Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 17, 2013


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MUMSIE AND POPS! :) I was telling my comp the other day about how y'all are going for 35 years together and she was like [Holy Guacamole that's great!] I'm glad y'all are enjoying time together as a little family-doodle-doo there on the home-front. Sounds like all them chillins and granchillins are doing good. :) Elise sounds like a little ball of fun. :) Also, I´m glad Debbie is enjoying doing family history work... I may be serving a full-time mission, but she´s serving a mission that is just as important and just as difficult. Tell her to keep up the good work and that I´m proud of her. :)


Secondly: Maria got baptized! :) She is one of the smiliest people I´ve met in Honduras, but, sadly, the Catrachan frown came out in all of her baptism pictures. Let´s not judge her excitement for the baptism based on that, ok? Also, the sun was in our poor little ojitos. The member with us is Betty Hernandez. She rocks. Love her! (also, she´s the one who introduced us to Maria... members are such an important part of missionary work!)


Birthday suggestions: I would love nothing more than a Spanish verb book (as seen in the picture I´m going to attach) and $2 to buy delicious arabian chocolate bars from this one mercado. Also, pictures of or from the family. Crayon drawings are more than acceptable. Maybe also that one guitar hymns CD I sent home from the MTC hahahaha. But if not, I´m happy with whatever. 


Where I am staying: I am currently staying in the nicest and most expensive apartment in the mission (minus, of course that of the mission president and his wife), although we are currently looking for new accomodations. We found a beautiful and relatively inexpensive place to live, but when we proposed the place to our leaders, they refused it, saying that they want us to find something bigger and nicer (and more expensive... how often does someone tell you that?!). haha. We´re trying to move as quickly as possible, though, so I think they´ll have to take what we can find. I don´t actually live in my area... in fact, I live on the opposite-ish side of town. We have to travel about 30-45 minutes each direction to get to our working area, but it´s not so bad. My area includes what they call the ¨zona viva¨ and a fairly good-sized part of down-town SPS. We start in more or less the area of the office and go up toward the Coca Cola mountain.


Grandma and Grandpa!!! :)

Boy, it was sure good to hear from the two of you. I went to a market today in Guamilito (it´s a colonia here in SPS) and practically everything I saw, I kept thinking, ¨my grandparents would love this!!¨ I wish I could send you all little gifts, but sadly the mail system hardly ever lets anything escape from here. We´ll see if I can work something out one of these days, but as of right now, it´s not looking so good in the ¨sending stuff home¨department. hahaha. 

I´m glad you got to go to Grace´s baptism. It sounds like it was absolutely lovely. It´s such an important and wonderful step in life. How great that you could share it with her. 

I didn´t know Grandpa fell. That´s never good, but I´m glad he´s feeling a little better. I pray for the both of you all the time and always hope that you´re doing well. I´m so grateful and so proud to have grandparents as great as the two of you. Take good care of yourselves and have a great week. I sure do love you both bundles and bundles!


Okey dokey. Let´s just talk about animals for a minute. Remember how much I liked animals before the mission? Well, I still mostly really love animals, but Honduras has a way of making me think I don´t. For example:


-I like chickens just fine. I especially like baby chickens (se llamen pollitos acá). However, I do not like when baby chickens peck the bug-bite-scabs off my legs. It IS NOT acceptable baby chicken behavior.  (no worries, that happened in Olanchito... I won´t ever see that horrible little baby chicken again)

-I like birds quite a bit. For a short period of my life, I even considered studying birds for a living. However, I do not like when they splatter their Honduras droppings all over my favorite chapter of the scriptures (and when I say Honduras droppings, I mean diarrhea, because let´s face it: Honduras means diarrhea). 

-I like horses a little bit. I like the way they look when they are very far away from me, but I can still see them. However, I do not like when they poo all over the road and I have to walk through it. 

