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.

Popcorn Poppin on the ACL Knee

I´ll be home for Christmas You can count of me. Ill be home for Christmas If only because of my knee! 
Wooh! What. A. Week. Can you believe it? I cant. Clearly God has something awesome in store for me in Salt Lake!
In this week alone i have...played futbol with latinos, torn my ACL on a mexican Futbol field, been pushed in a wheel chair on uneven sidewalks, been thrown from my wheelchair on uneven streets, gone to a small Mexican hospital, gotten a strange MRI in a mexican hospital, slept on a bottom bunk, ridden the sketchiest 50 year old Mexican elevator, and also seen Cory Gerrard as a missionary. Can you get any more firsts than that??? 

Needless to say...its been quite the week. Last week my biggest news was that i was called as sister training leader. Hahahahaha.
For all your prayers, i am seriously grateful because my pain level is at a solid 0 when i am sitting and not moving my knee! It only kind of hurst when i am trying to bend it or straighten it. Your prayers are working!! I laughed out loud though when i heard you got the call about my knee while you were sitting in the ER with Sammy. Gotta love the Saylin family. Someone is (or multiple people are) always injured in our home! 

So last night we taught latino members and i was so scared because theyre naturally less forgiving of the language as the teachers here are! But then i had one of those moments like the Elder Calhoon in the Best Two Years had where all the sudden like these words started coming out of your mouth and they understood and you mostly understood them and then its not until after where you look at your companion like :O that just happened. Anyway, i just felt inspired to read Moroni 10:4 and 5 to them. And i kinda was like why? Theyre already members. And Hermana Babb said she thought the same thing but i just shared it anyway. Turns out, one of the women hadnt prayed about the book of mormon and we committed all of them to pray with real intent and ask if the book of mormon was true. So that was super cool. Inspiration!!!!

Also, i taught with Hermana Odekirk last night and we were just teaching and Hermano Hernandez came past and said ¨no! ensenan en ingles!¨and we were like ¨what??? Teach in english??¨ so we did. and it was so weird. and spanish phrases kept slipping out. and it was hilarious. Seriously the wierdest teaching experience yet. And thats saying something. 

Paul Hilbigs letter got to me today! It made my whole day. Hes a fantastic uncle! *hint hint*

Oh while i was at the hospital the doctor was speaking like at least 156 mph to me in spanish and seriously the only thing i could say was Duele! and Dolor! But anyway. He asked me how much i weighed and i just told him in pounds. and he looked at me and said ¨you dont weigh that much¨ in spanish. And i was thats...flattering, but i am not lying! Thats how much i weigh! But then i figured out that they dont weigh things in pounds here but that he wanted my weight in Kgs! Well.. i have no idea what i weigh in Kgs. And then he asked my height and i told him and he looked at me like i was crazy again. Well... he needed it in meters. Yet another adventure. So advice for all: ¨When you go to a mexican hospital for an MRI, dont tell them your weight in pounds or your height in feet or theyll think you are crazy.¨ Youre welcome. That will be useful one day.

Alma 26:27 is the scripture of the week!
I know that this trial is hand crafted by the Lord for Hermana Saylin. He knows me better than i do and he knows what i need more than i do!

I. Saw. Elder. Gerrard. can you believe it?? I couldnt eat breakfast because i was so nervous about seeing him. But when i was walking out of the comedor for breakfast this morning i basically fell down the stairs with my crutches and made this whole scene but who was waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs? Elder Gerrard. So that was cool. 

Oh i also got to go to a Mexican gas station after the hospital. They measure gas in leiters and pesos. And they have people that pump your gas! And the man that took Hermana babb and me to the hospital wouldnt let us role down our windows in the city. He just kept saying ¨too dangerous¨ hahahaahah. it was so stuffy in that car!

I am so exicted that it is thanksgiving! I miss you guys but i also think this might be one of my favorite thanksgivings! They switched our tuesday devotional for thursday so that we could have a special thanksgiving devotional! I am so excited. That is at 8 tonight.

Wierd to think we only have one more p day left!! 

Have you ever showered with crutches in Mexico?
I have.

