Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 2, 2013


Happy December! Woah it`s weird. I`m coming up on one year being a missionary this week. I just can`t quite remember what it`s like to be anything other than a missionary. hahaha. I sent two packages last week with my nativities from the photos. I`ll be sending more nativities (or whatevers) by request in the coming weeks, although I can`t promise that they`ll get there by Christmas. But no worries, they`ll still be good by next Christmas. :)


 




Concepcion`s glasses are basically two magnifying glasses in a plastic rim. I wanted a picture of her in them, because it`s absolutely adorable, but I figured this is ALMOST adorable... hahahahahaha
There are lots of dead things in Honduras, so there are also lots of vultures.
Sometimes in life, the dog is just sitting on the car. Nobody really knows why.  
 


Anyway, this week has been, well, fast. This weeks medical endeavors included many things, as always, but more than anything, we enjoying many wild animal experiences this week. To borrow a page from Zippy: a short list of things that bit my missionaries this week: dogs (of course), a rat, bugs bugs bugs, a giraffe. Let me just explain the giraffe, because it is one of the more entertaining calls I received this week. The call went like this:

Missionary: Well... you see... something happened today

Bayles:Uhhhh huuuuuuuuh...? Digame

M: Well you see, I was at the zoo when a giraffe came up to us. 

B: uhh huuuuuh

M: And it kind of started licking me

B: uhh huh?

M: And its tongue was really scratchy

B: ohh?

M: And it`s tongue kind of scratched me on my arm.

B: Oh, that`s... weird. 

M: Ya. I was just wondering, what should I do for that?

B: Hmmm. Good question. Have you cleaned it up at all?

M: uhhhhh no. 

B: Ok, first thing, clean the area with soap and water. 

M: So what you`re saying is I should take a shower. 

B: No, just wash your arm really well.

M: well... it kind of licked my head too. 

B: ... What?

M: Yeah...

B: And how exactly did that happen?

M: Well, it started licking all the way up my arm and eventually reached my head, and then I think it liked my head better, so it kept licking it. 

B: ....

M: And then I think it thought my hair was straw or something, cause it started nibbling on my hair with its soft soft lips. 

B: And you let it?

M: ...well, I got a really great picture!

 

Welcome to my daily life. hahahahahaha. I`ll send the picture if he ever let`s me get my hands on it. It had better be a great one. 

 

The other bite that was slightly more tragic was a dog bite. Some poor sister got bit by a dog last week. When you get bit by a dog, you have to keep an eye out for the dog for 7 days, because a dog without rabies can`t live more than 7 days. If the dog is still alive after 7 days, you probably don`t need the rabies vaccine. Anyway, she was on the 7th day of observation and saw that the dog was alive and well. She was celebrating oh-so-happily when another (more vicious) dog attacked her just down the street. You`ve gotta love the mangy dogs of Honduras. 

 

Today I was part of a nursing video conference that included all of the missions in Central America. Technology really is amazing. They were saying that one in three missionaries gets sick in CA within the first three months (and that only includes REPORTED incidents haha). We`ve got a lot of work to do here. 

 

Anyway, on to responding to yàll. 

 

It almost blows my mind that 2014 is almost here. It also kind of freaks me out that I`m coming up on my 2nd Christmas as a missionary. I must admit, Christmas in the mission is a very different experience than in the home (just as Thanksgiving is VERY different here). Thanks in advance for the package. As far as the deer, the white tailed something-or-other deer is the national animal of Honduras. I`ll tell you what though. I`ve seen snakes, lizards, turtles, vultures, eagles, wild cats, spiders bigger than my head, all kinds of birds, a cavy, dolphins, crabs, and all other manner of wildlife, but I have yet to see a deer. haha. Cold, what is cold? haha Just kidding. We actually had a cold snap for this entire week. It rained for 6 days straight without stopping and did a cold sooooo cold that I couldn`t even sleep at night. haha. We were walking in the street shivering in our summer clothes and sandals as we experienced humid-cold (something I can now testify is real). I think I actually prefer melting to the sidewalk. haha. I really liked all the quotes, and I liked your ringworm trivia. One does not normally get ringworm from cats, but someone suggested that the cats here are carriers (and you can tell because of their ugly bald patches). haha. What luck I have. hahaha Thanks for the letter and thanks for all of your love and support. Love you!

 




It was definitely weird being away for Thanksgiving. I was thinking about Thanksgiving and everything it means to me, and it was weird to spend it here, where no one understands the beauty of Thanksgiving. I was trying to explain to my companion that it`s not about the food, but she didn`t get it. She thinks Gringos are weird and crazy and too serious (although she says I break the mold... except the weird and crazy bit). I bet it was awesome seeing errbody for thanksgiving. I`ll be excited to be there for the next one. Anyway, love you lots! Take care. Oh, btw, I definitely don`t remember my pin... I tried every combination I could think of, but I don`t remember at all. Either that or my card just doesn`t work here, but I`m pretty sure it`s the PIN business. 

 

No worries about the Thanksgiving plump; I guarantee it`s nothing compared to the Hondurans-love-me-a-little-too-much plump. Yeah. Try running that one off. hahaha No worries about the ringworm, it`s almost gone now. I`ll tell Hna Reyes Ooooiiii! for you, but I must say, she`s definitely not accustomed to the nursing schedule. She absolutely despises it. hahaha. I`d love to say she handles it with grace, but she just outright hates it, poor thing. It definitely takes some patience and some adjusting. Thanks for the scripture in Romans. I love that one. I almost sent my shoes home to get bronzed when I was in Olanchito, but I just ended up throwing them away. I almost regret that now. They were fabulously pathetic. As far as the Nativities go, I have only heard back from LaDee. Tell the sibs I`ll only be able to buy them for another week or two, so if they want one, they`ve gotta get on it! haha. Thanks for everything! Love you tons!

 

Welp, I do believe that`s all for now. I`ll try sending some pics. Love you all oodles!

 

Love,

Hermana Bayles 

 

p.s. I just learned: quick commands on keyboards don`t work on Spanish keyboards. For example, when you select all and hit CTRL C to copy the letter you just spent 45 minites to write your family, it deletes the letter. Happily, the Spirit showed me the undo button and I stopped freaking out. :) Ciao

 



November 24, 2013 - Happy Thanksgiving!

I haven´t made the thanksgiving feast yet, but don´t you worry… that´ll be happening soon. We´re going to be eating thanksgiving with a gringo who is currently a less active member of my ward; he even mentioned that there will be green bean casserole, so I am really looking forward to it. Also, he´s from Arizona, and we all know that Arizonans and Nevadans are made of the same desert sand, so I think it will be a great night. Haha

I can get a flash drive here just fine, the only thing is that I can´t remember the PIN for my bank card, so I am stuck for the moment. I don´t know if yáll know my PIN, but if you do, could you figure out a way to send it to me? That would be more than awesome. I honestly don´t need a camisole… we don´t like layers here because they make us die. But if you´ve got a white shirt in mind, that would be great. White doesn´t stay white very well here. Haha. Still smiling.

