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

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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