| Sister Emma Lynn Holdaway | Honduras San Pedro Sula East Mission | October 2013-May 2015 |

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Week 4 in Mexico--Happy Thanksgiving!

An inside joke for our family!  The only Portuguese we know!

Love our Emma!

Hello, everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm jealous of all of you that are in America right now.  Because I'm in Mexico.  And I'm not looking forward to having Mexican food for Thanksgiving.  Maybe they'll surprise us and give us mashed potatoes or something.  That would honestly make my whole day.  But I give you all permission to eat double portions of turkey and mashed potatoes and pie to make up for me.  And I'll eat double tacos for you.  Win, win.

Well, like always, this was a really hard week.  Mostly because of the elders in my district.  They make fun of me a lot.  I'm by far the best at Spanish in my class, and they give me crap about it all the time.  I'm not saying that to be all, "I'M THE BEST EVERYONE CLAP FOR ME," but I'm just trying to set up the situation and stuff.  Anyway, I was nervous that they weren't going to like me because I was better than them.  They're always like, "I'm Emma, and I know everything.  I'm Emma, and I know so much more than any of you.  I'm Emma, I'm Emma, I'm Emma."  And they call me Hermana Hermione.  They were like, "Except you're first year Hermione.  You're super annoying and think you're the best.  Only difference is, we don't become friends at the end."  And I just have to sit there and take it.  Because I'm too scared to say anything to them because I'm worried that they'll all gang up on me.  It's just hard to sit there day after day knowing that these guys hate me.  It's hard.

Anyway, on a happier note, we got to eat authentic Mexican tamales yesterday!  They were super yummy.  TAMALES, TAMALES.  And a couple of nights ago everyone in our district just burst out in the National Anthem.  All of the Latinos walking around were probably wondering what the heck was going on, but we all just miss America lots and lots.  Except I haven't been there since July!  I miss me some America.  

Also the irons here are possessed.  I burnt a hole in one of my skirts.  I was so mad.  After it happened I was like, "THAT'S IT.  I'M GOING HOME."  It's a joke that the hermanas and I say whenever something bad or stupid happens.  But really!  I have a limited amount of skirts, so I was sad when I burnt it.  It's not that big of a hole, and I can still wear the skirt and stuff but like.

Even though my mission is hard, it's worth it.  I've met some of my best friends here.  And only 11 more days until I go to Honduras!  I'm so nervous.  AHHHHHHH.

I love you all, and happy turkey day!

Love always,

Hermana Holdaway

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Week 3 in Mexico MTC

¡Buenas tardes!


Anyway, just like last week, this week was hard.  Sometimes it gets so hard that I ask myself why I'm even doing this.  But then it hits me: I'm doing this because this is the truth.  I know it with 100% of my heart.  There's no way that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn't true.  There's no way that The Book of Mormon isn't true.  I know that it's true.  I can feel it in my heart.  There are currently over 80,000 missionaries serving for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  All of these 18-20 year old kids wouldn't sacrifice everything and leave their lives behind if it wasn't true.  They just wouldn't.  So when I stop and think about that, it makes all the hard times worth it.  Because I'm out here for The Lord: I'm out here for the truth. 

I got my Mexico soccer jersey!  I'll attach a picture so you can all see.  It's pretty much the best thing ever and it really makes me want to be an athletic person.

That's a joke, I never want to be an athletic person.

So I ate "enchiladas con mole" for lunch today.  So I ate some mole.  Who even knows what they feed us sometimes.  But usually the food is pretty good.  The hermanas and I have gotten pretty crafty with our Nutella though.  And the best way to eat it is with frosted flakes.  Seriously.  Slap some Nutella in the bottom of your cereal bowl, put some frosted flakes in it, pour some milk up in there, and eat it.  It will honestly change your life, I promise.

I've gotten sick which has been a major, major party.  I forgot what it feels like to be able to breathe.  And I cry all the time which just clogs my system up even more so that's been great.

I literally can't even remember what happened this week.  So this is gonna be a pretty boring email.  Oh yeah!  The hot water in our casa was broken so I had to take an ice cold shower ten nights in a row.  Okay, maybe not ten, but it felt like ten.  

