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

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Week #10--"I'll go where You want me to go, Dear Lord"

"SOS!  My Hair is Purple!"
("Violet, you're turning Violet, Violet!")

The Street Where Emma Lives

With Sister Odekirk

100th Day Celebration!

"Getting my hair dyed, Honduras style!"

Making Tortillas - "Better than the Latinos!"

With Maria de los Angeles - "I'm basically a giant compared to everyone here!"

The Hair


Sorry for not emailing last week!  I had my weekly email all typed up, but when I went to send it, the internet went out.  #honduras

This week was amazing.  Definitely the best week that I've had so far on my mission.  Hermana Muñoz and I worked really hard, and we taught 34 lessons!  And we found 18 new investigators!  ESTAMOS EN FUEGO.  

Technically, Hermana Muñoz is senior companion, but since she's new to the area, and I'm the one who knows the investigators and the members, I've been deciding where to go and who to visit.  

When I was with Hermana Alejandro, we spent a lot of time teaching this one investigator, Maria de los Angeles.  She was one of the people that we spent the most time with, and we taught her at least two or three times every week.  We taught her all of the lessons, but whenever we invited her to come to church or anything like that, she always said no.  So eventually, Hermana Alejandro and I decided to stop visiting her because she wasn't progressing, and we needed to spend more time with our other investigators. 

The first night that Hermana Muñoz got here, I was talking to her a little bit about all of our investigators, and for some reason, I couldn't stop thinking about Maria de los Angeles.  And when we were planning that night and talking about who we should visit the next day, I felt that we needed to go visit Maria, even though Hermana Alejandro and I had decided to stop teaching her.  And so I said, "Hermana, Muñoz, I really feel like we need to start teaching Maria again.  I don't know why I feel like we should, because honestly, she wasn't progressing, but we need to visit her one more time.  And we need to teach her the Restoration."   

The next day we went to Maria's house, and we had the most spiritual lesson that I've had my entire mission.  We taught her the Restoration, and when I taught the First Vision, I could barely speak because the Spirit was so strong.  I bore my testimony about Joseph Smith with tears streaming down my face.  I looked in her eyes, and in that moment, I know that she knew.  She knew that it was the truth.  And I invited her to pray and ask our Heavenly Father if Joseph Smith really was a prophet and if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church.  And I said, "Hermana Maria, what are you going to do when you receive your answer that this is the true church?"  And she said, "Pues, voy a ir a esta iglesia."  And I said, "Hermana Maria, cuanda usted recibe su respuesta que esta iglesia es verdadera, usted seguirá el ejemplo de Jesucristo y ser bautizada en esta iglesia?"  And she responded, "Sí, hermana."

And she came to church with us this Sunday.  A miracle.

I feel like I'm finally becoming the missionary that my Heavenly Father wants me to be.  I'm putting my whole heart and soul into this work, and I've developed a love for these people that I never thought I would have.  I'm no longer here for myself...I'm here for the them.  I don't think about my problems anymore, because honestly, they don't matter.  The only thing that matters are my investigators.  And once I forgot myself and went to work, I learned to love being a missionary.  Yes, being a missionary is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's also the most rewarding experience I've had in my entire life.  I'm learning to mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and rejoice at the successes of others. I'm learning to put aside myself and dedicate all my time and energy to the service of other people.  And while I've been spending my time serving other people, the Lord has helped me to grow and become a better person.  My mission has changed me.  Yes, I'm still the same Emma that I've always been: I'd probably still trip and fall if I tried to run hurdles, chocolate is still my favorite food, and math still makes me really happy, but I've changed.  I've learned to be happy and positive no matter what trials I'm facing.  I've learned to rely on the Lord.  I've learned to listen to and act upon the promptings of the Holy Ghost.  I've learned that when I'm in the service of my fellow beings, I'm really only in the service of my God.

This is the Lord's work.  I'm here in Honduras on the Lord's errand, and as a missionary, I'm an instrument in the His hands.  This isn't my mission: this is the Lord's mission.  He's telling me where to go, what to teach, and who to talk to.  The Lord prompted me to go back and visit Maria de los Angeles.  The Lord is guiding and leading this work.  I know that He lives.  There is no doubt in my mind that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of Jesus Christ.  There's no doubt in my mind that I'm a child of God, that He knows me, and that He loves me.  I know that this life is hard.  I've seen the people here suffer in ways that I couldn't have even imagined, but I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can all find the peace and strength that we need to carry on.  

Oh sweet, the joy this sentence gives: I know that my Redeemer lives.


- I cannot find a loofa in any store, anywhere.  Given, Olanchito doesn't have very many stores, but anyway.  I thought bucket showers were bad enough to begin with, but bucket showers without a loofa are on a whole different level of janky.  I will be accepting pity donations in any form of chocolate all of week.  Gracias.
- I found out yesterday that I have grey hairs.  And by grey hairs, I don't mean like just one or two.  I mean I have a whole section of greys hairs that's about the size of a quarter.  I kind of had a panic attack when I found that out, and so I dyed my hair today, and now it's this dark brown with this purplish tint and I hate it.  But I guess yolo.
- Elder Passey (an elder in my district who's been on his mission for over a year) said the following at dinner the other night: "Amanda Bynes is a rockstar."  He then got really depressed when we informed him that Amanda Bynes has offically gone super loco.  This probably wasn't that funny to you guys.  You had to be there I guess.....
- So many people gave me fruit this week!  And I drank out of my first coconut this week.  And then they gave me like six more, so now I've had like seven coconuts.  And everyone's like "OH HERMANA.  COCONUT WATER IS SO GOOD FOR YOUR KIDNEYS SO HERE ARE TEN COCONUTS."  And I'm like, "K."
- I've been on my mission for 104 days!  Thursday was day 100, and everyone in my district got together to have a party to celebrate for me, Hermana Oderkirk, and Elder Kesler.  We got liquados.  Which is just the Honduras way of saying smoothie.  But apparently people put corn flakes in their smoothies cause there was a corn flake liquado on the menu.  Honduras is weird sometimes.
- There was a donkey outside of my house one morning and I took a picture with it.
- I learned how to make corn tortillas this week!  And I'm better at it than my companion and she's Latino.  GRINGO SWAG.
- Arroz con leche is really good.  Word.
- I'm going to try to make chocolate chip cookies this afternoon.  We will see what happens.
- I really want to listen to Christmas music and I don't know why.

Vaya pues,

Hermana Holdaway

1.  Lunch with Hermana Odekirk!  And my hair sucks, wah.
2.  The street that I live on in Olanchito!  The houses in this area are a lot nicer than lots of my investigators houses, but this will give you a little bit of an idea about my life.
3.  Hermana Odekirk and I.

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