Thursday, July 10, 2014




I' m bawling those hideous sobs. Luckily they are blasting Latino music in here so nobody can hear. Finally after this email from you mom and dad I feel just peace. I am glad that I am not the only one who feels like that.  I  was doubting it. If my momma feels the same way, it must be right.
Let' s go get pedicures and talk forever because my feet look nasty after all this.

I love you. Litterally, this email is everything to me.

On Sun, Jul 6, 2014 at 9:50 PM, Jennifer Saylin <> wrote:

Dearest Kate,

You have been on my mind constantly this past week.  First of all, you are wonderful.  I love you. I am amazed with your strength, faith, and courage in the Lord.  You are truly an Esther who, despite adversity and challenge, trusted Him.  He knows you and I know smiles upon you today.  This has been an incredible journey, and you will hear the words, "Well done!" I am sorry you have been through all of this.  However, you are glorious.

I had an experience  two days ago I would like to share with you.  I don't know if I can adequately express it, but I will try.  In my prayers for you, amidst tears and worry for you, our kind Father—your Father and mine--spoke clearly to my soul this thought. "My daughter, Kate shines brighter and I need her light somewhere else."  I was surprised—I knew this, but it was quite something to hear it and feel it from Him! Then He said, "Don't worry, this is My plan and the sun shines brightly for her."  Both thoughts and sentences were about light, did you notice?  Light—you are light!  While He created light, and it is His to distribute, you are one of His great ones and your light shone so well in Honduras! Now your light will return to continue to bless us and many others.  I am so proud of you. So is our God. 

I am sorry you have been struggling so much.  You must have forgotten you were a Saylin because you didn't complain in the true Saylin way in your emails!!!!!  We thought when we didn't hear anything last week about the MRI results that all was ok.  It seemed to happen so fast, but that is ok.  The Lord created the earth in six days!  Now that is fast! He has a plan and we a thrilled to share in your life.  I know the Savior will be on the plane with you……….well done, my sweet Hermana.  I am sure you are full of many emotions.  While I am sure you may wish this wasn't your journey, we can't wait to have you back home again.  Thursday night will be a sweet night. :)

We look forward to loving you, pampering you, and taking care of your knee.  Things will come together for you, no doubt, with school or  everything else the Lord has in store.  I can't wait to see His hand reveal it to you.  It will be so good.

I must also say, that I was sad that my email last week never sent.  We were at the beach house and  I didn't notice it didn't send.  The internet was hit and miss.  Sorry.  I don't think I will resend it. :)  I just wanted to let you know that I wrote you and I have been praying for your knee and your missionary service.  Constantly.

We look forward to Thursday.  Isn't it nice to know, you will always be in the right place at the right time when the Lord is at the helm.  Now that is peace.

Can't wait to talk to you for hours about all of your experiences there.  Your testimony is a shining testament to us all.  President Klein said the sweetest things about you.  You are greatly loved.

I love you, forever. See you soon and enjoy your last few days with the people of Honduras.

Okay, now for the GOOD STUFF......

THE FAMILIA ATUNEZ ROCKS! We had the coolest lesson with their family yesterday. We have been praying to be able to have a lesson with the dad because he is never there. We have only had two lessons with him. We want to baptize them as a family.  Sarah (the Mom) doesn't want to get baptized or accept a date until her husband is in on it, too. Today we showed up and the WHOLE family sat around and they were all so interested. The Dad (Shem) was totally totally drunk, though. I mean he just REAKED. The kids were all so different around him. Sarah appologized for not coming to church that morning because  she can't leave him alone when he is drunk like that. However, I never thought it was possible to have the spirit when you've got a drunk guy there but he actually asked a lot of really great questions. We are praying that he woke up today and could remember all that we said. We taught the most powerful lesson about baptism. They were ALL ears. We taught about how the gospel makes it possible so that we can live with our families forever. They were amazed that we don't get paid to be here but that we are actually paying to be here. I love this family with all my heart!!!! Juana, who is ten, always says The Book of Mormon is SO TRUE! They all accepted a date to be baptized for August 16th. We made sure to leave a Word of Wisdom pamphlet with them. Shem can't read so Sarah will have to read it to him. Shem just broke down mid lesson saying that he is an acoholic and all he wants to do is change.  :O   Bueno, we have a way that you can do that. I asked him if he believed in Christ and if he believed that Christ could help him change. He said with all his heart he did. He said, "Christ can change me and I'm going to let him."  So they still have to get married, stop drinking coffee, he has to quit smoking and drinking, but the blessings of eternity are well worth the hard work. They want to be an eternal family!!!!! EEEEEEKKKKKK!!!!!!!! I have decided that I am flying here for their baptism. HAHA. I wish.

Oh man. The branch here is definitely nothing like Utah. The past four weeks they have just given up on third hour and had a class called "Everyone Get Together" and "We Are Going To Talk About How We Are Going To Pay For The Temple Trip" and "Who Owes What Money."  All the new converts just leave and all the investigators leave.  THIS IS NOT OKAY. We need Elder Holland to show up unexpectedly :) They will grow, this I know!

In church we sang the song that says "Hermanos adios, pues, adios"  and it also talks about seeing each other Mas Alla. I almost bawled in the middle of sacrament meeting. I barely could keep it together. I had to stop paying attention to the words. I am so sad. This is so hard. No use in lying but I do have faith in God's will. This is all going to work out.

Oh my goodness..... the FOURTH OF JULY. That was so different. First we woke up and sang I am proud to be an American with Hermana Bennett  banging with pots and pans. We shouted AMERICA and then we called Elder Adamson and did the same.  He told us that He was really sick. Pobresito. Honduras, why do you make all the gringos sick?? Seriously, every gringo in our district has been sick this week.

We were teaching these recent converts and they live right next door to a cow slaughter house. So I watched a cow die. It was brutal. It was a little bit different from the usual fireworks on the fourth of July. Wait 'til you see the pics....

I got to go see La Ceiba this week. That was awesome. The people are so easy to understand there. haahha.

Saying goodbye to these people makes me want to cry. I love these people. Edith cried saying goodbye and Ezekiel Cruz came and shook my hand after church on Sunday and they got all emotional thanking me for the work I have done in Mezapa and for helping to change the branch. I'm like...stop i am going to cry.

President told me that God is training me to be a really great mission president's wife one day because of everything that's going on in my life. I DIED.  That's  one of my biggest dreams!

Hermana Orgill just got a call saying that she is training next transfer! I'm so excited for her!

Well team.. I will sure see you this Thursday. LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH. Get ready for me to talk all y'alls ears off about this wonderful place.

Hermana Saylin

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hi!  I am in the heart of the murder capital of the world so I have to write quickly and get out of here before it even starts getting dark!

The power went out in practically all of Honduras this week for almost 24 hours. That night was the worst night sleep of my life. I spent the whole night awake, drenched in crazy amounts of sweat, and praying to Heavenly Father to turn the power on so my fan would work. I even exercised my faith by plugging in my fan and turning it to the on position to see if it would work, but no luck. :) We spent the next day (Sunday) in church with no fans, no light, and no microphone. It was a blast. When there aren't lights, however,  no one wants to do anything. It's an excuse not to go to church or even pray.

This sweet lady from the ward got up and gave a 45 minute talk. Ezekiel Cruz, who is about 55 years old, just marched up to the front and stuck his watch in her face to let her know she was talking too long. These things don't happen in Utah wards. haha

Can you send me a family picture please?? Everyone wants to see my family pictures. I can't believe it's almost been 5 years since we jumped on that plane to the best 3 years of our lives in Houston! That's coming up this week. 5 years!!!

The power went out 4 times this week. Since all it ever does is rain, the water we have is a beautiful brown color. Bucket showering with dirty water sounds refreshing, huh?

I just want everyone to know that I made tortillas with Jehovah's Witnesses this week.

The Bautista kids were sick this week and the Elders came over to give them blessings. Before they blessed this kids they explained that blessings only work when we have faith. They turned to Hermana Bautista and said, "Do you have faith that this blessing can heal your children?" She took a minute to think and she just looked up at him and said,  "I have faith." It was so incredibly powerful. It made me think of the story in the Bible when Jesus is about to heal the man's  child. Christ says, "Do you have faith?" The father says,  "Oh, I believe. Help thou my unbelief." The Savior then heals the boy. God can work miracles through our little amounts of faith.

