Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Feliz cumpleaƱos Jezi

Ok we all know that Jesus wasnt actually born in december... if I had a peso for everytime someone told me that this month I would be prettty quico.. haha But It has been an awesome month to remember the savior and his role in our lives. I always impresses me the story of Christ and his life and his humble beginnings. The king of Kings the prince of princes who was born in a stable who never had much of worldy wealth but was always doing his fathers will. As the christmas season ends dont let the spirit of christmas leave.

It was great to see you all in the skype! Everyone looks great! For church we just went to sacrament meeting and they had a christmas choir sing a few songs. It was fun! This week we had a christmas activity that was fun with president and part of the mission! We got cards from the wards and it was fun to have a little moment to share together. We also had a ward activity that went really well which was fun because we had a baptism as well so we did it all together and it was all a big party. 

I hope that everyone had a great christmas!!

Talk to ya next year!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Feliz Navidad

This was a really fast week! and that is always good because it means that it was full of things to do and people to visit. this week was a really great one because sometimes you have a great week and teach a lot of people but then it comes down to game time and not very many go to church... but this sunday was awesome because pretty much everyone that said they would go... Went!! Even though it was election day we had a great time in church and everyone was inspired and uplifted. 

We also did a few divisions this week. One of them was with one of my old companions Elder Lazo. We found a kitten that was abandoned in the street so we asked a lady for a little box and started trying to give a cat to a lot of people! It resulted a little bit more difficult than we thought but Finally we found someone that wanted the cat! A typical cat lady that wanted to add our little black cat to her collection was super excited and ate him up...(err..not literally i hope)

how grateful i am that even though sometimes we are little kittens that nobody wants we have a savior who always wants us and is begging for us.

As christmas gets closer we are getting excited as we share with lots of people the ilumina el mundo calendars and cards and videos. It really is an awesome program that is helping a lot of people. dont forget to make the change to make a difference.

I will have lots more stories to tell you this next Monday for the Skype! I think I will be connecting around 5 or 6 pm chile time... 

Have a wonderful week and say hey to santa for me!!

Elder Holdstock

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

El Monte de Sion

Como Estamos?? 

This week was a good week of getting down to work. We found lots of great people this last week and were able to find some old investigators that we couldnt the first week that my companion had been teaching last change. I feel like I have just about gotten myself adjusted to the sector and have kinda learned where everything is at. We have been focusing all of our efforts and Ilumina El Mundo which I think must be light the world in english but it really is an inspired campaign. Last night we visited a guy in our ward to teach him a little about it and he shared some experiences he had had and how the campaign had helped him remember to be a light for others. He is a taxi driver and he was stopped at a stoplight with people in his car waiting to pass through the intersection and an older gentlemen went crossing the street and he was pulling a bunch of stuff in a wagon sort of thing... But the wagon tipped over so the member parked the car right where it was and hopped out to help him. He said he was impressed that nobody honked at him even though the light turned green because they understood he was helping someone. 

Then this morning we were in the church doing something really quick and suddenly we here a 'ELDERES' and there is this member and he says 'I have people in my taxi but I remembered there were a bunch of trash bags in the back of the chapel we need to take out to the curb can you help me??' So I have been impressed to see how he is doing his little part to light the world in his little way.

I know that Christ is really the light we all need to emulate. Without him and without his example it is impossible that we become anything. Actually it is possible to become something but it is going to take a lot of work and we will never reach our potential but the secret is to let him in and to let him mold you and let him show you your true potential.

We have been teaching a girl named Jennifer who had an accident about a year ago and is in bed. She lives just in the bed she cant leave. she has a little daughter who is 1 year old as well. But she is doing really well. She really wants to go to church but she cant sit up for very long because her body is not accustomed to it. So we talked with the ward and the bishop and we are going to see if we cant take the church to her.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!!

Elder Holdstock

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I'm a country boy again...

Nah not really. hahaha El Monte makes me remember a lot of stansbury and erda. It is kinda country kinda tooele kinda a little bit of everything. But it is really great I have loved it so far. It is a huge change from my last sector that was pretty interesting because not a lot of people lived there and lots of people were pretty rich. But here there are a ton of people and a lot who are willing and prepared to hear the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is kind of crazy to hear about snow at this time of the year because I am now wearing my short sleeve shirts and putting on lots of sun screen. I might even think about buying myself a hat.... but then again I dont want to look like a Jehovah's Witness.... 

This week was just a good week of what i like to call hitting the pavement... My companion is super young in the mission and was only here in the sector one change before i got here so we are kinda figuring out where things are together.. But he is a good guy. His name is Elder Calderon he is from peru!

