Monday, September 18, 2017

Week 74, Sabaneta, Dominican Republic

Even though everyone.....EVERYONE is bugging me about finishing my mission I'm making the most out of the month I have left. I love the mission and being a missionary and I don't want it to end ever! I love the gospel and I love seeing the miracles of god everyday.

We received a reference from Leonida's named Papo. We taught him and his family and friend named Lolo. They are all super awesome and we can tell that they want to make positive changes.

We found a lady named Tonilla and she loves to learn as well. She told us that her dad is scary and hates missionaries so that if he ever comes home when we are teaching her to be prepared. Haha The other day he came home when we were talking to her and he just walked in and ignored us and didn't say anything. She whispered....¨Come back next week!¨ haha little blessing.

Wednesday as we were walking down the road a man yelled hello. We went over and he asked for a Book of Mormon. It turns out that he is a inactive member from Santo Domingo who was once on the high council. He got divorced and got together with someone else and now is living a whole different life. He said that it is his time to come back and that he is sick of feeling so guilty and sad from his choices. We came back and talked to his girlfriend and she told us that she wants to help him to change and wants him to go back to church and is willing to go with him and support him! She is awesome and I want to help them both! 

That night when we got home cockroaches had invaded our house! They aren't my friends so I kicked them out...with a was a good game of shuffle board! ha!

Thursday we woke up early to go to Santiago for zone conference. We met with a lot of zones and had the chance to hear from Elder Fortuna, a member of the 70! He was super funny and I learned a lot about faith and repentance. I learned that in order to do God's work, and find people who are prepared to hear the gospel, we have to be prepared ourselves. We are here inviting people to come to Christ but if we aren't with Christ or doing His will then we can't invite them to COME to Christ we are just inviting them to GO to Christ and that's not the same. 

We also had a really great lesson with a member and her inactive husband. We talked about Lehi's dream of the iron rod, or the word of God. 1 Nephi 15:23-25 The story teaches that if we hold tight to the words of God we won't go astray. 

Saturday we were both so tired and hot so we decided to play a contacting game. "Who can find the best contact with the most potential." My comp found a guy wearing a sombrero and selling ice-cream who gave us free ice-cream. The Lord really blesses us when we are diligent and do his work in the hot and rain. We also taught Yessica about the 10 commandments. She makes me so happy. Her desire to learn and understand is so great and I love seeing her progress.

I'm stressing about leaving this area better than I received it. I want to receive emails every week with baptism photos after I leave. I love the people here and I know that if I prepare myself that the Lord will let me be his hands! I love this gospel  and  I love being a missionary.

I love you all and hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Bake

Monday, September 11, 2017

Week 73, Sabaneta, Dominican Republic

Lunes our branch president had another sick child in the hospital. This has been a regular thing and so we decided to have a family home evening with them in the hospital. Then we headed over the family Bonilla's house and brought ice-cream for Neroliza's Birthday. 

Martes we had the best lesson ever with Yessica. We taught about faith, repentance, baptism, the holy ghost and enduring to the end. She had a lot of great questions and she really has the desire to learn and change. I had planned to invite her to be baptized, but for some reason I was really nervous. I don't know why because it is something we do all the time and really it is just for other's happiness, but I kept putting it off. Finally, at the end I felt the words being pushed out of my mouth! It was super weird and hard to explain. But, I invited her to be baptized and she said yes! She said that she wasn't going to mess with us and she wanted us to know that baptism is something serious to her. 

We also prepared Jose Miguel for his baptism Saturday. He is the funniest kid and cracks me up. It is incredible how the gospel can be understood by the smallest of kids.

In our district meeting. We said good bye to Elder Caicedo, Hermana Escoto, Hermana Valdez and another mini missionary. At the meeting Elder Morales (An elder from my MTC group) taught us a lesson that helped me a lot. He said "Cuando hay amor en nuerstos corazones el temor se va" which means when there is love in our hearts the fear goes away. Its very true and I have tried to apply that in my mission. We have the truth and I am here to help others to have, hear, and understand this gospel.

Miercoles we had transfers! I said goodbye to one of my bestfriends who I only knew for 2 weeks! I am going to miss Hermana Valdez. I am glad for the time we had to learn from each other and serve together in Sabaneta. I'm grateful for her sacrifice and willingness to go on a mini mission and help so many people including me.