Hermana Reyes is cool. I think she doesn´t like the nursing stuff, but she deals with it mostly. Haha We´ve had to adjust our strides a little bit together; I´ve had to take it down a pace or two and she´s had to crank it up a little, but we get along well and we´ve had a good time together thus far.

The election is normally super dangerous here in Honduras, so when I said I was helping get ready for the elections, it´s because we were preparing the mission for an emergency situation. As the nurse, my house was one of the safe points, so we had to stock up on  a ton of food and water. In fact, we spent three days on lockdown in the house (just as a precautionary measure) and that´s why I´m writing on [Tuesday this week. Happily, the election went by without even a slight hitch and all are safe and happy in Honduras. They say it was one of the most peaceful elections in like 10 years, so we´re happy to be out working again. J Three days in the house is… an experience, but it was also a much-needed break. It was nice to just study in pajamas and take it down a notch or four.

 
The time is absolutely flying these days. I look at the date and think how impossible it is that it´s almost December. Imagine that.  The time spending has been more on missionary work than nursing, but I´ve also spent a lot of time (and money) on nursing this week. I just had to send ANOTHER sister home for health reasons, and it always involves a lot of work making sure we´ve done everything possible before we finally send them home. It always gets me a little bit to send them home. It reminds me of how a doctor must feel when he loses a patient, except a little bit less extreme. I just want to help them all stay and work to the fullest, but sometimes God has other plans. As a mission, though, we´re healthy and well, although I must say, a day in the life of Hna Bayles is different than a day in the life of just about any other missionary. It´s amazing to me how very different my mission experience is from that of my brothers and friends.  (and not just because I´m a girl haha). If I had to compare my mission to that of someone else, I´d go with David, but only in the ¨living in Latin America and dealing with all of the funny things that accompany that¨ sense. It really is such a different experience. But so so beautiful.

25 years and an eternity to go. Happy anniversary, Eileeny.

Thanks for the quotes on faith. I´ve been reading the new testament, and with three days in house, I blazed through a good chunk of it. The more I read the New Testament, the more I see the real power of faith. How many times did Christ tell the people ¨thy faith hath made thee whole?¨ He never said, ¨my power and authority as Son of God and Messiah has made thee whole, ¨ no, He said it was their faith that healed them. It´s something I´ve been thinking a lot about, and it´s really a lovely thought.

 
Your trip sounds more than wonderful. I´m so glad you got to see all of them and especially that you got to go to Nath´s baptism. I was thinking about him all day Saturday and Sunday, and just smiled like crazy. I was thinking about how he´s the only one who calls me by my middle name, and how much I love hearing him call me así.

I need thee every hour is my favorite hymn in English. I miss hearing it. Haha The piano bit sounds interesting and funny. I´d love to hear bass-y primary songs hahahahaha.

The baptism sounds absolutely beautiful. I only wish I could have been there.

Fog I´m veryyyyy familiar with, but snow and cold? I honestly don´t remember what it feels like to be cold, and I can´t quite imagine how snow is. I know I´ve touched it before and everything, I just can´t figure it out in my head right now. It´s like the idea of dragons… it just doesn´t seem real. Awesome, but not real.

Thanksgiving. Augh. Last thanksgiving was the last time I saw LaDee and Kirk and the kids. We built a fort. Man oh man. Has it really been a year? It´s so strange to think about.

Hey, while you´re all together, will you have anyone who wants a Honduran nativity choose from the three types of nativities and tell me which they want so I can buy more and send them through the mail? One is made from corn husks (typical of Copan and Santa Barbara here in Honduras) and the others are made of Barra (or clay), which is typical of all of Honduras. I can´t promise that they won´t break in camino, but I´ll do my best to keep them whole. Anyway, look at the pics (o todos vosotros) and let me know which yáll want.  J

 



This week was hectic and crazy, but all ended well and we are excited to work work work this week. I found out I have ringworm, but of all the parasites possible, it´s the best to get as it has nothing to do with your insides and only makes an ugly spot on the affected area (for me, the leg, and let´s face it: the mosquitos here have already made MANY ugly spots on my legs, so I think we´ll be just fine hahaha) and is very easily treated. Hna John thinks I got it from a cat, and I know exactly which one it it… the unlucky black cat of Concepcion, which has a bald spot and is always persecuting me. Hahahahaha Anyway, all is more than well here in Honduras. Take care and be good and have a great week.   I love you all ooodly dooooodlies and bunches of oats.

 

Love,

Hermana Bayles 

November 18, 2013


Oh my dear family, 

It is so beautiful to hear from you all. It´s nice to take a moment and think about something other than the million things that are constantly on my mind. This week has been another rough one, but reading this particular letter made me so happy I´ve just sat here and wept. Tell Nathan I could not be happier for him. Tell him that this little gal is so proud to have him as her uncle, and that even though I can´t be there for the big day, I will be thinking of him all the day long. Tell him of all the baptisms I´ve had or heard of here in the mission, this one leaves them all behind. This is one of the happiest moments of my mission, going hand in hand with the news that Josh went to the temple and that Nigil is serving a mission. You tell that beautiful man that these little eyes of mine just won´t stop reminding me how happy I am for him; I can´t get them to dry up. God is so good. 

This week has been rather hectic. We´ve been preparing for the elections (I don´t remember if that´s how you spell it in english... google translate elecciones and you´ve got it) here, which will take place this coming Sunday. For the majority of the missionaries, that doesn´t mean too much, but for the office staff and for this little nursey-girl, it´s kind of a lot of work. This week we also had cambios (transfers, I think they´re called in english). I have a new companion, Hermana Reyes from the Dominican Republic and she´s 19 years old. I also kind of have a new area. When we had cambios I didn´t have a new area, but then President called to tell me he was pulling all of the missionaries out of my area, elders and hermanas alike. He had another area to put us, but after visiting the area decided that he really didn´t feel alright about having hermanas there, so... right now I don´t have an area. hahaha. I think we´re going to return to my old area for the next who-knows-how-long, and afterwards we´re going to go to some unknown location. hahaha. It should be a fun experience. But no worries, no matter what happens, I´ll be here in San Pedro Sula (which, by the way: in the letter, one of yáll said something about going to a bigger city to buy shoes... SPS IS the big city... the only thing bigger in the whole country is the capital, and to be honest, I´m not sure Tegucigalpa is actually bigger than SPS. haha). 

