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

Monday, August 25, 2014

Week #38--Not one companion, not two companions, but THREE companions!

Hey, everyone!

It's been a long, interesting week.  Hermana Calpa and I found out about transfers Monday, and we spent the next two days going around and visiting all of the investigators, converts, and members in our area so that Hermana Calpa could say goodbye to them.  Then we got her all packed up Tuesday night and left for the transfer meeting in La Lima Wednesday morning!  It's about a three hour bus ride from La Ceiba to La Lima, so we left around 6:00 AM in order to get there by 9:00 AM.

And then I met my daughter!  Her name is Hermana Tito.  She's from Peru.  She's 19, just like me.  And she's going to turn 20 in September, just like me!  Her birthday's the 12th, and mine's the 13th.  PARTY.  

If there's anything I've learned in these past few days with my new companion, it's that training a new missionary is a little hard.  I have to be super strong and positive and happy and responsible 24/7.  Because new missionaries literally don't know anything, haha.  Pobrecitos.  And adjusting to the mission is really hard, so I have to be super supportive and understanding as well.  If I'm having a hard day or if I'm stressed or anything, I just have to fake it and put on a smile!  

Training Hermana Tito has made me think a lot about my trainer, Hermana Alejandro.  Now that I know what it's like to train a new missionary, I appreciate Hermana Alejandro even more than I did before.  If training is hard for me, I can't even imagine how hard it was for her, especially because I didn't speak any Spanish!  

But don't worry, I'm going to be the best trainer ever.  And I'm already teaching Hermana Tito all of the ups and downs of the mission.

For example: 

 Lol, just kidding.

Also I now have two companions.

Aka, I'm in a trio.

Hermana Alfaro, one of the sisters in my district, finished her mission early and went home today because of problems she's been having in her knee.  President Klein has been trying to find a mini missionary (aka someone who lives here in Honduras who wants to come be a full time missionary for a month or so) to take her place, but so far we haven't had any luck.  So Hermana Alfaro's companion, Hermana Orosko, doesn't have anyone to stay with.  So she's going to be joining Hermana Tito and I for a little while.  Hopefully it will just be for a week or so, but it's possible that she'll be with us until the beginning of October.  It will be a little weird to be in a trio.  It's hard enough learning how to teach well with two people, and it's going to be even harder with three!  But it will be an adventure.  

So now I've officially had 6 companions!  And Hermana Orosko is my first companion from Central America.  She's from Guatemala.  All of my previous companions have been from South America.  I was hoping to keep that streak going, but I mean, I guess I'll get over it.  Especially because Hermana Orosko is a sweetheart.

And so yeah.  The church is super true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love always,

Hermana Holdaway

"How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?" - President Uchtdorf


 My other half

Honduras is really pretty sometimes

My new companion and my crazy and wild hair
because I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Week #37--What's in a Name


So here we are at the end of another transfer.  And Hermana Calpa is leaving me. :(  She has changes.  We only have two more days together.  I'm super sad.  Hermana Calpa is honestly one of my best friends.  I don't know what I'm going to do without her.  But I'm sure that my new companion will be amazing as well.  :)

And when I say new companion, I mean like new new.  Like new as in someone who's fresh out of the MTC.

Like new as in I'm gonna train.

Imma have a daughter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  SI HOMBEEEEEEE.

And that's the biggest news of the week!

I'm a little nervous to train, but I know I'm going to learn so much.  The first couple of months in the mission are definitely the hardest, and I want to be the best companion ever for my little greenie.

This week during my personal study, I was reading in the Book of Helaman in the Book of Mormon.  In chapter 5, the prophet Helaman counsels his sons, Nephi and Lehi.  He says to them: 

"Behold, my sons, I desire that ye should remember to keep the commandments of God; and I would that ye should declare unto the people these words.  Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good.

Therefore, my sons, I would that ye should do that which is good, that it may be said of you, and also written, even as it has been said and written of them."

I love these verses because they highlight the importance of our names.  We each have a name, but have you ever stopped to think about what your name means?  Are you making a name for yourself?  And if you are, what kind of name are you making?  When people hear your name, what do they think?