Hermana Bautista gave her first talk in church this week!  Hermano Bautista passed the sacrament for the first time! These are the moments where all the hard work pays off. It is wonderful to see people come unto Christ.

We were heading out to our Noche De Hogar that we were having at the Bautista home with our new investigators-- the familia Atunez. Then people in the streets started yelling,  "Se Fue La Luz!" Or basically "the power is out." We were so disappointed. We aren't allowed to be out in the dark if there isn't power. We decided we go to the Atunez house to tell them that we had to cancel and then go to the Bautistas to say we had to cancel. When we got to the familia Atunez house the lights just turned back on and they weren't even there. We then went to the Bautista home and the Atunez family was there without us even going to their house to walk with them. You have to understand that when the lights go out nobody leaves their house because it's dangerous.  The Atunez family just went without us even picking them up and without lights! We couldn't believe it! They are feeling the joy of the gospel. They are a pilas family. We are so excited.

Also,  i'ts too expensive for people to get married here!  We have been praying for a miracle because there are so many families that can't get baptized because they don't have money to get married. They just live together. Well, Honduras just announced that they are giving FREE MARRIAGES for the entire month of August.  Miracles.

Hermana Dispain is a sister that is serving here and her little brother just got his call to El Salvador!! I think that's so cool and can't wait for the day when i hear that Scott is going to Honduras San Pedro Sula West hahaha. No but seriously. I'm so excited.

In some ways i feel like it was just two weeks ago that i was choking on my tears singing called to serve in Spanish for the first time in the MTC. I've come so far since then. I have climbed a lot of hard mountains, and I am still climbing a steep one with this knee, but honestly I am thanking God for each and every day and for the lessons of the woman I'm becoming. I am grateful for the patience I am painfully earning. I  love  these people. The more I am learning to appreciate a man down on His knees in agony about 2014 years ago, the more I have come to appreciate so deeply that for a moment He suffered there for me. He is my amigo fiel. Now, when I walk these streets and feel frustrated, I know only a portion of how He felt. He gave 24 hours a day of his entire life and then He atoned for the very person who nailed his hands into a piece of wood. Now that's love. That is patience. I owe Him all I have because He has saved me. No matter how much I give it will never add up because He just keeps on blessing me. He keeps on changing me into someone a little better fit for His Kingdom.

Well I love you guys so much and I am praying for you!
Hermana Saylin
This man just came up to me and he said, " The Oooh, Essay, Ah is playing right now."  I thought, "What is the Oooh, Essay, Ah?" Then I realized that's how you say USA in Spanish. Normally people just say Los Estados so I  was a little confused for a second.  EL MUNDIAL HAS STARTED. President just emailed us and told us that we could watch the games. When my companion read it to me and i was was so excited!  PUEDO CREER LO. We are so excited. The world of Honduras can't focus on anything else so the work is slow right now. What a fun place to be with the World Cup going on, though. Honduras lost on Sunday but we weren't allowed to leave the apartment while they were playing. I guess they get pretty into it and it can be dangerous. The fireworks are constant here lately because every goal anyone scores the people light off fireworks. Super fun. It is also terrifying because sometimes it sounds like gunshots. The fireworks are different here.

We found the best family ever. All we have done this week is pray for someone who can progress and we decided to just walk and walk and walk to this part of our area that we have never been to. We were about to turn around because there was nothing out there when we spotted this little hut on a ton of gorgeous land. We walked up to it and this family of 6 was sitting outside enjoying each other's company. We asked if we could visit and they let us in. We taught a little and they said they want to go to church! They just showed up to church yesterday! We didn't even have to invite twice. They went to our Noche de Hermanamiento, too. They are SUPER PILAS. We are so excited. The two oldest kids and the dad can't read, but the 10 year old and the mom can read so they have been reading the Book of Mormon out loud to the family. They are coming to a family home evening with us tonight. We are thrilled to have such a cute family and praying they stay as committed as they have been! 

It hasn't stopped raining all week which sounds fun, but actually it is hard to be wet all the time. It rains so hard that our umbrellas leak. The streets don't have gutters  so the streets are actually rushing rivers. It's about knee high. That sounds like it would be really pretty,  authentic, and awesome but it's the nastiest trash water with animal gunk in it. When it rains we don't have power or water so we just feel dirty all the time. Good thing I learned from my momma to laugh it off. We have actually come to love these adventures. I am grateful that God has given me these crazy adventures. I love adventures SO MUCH!

We had a Ron Ron in our apartment when the lights where out and it was the nastiest and scariest thing ever.  Hermana O didn't help me kill it. I just had to be brave enough and it was nasty. It was the size of my face.

We also had a very large terranchula in our house this week. I am not scared of spiders but...ewww90.

Hermana Orgill's unfortunate moment of the week: She bought a suitcase for 650 Limps and we were walking back to the bus through all the city and the wheels fell off. She dragged her suitcase without wheels all the way to Mezapa and the Elders and I were laughing so hard. She did not think it was funny. Pobresita. Worst luck ever.

We found the best family ever. All we have done this week is pray for someone who can progress and we decided to just walk and walk and walk to this part of our area that we have never been to. We were about to turn around because there was nothing out there when we spotted this little hut on a ton of gorgeous land. We walked up to it and this family of 6 was sitting outside enjoying each other's company. We asked if we could visit and they let us in. We taught a little and they said they want to go to church! They attended  church yesterday! We didn't even have to invite twice. They went to our Noche de Hermanamiento, too. They are SUPER PILAS. We are so excited. The two oldest kids and the dad can't read, but the 10 year old and the mom can read so they have been reading the Book of Mormon out loud to the family. They are coming to a family home evening with us tonight. We are thrilled to have such a cute family and praying they feel the Spirit testifying the gospel is true.

Family Atunez--please keep them in your prayers. They need to get married before they can be baptized and they have basically no money to do that so that will be a challenge. Sometimes I just want to pay for it! It's literally only like 50 American dollars to get married.It breaks my heart.

I love all of you and you are all in my prayers! Loves and kisses!

Hermana Saylin

Monday, June 9, 2014

The world cup is  this week and the whole entire world of Honduras could not be more excited. I have been wanting to buy a Honduras soccer jersey and they can be cheap (well compared to America). I was going to buy one today. When Hermana O was getting her hair cut by Hermana Bautista I was asking Hermano Bautista where I should buy one and where they have the cutest and cheapest ones. She then told me to look at the ones they have! Then they made me try on the ones that they had and then they just told me it was a gift from them to me! They gave me a super cool jersey for free! These people would literally give you everything they had. They have nothing but they give everything. That taught me a huge lesson today. Anyway, this jersey rocks and I'm excited about it.

Okay,  talk about the worst week ever.  It was painful. Okay, I'll start with my Luis story. Luis is 32 and he was the most solid investigator ever. He was even telling our investigators that they needed to join the church cause it was true. He was so upset with Maria for not getting baptized when she was supposed to get baptized. He was golden. He was going to be baptized this past Saturday. Then Thursday came around and he said he couldn't be baptized because he was moving to San Pedro Sula. And Hermana O and I just sat there with our mouths gaping open.  He got a job in San Pedro Sula and was leaving Monday. We told him he could still be baptized before he leaves!!!! There are no such thing as adresses so we were worried about finding him in his new home. However, he said he really liked the branch in Mezapa and didn't want to go to a new church in San Pedro Sula.

 We tried to explain that the church is the same anywhere you go. After a few minutes of talking we asked him to say a prayer and ask God what He wants him to do. When he said amen and looked right up at us , he said, "Elder Vargas is going to baptize me right? I'm going to be baptized Saturday at 3." I think my smile SPLIT my face right open. Then we had to get permission for him be baptized if he wasn't going to be there the next Sunday (a week and a day after the day of his baptism.) So after a painful wait of 3 hours our DL called our ZLs who called the APs who called President.