Hermana Maxfield is my new companion. She is from the same group as Hermana Lynch, Hermana Shaw and Hermana Letinu! haaha its funny that I have had so many of the sisters from this group. She is super cute. She is 20 years old and is from Arizona. She reminds me a lot of Anders and just makes me laugh all the time. She is so goofy and super sweet.

We had an awesome lesson with China and read more of the Book of Mormon with her. She remembered everything from the other chapters and is falling in love with the Book of Mormon and the gospel of Jesus Christ. China is the lady who had a stroke and can't move half of her body, but she has so much faith. She went to church last week and went to church this week! 

Jueves we stayed inside all day because of the hurricane. It rained a hard and there was a lot of wind, but we were safe. I called all my converts in Puerto Plata and they said that they had some damage but not too much. We cleaned the house, read, studied, planned, and played dominos all day. We were super blessed and protected. Thank you for all your love and prayers.

Sabado Jose Miguel was baptized! He was super excited and super happy to finally be baptized. 

We continue to work hard, and pray hard, to find the people here who are ready and prepared to accept the gospel. I am excited to see these people progress and learn more and more about the gospel and about God's plan. 

Happy to share the gospel,
Happy to serve the Lord

Hermana Bake

Friday, September 8, 2017

Hurrican Irma

Hello Family and Friends,

We have had a crazy few days here in the DR. I'm sure many of you have heard about hurricane Irma that is in the Caribbean islands and southern USA. I pray for everyone in its path. The DR was effected but not hit directly. We just saw a lot of ran and wind. I was super blessed here in Sabaneta. We are under strict watch from our leaders and the leaders from the church. I know they are doing everything that they can so that we are safe. I'm grateful for them and grateful to my Heavenly Father for keeping us safe. I continue to pray for those who are affected or might be. Thank you for all your love and prayers. I hope you all have a safe week!

The Lord protects his children as we do what we are told. He loves us and I have full faith in his plan. 

Hermana Bake

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Week 72, Sabaneta, Dominican Republic

ITS SEPTEMBER!!!!! How crazy the time has gone by. This week is transfers again! I will receive my last companion in the mission! I'm excited to see who it is and I'm excited to give it everything I have. I have one more companion to help and a lot of more people to teach and help progress! 

I continue to love these people here and continue to be impressed with everyone of them. 

We had another awesome lesson with Yessica. She asked us a few questions and then said, ¨I'm starting to really like this Mormon religion! I had my doubts but I just realized that people like to make up lies.¨ She has really great questions and wants to learn. After the lesson she opened up to us and told us about some of her problems. She put her trust in us and her faith in the Lord.

Earlier in the week we went to teach my family, the family Bonilla. I love them but when we passed by the mom was grumpy and didn't want to talk to us. We called a few days later and she was still mad for some reason. We passed by to leave a note and she was at her neighbors house and wouldn't even talk to us or say hi. That night I cried like a little baby. haha But I really didn't know what had happened. We finally passed by again Sunday and the dad answered the door. He asked us where we had been and that they had missed us and told us the come by today. I'm not sure what happened but we will hopefully see today. Keep them in your prayers please.

China is an investigator who we have had for a while. She had a accident and can't move half of her body. We have been teaching her slowly but this week she asked, ¨When are you going to pick me up for church?¨ So Sunday we made the trek to pick her up. She was soo happy and even though it wasn't easy for her she loved it. Church is the best!

Alba, Mercedes, and Jose were a family who we found last week. When we passed by this week Alba´s husband, Hernan was there too. He was even more interested and was super excited to read the book of Mormon and go to church.

A member talked to us last week and wanted us the teach his niece, Rubi. She is a 15 year old girl who the missionaries were teaching but stopped because she went on vacation. We met with her yesterday and invited her to pray to receive an answer if these things are true. She said that she already received her answer and that she wants to be baptized! We put a date with her to be baptized Oct 8th! 

Miracles happen everyday. I know that this is the Lords work and that there are his children who are ready to hear the gospel. I'm grateful to have the chance to share the gospel and to help people grow closer to him! I love you all. I love hearing from you and hope you all have a great week!

Happy birthday grandpa!

