Recent Posts

Monday, 23 September 2013

Fwd: St. George Utah Mission!!!!

Hey everyone!!! So I'm finally in St George Mission!!!!

Fist Up HAPPY BIRTHDAY to JADE and DAVID So sorry I couldn't email much last week.

Sorry that I did not email last week - I did not have time :'( I went out to Salt lake and the Humanitarian Center with all the internationals in the morning!! was awesome! But then got back in time for lunch and immunizations which took way too long and then had 5min to mail and then head to the temple! The new movie still blows my mind but I was quite tired from it all. Any MTC is "Not for the weak" as Sis Ramekgoe put it! There is so much to learn and they always seem to tell you all about what you should have done in your TRC or progressive investigator AFTER you teach them. But its good - if it were not for the failed lessons i don't think we would have grown much.

Props to Sister Jill Nielson and Family for sending the FIRST PACKAGE while I was in the MTC - You cannot imagine how happy I was cause the only mail I ever got was about my immunizations and things... And thanx to Liezel for the Dear elder JUST before I left MTC - was in tears when I got that one shame the District were very supportive though which was great!
So Had a number of spiritual experiences as a district in the MTC. As you all know my dad had an Op so it's been tough not really knowing whats happening at home. My Zone leader in the MTC gave me a blessing which was just the BEST experience ever for the whole district. I have a strong testimony that we can get comfort and peace through blessings! I know that I am in the right place at the right time - Not sure how I know that besides having that inner peace. I am definitely NOT a perfect teacher and I have LOADS of Patience to learn.

So going on to St. George!!!!

My first area: KIABAB!!!! I cover a few wards in Kanab, Ferdonia, Jakes Lake, COLORADO CITY (If you have not heard of it I would Suggest you look it up - hint: Polygimists!!) View From Colorado City

There is sooo much I want to tell you about my area goodness but there won't be enough time. So We stay in 2 houses. every Friday and Tuesday night we stay in Cane Beds (to do Colorado city and Moccasin cause they are so far out) and the rest of the time we are in Kanab. We cover a whole Stake with 7 Wards. Its tough trying to keep track of everything and where who lives and to know where the boundaries are etc. But I'm getting there slowly - I've become real shy again - had so much confidence in the MTC and that has all just dissapeared. Anyway. On Day 6 here and I think I have improved somewhat and have started speaking up. I still have sooo many of the mission rules to learn - they don't tell you everything at once :| I can only write letters on P-day so I might not be that great at replying... But I will try my best!!

So the Members feed us almost EVERY night. we get breakfast when we got to Cane beds. the members also give us rides to appointments at night. Its great cause you get to meet the members and on the first night got a few referrals :) was awesome. And the members were so kind as soon as they found out it was my birthday They made me a cake for dinner last night - though was crazy on saturday night just as we were planning our day the Zone leaders "text" us and say we will be having a zone fast for baptisms... ahhhhh luckily we had 3 Ward councils attended 2 wards and had a correlation meeting with all the ward mission leaders in the stake.. Oh and did I forget to mention that we had 3 baptisms on saturday!! lol first week and BAM 3. haha. well technically there were 4 baptised but 1 is 8.

Bet you dying to know who my comp is!!! Well I ACTUALLY KNOW her already... we are facebook friends ;) found her on instagram :) Sister Summer Allen!!! Check out her blog there is a link to it from my blog - she can't remember it lol. Something random about her - she has one random hicup like every hour lol. it funny!! shame. She is great though! very patient and she has only been out one transfer and still learning the area.

We drive a SUBARU Imprezza!! how awesome!!! :) love it! but with some of the roads we travel we have to. oh and we get to do grocery shopping on thursdays when we go to DTM in hurricane cause that is the closest wallmart and thats about an hour away.

Funny when people hear I'm from africa they think I live in the bush.. this is more like living in the bush - small town everyone is related to everyone SOMEHOW. its fun though! get to meet really cool and interesting people.
Weather: its beeen relatively hot - but not as hot as St George. The winds have actually started to come up
and I will possibly even get SNOW!! (depending how long I stay here) Sunrise:

One of the Bishops sons will be entering the MTC in JHB next week!!! He is off to Durban - hope to chat to him before he leaves. Look out for an Elder Gant :D Don't give him too much of a hard time :P

Goodness time is running short. Sorry If I don't get to replying your emails.

Quick Spiritual Thought:

I CAN do hard things - but in the strength of God I can do ALL things!!

Good luck for convention!!!! Hope you all have a BLAST!!!

All My Best,

Sister Hollander
St. George, Utah Mission
Snail Mail:
Sister Karen Hollander
107S 1470E Suite 304
St. George Utah 84790
United States

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Friday, 6 September 2013

"Welcome to the MTC"

Good Morning From the MTC,

Thank you for all the emails!!! I don't think I will be able to reply just yet, but hopefully soon I have flagged them.

This place is HUGE! Over 4000 Missionaries!!

