Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey Everyone,

Just thought I would give you all an update on my condition.  As most of you know I saw Dr. Kropf on November 12.  After he reviewed the blood work I had done in Belize he agreed that I should continue with the antibiotics to treat cellulitis .  That weekend my arm got really swollen again with a lot of little welts and lines in my arm that would come and go.  On Sunday a friend of ours was able to get us an appointment with Dr. Coffman who in an infectious disease doc.  I went in the next day and had blood drawn, then saw Dr. Coffman on Wednesday the 18th.  The new blood work and my symptoms all indicated that I have parasitic worms living in my arm!  Probably Toxocara and Strongyloid worms.  He prescribed me a medication that I took for two days. He drew more blood to send off to a lab that will test for other worms also.  Hopefully this week I'll get the labs back, and then probably more medication to kill the "Hatchlings"!  Then hopefully I'll get cleared - then back off to El Salvador/Belize!

While I've been home I've  been blessed to have many opportunities of service! I received a calling to be an advisory to the Young Men to help them see the importance of serving a mission.  I've been serving in the Temple, The Bishops Storehouse, and many other activities! I've gotten the chance to go and talk to the friends and family.  We came to the conclusion that I was brought home for some work that needed to be done here at home. I feel that with this whole situation that I'm in the Lord's hands and he wants me to do something here. I'm thankful for all the Love, prayers and concern that I have received while being home from everyone!

Love, Jake



Thursday, November 12, 2015

Jake Is Home

Hey,

I'm sure many of you already know that Jake is home.  It's been a whirlwind of events.  He has been dealing with an infection and cellulits in his arm for about a month.  The closest doctor that had the credentials necessary to treat him was a three hour bus ride away in Belize City.  He has been on several medications and it was still reoccurring.  Then his attending doctor had to take an unexpected trip out of the country.  So erring on the side of caution the church's Area Physician in Guatemala  decided it was best to send Jake home for treatment.  We got the call on Tuesday that he would be returning home the next day.  Jake was heartbroken to leave his mission but he arrived last night at 9:30 with his usual big smile and positive attitude.  He had an appointment with his regular doctor today and it went great.  Dr. Kropf wants him to finish the round of antibiotics that he is on.  Jake will have blood work done on November 23 and then see Dr. Kropf again on November 25.  If his CBC comes back with good numbers then Jake will be cleared to return to his mission in El Salvador and Belize.

Jake is feeling great and knows that his visit home is in the Lord's hands.  We all realize that Heavenly Father has a plan and purpose for this short visit home.  We feel extremely blessed to have him in our home, and to have him share his experiences and testimony with us.  It is going to be a special Thanksgiving!

Love, Angie & Jeff & Jake



Monday, November 9, 2015

John!

Hey Everyone


This week was pretty cool! First thing cool is all the languages we have encountered in 3 months! Hebrew, Greek, Italian, Chinese, Kriol, English, German, Garifuna, Spanish, Quche and Ebo. Lots of different things her in Belize.

We had 60 people in church this week, which was awesome. Elder Leslie and I brought 5 investigators! We Found this Rosta man,  and this other family that speaks both English and Spanish so when we teach them lessons we have to teach in both languages.
For a spiritual experience, we went to go look for a guy named John. And we walk up to this house and start yelling "John!" and out walks this guy.. and he asks, " Who sent you here?" and us being missionaries we yelled "Jesus!".  He got really excited and said hold on I'll be right down. Turns out, John had just gotten done saying a prayer asking God to send someone to talk to him. He was thinking that one of the members sent us because he talked to one last night so it was expected... but we hadn't even talked to the member so we wouldn't have even known!   Super cool guy.  He was baptized 13 years ago and is starting to come back to church! 

We met some really cool Italians that thought we were going to help them sell weed wackers but when we told them no they stormed off. 

Well this week I've decided that I'm just going to stick with Mac and cheese because it's easy and pretty cheap so that will be my new food of the week!

