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

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week #53--Happiness: noun; the quality or state of being happy

Hi, everyone!

I hope that this email finds you happy and safe and that you're all enjoying the music and snow and lights and magic of this Christmas season.  But in midst of all of the hustle and bustle, don't forget to stop and remember the real meaning of Christmas and the most important gift of all: Our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Hermana Vergara and I had a good week.  We went to Tela on Wednesday to give service with all of the missionaries in our zone.  Tela is about an hour bus ride away, and it's a city that's alongside the ocean, just like Ceiba!  So we planted coconut trees on the beach!  We planted about 300.  And Tela did a news report on us and we were on TV and everything, so we're casually just super famous, like whatever, I'm signing autographs and am already starting my autobiography.

But the bad part about planting coconut trees in Tela was that we were all full of sand, and we weren't able to shower when we got back to Mezapa because our water was coming in superrrrrr dirty.  Like it looked like chocolate milk.  Smh, Honduras, you're killing me.

Hermana Vergara and I were supposed to have a baptism this past Saturday: a grandpa named Doroteo who has a lot of swag and who always wears a cowboy hat.  We met him about a month ago when we were trying to cross this huge mud puddle.  We were struggling hardcore because crossing mud puddles is actually super hard and if you don't believe me just come visit Mezapa and you'll see.  Anyway, he just stood there laughing at us, and we were like, "Lol, yolo, let's teach this grandpa."  So we started teaching him, he went to church, we challenged him to be baptized, and he accpeted!  He was all set, literally 100% ready.  We'd passed off the baptismal interview questions with him and everything.  When we asked him if he was still drinking coffee, he was like, "Nah, ya no soy mundano."  Lol.  But anyway, when we went to visit him on Thursday, his daughter was like, "Oh, he moved this morning.  He now lives in some little town like an hour away."  Um....like...wow....not okay, Doroteo.  Not okay.   

On a happier note, we've been visiting and teaching a lot of families recently!  And I love it.  Family relationships are beautiful.  Isn't it amazing that God has given us families?  He's blessed us with people who will be with us through thick and thin, through our fat times and our skinny times, through the good and the bad. 

Things are never going to be perfect; every family has its problems.  But despite all the burdens and challenges we have, we can be happy.  It's always possible to be happy.

It's always possible to be happy: that's something that I've learned from the families here in Honduras.  These families oftentimes have challenges that I never even dreamed of having.  Some of these families don't have enough food for dinner.  Some of these families live in one room houses with sheets of metal for a roof.  Some of these familes don't have enough money to send their children to school.  But these families are happy.  They're united.  And they've shown me in a very real way that happiness isn't conditional; it isn't something that a few people can have.  Happiness is universal.  It's there for everyone, no matter who you are.  

And I know it's been said before, but happiness doesn't come from a store.

And Honduras taught me that.

I love Honduras.

So don't define your happiness on your material possessions.  Because if you do, you'll always come up short.  Don't rob yourself of the happiness you deserve.  Choose now to smile.  Choose now to be positive.  Choose now to live.  

And if you want to experience real happiness, forget yourself and serve someone else.

Food for thought.


Hermana Holdaway

Week #52--Crossing lots of things off my bucket list

These past couple weeks have been a grand adventure mainly because I'm living in Honduras and it's just a given that life is never boring.  But I've been able to cross a couple of things off my bucket list and I thought I would share those things with you:
1.  I killed a chicken.

...........Okay, I watched someone kill a chicken.  Which is basically the same thing.  But I got it all on film!  And when I thought the chicken was "supposedly" dead I got up close to get a good shot of the blood and stuff and then THE FREAKING CHICKEN CAME TO LIFE AGAIN AND BASICALLY ALMOST KILLED ME. 

I'll show you all the video one day.
But just be careful of chickens okay, because they're not what they seem.
2.  Someone got into an accident for doing a double take at me.
When you're a white girl in Honduras everyone stares at you.  Like I should honestly start charging people and I could probably make a lot of money.  Sometimes I feel like I'm a zoo exhibit or something like that.  But anyway, we were walking down the street and this one guy on a motorcycle is just staring hardcore at me as he passes and then once he drives by he turns around to keep staring and then he falls off his motorcycle. 
Ten points for Hermana Holdaway.

