Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 9, 2014

Hola!!! :)

Hey-o! I loved hearing from yousies. I always love mondays because I get to know a little more of what`s going on back on the homefront. It`s weird, but I almost can`t remember what it`s like back home. I vaguely remember, but when I think about home, about Las Vegas, about Provo, about SLC, about all of those old stomping grounds, I feel like they`re from an old dream. Something that never quite existed. It`s like seeing a flashback in an old movie where everything is slightly foggy and sentimental, but it`s nothing so tangible. Sometimes I wonder if it really existed at all. I`m beginning to understand better the veil of forgetfulness between our premortal spiritual life and la vida mortal. We`re so focused on what we`re doing right now, and what we`re doing now is so different from what we were doing before that we hardly remember that anything else ever existed. Sometimes we get flashes of what we were and what we did, but it`s distant and foggy. It`s amazing how true is the statement: Lose yourself in the work. I`ve completely lost myself here in Honduras, but the beautiful thing is that, just as the scripture promises, I`ve also found myself. I love the mission so much and I can`t even begin to imagine anything else. 15 months have gone by way way way too fast. I wish I had 15 more. 


This week was another normal week. There were lots of miracles, but there are always lots of miracles, so I don`t really recognize them with so much surprise anymore. One really great moment was with a less-active named Henry. We`ve been working with him a whole lot to get him back to church as he is actually a recent convert of about 6-7 months. He`s super great, but has pulled away from the church because he hasn`t had great family support. He`s had the opposite, actually. Anyway, we re-taught him lesson 1, The Restauration (my very favorite lesson. I`m obsessed with it. I`m pretty sure the whole mission knows that that lesson is all mine). It was so beautiful to look him in the eyes as he remembered those beautiful truths he had so quickly forgotten. He just looked at us with wonder as we taught and testified, and at the end he thanked us for reminding him of what he already knew. He`s now preparing to serve a mission when he hits his 1 year mark as a member of the church.

God changes lives. 


Something fun that happened this week is that it was my companion`s birthday. We completely spoiled her (me and my housemates) and we had a really good time. It was a super fun day. The only bad thing is all of the balloon scraps that are strewn across the house. haha. We cleaned it up, though. 

That`s great that your ward had a baptism. I think of missionary work in the states and I have great respect for any missionary that makes it through their time serving in the states. My mission is much harder in certain aspects, but on the whole, I was sent in a very blessed time to a very blessed mission in a very blessed country among very blessed people. I`m beginning to understand what David means when he says that his mission was easy. It`s not that the mission itself it easy. It never is. But compared to other missions, the Latin-American missions are the dessert. We see so many results here because the people are so prepared. I always tell the sisters in divsions: ^I`ve never gone contacting for more than 5 minutes and I hope today won`t be a first for me. There are so much better ways to do it here, and the people here are ready and willing to make it work.^ Then I think of the poor little things serving in the States or my poor brother who served in Ukraine, and I just shudder at the thought that day after day after day is spent doing nothing more than contacting. It`s not that they`re not great missionaries, in fact it`s the contrary. It`s just that the people aren`t as prepared yet and the members aren`t as willing to dig in and go to work. Now, in other missions they may contact all day, but they don`t have to worry about many of the things that we have to worry about here in Honduras (especially in San Pedro), the likes of which I will probably never tell you all. haha. But I thank the Lord every day for sending me to the mission I`m in and also for sending me three big brothers whose missions have absolutely inspired me and kept me going. 

I really didn`t understand what they talked about until I got out here, and now I`m beginning to truly understand the kind of men they are. I think of David`s stories of things that happened and I realize that we will end up with a lot of similar stories that we will never tell our mother hahahahahaha. I think of Andrew who had to speak more than two languages in the mission, and who walked through freezing temperatures every day for two years. Then I think of Greg. Good ol`Greg who, if I may say, had the hardest mission of the four of us. Greg who helped and served and loved for two years of horrible heat and below-freezing cold in areas where the church was probably in his very hands more than those of anyone else, who served for two long years and didn`t see as many fruits of his labors as he deserved to see. I think of those three men and, understanding what it means to be a missionary, I understand exactly the kind of men they are. God sends big brothers to be heroes for their little sisters.    