-I like rodents more than the average boy scout. However, I do not like when I am sitting on a couch and suddenly the cushion behind me starts moving and crawling up along my back. Nor do I like when I´m walking in the very heavy rain and a jumping mouse tries to attack me. Nor do I like when I´m walking in the street and I step on a fly-covered dead rat whose last act was to bare his teeth in a horrifyingly ferocious way

-I like cats only a little. However, I do not like them at all when they are covered in chicken blood, scratching my legs and playing with the hem of my skirt. Sorry kitten-lovers... that ain´t cute. Also, I don´t like when I have to dispose of the dead cat that the pet dog killed.

-I love all of the exotic birds and lizards here. However, I do not like when they peck and\or scratch me.

-I like pigs just fine. However, I do not like when they plop their very hairy very fat selves on my feet and fall asleep (thus trapping me beneath their pigginess)


As you can probably see, I have fairly decent reasons to feel a slight lack of excitement for the animals here in Honduras. However, I have one more animal I would like to mention at this present time. An animal that I thought I would never come to dislike. Man´s. best. friend. (Let´s not get crazy, we all know I still love dogs, but just hear me out). Yesterday we were walking along the street on our way back from an impromptu visit with Marina. There´s a dog on that street that has always been fairly friendly, but has recently become very vicious and ferocious. I was walking alongside the metal bars in front of the house where this dog lives, whistling a merry little tune, when suddenly something flew into my field of vision just as I heard a horrible snarl and felt a very wet and very strong mouth clamp aroud my free hand. That sneaky dog had hurled himself against the metal bars hard enough that his snout rocketed through just in time to bite me. If I hadn´t been shocked and annoyed and in pain, I would have been very impressed with his timing and calculations. However, with things as they were, I was slightly less than impressed with this furry little friend. Happily, I don´t think he broke the skin... he just left nice little dog-tooth shaped bruises, but considering how vicious he´s become in the last two days, I´m going to keep an eye out for him for a week, just to make sure he doesn´t have rabies (a dog can´t live more than 7 days with rabies, so if he´s still alive next Friday, I´m cheke). Needless to say, I am no longer friends with said dog. 


On a more spiritual note: 

*We had a lesson with someone in whom we haven´t seen very much potential. We weren´t very excited, but we decided to give her one last lesson before we left her. We arrived and she asked us why we hadn´t come to her house to take her to church on Sunday. She said she was waiting. She also said that she had realized since our last visit that when we´re there talking to her, she feels good and happy, but when we leave, she feels like something is missing again.  

*We had an amazing lesson with Rolando on Sunday. We held it in the church in the room where the baptismal font is. At the end of the lesson, I challenged him to be baptised on the 24 of August (I think that´s this Saturday) and he said yes. We´re going to work really hard to get him there, and we´ll see what happens. :)

*We had another inspiring and beautiful lesson with Rigo yesterday. He said that when he left the church, he started going back to his old church. He told us about how he never quite felt the same, but he liked to go and pray. He told us he would go every single day because he felt so empty and lonely, but that now that he´s returned to the church, he goes once a week and feels more full than remembered was possible. :)

Welps family, I believe that´s all I´ve got for right now. Enjoy a non-rainy day for me. Love yáll ooberly-gooberlies.

-Hermana Bayles

p.s. We have changes this week, and I suspect that someone you know will be doing a lot more nursing in the near future. I´ll let you know what happens. ;)

p.p.s. Let´s all just admit, the baptismal picture isn´t the best, perhaps, but it´s the thought that counts. hhahaha

August 10, 2013

Hey-a fam. 

Thanks for the letter and limerick. haha. The last letter I got from Tyler, he told me to ¨baptize the Hell outta them...¨ that´s exactly what I intend to do hahahahahahaha. 

Tell Jordan that I got one letter, and I responded to it. If he doesn´t get it soon, it probably got stolen by Hondurans. haha I made it look all Catholic so it could make it out of the country, but that´s not always a guarantee. A lot of the time, they just take the money we pay to send something then never send the letter. It´s pretty corrupt. haha. As hard as it is for things to arrive here, it´s even harder for things to leave here. (In case y´all are wondering, that´s why I haven´t sent any birthday or other packages... every missionary I´ve talked to has said it´s a waste of time and money).  

