WOAH. This week was crazy. First, I have to tell you the best and most exciting news of all, which begins with sleep talking. This will be a bit of a spoiler, for future news, but my new companion was telling me that I´ve been talking in my sleep the last two nights or so, and when I asked her what I had said, IT WAS IN SPANISH! I´m so full of Spanish that it even leaks out when I´m sleeping. THAT´S what´s up. :) I think that´s one of the proudest moments of my mission. I mean, I´ve been dreaming in Spanish since the MTC, I think, but sleep-talking? That´s a new level of awesome.
Secondly, (also a spoiler of future news) you will all be happy to hear that I am still enjoying the funny moments and happenings in Honduras. (as a side note, have I ever told you that I love Honduras and Hondurans? Cause I do. A WHOLE lot). I recently moved to a new house, a house which was built by and for Hondurans. I, though I try my hardest to convince people of the contrary, am not Honduran. What does this mean? That the wall of the bathroom was built far too close to the toilet for my freakishly long Gringa legs, and I must therefore sit sideways on the toilet. hahahahahahahahaha. I´m sending a picture. :)
Third. I suppose this is third and fourth. Third would be something that is actually old news, but I can´t remember if I told you all it or not, and that is that throughout the world, missions now have sister leaders. They´re somewhere between Zone leader and AP status and it´s completely ridiculous. Fourth would be that I am now one of those ridiculouses. Oops. haha. I´ve actually known I would be one for a while; President was chatting with me one or two changes ago and made an offhand remark about how he wanted me to be able to train other missionaries on a large scale (which is what these leader things do), but that he didn´t know how to work it out because he needs me as the nurse. The solution in my head was that I train a new nurse and get to move on to happy days without doing nursing stuff. President´s decision was a little more creative. To create a new breed of missionary called the Bayles who does everything all in one. Sneaky, right? So, I´m still the nurse, but I´m also one of four sister leaders in the mission. Also, I am officially the Gringa with the most time in the mission. Are we freaking out yet? Anyway, that means that I get to call all of the sisters throughout the week and see how they´re doing and help them out and stuff. I also go on divisions throughout the northwest part of our mission (the other sisters are working in the south part) with all them sister folk. Anyway, surprise. It´s what´s up.
So I guess that leads to my other bit of news, which is that I had cambios and am now in Los Castaños (still in San Pedro), which is kind of fun, because it is where I spent my very first night in the mission and there´s a good chance that it´s where I´ll finish the mission. I guess we´ll see about that. Also, Eileen, the Bishop´s wife is one of the sisters you met a year ago in the temple. Also, hermano Romero, the one we ate dinner with, just came into the office and we chatted. He sends saludos and says he hopes you are well and happy. You´re pretty much a super star here. That whole family talks about you all the time. They always say you´re really beautiful and kind and loving and that you´re very elegant (which has several meanings here; the most common are: tall, white, beautiful, or elegant).
My final news is that every single companionship of missionaries that I´m over (the sisters, of course) has at least one person sick, and my phone has been ringing non-stop. haha. We got another dog bite, and it´s just about the worst one I´ve seen yet. I¨d send you the pictures, but I think that´s a HIPAA violation, and even though HIPAA doesn´t exist here, my mission blog was created in the states, so when you all post this email, it will officially become a HIPAA violation. Weird, I know.
My new house has a pet lizard... ok, giant tropical orange and green and grey iguana. It lives behind our pila where we wash our clothes and comes out during the day to soak up some rays. He totally loves me. He never comes out for the other sisters. Apparently I´m still an animal person.
I can tell that Christmas is getting closer because Hondurans are so crazy and they get even crazier about Christmas. Fireworks and firecrackers and ¨fireworks¨ (they´re actually small bombs) go off every little while throughout the day and people run around crazy eating tamales. I love hondurans so much. They are such a joyful (and slightly crazy) people. I really just love them.