Anyway. I really liked the story of Henry B. Eyring. I think that one will probably stick with me, too. 

I didn`t understand the subject line of the email for today, but I have to tell you, it surprised me a little bit because last night I had a dream that we were in Disneyland and a lion was running wild and attacked us and he scratched your head then I beat him up and told him not to mess with my mumsie. You haven`t gotten attacked in the head by a lion, have you? I hope not. 

Anyway, that`s too bad that dad`s been sick. If I had a lempira for every time someone here was sick with a stomach problem, I`d be rich, even with the lempira to dollar conversion rate. Seriously. I got like three calls this morning. 


As far as Katerin goes, she will be baptized this saturday at 3 pm. :) Her mom revoked permission until she had gone to church a little bit more, and even though Katerin is a legal adult, her parents are paying for her everything, so she felt like she should obey. Also, she wants to show that she`s changed, and disobeying her mom would be the opposite of that. But all`s well that ends... in a baptism. haha. So we`re stoked for that. She`s 20 years old and we met her in the church haha. Love when that happens. She was more than prepared. In fact, she met with missionaries (my good friend Elder Bergquist, in fact) about a year and a half ago, but wasn`t ready then. Now, after all this time, she`s ready. It just goes to show: even if we don`t see the fruits in the moment, we never know when missionaries are going to show up again and reap what we`ve sown. 

That makes me sad that Enoch has RSV. I guess it would be spring there, so there`s probably quite a few bebesitos with respiratory stuff. I`ll pray for him for sure. Lil Enoch. I`ll be excited to meet him. 


Greg`s thesis sounds super interesting haha. Exactly up his alley. 


That`s cool that you`re still doing the marriage class, and I love the proclamation for the family. I always use it to teach the law of chastity. I tell them if they want the blessings of an eternal family, they`ve got to live an eternal law. We read the responsability of parents and children and then we talk about the sacred powers of procreation. It`s a pretty sweet lesson. Now if only we could rent out a hot-air-balloon and a loudspeaker and preach it to all of Honduras. haha. You have no idea how many times I ask people if they`re married and they say no, then I ask them how much time they have together and they say, for example 34 years. Then I tell them that they have very beautiful grandchildren and they thank me. Then I ask them why they haven`t gotten married or if they`re willing to get married, and do you know what they answer? That they don`t know if they love each other. I tell them they have 34 years of proof and they tell me that all of their friends who get married get divorced and marriage is something sacred so they don`t want to toy around with it. I tell them they`re dummies. Not really. But I`d like to. If you don`t want to toy around with the sacredness of marriage, don`t toy around with your boy or girlfriend before marriage. Is that really so complicated, old people?! hahahaha. They`re so crazy. I hear that response like four times a week. 


Anyway. Rant over. The housing business sounds good. Anything is fine. 


I hope your jury duty goes well and that pops feels better soon.


Love you all tonsies!

Hna Pilas
This little girl`s dad killed this iguana with a sling shot. They were about to eat it, so I asked if I could touch it. It was really cool. The poor thing had already lost his tail, but he was really pretty. Too bad they were going to eat him. Also, can we please not focus on my dorky glasses tan-line? I`m trying to get rid of it by not wearing glasses. haha. 
Love yàll!