Not a super long email because we had to go to Belize city today to the doctor to check up my arm.  Now they think I have a staff infection or something and they gave me a bunch of pills to take.  I'll be fine so don't worry!  We also ate at a buffet restaurant that cost us $20 BZD which is expensive. 

Thanks for all the messages everyone!

QUESTONS:
Are you having any more problems with your arm and ankle?  Well my arm swollen up again
but my ankle is doing fine now!

Are you still taking your antibiotics? Yes Mom, I am still taking my medicine - 2 times a day. 

Did you ever figure out how you got the infection or maybe sprained your ankle?  No, they 
don't know what happened. They now think that it might be a staff infection.

How are A and his mom?  Well  We are still working with them.. They didn't come to church this last week because they were gone but we will see if they come back.

Are you still practicing your Spanish? I am still practicing my Spanish. I read in the BoM 
every night in Spanish before I go to bed.

What do you speak most days - English, Kriol, Spanish?  We mostly speak English. Kriol is more of just to open up the people's hearts and to make us look cool.

What kind of service to you perform?  We Raked a bunch of leaves this week. Not sure why but everyone was raking.

Do your church meetings typically run long or short or do they follow the same pattern as 
our church meetings do? The meetings run just the same time as usual.

How do most people get to church - drive, walk, bikes, bus?  Most people have to walk to 
church. There are only two people with cars. 

Did you get you Nike socks in your birthday box?  Haha, yeah I got the Nike socks! Super 
cool!

Is your Ceviche-investigator working on making changes so he can get baptized?  The 
cevivhe was actually made out of gizzard.  Yes, he is trying.  We have some things we have to 
work on with him.

Did you learn anything new about the area you are serving in and how they are related to the Nephites or Lamanites? Well the ruin Lamani... Laminites.... coincidence, I think not... it 
was an actual name found on the temple.

Did you get your tie and your Nike socks in your birthday box?  And, yes, magically the tie 
and the socks were still in it!

Bless Meh Breddas!

Elder Stiles

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sweating Out Of My Eyeballs!

(Jake has had a serious infection in his arm for the last 3 weeks which turned into Cellulitis.  Sounds like he is doing much better - YaY!!)

Elder Jacob Stiles
PO Box 79
San Ignacio, Cayo
Belize, Central America

jacob.stiles@myldsmail.net
elderjacobstiles.blogspot.com


Hey Everyone,

Well this week was pretty good but man was it hot!!!!  I never knew that it was possible to sweat out of your eyeballs but it is!  Usually I don't sweat at all but this week was something else!  I definitely miss the cold. 

Well Monday we went to the doctors to have them do an ultrasound on my arm and it was cool having them put the gel on and seeing the inside of my body! 

We got invited by this guy that we are teaching to go to his $22,000,000 island to go hang out and help him clean it up. Too bad we had to deny his offer.. I told him after the mission we will!  We also had a lesson with an investigator where we made Ceviche and watched the Restoration Movie.  At the end I told him to remember the spirit he felt and he told us that he couldn't forget it and that he felt it like 7 or 8 times.  He is super cool but he has some things in the way of him getting baptized so we will have to continue to work with him.   Here in Belize it's just as hard to get directions with people. They all say you just have to "Go-So" and don't ever give you actual directions.  Also the one investigator that we had just up and left and we don't know what happened to her...  So we are working with a little boy named Alejandro and his mom is a less active and they speak Spanish.  So we will try and get her to come back so we can baptize her son! 


That's all for this Week.  Today we are going to a Mayan ruin so should be a good day!

Bless,  Elder Stiles

QUESTIONS:
How is Elder Leslie's injuries from his bike wreck?  Is everything healing OK?  - Everything is OK with Leslie.

What about your arm and ankle?!  - My ankle and arm are fine as well.

Do you have any idea what happened to your ankle?  - The doctor thinks I sprained it.

Did you get a priesthood blessing?  - Yes, I got a blessing.

Do people in Belize do anything for Halloween?  - The people here just dress up and drink a lot.

