Monday, April 22, 2013

Lightbulbs and pigs and the shower April 22, 2013

I don´t quite call my investigators by nicknames/name extensions, but sometimes I call my companion ¨shugs¨(like sugar but shorter) because one day she was freaking out in our apartment and when I asked her what happened, she answered ¨there´s sugar all over my foot and I don´t know how it got there!¨I was going to call her sugar-foot, but it was just too much work, so I shortened it to Shugs. haha. Sometimes I feel like a baseball player or a bandit in the wild west for having such a silly name to call her, but she thinks it´s funny and I mostly just call her Hna Blanco anyway.

That´s cool the experience you had with that sister at the temple. It´s too bad her family doesn´t support her yet; someday they´ll be eternally grateful for her courage and her faith. People have this crazy idea that the only pioneers inthe church are the ones who crossed the plains. What they sometimes forget is that there are pioneers everywhere and their journey is just as hard. I´m glad I get to find some of those pioneers.

That´s sad about the Lincoln Logs, first because you would hope that you don´t have to worry about things like theft in the temple and second because Lincoln Logs are really awesome. 

I love that scripture! i don´t know the reference off the top of my head, but it´s marked in my  scriptures. I´ll have to search it when I´ve got English scriptures with me. I hope you have agreat week and that you have a happy birthday. Tanks for always being so loving and supportive. :)

p.s. when the roosters crow here, they do it in the exact vocal pattern of someone saying ¨happy birthday¨without words. Urr Urr UUrrr Urr. I like to think of it as a personal message to you this week of your birthday.

That´s cool that Grandpa got to go to that rededication thing. He sure is a good man and has made a big difference in lots of people´s lives. I saw a man with a straw cowboy hat driving a truck the other day, and he looked just like Grandpa but more Latino. It was pretty awesome. Being here reminds me a lot of G and G Bayles, because this place is SO MUCH LIKE PAROWAN. It´s almost ridiculous. For example, the other day I met a woman named Esther. I don´t remember her last name, but she introduced herself with first and last name, then told us,¨but everyone calls me sister Té, so I guess you´d better call me that too.¨ Nobody really knows why she goes by sister Té, but she does. Even around non-members, she´s sister Té. Also, her father is turning 93 next week and he´s almost more healthy than I am. He can walk like a 20 year old, has the mind of a 30 year old. His only recent fault is with his eyes... he´s gone from the eyes of a 50 year old to the eyes of a 70 year old. I honestly thought he was like 60. Crazy stuff. It´s also awesome to me how everybody knows everyone. We went ¨contacting¨for about 5 minutes with our friend Alejandra, and every time after they yelled at us to go away, they´d get all grandma-and-cookies-nice and say ¨bye Alejandra! Tell your grandmother I say hello!¨ hahahahaha. (We don´t ever go contacting, and this wasn´t real contacting, if you´re wondering why i put it in quotes). 

That´s awesome about the baptisms and that´s wicked awesome about the skype lessons with the elders. The scriptures say that before Christ can come, every nation and tongue will have the opportunity to hear the gospel. A lot of people use that to say that the second coming is still far off because we don´t have missionaries in every country, but I tend to think that a lot more people are hearing the gospel through google and the internet than we think. Zenayda (one of my investigators from Puerto) greeted us at our first official lesson with, ¨I googled the mormons. Your website taught me how to pray. I also learned about tithing, priesthood, sacrament, Joseph Smith, and the organization of your church.¨ All that before we had even opened our mouths to preach. It´s amazing the power we have to preach the gospel without ever stepping out the front door.

That´s a cool lesson you got to give. The only things Marina (also in Puerto) could remember from our lessons was faith, repentance, and forgiveness. It´s amazing the changes she made in her life with just those three principles. The scriptures say over and over again to preach faith and repentance, and I think forgiveness is a given to go along with repentance. Wicked awesome. 

Hello the Marroquins!!! :) :) :) I just love our ward. I think no matter where I go in life, Fort Apache (well, Lakes) will always be my ward. There´s something special about that ward; it really is a family, and when I think of my family, there are so many more people than just my bloodline. I will forever be grateful that I grew up in that beautiful ward with all of those beautiful people. BTW, tell Sister Allen I was thinking of her this week and I hope everything´s going well for her. :) She´s a peach. I just love her.