Tell Mary y co that I´ll be praying for them. I´m just grateful for modern medicine and technology and all that. Sometimes God blesses us just by having us live in the times and circumstances in which we live. 

Everything sounds like it´s going good and that things are unfolding as God intends them to. How are things going with yáll, though? Is everything good on the home front? How are G and G Bayles? Tell them I love them and thanks for everything. Love you lots, Mumsie.

It´s true what you say about keeping the right perspective in things. The mission is a definite time of discovery. Every strength you´ve ever had will be tested and tried, and every weakness you´ve ever had will be accentuated until you finally start getting rid of it. haha. I never really believed people when they said it{s the hardest thing you´ll ever do, but I´m starting to see where they were coming from. hahahaha. 

The quilt bit sound cute, and your insights are profound. 

I´ll definitely leave a footprint or 25,000. ;)

Take a pic of your rose trees for me. Thanks for the pics. 

As far as reactivation goes, it makes me glad that I learned to Visit Teach back in the pre-mish days, cause that´s pretty much my assignment right now. :)

I´ll be praying for Mary and her family. 

50th year HS anniversary, wow that´s great. :) I think my 5 year anniversary is happening while I´m gone, but I don´t really know haha. 

Thanks for the quotes. I always love reading little clips from conference. Conferences are so inspired and beautiful. :) I especially liked the president Uchtdorf one. :)


Okey dokey family. What´s happening in my life. Pues, this week has been really crazy. We´ve had some sicklings here in the mission. We haven´t gotten personal study in a week, because of it. We had to go to a couple of exams and get a CAT scan for someone. Then you add to that zone conference and a multizone conference and divisions and you just have no study time. So sad. The great thing is that I went on divisions this Thursday with the wonderful Hermana Tanner (she went home from the mission for a while because of a parasite, but now she´s back). She´s super cool. :) I got to go to Castaños for the day, which was really awesome. Loved it. We honestly didn´t have a ton of time in our area this week because of nursing stuff and meetings, but we had a good week nonetheless. 

We finished up all of the lessons with María this week and today we swung by her place to finalize things for her baptism. She´s all set to go for this Thursday, if everything goes according to plan. Pray that everything will go through with her... things always get reallllllllly hard for people in the days before their baptism. 

Other than that, things are going good. There´s a lot of people in the office right now, so it´s getting really hard to focus, but know that I love you all oodly doodlies. If you´re not doing what you should, change it and move on. ;) Be good and have a good week!

Oh, wait: I forgot to tell you the one thing I really wanted to tell yáll about. Rigo (Rigoberto) has been super excited about the church and everything. He´s been going to activities and talking to his family about it. He keeps telling us about how good he feels, about how he forgot how good it feels to be a latter-day saint. It just makes me so happy to teach him and talk to him. He was inactive for 20 years, and now he couldn´t be more excited. We were teaching him the plan of salvation yesterday when he had a really powerful and beautiful realization: we were explaining that we all lived with Heavenly Father as spirits before we were born. He talked about the fact that he knew Christ existed before He was born, but he hadn´t realized that he had existed before he was born as well. He was so excited to hear about it... he just filled up with light as he realized that God really knows him, that God has known him since before he was born. 

Ok, I really can´t focus anymore... too many people haha. I hope you´re all doing great. Love y´all!!! :)


Hna Bayles 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

August 2, 2013

Hola familia

I´ve now been sitting at this keyboard for a full minute trying to think of what to say, and I´m still coming up blank. This week was a heavy one. We had a really great Sisters´ capacitacion this Monday, and that was really great. Tuesday I went on divisions with one of the sister-leader-people (do yáll even know those exist? Well, they do. They´re the female versions of APs... kind of. They´re really hard to explain and they´re such a new concept that no one really knows exactly what they do, so they mostly just go on divisions with people as of right now). Anyway, we had an eventful day to say the least. She came to my area, and as soon as we arrived, there was a bit of comotion in the street, so we had to go somewhere else for a while. We went to the house of a menos activo I´ve been working with and she was quickly fascinated by the Muslim-Mormon. His name is Abél and he was baptized many many many years ago, but has since changed religions to become Muslim. We talked to him for a while, then eventually made it to lunch where the 20-ish year old daughter decided to make cookies (a rarity here because the people who have ovens usually only use them as pantries) and accidentally exploded the oven (it was a propane-powered stove-oven combo thing). After that, we went to various appointments where she developed a VERY interesting perspective of our area. hahahaa. We have some very interesting people living here, and we encountered some even more interesting situations. hahahaha. 