Yesterday we had a really cool lesson with a lady who let us in finally because her husband was home (we had contacted her a few days before) But we found out that her daughter was in bed and has been in bed for a year because she had a tumor or something in her brain and it left her without the ability to walk... But it turns out that the missionaries were with them a few years ago.. and the mom said that just the other day she had been doing something and remembered the mormons because they were always so willing to help. Then a few days later we showed up at their door. Just goes to show that Heavenly Father really hears and answers prayers.

I heard a rumor that Sam has cornrows.... soooo I gotta see a picture of that. hope everyone has the best december and dont forget to Iluminar el Mundo!

Elder Holdstock

Monday, November 27, 2017

Chao Pescado

Six months ago I got to the beach but today I had to say goodbye to the nice ocean breeze and the good views. I am now in the countryside... well actually I havent even gotten to my sector yet I am not sure what it is like. But I have heard that it is country and that it is beautiful. I am excited to get to know it and to start working here in El Monte.

It was bitter sweet having to say goodbye to all of my friends in Algarrobo. It was kinda sad to say see ya later to all the people i had met and gotten to know really well but at the same time satisfying to see the fruits of all the work we do. It really did feel like home out there If anyone ever wants to visit the ocean in chile I would reccomend it 10/10.

This last week before i left I was trying my best to teach my new companion the sector as best I could because I knew it was possible that I would get transferred... and it was a really really big sector. liiike all of stansbury and all of tooele and maybe even heading out toward stockton. But we had a lot of awesome experiences this last week. We taught a guy that is a diving instructor. He lives in these super nice apartments on the nicest beach in algarrobo which is called el canelillo. But instead of going in his house we just shared on a little bench overlooking all of the beach. It was incredible. we ran in to him two days later while we were in divisions and he told me that something crazy had happened and I asked him to tell me but he said he wanted to wait until the next time we went over to see him. He said that like 2 hours after we had taught him a friend just started talking to him about the book of mormon out of the blue. But. That is all I know at this point because he didnt tell us more. 

Another little miracle is we went in search of a family that had moved from another ward but that got baptized just a few months ago. Turns out they live in these parcelas like up in the middle of nowhere in the mountains. So first we had to hitchike in the back of a truck to get to the hill to climb up to their house. But when we got there none of the neighbors knew who they were and they didnt have cell phone connection so we couldnt call them. We searched for like an hour and just as we threw in the towel and were starting to head out we hear someone call from behind us ELDERS! It was them!! hahaha they had found us. That was a little testimony builder of prayer because we had said a little prayer before to be able to find them. Goes to show that when we put in our effort god puts in his. 

Funny story real quick about what happened on the way out to my new zone. we were traveling with 5 elders... 4 of which had changes. So imagine how many suitcases that is... like 12. So we took a bus to the city in the country that is called melipilla. But then from there we had to take another smaller bus to a place called talagante. But we couldnt fit in the little buses with our bags. So we ended up getting in a big bus going toward santiago that told us that he could drop us off closer to talagante. AS we were getting in the bus we looked out side and some guy off the road was taking out and trying to steal some of the bags... lol... so we put an end to that for sure. It was more funny than anything serious. Cuz the bad guys arent hard core in chile. But then we got dropped off on the side of the highway and none of us had any idea where we were. But we got a taxi that helped us get everything to the stake center and now all is well in zion.

Sounds like it was a really awesome week back home!! Congrats to the champs for their win and I loved all the pictures!

Elder Holdstock

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Special Changes

Nobody can bear to be with me very long it looks like... hahaha just kidding. This week was a crazy one. Because everything was normal and great we have had a great week finding a ton of people that want to listen to us. We were super busy getting to and from all of our appointments and things were great. But we know that right when we start to get comfortable or when we start to think we are getting the hang of things god will always remind us who is in charge and I am grateful for that because I would rather have the reminder earlier than later. We were teaching on Thursday our first lesson at like 8 oclock because I was in cartagena doing baptimal interview so we got to our sector pretty late but there we were ready teach and we got a call from the assistants and of course I ignored it... cuz that is how I am ah i will just call them later I said. But then they called again so I excused myself to go answer it. They said that we were going to have special changes and that my companion was headed out and I would be receiving Elder Tavara from Peru. Haha it was a surprise for sure but will be for the best since Elder Gomez had a hard time with the buses. Anyway we had to go to santiago on Friday to pickup my companion but now we are back in the coast going hard. We will see what happens next week with the regular chnages to see if I will be here for christmas or not.

Earlier this week we found a family out in a super country area of our sector and the dad invited us in and the wife didnt really want to listen that much... but we started talking about the restauration and in the middle she interrupted us and told us that she had a family member that was a mormon but that he didnt know that he was related to her because it was like a whole harry potter story his mom couldnt raise him so she left him to someone else. But that she wanted to get in contact with him now. Turns out that my companion had been in this guys ward and he knows him personally so we left and tracked down the number so now we will see what happens. but it is crazy to see how god puts us where we need to be right when we need to be there.

