Happy December! Woah it`s weird. I`m coming up on one year
being a missionary this week. I just can`t quite remember what it`s like to be
anything other than a missionary. hahaha. I sent two packages last week with my
nativities from the photos. I`ll be sending more nativities (or whatevers) by
request in the coming weeks, although I can`t promise that they`ll get there by
Christmas. But no worries, they`ll still be good by next Christmas. :)
Concepcion`s glasses are basically two magnifying glasses in
a plastic rim. I wanted a picture of her in them, because it`s absolutely
adorable, but I figured this is ALMOST adorable... hahahahahaha
There are lots of dead things in Honduras, so there are also
lots of vultures.
Sometimes in life, the dog is just sitting on the car.
Nobody really knows why.
Anyway, this week has been, well, fast. This weeks medical
endeavors included many things, as always, but more than anything, we enjoying
many wild animal experiences this week. To borrow a page from Zippy: a short
list of things that bit my missionaries this week: dogs (of course), a rat,
bugs bugs bugs, a giraffe. Let me just explain the giraffe, because it is one
of the more entertaining calls I received this week. The call went like this:
Missionary: Well... you see... something happened today
Bayles:Uhhhh huuuuuuuuh...? Digame
M: Well you see, I was at the zoo when a giraffe came up to
B: uhh huuuuuh
M: And it kind of started licking me
B: uhh huh?
M: And its tongue was really scratchy
M: And it`s tongue kind of scratched me on my arm.
B: Oh, that`s... weird.
M: Ya. I was just wondering, what should I do for that?
B: Hmmm. Good question. Have you cleaned it up at all?
M: uhhhhh no.
B: Ok, first thing, clean the area with soap and
M: So what you`re saying is I should take a shower.
B: No, just wash your arm really well.
M: well... it kind of licked my head too.
B: ... What?
B: And how exactly did that happen?
M: Well, it started licking all the way up my arm and
eventually reached my head, and then I think it liked my head better, so it
kept licking it.
M: And then I think it thought my hair was straw or
something, cause it started nibbling on my hair with its soft soft lips.
B: And you let it?
M: ...well, I got a really great picture!
Welcome to my daily life. hahahahahaha. I`ll send the
picture if he ever let`s me get my hands on it. It had better be a great
The other bite that was slightly more tragic was a dog bite.
Some poor sister got bit by a dog last week. When you get bit by a dog, you
have to keep an eye out for the dog for 7 days, because a dog without rabies
can`t live more than 7 days. If the dog is still alive after 7 days, you
probably don`t need the rabies vaccine. Anyway, she was on the 7th day of
observation and saw that the dog was alive and well. She was celebrating
oh-so-happily when another (more vicious) dog attacked her just down the
street. You`ve gotta love the mangy dogs of Honduras.
Today I was part of a nursing video conference that included
all of the missions in Central America. Technology really is amazing. They were
saying that one in three missionaries gets sick in CA within the first three
months (and that only includes REPORTED incidents haha). We`ve got a lot of
work to do here.
Anyway, on to responding to yàll.
It almost blows my mind that 2014 is almost here. It
also kind of freaks me out that I`m coming up on my 2nd Christmas as a
missionary. I must admit, Christmas in the mission is a very different
experience than in the home (just as Thanksgiving is VERY different here).
Thanks in advance for the package. As far as the deer, the white tailed
something-or-other deer is the national animal of Honduras. I`ll tell you what
though. I`ve seen snakes, lizards, turtles, vultures, eagles, wild cats,
spiders bigger than my head, all kinds of birds, a cavy, dolphins, crabs, and
all other manner of wildlife, but I have yet to see a deer. haha. Cold, what is
cold? haha Just kidding. We actually had a cold snap for this entire week. It
rained for 6 days straight without stopping and did a cold sooooo cold that I
couldn`t even sleep at night. haha. We were walking in the street shivering in
our summer clothes and sandals as we experienced humid-cold (something I can
now testify is real). I think I actually prefer melting to the sidewalk. haha.
I really liked all the quotes, and I liked your ringworm trivia. One does not
normally get ringworm from cats, but someone suggested that the cats here are
carriers (and you can tell because of their ugly bald patches). haha. What luck
I have. hahaha Thanks for the letter and thanks for all of your love and
support. Love you!
It was definitely weird being away for Thanksgiving. I
was thinking about Thanksgiving and everything it means to me, and it was weird
to spend it here, where no one understands the beauty of Thanksgiving. I was
trying to explain to my companion that it`s not about the food, but she didn`t
get it. She thinks Gringos are weird and crazy and too serious (although she
says I break the mold... except the weird and crazy bit). I bet it was awesome
seeing errbody for thanksgiving. I`ll be excited to be there for the next one.
