Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Week 19, Bonao, Dominican Republic

Hola a todos!

This week was great and full of change and goodbyes.

Lunes we had our last pday as a district. We hiked in the mountains, cleaned and talked a lot. We visited Hector, our neighbor and investigator and he gave us umbrellas (for the sun) haha. He also gave us juice and crackers like always. We also visited Nardo our branch mission leader and he gave us milkshakes! Oh how I miss ice cream. haha

Martes we had our last district meeting before transfers. We found out that Hermana Sandoval is being transferred to Santiago and Elder Trejo was being transferred to La Habón (which is the border of Haiti and the DR) Its really unsafe and really really really hot. Haha he wasn't too happy about that, but he is a great missionary and will do great where ever he serves.

We then had lunch with our zone and said good bye to everyone.

Both Hermana Sandoval and I were really sad about the transfers. She is my sister and my mommy in the mission and has taught me a ton! We visited members and investigators all day and said good bye to them. They gave us both gifts and we took lots of pictures.

That night we didn't sleep much....bueno we didn't sleep at all. ( I know...disobedient missionaries) But we didn't have light and electricity for a long time and Hermana Sandoval needed to do laundry and packed. We packed and talked all night long.

Miércoles we were a little tired but after sleeping for 2 hours we woke up and waited for transportation to Santiago. We walked around the neighborhood, ate breakfast and talked about last minute things I needed to learn and know.

At transfers I saw Elder Paulino my old district leader and took pictures with him. I said good bye to Hermana Sandoval and Elder Trejo and met my new companion Hermana Butterfield (de Utah) as well as met my Hijo( Son) in the mission, Elder Lagos (de Nicaragua). When someone in your district is training a missionary they are the dad or mom of the missionary and the missionary who has the most time in the area is the dad or the mom of the new missionary. And so since I have the most time in the area I am the ¨mom¨ of Elder Lagos.

We arrived back to the house, ate lunch and Hermana Butterfield unpacked a little. She is super sweet. She is 20 years old, from Utah, and has been on her mission for 1 year. Her Spanish is really good and her testimony is super strong.

Jueves I introduced Hermana Butterfield to the investigators and the members in the area.

Viernes we worked really hard. When we went to visit Miguelina she had just returned from a branch activity and was stressed because her house was a mess. We helped her clean her house which was really fun. I love serving and seeing the faces of the people we help.

Sabado we contacted all morning and found a lot of new investigators. When we visited Yineuri she said she wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon. So we got to talk about the Book of Mormon, which is my favorite. We also visited Brinda (less active girl) and also talked with her grandma who is very catholic. We gained the trust of Brinda and her grandma and then invited them to church. Brinda said yes!

Domingo we walked to Brinda's house so we could walk to church with her. I'll admit that my faith wasn't the strongest in her. But when we arrived she was all dressed and ready for church! When we arrived at church Yailin and Jeuri were there too.

My ¨hijo,¨ Elder Lagos, bore his testimony during sacrament meeting and it was super strong and powerful (proud mommy moment). I also made a Dominican lunch which was fun. We invited Milagros to be baptized and are working with her husband right now to get him to support her. We visited a member who is super, super pregnant and is over due. She is super strong. Wow mom power. On the way home we met and taught 2 new investigators. I learned that its important to work till the last minute.

This week I learned more about the Book of Mormon. I learned that the Book of Mormon is a witness of Christ (2 Nephi 25:26) is the fullness of doctrine (D&C 20:9) and is the foundation of testimonies. When we believe in the Book of Mormon, we believe that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and restored the gospel to the earth, that Jesus Christ lives and that the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints is the true church.

Boyd K Packer said, ¨In a world ever more dangerous... the Book of Mormon: Another testament of Jesus Christ has the nourishing spirits of the world¨

Things I learned as I studied the Book of Mormon this week:

1 Nephi 10:17-19 I like this scripture because Nephi heard the words of his father the prophet and then wanted to know for himself if these things are true. He prayed and asked Heavenly Father and gained the testimony for himself. We pray with faith and diligently seek for an answer and find it through the Holy Ghost.

1 Nephi 16: 28-29 Talks about faith and diligence and how the Liahona only works with faith and diligence. We need to have faith and then act on that faith.