I was so blest  to have been able to go a day early and experience a bit of MTC life. I came in with a large group from the UK & Europe (representing England, Scotland, Wales, Spain & Norway) Most Going to the Greece Athens Mission!!! But they will probably only go into the MTC once the Elks come home. But was still great to meet them!! Sister Hall from wales was my temp companion for the day. It was so great we get to wear this orange dot on our badges to indicate that we are new at the MTC and EVERYONE says: "Welcome to the MTC" Most people hate it and after the first official day you can take it off but my comp and I are keeping it on =D But instead of saying "welcome" everyone tells us "you know you can take the dot off now" 
Anyway they just don't get it.

Some other things we are adjusting to is we cannot say "guys" and slang and stuff so we have to say "Elders & Sisters" its really hard but something you should try before you get out into the field if you are preparing. Another thing is no high fives or fist bumps in the MTC... its tough.

It is so bad you are just way too busy here to get home sick and sometimes they have to remind you to think of home. I'm the only one from Africa here that I have seen, and it is great! So far no really strange comments but had a few asking how many white are in South Africa.. People love my accent and I'm trying to keep it for as long as possible!!

Still one of the biggest things emphasized here is EXACT OBEDIENCE, I will confess that getting to bed on time with a bunch of sisters is tough!! Our days are packed as it is and we still try to get some journal time.

I was met by the sister training leaders of our zone on tuesday and they are super great! So much fun, and even though they had only been here a week they totally seem like they know everything. Hope that's me in a week!

The first official day was ROUGH!!! At the end of the day they split us into large groups and had a 'professional actor' in to portray being an investigator - they would give us a brief history then have some elders come and just gain trust of the investigator then had us jump in and try teach them what THEY needed to hear specific to them. It was really tough, especially since we were such a large crowd no one was unified in deciding WHAT we were going to teach or what questions we were going to ask. One of the investigators was just so bored and really not interested in what we were saying, He would not comment after anything we said and eventually was like "Why are you here? if you have nothing more to say the please leave" it was so tough one elder was inspired enough to then ask him what he thought he was worth. And all of a sudden he opened up - was amazing. 

My District is amazing!! I must say I pre-judged and thought they all looked a bit nerdy but they ALL have such powerful testimonies!! My companion is awesome!! Her name is Sister Riera She was born in Venezuela grew up in West Valley (Utah) and came now from a small town in Nevada. I love her to bits!! The Elders in our Distract are all going to San Jose California and Us 4 Sisters are going to St George =D

We are teaching our first investigator tonight. I'm kinda scared I don't think I am very prepared even after getting guidance yesterday.

I have not gotten mail yet, our district leader is the only one allowed to have the combination and he has not even gotten that yet... So hopefully will get them later.

So the Photos are HUGE I'm sorry I will make them smaller from now on.

My love and prayers are with Bro Chappie and my Dad who have had one or more operations.

Love you all.

All My Best,

Sister Hollander
Utah, St. George Mission

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

First Look at Utah from a South African

Good Afternoon!!! From Utah :) I know its about Midnight for most of you ;P

Just to start I got my MTC postal address:

Sister Karen Marie Hollander
2009 N 900 E Unit 142
Provo UT 84602

If you would like to send me a letter or something please use it's FREE. I will only be able to reply probably once I'm out in the field or I will post a reply because of limited time in the MTC - PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR POSTAL address if I decide to post a letter back. (Postal time approx 2 weeks)

So just to give you a breakdown of my tome here in Utah so far (Which might turn more into a journal entry - might be the last of it's kind since I have the time now I will use it)

The flight to the States was a long one!!! Think I finally arrived in Utah at 10 45 SLC Time after missing my connecting flight from Dallas to Salt Lake. I'm Soooooo grateful that Elder and Sister Leavett were there and also missed the same connecting flight!! (They a Couple missionary returning home from working in the mission office in jhb - returning to St George side of all places) - shame they bought me dinner and everything though I still have left overs from that meal!! - we had the same flight from JHB but a different flight from London, and the same flight from Dallas. Crazy how we BOTH missed it! They were lucky to have fast track passes to get through immigration, customs and TSA quickly - but their flight landed an hour after mine. I had 3 LOOOONG ques to get through it was just madness!! Part of the maddness was because about 6 flights all landed at the same time. about 3 from London and one from Mexico one from Tokyo and another smaller one.

It was so great to eventually see the Porters (For those of you who don't know the Porters served their mission at our institute building and so have become second parents to me, they are absolutely incredible! It was just too fun talking to them about South Africa on the drive home. I really could talk to them for days - which has been happening so I am not home sick, though I think they are a bit. I only got about 3.5 hours in after I got to the Porters. 

It's great to be in Mormonville and see saints everywhere - you cannot believe how cool it is to see people dress modestly in this heat. Also to see all the Temples in a half-hour trip through the valley they really are beacons here.

Friday we went to the Salt Lake Temple. It was just wonderful!! Live sessions are not weird, they actually give more insight and more symbolism that I didn't think about before which was great. For those of you who don't know what Mormon Temples are and what happens inside have a look at this link & video:
It really describes it better than I ever could.