Anyway, love you lots! Take care. Oh, btw, I definitely don`t remember my
pin... I tried every combination I could think of, but I don`t remember at all.
Either that or my card just doesn`t work here, but I`m pretty sure it`s the PIN
No worries about the Thanksgiving plump; I guarantee
it`s nothing compared to the Hondurans-love-me-a-little-too-much plump. Yeah.
Try running that one off. hahaha No worries about the ringworm, it`s almost
gone now. I`ll tell Hna Reyes Ooooiiii! for you, but I must say, she`s
definitely not accustomed to the nursing schedule. She absolutely despises it.
hahaha. I`d love to say she handles it with grace, but she just outright hates
it, poor thing. It definitely takes some patience and some adjusting. Thanks
for the scripture in Romans. I love that one. I almost sent my shoes home to
get bronzed when I was in Olanchito, but I just ended up throwing them away. I
almost regret that now. They were fabulously pathetic. As far as the Nativities
go, I have only heard back from LaDee. Tell the sibs I`ll only be able to buy
them for another week or two, so if they want one, they`ve gotta get on it!
haha. Thanks for everything! Love you tons!
Welp, I do believe that`s all for now. I`ll try sending some
pics. Love you all oodles!
p.s. I just learned: quick commands on keyboards don`t work
on Spanish keyboards. For example, when you select all and hit CTRL C to copy
the letter you just spent 45 minites to write your family, it deletes the
letter. Happily, the Spirit showed me the undo button and I stopped freaking
out. :) Ciao
haven´t made the thanksgiving feast yet, but don´t you worry… that´ll be
happening soon. We´re going to be eating thanksgiving with a gringo who is
currently a less active member of my ward; he even mentioned that there will be
green bean casserole, so I am really looking forward to it. Also, he´s from
Arizona, and we all know that Arizonans and Nevadans are made of the same
desert sand, so I think it will be a great night. Haha
can get a flash drive here just fine, the only thing is that I can´t remember
the PIN for my bank card, so I am stuck for the moment. I don´t know if yáll
know my PIN, but if you do, could you figure out a way to send it to me? That
would be more than awesome. I honestly don´t need a camisole… we don´t like
layers here because they make us die. But if you´ve got a white shirt in mind,
that would be great. White doesn´t stay white very well here. Haha. Still
Reyes is cool. I think she doesn´t like the nursing stuff, but she deals with
it mostly. Haha We´ve had to adjust our strides a little bit together; I´ve had
to take it down a pace or two and she´s had to crank it up a little, but we get
along well and we´ve had a good time together thus far.
election is normally super dangerous here in Honduras, so when I said I was
helping get ready for the elections, it´s because we were preparing the mission
for an emergency situation. As the nurse, my house was one of the safe points,
so we had to stock up on a ton of food and water. In fact, we spent three
days on lockdown in the house (just as a precautionary measure) and that´s why
I´m writing on [Tuesday this week. Happily, the election went by without even a
slight hitch and all are safe and happy in Honduras. They say it was one of the
most peaceful elections in like 10 years, so we´re happy to be out working
again. J Three days in the house is…
an experience, but it was also a much-needed break. It was nice to just study
in pajamas and take it down a notch or four.
time is absolutely flying these days. I look at the date and think how
impossible it is that it´s almost December. Imagine that. The time
spending has been more on missionary work than nursing, but I´ve also spent a
lot of time (and money) on nursing this week. I just had to send ANOTHER sister
home for health reasons, and it always involves a lot of work making sure we´ve
done everything possible before we finally send them home. It always gets me a
little bit to send them home. It reminds me of how a doctor must feel when he
loses a patient, except a little bit less extreme. I just want to help them all
stay and work to the fullest, but sometimes God has other plans. As a mission,
though, we´re healthy and well, although I must say, a day in the life of Hna
Bayles is different than a day in the life of just about any other missionary.
It´s amazing to me how very different my mission experience is from that of my
brothers and friends. (and not just because I´m a girl haha). If I had to
compare my mission to that of someone else, I´d go with David, but only in the
¨living in Latin America and dealing with all of the funny things that accompany
that¨ sense. It really is such a different experience. But so so beautiful.
years and an eternity to go. Happy anniversary, Eileeny.
for the quotes on faith. I´ve been reading the new testament, and with three
days in house, I blazed through a good chunk of it. The more I read the New
Testament, the more I see the real power of faith. How many times did Christ
tell the people ¨thy faith hath made thee whole?¨ He never said, ¨my power and
authority as Son of God and Messiah has made thee whole, ¨ no, He said it was
their faith that healed them. It´s something I´ve been thinking a lot about,
and it´s really a lovely thought.
trip sounds more than wonderful. I´m so glad you got to see all of them and
especially that you got to go to Nath´s baptism. I was thinking about him all
day Saturday and Sunday, and just smiled like crazy. I was thinking about how
he´s the only one who calls me by my middle name, and how much I love hearing
him call me así.
need thee every hour is my favorite hymn in English. I miss hearing it. Haha
The piano bit sounds interesting and funny. I´d love to hear bass-y primary
baptism sounds absolutely beautiful. I only wish I could have been there.