I'm a really boring missionary.  LO SIENTO NO LO SIENTO.  I'll try and remember some interesting stuff to tell you guys next week.

I've only been in the MTC for three weeks and I'm already over halfway done with The Book of Mormon!  I have less than ten chapters left in Alma, and then it's smooth sailing from there on out.  These war chapters are gonna be the death of me though.

I love you all!


Hermana Holdaway

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Emma's Week Two in the MTC!

All the Sister Missionaries in Emma's District!

Hermana Porter, Hermana Baker, Hermana HOLDAWAY and Hermana Hope

Crazy Elders in Emma's District!

Hello, everyone!

I'm trying to think about what to say.  This definitely isn't going to be as long of an email as last week, and you're probably all pretty happy about that because who wants to listen to me rant on and on for forever.  

We've settled down into a routine now.  Wake up at 5:50, get ready, go to class, teach investigators, go back to class, suck at Spanish, and then go to bed.  Well that's kinda a lie because I don't really suck at Spanish.  It's actually coming really easily for me.  So I'm very grateful for that.  You all know how much a perfectionist I am, so I still don't feel like I'm very good, but I know that I have it a lot easier than some of the other people in my district.  And I feel bad about that.  I don't like watching people struggle.  I just want to help them!  So that's been hard.  But I know that I'm in this district to help them learn Spanish.  So it's kinda cool to have that responsibility.  PERO MI ESPAÑOL ES MUY, MUY, MUY MAL.  Pero, está bien.

If I'm being completely honest, this was a really hard week.  This past week was the first time that I really felt like I wanted to go home.  It sucked.  It was just a lot of personal issues that I would rather not throw out there for the whole world to see, but they were really weighing me down.  But the scriptures are amazing.  Honestly.  Go read them.  If you're having any kind of problem in your life with school, stress, family, friends, not feeling good enough, whatever, just let me know.  You don't have to spill all the details to me, but I promise you that I will find you a scripture that will give you comfort.  You have no idea how much they can help.  Especially the Book of Mormon.  READ IT!

So on a different note, the CCM has the best tacos I've ever had in my entire life.  BUT THERE IS STILL NO GUACAMOLE SO I'M PRETTY MAD ABOUT THAT LIKE OKAY MEXICO YOU CAN GET IT TOGETHER AT ANY TIME NOW.  I'M WAITING.  And they have really good rice too.  Like super good.  Like I could eat so much rice.  But I also am really missing Panda Express so like some Chinese food would be nice.  I LIKE CHINESE FOOD.  YOU KNOW THAT I DO.  I LIKE FRIED RICE.  I LIKE NOODLES.  I LIKE CHOW MEIN CHOW MUH-MUH-MUH-MUH MEIN.

I ordered an authentic Mexican soccer jersey with my last name on the back!  It was $480 pesos, which is like $40 American dollars or something like that.  BASICALLY A SUPER GOOD DEAL.  Especially for a personalized jersey.  I get it tomorrow!  So I will for sure send you all pictures next week!

I am now in Mosiah in the Book of Mormon.  I'm gonna finish before I leave the MTC!  I can do it.  I think I'm on page 175 or something.  It's been so cool to go back and read it again, especially since I'm really taking the time to study it.

Well, obviously today is p-day, and that means that I get to wear jeans!  I love it.  So to all of you that don't have to wear a skirt or dress every day, be grateful.  I miss pants.  I feel like I'm in church all day every day.  Which I guess I kinda am......but yeah.  Pants are amazing.  Especially since it's freaking freezing here.  I didn't bring any warm clothes because I'm going to Honduras and it's never cold there.  So I am dying over here.  And like, it's Mexico.  So why is this happening to me.  It's not fair.

I've been able to play piano for a little bit every Sunday!  So that's been amazing.  I miss piano so much, and I wish I would've brought more music.  But hymns are still always the best.  