March 2, 2014

Ok, family. I´m really sorry I didn´t write last week. I´ve felt bad the whole week, but it was necessary. I´m making up for it by sending a bunch of fotos because I won´t be able to write much today either. Things are going ok for me. We´re working really hard and doing divisions at least twice a week, usually outside of San Pedro. It´s kind of crazy. We´ve also been having a lot of health problems lately, so my life has been crazy. Katerin is all set up for baptism and doesn´t seem to mind the fact that we have to neglect her sometimes to be able to do nursing and sister training leader stuff. It really is incredible how God blesses us for our sacrifices. We hardly ever have time in our own area, but somehow we´re still helping people along. Yesterday we had 7 investigators in church, which isn´t anything crazy, but considering that we were only in our area for the equivalent of a day and a half, it´s pretty dang incredible. God blesses us a lot. We´re really working with a couple of families right now. One of them lives in the Bordo, which is basically the equivalent of the Ghetto. It´s also the poorest part of any area. The houses are made of cardboard boxes, stray pieces of wood, old advertisements, things like that. I´d take a picture, but it would be a reallllllllly bad idea to whip out a camera in the Bordo. hahahaha. Maybe someday I´ll work it out. Yesterday another person asked me  where I was from... he didn´t believe me when I said I was from the states. He said, ¨well obviously you look like a gringa, but then you talk and suddenly I doubt myself.¨ I still think I have a definite Gringo accent, but sometimes people try to flatter me, which is nice of them I guess. Aside from that, I´m just really coming to understand two great lessons I´ve been learning my whole mission. 1)He who loses his life will find it: The moment we completely forgeet ourselves, the moment we go to work and forget everything but work is the moment we find who we really are and what is our true purpose. I know that I am nothing but an instrument in the hands of God, and i couldn´t be happier to say it. 2)Faith is action: I always grew up thinking that I had to feel something to have faith, that my beliefs had to be backed by a certeza (surety?) deep inside of me. I still believe that we should strive to have that deep and burning testimony, but I am coming to realize more and more that it doesn´t matter so much what we believe, but who we are and what we do with what we believe. Even more profoundly, it´s who we are and what we do whith that which we do NOT know. My faith IS my action. They say faith without works is dead, and I believe that I am coming to truly understand that. Faith IS works, and therefore without works, we have not faith. If we believe in something, we must act in it. It´s like the example I always give to my investigators: I can have faith that the water in my bottle will quench my thirst, but until I unscrew the cap and take a drink, it won´t change a thing. I´m learning so much and changing so much, I just wish you could all follow me like flies on the wall and see everything I see. The mission is my life, and as George Bailey would tell anyone, it´s a wonderful life. 

May you all have a blessed and fulfilling week. I love you all very much. 

Hasta luego,

Hna Bayles


Horse-drawn vegetable sales... it´s pretty common in San Pedro, but no where else in the northern coast
I caught a scorpion
Campana is pretty typical of Honduras
una plancha
Bautismo de Kristyn

Feb 9, 2014

Hermana marroquin is our new housemate. Shes awesome. 

This is my wall

Thanks for the christmas tree

Graciela is awesome! We should be having another baptism this weekend

Hey fam,

thanks for the email. We just had an emergency in the mission and my whole day has been changed. I won[t really have time to write today, but Graciela got baptized and things are alright. Anyway, I will send pics in place of words. Theyre worth more anyway. Give Enoch love from me!

packages: I got two, one witht he shirt and flashdrive and one with the stocking. I don't know if there was another or not. anyway, love yall!!!!!