Did you have to be in your house early on Halloween?  - Umm, not us but the elders in Belize City did.

Have you been able to baptize "Tiffany" yet?  - No, we have not baptized Tiffany. She has disappeared off the face of the Earth. 

Have you met anymore people or families that you have been teaching?   -
We are teaching a boy named Alejandro. His mom is a member and we hope that he can come to church to be baptized.

Have you preformed any service this week?  - We preform service everyday!  That's the only way people will listen to us if we help them.

What do you do at church each Sunday?  -
In church we basically do everything;  greet, talk, teach the classes, help the Branch Prez after he is done.  Lots of work that has to be here in Belize.. I did not bare my testimony because we went like an hour and a half.

What are the coolest animals you have seen?  - Well the coolest has probably just been the giant lizards here.  They are the same ones we ate in El Salv but they're everywhere!

What do you do in your free time?  - Ha what free time? jk The only free time we have is on Monday and we usually get our hair cut or do something with the other missionaries.

How do you get to Belize City?  Bus or what?  - When we go to Belize we have to take a 3 hour bus ride that we have to stand up on the whole way.

Have you gotten to go to any Mayan ruins yet?  - We are actually going to a Mayan ruin today hopefully.

How's the language coming there?  - The Kriol language is getting easier to understand.

Does the time seem to be going by fast or slow?  - The time goes by crazy fast! Like it seems like every day I'm saying that it's the weekend because it flies by so fast.

Did you ever burn your tie or whatever you're supposed to do at 6 months?  - And, no, I never burned a tie.  I'm not sure if I will but we will have to see.


(click on images to enlarge)

I have no idea what this is a picture of but I'll ask Jake next week.  It's too nice to be his house.

Ultrasound of Jake's arm

Jake & Elder Leslie's bedroom.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Expired Cookies

Hey Everyone,

First the Questions:

How much did it cost you to get your birthday package?  My package cost about $14 BZD to get out,  but only because the lady there is friends with the missionaries.

What were your favorite things you got in you birthday package?  One of my favorite things was the Tie Tack! Super nice to have and it also looks really cool! When we ride our bikes my tie goes crazy!

What is the China Man where you bought the syrup?  Is that the name of a store?  The china man is just like the type of store. The Chinese people here own all the big stores so when we say china man it's just like a super market.

Is the baptism that we are keeping in our prayers for a man, woman, child, or a family? Well the baptism that we were supposed to have this week was supposed to happen but "Tiffany" went to Belize City so she wasn't able to go to church. So I guess we're looking at next week if she gets back! She is super cool! She used to be 'Anglican' before but when we told her about the Plan of Salvation she wanted it to be true and she believes it's the true church. She is a single mom that lives with her one kid at home!

How is your arm? Did you ever figure out what caused the infection?  And about my arm.. Its happening again! It started getting bigger again so today I have a 3 hour trip to the city to get an ultra sound to figure out what is wrong with it. Also my foot is acting up as well so we've got some problems here...


Now the Story:

This week has been really slow.. We have found a lot of people that might be able to progress and really think that this might be the true church. Something cool that happened was that the sisters had a baptism, and this week we had 48 people in church which was really awesome! Not as much as we have been having but now that the elections are wrapping up people have more time to do things. Literally everybody here in our area works for the people that are running for office and they just go around trying to get people to vote for that person so we cant find anybody. 

We went to this store that sells expired food.  So we bought 64 packages of cookies!

This weeks email will be short because we have to go to Belize City but hopefully next week we will have a baptism!

Wish us luck! 

Love Elder Stiles!

Elder Jacob Stiles
PO Box 79
San Ignacio, Cayo
Belize, Central America

jacob.stiles@myldsmail.net
elderjacobstiles.blogspot.com










Monday, October 19, 2015

Happy Birthday Jake!

Hey Everyone,

Well first of all I thought that your card really was funny! Reminded me of Max! We didn't really do anything for my birthday but we went over to one of the member's houses and we had cake! And after that Elder Leslie treated me to some pupusas at an El Salvadorian restaurant! Which were delicious! Makes me Miss El Salvador!