Chile is pretty funny i am sitting here writing in a ciber and a dog just walked by... just so you know.

I hope everyone is doing really well. I am rooting for the soccer games and everything I hope the trash is taken out. 

Elder Holdstock

Monday, November 13, 2017

no estaba ni alli

Looks like the summer is on its way. This week for the first time in a long time I had to break out the short sleever.... I think you guys are starting to put the jackets back on about this time right? This week was full of good stuff and good times.
Let me tell you a little about Matias and Marialita and their family. About two months ago we talked with them in the street and marialita ended up being a less active mom. We invited her to church and asked what day we could go visit her. She showed up to church the next sunday and told us that it was just really hard to visit her because she works all the time. But we ended up finding her house out in the middle of the countryside. She told us the truth though she was never home. ever. Anyway after a few weeks of trying we finally found them in their house with their dad who is a pretty hard headed catholic. We shared with them and realized that the dad was as we say here 'ni alli' which means doesnt really care. So long story short After a few weeks of slowly working along with the family we have seen lots of progress with the whole family. The last time the dad even started to flip through the book of mormon a little and ask us questions like 'who is abinidai?' And the best part is that this friday the whole family came to play soccer even the dad. without saying we beat everyone, my companion and me along with the dad, Matias, and the older brother. I remember what Bishop Knudsen would always say in priest quorom meeting. Just be pleasently persistent. It Just goes to show that persistence and gentleness go a long way. And believe it or not the Dad was terribly happy this saturday at matias' baptism.
The gospel is true and it changes lives.

The coast life is the best life hehe It is wild how I have already been here 6months in this sector and how much I feel like i have grown. I am always in awe of what the lord does when we just are willing to let him form and mold us. He wants the best of us in fact he gives us the commandment to be perfect. But knows it is impossible he is happy when we just try our best but dont just depend on ourselves when we depend on him. I hope to reach that goal one day but until then we will just keep on keepin on.
Elder Holdstock

Monday, November 6, 2017


That is what you say in Chile if you want to go trick or treating. It was fun to see lots of kids dressed up and trick or treating this last week. One of the funniest things that happened, is that on Halloween we were actually on divisions so I was with Elder Bean from Utah and my companion was with his companion, as we were walking home at night to our house I saw a group of teenagers walking down our street and out of nowhere I hear a bunch of screaming and that someone had run through the middle of them, they were scared out of their minds but then I saw the shadow of who was running away down the street it looked like it was a 19 or 20 year old.. hmm interesting then I realized he was wearing a sweater and dress pants... then I realized that it was my companion...haaha They had gotten home a little bit earlier than us and he told me that he saw the group and just couldnt resist. hahah in our mission there is a theme that is 'Hablar con Todos' (talk with everyone) but on halloween it looks like it turned into 'Asustar Todos' or Scare Everyone.
This Saturday we had a special meeting in Santiago with Elder Christensen from the presidency of the 70. He came with his wife and with another 70 Elder Texeira, it was way awesome because all of our mission was also together with the south mission. So there was about 400 missionaries all together. They asked me to play the piano so I played the prelude and the hymns we sang, when Elder Christensen came to shake my hand he said 'your mother would be proud' haha thats the idea I told him. We learned a lot about the how we can be better missionaries he told us some cool stories about when he was mission president as well It was a good experience to feel of their spirit and testimonies.
This week we had a lot of great service opportunities and teaching opportunities. We are excited to be working hard and seeing miracles everyday. I continue in awe everyday at how the Lord works in mysterious ways and how he always answers our prayers but always knows how things need to work out. He is aware of what is happening in our lives and he wants to help us. More than that he needs us. He needs us as much as we need him.
I hope everyone had a great halloween and that you all dressed up like me... haha just kidding. Have a wonderful week!
Elder Holdstock
P.S. I got the package!! Thank you so much!! you saved my life. Also the other goodies will do me well as well. You guys are the best. My companion loves the tie you sent him as well. He wants you to know he loves you.. He wrote on the back of it 'mama de Holdstock' lol we took pictures but this computer wont load them... rip.. Love you guys lots. besos

Monday, October 30, 2017


Ooh where do I start. This sunday was a special sunday in particular because even though all our investigators showed up late to sacrament meeting Francisco passed the sacrament for his first time today. It is cool to see how the gospel really does change people but also that each person progresses at different speeds. Some people need a lot more persuading but others just do it because they want to be obedient to the lord. We passed by this week to talk to him about the sacrament and how he can pass it now but that he is going to have to wear a white shirt and tie to church. He is not the type of guy that likes to wear white shirts or ties. But we showed up sunday and there he was waiting there ready to pass. 