Um.  I can't think of anything else funny that's happened these past couple of days.  OH WAIT.  I got stuck in a mud puddle the other night.  It was the worst thing ever.  Hermana Vergara and I were walking home and it was dark.  We were going to take one of the bigger streets, but there were a bunch of men smoking and drinking and so we were like, "Mejor no."  And we decided to take a smaller street instead.  Since it's been raining a lot, there are a ton of puddles.  It was dark and I couldn't see really well, so I stepped where I thought it was mas o menos dry.  And oops that I stepped into the world's deepest mud puddle that was literally up to my knees.  I was stuck and couldn't move and when I managed to get unstuck, I left my shoe behind.  #CINDERELLASTATUS.  So we were poking around the mud puddle with the ends of our umbrellas for like ten minutes trying to rescue my shoe but we couldn't find it and then I was just like, "SCREW IT."  And I squated down and stuck my hands into the mud puddle trying to find my freaking croc up to my elbows in mud.  And then this guy passed by and was like, "What are you guys doing?  Fishing?"  And then he started laughing like he was the funniest guy in the world, like pease, IF YOU'RE NOT GOING TO HELP ME FIND MY CROC, JUST MOVE ON, OKAY CAUSE I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR YOU.
And then Hermana Vergara was like, "Just leave your shoe there and we'll come back and look for it in the morning."  LIKE, UM, NO, DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT THIS CROC HAS BEEN WITH ME THROUGH EVERYTHING I CANNOT LEAVE IT ALONE ALL NIGHT IN THIS MUD PUDDLE.  

But then my prince charming came and fished my croc out for me and I put it on and it fit perfectly even with all the mud and poop and whatever else was on it and so now we're getting married.
Just kidding.
A little kid helped me fish my shoe out but the most important thing is that I have my croc and nothing will ever seperate us ever.  LIKE EVER.
The Church is true and I love you all.

Hermana Holdaway.

Week #51--An attitude of gratitude

Roberto passed away this Saturday.  Hermana Tito called me around 9:30 in the morning to tell me.  I cried a little bit after the phone call, but I've been doing my best to be happy and positive.  It's been a lot easier this week than it was last week.  I think it's because last week I mentally prepared myself for what was going to happen.  And when I saw the incoming phone call, I knew what it was.  I didn't need to hear the words.  But I'm okay.  I'm pressing forward.  I'm making it through.  And it's mainly because I've felt this peaceful, calm feeling in my heart that's a little hard to describe.  A feeling that makes me know that everything will be alright.  

In other news....


I hope you all enjoy your all-American holiday.  All of us gringo missionaries here in Mezapa have been planning our Thanksgiving celebration ever since November started.  No one could remember if Thanksgiving was the second or third or fourth week in November though.  I swore it was the second, but then one of the elders was like, "Nope.  It's definitely the third."  And then we found out it's actually the fourth...so oops.  What is America, we don't even know anymore.  But anyway, we're going to buy a roasted chicken and make powdered mashed potatoes and gravy from the packets that this one elder's mom sent him in a package.  And maybe we'll sing the national anthem or something.  Almost the same, right?  Probably not, but hey, you've got to make the best out of what you've got.

In the April 2014 general conference, Dieter F. Uchtdorf said,

"Everyone's situation is different, and the details of each life are unique.  Nevertheless, I have learned that there is something that would take away the bitterness that may come into our lives.  There is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious.  We can be grateful!"

I am blessed.  And I am grateful to be blessed.  

I am grateful for my mission, for the wonderful opportunity that I've had to serve here in Honduras.  I am grateful for everything that I've learned and experienced.  I am grateful for each one of my companions, for each one of my investigators, and for each one of my converts.  I am thankful for baleadas, for tajadas, and for beans.  I am thankful for sunny days and for rainy days, for my missionary nametag, and for Crocs.  I am thankful for Spanish, for the once in a lifetime opportunity that I've had to learn to express myself in this beautiful language. 

I am thankful for scissors and headbands and umbrellas.  I am thankful for bug spray and Peptobismol.  I am thankful for fans and colored pens and janky internet cafes.  I am thankful for cows and chickens and horses.  I am thankful for tortillas.  I am thankful for USBs.  I am thankful for orange juice.

I am grateful for the night sky, for the breeze, for the sound of the ocean.  I am thankful for the challenges and trials that I have, because I know that they're making me stronger.  I am thankful for laughter and for tears.  I am thankful for hugs and for smiles.  I am thankful to be alive.

I am grateful for my family, for my friends, and for my God.  I am grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I am grateful for the Book of Mormon.  I am grateful to be led and guided by a living prophet of God, Thomas S. Monson.  I am grateful for Jesus Christ.  I am thankful to know that He lives, and because He lives, I do too.

I am thankful to have the truth, to know who I am, and to know who I can become.

I am blessed.  And I am grateful to be blessed.

What are you grateful for?


Hermana Holdaway 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...