Thanks for the prayers and support and love! I love you more than the price of parkplace and boardwalk combined (with hotels). 

Cleaning and organizing isn´t always fun, but I always kind of like just sitting on the floor sorting through stuff and listening to music. Be sure to listen to some good stuff for me. haha The only music I ever hear (aside from church stuff, of course) is blaring from the speakers of taxis, cars, or buses. It´s usually in Spanish, but if it´s not, it´s usually very profane (the people don´t know what it´s saying, they just like the beat lol). 

It´s funny what being on a mission does to you. I used to always think that my ideal school would be on the east coast, and that my ideal home would be wherever it was beautiful and exciting. Now I think the ideal school is as good of a school as I can find that is close to family, and my ideal home is no farther than the next state over to family. hahaha. You don´t realize how much family means to you until you have to leave it behind. Regardless, I am confident that you will make the right decision and that Heavenly Father will lead you where you need to go. You can´t really go wrong when an Omnipotent Omniscient Being is your eyes and ears. (And I like the details of your life, thank you very much. They´re not boring; they´re the lard to my tortilla... that makes way better sense if you live in Honduras, but I´ll explain: the tortillas without lard are so gross that the only living creatures who eat them are pigs, chickens, and green missionaries.)

You are wise, as ever, my brother. I hope things are going well for you and that you are happier than the Navarro´s pig (trust me, he´s very happy). Have a great week. I Lurve you! haha Tassielo.  

p.s. I just thought: what if Mrs. Tassielo married Nigel Thornberry? Their children would be kings among men. 

Honduras is great. It´s really hot here, but it´s so beautiful and fun. I´m in a little town called Olanchito right now. It´s in a department called Yoro. Cool story about Yoro: there´s a town called Yoro where it rains fish every May. I know it sounds crazy, but it´s true. Every May, something in the weather change causes a kind of suction-y hurricane thing at the lake next to Yoro, and the water and fish are sucked up into the sky. They then proceed to fall, the fish still living, until they reach the earth again. The people then go and collect the still-living fish from the street and they eat them. It´s the only place in the world it happens. There´s all sorts of folklore as to why it happens, including religious explanations. My question is, why can´t the scientific explanation also be the religious explanation? Anyway, I think it´s kind of cool and I bet you´ll think it´s cool too. Maybe if you have to do a science project this year, you can research the science behind fish raining in Yoro, Honduras. :)

I usually have between 7 and 10 appointments in a day, but we run into a lot of people along the way. Every day we talk to a whole bunch of people. In fact, we talk to everyone. 

I´m sorry you have to write a book report. The good thing is that you get to write it on Ronald Reagan. From what I understand, he was a good man. It´s always good to learn what you can from the good people of the world. If you get bored writing all the facts, maybe you can imagine what he did as a little kid. One of my favorite things about grown-ups is hearing their stories of when they were little. If you can´t think of what Ronald Reagan would do, ask Grandma and Grandpa to tell you stories of when they were little. I guarantee they´ve got some good ones. ;)

p.s. There are a few people here named ¨Celeste.¨ Whenever someone tells me that´s their name, I tell them, ¨that´s my niece´s middle name!¨

You´ve got it right, we´re pretty much living the dream here. hahaha. And to make it more exciting, this week is Carnival, which means loud roudy promiscuous parties everywhere else in Honduras. Here it means a ferris wheel and a mini carnival ride with Pooh Bear characters painted on the side. hahahaahhaahaha. Ohhh Parowan. Err, I mean Olanchito. 

It´s crazy to think that Noah´s 2. I was thinking about that, and about the miracle child he is. I´m glad he had such a fun birthday party. I¨m fairly well convinced that Andrew and Kristen throw the best birthday parties in the world. I´m glad Elise is doing well and loving the life of a not-so-little-baby. She´s super cute from what I can see in pictures. haha. There´s a really cute lil baby here who´s about the same age as Elise and I always hope that there will be an emergency in another room so her mom will have to say, ¨take my baby¨¨ and throw her in my arms. Hasn´t happened yet, but one can always hope. 