Out here in Algarrobo we find soo many people that speak english.. because it is kinda a richer part of chile so the majority of the people are here living because they are already retired and lots of them worked in the states or learned english for work or something like that. I would say that just about every single day this week we talked to someone in english. We taught a guy named Lautaro who speakes english perfectly because he lived 20 years in New York... He turned out to be ateo.. but we taught him about the restauration and at the end of the lesson he did the prayer... which is really rare with the atheists because they dont like to pray if they dont believe in god. So that was a good little bit of progress there.

On Friday we had a training with president so we had to do a lot of traveling haha we left at 7 in the morning and got back to our sector at 9 at night. My companion and I had to teach how to contact and give some examples. It was a good conference and we learned lots.

We also found a lady this week named Jazna.. well not really but we found her house because we already knew her. She went to a baptism we had a few weeks ago because she is friends, but we only knew the general idea of where she lived so we went searching and found her. Missionaries are the best detectives nobody can hide from us.. ;) haha but she is super receptive and is now progressing really well! 

I hope everyone had a great week! Sounds like soccer ended up really well I cant wait to hear the updates about the high school season and everything. I also keep hearing rumors that the US didnt qualify for the world cup.. but it cant be so... i shall cry if it is.

Have a great week!

Elder Holdstock

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

One year ago…

Can you believe it??? it is pretty crazy that one year ago we were just finishing up getting the bags all packed and making sure everything was ready to go. I was planning on writing a novel today buuuuut.. we had some problems here with the computers and so I have like 7 minutes to right.. RIP.  

But I just thought I would let you know that we are doing wonderful right know and that it has been a great week. I have been blessed with the opportunity to know this gospel and to have had such a great family that has always taught me what is right. I know that though we are not perfect Jesus loves us and when we come to him and we just are humble and we let him change us he will do it and we will become who we need to be. 

Chile is great and the people are too. I hope that everyone has such a great week and that this week you have the time to meditate and ponder in the scriptures. Mucho love.

Elder Holdstock

Monday, October 16, 2017

Hola Desde la Playa!

Hello Hello!

We had changes today and can you belive it I am staying here in Algarrobo! My companion got sent away and I will be receiving a new companion. They say that he is also Argentine so I think that God wants me to finish the mision with an argentine accent and not with a chilean one. 

I am excited to be here a little bit longer though! I feel like there is still lots of work for me to do here even though we have already seen a lot of miracles and successes I am glad to have a little bit more time here to really help all the people who have been baptized adapt and help the investigators make that leap of faith. 

The coast is something else though. We ate lunch the other day with a member named Luis, he lives alone in the middle of nowhere up in the mountains and is constructing his own house. He still doesnt have running water or light but has been living there for about a year. It is crazy. Even though he lives super far away he is always one of the first people to arrive to church every morning. I asked him how long it takes to get to church for him and he said a little more than an hour. I was thinking about how sometimes I would wake up at 8:47 to get to church at 9:00... haha what sacrifice right??

We saw some awesome little miracles in church this week too. A guy named daniel just showed up out of nowhere. We had talked to him in the street about two weeks ago and invited him to church because he didnt want us to go to his house because he is renting there or somthing... so he came to church and said that he enjoyed it!

It is crazy to think that I am getting close to a year. The time flies here like I remember vividly what I was doing a year ago. But what I know is that god has his hand in our lives and that he has a plan for us. Thank you for all your prayers and your support I hope you all have the best week

Elder Holdstock

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


This week we painted the world with the gospel and with paint.... lol. We started out the week painting a house up in the mountains. It was way fun because the house is up on stilts so it was really high off the ground... so we had to get really creative and put the paint rollers on the end of really long tree branches so that we could get the paint all the way up the house and on all the sides. It brought me flash backs of the random stuff we would do in Student Government just to get the job done sometimes not in the most traditional way but at least whatever worked. 

Another funny thing that happened before I get too spiritual on ya is last week when we were helping a family move their things to another house we were at the old house but the owners werent there and we didnt have the key to get in so we were just sitting there. But I had another flashback to a night about a year ago when Tanner Anderson came over and we were hottubbing and then we spent about an hour learning how to pick locks... or I spent an hour learning and he spent an hour teaching me. And he taught me that sometimes when locks arent that good you can use just about any key if you just jiggle it and shake it enough to open the lock. So I decided to go for it and we got that door open in about 1 minute flat... haha so the things you learn really do serve for all your life.

We are coming to the end of this change and so that means that most likely either I or my companion will be leaving but we arent sure who. I have really enjoyed it here and have learned a lot and met so many awesome people who have been able to learn about the gospel and make changes to become more christlike. But nobody knows what will happen yet we will have to just wait and see.

