| 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

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