No worries, I missed the eclipse too. hahahaha. Sorry you`ve been all sick, though. I was sick for a while here, so I know what a bummer it is to have to stay home. It sure is nice to hit the ground running again, though.
That`s so sad about the little duck that hit the light post. We didn`t find any ducks this week (oh, wait, yes we did... we found a weird honduran variety called pichiches) but we found a nice little monkey that was so thirsty that he pretty much attacked us for our water. I got a great picture of him with his little angry face. haha. I gave him water and a snackypoo. I think he loved it. His name is Pancho. :)
Easter. It seems like such a weird holiday to me. Here it has nothing to do with candy, nothing to do with eggs, and everything to do with Jesus, as it should be. In fact, it`s a week long event in which everybody goes to the beach up until good friday, then on good friday, they all sit around watching Jesus movies and movies like the 10 commandments. Then they all eat this delicious french toast that is all soggy because instead of putting the syrup on top, the bread is cooked in the syrup and they eat squash in syrup. Then they all get drunk Saturday and go to church sunday. :) Friday they also do reenactments of the Atonement, which is kind of cool and also kind of uncomfortable, then Sunday they burn a doll of Judas to show him that even though he betrayed Christ, Christ was resurrected and was thus not conquered. They fill a life-sized doll with hay and fireworks then they light a match and run like crazy. hahahaha. They`re so crazy. I just love them.
Greg`s graduating. Wow. That`s so weird. But awesome. Also, you better keep that pool clean, cause this week has been such a temptation... everyone has either been at the beach or swimming. Sometimes mission rules are a big test of obedience. hahaha Especially when there`s NO ONE around because they`re all at the beach and there`s nothing better to do than swim. Turns out there is something better to do, and it`s walk around empty streets looking for someone to teach. :)
I`m glad housing is all set. I have to be honest, I really don`t care where i live. It makes me so embarrassed and sad to think of my future apartment. I look at some of the homes I visit here and I am just so humbled by the thought that I will live in such a nice place. This week we visited a lot of people who live in very humble circumstances because they were the only ones who didn`t leave to swim or party (they didn`t have money to do any of that) and it`s been a good reminder of what Semana Santa really means and the really important things in life. We were in the Bordo teaching Pascual and he seemed so distracted and sad, so I asked him what was wrong. He told us (after lots of bashful trying-to-change-the-subject) that he didn`t think he was going to go to church because he was embarrassed of his shoes. He said they were too worn out and too ugly and he just didn`t have money to buy new shoes and it embarrassed him to show up to the house of the Lord like that. I shared the scripture in 1 Samuel 16 about how God doesn`t judge us for our outsides, but He judges our hearts. Then I showed him the holes in my shoes and the hole in the shoulder of my shirt and I asked him if he thought I could go into the church. He said of course, that I was more worthy somehow, even with holes in my clothes. I told him that that was not the case, that we are all worthy to go to church, no matter the state of our clothing. I then told him of a cute little sister in Olanchito who walked barefoot for 45 minutes over thorns, sharp rocks, pointed gravel, and finally burning pavement to arrive in church and swing her dusty feet from the edge of the pew as she sat and wept with the joy of being in church. I explained to him that God takes us as we are, broken, torn, dirty, worn out, and that to Him it doesn`t matter where we come from or what we`re wearing as long as our hearts are set on Him. He just looked at me with wonder as he began to realize the true nature of God`s love.
Later in the week we went to visit Lucia, who is such a sweet and wonderful person. Every time we had gone to her apartment, we had always taught outside, so we didn`t actually know what the apartment looks like, but in this week, we entered in 2 of the other apartments there and quickly found that they are small one-room apartments with a sink and a toilet and a pipe for a shower. We didn`t think much of it until we remembered that she lives in that tiny apartment with her husband, three grown up daughters, their children, and her own still-growing children. I believe there are 9 of them in total. Then I saw a picture of the home I grew up in, and I was suddenly very humbled and very embarrassed.
I think of going home and I just can`t even imagine the shock it will be. I just want to stay here forever to live among the beautiful and sincere people of Honduras.