It was a MIRACLE and they said he could get baptized. The next day we went to pick up Luis for his interview with Elder Vargas and he was gone. His mom shewed us away and we were DEVASTATED. We searched literally all of Mezapa and he was gone. Luckily, he was only in Progresso for the day and hadn't moved to San Pedro Sula. The next morning after seriously praying our heart out for 24 hours for a miracle, I KNEW that the will of God was for him to get baptized that day. Why else would He have opened every single door for Luis to get baptized? He even made it so that Luis didn't have to move until Monday! This was the day of his baptism and we were going to find him. With a serious prayer for a miracle in our hearts, we walked to Luis' house. He was there!!! I said a huge prayer of thanks in my heart for that. Then we sat and had a 2 hour lesson where he answered all the baptism questions perfectly and with a testimony at the end of each question he answered. However, he just kept saying that he needed to know more and that he wanted two more weeks. I read that scripture about choosing this day whom ye will serve...God or the world? Hermana O read one about not procrastinating the day of your repentance. Literally everything we were saying were words fully influenced by the spirit. We literally did everything we could for him. He knew he needed to get baptized Saturday. He KNEW it, but he didn't do it. I am sad that he chose to go this way but there is one thing I know for sure. God can open every door for someone. He can make anything possible, but He cannot take away someones agency. Neither can we. I am just glad to say that I did everything I could for him.

I think it was his mom that said something because when we were she asked him if he had told us that he could be baptized. the sisters that you cant be baptized? It was a hard week. Maria has a lot of doubts too. We watched the testaments with her the night that everything happened with Luis. Do you know how the end is really powerful?? Well, she talked to her daughter throught the entire end.  Too bad. We just need to find new, prepared people.

Last p- day we went to Pizza Hut and it felt like America. It was seriously  fine dining to us. Well...the fine dining went seriously foul when our whole entire district had the runs the next day. That got some pretty good laughs...

I got a letter from Elder Gerrard!!!! Made my whole day. week. mission.

So now for  Hermana Orgill's unfortunate moments of the week. There are always so many. We were on the bus to Progresso with 658 people per seat. Hermana O was hanging off the side of the seat and there were tons of people in the isles. This man with a button up shirt and a chubby belly slid past her and her hair got stuck in his button of his belly! Suddenly she was being awkwardly dragged all the way through a million people down this bus isle. I was laughing so hard that I could barely get my hands to stop shaking  to untangle them. SO FUNNY.

Also, one day we were walking down the street full of dirt and wayward rocks.  Hna Bennett kicked a rock and it nailed the ankle of Hna O. Her face was all scrunched up and she was about to cry. I'm sure that KILLED. The elders couldn't keep it together. Then two minutes later Hna Olivas lost her hold on her water bottle and it nailed the back of Hna O. It soaked her shirt and I am sure that killed as well. Two minutes after that Hna Bennett lost her hold on her umbrella and it nailed Hna O's foot. She has bad luck I think!

Yesterday we were walking to church after finding out Luis moved a day early and couldn't come to church. We walked past a house where they were killing the Sunday pig!  The pig was squealing and crying, and the big huge momma chanco was crying, too. This boy dragged the pig by its' back legs back behind the house and it was so loud! It was also so sad!  Then the squealing just suddenly stopped, and Hermana O and I were traumatized. That was a great start to a Sabbath morning.

This week we were teaching the Bautista family about The Book of Mormon and Hermana Bautista said, "Wait, so that means that the people who are from Honduras, Guatamala, and Nicaragua are literally descendents of the people of Lehi?"  They literally thought that was the coolest thing ever. The Book of Mormon could not be truer. It's real you guys. It's the truth. It speaks to people's souls. This book has blessed the lives of the Bautista family and it WILL bless anyone's life who gives it a chance and asks God with real intent if it is true.This book can touch your soul if you let it. I watched it touch their hearts this week. It was awesome.

Even though this week was hard, we had divine help to make it through. I know without one ounce of doubt that this church is true. It's real. There is no other church on the planet that is the church of God. There are many good churches.  However, this church has the complete truth and the priesthood of God. Can I just be boldly honest and say that? It's real. The Book of Mormon is actually the word of God and contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ died for us. He loves us. He is the perfect example of kindness and love.  When He had the world to save, He had a world of time to stop and hold a little child. I want to live my life in a way that when I kneel at His feet He will have no problem recognizing me as one of His own. I want to spend every day becoming a little more like Him. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. The Book of Mormon has a converting power and through that book anyone can know the church is the truth. President Monson is a prophet. Joseph Smith was the prophet of the restoration. I know it with my whole soul.

Love you all!
Hermana Saylin

I can NOT believe I opened my call a year ago, June 5th. How can that possibly be??

Okay, I'm just really excited about this one investigator Lester so I am going to talk about him first. He is in Honduras because he is originally from here, but he's lived in the States for more than half of his life. Now he is around 29 years old. Anyway, his wife and two little boys are living in Sunnyside HOUSTON right now. However, he got kicked out of the States because he is illegal. We found him because he started speaking perfect English to us two white girls. He is the cousin of one of the members. Anyway, here is my plan. He is planning on going back to the States in about a month. So... 1.)  teach Lester  2.) baptize Lester 3.) send Lester back to the Texas Houston South Mission 4.) have the THSM missionaries teach his wife 5.) have them sealed in the Houston temple where my two missions can be joined forever and ever!!!!

I realize this is a dream that is going to take a miracle and also is a very much a Kate Saylin designed plan, but it would be awesome. I am sure the Lord's plan is just like this one don't you think?? We tried to have him read this verse in El Libro de Mormon and he said he couldnt really understand it.  He then  asked if we could teach him in English instead and if we had this book in English. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES that we are the only white companionship in the whole mission and we just happened to find one random guy that needs the lessons in English? God's hand is definitely in His work.

Okay, Eric Bautista was wearing an Eaglwood Golfcourse shirt this week. I told you they get all their clothes from the States. I was really excited.

Our companionship is now in constant Spanglish. Hermana O is worse than I am but we have had some pretty good laughs. We started this conversation once in English and ended it in Spanish.We are loving that both of us are bilingual. Super cool. We always speak Spanish when we are out of the house and we get the WIERDEST looks from people because they can't figure out why we aren't just speaking English. Everyone trys to give us directions because they think we are tourists but we think.... who would go on vacation to Mezapa? Mezapa is our life. We don't need directions. haa.

Henry. So we got this super cute shasta cell phone. We can't talk on it in the middle of the road so we were hiding. I was standing there waiting and this man came out of his house and asked me if I had something he could read. I thought, "Something you can read? What?"I thought I had misunderstood him because nobody ever just asks you for a pamphlet about your church, but it is true!  He wanted something about our church. I talked to him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then Hermana O got off the phone and Henry asked, "Do you guys have time right now to teach me?" DO WE HAVE TIME TO TEACH YOU???!?!??! So we taught him. He told us he doesn't go to a church because it's his goal to find the right one. I'm pretty sure my jaw was dragging in the dirt. We are going to teach him again this week.  Wonderful blessings!

I have had a wierd, awful stomach pain for the past two weeks. The mission nurse thinks it's H. Pylori. That's exciting.

The branch has saved up their money for a year and now they're all leaving Wednesday morning at 3 AM to take a bus to the temple. They are so excited. Our investigator, Luis, is going with them. He will get baptized this Saturday and we are so excited for him.

One time this week there were these three ladies.  I asked them their names and one said," Maria." Then the next one said,  "Maria," and then the next one said, " Maria!" Ha! That's not the first time that's happened.

Speaking of Maria's...Maria Juaquina didn't get baptized this Saturday because a member told her false information  about the temple and baptisms for the dead. Also 20 years ago the branch president was stealing tithing money and the rumor still circulates around this little town. Basically we took a huge step backwards, but we are working really hard with her. Luis heard the same rumors because he's good friends with Maria but his testimony was strong enough to pull him through, and he's getting baptized this weekend! 