Thanks so much for the emails
. Sounds like things are going well for you and that the family is cute as always. Thanks so much for the quotes. I will share one with you from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I´ve never actually read it, but a friend gave me this quote and I¨ve kind of made it my life recently. It reminds of one of my new favorite scriptures, in Matt 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.¨¨ This has become my life. It´s who I am. Maren ended on the 5 of December 2012, and I´m positive she´ll never quite come back. There´s someone new and different in her spot who wears two names: one for where she comes from and one for who she is. Bayles is where she started, and representative of Jesus Christ is where she´s ending up. Anyway, here´s the quote:
Christ says ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked – the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.’
I made a purchase of about 30 dollars with my card today as a test and about an hour later I got a call from my mission president saying that my bank was trying to get ahold of me. I called wells fargo, but I think they still think I´m fraudulent. Anyway, if you get any word on that, that´s why. The good news is that I had to call WF, which ended up in them asking me for my SSN and my PIN, neither of which I remember(ed), however, after guessing about 8 times, I finally guessed my SSN and I took a risky guess on my PIN and it was right, so that whole business is fixed. :) Thanks for your help on that. The story on the boxes is this: they are and aren´t Christmas presents. One is a birthday-Christmas-life present for Greg because I saw it and it reminded me of him. The other is something for GGB, because I thought they would like it. The rest is a temporary gift, as in, it´s actually something I sent home for me (the nativities that were in the pictures I sent). BUT I sent it home in time for you to put it up in the house while you´re all waiting for your real presents, which will not arrive in time for Christmas. :( The thing is that all of these nativities are made by hand, so today I went to buy all of your nativities and each one is a little different. It´s kind of fun to see. But that means that you can´t just go pick up a million all at once, so I´m in the process of picking them up. I think I´ll just send them all to the Bayles hub and when I get home everybody can make their claim. You´ll only be able to have the ones I sent home up for this Christmas, but by next Christmas you´ll each have your individual nativities to put up. :) With the pictures, I try to show people how to take pictures, but they´re just so unaccustomed to taking pictures that they only turn out well when I take them. Anyway, we´ll definitely be talking by google chat. I´ll probably give you details next monday... I don´t even know what our schedule is like tomorrow, so we´ll see about that all when it´s closer.
I got the packages today. Still haven´t opened them, but we´´ll see what´s up. Here they celebrate more on the 24 than the 25, so we´ll be wokring normally until about 6 at night, when we´ll enter the house and hide from all of the crazy Hondurans with their fireworks hahahaha. the 25 everyone just sleeps, so I think we´ll be doing something different. We are having Christmas parties with the President and Sister Dester this week, so that should be fun. :) Aside form that, Christmas is just a normal day. :) That´s cool taht you invited people to the Christmas pageant. You´re right in that the key to missionary work is diligence. Sometimes I feel like the most pushy bothersome person in the world, but in the end they love it. I was reading in Jacob 5 the other day about how the Lord waited until a tree had shown forth good fruits to nourish it and help it along iits way. I was thinking about how we have to do the same here. Some of the missionaries try to force poeple into the church, but the truth of the matter is that this gospel is such a blessing and treasure that those who are prepared to receive it will show forth fruits, and that´s when we really begin to push and noursih them. Man, I love being a missionary. Wepll for sure talk this Christmas. I don´t know what I´ll have to tell you, but I guess we´ll see.
Anyway, I love you all ooooooodly dooooooodlies and I hope you´re having a great week full of love and candy.
Also, a belated birthday wish to Greg, Kristen, Andrea, and Max as well as an early birthday wish for Heidi and my friend Holli C. Felicidades! Love yáll!
p.s. the picture of me being all wet goes with a story. My comp never carries an umbrella, and it began to rain like a quetzal in flight (side note: the quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala, but there are more quetzals on CocaCola mountain here in SPS than in all of Guatemala combined), so we were sharing the umbrella. We arrived back at the apartment after walking through water up to our knees and rain up to our noses and the other sisters we lived with asked, ¨ay hermanas! ¿Que pasó? No tuvieron paragua?!¨ and I took one look at them and said, ¨oh no, we had an umbrella... imagine how we would have turned out if we had left it at home!¨ hahahaha I don´t know if that translates to be funny, but it was hilarious in Spanish. You can see that the only dry spot was were my mochila was haha. Taht´s what we call soaked.