Opening an area is heavy work, and we´re finally starting to get somewhere with it (I think). haa. Our plan is going pretty well, though, and we´re loving life Olanchito style. 

That´s so cool that you´ve got this time with Arie. I bet those art projects, etc are going to be really fun, and I bet she´ll be a great help in story time. 

HELLO THE LUKERS! Awwww cute lil Nurse Lynn. I love her. :) What a sweety-pie. You should tell her to come be the nurse for the SPS-HON mission. The one we´ve got is awesome, but she always prescribes eye drops, ice, and peptobismol, whatever your ailment may be. Just kidding. But seriously. hahaha. Nah, she´s a great nurse. But the poor thing is going to lose her nursing certification in the States because of the mission. She´ll have to go through so much to get her license back when she returns. 

That´s cool about the new choir director. From what you said, she reminds me of the choir director in the MTC. Well, one of them. 

We had the same lesson in RS (bueno, SocSoc) this Sunday!!!!! I love that the church is the same everywhere. Granted, you probably understood your lesson better than i understood mine (cause mine was ina foreign language and all). Also, the people here tend to get a little Evangelical when they teach RS, so sometimes you feel like you should stand up and shout Halelujah! The good news is that Halelujah translates into Spanish, so everything´s good on that front. jajajajaja. 

Trust and humility, two of the hardest things to have. We say we trust the Lord and then we  make a backup plan for ¨if things don´t work out.¨ We say we´re humble and then we forget that the Lord is the one who makes everything possible. Someday I´ll be trusting and humble. Someday. haha. 

Thanks for the letter-sy-doodle-doo. Oh, speaking of letter-sy-doodle-doo, you´ll be happy to know that I am no longer the only person who adds cutesy endings to words (for example, bugsy-poo for bug). Hna Archila (from Guatemala) adds so many ¨ito¨s to her words that everyone just calls her Hermanita Archilita. hahaha. 

*Something funny: Familia Navarro (yes, the ones with the pigs) owns exactly one lightbulb, and when we go to their house to teach a lesson, they have to go get the lightbulb from the other room (effectively leaving the 25 other members of the family in darkness). This would not be at all funny if they could only afford one lightbulb, but as they have sufficient funds to buy a second lightbulb, I find it absolutely hilarious. jajajajajajajaja

*Another funny: There is a power plug directly above the shower head in our bathroom. Very poor planning if you ask me. The funny part, you wonder? The power plug has a large black scorch mark around one of the outlets, clearly meaning that someone tried to use an electronic device in the shower. jajajajajajaja Oh Honduras. 

*Another: My first day here, I heard a world war 2 type bomb siren. Naturally, I braced myself for whatever big secrets this little town had. Nothing happened. The next day, the same thing happened. Several times. But nothing happened. Same thing the next day. And the next. And the next. Turns out the town clock tower is a world war 2 bomb siren. hhahahahaha. It ¨rings¨ at 8, 11, 2, 5, and 7. Not even the town people know why it´s those hours. Not even the town people know why it´s a bomb siren. They laughed at me for 10 minutes when I told them I was expected ¨una bienvenida como una bomba¨ my first day.

*There are mudhuts and adobe houses here. I saw one that was about the size of a handicapped bathroom stall. 3 adults and a baby live in it. 

*Two people asked us seperately in one day if it was a sin to go to a different church once they had heard about our church. We weren´t really sure how to respond the first time. We thought a little harder the second time.

*We accidentally offended someone by not eating her nachos. We knew we were on good terms with her again when she gave us popcorn. It took some service and groveling to get there. We refer to that scenario as the popcorn after the nachos. Great title for a book chapter.


Love you all tonnnnnnnns!