Mumsie, I got the Thanksgiving package. Thanks so much for that. As far as Christmas ideas, I was thinking of buying a hard drive because all of my memories are fuuuuuull, but I don´t think that would be something to send in the mail. haha. I don´t even know how much something like that is worth. Other than that, I have no idea what I would want. I feel like I have everything I need (and more!), but it´s all good.






Eileen, sounds like you´ve had a fun week or so. I bet that´s been fun seeing all the family and errthing. I´m glad you got some days to relax and read some books. I forgot that books exist. haha I know that sounds funny, but here they really don´t have books aside from the bible (and once we come along, the book of mormon). How funny. 

Dad, I already told you how I feel about your bit of the letter, but I´ll say it again: I could not be happier. Tell Hno Rechsteiner and the Lukers I say hey and i love them. Tell them thanks for everything. 

I had more to say, but, alas, someone´s heart is arrhythmic and they´ve got tachycardia, so I´ve gotta run. I love you all a ton. Take care and be gooooooood (as Brian and ET would say). 

Lots and lots of love,

Hna Bayles    

 

November 11, 2013


Hey fam, 

I`m sorry I haven`t really written much lately. It`s just been a very busy and crazy time. It`s been a super frustrating couple of weeks, but I`m doing alright. I`m glad you got the package. That means I can try sending more stuff.  :) The statue actually isn`t quetzaltenango, it`s a copy of one of the mayan carvings in copan. And I`m glad you liked the maracuya... I``m sorry I couldn`t send you the real stuff like I`m drinking here, but I`m glad you enjoyed the fake thing. haha. 

These last few weeks have been really hard weeks for us. A lot is changing in the mission. Lies. A lot is changing for me in the mission. Cambios are this week, and I am almost positive we`ll have changes. I think I`ll probably stay in my same area, but I think I`ll have a new comp. Even if I change areas, I`ll still be in San Pedro. The nurse is pretty much stuck in the city. haha. But it`s alright. Aside from a few undesireable things, it`s really nice being in san pedro. I really love getting to interact with President and Hna Dester. They were in Guatemala this last week, and it was surprising to me how much I missed seeing them and talking to them. That`s one blessing of being the nurse, that I get to interact with them every now and then. 

I finally got the Halloween package; thanks so much! My comp was so excited for the candy too. We`ve been gobbling it. 

Welp, here`s a picture of me in my new SPS futbol jersey. 
Sounds like you all ahve had a fun week and everyhting. I`m glad you`re getting to have visits and everything. I wish I could see all yàll, but I`m glad you`re getting to spend some quality time with the little guys. 

I honestly don`t know what to write you all right now. We`ve been finding a lot of new investigators, but the majority of them only progress for a week or two and then they don`t want anything. Anyway, we are always looking for new people and always working to help the ward and the people here. Our planned baptisms just fell through. One of them is moving to Copan suddenly, so he won`t get baptized. The other is moving to La Lopez, so she also won`t get baptized. The other`s mom just prohibited her from listening to us anymore and she asked us not to come back. That`s always fun. But we`re working hard and hoping to work more integratedly with the members. 

 

Tell Andrea and Jim and Eileen thanks for writing me. Thanks for writing me to yàll too. I really love hearing from you every week. I`ll try to write more next week, but for now, that`s about all I`ve got.  

Have a great week. Love yàll. 

Love,

Hna Bayles

November 4, 2013


Dear Family,

I really loved the pictures so thanks for that. It´s crazy to see how much those little sobrinos are growing up. The biggest surprises were Noah and Elise. Holy cow they´re getting big. 

 

I honestly don´t know what to write you all this week. I went on exchanges to El Carmen with Hna Tanner this week. She´s really cool and we had a pretty good time, although it rained like the dickens (which made the holes in the soles of my shoes suddenly VERY inconvenient). I´ve officially walked through inch-and-a-half thick soles, which I consider a pretty decent accomplishment, especially considering that I currenty have (relatively) beautiful roads to walk on here. (Let´s be honest, compared to the States, these roads are post-apocalyptic, but for Honduras they´re gorgeous.) Anyway. That tells you how much walking I do. haha. Including the other pair I walked through and the two pairs of rubber shoes I´ve walked through and the wear and tear I put on my other pair of shoes before I gave them away, I´d say that adds up to about 4 inches of shoe sole that I´ve pounded out of business. But no worries, I bought some new rubber shoes today. I love these things so much. And they only cost 40 lempiras, which is to say slightly less than $2, so I´m back on my feet, as it were. 

 

This week has been insane. Absolutely insane. We´ve had so many health problems in the mission lately. I got about 14 calls in less than 10 minutes last night. I was getting new calls in the middle of calls and by the time I would hang up with one person, I´d already have 5 new calls. I predict that this week will be even worse, although I won´t give you details as to why until next week. Moral of the story, it´s been CRAZY. Add on top of that that we´ve had to take over another companionship´s area (more or less) and the result is a very very very exhausted missionary. But I´m alright, no worries. I´m healthy as an helote. 

 

Aside from that, the work goes forth. We´re currently working on reactivating our ward mission leader, so that´s been interesting. It´s amazing how much of an influence the members have on the work. When they don´t dig in with the missionaries, the work is nearly impossible and painfully difficult. But when the members heave their part of the load, the missionaries can´t help but see miracles. Incredible. 

 

Um, I´d respond to your emails, but I´m afraid I don´t really have time. I´ve only got a half hour left of pday and i just got a call saying that a sick missionary is coming in to ask me questions and get healed and everything, so I guess I´ll talk to you all next week. 

 

Pray for me, please. 

Love, 

Hna Bayles

Sunday, November 3, 2013

October 27, 2013


Hoi!

I would like to announce that this week I ate a chicken´s heart and liver (and ascending aorta if we´re being specific), something I´ve never done before. I would like to announce that I liked it. Also, I was extremely surprised by how very similar the chicken´s organs are to human organs. They´re exactly the same, just more tiny (thus more cute? I just don´t know, but that seems to be life rule #347, so I think I´ll stick to it...?). Also, I remember discussing in Physiology classes how very smooth the walls of the heart and arteries are. Little did I know, HE WASN´T KIDDING; those things are so smooth! I also ate a McFlurry this week. Who knew such sophisticated things exist here in Honduras?