This is funny. Hermana Bautista has a cousin who just built a new house. He had his pastor from this other church come over and bless his house.  H. Bautista was telling us the story of what it was like. Basically the pastor blessed a water bottle, poked holes in the top, and then sprayed the whole house, including the people in it with water. That was a cool story. She was laughing so hard. She thought it was so weird. She's a recent convert and she wondered...does our church do that?

Everyone read D&C 130:2 . It makes me think of hanging out with all of my favorite people in heaven. Actually, it really just reminds me of Scott Pot driving everyone nuts and the boys making everyone laugh up in heaven after this life.

It seems like you all have had an awesome week.... graduations and grandmas funeral. Glad to hear it.

Well, I love you guys! The church is true and I love this great work of salvation.

Hermana Saylin

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Dearest Kate,

It is with all the tenderness of my heart that I tell you that last night at7:36pm Grandma Logie passed away.  Oh Kate, It was the most amazing experience.  I am so absolutely sure of the plan of salvation and life after death.  I am so grateful to know these truths and that you are sharing them so others will understand the purpose of this life and through the Savior, we will live again!

These last few days (Thursday night) hospice came in the middle of the night because she was in so much pain.  They started her on morphine.  Friday morning Mom, Sam, Marva, Kathy, Joann and I came quickly.  She was in her chair in a pink blouse.  We had a wonderful visit with her.  Her eyes were open and she'd participate in the conversation every so often, and she was out of pain. It was quite something to see her as well as she was.  A true blessing……… Hospice had said at this point it could be days to several weeks until she dies.

She hadn't eaten a real meal in many days.  On Friday after Marva left they brought her a little food into her room.  I feel so blessed to have fed her one small bit of sweet potatoes, the last thing she would eat.  She ate it and said she was full.  Sammy finished the rest of the plate!  She, of course, was happy to share it with him….giving and kind to the very end.  It was at this point that Grandma Hilbig and I decided we should plan a family prayer, fast to know the will of the Lord, and plan to give her a blessing.

Saturday she took a turn for the worse.  The girls had ballet auditions so daddy got to her home before I did.  He was there at the perfect time and helped Grandma Logie and the CNA's to move her from her chair to the bed.  I arrived as they were doing this.  It was apparent she would never return to her chair.  I cried and talked to her.  She is so precious to me. She would periodically open her eyes and interact but she said she was in a lot of pain.  Daddy in his wonderful way asked her if she wanted a cheeseburger and she said, "Yes, with lots of pickles!"  She has always had the most wonderful sense of humor and dad and she were perfect in that moment.  I love that about dad.  He said he knew when he left it would be the last time he'd see her alive and that it was such a tender experience to share with her.  Seth was there, too.  It was his birthday and here he was ministering to Grandma.  That boy is so gentle and has the kindest heart.  Sophie and I stayed for quite a while.  Grandma even asked Sophie about her ballet.  As we were leaving, the last thing I said to her was "Grandma, I love you so much." She replied, "Jennifer, I love you and your family so much, too."  wow    That was the last time she spoke to me.  Sophie was so tender and leaned down to kiss her.

Last night at 5pm many of us gathered to be there for a prayer and a blessing.  The room was full of her posterity including Marva, Michael and many of David's side of the family.  David was still in CT and we skyped him and Paul in.  Daddy is in Minnesota and is so sad to have missed it all.  We gathered and sang two of grandma's favorite hymns and then Uncle Clarke gave her a beautiful blessing.  He didn't say that she should go, but he blessed her to know she lived a beautiful life, her family was all surrounding her and loved her, and that we couldn't be more grateful for the way she lived.  She has passed on, but more importantly, she "passed on" so much to each of us.  There could not have been a more wonderful grandma.

Two hours later she passed away.  She didn't open her eyes or communicate at all yesterday and struggled to swallow. The hospice nurse said she could be like this for a few more days.  However, Grandma was told by Jilene at 7:35pm that David was on his way and would be here tomorrow.  It was then that she opened her eyes and everyone thought she was responding to that!  Once she knew that, she took her last breath. I wasn't there, but that is ok.I have no regrets and I feel so blessed to have had so much time with her these past 2 years.  Anyway I was at Scott's seminary graduation last night (I am so proud of him!)  Ally called me right away and I just knew it.  When I was sitting at the graduation Seth was on my right.  He turned to me and said, "Grandma's going."  I had just at that very moment had that very same impression.  It was amazing.

Auna and I quickly left all 11 kids in Scott's care and hurried over to Grandma.  Mom, Todd, Matt, Ally, Auna, Craig, Maren, Clarke, Jilene, Emme and I were there.  We sat for hours until they came to take her body away.   Kate, I wish I could describe to you the spirit that was in that room.  There was such a sense of peace, reverence, and sure knowledge that her spirit left her body but this is not the end.  She lives on and is happy.  I know absolutely that her family was there to greet her and all is well.  I know that through the Savior the sting of death can be taken away and we have the hope in Him that we will live again and be together forever.  None of us wanted to leave.  It was an experience perfectly orchestrated by the Lord.  He is so near.  He knows every one of us.  He was so kind to allow her to pass on with her family gathered around. 

In a minute we are leaving to go to the cemetery.  We didn't have a plot for her so mom was going to look at buying 3 in Farmington.  She then just thought she wouldat least  try to call the Salt Lake Cemetery where her parents and baby sister are buried.  It is an old cemetery.  Do you remember going?  Anyway, we knew chances were that there were no spots, but mom called an hour ago just to see.  There was a family who just recently released 3 of their ten spots and, wouldn't you know, they are right by Grandma and Grandpa Goring!  This is another tender mercy from the Lord.  We are so grateful.  The funeral will be Tuesday.  They do not allow funerals on Memorial Weekend because it is so busy.  This will give everyone time to be there.

I love you, Kate.  I can't wait to hear how your week has been.  It was a treasure to talk with you on Mother's Day and then again on Monday.  I am so proud of who you are and who you are becoming.  You are a blessing to me and I love you.

Love, Mom

I literally can not believe how fast the time is going. How can we already be in the next transfer??!

Okay, I am  SO upset that I never got the email about Grandma dying... It has been almost 10 days since she died and I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW ABOUT IT. When was her funeral?? I am not super sad that she died because she really was ready to go and I know she's probably running around in heaven baking those super yummy cookies. She isn't just sitting around not being able to do much anymore. I am sad that I didn't know about it for this long and couldn't think about her whenever her funeral was! How was it? Were you guys with her when she died? What was it like? Who was there? I want details! She was an amazing woman and I love her so much! I wonder what that moment was like when she got to see Grandpa again. She is probably having a wonderful time preaching the gospel just like I am! Maybe she's even teaching people who have family living in Mezapa, Honduras!

This week we had a Multi Zone Conference! It was really awesome and seriously so many memories from THSM came running back. I miss that mission. It will ALWAYS have a place in my heart. I wear my Texas ring every day here in Honduras and think about the THSM glory days every day. President read the email that Hermana Rosales wrote to him about Maria Juaquinas dream in Zone Confrence! It was so awesome. Everyone was super suprised. We were happy. He also read about 7 other president emails about dreams that investigators have had. These people really do have cool dreams and receive a ton of revelation from these dreams.

Another miracle that happened in our mission is that there was a 9 year old girl who came from a family of 12. She hadn't been baptized but her entire family was inactive. She went looking for the missionaries and told them she wanted to be baptized. She then reactivated her whole family of 12 all in a matter of 2 weeks. Just goes to show you that it doesn't matter how young you are or how insignificant you feel. You can be POWERFUL with the Lord on your side.

I don't know the entire story but an elder in our mission got bit by a monkey. I don't know the whole story but I am pretty sure it's awesome.

This week has been one of SICKNESS in our companionship. Honduras does weird things to your tummy...and also I have heat rash all over my neck and it's super hideous and totally itchy. Cute huh? Hahahh No, but hey we are alive and working hard and loving every minute.

Have you guys gotten a chance to look at Hermana Kleins blog?? Super cute! I think there are pics from Zone Confrence up. ( I think is her blog.)

Oh, this is exciting. I think we have bedbugs because I have millions of bites all over my body. Oh Honduras. I love you.