1 Nephi 16: 23 is the story of Nephi when he breaks his bow and his family doesn't have food or a way to get food. Instead of complaining Nephi makes a bow and asks his father were to go for food. He had faith and then diligently acted on his faith.

I want to be more like Nephi. I love how we can learned from these stories and improve our lives. The Book of Mormon truly testifies of Christ and guides us and teaches us things we need to do to make our lives happier. The gospel is happiness and is so true and I love everything about it.

Rosa Ramos story: The other day as we were re-contacting and I approached a house that I thought a lady named Rosa Ramos lived in. I said hello and a little girl came to the door. I asked her if her mom was home and she said no. I then asked her to say hi to her mom for us. As I was walking away I realized that the house next the house that we were just at was Rosa's house and that I don't even know the little girls mom. Haha I can just imagine the little girl saying that Hermana Bake says hi....and the mom being super confused and wondering who is Hermana Bake?

I love this gospel, I know its true with all my heart, I'm grateful to be a missionary and I love every minute of my mission! I hope you all have a great week! I love you all and miss you!

Hermana Bake

The Bend in the Road by Helen Steiner Rice

When we feel we have nothing left to give
And we are sure that the "song has ended"--
When our day seems over and the shadows fall
And the darkness of night has descended,

Where can we go to find the strength
To valiantly keep on trying,
Where can we find the hand that will dry
The tears that the heart is crying--

There's but one place to go and that is to God
And, dropping all pretense and pride,
We can pour out our problem without restraint
And gain strength with Him at our side--

And together we stand at life's crossroads
And view what we think is the end,
But God has a much bigger vision
And he tells us it's only a bend--

For the road goes on and is smoother,
And the "pause in the song" is a "rest,"
And the part that's unsung and unfinished
Is the sweetest and richest and best--

So rest and relax and grow stronger,
Let go and let God share your load,
Your work is not finished or ended,
You've just come to "a bend in the road."

Elder Trejo

Good Bye Hermana Sandoval

Elder Morfin, Hermana Sandolval, Elder Trejo

Week 18, Bonao, Dominican Republic

Hola Familia y Amigos,

Yo amo todo! This week was great. Every week is great if you make it great.

Lunes we joined Leonida and Patricia for family home evening with the Elders. Patricia gave the lesson and then after Leonida fed us like always. They are seriously the best and super strong in the gospel! Leonida and Patricia are like my aunts and I love them so much!

Martes we had District meeting with the zone leaders and then went out to lunch. It was fun to talk to the Elders. Our zone leader is going home this week and is feeling pretty weird about it. Its funny to see him act all excited and scared to go home. Hahah We also had intercombios. Hermana Sandoval went to LaVega with Hermana Bishoff and I stayed in Bonao with Hermana Yanes. We had a blast and worked hard. It was fun to be the senior companion for the day and teach most of the lessons. It gave me peace and confidence that I can do this! Hahah. Patricia helped us out in one lesson and after the lesson Hermana Yanes asked Patricia how long she has been a member. Particia said "one month" haha Hermana Yanes could not believe it. It's so true though Patricia has such a strong testimony and knows so much because she has studied the gospel and reads the Book of Mormon everyday. She is an example to me! I love her.

Viernes we visited Yineuri and she asked us if we could start the lessons all over again. I was super humbled and happy. She actually wants to know and understand the gospel.

Sabado we had lunch with Abuela (Grandma). She lives downstairs from us and owns the apartments that we live in. We had told her earlier that week that we ate out one day and she got mad at us and told us that we aren't allowed to eat street food and so she made us lunch. haha. I love Abuela! We also watched the restoration video with Yineuri and her kids Jailin and Jeuri. I feel the spirit every time I watch that video and its so amazing to me how much sacrifice people went through because they knew that the church is true. Wow. The church is true guys!

We also visited Hector, one of our old investigators. He gave us juice and crackers like always (He makes the worlds best juice) I invited him to church and told him that Hermana Sandoval had a talk.

Domingo Hector, Milagros, and Jailin all showed up at church!

Hector showed up in a suit and it turns out that he knows Hermano Luna(a ward member). He answered questions during class and after church the bishop asked us when his baptism date was.. haha we are working on it.