h bayles

2 Feb 2014

I completely forgot about groundhog day. haha. That`s a real thing. 
That`s awesome that you got to see DHE for a bit; I love getting pictures of things like that... wink wink. Especially Elise, she`s changing so much and I`m not seeing any of it. haha. I`ll be excited to remeet her again someday. 
Woah! New nephew on the way. Man, it`s incredible the things you miss when you`re in the mission. Pero vale la pena absolutamente. 
Tender mercies are an every day occurance if we`ve got the eyes to see it. 
February already. I actually missed when February came haha. I was so busy for a couple of days there that I had no idea what day it was; I just knew what I had to do so I did it. haha. It definitely took me by surprise when my comp told me it was the 2 of Feb. Tomorrow I will have lived in Honduras for 1 year, and that is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Time goes way way too fast. And whatp`s worse: it`s been speeding up lately. But all things are in the Lord`s time. 
That`s so great that you have sister missionaries in your ward, and i love hearing that you`re trying to work with the less-actives. I always tell the members, you don`t have to go out of your way to do a whole lot, you don`t have to put on  a plaque and knock doors, you just have to say hello to people when they come to church and be friends with the less-actives. The rest takes care of itself. That`s awesome. :)
I didn`t realize the Olympic games are coming. Wow, sometimes I feel like I live in another world. Then again, they only care about soccer here, so all i hear about it WORLD CUP. The scary thing is, they`re telling me I will be watching it in the states. That freaks me out. haha
Oh, by the way, thanks for the scriptures last week. I looked them up and was especially touched by your quote from Nehemiah. Totally gave me an umph of go-get-em for the week. :)
Aww, Elise sounds so cute. :) I hope I`ll get to spend some good solid quality time with her in the future. :)
Carlos has glasses! Woah! I want to see pics for sure. .
100 baptisms is absolutely possible. When I was in Puerto Cortes, I remember everyone in my zone, which is to say every missionary who worked in The Choloma Stake, was getting super excited saying that we wanted to be able divide the stake. We worked super hard and baptized and reactivated the heck out of that place. Our goal for the month was 80 baptisms (which was a bit carried-away, I must say) and I think we got something like 46. I just remember the excitement of helping the church grow. We worked our tails off, but after my one transfer in the zone, we still hadn`t reached what we needed to divide the stake. About two months ago, I heard word that they had divided the stake, and that made me so happy. The Lord helps in His work, and He wants it to grow (and fast). When Elder Duncan came, he asked us what our goal was for our area. He challened us to re-see our area as something more, to see each and every ward we work in eventually becoming a stake. And that has become all of our goals. I personally want to help San Pedro Sula get a temple, and i think we`re close. In fact, I think the temple will eventually be placed in this building where I am writing right now (the stake center in el Benque). It was the first LDS church in all of SPS and the first lds church in the entire northern coast. It`s the biggest church I`ve ever seen, and it`s absolutely gorgeous. I wouldn`t be surprised if they just remodel the inside and turn it into a temple. Anywya, rant over. I think that a goal of 100 baptisms is absolutely beautiful. Work hard, and work with those little missionary-folk. They don`t need dinner, they need references. They don`t need a break, they need members to accompany them. Go to work! :)
Elder Holland is always a very powerful speaker. I do believe the most powerful spiritual experience I`ve had in my entire life occurred as he was speaking to us in the MTC. I don`t even doubt it; it was the most incredible experience I`ve ever had. That man carries his mantle of authority and his special witness like an aura around him. 
Ahora, my life. I`ve been promising for a while that I`d send more information, so I`m making good. First off, we have cambios this week. I don`t know if my comp will have changes, but I think one of my house-mates, hna Vance will. I`ll be sad to see her go. She`s great. So so great. 


Also, I`ve suddenly realized this week: I`m fluent in Spanish. I mean, I was fluent before, but now it`s just getting a lot better. I`ve had like 10 people this week ask me where I`m from, thinking that I was from latin america but have Gringo parents. Also, someone asked me if I knew how to speak English. I told them that I know a little. haha. Now, that`s not to say I speak perfectly or that I know every word in existence or even that I`m super great at Spanish. I am just saying, something has changed over in these last few months where I went from being a Gringa leaerning spanish to a bilingual Gringa. Woah. Imaginense. Last November I didn`t speak a word. hahaha. The gift of tongues is AWESOME. When President Teshima set me apart as a missionary, he promised that I would feel a familiarity for Spanish as if it were something I already spoke. It`s coming to pass. I feel like I`ve spoken spanish my whole life. :)


In case you`re wondering, hna Joaquin won in the bean growing contest, but I came in second. What, our non-pet iguana, ate hna Vance`s bean, so she was disqualified. We`ll be eatin beans in a couple of months here. haha

I have decided that I am a menos-activo magnet. O sea, I attract inactive members like nobody`s business. Every single time I do divisions, I find a whole bunch of MAs and the sisters always just look at me like a crazy person because it almost always results from some random and sudden prompting to veer off to the side and talk to someone. When I did divisions in Puerto, hna Tercero was talking to me and i saw a little girl sitting on the steps of a house playhing with a baby. I felt like I should talk to her. They just moved to Cortes from Tela and when they moved, about 2-3 months ago, they just stopped going to church. We found them and they are now reactivating the family, as well as baptizing (I hope) the 2 oldest kids who are still not memvers but have a sudden and unexplained need for God in their lives. Miracle. Also, this last week, I was in divisinos in campana otra vez and every single appointment we`d had had fallen through, so we were walking in the rain, climibing up a mountain to visit the very last person my comp for the day could think of (because literally no one else was home). We climbed up talking to a woman and were asking if we could continue the conversation inside, but then she totally rejected us... after we had climbed the whole mountain with her. So there we were, at the top of a very large hill (mountain) in very cold rain in the dark at 7 at night in an area where this sister doesn`t know ANYBODY. So I said a prayer. I said, Father, you brought us here for someone. Put them in our path and Ipll talk to them. Then I promised that I would talk to the next person I saw. We went to knock on the door of someone the comp thought she knew and we heard a voice saying, theyp`re not home. I turned and saw a little girl and, staying true to my promise, began to talk to her about the church and a bunch of other things. I then asked if we could go to her house and share the message witht he rest of her family. She said yes, so we followed her up a little higher in the mountain. Her family wasn`t home except for one brother and an uncle who was visiting. The uncle came out and said, ^I wondered when you`d show up. ^  I asked him what he meant and he said he had been waiting for someone from the church to come find him, and that he knew it was going to happen in  that week. He is a less-active of lots of years, but recently decided he wanted to return to the church (but didn`t even know where to begin or what to do). We taught him as well as the two young people, who had heard of the church before, but wanted to know more and be baptized. Miracle. 