I hope you and Ellie had a great Easter and that you did something fun. I personally hid myself an easter egg with a dinosaur toy and tatoo inside. I was very surprised to find it. haha. Here the only thing they do with eggs on easter is smash them over your head. haha. But that`s something they do at any celebration. They cut the egg out of the shell then fill it with confetti and seal it up. Then they paint it, and when you`re least expecting it, they smash it on your head and you get all covered with confetti. :) Nobody really know why. haha. In El Salvador, they do it for every birthday. haha. I love Latinos.
p.s. speaking of birthdays... I`ll smash an egg on someone`s head for you this Friday. ;) I hope you have a great day!
This week I saw baby dogs, cats, monkeys, iguanas, snakes (that one was actually dead, as was the iguana), a bunny, birds, and fish. Not to mention a crab.
As far as the place I went last week... well. It was incredible, but it was very different than I thought it would be. It was very scary. you`ll see in the pictures, but we`ll have to wait to talk more about it later. Maybe after the mish we can post it all on ma blog. I`ll just leave it at this: this particular place was inhabited by Moroni`s final enemies and it is very clear that they were as he described them in his final flight.
I haven`t received any packages, but I`ll keep an eye out.
Noah is 3! Holy cow! I just feel like I can`t handle thinking about him being all big. As far as my arrival home, I`m not aware of the actual date, although I believe it will be the 11 12 or 13 of June. Probably the 12. But we don`t speak of such things. Why wasn`t I called as an elder to be able to serve 6 more months?!
Everything`s good here, just working in the obra and in all that hot hot heat. I just wish you could feel what it`s like. I just don`t think it`s possible to understand HOW HOT it is. I mean, I`m used to it now and it still just kills us. I drink between 3 and 5 liters of water a day (not to mention all of the water the members give us... and the other drinks they give us). The incredible thing is that I`m still always thirsty. If I didn`t see how much we sweat, I`d say it`s a sickness. hahaha. Speaking of drinks, we had a lesson with 2 less-active members this week, one of which was *ahem* not obeying the word of wisdom in that particular moment. He kept speaking to us in English and it was hilarious because he was without inhibition so he kept saying things like, ^I keep tellin my brain...^ which is to say, ^I thought.^ Poor thing. The good thing is, we got him to church for the first time in 15 years. And he loved it. Baby steps are what missionary work is all about. :)
Tell Bill and Gail I say Hey and that I love them. I`ve actually been thinking about them a lot this week. I don`t even know why. They`ve just been on my mind without stop. Tell them I hope they`re doin alright and that I hope they have a great week.
Other than that, things are crazy as usual. We`ve got a ton of medical problems right now, but we`re working it all out. We`re also going to be divisions 3 times this week because a week from wednesday is our change meeting. I`ll be entering my last change, and i have to say, it`s more bitter than sweet. I never understood very well the scripture that talks about he who loses his life will find it, but in these last 16 months, I have completely lost the person I was, and the person I am, in the work of the Lord, and in doing so, I am finding what it really means to live. I just can`t even explain to you all how happy I am. I have never ever ever been so very happy in my whole life. And the amazing thing is, lately we`ve had A LOT of trials. It just goes to show me that happiness has very little to do with our circumstances and very much with how we CHOOSE to act. We can choose happiness. And I`m choosing it a lot lately. My joy is full.
For anyone who is wondering, my name is Sister Bayles. I am a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and I am inviting you to come and see what true happiness is all about. Come unto Christ, all ye that are heavy laden, and He will give you rest. He suffered not only for our sins, but for our afflictions, our sadness, our sickness, our weaknesses, our temptations. He suffered so that we need not suffer, and He lives so that we too may live. If you are already a member of the church, I invite you to share your happiness with others. If you are getting to know the church, I invite you to take the next step on the path to happiness, to form a closer and more real relationship with your loving Heavenly Father. And if you have never heard of the Church, or even if you have heard of it but have never wanted to go, I invite you to come and join with us. You will never regret it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church of Jesus Christ in the earth, and it is through that true church that we can obtain true happiness, both in life and in death. It is ONLY through this true church that we can be baptized in a baptism that is valid in God`s eyes, and it is only through continuing on the path of discipleship that follows baptism in Christ`s true church that we can obtain the promise of being with our families forever, even when death separates us for a brief moment. Come unto Christ and find truth that will set you free. I testify that God is our Father and that He loves us, and that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to come and show us the way. His way begins and continues with the promises and covenants we can make through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. If you want to find out more, or if you want to remind yourself of truths once forgotten, go to Mormon.org.
I love you all immensely. Sorry I can`t spell in English anymore. You`re all just lucky I can remember enough English to write a letter. haha. Take care.