Wednesday when we switched back from divisions, my companion and I were finishing up our personal study in the shade of a tree (we live a half hour away from our area... once we leave the house in the morning, we generally don´t go back) when a bird decided to relieve himself right in my favorite section of the Doctrine and Covenants. hahahaa. I was mortified. I was petrified. Let´s just talk about how many diseases birds carry, and then let´s talk about how my scriptures are now a disgustingly horrible death trap. hahahaha. My companion almost died laughing. She just couldn´t handle it. In the process of divisions, we also found out, by means of a phone call and text message, that our most promising investigator (who was supposed to get baptized today) was not quite so interested in baptism as he was in my companion. These things happen in the mission, it´s just a bit of a bummer when you have to cut off communication with your investigator so abruptly. We passed him off to the elders; we´ll see what happens with him. 


Yesterday my comp gave me quite a scare. We were Buenas-ing an apartment when suddenly she looked over my shoulder, gasped, stiffened, and said, ¨HOLY cow! That man has a really big gun!¨ I grabbed for her to start running when suddenly we heard a quiet pop, then a ¨ping.¨ Turns out it was just a toy airsoft gun and he was trying to hit a stop sign. My companion was a little jumpy yesterday, so she didn´t realize that it was too tiny to be a real gun (also too plastic); she just got ready to run. hahahahaha. I don´t know how many times I told her, ¨don´t scare me like that,¨ but I´m sure she never wants to hear that phrase again hahahaha. 


People of note right now: 

We have officially reactivated a man who has been away from the church for 20 years. His name is Rigoberto (Rigo) and we´ve been visiting him for a couple of weeks. He was baptized when he was living in the Bronx in NY and fell away when he returned to Honduras. We got him to start reading the book of Mormon again, and began teaching him the lessons from scratch (that´s our game plan with all of our menos activos). We invited him to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet, and about a week later, he had a dream that resembled the first Vision, which answered his question and sufficiently convinced him of the truth of it all. He´s so excited about the church right now and I love it. :) We´re searching for his records from NY so we can get him ordained in the offices of the priesthood that he never reached. We need as many priestood holders as we can get! (by the way, did I ever tell yáll my area is a menos activo area? Our primary responsibility is not to work with investigators, but to reactivate menos activos. I guess all those years of visiting teaching really paid off! hahaha)


María Bonilla is really excited about the church right now too. I can´t remember if I´ve written about her, but she was a reference from this cute little tiny recent-ish-convert named Beti. She has already read through Jacob 5 in the Book of Mormon, and we only began teaching her some two-ánd-a-half weeks ago! (What a change from Olanchito, where at least 50% of the people couldn´t read). She is super pilas and super great. We just need to really focus on her in these coming days, because right before their baptism week, people always have some huge challenge come up, and she seemed a little off when we visited her the other day. She´s really great and we´re hoping that she continues progressing. 
There are lots of other people of note, I just don´t quite have time to write about them. haha.


Mumsie, :)

I will try and see if I can smuggle a picture or two to yáll next week, but I make no promises. As much as we didn´t carry our cameras in Olanchito, we carry them even less in SPS. But I will make a concerted effort. As far as the mission home goes, we almost never go there. If we have nursing things, we usually just meet the sicklings at the mission office and then take them to the hospital or clinic. The mission home isn´t really so much of a visiting place yet (maybe once they´re settled in more). The poor things live on the 20th story of a condominium complex called Panorama. It´s really beautiful, but it feels like a hotel. Sister Dester was saying it doesn´t feel like a home, but it´s safe and it´s nice, so that´s good. It´s very modern by worldly standards, which to the normal human means it´s weird. For example, as you´re waiting for the elevator, you stand by a wall that is covered in hand sculptures that stick out from the wall, making all kinds of signs and gestures. Weird. I know. 