What`s up. 


Now, the funniest thing that happened in this week. This is a story that Lauren will love, I think. It will be even better when you can see the evidence in person. It actually happened last Monday, but I had already written. I was just leaving the office at almost the end of Pday when an elder from the other mission came bursting in with a letter for Hermana Bailey. We don`t have an hermana Bailey in our mission, but sometimes people who can`t say my name call me hna bailey (ironic, right?), so I took interest. I asked him to see it and recognized the return address (ok, let`s face it, there`s no such thing as a return-address here, but there was a name written where a return address should have been). The letter was for me, so I stuck it under my elbow on the way out to read it while I was walking. My comp looked at the typed page that I pulled out of the envelope and said, ^oooh a love note! He wants to marry you!^ (completely joking obviously). I thought it was strange that it was typed, but this particular man owns a school, so I figured he used a school computer to make life easier. I also thought it was weird that he had included to pictures of himself, but I remembered that he said he was going to visit Las Vegas with his mother and both of the photos has a las vegas backdrop, so I assumed he was just reminding me of my home or something. I began to read. It was very professional. He spoke of his visit to Las Vegas and how he got to go to church there, etc. Then suddenly I read (I`ll paraphrase because the actual letter is in Spanish and is not currently with me): Hey, remember that time you were talking to my mom and my son and I about the temple? Well, I hope you know that, if you don`t have a boyfriend, I would marry you in the Tegucigalpa temple with much pleasure! (says the 45-ish year old divorcee with child). It hit me like a semi and I read it through again to be sure I wasn`t crazy. I wasn`t. He wants to marry me. haha. It`s even funnier if you can see the letter and the fotos, but it was so funny to me because the letter was so serious and then suddenly he was like MARRY ME then he was all serious again. hahaa. The last line of the letter says something to the effect of, If you get excited at the thought and want to marry me, here`s my email. hahahahaha Poor thing. Anyway, I`ll send yàll a copy sometime. 


Aside from that, life is good. It`s crazy. Super crazy. But it`s good. Anyway, love yàll and hope you`re all doing well. 



hna Bayles  

By the way, I forgot to tell you all, but when I left the Primavera ward, I left a bunch of people with only 1 or 2 weeks until their baptismal dates. Jenifer, who I was teaching got baptized, and I believe Wilmer also got baptized. Meylin should be getting baptized any day now (maybe she already did get baptized), and I just got pictures of Sergio`s baptism. He was one of my favorites to teach because he had SO MANY QUESTIONS. That`s the best kind of person, because they stay in the church forever once they`re converted. I`m forwarding the pics of Sergio.  


January 20, 2014

Hi guys. :)


Worldly things first: I would love to live wherever is cheap, fun, and has good roommates and lots of date-able men. hahaha. Also, my mission president already took care of my ecclesiastical endorsement, so that´s no prob. If I were to live in one of sheri´s apartments, it would be applewood, but I think a house or an awesome apartment somewhere else would be good too. Whatever is fine. The only bad thing about applewood is that the boys (and girls) are all like sophomores or juniors. I was thinking more junior-senior range. All I can say is: Let the Holy Spirit guide (and please remember that my bank account could easily compared to a starving street-walker in Honduras...).


