Wednesday, March 12, 2014

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.  


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