Last week I bore my testimony to you all in English.  And this week, I would like to do it in Spanish.  :)

Yo sé que La Iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos de Los Últimos Días es verdadera.  Yo sé que Jesucristo es mi Salvador y mi Redentor.  Yo sé que Él me ama, y yo estoy muy agradecida for este conocimiento.  Yo sé que José Smith fue una profeta de Dios, y yo sé que él vi Dios y Jesucristo.  Yo sé que El Libro de Mormón es la palabra de Dios, y cuando nosotros leemos este libro, nosotros podemos estar cerca de Dios.  Yo sé que El Espíritu Santo puede ayudarnos sentir el amor de Dios y Jesucristo.  Yo sé que la Expiación de Jesucristo es muy importante por todas las personas en el mundo.  Por medio de la Expianción de Jesucrist, nosotros podemos vivir con Dios y recibir el perdón de todos nuestros pecados.  Yo sé que esta iglesia puede bendicir todas sus vidas.  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amén.

For all of you that speak Spanish, sorry if I made mistakes.  I tried my best!  I'm not the best at spelling and accent marks, but yeah.  It's actually cool to be able to say everything that I wanted to say in Spanish.  It just shows me how far I've actually come.

Also!  My goal is to memorize all the Articles of Faith in Spanish before I leave the MTC.  I already have the first four memorized!  Only 9 more to go!  I've also memorized the first vision, the invitation to be baptized, and the missionary purpose in Spanish.  I'M ON A ROLEEEEEEEEEEEE, BOYS.

So oops that this email ended up being pretty long as well SORRY DON'T HATE ME.

I love you all and thank you so much for wanting to hear from me.  It really does mean a lot.  Even if you don't respond and just read, thank you so much.  It's nice to feel like I have people back home who are rooting for me.  I love you.

Also!  You guys should send me letters.  They take a little while to get here, but está bien.  Here's my address!

Sister Emma Holdaway
Carretera Tenayuca - Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustaro A
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal

Also go check out dearelder and my dear missionary.  I think some of the services they have there are free and stuff, so send me things and tell me about your lives!  I would really love to hear from you all.  And then I'll send you a letter back, and what's better than that.

God be with you till we meet again.

Love always,

Hermana Holdaway

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hermana Holdaway--First Week at the MTC

Emma's District at the MTC

Emma's Official Missionary Name Tag!

The Sisters in Emma's District

Hermana Holdaway and Hermana Hope at the Mexico City Temple

Hola, amigos!  

Before I get started, I just want to define a couple of words for my beautiful non-Mormon readers.  That way you guys will know what the heck I'm talking about and you'll be able to follow along a little better.

CCM = The MTC or missionary training center where I will be spending the next five weeks learning how to
teach the gospel of Jesus Christ in Spanish.  What a party.  

Hermana/Elder = Hermana is sister in Spanish and is what all the girl missionaries are referred to.  Elder is what all the guy missionaries are referred to.  

District = the group of hermanas and elders that I spend basically all day, every day with.  I have class with them and they're all amazing.  I'll tell you a little more about them in a bit.

Companion = another missionary that is assigned to be with you 24-7.  I'll have multiple companions during my mission cause you get a new one every couple of months, but yeah.   

Investigator = someone who wants to learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day

Testimony = something that you know to be true.  

Okay so now you guys know some Mormon terms YAY.  And now I wanna tell you guys a little bit about my district.  There are four hermanas in my district (including me) and six elders.  They are hilarious.  I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my entire life. Meet the crew:  

Hermana Holdaway = me......duh.  
Hermana Hope =AKA Hermana Esperanza.  She's my companion, is serving her mission in El Salvador, and is such a sweetheart.  
Hermana Mansfield = She can literally quote any Youtube video that you could ever think of.  
Hermana Astil = One of the nicest girls I've met in my entire life.  She is able to find the good in everyone, and I've learned so much from her.  
Elder Sudlow = From Hawaii, and he has the best laugh you have ever heard.  When he laughs, I laugh.  
Elder Mortenson = I can never tell if he's being sarcastic or not sooooo yeah.  
Elder Day =who even knows.  
Elder Welch = HILARIOUS.  Literally one of the funniest guys I've ever met.  Elder Welch is actually legally blind even with contacts and glasses, and he's such a hard worker and is truly and inspiration to me.  
Elder Woods = The food here didn't really go well with his digestive system and you can imagine what
happened next.  He also ran into the white board and fell down.  He's a goof.  
Elder Barlow = He has such a strong testimony and he has come a long way to get to where he is now.  
So yeah!  That's my district.  They're the best.  I couldn't have asked to spend 6 weeks with more amazing people. 