When I hear the name Kimberly Holdaway, I think of the most amazing woman that I know.  The woman who taught me to study the scriptures and love the Lord.  When I hear the name Dale Holdaway, I think of the man who always encouraged me to be my best.  The man who oftentimes had more faith in me than I had in myself.  When I hear the name Cameron Holdaway, I think of a young, dedicated man, who is far better than I'll ever be (and who makes the best chocolate chip cookies ever!).  When I hear the name Parker Holdaway, I can't help but smile.  That punky, teenager is my best friend.  :)  When I hear the name Paige Holdaway, I see a little girl with a heart full of love, always ready to serve those around her.


But now I know the first thing that I'm doing after I get off my mission!!!!!  Listening to Tay's new album!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (And eating Cameron's chocolate chip cookies.....) 

But anyway.  I always start out trying to be all inspirational and stuff but then it's like, no, and then sometimes I get really depressing pop culture updates that make me sad but it's okayyyyy!!!!!!!!!!  Casually yoloing in Honduras cause thatz lyfe.

But basically what I wanted to say is that you should all be super amazing people so that people will think amazing things when they hear your name!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OKAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But okay.  I guess I'm gonna go now.  


Hermana Holdaway

PS:  Hey, Cam.  In case you couldn't tell from reading this email, I'm really craving your chocolate chip cookies.  Feel free to send me some.  ;)

PPS:  My ear is all inflamed and infected again.  I love Honduras!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But actually I do love Honduras and it's my favorite and I'm probably going to live here for the rest of my life!

Lol, just kidding.

I love you all.  HUGS AND KISSES

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week #36--What Olanchito taught me

Hermana Calpa and I went to Olanchito!  One of Hermana Calpa's old investigators, got baptized, so we asked President Klein for permission to go.  

It was possibly the best day ever.

We woke up at 5 AM in order to catch the 6:30 bus to Olanchito.  It's about a three hour bus ride there from Ceiba, so we got to Olanchito around 9:30.  I was so nervous the whole way there, like the feeling that you get when you're the next in line to get on a rollercoaster.  I had butterflies in my stomach and everything, like, "OHMIGOSH I'm going to see my people again, I'm going to Olanchito, I'm going home."

But when we got off the bus and started walking down the streets of my dear, dear Olanchito, I couldn't have been happier.  I belong in Olanchito.  The people there are my people.  And I was so happy to be back.  

I started off the day visiting A, E, and R.  When E saw me in the street, she ran out to hug me and it was totally one of those slow motion movie moments.  We were all sitting there talking and everyone was like, "Hermana, we thought you were never coming back.  And now that you're here, we don't want you to leave."  And when we had to say goodbye everyone was crying and I practically couldn't breathe, but it's the most beautiful thing to be part of someone's life.  And goodbyes are hard, but it just means that you have someone special enough to miss.

After a full day of visiting and laughing and crying and remembering, I was emotionally exhausted.  But my day in Olanchito helped me learn who I really am.  It helped me realize that I have made a difference in the world.  Compared to people like Ghandi and Martin Luther King, maybe I'm nothing, but in the eyes of my people in Olanchito, I mean the world to them.  And they mean the world to me.  

We shouldn't compare ourselves to others.  Because we're all different.  God has a plan for each one of us, and we should be happy with what God has given us to do.  Maybe God hasn't sent us here to change the entire world, but he's sent us here to bless the life of someone, somewhere.  It's our job to find that person and give them our entire hearts.

Olanchito taught me that the worth of souls is great in the sight of the Lord.

Olanchito taught me that true happiness isn't found in money or power or a fancy house, but in the relationships that we have with others.

Olanchito taught me that Latinos are the coolest people ever and that rice and beans are actually really good.

Olanchito taught me that climbing mountains like Pacura actually really sucks.

Olanchito taught me Spanish, because let's be real, I didn't know anything when I left the MTC.

Olanchito taught me that unripe, fried bananas dipped in ketchup is one of the most delicious meals you will ever eat.

Olanchito taught me that God loves each one of us.

Olanchito helped me become who I really am.

I love my mission.  I'm so grateful for this opportunity that my Heavenly Father has given me to be here in Honduras for these 18 months.  Many say that what I'm doing is a sacrifice, but I know that it's nothing but a blessing.  That doesn't mean that everything is easy, but it does mean that it's worth it.

I know that this church is true.  I know that families can be together forever.  I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and that he was called to be the prophet of the Restoration.  I know that The Book of Mormon is true.  I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He is my Savior.