Hermana Bake

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Week 71 Sabaneta, Dominican Republic

Hermana Valdez

I was a little scared with Hermana Merril leaving me half way through the transfer. I felt like I didn't know the area (which is the whole town of Sabaneta) and I felt like I didn't know the members or where anyone lived, but I have been really blessed with the help of the Lord. I know that without his help I could not do any of this work. It actually has been a really easy transfer. My new companion is a mini missionary who is just filling in for 2 weeks until the transfers happen. Her name is Hermana Valdez. She is 22 years old and is from the best place ever, BONAO!!!! She is not from the same branch that I serve in, but she knows all of the members there and it's been fun to catch up on everything there.

We have been really blessed to find new people to teach this week and we are excited to see them all progress so fast.

Yulisa and her husband Jose Luis are a cute couple that never stop laughing. I enjoy teaching them, even though sometimes it is a little hard to keep the focus. Yulisa is more serious about the church and wants to gain a testimony. They accepted a date to be baptized the first week in October!

Yessica is a women who we contacted in a Colmado (little store that sells food and supplies) She really wants to find the church that Jesus created when he was on the earth. She practically yelled out the question. She was excited to learn that our church is organized after the same manner that Christ organized His church and that this is His church today. She was more than happy to pray to find out for herself if this is true. She also accepted to be baptized!

Milagros was a women who we found who actually has a daughter who is a member that lives in the USA. She said she likes the church and has gone a few times with her daughter. She said that she was willing to listen to us but this time wants to get an answer.

Ana Jimenez is the branch presidents neighbor who we contacted the other day. As we were contacting her the phone rang and it was president informing us that she knows a lot of members and other info about her hahaah. She also seemed interested and wants her husband to learn with her. 

Alba, Mercedes and Jose are my miracles this week. We contacted Alba a while back but never found her again in her house. We finally found her husband and he told us that she was across the street at her moms house. So we went over there to talk with them. We started to teach Alba and her mom and brother. It turns out that her brother has had the lessons from the sisters 1.5 months ago and had gone to church 3 times but then just got busy! They loved learning and were excited for us to come back.

Agustina is a Haitian who doesn't speak Spanish very well. We contacted her and invited her to church and she came! We passed by her house later that day and she asked us more about church and wants to come every week! Hhaha I love her and hope that some how we can teach her! I know the gift of tongues is real. I'm just not too excited to learn Creole! haha 

I've started reading a book called ¨The Continuous Conversion¨ by Brad Wilcox. Here are some quotes from the book that I just LOVED,

¨The journey of conversion can seem daunting unless we remember that we are not alone.¨ Everyone of us are on this journey of conversion, weather its slow going or fast. We are not alone. Our savior Jesus Christ died for us and for our errors. He wants us to remember him and his love and sacrifice. 

¨We apply the atonement by making covenants in baptism and renewing them week after week and weakness after weakness.¨

¨Heaven is not a prize for the perfect, but the future home of all who are willing the be perfected.¨ We are not even close to being perfect, but that is why we are here. To learn, to grown to act on our faith. To show Heavenly Father that we want to live with him one day. 

I love the teachings of Christ. I love the gospel and my Heavenly Father and I love the chance I have to serve a mission. I love you all and hope that you can have a great week! And everyday learn more, act on your learnings and everyday grow more closer to him.

Hermana Bake

Getting a ride in the back of a truck

My apartment

Last district meeting with Hermana Merrill

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 70 Sabaneta, Dominican Republic

Remember Yermi from Puerto Plata? She got baptized!

Update on the Bonilla family. We had a great lesson with them this week. We taught them about the word of wisdom. We were a little scared because the mom drinks coffee and the dad drinks beer. We taught about the blessings of this commandment and they reacted so well. They made their own goal to quit and told us that it would be no problem.

Sunday Mella and Neroliza went to stake conference with us in Navarrete! They made that sacrifice and loved it. Then we went back and taught them about the law of chastity. They aren't married but have been together for 14 years. Mella flat out told us that she wasn't getting married. It broke my heart, but we left her with the invitation to pray about it. I know that the Lord works miracles. 

Wednesday was the Dia de la restauracion Restoration Day 2. They have two restoration days here in the DR and so it was just another big party day with everyone drinking! 

