Monday, February 11, 2013


HONDURAS!!!! Honduras is just about as good as it gets. Im currently serving in a very safe area (nicknamed tranquillo for its calmness). I{m in Puerto Cortes, but we mosee on over to Barrio de Mangos, Buenos Aires, Nuevas Horizontes, etc. pretty much every day. We have the largest area in our mission, and it{s just me and my comp. We just got back from Choloma today where we were playing futbol with our zone. Que divertido! It is very green very humid and very hot here, but I{m enjoying the blue skies and the wild life. Waking up on the first morning was honestly like being in the tropical bird enclosure at the zoo (from the sounds of it anyway). So far the craziest bird I{ve seen were 2 wild parroty things. The bright green ones, you know. There are stray dogs and trash everywhere, but its beautiful here. There are metal gates around everything and guards with guns at every shop entrance, but its really quite safe for us missionaries. I certainly wouldnt take a whole bus of rich privileged americans and set them loose, but things are really very safe. We live in a largish house with no AC (no surprise) and we have two dogs as our friends and guards. One is huge and extrememly friendly if youre wearing a skirt and a nametag. However hes a beast if youre not us. The other is rather like a walking mop. I have yet to see his eyes or hear his bark, but I can tell he{s ferocious by the way he snoozes his days away. Their names are Leron and Gio. Theyre Latinos. We have a papaya treee, meaning I ate my first papaya this week. Other things of note that I ate this week Baleadas (yum! a Honduran special), green bannaas fried, plantains, lots of banana soda, about a pound of margerine and oil (boy do they fry it up here), and my personal favorite CHICKEN FEET. Thats right Eileen, remember those chicken feet you brought back from China. Well. I ate 3 of them. I was so repulsed at first, because you just bite them and pull them apart knuckle by knuckle until you reach the actual foot, and then you have to get past the pad of the food, but I knew it would be offensive it I didnt eat it, so I chomped them down. I think I also ate the spine, but one can never quite be sure with these kinds of things.... Anyway. Thats checked off my bucket list. Said nobody ever. hahaha. Eating those feet made me wish I had never taken anatomy... I know every tendon sheath, every joint, every bit of cartilage, every muscle, etc that I was gnawing on, and it was all I could do to keep it in my mouth. It was actually pretty tasty in the end, it was just the getting there that was tricky. Other things that will repulse Lauren you cant flush toilet paper here. Entonces, you wipe whatever youve got and chuck it in the trash. Happily, Ive not yet had intestinal problems. There are mosquiteos galore (and I think fleas in Nuevas Horizontes). I currently have 68 bites on my right leg, 62 on my left, 5 on my right arm, 4 on my left, and 1 on my collar bone. Happily, I dont have dengue fever. The Lord protects His missionaries, eh! Not even the locals drink the water, so all is well on that front. We just buy a lot of water. We live down the street from a large lake. Its a 3 minute walk, and rumor has it that there are crocodrillos in the lake. Wicked!!! We have Sapos (toads) in our yard. They are literally the size of my head (and we all know that{s saying something... I mean, have you SEEN my head... its huge). My feet are about two sizes bigger from walking so much in the humidity. Theylll go down just fineand they dont really hurt ever, but Im excited for the day I have feminine ankles again. That whole no holding babies rule apparently doesnt apply here. People practically throw their children at me. I try to have them sit next to me instead, but Illl admit, Ive held a baby. She had a cute fuzzy head, and she reminded me of Elise. Smiley face. Im definitely not endorsing breaking rules, but holy cow it would be SO RUDE not to break that one. And presidente knows, so all is well. Oh, right. Rules. If Honduras has any, no one follows them. Somenoe told me that my first night and I thought they  }were exhaggerating. Nope. No rules. Anything goes as long as you either say Permisso or honk your horn. Yup. Driving here is crazy. First day. 160 kmh on a residential street, weaving in and out of spaces too small for the car. Welcone to Honduras. hahahaha. I havent seen any accidents yet though. People do just fine with that. Good thing too, cause no one wears seat belts. I seen exactly one speed limit sign per day. No one follows it. Everything here is fried or soda. Those are the 2 food groups. If any of you thought I was going to lose weight here, you were very wrong. If I don{t gain 50 pounds, it will mean I failed to get into peoples homes and teach. Everyone loves feeding us. So mch. I drank coconut water straight from a coconut that someone macheted. Yup David, everyone{s got machetes and everyone points with their lips. Even me. The showers are not just cold but freezing. Helps you get ready faster in the morning. The other night, a bug flew into my face. It was literally the size of a gluestick. There are lizards everywhere, but I havent seen an iguana yet. The people are wonderful and so is the mission. We{ve already seen miracles and blessaed so many lives. Oh, we{re a port city, so the ocean is like... right there. I see huge boats every day. Buses here are tricked out school buses that crank the Latino musica. Its like a moving party at all times. Its very hot and very sunny. The people are very freindly. So. many. kisses. (from the sisters of course!). Hermana Carpenter (who I got to see today... shes in my district!) is breaking out from it. hahaha. Ummmm I may have slide tackled her playing futbol today. I also took a ball to the knee, leaving a huge bruise. Lets just say my legs are gorgeous, what with the soccer abrasions, the bruise, and the MANY bites. hahaha The people here are beautiful and faithful. We arrived at one woman{s house to find out that she had been wondering why God had abandoned her. Boy did we have a message for her. Another man was wondering why there are so many churches and why none of them has the proper authority. We had a message for him too. Another wondered why bad things happened to good people. We had }a message for her. Another wanted to find a church with the power of God. We had a message for him. The people here are prepared and willing to hear the gospel and we are prepared and willing to share it.

Apparently we arrived 2 weeks early. There were 4 of us from Provo, then 8 elders from the Guat CCM I believe. We{ll be getting about 20 more in 2 weeks. sister Carpenter definitely stands out, but so do I. Im just about as white as they come, and people definitely notice me. haha. I realized within about two seconds of being in Honduras that I had way too much stuff (and way too expensive). Its probably best taht you dont send me things unless I really need them or unless theyre disposable. Thanks for thhe package by the way. The raisins andnutter butters have been awesome.  I{m pretty sure the hondurans have never seen snow as my El Salvadorian comp has never seen it and shes from a much colder climate.

Honduras smells like a very moist pet shop when you first step off the plane, but now its sweeter than strawberry lemonade (as long as you dont walk past garbage... or smelly mutts... or human waste all three of which are everywhere. hahahah) Just kidding. Its gorgeous here. Say hola to the new missionaries for me seeing as I don{t speak this english business anymore. We dont have a mamasita as we are women and are our own mamasitas, but we do have emmebers who feed us lunch practically every day. Cheers for that.

By the way, my comp is Hermana Espinoza (you can see her in the cambios pics on the Veirs blog). Shes from El Salvador and doesnt speak english. Im in over my head with spanish, but surprisingly im not the worst theres ever been. hahaha. Shes great. I{ve gotta go now, but hopefully I can tell more inspiring stories next week. Theres just so much more different here that I felt obligated to tell you about it. Oh, by the way, we do beat our laundry on rocks to wash it. Cheers. Love you all oodles. Hola and nos vemos from Honduras!!!

Hna Bayles

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