Sometimes i just want to yell at people. Here we are offering them a BEAUTIFUL ETERNITY and they won't accept it because they want to make tortillas Sunday morning instead of going to church. Seriously I just want to be like "What are you thinking??? When you get to heaven and God says, 'What did you do with your time on earth that was more important than saving your own soul?'  I hope you remembered to make a few tortillas for God so you can just hand Him one in that moment and He can just take a bite and say 'Enter into my Kingdom, your tortillas have saved your soul.'"
 YEAHHH NOOOO.... but seriously their tortillas are amazing. They really could get you through the Pearly Gates of Heaven. Hahah no just kidding. But they are good.

Yesterday we were a little late for church so I was just trying to find a seat really quickly. I scooted past 2 girls, a crying baby, a dog, 3 bags and sat down. Then during the last talk I realized that I probably should have thought it was weird that there was a dog in sacrament meeting, but it took me about 25 minutes to even think twice about it. I think it's safe to say I have adjusted to life in Honduras.

Coolest moment of my week? Maria Juanquina didn't get baptized this week ): We changed the date to the 31st but it's actually a good thing because we found out that Luis isn't a member! The church can't find his records so he gets to be baptized with Maria Juaquina and they are really good friends. Tania, the daughter of Maria Juaquina is 14 and she is going to be baptized as well with them. We are going to have a great baptism this week if all goes as planned! I really have come to love them, with all of my heart!!!  Anyway, the cool thing is that Maria was really doubting if Joseph Smith was a prophet and if she needed to be baptized this upcoming Saturday. We were surprised because she has been so solid ever since we found her, but we decided to have a kneeling prayer with her. We knelt on her dirt floor in her cute little hut and as the rain poured down on her tin roof she humbly asked God if Joseph Smith was a prophet and if she needed to get baptized in His church. After the prayer we all just stayed there kneeling for about 5 minutes in silence. She had these big ol' tears rolling down her cheeks. I'm not kidding...I will never be the same.

This church is real. It holds all the truth and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. All it takes is one prayer with real intent and anyone can know that this church is true.

Basically everyone calls me Hermana Ashcraft because she was the last Gringa in Mezapa for about 7 months .The whole little city of Mezapa knew her. The other day two 5 year old twin girls came running after me yelling Hermana Ashcraft! It turns out their family was taught forever ago but the sisters had dropped them. We went and taught a lesson to their family and we are going back this week. We will see how it goes. Maybe they have changed! Their little girls are seriously SO CUTE. Everyone knows these twins because they have green eyes but they are Honduran. Super pretty.

Maria Juaquina reminds me so much of Grandma Rose. I am so serious. They are about the same height and they are both that super, super sweet spirit that would never say anything bad about anyone. Super loving. Super graceful. I'm not kidding. I love Maria just because she is like my grandma. I put my arm around her the other day and I felt like I was hugging Grandma Rose. I LOVE YOU GRANDMA ROSE!

Maria's mom is dying ): She lives across the street. We brought the Elders over to give her mom a blessing and it was awesome. I put my arm around Maria while we were standing around (because they don't have furniture to sit on) during the blessing. She was sobbing and she just leaned into me and held my hand. I love her!

The Bautista family is awesome. They taught me how to make tortillas this week. Super cool. That's what the pictures are of on dropbox.

Okay, LOVE YOU GUYS. The church is true.
Hermana Saylin

Monday, May 19, 2014

I have literally almost been out as long as I had been out before I had to go home. Where does the time go?? Why can't I be fluent in Spanish already??

I am eating a banana that I just bought for 2 limps up the street. YUM

Today we were at the beach with President and Hermana Klein and our whole zone because we won Zona Celestial this transfer! WOOOHHOOO. Anway, this huge storm blew in and we were DRENCHED. I pulled out some limpieras from my purse and they were soaked. Hermana Odekirk said, "Wow, that's one limp limp!"  It was so funny.

We were on this bus (with the stereotypical 156 people on a bus that's made for 50 people) on our way to this zone meeting with a ton of other missionaries. My companion suddenly just gots off the bus but I really didn't know why she was getting off the bus. When the bus started to drive away  I yelled up to the driver and I said, "No, stop!" So then my companion ran next to the bus and the bus driver slowed down so she just jumped back on. All the missionaries were crying laughing. It was too good.

We had THE COOLEST baptism this week. It was one of the Elder's investigators, but at the baptism there were only missionaries and then the branch pres. and his family. It was pouring rain. We were standing on the edge of the river behind president's house and it was kind of that rainforest mist...all over the river. It is in this canyon with millions of green trees.  Literally was a DREAM. This country is beautiful and that moment when Elder Vargas was standing there with her in this beautiful Honduran river was a moment that I have dreamed of since I was a little girl. How can this be real? I'm literally living a dream.

Okay, we got in the worst water fight two nights ago. So we have our pila, then a ten foot wall, and then the other Hermana's pila. Every once and a while we just chuck a bucket of water over the wall to drench each other. It's always so hot that it's kind of awesome when they get you. This particular night was SO BAD. I was out there with an umbrella on top of the pila and then I dropped the umbrella to fill my bucket. Hermana Olivas dumped an entire bucket all over me. We were all dying laughing for the entire time.

The Spanish is coming along really fast but I still dream of the day when I will be able to say everything I want.
I love this gift of tounges! It's so cool. My offical vote is that Scott is going to the Phillipines. So whenever he submits his papers make sure my vote gets written down.

I miss you guys!

Maria Juanquina is getting baptized Saturday. We are teaching her daughter Tania, too, who will hopefully be baptized soon after. Yesterday at church Tania was there and I was so surprised I had the words to ask Mabel (the branch pres. daughter) to bring Tania to young womens and everything. She was awesome for Tania. Then Tania tried to leave before Sunday School started and I saw her walk out. I chased after and again was surprised that I had the words to ask her to stay and that Mabel had a seat for her. She ended up staying and I literally have the biggest testimony of the gift of tongues.

I see miracles every day. I wish I could write them all. 

Luis is  my favorite person ever. He is probably the only person here in Honduras who hasn't given up on being able to say my name. Every time we teach him he says, "Syyyyylinggg." We practice all  of the time. He rocks. He is 32 but I swear he's 22. He got beat up one time when he was younger and they hit his head a ton. He's lucky to be alive but sometimes he is forgetful. He says he was baptized when he was 10 but we can't find his records so he gets to be baptized again! We love him. He is Maria Juanqinas' neighbor.

Oh, pray for Johanna. She has a date to be baptized but she doesn't want to marry the man she is living with which is understandable because she is 22 and he is 50 something. She doesn't want to leave him though because she loves him....oh, I just don't understand. Praying for miracles!!!

I met a 30 year old lady who was kidnapped when she was 12 in Tegucigalpa and sold on the black market. She lives here in Mezapa still with the man who bought her. I don't think her family knows where she is or what happened to her. She is living with this man and doesn't want to leave. It makes me sick. I am not in America that's for sure. I see kids with cleft lips often and I just want to write them a check for everything I have to help them. There just is no medical care here. Kids have the worst rashes and when you ask what it is they say it's from the heat. I have sat in enough medical classes to know that "ain't no heat rash!!"

I love this work. I love these people. I love everything about missionary work. 

Hermana Saylin

Monday, May 5, 2014

Wow, this week went so fast!  Doesn't it feel like I just sent an email yesterday?

 I fasted for a couple things yesterday but I especially fasted for a miracle that I might be able to understand the Honduran people, and seriously the miracle that I begged for HAPPENED. I am still not perfect but I am understanding so much more. Before, I couldn't understand anything a Honduran person said.

We had the coolest storm this week and the lights went out of course. It was SO HOT for 24 hours straight because we didn't have power for our little fans. We couldn't buy cold water or Topogigos either. It was a super cool storm because it made me think of 3 Nephi 11 when there was 3 days of darkness and the storms. I am actually living where the Book of Mormon was written and I just could imagine what that was like! The lighting was so cool. We had to plan with candles so there are cool pictures from planning in the dark on dropbox.