I was remember something funny about Concepcion the other day and I couldn´t remember if I´d told yáll or not: Back when Concepcion was still a non-member, we went to visit her one day and found a water bottle looking thing filled with what looked like marijuana. Although it´s not that unusual to see marijuana here, it IS a little strange to see it in the house of your 85-year-old investigator who is working towards baptism, so we asked her, ¨Hey Concepcion, what´s that?¨ She looked at us for half a second and said, ¨Marijuana mixed with alcohol.¨ Oh. Ok. haha. We just looked at her for a minute to see if she was joking or serious, and when she made a slightly embarrased face and laughed a nervous laugh, we knew she wasn´t joking. She later explained that it wasn´t to smoke or drink or anything like that, but that she put it on her joints to make them feel better. She told us it was the ¨natural¨ remedy. hahahahahahaha. Whatcha gonna go? She´s 86 years old, she can do what she wants. hahahahaha

We hiked the CocaCola Mountain today, but the giant Hollywood style letters are down below in an area where you have to walk through ticks, stinging bugs, spiders the size of your hand, and poisonous snakes to get to them, so we just took pictures from the lookout above them. By the way, I saw the hugest spider ever today. Also, I saw a poisonous snake fly out of the monte (scrub? I don´t remember how to say it in English) and attack a bearded lizard who was running across the dirt path on his two back legs. My life is so Discovery channel. Or maybe Animal Planet. I also saw a goat today. 

Finally, yesterday I had the incomparable pleasure of hearing one of my recent converts giving a talk about the priesthood yesterday. He also asked the bishop for a calling in the church because he wants to serve. That is what I like to call Pilas.  :)

 
[In response to specific items within emails:]
scooter? Man oh man, I would give my left foot for that little piece of beauty. Augh. Also, I would give my left foot for full-time missioaries who search out people to teach. Man-oh-man. How awesome is that. Those little baby-folk sound pretty awesome. Thanks for the scriptures and the love!

Halloween weekend sounds like it was pretty fun. But isn´t halloween this week? Hmmm? I was thinking about the foam ghosts in the entryway and the spiderwebs all over the house. I´m bummed that they don´t really celebrate halloween here, but I´ll get another one some day. Remind me that I´m going to dress up as the sunkist raisin girl next halloween (one of the elders told me that I´m her hahahahaa). Elise´s tuotle and Noah´s donkey donk sound so cute. I miss those lil guys. Autumn. What is that? Oh man. Thanks for the love and support!

 
Woah-ho-ho]! That´s really cold [40 degrees F]. When I come into the office, I almost can´t stand the air conditioning. And that´s like, 75 degrees. Soooo coooooold. That´s cool that you got to go up to Parawon and that you´ll get to see grandma and grandpa. Take good care of my scoot scoot. You know how I love that thing. Hey, thanks for errthing! Lovesies. 

 

Adioooooooos!

Hna Bayles

Thursday, October 24, 2013

20 Oct 2013


Hola familia!

Disease of the week: amoebic dysentery. That´s what´s up. :) No worries, he´ll be completely fine after these antiparasite pills. 

Another note: a woman from my ward here in SPS is going to be in Las Vegas 16 of November for like 8 days, so if you want to hang out with her or send something back with her, she´d probably be happy and willing to do it. She´s really great. She only speaks spanish, but her son (who will be with her) speaks english. 

This week, we saw two very fat chihuahuas this week. They looked like two very fat overstuffed sausages with huge round eyeballs. They were so chubby and over-excited. We´ve decided that if we continue in SPS, we´re going to be these two little sausage dogs. Companions and all. 

 

I really enjoyed reading your letter. Thanks for including the clip from Nigil. Man, if I could live in the MTC again, I´d do it. It´s such a spiritual and wonderful place. I had the greatest spiritual experience of my life in the MTC, and I don´t see why anyone wouldn´t want to be there. Man, what a place. I´m glad you´re enjoying the Youth Center. I know it´s a huge responsability, and probably something where you probably don´t see the fruits of your labor, but it´s such a beautiful and important calling. 

By the way, I met the Honduran version of you and she almost made me cry because she reminded me so much of you. 

Thanks for everything. I really am so grateful for your love and support and for everything yoiu´ve done for me. Lots of love. 

 

I really am pretty healthy here: I know yáll get to hear about the extreme cases, but it really is a pretty healthy place here. Lauren wants another dog, eh? That would be pretty fun. Grandma and Grandpa are always having adventures, eh? Poor things. They just have so many complications in their life right now. I really hope they´re happy and doing well. 

We had that same lesson this last sunday, and it was so good. I´ve heard that story before, but I loved hearing it again. It really testified to me that this church is not the church of any mortal man, but the church of Jesus Christ. That when one leader in the church passes away or has to be released, the church goes on. That to me is such a testimony of the Divine source of this work. Welp, thanks for the letter and for all of your love and support. Love you tons.

 

I liked what you said about that there is no easy passage through life. I think it was Brigham Young who said that every trial we face is NECESSARY for our exaltation. It really puts things in perspective, eh? 

So, what you´re telling me is that your marriage class was a ¨til death do you part¨ kind of assignment? bhahahahaha. I hope more people start going to your class and learnin how to be more lovey dovey. Tell them to read the family: a proclamation the the world. Then they´ll want to go to your class. 

I´m jealous of your pumpkin cookies. We definitely don´t have an oven. People don´t use ovens here. If they have an oven, they use it as an extra cupboard or pantry. I remember the first time I saw someone pull some groceries out of the oven, followed by a bowl and a spatula. I was so confused. How bout you just make me some pumpkin cookies in like a year. Sounds good. 

That´s funny that you mention the moon. I was looking at it with a grumpy old man named Ramón the other day and he said, ¨You´re parents are looking at that same moon right now, thinking of you.¨ I wonder if you really were looking at it right in that moment. Some day I´ll look at that moon and hope that Honduras is looking back at me. Funny how life does the old switcheroo on you. haha. Anyway, thanks for the letter and the love. Love you lots. 

 

To finish off, I just want to testify of the power of the fast. We were fasting to find new investigators this week, especially a family. We walked into one investigator´s house and found 3, two of which are part of a (hopefully golden) family that we contacted later in the week. The other is a bit of a funny story. About three months ago, we contacted a woman in the house of algunas investigators. We really wanted to teach her, but had to leave without getting her contact information. We then spent the next two weeks searching for her but never found her. For the last three months, I´ve been looking for her, and last week we walked into this investigator´´s house after fasting to find people who would progress and less than 2 minutes later, she showed up for an impromptu visit, saying she didn´t know why but she just had the thought to visit this person. God works miracles. I don´t know what will happen with this investigator, but I know God has brought her back into my path for a reason, and I intend to find out why. 

 

I had something else I wanted to tell you, but I can´t for the life of me remember what. Anywya, I hope you´re all happy and well. Love you tons!

Hna Bayles

 

October 14, 2013 - Columbus Day!

Flesh eating bacteria? Been there, done that. Some day I will send you all a picture of the poor elder´s leg. You know, back when I was studying parasites and microbiology, I almost didn´t believe that necrotizing fasciitis exists, and really it´s such a rare bacteria that it almost doesn´t exist... but here in good ol´ Honduras where everything is bigger, scarier, germier, and moister, it´s just something that I get to write home about. Cheers for that. We´ve also got an inexplicable illness going around (you know, going around central america) that absolutely destroys the intestines. It´s an unidentifiable, untreatable, unknown SOMETHING (probably a parasite) that is taking out a missionary or two every couple of months and leaving them with lifelong post-infectious IBS. Who knew being nurse in a climate and area that is a living growing petri dish could be so... exciting?! The good news is, things like these are a rarity. :) We´re healthy as a mission, for the most part.