Jailin slept at Leonida and Patricias house and went to church with them! It was fun to see her all excited to go to church!

Milagros woke up early and walked to Miguelina's house and then walked to church with Miguelina and her kids. At church it turns out that she knows Hermana Juana (another member)!

They all had a great time at church and felt the spirit!

Hermana Sandoval and I taught the primary kids how to sing the song, Follow the Prophet. It was fun but a lot of work. I admire primary teachers! Wow, what an important calling!

Last night was also Pday eve. We made popcorn and decided to sleep in the living room because our bedroom was way too hot and we didn't want to die of hotness.

Hoy is Pday obviously and we had a blast! We woke up early and took a gwagwa to another part of Bonao and hiked around. We couldn't go to the waterfalls because of rules, but we hiked around the other part of the mountain and took pictures. Hermana Sandoval hurt herself on a fence that we may or may not have been trying to jump over so we had to cut our fun adventure short. But it was still a blast! 

Transfers are miercoles! I'm pretty sure I'm staying here in Bonao but Hermana Sandoval is probably getting transferred! Its sad and I'll miss her a ton but I'm excited to learn something new from another companion.

Funny Stories:

Libros or Libras
For all you Spanish speakers you know that Libros means Books and Libras is a weight (pounds). Saturday when we visited Hector, he asked me, "tiene mas libras?" which pretty much means "Wow Hermana Bake you are really fat" haha but I didn't hear him and asked "libros or libras?" Hermana Sandoval told Hector "You don't need to repeat that!"  ahaha Hector! Wow...well I do have more book and I'm pretty sure I'm the same weight.. gracias Hector.

Hermana No Name
Yesterday when we were contacting Hermana Sandoval forgot her name tag. The first house we went to introduced ourselves and I said, "My name is Hermana Bake and my companions name is......" I looked at Hermana Sandoval and noticed that she didn't have her tag. Hermana Sandoval continued and said "my name is....." and as she pointed to her shirt she too realized that she didn't have her name tag. "Hermana No Name" We all laughed and explained that we were both caught off guard because we always use our name tags and it was weird that she forgot hers.

Arroz con Leche
Last night Hermana Sandoval was craving rice with milk and cinnamon. We had just enough milk to make the perfect amount. The rice was just about ready and she went to add the final touch with some cinnamon. She didn't know but she grabbed the cayenne pepper instead (they look the same) When she was finished she took a big bite expecting to taste something sweet. The next thing I know Hermana Sandoval is screaming and crying and spiting out her rice with milk and cayenne pepper. She was so mad that she ruined her rice with milk! Haha I almost died of laughter.

I read an awesome talk in the Liahona Feb 2015 called, "What we know about the Pre Mortal Life" I loved how it talked about our purpose. It said that each of us is a beloved spirit son or daughter of Heavenly Parents with a divine nature and destiny. Knowing that everyone on earth chose to follow the Savior in the premortal life gives a new purpose to doing missionary work. Every child of God in mortality chose the Saviors plain. Trust that given the opportunity, they will do so again.
I love this! Each of us is important to our Heavenly Father. He loves us all and wants all of us to return to him again. We all made the choice before and we can all make that choice again. We need to help our family members, friends and everyone to make that same choice!

If you receive Zakary Gibbons emails you know that he encourages us to go out with the missionaries and how 1 or 2 hours make such a big difference! It is so true! We need help from the members. Missionary work is for everyone and it blesses everyone. I second what Zak said. Please go out with the missionaries!

I know that this church is true! I love this gospel with all my heart. I know I say it a lot, but I really can't say it enough! I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ and I'm so humbled and greatful that I'm blessed with this opportunity to share the gospel with these awesome people here in Bonao!

Have a great week, stay safe. say your prayers and remember and follow your Heavenly Father ALWAYS. I love you all!

Con amor,

Hermana Bake


Week 17, Bonao, Dominican Republic

Jessica - a member who helps us with lessons

Hola Familia!!!! 