My hand isn't as big any more! I got some medicine to make it go down. We went to change meeting and when I was there it was soo big that it just felt like it was going to explode! It was noticeable in person but it was really hard to get a good picture of it that made it look as crazy as it was. Mostly was just how dense it was!

When we made pancakes with the family we just made pancakes normally with the mix and, yeah, they are a super cool family that we are hoping will get married! They didn't have the syrup so we just bought it at the china man.

The amount of people that we have been having in church has just been dropping mostly because elections are going on. This last week we had 32 people in church... The Branch is really small and right now we are mostly just trying to get enough people to give them callings to try and strengthen the branch. Lately we have found a ton of less-actives that we are trying to get back in church so they can hold a calling. A lot of people have fell away from the church because they didn't get a chance to be involved in the church.  A lot of people want to have the opportunity to speak in church or even hold a calling. We also found a lot of people that have read the Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants just because.. not for like a religious purpose... but just to do it.  But we are hoping that in 2 weeks we will have our first baptism! Keep us in your prayers!


P.S. and Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes! Loved the E-Mails and the Cards!

Love you all! Elder Stiles!

Elder Jacob Stiles
PO Box 79
San Ignacio, Cayo
Belize, Central America

jacob.stiles@myldsmail.net




Happy Birthday Jake!



 Jake's "enlarged" left hand

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Elephantiasis - JK

Jake's birthday is October 17.  If you can send him an email this week that would be great -
jacob.stiles@myldsmail.net.

Or a belated birthday card -
Elder Jacob Stiles
PO Box 79
San Ignacio, Cayo
Belize, Central America

Hey Everyone,

Well this week not really much happened.  My bike has broken all week so I finally just bought an air pump and just put it on my bike so whenever my tire goes flat I can just fill it up.
We went over to one of our investigators house and made pancakes for them!  It was super fun and they really enjoyed it!
This last Monday we went to play Frisbee golf for our P-Day.  It was tons of fun!  I can't explain how many times my Frisbee just went straight off into the woods...
This week was just filled with tons of work.  We got 2 Less actives to church which was well needed because one of them knows so much about the church and we could get a branch mission leader!  We also got a lady named Tiffany to church and she wants to find out which church is true.
I also got Elephantiasis this week.  I woke up one day with bumps on my arm and now its huge!!  Just kidding it's not really elephantiasis but it looks like a marshmallow.  It's just an infection but I got some meds to help me with it.  We spent just about all yesterday just sitting in the house because my arm felt like it was going to explode. Got lots of scripture reading done and going in depth in the Book of Mormon!  So much interesting stories here!
We'll see how my birthday is!

QUESTIONS: 


Did you use baby powder or baby formula in your cereal?  Please tell me it was formula because baby powder smells sweet but would taste awful. -  Yes, I did use baby formula! This week I made toast with maple syrup on it.

Do you like your calendar?   -  I love my calendar!
Why did you get threatened to get shot twice this week?  -  Well one of them was just thinking he was being funny talking about how we are on God's side and we shouldn't be worried if we died, and the other guy was drunk.

Love Elder Stiles 


(click on photos to enlarge)

P-Day Frisbee Golf


We made pancakes

Hand on the right has Elephantiasis (not really but it is swollen)
video

Monday, October 5, 2015

President Monson Is A Boss

Jake's birthday is October 17.  His address is below if you can send him a card - that would be awesome!

Elder Jacob Stiles
PO Box 79
San Ignacio, Cayo
Belize, Central America

Hey Everyone,


Well this week just about nothing happened again.  We have been trying to talk with everyone but no one really wants to listen. The highlights of the week were going to Belize City For a Multi-Zone conference where all the missionaries go to Belize to listen to President Hintze! Which was really cool! We talked about "Calling Upon The Powers of Heaven". Then the second most amazing thing was General Conference! My favorite session was the Priesthood session! Really powerful! President Monson is just a boss about dying during his final testimony but hung in there! It's amazing that he is still kicking and testifying about this gospel!