I´m veryyyyy familiar with, but snow and cold? I honestly don´t remember what
it feels like to be cold, and I can´t quite imagine how snow is. I know I´ve
touched it before and everything, I just can´t figure it out in my head right
now. It´s like the idea of dragons… it just doesn´t seem real. Awesome, but not
Augh. Last thanksgiving was the last time I saw LaDee and Kirk and the kids. We
built a fort. Man oh man. Has it really been a year? It´s so strange to think
while you´re all together, will you have anyone who wants a Honduran nativity
choose from the three types of nativities and tell me which they want so I can
buy more and send them through the mail? One is made from corn husks (typical
of Copan and Santa Barbara here in Honduras) and the others are made of Barra
(or clay), which is typical of all of Honduras. I can´t promise that they won´t
break in camino, but I´ll do my best to keep them whole. Anyway, look at the
pics (o todos vosotros) and let me know which yáll want. J
week was hectic and crazy, but all ended well and we are excited to work work
work this week. I found out I have ringworm, but of all the parasites possible,
it´s the best to get as it has nothing to do with your insides and only makes an
ugly spot on the affected area (for me, the leg, and let´s face it: the
mosquitos here have already made MANY ugly spots on my legs, so I think we´ll
be just fine hahaha) and is very easily treated. Hna John thinks I got it from
a cat, and I know exactly which one it it… the unlucky black cat of Concepcion,
which has a bald spot and is always persecuting me. Hahahahaha Anyway, all is
more than well here in Honduras. Take care and be good and have a great week.
I love you all ooodly dooooodlies and bunches of oats.
It is so beautiful to hear from you all. It´s nice to take a
moment and think about something other than the million things that are
constantly on my mind. This week has been another rough one, but reading this
particular letter made me so happy I´ve just sat here and wept. Tell Nathan I
could not be happier for him. Tell him that this little gal is so proud to have
him as her uncle, and that even though I can´t be there for the big day, I will
be thinking of him all the day long. Tell him of all the baptisms I´ve had or
heard of here in the mission, this one leaves them all behind. This is one of
the happiest moments of my mission, going hand in hand with the news that Josh
went to the temple and that Nigil is serving a mission. You tell that beautiful
man that these little eyes of mine just won´t stop reminding me how happy I am
for him; I can´t get them to dry up. God is so good.
This week has been rather hectic. We´ve been preparing for
the elections (I don´t remember if that´s how you spell it in english... google
translate elecciones and you´ve got it) here, which will take place this coming
Sunday. For the majority of the missionaries, that doesn´t mean too much, but
for the office staff and for this little nursey-girl, it´s kind of a lot of
work. This week we also had cambios (transfers, I think they´re called in
english). I have a new companion, Hermana Reyes from the Dominican Republic and
she´s 19 years old. I also kind of have a new area. When we had cambios I didn´t
have a new area, but then President called to tell me he was pulling all of the
missionaries out of my area, elders and hermanas alike. He had another area to
put us, but after visiting the area decided that he really didn´t feel alright
about having hermanas there, so... right now I don´t have an area. hahaha. I
think we´re going to return to my old area for the next who-knows-how-long, and
afterwards we´re going to go to some unknown location. hahaha. It should be a
fun experience. But no worries, no matter what happens, I´ll be here in San
Pedro Sula (which, by the way: in the letter, one of yáll said something about
going to a bigger city to buy shoes... SPS IS the big city... the only thing
bigger in the whole country is the capital, and to be honest, I´m not sure
Tegucigalpa is actually bigger than SPS. haha).
Mumsie, I got the Thanksgiving package. Thanks so much for
that. As far as Christmas ideas, I was thinking of buying a hard drive because
all of my memories are fuuuuuull, but I don´t think that would be something to
send in the mail. haha. I don´t even know how much something like that is
worth. Other than that, I have no idea what I would want. I feel like I have
everything I need (and more!), but it´s all good.
Eileen, sounds like you´ve had a fun week or so. I bet
that´s been fun seeing all the family and errthing. I´m glad you got some days
to relax and read some books. I forgot that books exist. haha I know that
sounds funny, but here they really don´t have books aside from the bible (and
once we come along, the book of mormon). How funny.
Dad, I already told you how I feel about your bit of the
letter, but I´ll say it again: I could not be happier. Tell Hno Rechsteiner and
the Lukers I say hey and i love them. Tell them thanks for everything.