I miss you all and love you all but OH MY GOODNESS I LOVE THE MISSION! It is the best thing in the whole wide world. It is not always easy but I am sooooo happy and I love that I have the blessing of serving a mission and helping others come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Lunes was pday. After relaxing and having a fun day we went to work. We had ¨Noche Hugar¨(Family Home Evening) with Leonida and Patricia and taught them about family home evening and gave them a little spiritual message. I love that we have Family Home Evening. Families are so important and this night is so important to spend time with your family and grow closer and stronger together. We also had family home evening with the Luna Family (members). 

Martes we taught and worked hard and found more people to teach. A member, Jessica Reinoso, helped us a lot. She is the best. She is always willing to help us and works hard with us. She is going to be a AWESOME missionary in 3 years.

Miercoles we visited Yineuri and her kids. She constantly tells us that she knows the church is true and always asks about her baptism date. She needs to get married before she can be baptized and has been talking with her boy friend about marriage a lot. He said yes and he also said that he wants to start listening to our lessons and going to church too. He sees how important it is to Yineuri. 

We also had the chance to read the Book of Mormon with Leonida, Miguelina and Rosanna and Julio. I love reading the Book of Mormon with investigators. I love helping them understand and learn about the importance of the Book of Mormon and the blessings that come from the Book of Mormon. 

We also visited a less active family and the daughter continued to torture us by talking about the Olympics. 

Jueves we passed a lady who was shelling peas. We went and helped her and talked to her about her family and her life and then it started to rain so she invited us into her house. We then had the chance to share with her our message and about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Oh how I love the rain...some times.

We also read the Book of Mormon with Julio and Rosanna again and then they fed us dinner. After dinner Julio started to tell us stories. He told us a story about when he killed a chicken to eat and when he chopped off the head of the chicken the chicken popped up and ran around the yard! Then they started to talk about spirits and then I felt the Holy Ghost leave. I felt real uncomfortable and wanted to leave so I said a prayer. 1 minute later Hermana Sandoval said that It was time to go! I was so grateful that my prayer was answered so fast. I love my Heavenly Father and I know that he loves me and cares about me.

Viernes we helped the Relief Society clean the church which was fun. We contacted a lot and found more people to teach. 

Sabado I had potatoes for lunch and was so excited to eat potatoes! My Idaho food! but after lunch I did not feel good at all. We went out and taught Jovista and she gave us soda and crackers. It was awful and I felt like passing out. Then we visited Milagros and she gave us icecream! It's not nice here to say no when people give you food so I felt like I had to eat it. Then we visited Rosanna and she gave us food too. I was about to die but was also laughing at the same time. Of course the day that I don't feel good and don't want to eat EVERYONE gives us food. haha Leonida gave me medicine and we read the Book of Mormon and relaxed a little. 

Domingo Miguelina, the Lady who was baptized last week, helped us with two lessons. She bore her testimony at the end about why she joined the church and how the church changed her life. Both ladies we taught were in awe and we could all feel the spirit so strong. Her testimony is so strong. It was awesome to hear her testimony. She also invited one of the ladies to walk to church with her next week! She is such a great missionary!

Today was P-Day Santiago. We got to go to Santiago with Elder Trejo and Elder Morfin (our District) We went to a big mall and walked around and ate ice-cream and pizza. We also ran into a ton of other Elders at the mall which was fun. We also visited the mission office and said hi to Elder and Hermana Levitt (the missionary couple in the office) It was super fun to see other Elders and Hermanas. 

I love the Gospel. I love my Heavenly Father and I love Jesus Christ. I know that they live. I know that they love us and I am grateful to have this knowledge and that I have the chance to share it with everyone!

Hermana Bake

Miguelina, Sandy and Magdalena on their first Sunday as members


Elders Trejo and Morfin in Santiago

Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 16, Bonao, Dominican Republic

Miguelina, Sandy and Magdalena


It's been a super great week! It rained a lot but that's pretty normal here. I've never seen so much rain in my life and that says a lot because I'm from Oregon! Hahaha

Martes was hard. We thought we would have our final lesson with Nicauri before baptism. However, she wasn't progressing and told us that she wasn't sure about being baptized anymore. It was sad because she has a testimony! We love her and want her to be happy and have the blessings from the gospel. We answered questions that she had and bore our testimonies to her. She cried and we cried, and she told us that she knows the church is true and wants to be baptized. I'm glad for that experience, it taught me to never give up. When an investigator is struggling, it's not always their fault. I learned that there is always something more that we can do for them, and maybe we need to present things in a different way. Everyone is a child of God and everyone needs the blessings from this gospel.