Until next week,

Hermana Holdaway

Best friends

One of the best guys in all of Olanchito

Reunited with Hermana Urresta in Olanchito!  And we were both wearing yellow and we didn't even plan it.  We're still connected and we're not even companions anymore.  Hollah.

I went to visit S!  She's still wonderful as always.  I saw the chicken that she named after me.  She was like, "Are you going to take your chicken with you now, or are you going to wait until you finish your mission?"  And I'm like, "Tranquila, Hermana, I'm going to come back for my chicken, don't you even worry about it."  Then she's all like, "Okay, Hermana, I'm going to give you a box so that you can take in on the airplane."  Cheque.  Thanks.

My niños.  When I was saying goodbye to them, they were like, "Don't leave, Hermana Holdaway.   Awwwwwwwwwwww, I cried.  I love my niños.


La Gringa

Casually waiting at a Honduran bus stop

Week #35--We must stop concentrating on our differences and look for what we have in common

"The adversary would have us be critical or judgmental of one another.  He wants us to concentrate on our differences and compare ourselves to one another.  You may love to exercise vigorously for an hour each day because it makes you feel so good, while I consider it to be a major athletic event if I walk up one flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator.  We can still be friends, can't we?"

One of the hardest things in life is learning to love ourselves.  We're always comparing ourselves with others, and more often than not, we're our hardest critics.  We don't have to look very hard in order to find someone who's smarter than us, someone with more money, or someone who's better looking.

In a world that so focused on our differences, it's easy to get caught up in the dangerous and destructive game of self-criticism.  Our self-confidence begins to decrease, and sometimes it completely disappears.

But that's not what our Heavenly Father wants.  He wants us to remember who we really are.  Because when we remember who we really are, everything changes: we walk with confidence, we love ourselves and others, and we'regenuinely happy.  We're God's children, and He loves us.  He wants to bless us.  And He wants us to return to live with Him someday.

Every person that you pass on the street is a child of God.  And every person has their story.  So please follow the advice of our dear President Uchtdorf:

"This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon.  When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following: STOP IT.

It's that simple.  We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children.  God is our Father.  We are His children.  We are all brothers and sisters."

I know that some of you who know me well are probably thinking to yourselves, "Emma, are you kidding me?  You're telling us not to judge people?  COUGH, COUGH... hypocrite..."

I know, I know, I know...

I'm not a perfect person.  But my mission has helped me overcome my faults and weaknesses.  Trust me, I'm still far from perfect, but every day I'm trying to be better than I was yesterday.  And I've changed.  I look at the world through different eyes now.  I've learned to really listen to people.  And it's the most beautiful thing.  There's nothing more amazing than listening to people's stories, or being a part of their lives.  People are beautiful.  Life is beautiful.  EVERYTHING'S BEAUTIFUL, LIKE WOW.  Yes, it's true that we all have our differences, but deep down, we're really all the same.

The people of Honduras, my investigators, my converts, the members, my companions, other missionaries, and every single person that I've talked to during these beautiful nine months of my life have changed me.  I'm now full of a love for my fellow human beings that I absolutely did not have before my mission.  And I'm the first to admit it.  Before my mission I was a close-minded, judgmental, white girl.  

And now...

I'm still a white girl...  

...WHO'S FRIENDS WITH ALL THE LATINOS BECAUSE LATINOS ARE THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But for real, I just love everyone, okay.

​  But yup, that's enough mushy-gushy-missionary-preaching for one email...


I have some weird fungus growing in my ear.

So that's cool and casual and fun.

And also really gross.

Look, I know we shouldn't blame other people for our problems and stuff, but just this once I'm gonna go right ahead and point all my fingers at Honduras water.  Thanks, Honduras water!  You win this round.  

Honduras water: 1.  Hermana Holdaway's ear: 0.

But everyone just calm down because I'm taking pills and stuff to kill it so yeah.

Anddddddddd so yeah.

Also this drunk guy in the street asked us to pray for him and he was like, "Aren't you guys going to put your hands on my head and give me a blessing?"  And we were like, "Of course, you don't even have to ask us twice!"

Lol, just kidding.  Obviously we didn't put our hands on this man's head.  I was like, "No, hermano, we'll pray for you, but we don't have the authority to place our hands on your head and give you a blessing." 


It was just another casual week in Honduras!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love always,

Hermana Holdaway

Family Home Evening with President Klein, Lina, and La Familia Carias (aka the family of one of my dad's companions from his mission)!

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