Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 23, Bonao, Dominican Republic

Julio, Rosanna and Civana

Hola A Todos,

Well I don't have much time to write this week. We spent most of the day in Santiago at the mission office and the doctor. We also met up with a bunch of Elders and Hermanas for lunch in Santiago.

We spent this week preparing Hector Ovando for his baptism. It was fun to see him get excited about his baptism. He loved learning new things and I loved watching him accept and then pray about every new thing he learned. I love prayer and how it really lets you know for a surety that things are true. I also liked it because Hector made us his famous juice and some type of treat every day. 

Miercoles we went with Hector and the Deckers (Missionary couple) to see the Meet the Mormons video at the churches camp. It was super fun and super powerful watching it as a missionary. I LOVE being a Mormon and a missionary and my testimony in this church is strengthened everyday. 

Jeuves, in the morning, Hector called us and told us that he wasn't going to get baptized. I died a little inside. How could someone who knows the church is true just give up 3 days before his baptism? We visited him that night and found out that after the movie he was super excited about his baptism and invited his daughter to his baptism. His daughter is super Catholic and freaked out. She told him that he would ruin the family and create a divide in the family if he got baptized. He didn't want to make an enemy of her and so told us that he needed time to let her calm down and maybe one day she will accept the gospel too. It broke my heart. He then continued to bare his testimony about the Book of Mormon and the prophets and the church. He then expressed his desire to be baptized and I lost it. I'm sorry wow.... It breaks my heart that he wants to be baptized but doesn't know how in a way that will not hurt his family. 

I'm so grateful to have this gospel in my life. This gospel blesses families.

Viernes we had intercombios and Hna Yanes (from Guatemala) came to Bonao with me again. It was fun to visit the investigators that she met the last time. We had a great time and I learned a lot from her.

Sabado we finished up intercombios and then worked hard before the baptism. Two investigators of the Elders were baptized. Danilo and Julio. I just love watching them change and come closer to Heavenly Father. There is a special thing about baptisms.

My week was great! I love being a missionary and I LOVE being a Mormon. I KNOW this church is true with ALL my heart. I hope you all have a great week.

CHALLENGE: Share your testimony with someone with week! Tell them what you believe and why you believe it. Pray to our Heavenly Father every night and thank him for all of our many blessings.

SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, we are never alone, God is with us ALWAYS and loves us sooo much!

Be happy! Its a choice! I love you all and miss you a ton!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Bake
Selfie with the zone leaders

Leonida and Patricia


Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 22, Bonao, Dominican Republic

Yailin and Jeuri's Baptism

Hola a todos,

This week has been pretty crazy trying to get Yailin and Jeuri ready from their baptisms. But it was all worth it and they are happy cute little members now!

Martes I was stressed about the training that I had to give in our District meeting that morning, then I found out that the zone leaders were attending too! Yeahhh. All is well. It was good. My theme was the Book of Mormon, so it was pretty easy and powerful. The zone leaders laughed at me and said I was really excited about the Book of Mormon. But why wouldn't I?!?! It's only the best book ever.

After the meeting we had lunch with a new missionary couple in our area. The Deckers are the best, and they are super cute. Hermana Decker was asked to work with the music in the branches and she pulled out her violin. I just about died of happiness and she let me play it. -Yes parents I still know how to play. The only bad part is now I've been recruited to play in sacrament meeting haha.

That night we taugh Yailin and Jeuri and then we walked to a members house to wish him a happy birthday. When we got to the house we said hi and Ramon responded from the other room. After 5 minutes of talking to him from the other room we asked him to come out and it turns out he was in the bathroom talking to us the whole time. Hahah these houses have no privacy! Haha

Jueves we had a zone conference with Hermano and Hermana Martinez from the quorum of the 70. It was super cool to hear his conversion story and his testimony about missionary work. I love hearing about how people come to know and embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ

Viernes the Deckers spent all day making mosquito frames and nets for our beds which was super nice. Yailin and Jeuri also had their baptism interview!

Sabado was awesome! We spent to morning cleaning and setting up for the baptism. Lots of members and family and friends of Yailin and Jeuri showed up and it all went awesome. I loved seeing them feel the spirit and make this change. I loved watching their family and friends feel the spirit as well. Baptism really is the door to a new life and changes people.