This week Connie (who is the daughter of the mom who reads the book of mormon to her kids) made this little art project for school of Adam and Eve because she loved when we explained the plan of salvation to them and then she wanted to give it to us to take home to our house. She got a 7 btw which is like gettting an A+ in Chilean terms i mean look at it it is pretty cool isnt it? 

We had a great time this week teaching as well. Like a little old guy we are teaching named Julio said this week when we talked to him, 'it is like the dark clouds are disappearing and I can see the light' that is exactly what the gospel does for us. As we learn we gain hope and we grow our faith and that faith grows 'brighter and brigther until the perfect day' I loved what you said about the testimony of bro. watson haha. I think that the book of mormon is just such a powerful tool in the conversion process because it is so clear and precise in what it says. I was pondering the articles of faith and especially the one that says, 'we believe the bible to be the word of god as far as it is translated correctly, we also believe the book of mormon to be the word of god' and how the bible is not perfect there are errors and things that dont make sense but that the book of mormon is the word of god... not to a point but it is the word period. The people are so human and imperfect in the book of mormon so that we can relate to them well but the doctrines are perfect.

We are also needing to pray for chile today because tomorrow is do or die against brazil so they can classify for the world cup... hahaha 

I hope you all had a great week it sounds like it was homecoming? That is way awesome I look forward to seeing all the pictures of the fashion. Have a great week!

Elder Holdstock

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


I think that conference has to be one of the best times of the year. Such a good moment to rethink and evaluate and be better. I loved all the sessions and all the talks so much. i am the same as you mom when you say that after every talk I was convinced that that was going to be my favorite one. 

This week we were blessed to have a lot of awesome experiences with our investigators. We have been teaching a man named Dormeus who has been searching for the true church for a while now he says. The cool thing about Dormeus is that a little while ago like 2 months ago he was a refferal from Elder Tiev, but we could never find him because we didnt know where he lived and his phone never worked we just had his name and the general direction of where he lived. BUT a few weeks ago we were walking down the street and I saw a man standing on the side of the road and without even thinking I stopped walking and started talking to him. I asked him his name and who would have guessed! it was Dormeus and I showed him the phone number we had for him and asked if he was the same one and he said yes but that he had changed his phone number a while back. So that was a little tender mercy that we were able to find him and we have had some great progress with him as he is praying and studying the book of mormon. He loved Conference.

We went to Cartagena this week as well in the pouring rain to help a family that recently got baptized move because they were getting kicked out of their house. It just so happens that a week after their baptism the owners of the house started to blame lots of stuff on them like the high electricity bill and other stuff but the coincidence is that the owners of the house or the renters are actually testigos de jehovah.. so who knows why they are actually being kicked out. Anyway we helped them move all of their stuff to another house but this house is super far away and in the middle of nowhere, it was just rough to see the trials they were facing, the gospel doesnt take away our trials but does give us the strength we need to bear them up. I was impressed this week as I studied the story of the pueblo who escaped from king noah and the scriptures that described their hardships, but that the lord didnt take away the hardships right away, rather he gave them strength so that they could bear their burdens and after they had shown their faith and patience he freed them from bondage. I saw that literally this week in this family.

God is real. And he really does love us, just look for the little evidences of his love this week and youll be a different person the next.

Elder Holdstock

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tanto Tiempo!  

It seems like just yesterday that I was writing you guys! Oh wait that is because it practically was just yesterday. haha. We have eventually entered into primavera here in chile since we are opposites from each other when you guys enter fall we enter spring which is wild because I remember that when I got here to chile the weather was just about the same as it is now.

We had a fun day on saturday because there was a worldwide service project sort of thing and so we went to San Antonio and cleaned up a little bit around a hospital as part of the service project. We cleaned up lots of stuff like fallen power lines, TV´s that were just thrown on the ground. 

It sounds like you guys at home are also focusing on the book of mormon a lot too! That is way awesome. So many times we have people ask us what is the difference between you guys and the other churches, and that is just the question we like to hear because there are so many difference but so many blessings that we have that others can have as well. Among them are prophets and the book of mormon.

It is just so essential for our testimonies that we read the book of mormon on the daily, because not only does it testify of the restauracion (idk how to spell or say that in english anymore) but it is the rock solid foundation that Jesus is our savior and of his doctrine and his gospel. 

We are super excited for this next weekend as well for General Conference to be able to hear instructions from the prophet and the apostles about what it is that we need to be doing to grow and progress. Conference in its self is a great missionary opportunity and great way to invite people to learn about the restored gospel and who better to learn it from than the prophet himself?? 

Everyone we are teaching is doing well and progressing little by little we always find small miracles everyday with the people we talk to. Out here on the coast people tend to work... a lot.... but even with that obstacle they are able to come to church every once in a while and we have been blessed with a lot of tender mercies these last few weeks. 