Hna. Bayles

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April 15 2013 - Watercolors mixed with dirt

I doodled a picture with watercolor pencils this morning. I´ll send it as an attachment. It´s funny how paintings never turns out exactly how you plan, but often the result is better than the initial dream (and even if it´s not, at least it´s got character).  I feel a little bit like I´ve got vertigo here, not knowing what season it is in the rest of the world. I forget sometimes that the world does not live in eternal summer. 
For Eileen:  My most recent water color (haha.  It's a doodle I
drew this morning with watercolor pencils)

That´s cool about the families at the Youth Center. The more time I spend away from the temple, the more profoundly I miss it. It´s amazing what an influence the temple can have; I just ache and ache to go to the temple.

Thanks for sending the package! :) I´m pretty far away from San Pedro right now, so we don´t really have good contact with them. I don´t know if I´ll get it too soon, but I´ll be excited for it when it comes. :) I´m glad to hear the work is still booming. 

I was reading in DyC the other day and I came across 34:6 and 75:4 where the Lord talks about His servants declaring the word with the sound of a trumpet. It´s something that´s been picking at my mind, and the more I think about it, the more I think about the signs of the times. At the time of the revelation in those scriptures, there were very few missionaries in the world, so even when they ´sounded the trumps´of the gospel by preaching the word, not many people heard. It was like a mouse tooting a thimble-sized horn in the world perspective. However, as more and more voices join the chorus and more and more servants embark to declare the gospel, the more the sound of trumps fills the earth and the more this work becomes impossible to ignore. The scriptures say that before the coming of the Lord, the whole earth will hear a sounding of trumpets. While I have absolutely no problem with that being a literal prophecy, I can´t help but wonder with the increasing number of missionaries if the sounding of trumpets is not the proclamation of the gospel in these latter days. This work is no longer the ignorable squeak of a circus mouse, it is a chorus of trumpets sounding across the land as the servants of the Lord press ever-onward in sharing His gospel, and I can´t help but think that the time is not too distant when we will confess that He is Lord as we kneel before Him. This is only the gospel according to Sister Bayles, but perhaps it´s food for thought.

Best of luck with visiting teaching. It´s soooo important. I know that even more now that I´m a missionary. If people would be good visiting teachers, I would hardly have work reactivating inactives (but alas, that is not the case). I´ll talk more about my area later.

My place of residence is super nice. The people are great. There are cowboys and burros and yes there are members, but there are tons and tons of inactives. This little rama (branch) could almost be it´s own STAKE if all the members were reactivated. Holy Cow we´ve got work to do. The good thing is we got 4 inactive families to go to church this sunday, and 3 of them are helping us with missionary work. It´s amazing how excited people get about the gospel when they feel like they have a purpose. Also, it´s nicefor us because we don´t know anybody here. haha. There are tons of mountains, and quite a bit of campo, but not tooooo much jungle (it´s at the foot of the mountain). My area boundaries are the everything below the church all the way to the mountains (aka as far as the eye can see, 3 hours away). 
I´m not entirely sure how much longer these babies will last
(and they are the best pair of shoes I´ve got hahaa)

It´s weird speaking English and I can tell it´s going to be rough getting much better at Spanish, but I´m going to work at it. ´good enough´isn´t good enough for me.  Hna. Blanco is almost the same person as me, but also not at all. We get to work with the other Hermanas on a daily basis as we tag-team eating all of the food that Hna. Cano cooks for us (we pay her and she feeds us delicious food with lots of rice. It´s pretty awesome). Also, Hna. Archila tells me that cockroaches are going to crawl into my ear at night and lay eggs. We´re really good friends. She´s 25 and a judge. Hna. Lopez is a little bit like very strong minty gum. Clears your senses and overpowers you all at once. She´s awesome. We´re also really good friends. 

When you get a chance, you should totally listen to the other conferences; they were all awesome. Seriously.

I bet your Marriage class is like the best in the world. It´s crazy how you don´t realize how important marriage is until you live in a place where marriage hardly exists. It´s also humbling to realize that marriage is so much more than a ´contract.´ There are people here who have been together for 50 years without ever getting legally married. While it is unacceptable and devastating to see people live in such serious sin, it is also a bit of an eye-opener in that those people are staying together because of their level of devotion, not just because a piece of paper tells them they have to. The secret is getting both the paper and the devotion (plus an eternal sealing somewhere in there!) haha.  