I wake up every day at 6:00 AM to get out the door by 6:55.  Most of the missionaries here at the CCM are in casas with four or five rooms in them.  Each room has four missionaries.  So it's super nice to have a lot of space and our own bathroom and stuff like that.  I'm also super grateful to have running water, a toilet, and a shower for the next month, because who knows what it's going to be like down in Honduras.  At 7, my district
and I are in our classroom where we study and read the scriptures for the next hour.  I want to re-read the whole Book of Mormon before I leave the CCM.  I'm already on page 70-ish, and I figured I have to read about 15 pages a day to finish.  I'm reading in English, because when I read my scriptures in Spanish it takes me like 403921083 hours to read one chapter.  At 8, we go to breakfast in the comedor.  The food here hasn't been that bad, and I've been super good at portion control and I think I've lost weight already so I'm obvi gonna be
coming back super hot (hashtag praying for a parasite, hashtag kidding, hashtag kinda.)  AND THEY HAVE NUTELLA.  So I'm basically in heaven.  After breakfast we have three hours of Spanish class, then lunch, then more Spanish class.  And then in the afternoon, we practice teaching an investigator.  Completely in Spanish. 
So my companion and I plan 30 minute lessons that we go in and teach a practice investigator.  His name was Ignacio.  He was actually the best.  The first time Hermana Hope and I went in there we were kind of a mess because we don't know any Spanish at all, but by our third time teaching, we were killing it.  Then we have dinner, and more Spanish class.  And then it's lights out by 10:30.  And it starts all over again the next day. 

Some pretty hilarious things have happened here.  Some of our elders were talking about how their first time teaching went.  Apparently there was a five minute awkward silence where no one said anything, so in the middle of the lesson, one elder was like "CUAL ES TU NOMBRE."  (even though they had already introduced themselves).  The Latinos here are so great, and they love to practice their English with us.  I have my favorite group of Latino elders that I always talk to, and yesterday, they came up to me and one of them said, "You have beautiful eyes."  Except his super heavy Mexican accent made it sound like he said "eggs."  So I have beautiful eggs.  Best compliment I've ever gotten, that's for sure.  And one of the Latinos came up to me and said, "You are beautiful like Rebecca from the Bible."  That made my heart melt.  I love everyone so much,
ahhh!  Also, when Elder Mortenson was teaching Ignacio, he accidentally said, "Jesus suffered for all of our pescados."  Which is fish.  He meant to say "pecados," which is sins, but yeah.  Spanish is hard.  But I'm getting it really well!  I can understand everything our investigator and our teachers say!  I should probably be in an intermediate class, but I love my district too much, so I'll be sad if I get moved up. 

I guess I don't really know what else to say, sorry if this is super lame.  I'm going to attach some pictures so you guys can see what's going on!  Today we got to go to the Mexico City Temple and it was gorgeous and I loved it and I cried. But I've cried every day that I've been here so what else is new.

I love you all, and I miss you sooooooo, sooooooo much.  One week down, 77 more to go!  But before I go, I just want to bear my testimony to you guys.  (NEW PARAGRAPH.)  I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true.  I can say that without a doubt in my mind.  Every day that I've been here, that knowledge has only been strengthened.  I know in my mind and in my heart that Jesus Christ suffered for my sins, that He loves me, and that He is my Redeemer.  I know that The Book of Mormon is the word of God.  I wouldn't be giving up 18 months of my life if I didn't know that it was true.  I encourage all of you to read at least a little bit of The Book of Mormon.  Find out for yourself that it's true.  I promise you that it will bless your life in more ways than you can imagine.  It's blessed mine and has made me a far better person that I could have ever been without it.  I love this church, I love being a missionary, and I love all of you.  

Always, Hermana Holdaway

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