The summer reading program sounds busy, but it always seems really fun. I forgot that summer is almost over for yáll. I just live in eternal summer. The seasons are thus: wet and dry. Sadly, I´ve arrived in each of my areas just before their respective hottest times of the year, so I´ve just seen hot hot and hotter, but it´s great.

The time in SLC sounds like it was really fun. I´m jealous that you got to see the family, but I know if anyone deserved it, it´s yáll. 

Don´t you even worry for a minute about your shortcomings and weaknesses. As far as I´m concerned, you´re the greatest Mumsie in the whole world, followed only by Eileen. Our shortcomings are what make us great, not because our shortcomings are great, but because we become great through overcoming our shortcomings. Don´t believe me? Just ask Ether. If you´re ever feeling weak, remember that God intends to make your weaknesses into your strengths. He´s given us weaknesses because He wants those things to be our defining and exalted characteristics, so you just keep being a good lil Mumsie and you´ll be fine. Remember that I love you.

In the words of Jeffrey R. Holland:

“Don't you quit. You keep walking, you keep trying, there is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon. Some come late. Some don't come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in Good Things to Come.”

Eileeny-doodle-doo! :) 

Howdy, m´friend. I´m glad you got to see everybody. :) My mom sent me a picture with you, Brian, and Andrea, and when I showed it to my comp, she pointed to you and said, ¨I bet she´s awesome! She looks so much fun.¨ It was a rather tranquil pose you were all in, so I asked her what she meant, and she just shrugged and said, ¨I dunno, I can just tell she´s great.¨ There you have it. haha. 

That´s cool about that book. It´s something I´ve noticed a lot about the members of the church. A lot of people have desires to share the gospel, but don´t know where to start, or feel intimidated by the possible consequences. It´s one reason I love going out with the members. Being with us gives them a reason and a justification to be bold and outgoing. We´ve had several times where we´ve left with people just to listen as they share the message with their friends. They know what they want to say, and they knwo what their friends need to hear, they just need a little bit of backup to get things going. hahahaa. I remember feeling that same way: not knowing how to bring it up, or not wanting to come across as pushy. The more I´ve preached, the more I´ve come to realize that true friends share the gospel, because it is the greatest blessing we have, and if we truly love people, we´ll want nothing bu tthe best for them. It´s super awkward, yes. The life of a missionary is the life of the most awkward human beings one can possibly imagine. However, the life of a missionary is beautiful because the awkwardness is for the salvation of souls. Thanks for being such a great member missionary and for always being such a great example and support to me. Love you lots! Hope you have a great great week. :)


Sounds like you had a hectic weekend to say the least. hhaha. I can imagine that it was very stressful, but these things happen, and this too shall pass. I find that the most stressful, but also the most memorable and wonderful times are the times we share with family. The members of our family are the people specifically chosen to help us become the people we need to become, so be grateful for their quirks and shortcomings, even if it´s bothersome in the moment; they´re just brushing some marble dust off the good ol´ statue. It´s also been said that our families are the people selected for us who will help us fight off the world and the adversary more than any other combination of people. Let their ¨little bit of crazy¨ beat off some bad guys and all will be fine. hahaa. 

I´m sorry work´s been crazy. That´s always stressful, but I know you do great stuff, so no worries. 

This is getting a little cut short cause i still ahve to write the president, but I love you oodlie doodlies. Take care.


I´ll love yáll forever,

I´ll like yáll for always,

As long as I´m living,

My family you´ll be.


(and let´s just face it... I´m countin on yáll bein my family even after that whole mortal livin bit is over, so cheers for that)  


Hermana Bayles

(fun puzzle note: My first name is in the word Hermana... the letters are just a little scrambled and there´s an extra HA for all the laughing I do.)