Sunday we had Stake Conference in Navarrete. It was fun to go back and see my old converts and members. I felt at home and it made me realize how much I missed them all. 

Today was Pday and we went to Mao and played games with our zone. We took guagua pictures and had a blast. Hermana Merrill said good bye to everyone and prepared to leave.

Quotes of the week:

Decisions determine destinies-Thomas S Monson

A great leader is a great follower

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Hermana Bake

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 69, Sabaneta, Dominican Republic

I LOVE THE GOSPEL AND I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!! I'm sorry I say it a lot ...but it's true..
It was hard coming to Sabaneta. We are the only two missionaries here and it is literally the middle of NOWWHERE! But there are some awesome people here who, just in these short weeks, I have learned to love with all my heart! We have some awesome investigators who have just changed completely! Its amazing how the gospel and the spirit changes people and gives them a light and a happiness that they didn't have before. I am blessed to have been able to see that in the lives of these people. I'm bleseds to have strengthened my testimony as I see them accept this wonderful gospel.

Family Bonilla are my family. Andres, La Mella and Neroliza (14 year old daughter). They have had there share of missionaries but have never really committed. Andres went to church before and loved it but once the missionaries left, he stopped. The other two were never ready or interested much. We found them one day and fell in love with this family. They promised to come to church and really started to have this desire to read, pray and come to church. THEY CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY and loved it! They got home so happy and filled with the spirit. We visited with them after church and invited them to be baptized. They pretty much cheered with joy and were sooo happy. We talked a little bit about the commandments that we live and follow because we knew that beer is a problem in this country. Andres told us that he was willing to do everything he needs to have the blessings and happiness that come from this gospel. They went on and on about their excitement and I literally almost cried. I love this family and am so happy for them. We invited them to stake conference which is an hour and a half away and they were so down for it and excited to go! La Mella told us that it was a sacrifice worth making! 

Yamilka has been sick but still wanted to meet with us this week. She has been reading and praying and is still excited about her baptism date. I'm hoping that stake conference will help these awesome people feel the spirit and receive answers to their prayers. It's hard being in a small branch but Christ's church is the same!

Kiara works at a lottery place and is never home. We have started to teach her at her work which is a little weird but she is also so great and loves to learn.

Griselda's mom died so we finally got to visit with her again after 2 weeks! We shared again the plan of salvation and I shared the story of Pedro (remember Pedro who's son died). She cried and we all cried and had a great lesson about families and how we will be with them forever. We have a purpose here on earth and a life full of happiness after this life and I am grateful to know about that. I'm grateful to be able to share that here too and help people to have this happiness.

Victoria has changed 100% from drinking and parting to going to church, working and loving her beautiful family. The gospel changes lives!

We have also contacted, and finally taught, some awesome new people who I just love!
Rosa and her kids: It started off buying lemonade and now she is learning more and gaining a bigger smile every time we pass by to talk to her. Her kids have also accepted to talk to us and are super smart kids.

We were wandering out in the middle of no where and found a super rich area. We saw someone leaving an apartment complex and we desired to run into the complex before the gate shut. The only one home was the owner and her 15 year old son. Yaquelina and Jose Ariel. They are super rich but super humble. The missionaries used to live in one of their apartments but never connected with them. We shared the restoration with them and they loved it. She said that it was time for them and we planned to come back to teach the whole family!

Maria and family are cute. Maria loves us and told us that she feels happy when we come. She tries so hard to understand the things we teach and asks awesome questions.

Stephani and family are Jehovah witnesses but have really loved our lessons. They have been praying and reading the Book of Mormon and are soaking up everything we say. Her 13 year old brother walked all the way to the church alone to go to our English class and always wants us to come by the house. 

Today I said Good bye to my trainer and best friend in the mission! She is from Argentina and so it was hard to say Good Bye. But I'm grateful for her and all that she has taught me and done for me on my mission! Till we meet again Hermana Sandoval!

There are people everywhere prepared to accept the gospel. Your friends, your family, your neighbors. Invite them, be an example to them and love them. Don't be afraid of the truth that we know and love. Share these blessings with everyone you know! I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Pray he is there, Speak he is listening, You are His child.

¨Get on your knees and ask for the blessings of the Lord, Then stand on your feet and do what you are asked to do.¨ Gordon B Hinckley

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Bake