Anyway. Glad that´s over. Whew. Anyway. Sounds like things are going good in the world of.. the world. Things are going well here. The most exciting thing thats happened lately is that I´m having to give a sister the rabies vaccine. It´s pretty intense stuff. The other very exciting thing that´s going on is that my housemates and I are having a bean growing competition. We´re going to see who is the best frijoler-er. Pretty sweet. My bean is named Charly. Also, the winner of the best bean plant gets brownies and ice cream. Woot.


Welp, I think I´ll have to log out now, it´s super hard to focus in the office right now... they´re talking deep doctrine. Better go put out some blasphemy fires. haha


Love you all a lot!


Hna Bayles

January 27, 2014

Hiýa Family,

Sorry my letter was so short last week. I just spend so much time in the mission fixing other people´s lives that I normally don´t have too much to tell about my own life, and for matters of confidentiality, I can´t really share a lot about what I DO do. haha. Between HIPAA and peoplé s confidence, I´m kind of stuck in a hard place.

Cool things that happened this week:

A couple of sisters had trouble with a baptism this week. They didn´t feel sure and because of that their investigators didn´t feel sure. They called me to ask for advice and two days later they had a baptism. haha Lesson of the week: fear and doubt do not come from God (unless of course you´re about to do something dumb).

Also, we had a baptism. Her name is Angie. She´s really great. We´ve been reactivating her family, and we finally got there, so we finally baptized her. That´s the good stuff. Also we should be having three more in the next 3 weeks. We´ll see how that turns out.

We did divisions twice this week and we also had a mission conference with Elder Suarez of the presidnecy of the 70 for this part of the world, so that was awesome. He basically machete´d us all, but it was great. The only baad thing is that between divisions, doctors visits, calls, farmacy runs, and the conference, it didn´t feel like a very productive week.

My bean plant grew.

We have a kitten who lives on our balcony. I named him Bernard. My companion hates him and gets mad when I talk to him hahahahahaha.

Today I saw What (our pet iguana) go running across the neighbor´s rusting tin roof. He´s prettu much the coolest giant iguana I´ve ever met. He likes to nod his head.


Eileen, thanks for sharing the coming unto Christ bit. I´m going to study the scriptures in my personal study (maybe someday I´ll actually get to have my personal study... people always call me with sickness or emergencies during my personal study. It´s really quite bothersome. I don´t know why they don´t call during lunch or something. What punks. haha)

Pops, I still haven´t gotten another package or anything... I think some lil´ HOnduran is loving whatever you sent me. Your transfers sound very different. We have a giant meeting with everyone who has transfers and all of the transfers are announced in one fell swoop, then you say goodbye to your old comp and go sit with your new comp. It´s mayhem, but I assume it´s for segurity. I don´t think it would be the best of ideas to have missionaries traveling alone here, or to have missionaries waiting around alone in the house.

I´m trying as much a I can to study and have an amazingly spiritual experience, but as I mentioned to Eileen, I hardly get personal study. I try to do it at night when I get home if I can´t in the morning, but people call me then, too, so I do it in waiting rooms, at lunch, in buses, etc. It´s a bummer, but sometimes the Lord needs us to take care of administrative things more than He needs us to Chug from the Spiritual Jug.

Mom, life is crazy. Very very crazy. Those two talks are great. I actually shared come join with us in a lesson yesterday. That was pretty cool. A house is fine. With or without roommate is fine. I´m down for whatever ward, and I think Greg´s cool, so that´s all good. Life sounds busy but Good. I´m jealous you get to hear Elder Holland. He´s like my favorite. He´s so direct. I´ve had to be a little direct this week. I really don´t like cutting people down, but sometimes you gotta do it to help them grow. Enoch. I like it. :)


Aside from that, I´m just doing my thing. I´m beginning to understand why the mission is only 18 months. I absolutely love it, but with how much I have to do each day, I´m beginning to get tired. That´s not to say I´m baggy (trunky?), it´s just to say I´m beginning to feel my age, as it were. If I could stay in the mission forever, I´d do it, but i think the Lord knows that at about 19 months, I´d crash and burn, so instead of seeing that tragedy, He just decided to pat my head and send me on my way. Sometimes when you give so much of yourself for so long, you begin to wonder what more you can give and where it will come from. Then you remember that God is in this work, and everything turns out alright. Anyway, love you all. Take care.



Hna Bayles