 

Honduras also has a Florida and a Las Vegas haha. The story behind the name ¨Honduras¨ is that when Christopher Columbus landed here in Honduras, he said, ¨thank God we´re out of those stormy depths¨ or something like that, and the name ¨the depths¨ just stuck I guess. For that same reason, the cape where he landed is called ¨Gracias a Dios,¨ or ¨thank God.¨

Our investigators are suddenly very sparse. haha. We just had to drop every single investigator we had for one or more reasons, but we´re basically starting over at ground zero. The good thing is, we still have a good pool of less-actives that we´re visiting and we just found a bunch more. Anyway, it´ll probably be a rough start getting back up with investigators, but sometimes everybody just decides to be unprepared all at once. haha 

I´m glad to hear that Nigil is doing well and is safely in Columbia. Those first few weeks are super rough, cause you have no idea what anyone´s saying and you have no idea how to respond, but tell him it will come with time (even though it doesn´t feel like it right now). One day he´ll just wake up and realize that he´s fluent. It´s incredible. 

Sounds like all the family stuff was great. It´s small little moments like those that you miss in the mision, not necessarily the big moments. :) Take care and thanks so much for everything. Love you! (hey, by the way, you´ve been in my dreams every single night for the past 2 or 3 weeks. It´s nice to see you, even when I can´t see you. Also, Brian made a candid appearance last night, so that was a fun little reunion). 

 

You´re right about the admin bit, although I would say the frustration is mostly that being the nurse for the mission really should be a full-time calling (actually it IS a full time calling; Hna Tolliver´s mission call was to be the nurse, but to also be a missionary... I´m just filling in haha), which means that I can be a great nurse or I can be a great missionary or I can give a great effort at doing the both, but it´s a little tricky. hahaha. Add training a new missionary to that and you may as well just hand me my red boots and my golden lasso and call me wanna-be-wonder-woman. hahahaha Just kidding. If I had the super powers to do it all, then you I could earn my stars, as it were. Although I must say, the things I have seen so far count for about 20 years in medical practice, because I´ve already seen so many rare diseases and treated so many every-day occurances. I´m trying to thing if PA school will count all of these hours as Clinical hours.... That would be SPECTACULAR and would make it possible for me to go right into PA school after BYU. But that´s in the Happily Ever After part of this story, and we´ve not quite vanquished the villain yet, so let´s not get ahead of ourselves. 

The Primary President sounds awesome. I look forward to meeting her in the Happily Ever After. The seminary also sounds awesome (the biking one, not the boring bee-hum one). ;) I really miss riding my bike. I think when the opportunity presents itself, I´ll just ride my bike everywhere.    

Wow, I am so proud and excited for Josh. That is such happy news. Man, I just am so happy for him. Tell him I couldn´t be more proud and I know he´s made the right decision. 

I loved the scripture and loved the message. Thanks so much for everything, Pop-a-dooodle-doo. Love you!


I lurved the package, so thanks a bundle. It was really great. I also loved the picture, although I can´t say i say the message of the ants. I´ll have to look again. Another happy thing is that I got the package from La-dee. It was awesome. I absolutely loved the pictures of the kids, but the picture of Arie made me cry. She´s not a little girl anymore. Who gave her permission to grow up so fast and turn out so gorgeous? Augh, I can´t believe she´ll be in Young women´s when I get back. I just can´t handle that. Anyway, loved the package so tell La-Deee thanks a million. :)

That reminds me, I just sent my first package to yáll. This package is a test package of rubbage that weighed a fair amount so I can know whether it´s safe to send other things that are not quite so rubbishy. I talked to a bunch of other North Americans who say not to even bother because nothing ever arrives, but I´m trying it anyway. So, if a random pepto bismol box (yep, I sure am the nurse... we plow through that stuff in the mission) shows up addressed to Mumsie and Pop-a-doodle-doo, it´s probably from Honduras. Specifically me. 

Changes of the week, Ana, who has been inactive for 14 years finally came to church and loved it! Also, Joél is reading the book of mormon and is working on finding a new job so he can come to church. :) Baby steps, they may seem, but to me, they are 4 months of work finally paying off. I love my less-active members. I always knew Visiting Teaching was important. Plug for the relief society from Preach my Gospel: Harold B. Lee: ¨Missionary work is but home teaching to those who are not now members of the Church, and home teaching is nothing more or less than missionary work to Church members.¨

That is a cool and happy scripture. I love links between old and new and everything. 

Tell Sister Clayton and Gail I say OOOOOOOIIIIIIIIIY! (Hey!) and I love them. Whenever people see the pictures of the family that I have, I always just classify the picture of Gail and I at the temple as, ¨that´s me and my aunt,¨or some other family description. I´m glad you get to talk to Kathryn about church stuff. She´s such a nice and friendly lady. :)

Tell grandma and grandpa I say hey and I love them oodly bunches. I pray for them all the time and hope everything is good with them. 

It blows my mind that it´s not still summer there. I just. It´s still summer. Here. And will be. Forever. I just can´t quite understand it. haha

 

Anyway, I hope you are all doing well and that you are loving life. I´m going to sign off now-ish, but first I want to tell you one little story. 

 

We went to visit family Moncada (Eileen, Hna Romero, the one I met in your house, was there, as were her sisters... the Moncadas are her parents and they´re in my ward here in SPS). Brother Moncada has had very serious health problems and had a very close call in dialysis this week. We sat and talked ot him for a bit and listened as he wept that he wanted to enter the temple one more time before he dies, and he still wants to serve a mission with his wife, and he doesn´t want to leave his greatest treasure, his family behind. I sat there and thought of the faith of this beautiful family,a dn the joy in knowing that, even though when he eventually does leave his family behind, it will only be for a moment because of the sealing promise of the temple. After a bit of time listening and comforting him, we asked him if we could sing a hymn. His wife told us for him, ¨he wants to sing his favorite.¨ We then turned to no. 137¨¨Tu me has dado muchas bendiciones Dios¨ and sang a hymn of gratitud. He wept and wept and wept. I cannot fully understand the unshakeable and determined faith of this dear and beloved family. They are truly a part of my family here in Honduras, and I hope someday to be a little more like them. 

 

Know I love you all tons and wish you all a very happy Columbus Day. 