Hermana Saylin

Jesus Es Mi Luz

Where oh where is the time going?? Its litterally going so fast.
I just ah...Grandpa. I know that he is loving it there...that is a great facility. But my little heart just aches. i wish i could be there to help.
I just want everyone to know that everyone in my district is jealous of the many letters i am getting! They take about to weeks to get here (even through dear elder) but ive gotten four letters in total. THANKS! sammys little handprints were the highlight of my whole districts day.
Dont tell Chloe but i sent her a letter to open on her baptism day. Will you let me know when it gets there??
It takes so long to click each picture individually to upload them! UGH.
I am so happy for Cannon!!! Mom, how cool to be there. I am so jealous.
So i wrote this little poem this week. Maybe its worthy of making it onto the fridge??
Beginners are many
but enders are few
stick to your task
til your task sticks to you!
maybe its better by the piano! haahaha. Who knew. Hermana Saylin. The poet.
ATTENTION ALL FHE ATTENDERS. Especially my little Scott Pot. You have to watch ¨La expiacion y la obra misional¨ i understnad that its in spanish but its really in english. so just...look it up on youtube. i could watch that a million times. Is anyone willing to find that talk by Elder Holland at the end of the clip?? Send it to me.
Speaking of sending things. Can anyone find me a list of the English hymns converted to spanish hymn page numbers???
Oh Chloe and Sophie and Sammy! I sing ï will go in do¨ in spanish all the time here. It helped my learn my future tense verb conjugations. It goes like this Ïre y hare lo que mande el senor, la via el preparara y obedecere.¨ sorry the accent marks dont work on this computer. Ask dad how to pronounce it and sing it all the time!!! I love it.
Holy guac. Its so cold here. and all i have is Honduras centered clothes. Whod have thought itd be in the 40s in MEXICO. Today it finally warmed up a little. So we can walk outside without shivering. CORY GERRARD. BRING THINGS TO KEEP YOU WARM. Thats an order.
We played hot potato with Hermano Zamilpa this week and instead of saying Ïts hot, its hot, its hot.¨He says ¨Se quema, se quema, se quema.¨ Which means like... Ïts on fire, its on fire...¨ Super cute. Love this latino culture. President Castillo told me before i left that the culture is different but that i just need to learn to love it... Well that wasnt hard. I didnt even have to work to love it. <That just comes naturally!
Okay Hermana Sausado came into our zone meeting and said in spanish ï am going to teach all of you to love spanish.¨ and we were like... okay. and then she taught us KOREAN. i am not kidding. by the end all of us were so thankful to be speaking spanish. I litterally almost cried over the whole new alphabet and strange sounds thing. THANK HEAVENS IM SPEAKING SPANISH.
If youre feeling nice, you could send me piano music.... i miss it. hahahha
My favorite saying is ¨es verdad es verdad! Tango fotos y todos!¨ Its true, its true! I have photos and everything!
Spanglish is a real language. Its spoken in the tropical island of the CCM.
The candy. Some is good. Some is nasty nast. Like this gross like spicy laffy taffy thing that the branch president made me eat. SICK NAST.
Mom, green skirt! I cant believe i left it behind. I would love it if i could have it.... also...packages take about 2 or 3 weeks to get here to the ccm. so if you wanted to mail it instead of making cory carry it, we still have time.
Chiste de la semana: ¨whats the difference between the CCM and jail?¨
in jail, you get visitors.
So we have 2 new investigators. They are we dont teach them together. Enrique y Sergio. Sergio plays rugby...and he talks really really fast. HIJOLE.
I said the first vision for the first time 2 days ago. I almost cried. I can speak spanish!! WHAT.????!!
Favorite thing this week. So as missionaries we always use the ¨usted¨ form for everything. You only use the tu form when talking to little kids or like youre best friend. But missionaries only use it for children. Its just more polite. But In spanish you use the ¨tu¨ form in prayer. It shows that you have a close relationship with God and signifies that the two of you are close. I love that. Every time i think about it i get a little teary eyed.
So we taught Isabel the plan of salvation like friday of last week and it was AMAZING. When i told her that she would see her little sisters again in heaven and that they were learing the same message of the gospel of jesus christ in heaven she just bawled. And then she testified to US that she knew that was true. Then we threw the baptism question in again and she just accepted doubt about it. So cool.
I am going to be out of Benedryl before i leave the CCM. Seriously. I dont get bit by the mosquitos but i get bit by crazy wierd spiders todos los dias. Luckily the bugs are dying cause its so cold. Dad, I think your blessing is working already because some how i am survivng these strange spider bites! hahah
Elder perry spoke in the Provo MTC this tuesday night and it was broadcast to most the MTCs around the world. They said that 2700 missionaries were watching. WAY COOL. when they sang called to serve in english, we sang it in spanish. It just made me think of how many languages it was being sung in around the world at that very moment. The church is true no matter where you live. And whats even better? The spirit speaks every language. THANK GOODNESS.
Oh this part is cool. So the CCm is in the middle of the city. like smack middle. Two nighs ago there was a Mariachi band outside the 10 foot walls of the CCM and it was so fun!
 ¨testimony is a point of departure, not an ultimate destination!¨
¨if youre discouraged, youre listening to the wrong person.¨
Check out my dropbox video!
Hermano Zamilpa makes us do head shoulders knees and toes frequently to keep us all awake. Its called ¨Cabeza, cara, hombros, pies¨ we love it.
Oh! dad! the only thing we ever sing in our district is ¨Jesus es mi luz¨ we all love it so much. I always think of your little tribe in Argentina you taught when we sing that.
I love all of you so much! I miss you but not more than i love this work!
Being a missionary is the best thing that ever happened to me. I cant wait for all my best friends and favorite brothers (and hopefully sisters) to get this opertunity too!
Podemos saber por mediante del espiritu santo, que El Libro De Mormon es verdedaro. Dios restauro su evangelio a treves Jose Smith. Jesucristo es nuestro Redentor y salvador. El libro de mormon contiene la plenitud del evangelio. El evangelio de Jesucristo es verdadero. Se que sin la expiacion no podemos regresar a Dios. Dios es nuestro amaroso padre celestial y nosotros somos sus hijos. Dios nos envio a la teirra para aprender y progressar. Yo se que esta es la Iglesia de Jesucristo.
Les amo mucho!
Hasta luego.