I bet it´s great having Greg home, and it´ll be awesome to hang out with Arie. :) 

Those are cool scriptures, thanks. :)  It´s just about the best wisdom a person can have, to doubt not and fear not. Basically the answer is faith. :) I´m going to write more about my area and life later on, but I love you forever (I´ll like you for always... laalla my mother you´ll be). :)

I am indeed healthy and well and enjoying my new area. I do miss the beach, but I like seeing the mountains, and I like all the dirt here. There´s lots of it. I walk on it. All day. Thanks for the advice about the 2nd comp business. I don´t quite think that´ll be a problem for me. I love Hna. Espinoza, but it wasn´t as sad as I thought it should be to say ta-ta. Hna. Blanco and I will enjoy our time together, I think. I don´t really follow humbly very well, but we´re tag-teaming it, and that seems just fine. haha. I´ll work on the humble bit.  

I´m glad Debbie is happy with her calling and all the work she´s doing. Tell her to be sure to take care of herself in the middle of all of that. Missionary work is great, but the first rule of life guards is save yourself. I think that´s generally a good rule of thumb.  

That´s so cool that you have baptisms in your ward this week! Make friends with them and hang out with them all the time so they stay active in the church. It´s amazing how sometimes the members just watch as the new converts start drowning in a sea of inactivity. (ocean metaphors, I know). 

I´m jealous you get to see Arie. And that you get to go to Utah. And see other familiares. I don´t thinktahtñs a word in English, but it´s the perfect word, so it´s what <i´m using. :) I hope she´ll do alright being aways from home that long. It´s weird being away from parents for a long time, especially as a little kid. You´re right, Freud would be having a hayday. hahaha. 

I´m not really sure what´s going to happen with the mother´s day call. We´ll look into that. We write from an internet cafe, so idk if we can skype or not. We´ll see, I s´pose. 

I´m going to write the rest below, but I loves you Porgie! (For some reason George Gershwin just came to mind. Listen to a little jazz for me this week). 


Things in the life of Hna. Bayles:

People in Puerto could more or less say my name. People here call me Hna. Bay (Bye) or Hna. Bayles (bwaiiiiiiiii-lessssss). It´s great fun. Sometimes they also call me Hna. Negro (because it´s ironic... because I´m so white... and my comp´s name is Blanco...).  Olanchito reminds me so so so so SO much of Parowan Utah. It´s amazing how very different it is from Puerto. The good: people hit things a lot less (children, animals, etc.), people move a lot slower, everybody knows everybody. The bad: people gossip SO much, there are hardly ever people around, and it is WAY obvious if you´re new in town-a stranger. haha. But the people are really nice and the area is lovely. Also, it´s very safe. 

I think of Lauren every time I go to the house of family Navarro (which family successfully comprises 1-3 of the ward... there are seriously like 30 people in that house) because they have 2 piggies who love to oink at me (and as I mentioned last week, snout my leg with mud). 

We learned about food storage this week in that we made pan eterno. (eternal bread) It´s basically a very sugary and heavy granola bar that can supposedly last for more than 25 years on the shelf. Also, you only need to eat a portion the size of a tiny matchbox to survive. Too good to be true? I´ll let you decide. 

People here are much more superstitious, which we all know freaks me out. Yesterday I had a lesson with two girls in the ward, and in the course of 5 minutes, they told me about 2 spirits they had seen in the house, hearing creepy things, and the aliens that tried to abduct their friend the other week. How am I going to survive? hahahaha. But seriously. haha.  

Our ward mission leader is hilarious. He´s a recent-ish convert and has not even the faintest idea what missionary work is about, but he´s really excited to help us out, and he gives us all kinds of great advice. For example, in our last meeting, he told us, ´sisters, I think it would really help with the missionary work here if you would pray before you leave the house in the morning. I just think it´s a good idea.´ Thank you, ward mission leader, for advising us to do what we already do at least 8 times before we leave the house in the morning. hahahaha He´s got a good heart and is at least very entertaining to listen to. :)

I raced 2 zipotes (teenagers) becasue they were walking SO slow. The people think we´re crazy for running up the street in skirts, but at least they have to give us props for winning the race. 