Sometimes our water turns off while we are taking our bucket showers. This week it turned off when I had soap in my hair....that was a bummer. Ah, Honduras. Why do I love you so much?
When this storm came in, it came in fast. We only ever teach outside because it's too hot and too small to teach inside. Anyway, we were in the poorest part of our area when this storm came in and their tin roof was flapping around. I was like, "Wow, this roof is going to fly off and decapitate me." Then this big gust of wind came and the roof flew off and BARELY missed me. Prayers answered. 

After planning in the dark we just sat and listened to the rain. (There is a video of the sound of the rain.) So here we are... no power, no phone, no lighs...nada. We were laying in bed and we had our window open because it was so dang hot. Hna O moved the curtain and slid the screen over so we wouldn't get eaten alive while we slept. Then I SAW TWO PEOPLE RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR WINDOW staring in and not moving. It was so creepy and I told Hermana O to look, but she just screamed and dropped the curtain so she didn't see. Finally, I got her to open the window and look but they were gone. However, her umbrella had been moved to halfway inside the window instead of outside. I stayed calm and shut the window while the Hnas cuddled together creeped out. Then someone banged on our window in the other room. I got up, locked all the windows, and bolted shut the doors with all the locks, but we couldn't see anything at all. We couldn't call anyone because we didn't have power for our phone either. Then someone banged on the window again. I just said Hola? Nobody answered. Seriously, so creepy. We gathered in our room and offered a prayer. I didn't like that since we had a candle  and they could see into us, but it was so dark outside we couldn't see them. It was this super eerie feeling here in the murder capital of the world. Then someone knocked on the door. I was the only one brave enough to walk over and say Hola? The other hermanas from our district answered back. We opened the door and told them to come in quickly and then they busted up laughing. It was them the whole time. They were just bored because when the power is out we have to come home extra early! hahahha. We had a good laugh about it and sat outside on our porch and watched the rain and talked until it was time to go to bed. TOO FUNNY.

We are teaching the best lady ever. When we were going to teach the Bautista family they ended up not being home. However, the lady that lives right next door to them was outside and we asked if we could share a message. She said yes. She is Catholic. Mas o menos. Anyway, we taught this super awesome restoration lesson and when we taught about the Book Of Mormon she ran into her house and got this super old crumpled copy of the BOM. We were so suprised. The missionaries taught her once a while ago. We think she just wasn't prepared then, but now she SO IS. We can just feel it. The best part is that she's not living with a man. That never happens. That makes this so much easier. She has a teenage daughter. Anyway...she's so prepared. That was Saturday so we invited her to church and she came with the Bautista family and sat by us! We were so happy. Pray for her. Se llama Maria Joquina. She's literally so sweet. She is a lot like Grandma Rose. I love her! 

Someone in the Elders area got a washing machine (no dryer) and all the members were walking over to their house just to look at it! HAHAHA. 

There is this family with 4 kids. The oldest is 16 and the youngest is like 8? Anyway, they got baptized a little bit ago but now they are inactive. We go visit them a lot. They don't have parents. Their dad left forever ago and their mom is living in the states somewhere. They just take care of eachother. Can you even imagine?? They're never home all together. What a life. 

So everyone here has clothes that are used and sent over from the states. They have shirts that say Houston Basketball game 2008 or what not. Super funny. The worst is that they don't know what their shirts say because nobody speaks English so everyone is always asking me to translate it. This girl brought me a deep conditioner bottle and asked me to translate it. haha. So the branch president's wife is the best . She looks exactly like Lucrecia. I love her. Anyway, she was wearing this shirt that was pink with a bow. It said something SUPER inappropriate in English but nobody knows because nobody can understand English. Well, nobody can really even read Spanish let alone English. Hna O and I got a good laugh out of it. It happens a lot around here. We even saw this boy on the bus this week on our way to El Progresso for a meeting that had a mormon boys shirt. So funny.

Okay, at church we have this little branch of about 50 people including the 7 missionaries. The first two hours were awesome. I even got to teach the second hour about prayer. I was so nervous because I can't speak that much Spanish but it kind of rocked and I loved it. During the third hour it was POURING rain so the branch president said we all needed to meet together. Normally YW, RS, and Priesthood meet outside but since it was raining, we all got to meet together inside. 

Alex y Catia are about 18 years old and they are about to have a baby in June. They're adorable but SO YOUNG. We are trying to get them married and baptized before the baby comes, but they won't come to church! Catia says it's too hot for her to sit in church without AC and it's too far to walk because she is SO pregnant. Alex is always working on Sundays. He is afraid to ask for Sundays off because he can't lose his job before the baby comes. I really like them. Alex told us last night that he prayed about the BOM and the church and he knows they're both real and true. We just need to get them to commit to getting married. Catia is more hesitant but she's adorable. Their cousin Miley is a less active and they're always with eachother. It makes it hard because she isn't a very good example to them. I really love them. Their young cousins are about Sophie's age and they always sit in our lessons and go buy us cold coke and stuff. They won't come to church because Miley and Catia and Alex won't...UGGHHH. We fasted for them last Sunday though so hopefully things will start looking up. 

We taught the Familia Bautista last night. They have a little more money than most people in Mezapa but still not much money. They're backyard is HUGE though and full of huge palm trees, horses, chickens, turkeys, etc. Anyway, last night we all sat outside and the weather was perfect. For once we were not sweating our guts out. We taught about heaven and the plan of salvation. They had a lot of questions even though they are already members. Anyway, when it got dark enough the fireflies came out and they were swarming all around us while we were teaching in their perfect backyard. They have hammocks and literally it's beautiful. Green everywhere. The fireflies here are about the size of a nickel. HUGE. So while we taught about heaven, we had a little bit of heaven on earth. I couldn't be more thankful to be here in this beautiful country among some of Gods most humble people. I never want to go home! I feel like my life is the music video for George Strait's song "I Saw God Today."

I forgot to tell you how we ran out of food!! We don't have a super market or an ATM in Mezapa, though. We couldn't get real food even if there was a store because we didn't even have money to buy something--not even at the little pulperia that we call Walmart, but it's just the size of a closet. We lived off my bland corn flakes with water poured in it for like 3 days!!!! hahah. It was quite the adventure. Then we ran out of clean water so then we just had cornflakes with nothing. We just had to laugh about it. Finally, we got to go to El Progresso for a secratary meeting because we are the secretaries for the zone and our whole district gave us their cards to get money at the ATM there. We were all practically starving to death haha. Gotta love this mission!

Constantly the hand of God is in His work of salvation. I know that this is the only church with the full priesthood of God. I know that only through baptism and other ordinances performed with the authority of God can we return to the highest kingdom of glory in Heaven. There are scriptures that say we will sit down with those that are the fruit of our labors in Heaven. I just hope one day I can be as humble and as close to God as these people of Honduras are so that I can be worthy enough to sit with them in the kindom of God. The work of salvation is easily the hardest thing I've ever loved to do. I absolutely love every moment here and I couldn't be more thankful for this oppertunity to serve among some of God's best people. CATRACHO LYFE PARA SIEMPRE!

Love you guys to Honduras and Back! 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Wow I feel like I have so much to say and no time to say it!

My comps are awesome. I actually can understand them really well, even Hermana Rosales who is from Nicaragua. She is so funny. Last night we were finally climbing in bed and there was this gecko on the ceiling. Hna Rosales sleeps on the top bunk and so it was right in front of her face. She HATES geckos so she was screaming for me to get it but those little suckers are FAST. So then we were moving the beds to try to at least get him out of the room we were sleeping in...all the while Hna Orgill was in the bathroom. Well, then the gecko ran over to Hna O's side of the room under her bed. When she came in and we were in bed with the lights off Hna Rosales said in a sing song voice, "Hermana Orgill, Feliz Noches con su gecko!!" Hna O was so confused. It was SOOOOO FUNNY. I died laughing.

Oh man-- the mornings here when we are in our casa are so hot. Nobody stays inside here because the homes are like ovens. It's fun though because everyone stays outside and it's very social here, but when we study it is just like sitting in an oven. You are just drenched in sweat. At night when we are asleep I always wake up so so so so ho, especially when we don't have power and can't use our little's so hot. Could you look up how hot it has been lately? I can't figure it out because with the humidity it is hard to know.

