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 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).
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!