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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Week #3--Murders, Robberies and Miracles

Hello everyone!

My third week in Honduras was really, really, reallyyyyyyyy crazy.  It's probably been the craziest week of my entire life.  Let me just say that I am very grateful and happy to be alive right now.

So let's get right to it!


I started off my Christmas morning by attending a funeral.  A funeral for a 20 year old guy that was murdered in the street at 4 AM.  A street that is conveniently located only three minutes from my house!  A street that I happen to walk on every day.  So as you can imagine, I now feel really safe.  I can sleep really well at night knowing that people are casually being murdered right outside my house!  I definitely live in a family-friendly neighborhood.  Everyone should come move to La Mirranda in Olanchito, Honduras!  It's the perfect place to raise a family.  Anyway, when I say that this guy was murdered, I mean that he was really murdered.  Like they took out one of his eyes, basically cut his head in half, and cut off a few of his limbs.  So yeah.  I almost saw the body.  But then Hermana Alejandro told me not to go in the house.  I'm glad she told me not to because honestly, I think I would've thrown up. 

Also I saw a dead body in the street on that same day.  And at first I thought it was in my head because I was a little freaked out from this other murder, but then I asked Hermana Alejandro if she saw it too, and she did.  So yeah.  Dead bodies in the street.  And apparently that's a normal thing????  A few days ago I thought it was weird to see a dead pig on the side of the road.  But no.  That's completely normal.  And apparently it's just as normal to see dead human bodies in the road as well.  Merry Christmas from Honduras!


I was robbed on Saturday night.  That was a really fun experience!  Actually it wasn't.  It was actualy really scary.  It was 5:30 at night and Hermana Alejandro and I were walking to an appointment.  The sun had just barely gone down, and it had just gotten dark.  All of a sudden, this motor cycle turns the corner and starts heading right towards us.  At first I was like, "What the heck is going on?  Why is this guy driving right towards us when he has the whole other side of the street?"  But then he slowed down and stopped and was like, "Give me your cell phone."  Obviously this was all in Spanish cause I'm in Honduras, but yeah.  And Hermana Alejandro was like, "We don't have a cell phone" (and we actually don't!  Hermanas don't have cell phones for exactly this purpose.  They don't want us getting robbed.  But oh well).  And he had his hand under his shirt like he was holding a gun or something, but I'm pretty sure that he didn't have anything.  But he did say, "Las voy a matar."  Which in English translates to, "I'm going to kill you."  And then he took both of our bags and drove off.  And I was so sad because my beautiful Spanish scriptures were in my bag.  And my money.  And some pictures and stuff.  And Hermana Alejandro's camera was in her bag.  And we lost it all.  I was mostly upset about my scriptures, but ugh.  Getting robbed isn't very fun.

Oh yeah.  And this random guy now has the keys to our house as well.  So now I actually can't sleep at night because what happens if this guy finds out where we live and comes and kills us in the night.  We're changing the locks today I think.  Hopefully.

But yeah.  So basically now I don't feel safe here at all.  But we're going to leave and work earlier in the morning so that we can be in our house at 6:30 in the night.  So hopefully that will help us stay safe.  


 Even though lots of bad, scary things happened to me this week, I did have lots of miracles.  Most of them are just little things, but something did happen yesterday that I consider to be a miracle.  A real miracle.

Like I said earlier, when I was robbed, I was mostly upset about losing my scriptures.  As a missionary, your scriptures are your most prized possession, and my Spanish scriptures were so pretty!  And they were in a scripture case that I'd gotten from Mexico.  I was so sad to have lost them.  But the next morning at church, a man came up to the front of our church building with............MY SCRIPTURES.  He had found them in the street!  I don't know where, and I don't know how he knew to bring them to the church, but I have my scriptures!  It was a miracle.  And if I'm being honest, it probably is a big part of the reason why I'm still here.  Because after everything that happened this week, I was really considering going home.  This is hard.  It's hard to not speak the language, it's hard to live in a third world country, it's hard to be a missionary.  And it's even harder when you don't feel safe.  And after this week, I don't feel safe.  And I was really thinking about whether or not I should go home.  But then I got my scriptures back.  And when that happened, I felt peace in my heart that's very difficult to describe.  I'm soooo happy to have my scriptures back, but this miracle means more than that.  It wasn't that random man who gave me my scriptures back, it was my Heavenly Father.  And in that moment, I knew that I'm supposed to be in Honduras.  Heavenly Father knows that it's hard.  He knows that I'm scared.  But He's watching over me.  He's protecting me.  And I know that.  And I know that with Him and His protection, I can do this.  I can serve a mission.

Now onto my little miracles!

- I dreamed in Spanish for the first time!  I'm very proud of myself.
- I got to Skype with my family on Christmas!  It was so good to see them!  It made me a little homesick, but it was still the perfect pick-me-up.  I love my family!
- I'm teaching Hermana Alejandro English and it's hilarious because I'm teaching her how to be sassy.  So she says "whatever" all the time with a little hair toss and eye roll and IT'S THE FUNNIEST THING EVER.
- As of today, I've officially been on my mission for 2 months!  Only 16 more to go. 
- Hermana Alejandro and I ate ice cream, the Honduras version of Hostess, and Doritos for dinner the other night.  And it was one of the best meals I've had in my entire life.
- I GOT TO TAKE A REAL SHOWER THIS WEEK.  We stayed over at the other hermana's house for a night and they have a real shower.  They still don't have hot water, but still.  I DIDN'T NEED TO USE A BUCKET.  It was so amazing.
- I got to play a real piano at a devotional with our mission president.  A real piano!  Ahhhhhhhh!
- I ATE WENDY'S.  My mission president took me and three other hermanas out to lunch at Wendy's on Saturday.  AMERICA.  HAMBURGER.  FRENCH FRIES.  FROSTY.  It was probably the best thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life.

Thank you all for your support.  I'm pushing on.  I can do hard things!

Until next P-Day,

Hermana Holdaway

"Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.  Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.  Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."  D&C 6:33-34, 36 

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