I had more to say, but, alas, someone´s heart is arrhythmic
and they´ve got tachycardia, so I´ve gotta run. I love you all a ton. Take care
and be gooooooood (as Brian and ET would say).
I`m sorry I haven`t really written much lately. It`s just
been a very busy and crazy time. It`s been a super frustrating couple of weeks,
but I`m doing alright. I`m glad you got the package. That means I can try
sending more stuff. :) The statue actually isn`t quetzaltenango, it`s a
copy of one of the mayan carvings in copan. And I`m glad you liked the
maracuya... I``m sorry I couldn`t send you the real stuff like I`m drinking
here, but I`m glad you enjoyed the fake thing. haha.
These last few weeks have been really hard weeks for us. A
lot is changing in the mission. Lies. A lot is changing for me in the mission.
Cambios are this week, and I am almost positive we`ll have changes. I think
I`ll probably stay in my same area, but I think I`ll have a new comp. Even if I
change areas, I`ll still be in San Pedro. The nurse is pretty much stuck in the
city. haha. But it`s alright. Aside from a few undesireable things, it`s really
nice being in san pedro. I really love getting to interact with President and
Hna Dester. They were in Guatemala this last week, and it was surprising to me
how much I missed seeing them and talking to them. That`s one blessing of being
the nurse, that I get to interact with them every now and then.
I finally got the Halloween package; thanks so much! My comp
was so excited for the candy too. We`ve been gobbling it.
Welp, here`s a picture of me in my new SPS futbol
Sounds like you all ahve had a fun week and everyhting. I`m
glad you`re getting to have visits and everything. I wish I could see all yàll,
but I`m glad you`re getting to spend some quality time with the little
I honestly don`t know what to write you all right now. We`ve
been finding a lot of new investigators, but the majority of them only progress
for a week or two and then they don`t want anything. Anyway, we are always
looking for new people and always working to help the ward and the people here.
Our planned baptisms just fell through. One of them is moving to Copan
suddenly, so he won`t get baptized. The other is moving to La Lopez, so she
also won`t get baptized. The other`s mom just prohibited her from listening to
us anymore and she asked us not to come back. That`s always fun. But we`re
working hard and hoping to work more integratedly with the members.
Tell Andrea and Jim and Eileen thanks for writing me. Thanks
for writing me to yàll too. I really love hearing from you every week. I`ll try
to write more next week, but for now, that`s about all I`ve got.
I really loved the pictures so thanks for that. It´s crazy
to see how much those little sobrinos are growing up. The biggest surprises
were Noah and Elise. Holy cow they´re getting big.
I honestly don´t know what to write you all this week. I
went on exchanges to El Carmen with Hna Tanner this week. She´s really cool and
we had a pretty good time, although it rained like the dickens (which made the
holes in the soles of my shoes suddenly VERY inconvenient). I´ve officially
walked through inch-and-a-half thick soles, which I consider a pretty decent
accomplishment, especially considering that I currenty have (relatively)
beautiful roads to walk on here. (Let´s be honest, compared to the States,
these roads are post-apocalyptic, but for Honduras they´re gorgeous.) Anyway.
That tells you how much walking I do. haha. Including the other pair I walked
through and the two pairs of rubber shoes I´ve walked through and the wear and
tear I put on my other pair of shoes before I gave them away, I´d say that adds
up to about 4 inches of shoe sole that I´ve pounded out of business. But no
worries, I bought some new rubber shoes today. I love these things so much. And
they only cost 40 lempiras, which is to say slightly less than $2, so I´m back
on my feet, as it were.
This week has been insane. Absolutely insane. We´ve had so
many health problems in the mission lately. I got about 14 calls in less than
10 minutes last night. I was getting new calls in the middle of calls and by
the time I would hang up with one person, I´d already have 5 new calls. I
predict that this week will be even worse, although I won´t give you details as
to why until next week. Moral of the story, it´s been CRAZY. Add on top of that
that we´ve had to take over another companionship´s area (more or less) and the
result is a very very very exhausted missionary. But I´m alright, no worries.
I´m healthy as an helote.
Aside from that, the work goes forth. We´re currently
working on reactivating our ward mission leader, so that´s been interesting.
It´s amazing how much of an influence the members have on the work. When they
don´t dig in with the missionaries, the work is nearly impossible and painfully
difficult. But when the members heave their part of the load, the missionaries
can´t help but see miracles. Incredible.
Um, I´d respond to your emails, but I´m afraid I don´t
really have time. I´ve only got a half hour left of pday and i just got a call
saying that a sick missionary is coming in to ask me questions and get healed
and everything, so I guess I´ll talk to you all next week.