 

Love, The Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria,








*Allan and Julissa with Cathy and Sarah. :)
*Me and family Guzman (minus hna guzman) Hno Guzman wears a periwinkle pooh bear backpack, which is perfect for him, because he reminds me very much of Winnie the Pooh. 
*I know it looks like my arm is around Allan, but no worries... it´s not. 
*Allan and the Hernandez family and Hno Guzman
*Sometimes I forget I´m not Latina. Then I see pictures of me with other people and I think, ¨who is that huge white person?!¨ 
*Baptism
*In the church
*E´ Lui. He´s one of my best friends in the mission. He used to be my district leader. Now he´s my zone leader with E´ Underwood


 
*Let´s just look at the a new planner and a planner after 6 weeks

*My halloween pumpkin is a mandarin orange with a face drawn on in pen. That´s what´s up in Honduras

*My companion loves her bed. She was hiding from the camera

 
 
Hna Bayles

Happy Conference October 6, 2013


Hola familia,

Estoy escribiendo con un poco de prisa porque tengo que regresar al hospital mas o menos pronto. Tuve que traer un elder al hospital por una operación. En otras palabras, esta semana ha sido locísimo con cosas medicas. jajja Tuvimos que madrugar y todo, y ha sido un día un pocito estresante. jajaa. Pero no se preocupan; todo va a salir bien. Tambien, yo tuve que enviar un OTRO misionero a la casa porque él vino a la misión con picazón de la piel, pero este picazón cambió rapidamente hasta cellulitis with lymphangitis, lo cual empezó a contagiar todo su pierna y... pues él se fue a la casa, pobresito. Hemos visto muchos problemas medicas recentamente, pero es increible como el Señor cuida a Sus misioneros. Realmente este picazón era una bendición por este elder, porque si no lo tuviera ahorita, probablemente lo tuviera más adelante cuando sería mas dificil ayudarle. Bueno.


I bet that was fun to spend so much time with the family. I believe family is the one thing that will bring me back from Honduras some day (nothing else could tear me away haha). I bet Nigil is going to do great, and I KNOW he´s going to love it. I´ll tell you what, those 6-week MTC missionaries can speak spanish faster and better than those with more time. It´s incredible how prepared they are in such a  short time. I loved the emphasis on the obra misional in this conference, and thought it was incredible. We work with the members every moment possible. In fact, I have yet to go contacting or tracting in the mission. That´s not to say that the members always support us 100%, but really we´ve seen taht the key to everything is meeting the members´ friends. Every convert I´ve had (minus one) has been the friend or family of a member (and that is why every one of my converts is going to stay in the church as well, if I have anything to do with it). If members would just make good friends and present them to the missionaries, the work would move forward so fast. Whatever person can receive these things in the right time and with the spirit and a friend. Easy. Just introduce everyone you know to the missionaries and it´ll be great. haha. Lots of love!


your California visit sounds awesome. I bet it was sweet takin the new little carito out, and all the food and fun sounds bodacious. The conference was amazing, and I couldn´t have been more impressed and proud of Elder Holland for his courage in leading by example in encouraging others to get help for a problem that is real and debilitating as broken bones. I was especially impressed with the talks this conference. I felt like they addressed real life issues directly and boldly, and for that I was very impressed. All in alll, I think it was an amazing conference. As far as finding a new place to live, we still haven´t found anything new, but, yes, it´s been a juggling game to find new areas and housing for the hermanas. I´m so glad I made the decision to go before the announcement. I know yáll were a little freaked out by how abrupt and sudden my decision  was, but looking back now, I know it had to be that way, and I know I had to leave exactly when I left. I´m glad to hear that G and G are doing a little bit better and I will be praying for them to continue recovering. Thanks so much for all of your help and support. I really am so lucky to have had the parents I´ve got. Some day I want to know your secrets, because I just can´t figure out how yáll helped little punk-kid Maren stay on a track to the temple and a mission after growing up in the middle of Sin City. It´s like a math problem without an answer. I just don´t get it. Miracle workers, that´s what yáll are. haha. Anywya, love you oodles!

Hey-a! I got the package and the hump day envelope! Thanks so much. That was AWESOME. I stillhavenpt gotten anything from LaDee, but that´s not to say that it couldn´t arrive in three weeks or so. haha. I especially loved the nutella and the t shirt. For Christmas, I want nothing more than Kirkland trail mix. Also, all the HOndurans want beef jerky and it´s making me wonder if my memory of beef jerky isn´t as good as it should be. Anyway.j hahah. yup. The german restaurant sounds awesome and I loved the pictures. Sounds like it was a fun birthdya. I bet that´s awesome, seeing Carlos play it up. I will forever be grateful for those screaming voices from the sidelines, ¨Come on girl! Woohoo! yea Bear!!!! Twenty bucks if you get a homerun!¨´ hahahaa (ask dad if he remembers that $20 homerun I got hahahahaha). I know it was probably miserable waiting in the bleachers in the heat and sun and cigarette smoke, but I really appreciate that you all took the time to be with me, even if you weren´t running on the field with me. Painting pumpkins. Woah. I forgot what October means in other parts of the world. It´s still summer here. Woah. Pumpkins. Man, I think I´ll miss Halloween. haha The Book of Mormon and the gospel have such power. If anyone ever has doubts or questions, just read the Book of Mormon and you´´ll be good to go. I loved General Conference too. It´s what´s up. The only thing that´s changed in my mission address is that you should put mission oeste on the package because otherwise it gets mixed in with everytiig from the other mission. Otherwise, it´s all good. Looove yooou!

Other than that, this week has been mostly just the norm. We didn´t have much proselyting time because of conference and new missionaries and people deciding to get horribly sick inthe mission. On the sunny side, Joel smiled this week. Like, really smiled and had light in his eyes. He´s reading and he´s changing little by little every day, and I couldn´t be happier. Life is crazy, but little by little we become who and what we need to become.

I love you all more than you can imagine. Take care and we´ll talk next week!

Love,

Hna Bayles

 

30 Sept 2013


Mi querida familia,

Hey y`all. How`s it goin in Gringolandia? It sometimes blows my mind that yàll all in, like, autumn or something... we`re still in summer here, but the wet version. And after that, we`ll switch over to summer... the dry version. hahaha. Anyway, things here are going. Allan got baptized Saturday and that was really awesome. He received the gift of the Holy Ghost and then the priesthood yesterday. So awesome. :) I can`t send pics because I forgot my card reader today, but I`ll send somethin next week I think. 

This birthday was... well... I think it was the worst day of my whole mission. hahahaha. Maybe I`ll explain someday, but no worries, it would have been a bad day even if it hadn`t been my birthday. I just don`t have the time or desire to explain right now. Mumsie, I still haven`t received the package or the envelope, but I`ll keep my eyesies open. :) Eileen, I did get your package and your card. Thanks so much. All of us office people ate all the candy in like 2 days flat. 

I`m excited to see my hump day pic, and I`m glad Sister Luker could use my letters in RS. If I could give a 10 minute speech to the church as a whole on any topic I wanted, it would include visiting teaching. 