A week? Already?

HOLA family and friends,
ah i dont know where to start. Can´t believe its been a week already... i have been thinking about what i am going to write but now i cant even put my thoughts into words now that the day is finally here. 
Most embarassing moment? I wrote a letter to our branch president in Spanish as our weekly letter and i said thank you for your love and support. But i looked up the word for support in my english to spanish dictionary. I just wrote down the word super quick and was about to hand the letter to my district leader when i decided to check the word from spanish to english before i gave it to him. Good thing i did. Because the word was actually the word for something not so great. I dont know if i should tell you what word it was cause dad wouldnt want this letter read by anyone else.

Super coool to be in Mexico for Los Dias De Los Muertos! The kids all get dressed up just like they do for halloween but instead of saying Trick or Treat they say ¨Me da mi calabratias¨ Its the cutest thing ever. I just love these little Latino Ninos. The branch president has a little boy that just turned eight. It reminds me of my favorite Chloe! He loves to talk to me...he likes that his spanish is so much better than mine.

Funniest thing? you know the boogie man that americans talk about? Mexicans talk about the Chupacabra. That translates dirrectly to the goat sucker. Super funny. Its basically the same thing as the boogie man only he chases after goats? Or he is a goat? no entiendo.

Oh thank you to everyone who left me a sweet note somewhere in my luggage! I had to wait a little bit to read them because i had to be emotionally stable first. hahaha. But seriously i love it here. I know that all of you want to hear that i am homesick but... im not. I love every second. The first day was the only day where i questioned that i could do this. >The language is hard but its honestly the hardest thing ive ever loved to do. Its crazy how el don de languas really works. I feel like ive already picked up so much. I can even kind of communicate with the latinos. They talk litterally a million miles a minute. Talk about stress. I favorite thing to say is mande? because it basically means holy crud i didnt understand a word you just said so start over and say it slower. All in one word. 

The food is AMAZING. Seriously. Heaven. You think you have mexican food and then you actually go to mexico. I think i could eat beans and rice for the rest of my life.

So i walk into the CCM and all the sudden it doesnt matter that you dont speak a word of spanish. They dont baby you. The only way i could communicate with the latinos here was by charades for like the first 4 days. My teacher, Hermano Zamilpa is so funny and soooo latino. I love their funny sayings and noises that they all make. I wish i could explain the noise they make that means quit doing that or move over there. Or the noise they make that means give me your attention. It is seriously the funnest  culture ever. And they dont know what whispering is. I sat next to this Latino elder in the last devotional and he would talk to me in a normal voice while the devotional was going. And I felt so awkward. But the rest of the latinos were doing the same so.... 