We moved a small mountain of dirt with shovels. And we did it in skirts. We take service wherever and whenever we can find it (the problem was that we were fasting and they wanted to give us water becasue we were dying of thirst and sweating to death. We had to reject it, which isn´t quite so nice here). 


I met a toucan. He had really kind eyes.

We sweated so much walking to gracias a dios (a 30 minute walk, which we practically ran) that when we arrived a woman brought out a towel so we could dry ourselves. Que verguenza. 

We met a woman sitting in a  hammock. She was lovely, but she couldn´t come to our tour of the chapel because apparently she wasn´t wearing pants underneath the newspaper in her lap. She turned out to be a man. He was very nice, and he always waves to us when we walk by. He likes to rake up the trash in the lot by his-her hammock. He wears booty shorts and has better hair than I do. I can tell we´re going to be friends with him and his-her sister-brother-friend(?). 

I´m afraid that´s all I´ve got time for today. Love you all and I hope you have the best weeks ever!

Hna. Bayles

Monday, April 8, 2013

April 8, 2013

Conference was great! I too would love to have a mini-fireside conference review. It was all so good. I was privileged enough to hear 3 of the 4 sessions in English, which was awesome. I didn´t get to see the Relief Soceity broadcast, which makes me a lil sad, but I´m so grateful I got to see/hear the rest. (fun fact: in Spanish, Relief Society is Sociedad de Socorro, but everyone just calls it SocSoc, pronounced SoakSoak. haha) I bet you were excited to hear about the temple in Rio, and the temple in Cedar is going to be great. :) The more time I spend here, the more I realize how very lucky I was to be in traveling distance of a temple. We´re not allowed to go to the Teguc temple at all during our mission (except maybe when we leave), and it´s sad to think that >I won´t get to go to the temple for over a year. I wish I´d realized how blessed I was in regard to the temple. It´s really such a miracle and blessing. 

Spring has sprung! How great! :) I love spring time, especially in Utah where it´s not too hot and not too cold. Oh, I bet your garden is going to be so vegetable-y and awesome this summer. :)

My new area will be productive (said in a determined and defiant voice)! I was happy to see some of my investigators be baptized in my last area, but there were 7 more who were supposed to be baptized while I was there, and I´m sad I don´t get to see that. 3 of those 7 are family, and I was so excited for them. Some day they´ll go to the temple and it will be great. That´s why I´m here, to get people to the temple. I´m also going to miss the marriage of Yilian and Pablo, but the ward mision lider promised to send pictures. We´ll see if he actually does. hahaa I can drop them a note, but it won´t arrive for at least 2 months (if it arrives at all). I´m trying to decide if it would be timely enough to be worth it, but then again, it´s never wrong to do something nice.  

Thanks for the quotes and for always giving me such great encouragement. You´re a great example to me and such a great support. I sometimes think about what your mission was like as I´m out walking dirt roads, meeting scruffy little naked kids, and sleeping with the creepy crawlies. I especially remember your story about the cockroach crawling across your leg when you were praying... that´s a very probable situation in Honduras. hahaha. Anyway, I hope you have a great week and that you see a thousand and one miracles this week. Love you oodly doodlies!

That´s especially funny becuase my new apartment has, like, a gang of roosters that all wait until the middle of the night sing, and then they all sit around cockadoodling at each other. The funny thing is they have the ugliest cockadoodle doos I´ve ever heard, so it sounds like a bunch of drunk and deformed roosters. Leave it to HOnduras.... haha.  