I met the founder of Skull Candy. We literally just mix all the food we can together. Yesterday I had cereal with chocolate milk inside and also put baby powder to make it thicker.  Oh and I still make up words. Just like in my scout interview...

I'll send a pic of what happens when it rains and we ride our bikes, The Multi-Zone, Me and another elder, and one with Elder Smith,  what our agenda looks like, our desks, my desk, kitchen, the cutest boy ever, and part of our area.

Also I met Dwayne Wades cousin.Oh, I also got threatened to be shot twice this week!

Sorry it's short but I love you all!!!!!!!!

Elda Stiles


QUESTIONS:

How is Elder Leslie doing?  Are his injuries healing OK?  Elder Leslie is doing fine! He still has his stitches in and we're not sure when he needs to take them out. But other than that he has been a little sick with allergies but he is awesome!

What was your favorite Conference Talk?  My favorite talk was Elder Christofferson.  Mostly because it has to deal with the missionary work. Lots of people just believe that if you are baptized and your not a terrible person than you are fine to go up to heaven. People just don't understand here.

Why do you think more people in El Salvador were willing to listen to your message and get baptized than those in Belize? Well here in Belize it's supposed to be the opposite. You are supposed to baptize a ton here. I guess it all just depends on where you are at. The hardest thing here in Belize is that people just don't want to go to church.  It doesn't matter if you tell them that there will be a prize there or anything. The people just don't like commitment here...  Also we have to convince people that "BOB MARLEY WAS NOT A PROPHET!!" It's hard for them to believe but it's true.. NOT a prophet.

Who washes your clothes?  There is a member that washes our clothes for $50 Belize for the month.

Do you still drink bottled water?  We buy big 5 gallon jugs of water but we have to drink purified water.

How often to you clean your house?  We clean our house every Monday. When I got here it was really bad and we still have a lot of work to do.

Do you always get along with your companions?  I always get along with my companions!  I have always been given good companions!

Are you teaching anyone or any families the discussions?  Well we are teaching a man named Umer and he is really cool! He really wants to know the truth and other than that we don't really have anybody that is super positive right now.

Do you eat in member's homes very often?  We don't really eat at members' homes as much here. In El Salv that was just how it was... People loved to eat there.     








video


Monday, September 28, 2015

So Excited For Conference

Jake's birthday is October 17.  His address is below if you can send him a card - that would be awesome!  He is so happy!

Elder Jacob Stiles
PO Box 79
San Ignacio, Cayo
Belize, Central America

Hey Everyone,


First of all before I get started I would like all of you to watch General Conference and write a question down that you would like answered by the Prophets and I promise that it will be answered! But I hope you guys are excited because I sure am!

Well this week I had to start really working on my work permit so we had to make a trip to Belmopan and also Belize City! On our way to Belize City there was a lady was sitting next to me and randomly she elbowed me in the chest for no reason! She didnt even say anything after! Crazy! Lets just say I didn't talk to her the rest of the ride home!


This week has been really slow... no one wants to talk to us nor go to church. But it's alright because we are looking forward! But I'll just share what happened to my companion yesterday! We were riding along and dogs started chasing us... First they went for him, then me and then back to him. As he was trying to kick the dogs away he jerked his wheel and went straight into the ditch. His front wheel got stuck in the first slabs and he went over the handle bars into the ditch. He couldn't move his hip for a while. We ended up pulling him out and sat him down in the chair. We took him to the doctor and they fixed him up! He got 2 stitches in his hand and his hip is really bruised. We ended up not working the rest of the day. So we wont be doing much lately...

I also sent a picture of a 94 year old man in our ward helping the blind man in our ward get to his car. True friendship there!

Well today the Hintzes are doing a family night and coming over! So we have lots to do today!

