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.