Domingo was great. Hector came to church for the 4th time and loves Sunday school. I love how devoted he is and how he really studies and wants to know more about the gospel. His face really lit up when we talked about eternal marriage and the idea that we can be with our families forever. Hector's wife died so this principle made him feel at peace. 

I continue to be inspired by people around me. Every morning I witness our neighbor leaving for work. And every morning I witness him sitting in his car and saying a prayer before he leaves. It is just a reminder to me how important prayers are and that we always have a Heavenly Father to talk to, and he will help us and listen to us. He loves us!

I know the Church is true. I love this gospel with all my heart. I hope you all have a great week and stay safe! I love you all!

Con Mucho Amor,
Hermana Bake

We pass this sign every day and it makes me laugh

Getting ready for the baptism

This is our church building. One is the chapel and the other is for the classrooms

Our apartment building - pretty fancy

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 21, Bonao, Dominican Republic

Hola Familia y Amigos,

I feel like not that much has happened, but so much has happened at the same time. Time is flying by. I already have 5 months in the mission! What the heck! What happened with the time. Stop! Slow down! Ahhh haha.

I have learned so much though in these 5 months, and I have experience so many great things. I have the best job in the world, and it is the most rewarding too. I get to feel the love of our Heavenly Father everyday and have his constant love, support and help. I love it. I love the mission and I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, and I know it's true with all my heart.

For all of my mission we have been visiting Hector and his daughter Adelkys and her daughter Yelisa. They are such great people, but they were not really progressing in the gospel. However, they love the Lord and Hector reads the Bible everyday. I'm not sure what finally changed, but the week before Hermana Sandoval left Hector attended church. He felt the spirit there and he is finally progressing.. 

Lunes we visited him again,taught him, and we invited him to be baptized. He accepted and is getting baptized in 2 weeks! He is super prepared and knows a ton about the gospel.

Martes we had zone meeting and I finally got my package! Thanks family and thank you to all the activity girls who wrote me those letters. You are all great examples to me. Keep up the good work, make good choices and never stop saying your prayers.

It also rained a ton on Tuesday (like a TON ....LIKE A TON), but we still went out and worked. Good thing I have 3 umbrellas because this rain is not nice haha. I'm down an umbrella now and have permanent wet shoes haha but it's great! We taught an old investigator named Ironeli and invited her to be baptized. She wants to be baptized but is also 9 months pregnant, so I think we are going to wait till after her baby in born. 

Miercoles we visited a member named Julia and her new baby boy! We also had a ward activity and invited everyone. Julio and his daughter, Civana, came and had a blast Hector came too. At the end of the activity we all got together to give announcements and one of the Elder's investigators (who is President Garcias, sister's boyfriend) proposed to her!!!! It was soooo cute!!! 

We got home and were exhausted. We did our nightly planning and got ready for bed. I made up a few words that night too as I was half asleep. My brain doesn't work anymore and my Spanglish is perfected now...not to brag... Meñ-oring is my favorite new word of mine.. meñana and morning. 

As I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom, Hermana Butterfield ran in and informed me that a cockroach had flown into my dresser in the bedroom. We spent the next 30 minutes chasing down the cockroach and screaming and crying. Finally after 30 minutes of my screaming and crying and Hermana Butterfield chasing it down all around the house, she ended the life of the devilish cockroach. Then we spent another 30 minutes talking about why God created cockroaches. We decided that there needs to be opposition in all things..and that is why we have cockroaches. 
Jueves we had lunch with Leonida and Patricia..again..They had a question about using the Lords name in vain and we talked about how our Heavenly Father is important and his name is sacred and special and so that is why we don't use his name casually. Then they asked if that is why all the missionaries say ¨Hay mi madre¨ instead. haha it's such a bad habit but its so true...All the missionaries say that...It's like ¨Oh my Gosh¨ but still... We could be saying better things..oops

We also taught Miguelinas other friend. She is such a great missionary and loves to share the gospel with all her friends. 

We also taught Hector, Adelkys and Yelisa about the Plan of Salvation and they LOVED it. I love it too! I love that we understand where we came from, why we are here on this earth and where we are going after this earth. I love that we know that we can live with God again and that he loves us sooo much. 