The latino missionaries always want us to teach them english words so we taught the to say Peace Out. But they think its Pizza Out so every time we see them they all yell Pizza Out!!
They taught us the saying Hijo Le. Which is what old grandmas say. It basically means Oh Shucks. But my district and i use it for everything. Its completely awesome. It just expresses all emotion in one expression.

So we got here and then we taught our first investigator Isabel on Friday. IN ESPANOL. Yes. You can imagine my panic. But it went really well. We taught her to pray in our super broken spanish. and seriously its so cool. Her 2 baby sisters died when they were less than one and its totally torn apart her family. So we have been teaching her about the plan of salvation and also about how much God loves her. Her mom is a member but she lives in Peru so its not super duper helpful but she still talks to her mom about the church. Its so amazing. I love this work! Even if my spanish is feisty.

I am losing my english but i cant speak spanish. So that is a problem. I stutter in english now. Its muy mal.

When people ask me how many people are in my family and i say 9...their reactions are hilarious. Everyone thinks its unbelievable. I love it.

So here i am sitting in my classroom and this rather HUGE beatle landed on my skirt. Being determined to not be that Hermana that can{t handle a bug, i went to swipe it off my skirt without making a big deal. However, it must have been seriously full because when i barely touched it to shew it exploded. All over me. So that was  cute.

Oh there are quidditch cups being my casa. Apparently their for drainage?? Thats what the natives say... but who knows. I dont know why youd need drainage pipes 100 feet in the air....

I will love it if one of you can figure out what it really is....

I love how the latinos say my name. Super cool.

The temple was seriously the coolest thing of my whole life. It is by far my favorite celestial room. I love the Aztec architecture. I did the whole thing in spanish. i am so glad that i went so many times before my mission so that i know it well enough in english to do it in spanish. i didn{t have to be the hermana with headphones on. it was awesome. seriously i just wanted to cry! I am here... ive dreamed of this day for my entire life.

i also got those swweeeeeet scripture cases for 10 bucks at the store down the streeet from the temple. how cool? 

well i love all of you so much. make sure you look at all my pictures. its so differnt here. i want to take a power washer to everything in this city. but the ccm is so well kept and beautiful. 

i love yall so much. i miss you... but not too much because i love being a missionary. no matter how hard the work is the blessings are greater. 

Cory and Cole... i am so excited for you guys to come here!!! There is nothing better. and i swear half the missionaries here are going to Guayaquil. 


Mom and Dad thanks for making me into who i am so that i could now be able to serve this fantastic mission! You guys are the best.
Oh and there and HOUSTON SOUTH missionaries here. I was freaking out. I told them where my bedroom was in the mission home... they were really happy to know. 

Pray that i can earn the gift of tounges! I love all of you.

Hermana Saylin


This is the weirdest computer i´ve ever typed on and i am a little bit frustrated that i can{t type fast or find the apostrophe button. The exclamation point in the subject spot took five minutes to find. But anyway...I´m here!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was harder than i thought it would be to leave you guys but holy moley it¨s already worth it. I am so excited for Cory and Cole to get to come here. The atmosphere was so great flying here...we flew with about 30 missionaries! <when we finally got here in Mexico city it was the most exciting thing. I am not scared or dreading any of it. I want all of you to know how exited and happy i am to finally be here.
So i sat by Hermana Porter on the first flight and then i sat in between hermana turner and hermana porter on the second flight. 
When we landed in Dallas we met the cutest spitfire girl from North Dakota. She is just a bundle of hilariousness (is that a word?) I loved her from the start. I just found out...WE ARE COMPANIONS. Her name is Hermana Babb. 
Im wearing a tag right now!!
<so driving through downtown was so crazy! the lanes are maybe 6 inches apart... haha just kidding but seriously you can touch the car driving next to you without sticking your hand out the window. And theres color everywhere. bright fun colors. and graffiti. everywhere. And gross bilboards (Cory, close your eyes when you come!!!!) Also, you drive like 100 mph. So say you{re going one way and then theres a median on your right... well the cars on the other side of the median are going the same way...not the opposite. its weird. i was glad i wasnt driving. 

typing with no caps and no apostrophes is killing me. 

anyway.. i wish i had more time but ill write on pday!! i love you so much. say hi to everyone. 

love you so much
Hermana <Saylin