Our power goes out whenever it rains and this morning we didn't have water. That was a bummer because I spent the whole morning outside washing my clothes by hand for about 1.5 hours so i was itchy from the bugs and grass and so, so sweaty from the heat. All I wanted was a shower! I prayed that the water would come back on...and it did! I have never loved a bucket shower so much!

It really is so fun and so different here. Every time I think I can't take cold bucket showers and not have AC for 16 months then I just think wait, NO. I totally can do this! I have always said there is nothing I can't do for the Lord! Then i just love it here. I just love my cold bucket showers and my using hands as a washing machine. It is so great.

Our bucket we use to shower is kind of like what you buy cookie dough in but it's cracked on both sides so you have to pour fast! It takes your breath away it's so cold.

There is this family that I LOVE. We see them almost every day because they just barely joined the church. They have 3 little kids. Erick is 9, Jamie is 7 and about to be baptized, and Mari is 3. Oh, Mari. We are the bestest friends. She sat by me in church on Sunday and used all my hand sanitizer. The people here always ask me what I am putting on my hands. I guess this isn't a thing here?? Anyway, the first night we went to have FHE with the Bautista family and Mari ran right to me squealing and giggling. At the end of the lesson she looked at me and said, " Te quiero muchucho!" Everyone laughed. My heart melted. She is actually the cutest little girl I know. Jamie always wants to braid my hair. Yesterday night we sat with them and taught them the importance of family prayer and I was able to share my experiences with all of our years of family prayer. I literally couldn't be more thankful for those memories! So when you guys are on your knees as a family just know it is going to bless families in different parts of the world wherever we all serve!

We play this game called La Bomba with them. It's he kids favorite. It's like "Don't eat Pete" but you play with random items around the house and you have 2 teams. It was hard to understand at first because it was my first night and I didn't understand anything they were saying, but they are my favorite people here.

We only have one paved road here! Crazy.

I taught the first vision to this girl one night. It was late and the sun was almost gone. Here is this moment that I have dreamed of all my life. Sitting in my mission teaching someone the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and then.... well okay. In Texas whenever we would teach about the first vision the phone would ring, the dog would bark, the baby would cry...etc. So I was prepared for something to happen right before I taught it. When I started to say, " Vi una columna de luz... "the biggest beetle thing flew smack into my left eye. I am not kidding it was in there good, but the spirit was so strong and I just couldn't stop teaching, so I taught the first vision with a beetle in my eye-- one eye open, one eye closed and watering. It was really...spiritual. Oh well. Nothing ever goes the way we plan. I am literally walking truth of that!

We are teaching this man named Wilmer. He has a little girl who is about 4. He lives with this lady that he calls his wife, but they aren't married. He wants to get baptized but his wife says she will never marry a man like him. He doesn't want to leave because he believes it will be bad for his daughter. It is so hard to know what to say in a situation like this. We just keep saying God knows your heart, and He knows your trials, and He knows what you need but it is a hard situation.
Everyone we invite to be baptized says yes. Everyone we ask if we can come in and share says yes. This culture. I love it. My heart...i just love it.

 BALEADAS and Topogigos! I am in love. It is all so good. Topoigos, or however you spell it, is just milk, corn flakes and sugar in a bag and is frozen. They only cost about 2 Limperas and they are the best when we are dying of thirst. Everyone sells them from their houses. We also don't have a supermarket anywhere close by so when we went to El Progresso by bus, we just bought food from there. Never again will I complain about grocery shopping in America. Here you can't bring your purse in the store because they are afraid you will steal. So you leave your purse with this army guy with a huge gun and go shop and then you pay. Then you walk a mile to the bus stop with all 50 pounds of your groceries. Then you get on a bus with about 400 people per seat with all of your groceries. Then you ride in the bus for 45 minutes with people trying to sell you stuff on the bus. Then you get off the bus and walk a half a mile to your house with all your groceries. Then you carry them inside and put them away. All the while it is 100 degrees and humid! Quite the adventure. I love it. I am learning so much.

We go on splits a ton because the YW always want to go out with us. It ends up just being Hermana Rosales and me. We have so much fun. I love all of her stories. She wants to get married in the SLC Temple. It feels so much more real and I feel like more of a missionary when it's just the two of us. But I do LOVE Hna O as well.

The members don't feed us here so that's kind of a bummer.

I will never forget Rosalita Cruz because she is the first Honduran person I could actually understand and talk to! I really like her but sometimes she says she can't understand me! ahahah. She is 18 and a member here.

Hna R's favorite food is green mangos with LOTS of salt and pepper. She eats them all the time since everyone grows mangos in their yards. Anyway...I think it's nasty. I almost died when I tried it.

Everyone says,  "Da me sus ojos!" here and everyone stares. It's especially bad when Hermana O isn't with us when we are on splits. The men are kinda nasty. They say "ay mami" and whistle and cat call. But I never feel unsafe. This is one of the safest places in the mission! We are really lucky. Anyway, people say they are jealous of my boyfriend all the time. It's like they have never seen a white girl before.

I can kind of snap like a Latino! All the missionaries do that here.

Church was awesome. I love our branch and the little house we meet in. There are 2 Elders and 5 Sisters in just one little branch! It's fun because Elder Bray and I were good friends in the CCM and now we are in the same district. He has been really sick lately and he is so skinny... uh oh.

I am teaching Hna R some English but she always says to Hna O, "You have food in your face." It's super funny. Hna O always has food on her face.

I cried when I saw Hna Odekirk at zone meeting Tuesday. I can't believe I finally made it. It is literally driving me NUTTY that I haven't been out six months like I should have. Like literally anxiety. I am praying that the Lord will help me not feel so anxious about it.

I wish people would just get married here. People live together for 50 years and never get married. It's because it's expensive and you have to have a birth certificate to do it. Birth certificates cost money and you have to go to the city you were born in to get one. So if you were born in Tegucigalpa you have to leave your job, risk getting fired and also don't get paid for the days you're gone, find money to get on a bus and go to Tegucigalpa, pay for your birth certificate and then come home and get married. It's just too much for these poor people.

My throat and cold sores and better! My knee...its doing okay!

We taught this family that had a bunch of kids. They live in a concrete shack that is half the size of our family room. They had 2 twin beds for everyone. They were pushed up against one wall together. They didn't have chairs for us so we sat on the beds and I realized they were only cardboard with holy sheets over them. Their roof fell off a little while we were teaching. I can't believe how people live but they are actually THE HAPPIEST people I know. It just goes to show you it's not what you have, it's who you have. And they have family, and Jesus and that's enough for them.

Nobody here pronounces their S's. So its SO HARD to understand them. I can understand my comps easy. No problem. I am actually suprised at how much I understand especially from Hna R. They say An Pedro Ula instead of San Pedro Sula. And Entonce instead of Entonces. So it wasn't until Saturday that I could even kinda understand a word they were saying. I am praying and working so hard for the gift of tounges. Sometimes it is so frustrating not being able to express myself... but speaking Spanish is kind of addicting and I love it.

I am happy, sweaty, and loving it here. I miss America a little but I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and there is nothing that He can't ask me to do. I keep telling myself that when the moments get hard. Mostly the only thing that I have a hard time with is that I should be going home in March and I'm not. I'm going home in August. It shouldn't bother me. I should be not even focused on that part. But really, it's hard.

We have interviews with Pres. this week in El Progresso!

Will you send me pics of our whole family?? I don't know what happened to mine. If you could send them through the mail that would be awesome.

No piano here in Mezapa ):

Well, my fingers are tired from all this typing so fast! I am trying to think what else to say.
Look at my dropbox. This is my vaca friend. He's a cow. He was eating garbage just like all the other crazy animals here.

I have so many bug bites. ugghh

And my tan lines!! Wowwowowowww.

I love you guys so so so much!
Loves and loves from Central America!!
Hermana Saylin
These are the four sisters in my MTC dristrict in Mexico City.
This is the MTC doctor and his wife.....I didn't know at this point that my torn ACL would allow me to get so close to them!

I have arrived and been here 1/2 a day!