That´s awesome that the birthday party went well and that you got to see the grand chillins. :) I want to see the pictures of grandma and grandpa as youngsters sometime. It´s weird thinking of people before you knew them. In my mind, I always just assume they came they way they are and that they only started changing once I entered their life. Bueno, that´s mostly an exhaggeration, but it´s kinda true. jaja I always laugh in my head when someone is trying to be quiet but they just end up being super loud because I always think of grandma´s story of riding her tricycle around shouting I´M TRYING MY HARDEST TO BE VERY QUIIIIIIIET!!!! hahahahaha.  But en serio, I´m glad everything went so well. I´m sad I had to miss it, but if I´ve gotta take a trade, I´m glad it´s for a mission. The pictures look aweomse. I bet it was such a great night. :)

The conference was great, although it was a little sad not to be sitting around gorging on delicious food, hardly being able to hear because all the family is making a rucus, snoozing in the boring parts, etc. hahhaa. It was awesome, though. Fun fact about Elder Scott: he prerecords his talks in Spanish so the people can hear his words from his own voice instead of having it be translated. His spanish is actually very good, and it´s fun to hear him speak Spanish. Elder Holland also speaks Spanish. Can´t remember if I mentioned that he bore his apostalic witness in Spanish at the dedication of the Teguc temple, but holy cow it was powerful. He´s got a wicked Gringo accent. :) (but that´s clearly not why it was powerful). jaaja

I saw a game of backgammon on someone´s shelf the other day, and you´ll be happy to know that in Spanish, it translates to Backgammon. It just goes to show that the best things in life need no translation. I hope you´re practicing like made, because now that I´m practicing having the spirit of discernment and all, there´s no hope for you in the world of backgammon. I´m pretty much going to be the queen. Just thought I´d warn you. hahahhaha. Hey, I´m running low on time, so the rest of your letter will be in the later bulk part. Love you a whole heapin bunch! 

Sounds like everything was rockin with the bday party. You´re right, the center pieces were great! :) You always do such great work with stuff like that. :) The tiarra sounds like aperfect idea, and the roses often go walking bit sounds adorable.  Sounds like grandma go t some great gifts, the best of which, I´m sure, was having all you family people around to celebrate with her. Tell her happy birthdya and congrats on a noble and beautiful life thus far. Oh, before i forget, tell Deb and Gail happy anniversary!!! :)

That´s awesome that you got to spend some car time with the chillinsies. I got to spend some valuable travel time this week also, but mine was in a non-airconditioned school bus and tjere weren´t really people to talk to, especially not cute grandkids. Haha. I traveled 2 hours to San Pedro for the cambios and another 6 hours to get to my new area. haha, but more about taht later. 

Sounds like the family is doing great things. I haven´t really heard too much from them, so it´s great to know they´re doing such awesome things. I´m proud to call yáll m´family. Then again, I´d be proud even if you weren´t doing those awesome things. 

It was definitley sad to leave my area, but I know that the cambios are inspired of God, and I´ve already told Him I´ll go where he wants me to go, so there we have it. hahaa. I do miss the nose smudges, but it´s been nice not having to change clothes twice a day becuase there are muddy paw prints all over me.... haha. I´m going to write the rest in the main letter, but I love you love you love you! Have a great week!


Ok, here´s the scoop. I bet you´re all anxiously wondering where in the wonderful world of Honduras is Hermana Bayles. Well, let me just alleviate your frantic excitement and tell you: I now live in Yoro. Specifically, I am serving in Olanchito, Colon. Also, the mission presidency has started dividing missionaries into their permanent missions (for the split in June), which means in all likelyhood, I will be in SPS-east for the rest of my time here. I won´t get to see the ruins of Copan if this is the case, but I´m happy to be where I am. I´ll probably get to walk the beaches of La Ceiba, and walk the mountains of La Lima. I might even get to see the Island of Roatan if they ever re-open it to sisters. :) 

Anyway. I am opening a new area here in Colon. There haven´t been hermanas in Olanchito in over 10 years, and I am excited to be here. This area is landlocked, unlike my last area, but it has beautiful mountains and a little bit of jungle-campo. It´s more rural than my last area, but is still a good-sized city at the center. Our area covers half of the city, which means from the center of town as far as the eye can see until you hit the mountains. It´s big, more or less. We came here with two other hermanas who have the other half of the city, and all four of us are opening this area together. It should be interesting. My companion is Hna Blanco from..... the USA. Whatt??? Hahah. It´s been so weird speaking English. It still throws me off sometimes. I worry a little about the progress of my spanish with her, but I´m going to work extra hard to get better. She´s been out a year, and our Spanish is at about the same level. I feel kind of bad, because people always think I have more time in the mission than her because I speak slightly better than her. I don´t say that boastfully. I know I can´t speak anything without the help of God. It´s just interesting how different people have different gifts and we all come together to make one giant gifted sandwich. Hermana Blanco is great. We´ll do miracles together. She´s from Latin Utah, and when she prays, she goes from a normal voice to this awesome nasaly *elder bayles I be liking you* kind of voice. It´s pretty much the coolest thing ever. I don´t think she knows she does it.hahah. The other two hnas are Hna Lopez, from Nicaragua, and Hna Archila from Guatemala. It´s Hna Archilla´s first area. Hey, did I ever tell you my last area went all the way to Guatemala? Cause it did. I saw Guatemala on Tuesday. It was pretty cool. haha