After the temple we had lunch at the lion house and had my fist taste of honey butter - it's quite awesome. Also had a go at the american creme soda. and well it's definitely NOTHING like our green ambulance back home but I had to try it :) anyway the food was great!

We then headed to the beehive house which was the home of the Prophet Brigham Young. What was crazy here was as I walked in one of the sisters asked if I was going on a mission. - It was possible that I could have been a non member (I guess highly unlikely since we all had just come from the temple in Church attire but still) Was great to meet them and have them take us on the tour - It is just amazing the spirit you feel around these sisters - I think they have a tough time having to take people on tours and keep the same spirit through the repetitiveness of it throughout their time there. But they do. It was also incredible to see how much Brigham young did with his hands. How he found the time for it I have no clue.

We then started on Temple Square with the Assembly hall and the Tabernacle Both have amazing architecture and the acoustics in the Tabernacle are impressive - would love to be there when they have a performance or something of that kind. 

The North Visitors Center have too many buttons I just wanted to push all of them! But the day was ending and i was pretty exhausted so we called it a day.

Saturday: we went to a Mountian Man Rendezvous in Wyoming (YAY now I can say I have been in another State beside Utah! haha) It was lots of fun! We went with a couple that The Porters served with in JHB, the Bakers were the PEF couple. They are so much fun and Sister baker is so adventurous  she dressed up and everything. Google it if you want to know more. I have posted some Pics on Picssa web albums and commented on each of the pictures the link is below.

After a long day I went and met the Sister Missionary who found and converted my parents to this amazing gospel. Sister Jill Hadley Neilson. 

Such an amazing women with an equally amazing family! they were just so wonderful and fun. She took me around BUY campus (which is HUGE by the way) and we stopped at the creamery for some ice cream while waiting for a man to get out his car so we could get in ours we were busy talking about South Africa and all of a sudden he starts joining in! Turns out he is the Son-in Law to Elder and Sister Bricknel (Adams is his last name) It was so amazing to just randomly meet someone and immediately be able to make a connection to home. (with Natalie and Cuen Bibb in My home ward)

Sunday: was privileged enough to watch music and the spoken word live with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir  It was absolutely incredible! Breathtaking musical talent in the orchestra as well as the choir.

We only had sacrament at 1. There was a police officer that got killed Sunday morning in Draper (where I'm staying) so almost all church meetings got canceled in the area. And it was in lock down pretty much. interesting how this are affected in different areas in the world.

We went to Jill for dinner and had a South African Reunion. Had Luke and his wife over and later on the missionaries came for desert - one of which is an Elder from SOUTH AFRICA (Bedfordview) Elder Ramos serving in Salt lake South Mission. I had never before met or seen him before. But we still had a good long chat about South Africa. Funny is though how Elder John Eppel is currently serving with his brother in Birmingham mission! How crazy is that!? all happening over the same weekend pretty much. Well we had a good time.

Interesting Story: Sister Jill Hadley (at the Time) Found my Parents and taught them - they eventually got baptized  Elder Neilson (at the time) found and converted Lukes dad. Now about 23 years later Luke served his mission in Utah, Ogden and I'm about to embark on m journey to Utah St George Mission. Luke and I are 6 Days apart in age. What a rejoices time for the Neilson's, Hollander's and Mockes.

Ok So I'm sure you would love to know about all the differences I have found and how I'm adjusting.

  • So far I have still got my accent!!!!! =D I am however picking up the tone that they agree to everything with. Some phrases that seem to be the norm atm for the younger generation is after anything you say they say "gotcha" Its interesting to say the least haha.
  • Automatic flushing toilets!! Yes they catch me like everytime!!! It's a strange one but it's so funny - I get a fright. It doesn't seem to be all public toilets but most of them.
  • Heat is very dry! I tried wearing contacts on Friday and my contacts were so dry when I took them out at the end of the day.
  • Number plates - They don't make logical sense like in jhb. Every State has it's own number plate but seems like if you don't like the look of the new number plate you can just keep your old one with your new car... hmmm...
  • Some of the Cars have red indicators - no one seems to know what I'm talking about lol Never saw that in JHB.
  • YES driving on the right side of the road freaks me out a bit!! I have been here a few days and I still get caught once we turn from a one way into a two way! :| But according to Elder Ramos he still gets into the car on the left side being the designated driver out of habbit so It might stick for a while still haha. Eish.
  • Food is too much EVERYWHERE. Portion sizes are rediculaous and rather expensive I would say.
  • Street address and roads are confusing me but I will get the hang of it. (100 South, 300 West - those are road names... and they are actually spelled 1000 South and 3000 West... go look at a map of salt lake. There is method in the naming it like that, starting with main street anything west starts with 1st west (10 west) etc.
  • No one is worried about safety. I left something in Jills car and asked if she could quickly open it I could get it and she was like "Oh I never lock my Car" and coming home to the porters the front door was open but I would still knock to get inside, expecting it to be locked.
All my photos can be viewed here

Hope all is well back home and congrats if you made it to the end of this email ;)
All My Best,

Sister Hollander
St. George, Utah Mission