If you knew what I just went through to be able to write you this email! We just went to 3 different internet cafes to finally find one that works!! I am using all my strength to push down this space bar. hahahh. Oh my HECK. I love this country. There are chickens eating garbage and cows that just come walk right next to you. I just want to catch the chickens but I think I will get a disease. I am in this city called Mezapa. There are kids everywhere--little Sammys running around in diapers and no shoes. I have the cutest little house you've ever seen. It has10 foot walls around it with a lock so we are super safe. It looks like Jurassic Park everywhere you look. All anyone talks about is how it's the dry season but it is literally raining right now. Anyway, it's actually beautifully ugly and I LOVE IT, but I don't understand anyone. Actually that isn't true. I understand my companions because one of them speaks English and one of them speaks slowly for me. Yes! I have 2 moms (trainers)! I want to send you pictures but these computers won't let us. Next week we will beat the elders to the nice computers so I can send you these AWESOME pictures. I am not in Kansas anymore.

So after i turned the corner after saying bye to yall i just was like.. Wait! I did it!!! I just did it. I just passed that test. The last part of my mountain was almost the hardest to climb but i got to the top. I did it!!
So i didnt even realize this... until i was writing it down in my journal. Saying goodbye to scott pot i was kinda stern. Haha no but seriously. I hugged him and told him i loved him etc. And then i put my hands on his shoulders and looked him so deep in the eye. I told him ¨I dont want to see you until you are an RM. I told him he was ready and that he needed to go. Have christmas at home and then go. I dont want to only serve with you one month!
I honestly did not plan to say anything to him.  I didnt even realize what had come out of my mouth until i sat down and wrote in my journal waiting for the plane. But i am a full time missionary. That means i have the power to speak Gods actual words. I am not saying i can recieve revelation for scott but I can speak the words that HF and the spirit give to me. And i just wonder if that wasnt just the answer to Dads blessing he gave me last night but also if it was an answer for Scott Pott.

So I got on the plane to Atlanta and they changed up all the seats. Luckily I still got an isle but I ended up sitting next to these 2 boys (sitting on either side of me) that were high as a kite, and drunk. The kid almost knocked me out with his bag trying to put it over head. Everyone on the plane was shaking their heads. It was actually pretty hilarious. I didn't really sleep that much. I had the longest layover EVER in Atlanta. But I was so excited to step onto that plane to San Pedro Sula. I didn't cry when I landed because I was surrounded by a bunch of buinessmen traveling together and I just felt like I had to keep it together. There has never been a sweeter sign then the "Bienvenidos A Honduras" sign.

 Customs was nerve racking cause I didn't have a return ticket or a visa (which I didn't need but was still nervous about) but the guy asked no questions and shoved me right through! Prayers answered. The Kliens were there to pick me up. They took me to a Honduran restaurant called Power Chicken. I ate a chicken spine-- like it was a rib cage. That was... cool!  Then they bought me a cold soda and we drove an hour and a half to my area. I met my two mommas. I wish I could send pictures today! That drive was gorgeous. The Kleins say this is their favorite area. There are 2 Elders and 5 sisters that live on the same dirt road. We all share one branch. The church is a rented house! It's actually the safest area of the mission and my house is so cute. You should see where they baptize. I have pictures.

I was surprised how much I could understand. They all say I am from the factory which is what the local Mormons call Utah but in Spanish. Anyway, there's a really pretty rainbow over the mountain right now. Everything is wet and I am so STICKY!

I saw Elder Bray. He's in this district.  He passed out when he saw me. We were good buddies in the CCM and he said if he were me he wouldn't have come back.  Are you kidding?  This is heaven.
I wish I could send pictures this week!! Maybe Google map it??

I shower in a shower, but it doesn't work. So we just use a bucket. We do our laundry outside with this tub. It's super cool. Yeah...this is not Utah. I feel like I am dreaming! Is this really real?
I saw this little boy Chloe's age on a horse out by himself. The horse probably weighed as much as Sam.

I think Coke  owns this country. 

Write me letters at
Mision Honduras San Pedro Sula Este
12 Calle, Ave Circunvalacion
3er, Nivel, Oficina #4
San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras C.A.

Miss you! Love you!
Hermana Saylin

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Long Haul

Since December 10, 2013 I have refused to write a thing down about how i feel, or about what is going on in my little life. I have been stubborn and a little bit mad. I have bawled my eyes out. I have nearly punched walls. But I have learned incredible amounts about the atonement of Jesus Christ.

We have this belief that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the reason that we can overcome and be forgiven for our sins. The Atonement of Jesus Christ can help us better ourselves because of the sins we made and the atonement we used to overcome it. It's one big eternal round of the Atonement making us better. Ain't that the truth! But that's not the full truth. Well...not everyone understands one part of the Atonement that I have learned so much about since being home from my mission. Christ doesn't just have the power to forgive you of your sins...He has the power to understand how you felt when your brother got in that car accident, your disbelief when your mom was diagnosed with end stage cancer. He knows the grief you felt when you didn't get into the program at your dream college. He knows how it felt to sit at home when all your other friends were out on dates. He knows what it was like when you joyfully found out you finally were pregnant. He knows your giddiness when the man of your dreams finally asked you out. He knows your victories, your embarrassments, your grief, your joy, your pain.

And He doesn't just know it because He's always watching. He knows because of the Atonement he gave. He literally knows EXACTLY how you feel because of that moment that forever changed eternity. 

So when Dr. Edwards told me I needed to wait 4 more weeks before he could approve me to return to the mission, Jesus Christ actually knew what that moment felt like to me. He knew how badly it hurt to try to get my knee to lay straight and He knew how badly I wanted it to lay straight because it meant I was that much closer to returning to Honduras. He knew my prideful rage when someone would say, "You're still limping." He knew how hard I had to bite my tongue to not bark back, "And you're still overweight." He knows the pain of physical therapy, and the emotional pain of not being in the mission field when you feel you should be. He understood what it was like when the mission department told me they had changed the policy and every international serving missionary that comes home for ACL reconstruction surgery now has to wait 6 months from the date of surgery to return to the mission. Christ knew. He knew what i was feeling, the thoughts that were dancing around my mind non-stop as I had to choose to wait 3 more months or choose to be reassigned stateside. He knew how alone I felt. He knew how scared I was to make a decision. He knew. And that was enough.

I believe the Atonement of Jesus Christ isn't just for the forgiveness of sins and the salvation for eternity. I believe that the Atonement of Jesus Christ allows the most unusual kind of comfort and empathy. I know that Christ completely and perfectly understands my heart and my mind because of the Atonement. Because of the Atonement I can be forgiven for my sins and released from my sorrows. Because no matter how bad something hurts, it always helps to know that theres one who perfectly understands you. 

This is my journal entry from 4.13.14

"I'm so stubborn. I've refused to write in my journal because I just want to get past this and pretend it never happened. Well at least that's what i thought. Now i worry I won't be able to remember all the really hard, miserable, yet life-building moments of these past 4 months. Let me just say I seriously believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the peace and comfort it brings. But I also refuse to lie to my journal and say that the atonement has fixed everything and this time has been nothing but rainbows and butterflies with a herd of unicorns. Because it hasn't been. It's been crap. Its been so hard. Sometimes i want to punch walls. But the atonement has helped me learn from it and get stronger from it. The worst part is that when i think i can see the end of this marathon, its actually just a deceitful corner to turn and 5 more miles to sprint. I'm tired of it. And sometimes i have to bite my tongue to keep from questioning and whining to God. I really believe that He's designed this trial for me and that I already have learned so much. Like patience, and faith in God's timing, and meekness in trial, and the power of the atonement in a totally different way than i understood it before. I only ever used it for my sins but now I have used it for comfort and for understanding and growth and learning. But it still STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN! God's got something super awesome planned. Something totally worth waiting for."

Well... now I have a plane ticket to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. I didn't give up, rest up, slow up, or pass up on anything and I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER.
This trial is not over yet. I still have miles to walk and pain to endure. But i have climbed the mountains, crossed the rivers, and passed over something that has made me better than I was.