I hope everyone enjoys this weekend and that you go on a super cool hike for conference! 

Elder Holdstock 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Happy Fiestas Patrias

Happy Fiestas Patrias Everyone!! That is why we are writing late this week is because monday was 18 and so we couldnt go to the ciber to write but all is well because the parties have all died down and now everything is going back to normal! I have to make a confession here writing emails of the week is one of the hardest things in the mission because I dont know all these cool things happen during the week and then I sit down and look at the computer screen and my mind goes blank. But I will do my best to remember a lot of what happened this last week.

We got to teach a lot of really awesome people this week like caterine and her little family who are still reading the book of mormon at night together. Actually teaching them is so fun because the little girl is named connie she is nine and she always has the funniest questions that she wants to know the answers to. So we always promise to return with the answers but this last lesson the mom said I have a question this week! `why did god create the families?` Oh that is just the question you want to hear when you are a missionary am I right? So we are getting ready to answer that question for them tomorrow! I have no doubt that they will love the answer. 

18 is like the chilean version of the 4th of july. Everyone flies kites... which is super cool. And like all chilean holidays everything shuts down but this time for like 4 days. Remember how we are out in the vacation part of chile? Yeah well during 18 people leave on vacation. So it was hoppin out here in the coast. There were sooo many people all over the place from santiago who escaped from the city for a few days to enjoy the coast. The chapel was full to the rim. they had to go look for more chairs a lot of different times so that everyone would fit. So for a few days there it felt like we were back in the city. but today everything settled back down again. 

I love seeing how god has his hand in every part of his work and how he just nudges us a long in the right direction without us even knowing it a lot of times. One morning we headed out to teach a few lessons and had a few people put down in our agendas to visit and as we went from house to house we found a man who was a little beat up with things that happen in the life and really needed some help and encouragement and it was incredible to see how god prepares people and puts them in our path or puts us in their path.. either way works.

Everyone is doing great and a lot of people are progressing well! We have been enjoying our time working hard and seeing the fruits of all the labor.

Elder Holdstock

Ten Traditions for the 18 of September:

1. Flying Kites
2. barbeques
3. A drink called mote con huesillo (look it up)
4. party games like bean bags and stuff like that
5. Empanadas
6. Tops like the toys
7. Chilean flags or go home
8. Dancing `La Cueca`
9. Soccer games
10. Not going to school

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

1234 I declare a thumb war

Here we are again! Another week has flown by. The only thing that I cant understand is how the time keeps moving so quickly. It was also a very busy week which is great! Time flies when you're having fun right? This week we spent a lot of time teaching Francisco who was a miracle. He progressed really well and really quickly. He also is a big fan of bread. So everytime we went over to teach him he had a different type of bread there for us to try. So I think that I have tasted just about every type of bread that chile has to offer now. I remember when Uncle Nathan told me how here in chile they buy stuff everyday and it is very true because the bread is always fresh. Buying bread for the week doesnt exist here, you have to buy every single day when it is hot out of the oven or else.

Speaking of bread, we should probably talk about the bread of life. This week or actually this transfer as a mission we are focusing on getting better at using the book of mormon to help people resolve their concerns and more than anything feel of the spirit which is what gives people the desire to change and to become a part of the church. We had the Zone Conference for about half of the mission out here in our chapel. Because there are a lot of missionaries that have never even seen the coast so we are pretty lucky out here. But the conference was really great it was a good reminder of the importance that the book of mormon has in our lives as missionaries in the lives of our investigators but also in our normal lives as well. I always remember how mom would not let a day slip by without reading the book of mormon, she wouldnt be able to sleep if she didnt read it and she always helped us to read it. And now I understand why! The book of mormon is honestly so cool. It has war, it has drama, it has betrayl, it has hope it has it all. It is impossible to read it without being nurtured and without feeling that it is true. (I tricked ya huh? I said bread of life and then talked about the book of mormon..... whoops)

We found this super cool family this week as well. A mom and her family. They love it. They are catholic but just like all the chileans dont go to church ever and dont even really like the catholic church at all... lol. But they are big fans of the book of mormon as well. The mom reads to her kids every night to put them to bed so she has replaced the regular stories with the book of mormon. And it sounds like they are having some pretty deep discussions as well. Our last visit she told us that she had asked her kids if they believed in the book of mormon and that the kids said yes. I just like kids because they have so much faith. I think that is why Jesus wants us to be like little children. 

This next week is like the 4th of July except chilean. So we will be celebrating with lots of empanadas and asados I think. 

Have the greatest week!

Elder Holdstock

(Did you find the relevance of the subject of this email??)

(It's ok.. there isnt really one...)