I`m glad to hear that G and G are healing up better. I wish I could be there to help them out and all, but I`m glad that they live at least relatively close. Maybe they will be able to move closer so y`all can all party it up in Vegas.  

That was cool to see all those sisters singing for the SocSoc general conference. I didn`t cry, but >I did see two of my friends who I didn`t even know were going to serve missions, so that was AWESOME. (p.s. did Sarah-bear ever decide whether or not she wanted to serve?)

I hope yàll enjoy soCal. Sometimes Honduras reminds me of California (specifically LA and Valencia). Maybe yàll will think of lil old me. 

Lovesidoodledoos!


Hey, speaking of your friend Jeff Stewart, I`m friends with one of the nephews of one of your friends. haha Elder Bergquist, who also works in the office is the nephew of Mark Dixon. He also lived 5 minutes from us back home and went to the same high school, but we never met before the mission. haha. It`s fun talking to someone from home. It`s weird, but awesome. 

Sorry your finger got hurt. I have a hurt finger too, and it`s a bummer (part of the birrthday of doom hahahaha), but at least I don`t have to do dental work or type usually. 

That`s cool taht you got to teach and all. And even cooler about my scoot scoot registration. Does that mean that nobody`s been using it this whole time? What a shame haha. It`s like the funnest thing in the whole world. 

I think your thinking is great with the whole moving G and G down to vegas thing, but I don`t know what they`ll think about that. They tend to like where they are and everything. 

Your right about me being stoked for conference. I am so excited. And I`ll even get to listen to it in English. That`s what`s up. haha. We`re definintely inviting our investigators. There`s nothing like teaching someone about modern day prophets and then getting to show them who he is and what he`s talking about. We`re gonna get as many people there as we can. It`s gonna be so awesome. 

 

I love Primary. If every member had the faith and the excitement of the Primary, the church would move forward without obstacles into every nation and every corner of the world. The other day we went to visit a recent convert from the elders and her grandaughter gave the final prayer. In it, she said, ^please help las Mormonas to come back tomorrow and help them so the rain doesn`t fall on them.^ I was laughing, but it was honestly so sweet. The rain is a beast here. 

I`m glad you liked the pictures. Meylin is doing well, although she`s got a couple of questions and doubts. We`ll hope she goes to conference to get some awesome answers. :)

Elder John is a nice man. He`s Heidi`s uncle, too, which is kind of fun. we`re almost like family haha. 

I loved the women`s conference. I loved the emphasis on covenants. So cool. 

Love a dub dubsies!

 

Anyway, this week there are changes. My companion and I don`t have changes, but we`re really looking to move in this change. It`s killing us living so far from the area. It`s workable, but it`s a pain and it`s so expensive. We`ve got six of the new sisters staying with us starting tonight and tomorrow. the other three are going to stay with president. 

 

Anyway, what I really want to tell you all about today is Joel. Joel is someone I`ve now been working with for 3 months, and he still hasn`t returned to church, but this week something amazing happened. We went to his house with a friend and talked about the atonement for about a half an hour. Then we gave him a book of mormon and promised him that he would be able to solve all of his problems if he read the whole book through. Then we returned a week later, and after a week of reading the book of mormon, something had completely changed inside of him. He had such light in his eyes and for the very first time in these three months, he smiled a real and genuine smile. I don`t know what`s going to happen with Joel or if he`s going to come back to church in my time in La Primavera, but for one small moment, I saw change in him, and that is exactly what this gospel is about. Success in the mission is immeasurable. It is those small and tiny moments when God`s hand captures the weak and hopeless and turns them into something eternal and full of light. 

 

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week. I love yàll oodly doodlies. 

Hna Bayles

 

p.s. Tell Jordan I got his last letter and I`ll be responding one of these days soon. 

Sept 23, 2013


Hey errbody. 

Welp. I´ll be doublin´ up on 2s in 2 days. Here for birthdays, sometimes they smash eggs on your head, so I´m keeping it on the down low hahahaha. Just kidding... they´re usually nice enough to smash an egg with confetti inside instead of a regular full egg, but one never knows. 

This week it´s rained like crazy and a couple people have gotten pretty beat up from it. Two ladies in our ward got swept off their feet (and down the mountain) by the current running through the streets. They got completely torn up, poor things. It really is like walking in a river when it rains here. Another person fell into a sewage hole and she drowned. What a way to die, drowning in a rushing river of sewage. I think Nancy had it better, personally. 

We´ve had a really cool week, but nothing too exraordinarily amazing. Well, ok. Let´s be honest, every moment of the mission is extraordinarily amazing and we´ve seen miracles this week, but nothing too out of the ordinary happened. We had a couple of amazing lessons, though. We had one with Meylin about the Book of Mormon, and the Spirit was so strong, I was surprised there weren´t angels in the room. Then again, who knows? Right after that we entered another house where we immediately felt the lack of the spirit. After that we had to machete her for not doing her part in our lessons. She was sad, but it was either that or leave her. 

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, by the way. Mom, the package hasn´t arrived yet, but Eileen, your package arrived. THanks a bundle. 

Thanks for all the support and love. I will write yáll more next week. 

Love you tons and tons. 

Take care of yourselves. 

Hna Bayles

 

Here is a picture of a Licha. I think they´re tasty


P.S.  I am Elder John, serving here in Honduras with my wife.  I am the financial secretary, and my wife is the mission secretary.  As such we spend our days in the office and often get the chance to rub shoulders with your precious daughter.  She told me that she felt badly because she knew she was sending you a "lame" letter.  I asked if I could take a moment and let you know about your daughter.  I know that I am not telling you anything you don't already know, but she is a very special young lady.  A zone leader told me just last week that "if every sister missionary were like Hermana Bayles, we would love having sister missionaries in our zone."  She is an extremely confident and competent missionary.  Undertaking the task of being mission nurse without being a nurse previously would have been too much for any other sister in our mission.  Actually, what she is doing is quite remarkable.  

    Personally, I worked with the youth of the Church before I retired.  In so doing I had the privilege of meeting many of the best the world has to offer.  I just wanted you to know that Sister Bayles is one of those "great ones."  I've never seen her unhappy, moody, or demanding of special attention.  You did a fine job of raising her.  I imagine that she came that way, but you helped her maintain her premortal status.  

    Thank you for offering the sacrifice of your daughter.  May the Lord continue to pour out the blessings of having a missionary in the field upon you.  

 

Sincerely, Elder Wayne K. John

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sept 16, 2013 - The Week of Wishes Come True


God works miracles. Here are some I saw this week:

 

>Concepcion and Josué finally got baptized! She was insistent that they were going to be baptized the 6 of October, but this last Sunday, we went to her house and she said she couldn´t be baptized the 6. She asked when she could be baptized, and I almost jokingly said, ¨This Saturday if you want.¨ Then she said nodded her head and said, ¨Así sera.¨ I just about cried.