There are many more horses and burros here, which is cool. Sometimes we see men racing their burros across the main boulevard, which is always fun and slightly exciting (because the bus is coming). 

There´s a sister in the branch here that says everything in one word. Let me explain. She starts off with one word and when that word is over, she holds out the last sound all the way until she thinks of another word to say, and thus she progresses quite smoothly through an entire array of interesting noises. She´s great. She´s a member of the family Navarro, who successfully makes up 1-3 of the branch. I didn´t believe it at first, but it´s true. They have over 30 people in their family on the whole (cousins, nieces, etc.), and they  are pretty much the entire branch all in one house. They have two pigs, and one of them snouted my leg the other day after it had been nosing around in the mud. Made me think of LaDee and her love of piggies. One of them has a leash and is chained to a tree, because I think he likes to run away, or maybe eat people. 

You´ll be happpy to know that in Latin America, they sometimes forget that the Hermanas aren´t elders. I´ve officially been called elder by a member of the ward. hahaha. 

We don´t really have investigators (we have 2) and we don´t really know anyone or anywhere, and we´re not allowed to knock (really BUENAS) doors, so it will be a great challenge to open this area, but we´re stoked and ready to go.

Now that all the silliness is past, I want to tell you the final miracle of my last area. 


You all know about Marina. You know that she´s a woman of extraordinary faith and that I absolutley love her. You know she was baptized. You can probably infer that she cried like a child and gave me like 5 kisses when I had to say goodbye. What you don´t know about her is that she saw the tree of life. And she doesn´t even realize it. 

Last week we were talking to Marina about a FHE we wanted to have with her and some other ward emmebers. We were getting ready to leave when she told us why she had first listened to us when we came to her door. She said that she had visited every other church possible, but didnt´ever like them enough to get baptized (you know all this in more detail, so I´ll continue). She then told us that a night or two before she met us, she had a dream. She said she was walking down a narrow path in the darkness and it was hard to know where she was going. She was especially worried about falling off the path becuase of her missing toes (she doesn´t have great balance). She walked and walked and walked until finally she looked up and saw the most beautiful and glorious tree she had ever seen. It was white, and more lovely than she could describe. She looked at it and noticed that there was fruit hanging down, so she reached up and took a piece. She took a bite. She said it was the most delicious thing she had ever tasted, taht it was beyond description, but it filled her with such joy that she turned around and called to her family to come and try the fruit. They came one by one and stood with her under the tree, but she woke up before she knew whether or not they ate the fruit. She told us that when we came to her door a few days later, she didn´t want to listen to us, because her daughter was washing her hair and she didn´t want to come to the door all wet, but when she saw us and heard us speak, she felt the same indescribable joy she had felt when she ate the fruit, and that was how she knew she needed to listen to us. Marina was the first member of her family to be baptized. She has since called her family close to come and be baptized. And one by one, they are coming. We don´t yet know if they´ll all partake of the fruit, but they stand at the base of the tree, ready to walk as a family into the light. 

I know that miracles happen every day, and that the greatest miracle of all is eternal families. I know that eternal families are only available through the ordinances established by the Lord and instituted by this church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that even though the path is narrow and at times we can´t find the way, there are people calling to us every day to come and partake of the fruit of live. Come and partake and live. 

I leave this with you with all my love in the name of Him who I serve, Jesus Christ, the Savior of my soul. Amen.