We also received an email from Clayton's first companion in the mission field, Elder David Benitez:

Hi, I'm an old companion of the Elder Holdstock.
There is a photo sent for your birthday and a big greeting for you.

Monday, September 4, 2017

*Running out of funny subjects*

Hola Hola!!

How is everyone doing?? We had a great week out here in El Quisco. The change has come to a close and today marks the beginning of another one. Nothing changes for us, Elder Benitez and I stay together out here in the coast but we did have to say good bye to our good friends Elder Plante. This week was a great one as we worked hard and searched long and hard for some new people to teach. 

We have seen lots of miracles and lots of tender mercies. We are teaching a man named Francisco who lives alone and takes care of cabins... He went to church because he was invited by a member and he loves it. He cant wait to be able to get baptized here soon. So always remember that just a simple invitation can change someones whole life and their eternity. Always look for opportunities to be a missionary. Invite someone to an activity or to a Family Night or to Church. I know lots of times we think that everyone we know is already a member or the non members we know would not be interested but that is just not true.

Because this week we taught a family we had found just contacting on the streeet. Turns out that this family lives like a few houses away from our ward mission leader... and it turns out that the wife of the ward mission leader is related to the mom of this family. The ward mission leader never would have thought to invite them to hear missionaries or go to church but turns out that they are actually really interested. So just invite people. The second to worst thing that could happen, is they say no. But the worst thing that could happen is that we dont give them a chance.

It is awesome to be a missionary and see that people are actually searching for the truth. 

This week we had to go into santiago for a training with president which was really great, we learned lots about how to give our all to the mission and be better. we came back and have been working hard this week to put all the things we learned into practice.

OH and thank you for all the birthday wishes! I got the package from you guys too. That was way rad  you guys are the coolest!!!!

Keep on keepin on

Elder Holdstock

Monday, August 28, 2017

Chillin in Chile

Hola Hola! 

We had an interesting week this week, My companion sprained his ankle getting off the bus so he was not able to walk for a few days and we had to stay in the house for a few... we took advantage of the time to learn some english and to practice lots! You dont realize the things you love until you cant do them anymore is the thought that I had just those two days... and that is pretty drama queen of me, i know, but it is true.. and it is always good to have reminders like that so that you can take advantage of every moment that you have and make the best of it.

This week in church the lesson was on developing talents, the teacher told us about a guy in santiago that is a shoeshiner, and how nobody in their right mind should aspire to be a shoeshiner right?  but that this shoeshiner in particular is considered the best shoe shiner in chile and since he has dedicated himself to developing his talents people will wait in a line to have their shoes shined by this man while at the same time nobody would wait one minute for someone else to shine their shoes. It reminds me of what Grandpa Smart always says that it doesnt matter what you want to do as long as you are the best at it.

We have a lot of opportunites to develop our talents I hope we never get comfortable and that we always stretch ourselves to improve and develop because after all we only have a small amount of time, let the Lord shape you and mold you as you develop your talents and he will make you into the person he knows you can be which more times than not is ten times the person that we ourselves think we can be.

This week we were walking in the street and came across a mom with her daughter who we stopped to talk to. She looked at us and then at our nametags intensely before saying you guys are mormons right? We said that we were and waited to hear her tell us about how she didnt like us very much... but instead she said, three days ago I was thinking about how I want to baptize my daughter and I was trying to decide in which church I would do it and I would only let her get baptized mormon, and I am also really interested so when could we meet up? We tried to play it really cool of course... but inside we were so excited. We set up an appointment with her and look forward to seeing how they progress.

I dont know how the hour I have to write always disappears but I hope that the first week of school was great for everyone and that you all enjoy every moment...

Rip it up.

Elder Holdstock

(P.S. cut your hair @mybrothers)


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

hola hola

Dear Fam,

This week was a great one, we had some great lessons with some super cool people. This next week we should be having some baptisms so that will be awesome! We have been teaching a little bit in creole these last few weeks so I have had to learn a lot more creole. Now I can pretty much teach about the gospel of jesus christ in creole but much more is still pretty hard but it is ok because we just get really creative in how we explain things when we dont know the words. Just imagine lots of charades and youve got the idea. 

That is super great that soccer has been going great! I am excited for you guys to start your seasons and start to really take out the trash. I wanted to know if Sam thinks that he can head the ball better because his hair is so long... or if he is just trying to be the next Kyle Beckerman....?

Sandra and Braulio have agreed to have a date to get married before next sunday so that was really awesome. We had a pretty cool lesson with a family in the ward and they talked about how their marriage has blessed their lives a ton. So they committed to just to it because they want to it has just been like a bother to actually go and do it. But they are excited and want to set a good example for their kids. 