Miercoles we had lunch with Julio and Rosanna. I love Dominican food...which is funny because that is one thing I was not excited about when I left on my mission. haha We visited a less active member Janet Mejia. She and her husband work on Sundays and it's hard for them the attend church. They know the church is true, and they want to got to the temple. They know that the temple is important and that it blesses families. I loved hearing her testimony about the temple. We also talked to Miguelina, Sandy and Magdalena about their baptisms scheduled for Saturday. They were super excited. Miguelina doesn't smile a lot, but whenever we talk about her baptism she gets the biggest smile!
Yaroa - Fried platanos, chili with some kind of meat and cheese.

Jueves, in the morning, Miguelina had her interview with our mission president, President Castillo. We met her at the church and it turned out that she arrived an hour early to the interview. Miguelina, Sandy and Magdalena were all dressed in their Sunday best and looked so happy. It was fun to see President Castillo, and he gave us and Miguelina chocolate :) He is the best. The Elders came and interviewed the kids. They are all ready for baptism! 
We taught Nicauri again and changed the way we taught. We found that when we use more visuals she understands more. I've learned a lot about how to teach and how our job is to teach people and not lessons. Every person is different and needs different things. 

We also practiced a special musical number  with the Elders for the baptism of Miguelina, Sandy and Magdalena. The Elders are not the best singers, but we rely on the spirit so the people will the feel the spirit and feel peace and happiness during the song.

Viernes it rained super hard all day. With the rain it also flooded which was fun. It was a little hard to be 100% obedient because we aren't allowed to swim on our missions. We tried our best to avoid the super big pools of water. We taught Miguelina, Sandy and Magdalena and answered questions about their baptisms and talked to them about their feelings. They were all super excited. We sang Hymns and I loved singing I am a child of God¨ with them, because the kids have memorized that song! So cute!

Sabado we went to clean the church with the Elders for the baptism, but when we showed up the Church was clean and the baptism was all set up and ready! We visited Yineuri and Yailin and Jauri. Yineuri said that she talked with her ¨husband¨ about legally being married. She told him the importance of marriage to her and told him that she really wanted to be baptized and knows that the church is true! Wow.

Nicauri has been missing her grandma who passed away. We talked to her about temples and family history and how we can be with our families forever! Her eyes changed and she is super excited about family history and temple work.

An hour before the baptism of Miguelina, Sandy, Magdalena and the elders called and said that they didn't have clothes for the kids to get baptized! After lots of stress we figured is out. Miguelina and her kids were late to the baptism but were happy and excited. Everything went awesome! The spirit was so strong and Miguelina, Sandy and Magdalena all got baptized! Sammy Reinoso baptized Miguelina and Sandy and Elder Morfin baptized Magdalena. 
After the baptism we walked home with Miguelina, Sandy and Magdalena and they were new people! Everything was perfect and everyone was so happy! The importance of baptism is incredible! And the blessings are even more incredible. 

Domingo was fast and testimony meeting. The spirit was super strong. Almost every member had the chance to share their testimony. Half way through the meeting Miguelina stood up. Both Hermana Sandoval and I looked at each other. Was she going to the bathroom? Or was she going to share her testimony? She walked up the to pulpit and bore the most beautiful testimony. It was the coolest experience ever. THE CHURCH IS TRUE. Then Patricia bore her testimony! 

Later that night we visited Leonida and Patricia. Nicauri was at their house and so we decided to have another testimony meeting, and we all shared our testimonies. It was an awesome experience to listen to Leonida and Nicauri (who aren't members) share their testimonies and share how they know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church. 

