There is no way to hold 1st gear (that I know of). It will shift into second even with the gear lever in 1st. It will hold 2nd and 3rd to the limiter in each of those manually selected gears. I believe the reason they won't let you hold 1st is the insane amount of torque that 1st gear can give you easily destroying a transaxle if your bounce the limiter or hold it at that amount (for say a burnout).
Starting from stop in manually selected 2nd gear will start you out in 1st then shift you to second. This is how we do our burnouts.