejemple. Ahora vamos a explorar Santiago!!!!!! 

Hasta proxima semana

Con mucho amor.

Elder Holdstock 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hola from Santiago

I am here in chile whadduppp. On the plane here I sat next to this old chilean man. I tried to talk to him as much as I could and through my broken Spanish and his broken english we talked a little bit. I thought about telling him he probably shouldn't drink the wine he ordered but I think he needed it. I decided that airline food is like a step up from a MRE... Anyway I will tell you more next week but they're kicking me off already! 

Mucho Amor,

Elder Holdstock