After months and months of her telling us there´s no possible way prophets exist in these days, that there´s no possible way the priesthood exists in these days, that there´s no possible way the church was restored through a modern-day prophet, we reviewed the baptismal interview questions, and when we asked her about Joseph Smith and the Restoration (if she believed that the church had been restored through him and that we have a modern-day prophet), she responded ïn an old-lady growl ¨seguro que si!¨ You´ve no idea how happy I was.  J She is so beautiful. Mi abuelita de la misión.

 

>This week I finally got up the umph to try out Sopa de Mondongo, which is cow stomach soup. It´s actually pretty good. One side of the cow stomach is all smooth and muscular and the other side is like a honeycomb of flesh and muscle. It was really fascinating to look at, and it tasted pretty good too. I was telling someone about it afterwards and they asked me, ¨oh, sopa de tripe?¨ It was only in that moment that I realized I had just eaten tripe of the cow variety. I know we always joke about people who eat tripe, but don´t hate it ´til you´ve ate it. Hahaha It´s funny. Some of you might remember my first-ish week when I ate chicken feet and was absolutely repulsed… now I see people boiling chicken feet and I almost want to try them again. I hear people talking about cow tongue and I get all excited. I hear about snail soup and I get all curious to try it. I think Honduras might be messing with my tastes in food……. Hahahaha

 

>Happiness is that moment when your recent convert shows up to church in a white shirt and tie and sits himself at the Sacrament table. Happiness is watching him worthily and respectfully parting and blessing the sacrament, then hearing him bear testimony twice of how happy and grateful he is for the gospel. Happiness is when he accompanies you to an appointment to teach another man of roughly the same age and spends the entire lesson testifying of the miracles and tender mercies that led him to be baptized. Happiness is when he tells you of his plans to marry his recently-active-again girlfriend in the temple in one year.  Happiness is when God takes over and we get to sit back and see the hand of God.

 

>We challenged Alan to be baptized. Alan, who didn´t believe a single thing we said. Alan, who had innumerable doubts. Alan, who rejected all we said. …He looked at us for half a second, then said, ¨Porque no?¨ He will be baptized the 28 of September, and receive the Holy Ghost and the Priesthood the 29. He has already told the whole ward and all of his friends. He is so excited.

 

>If you want to talk about faithfulness to the Lord, let´s just talk for a moment about Ana. Ana is approximately 1,576,248 years old. She can´t hear a thing, and she is always chomping gum with her slightly-too-wobbly-to-be-healthy jaw. She comes to church every Thursday, just to watch the kids play soccer and watch the Relief Society have their activity (which usually involves verbal cooking instructions for new and exciting recipes). She comes to church every Saturday, just to sit and watch the people come and go as they enter for Institute classes. She comes to church every Sunday just to sit in a Holy place for three hours. She doesn´t hear a single word during all three hours of church. She doesn´t come for the words; she comes for the spirit and she comes to obey the Lord´s commandment to keep the Sabbath Day holy. She shuffles to the hard metal chair in a room that is too hot and lowers herself painfully into a sitting position. She then sits, chewing her gum as she waits for the first hymn. I pass by to say hello, and she screams, ¨Mi muchachita! Cómo está? Cuando puedo invitarle a comer pollo?!!!¨ I give her a hug and a kiss and say, ¨Cómo está mi abuelita?¨ She pats my hand and smiles. She doesn´t hear a thing I say to her, but still she smiles as if she knows exactly what I mean. We all sit for Sacrament meeting and we begin singing the first hymn. She shoves her hymnbook in my hands and says, ¨Busquemelo¨ as she fumbles with her glasses. Then, with my finger tracing the words we´re singing, she begins croaking out a warbly testimony of song. Sometimes she gets impatient, waiting for the rest of the congregation to sing the words she´s already read, so she skips ahead of where my finger is indicating and sings as she pleases in her little croak of a voice. The whole congregation can hear her singing as they pause to begin a new line or verse. Some children giggle, some adults shift their eyes, but she just keeps on singing. The song ends and we pray. Later they pass the sacrament tray and she stops chomping her gum long enough to take the bread and water.

Faith is not going to church for the members or the songs or the talks or the benches. Faith is loving God so fully and completely that you would hobble your way to His house of worship, just to be able to feel of His Spirit and partake of His sacraments as you chomp your gum and make faces at the missionaries in your happy little world of silence. Who says the pioneers are dead and gone? Who says sacrifice ended with crossing the plains? Who says faith can only be counted if we´re pulling a handcart. May we all grow up to be a little more like mi Abuelita Ana.

 

These people are changing my life right before my eyes. I wish you could meet them and see the change they´d work in you. These people are family.

I love yáll oodly doodlies,

Hna Bayles
 
 
 
 
I sent a different letter separately, but just to respond to yáll and give you some heads-ups:
I have changed my pday back to Monday. It´s a long story, but from here on out, Monday is the day. You can still write me on Friday if you want, but I won´t be reading until Monday.
 
I´m loving being the nurse. It´s just enough of a dramatic change of pace every day that it´s keeping me moving like crazy and I like it a lot. Thanks in advance for the package. As far as Copan goes, I will probably not ever be able to go. Assuming I´m nurse for the rest-ish of my mission, I will probably not leave SPS for the next 9 months. That´s a bit of a bummer, but that whole ¨I´ll go where you want me to go¨ thing applies in-country too. haha. I´m sad to hear about G and G. I wish I could help them out, but God wants me here more than He wants me there right now. Take care of them. They promised me they´d be in my wedding, and we´ve still got a ways to go before THAT happens. hahahaha.
 
You can send things directly to me. They've changed the mission rules in the whole world if I´m not mistaken so now anyone can write me and I can write anyone. That doesn´t necessarily mean I´ll have time to respond to all those letters from the whole world, but I will always respond to your letters. :) You´re top 3 in the response list. Actually it´s about a tie for number one. I loved the quote and I loved the clothes story. hahahahaha. It´s funny how sometimes we say things without realizing how it sounds from the outside. hahaha. Whenever I wear pants, the whole world is suddenly very surprised that I have legs above the knee. Surprising, I know.
We´ve definitely had some wet weather these days. haha. But it´s not sooooo bad. We were completely soaked the other day because we gave our umbrellas to some hermanas and we were walking up the river, errrr street, in water almost up to our knees. haha And you thought Vegas flooding was bad. We went to Marina´s house and she just looked at us all confusedly as we dripped on her front step and wrung the water out of our skirts. hahahaha.  
Well, I love yáll lots and lots. Take care and do something crazy for me.
Adiooooooos!
Hna Bayles