Love, Elda Stiles

PS - To say God in Creole they say "Fadda Gaad"

QUESTIONS:
Are there many places there to use you debit card and buy things if you needed to?   Well I don't think that we use the debit card much.  We just pull out money each time. It doesn't cost anything.


Did you ever buy another backpack to replace your bag?  I bought a tiny little bag that I carry all my mini scriptures in.  It's pretty cool.


What places do you shop there in San Elena and San Ignacio?  We basically just shop at all the Chinese stores, because that's all there is.


What is the distance between the two towns?  It's probably like 10 miles between towns 

(click on photos to enlarge)



94 year old man helping his blind friend to the car.

 This is the spot where Elder Leslie wrecked while being chased by dogs.

This is the ditch he fell in. YUCK








ALL SMILES!






Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Dash Dat Beer Brotha

Jake's birthday is October 17.  I know he would love, love it if you were able to send him a birthday card!  He says that in the mission field it is so awesome to get actual snail-mail!  It can take 2-4 weeks for it to arrive in Belize.  You can pick up an international stamp at the post office for $1.20. 

Thanks! Angie

Elder Jacob Stiles
PO Box  79
San Ignacio, Cayo
Belize, Central America

Jacob.Stiles@myldsmail.net


Hey Everyone,

Well so I'll start off at P-Day! We went to the branch president's farm in a place called Bullet Tree. They have a lot of land and we ate chicken with beans and tortillas. They were cooked really good and with some Belize BBQ sauce! I didn't have any other shirt or shorts, and neither did my companion so we just wore the shorts of another kid. We chased around a cow and some of the girls stuck their feet in the river.

This week was super slow.. Like the slowest week in the mission because no one was home and we just went from house to house and nobody... One thing that I really like was I was reading in the talk that President Firmage gave, that I sent a picture of, and it's about the importance of the Book of Mormon in your life. One thing I like is that if you study the B of M for 30 min every day like it says you simply won't have the temptation of evil in your life.  And I can testify that that is true. This book is so important and sometimes I feel like people underestimate it. It was literally a book put together FOR our day so we can endure this life and it's so amazing! Everyone should study it as much as they can and I promise you will see your happiness increase! 



But also Yesterday was Independence day here in Belize! Super cool experience but nothing really got done.. We tried working but everyone was drunk so it was an interesting and slow day.  We went to a member's house to talk to him as the parade went on and it was super bad... Well it was good in the sense that it was well put together but the fact that everyone was drinking and smoking was bad.  Also, every girl from the ages 12 to like 30 that danced and was in the parade twerking so we didn't see most of it.. The day mostly consisted of us passing out Word of Wisdom pamphlets and telling people to stop drinking and doing stupid things. The interesting part was you go up to someone and look them in the eyes and say "Dash Dat Beer Brotha" and a lot of them do it.  All in all I'm glad it's over because hopefully people will actually be home. Super happy this week! Also my comps bike broke yesterday so we were foot missionaries for the day!

I sent a pic of Creole pamphlet from the Jehovah Witnesses so you guys can get a picture of how it looks like. I sent a pic of my missionary box that includes my scriptures, pamphlets and a pass along B of M.  Also another picture because here in Belize this is how we picture the Missionaries in the states (haha)  because no one here has a couch.  We mostly just sit on buckets...

Love Elda Stiles

...and that's what they call us here is "Elda"

QUESTIONS:

So what did you guys get to do for the holiday?  Holidays were kinda sucky cause no one was home.  So finally we can work all day! Super excited.

Did you ever run into Rambo Man again? We never saw rambo man again.  Guess it was a one time thing.

Was Elder Leslie carrying a live chicken, or a dead chicken, or one that had already been butchered?  The chicken he was carrying was a frozen one.


(click on photos to enlarge)


 P-Day at Bullet Tree








This is how we picture Missionaries in the States because no one here has a couch... We mostly just sit on buckets.

 Creole pamphlet from the Jehovah's Witnesses

Letter from President Firmage and the Star Stake Presidency

Missionary box that includes my scriptures, pamphlets and a pass along B of M