It looks like you guys had a fun little family get together! That is the best part about the gospel is that we get to be together forever. There are a lot of people that cant wrap their head around what that really means. But it is a huge blessing! I try to explain that to people especially to the families and the parents that the impact that their decisions will make on their future family is huge.

I have been studying Grandpa Tim´s conversion story a lot this week and have been really impressed by it because if you havent read it it talks about how he desired an answer to his prayers but never got one... so then he decided that to really gain a testimony he had to act and he took a leap of faith and agreed to get baptized. But that after he had acted with faith he gained his testimony. That is a lot harder than it sounds and I am grateful for great examples of faith in my life. Of people who act without knowing for certain how things will result but act with hope. 

God always will provide is what the scriptures promise us, he will prepare the way for us to keep his commandments because he knows that obedience will make us happy and he wants us to be happy. But he also requires that we exercise our faith that we reach out to him, he is always there but if we dont believe it there is nothing he can do.

Just trust him and rely on him so that he can bless you. 

Elder Holdstock

(P.S. One talent that I have developed is that I can literally relate any gospel topic to soccer... so test me out.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fuego Puro

Hey Fam.

Ooh before i even start I have to tell you thanks for the birthday package you sent!! It got here and is already being well used... and be used I mean eaten ;) It is crazy to think that I will be 20 years old here in a few weeks. I like being younger.... I remember when you are a little and can´t see over the counter at the store you always wish that youre older than you are but when you get older you always wish you were younger... Rip. but that is just how it is I guess the time keeps on moving forward so you have to take advantage of it!

I was reading some of the little letters that you guys all sent me a while back and I really liked one from uncle Paul that said 'always remember that the time to focus one hundred percent on the savior doesnt last long, even when the days are long' or something like that at least. Annnd it is really true but the problem is that the days are even getting shorter! And I dont know what to do with myself. Time moves so quick and there is nothing we can do about it.

I guess the one cool thing is that it doesnt require a life time to make a change that will last a lifetime. Even if we look at the mission of jesus christ.. at least the recorded mission in the bible didnt last a very long time. but in that small portion of time he made the difference that will last the eternities. Whether that change be in us or in another person we can do it in an instant and it can last forever. 

This week we had a little bit of everything! We had some rain some shine some lessons some people in church and all in all it was great! Sandra continues searching for her answer to whether or not the church is true. She is starting to understand the importance of reading the book of mormon everyday and praying to know if it is true. The book of mormon really is the bom and is perfect and if you read it with a sincere heart there is no way that you can deny its divinity. 

We got to know a lot of great people this week and a few that are working towards baptism so that will be great to see the progress that they make over the next few weeks.

Oh also I am pretty impressed with the painting job of mitchell and sam.. and also impressed at the length of your guy's hair... hehe I hope that everyone is doing so great and that you have a great first week of school! I dont know if it is this week or the next one.. but always remember to be good and do good. That school is the best place to make changes that will last a lifetime in ourselves and in others.

Elder Holdstock


Monday, August 7, 2017

It sounds like the warmer it gets here in chile the closer it is getting to school time in USA. So I would like to start out my remarks by sending a heartfelt sympathy call to all those that have to return to school in the next few weeks. :´( I shall shed a tear for you. Just kidding school was legit I loved it. (After 2:35 de la tarde)  

Today we just got back from playing soccer on a turf field. It was the first time I have played soccer on 'grass' for like 10 months. So that was way sick. But I have lost all my talents... I am feeling like an old man to be honest... I run around for a little bit and I am already gassed. But me and Elder Plante still take out the chileans trash so dont even worry about it. 

But as far as my schooling is going here in chile All is well. We are always well instructed by the experiences we have and by the spirit and by the scriptures. This weekend was an eventful and busy one. We had some baptisms and we hosted a Capilla Abierta. But all went great.

The Capilla Abierta was a success and lots of people came and everyone worked really great together and at the end of it we got to have Dylan's baptism. Dylan is 10 but just gets it. His parents are members but had never taken their kids to church. But we found them and started teaching and they all slowly started making changes. Dylan just understands everything we teach him. It is so awesome because that doesnt happen very often that someone understands all the concepts the first time but he did. He was so excited to get baptized and he told us he wanted to so that he could follow god in his life. 

The sunday after his confirmation he asked us where the tithing slips were so that he could pay his tithing. Some of his family had given him money as a gift and he wanted to make sure that he paid his tithing before doing anything else. I was so impressed. He will be a great example for his family. 

We made cookies to take to the baptism, so shout out to mom for teaching me how to read recipes. Everybody loved them. Now we are on to the next adventure. That is the thing is that the work never stops there is always someone else waiting and in need. I hope that everyone is doing well. Keep on keepin on.

Elder Holdstock

(The computer is super slow soooooo ill send pics next week)