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

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Week #14--My papaya brings all the boys to the yard

T-minus 3 weeks until General Conference.  Basically my favorite holiday.  Basically super duper excited.

It's weird that it's March.  And that it's almost spring and stuff in the United States.  I just forgot how to spell united so I asked the other gringo missionaries.  That's kinda a thing we do.  Cause every Monday the internet cafe is full of missionaries, and oftentimes us gringos forgot how to spell things in English because our lives are always Spanish, Spanish, Spanish.  And so I yelled out, "How do you spell united?"  And Elder Kesler is like, "WHAT COUNTRY ARE YOU FROM HERMANA HOLDAWAY.  UNITED STATES WAS MY FIRST WORD."  All the gringo missionaries are really patriotic because living in Honduras has made us realize that really nothing is better than America.  Because America.  

Anyway, I was saying that it's weird that it's March and it's weird to think that people are having lives and stuff and are going to school and stuff and are doing normal things cause I'm just casually gathering Israel every day, you know.


BREAKING NEWS:  I found and bought a loofa.  Por fin.

This week was a little hard missionary-work wise.  A lot of our appointments with our investigators fell through and lots of our investigators are having difficulties.  Josue had a motorcycle accident this week.  It wasn't that bad, he can still walk and move and stuff, but he got a couple stitches on his face.  He was just like, "WAHHHHHH SOY FEO BLAH, BLAH, BLAH."  And we were like, "Freaking calm down, Josue, you're not ugly."  But he's going to be at his house all this week and we're like FINALLY we'll be able to teach him.  Because usually he's never home.  But anyway.  Rambling.

Also Kilber (another investigator) has a step brother in jail who's swearing to kill him when he gets out.  So that's been fun.  And Jesus (another investigator) lost the equivalent of 5,000 dollars.  And lots of other things.  So this week was just depressing listening to everyone's problems.  They all just need the gospel and then they'll be happy, happy, happy.  

That's another thing....Oftentimes the people here don't take the gospel very seriously: they don't pray to find out of it's the truth, they don't come to church, they don't read The Book of Mormon.  And sometimes I don't understand....like this is the truth.  This is the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  Don't you want to learn more?  Don't you want to find out for yourself if it is the truth?  Why don't you take this more seriously?

Whenever I have these thoughts, I find comfort in the words of Elder Holland (sorry this quote is a little long, but it's SUPER good, so read on):

Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience.Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.
If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.
Super good, right?  And I have to remind myself that people have their own agency.  Agency is one of the most central parts in the plan that our Heavenly Father has for us.  Agency testifies that God is our loving Heavenly Father.  He loves us.  And because He loves us, He gave us the opportunity to choose for ourselves.  And I have to remember that just because I'm not seeing success right now, it doesn't mean that I'm falting something.  Yes, it's true that we can always become better people, and I can always improve and become a better missionary; I'm never going to be perfect.  But I have to remember that it's not just me.  My investigators have responsibility as well.  After doing all that I can do, some people are still going to reject the gospel.  
Colleen (one of my best friends) emailed me this last week: "I know that you really want a baptism, but remember that success isn't measured by events-it's measured by the invisible impact that you make on other people's hearts and lives.  You're doing something truly beautiful, and that's what matters."  
- An elder in my district told me that Olanchito has a grocery store that sells Nutella.  So brb my life just got fifty million times better.
-  During the summer in Olanchito, the light companies turn the power off sometimes.  So the lights will just randomly go out at 6 at night.  And it's a mission rule that we have to return back to our houses when there isn't light in the street cause we don't want to die and stuff.  But it's really inconvenient and kinda annoying.  Oh, Honduras.
-  My kidney stone prevention measures are going really well!  I'm drinking lots and lots of water which means that I have to pee fifty times a day.  Which at times isn't good because I don't like asking to borrow people's bathrooms here.  Because......mejor no.  Just trust me on this.
-  My grey hairs are starting to grow back.  Why do I have grey hairs though.  That's all I want to know.  Life is hard.
-  I'm getting better and better at making tortillas!  When I get off my mission I'll make you all tortillas and we can eat baleadas together and listen to Latin music.  Here's a link to a video of a lady making baleadas:  

The first time I tried doing this I dropped my tortilla on the floor.  But I can do it now!  And I have 14 more months to practice.
-  Last week I made brownies and peanut butter frosting.  #america #chocolate #heaven
-  Genesis 24:7 and Genesis 29:20 are really cute scriptures.  #love
-  I started reading the Old Testament!  I've read a lot of it for seminary and stuff, but now I'm gonna read all of it.  The Old Testament is weird sometimes though...but est√° bien.
-  A family gave us a papaya that's literally the hugest thing I've ever seen.  I forgot my camera this week, but stay tuned for pictures.  I'm gonna make some papaya smoothies that are going to bring all the boys to my yard.

Sorry for the super long, kinda ranty email.  Just living the life over here in Olanchito.

La iglesia es super verdadera.


Hermana Holdaway

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