Today was fun. For P-day we walked around Bonao and took pictures of the art and looked at buildings and museums and such. We ate fruit from the streets (I'm not sure if its clean, but its okay haha) We also ran into Miguelina. She was working and so we bought food from her. Some guy came over and talked to us and she told him to watch what he says because she is our mom. Hahah She is sweet (little mommy bear).
Story While Contacting:
Contacting is always interesting because we don't really have a plan. We just talk to everyone about the gospel and try to find people who are interested. Sunday was super hot and we tried to walk in the shade. We decided to go talk with a lady who we had talked to the other day. We found ourselves walking down a street with NO SHADE! We were both on the verge of dying and trying to find shade for my white skin when a cute couple asked what we were looking for. My companion said ¨the shade¨ half joking but serious. They said ¨oh there is shade on our porch! Come!¨ They also gave us cold water! We were grateful for their kindness and shared with them our purpose as missionaries. The Lord works in all kinds of ways. Thanks to the sun we were able to find this family.

Helaman 5:12 Remember to build your foundation on Christ! When you do that you can not fall! He is always there and wanting to help! He died for us! He loves each and everyone of us! Remember him and follow him!

I love you all! I love this gospel and I'm grateful to be serving a mission! Have a great week!

Hermana Bake

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 15, Bonao, Dominican Republic

Hola Familia and Amigos,

I don't know what week it is for me anymore. Everyday is the same, but then again everyday is sooo different. The time is flying by.

This week we received a list from Nardo (our branch missionary leader). The list had all the names or the members who are in the branch and their addresses. There are a ton of non active members on the list so our goal for this week was to visit them, invite them to church, see if we could meet with them more, teach them, or if we can help them in any way. This turned out to be a lot more work than we planned. We walked a TON this week. I'm pretty sure that I still have feet...pretty sure but...not positive. Jessica Reinsos helped us out a ton with this too. She was very helpful with directions, and she was able to identify people on the list. 

We are teaching this cute new family: Yineuri, Yailin and Jeuri! They are super interested and super nice to us. They are always so excited to see us and tell us about what they have read and how they prayed. haha They we so excited to show us all the clothes they bought for Sunday. 

Our investigators are super great about sharing the gospel with their friends. It makes our lives a lot easier. I wish I was more like them. This gospel is happiness! Why wouldn't you want to share it? "Hey, I want you to be happy and have the same happiness that I have! Do you want to hear more about the gospel and the church of Jesus Christ that has blessed my life and that can bless your life too?" Its so simple! 

Domingo it rained a ton! Perfect day for contacting and finding more people to teach! Everyone is so nice here and loves to invite us in (especially when its rainy). It was also the Dia de Padres on Domingo too. Happy Fathers day Dad! I love you! It was great for contacting too, because everyone was with their families! Perfect too, because our message, and our church, blesses families, and the family is super important in our church!

Patricia, our convert, gave a talk on Sunday about faith and did such an awesome job! She has such a strong testimony and knows so much! 

My friend from the CCM, Elder Colon (Serving in Puerta Rico) told me that "This is the best job I'll ever have" I totally agree with him! Seeing people's lives change for the better, seeing the gospel bless families and people, seeing the light of Christ enter peoples lives and all the other things the gospel blesses us with is incredible! I LOVE this gospel and am so glad to have it in my life. This blessing of sharing the gospel with others is THE BEST. 

Alma 29:9 "This is not your mission. It is His mission. Forget yourself and become an instrument in the Lords hands" -Oaks

"Do your best, Say your prayers and work hard. Leave the harvest to the Lord."-Gordon B Hinckley

Matthew 17:20 "We can not have miracles unless we have faith" -Sister Zivic

"Don't ever come home with the regret of what could have been"-Holland

Faith is the power 
Obedience is the price
Love is the motive
The spirit is they key
Jesus Christ is the reason

Funny Stories:

Last night a guy came up to Hermana Sandoval and I and started to talk to us. We could tell that he was drunk and so we both were on our toes ready for anything. After talking to him we said "okay, nice to meet you" and then shook hands to leave. When he shook my hard he wouldn't let got so I pulled my hand away really fast. Hermana Sandoval didn't see what had happened and shook his hand too. Then he tried to kiss her, but some teenager jumped in and we hurried and left. It was more funny than anything but taught us a good lesson. 

Today as I was trying to read my emails some guy from New York tried talking to me. He is here visiting his parents. He spoke to me in English and when I went to respond my response just came out in Spanish. He asked me to speak to him in English. I tried to speak in English but couldn't. Literally, I could not speak English! It hurt my head and made me think too hard! Well it's good that I don't have to worry about speaking English for a year and a few months. Haha

Love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Bake