Viernes was a miracle. Patricia told us that Yailin and Jeuri (Our old investigators who were going to get baptized but who moved) came back and want to be baptized still! I literally cried...just a little. I was so happy and I missed them a ton! 

We also had our weekly meeting to inform the branch of our investigators and let them know what they could do to help them. Its hard to work with this branch....I'll be honest... They are just really young and need a little more faith. We informed them about a less active member who we are teaching and they just laughed when we told them that he was progressing. It hurt a little and I was really confused and a little upset. It's important to remember to have faith! To have faith in people and NEVER give up on them. This is a child of God who has accepted the gospel and wants to continue to follow Christ. It's important as ward members to support them and love them no matter how many times they failed or messed up in the past. They are children of God and God loves them just as much as he loves you, which is A LOT. 

Sabado we spent an hour trying to find a reference and ended up talking to and meeting a lot of new awesome people but never found the person who we were trying to find! 

Domingo was awesome! Sundays are always awesome. Eight investigators came to church and 4 less active members came as well. I love it when they come to church because they get to feel the spirit and partake of the sacrament and fulfill this important commandment. We also taught Yailin, Yineuri and Jeuri and Hector. They are all awesome and I love them a ton! 

I'm glad that I have this time to love, help, teach, and invite these people here to come closer to Christ. I LOVE my calling and I'm grateful to have this opportunity. I KNOW the church is true. I'm grateful to have it in my life.

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

With lots of love,
Hermana Bake 


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Week 20, Bonao, Dominican Republic

Ellie and her new companion Hermana Butterfield

Hola Familia y Amigos y todos,

I love you all and miss you! I hope you are all happy and safe!

I'm super happy and love my mission like always. 

Like I said last week there has been a lot of change, but change is good. Its really different but good.

Hermana Butterfield is my new companion. She is 20 years old, and she is from Utah. She went to BYU before her mission and studied  animation. She has 1 year in the mission and her Spanish is good. She helps me out a lot. It's weird being the one that knows the area and the members and the investigators, so I have a lot more responsibility within our companionship. Its fun though. I love Bonao and I love the members and investigators. Most of all, I love this work and my job here. It doesn't really matter where I am or who I'm with it's the same work and this work is super important. I love it!

The companion of Elder Morfin is new and is being trained right now. Elder Lagos is his name. He is from Nicaragua and is 24 years old. He is super awesome and has super a strong testimony and is a very great missionary.

Lunes we visited Yineuri, Yailin and Jeuri who where planning to be baptized in 2 weeks. When we got to the house Yineuri told us that the aunt had took the kids to live in Santo Domingo! I was super sad! They are so awesome and I miss them! I'm sad that I didn't get to say good bye! But Yineuri said they are happy and safe so that's good. We also got to teach Miguelina, Sandy and Magdalena about the priesthood and it was fun to see Sandys excitement about the priesthood and hear him talk about receiving it in 1 year! He also wouldn't stop talking about his mission and how he was so excited to serve a mission! How cute.. 8 more years and then he will be an awesome missionary haha!

Martes Hermana Butterfield was sick so it was a little harder to teach. But we stayed close to the house and contacted our neighbors and met a lot of more people to teach. A lot of them had met with the Elders who served in the area before but told us that they wanted to learn more and have the lessons again. It but shows that even though not everyone accepts our message right now that maybe later on they will want to learn and will accept it. Everything is on the Lords timing. The Lord knows all and his timing is perfect. 

Miercoles we had asked Patricia to help us teach some investigators. When we got to her house Leonida was all dressed ready to teach because Patricia couldnt. She isnt a member because she isnt married to her husband and cant be baptized right now but she has such a strong testimony and it really brings the spirit. She was such a great help.

When she was younger she attended church once and a while with her mom but didnt think anything of it. She wanted to know what church was true. So when she was older and had her first son she knew she was missing something and wanted God more in her life. She started to attend different churches searching for which one was true. She was frusterated because none of the churchs seemed right or true and took a break for a while. Meanwhile Hermana Palmer and Sandoval got transfered to Bonao. One day they were walking in the rain and Leonida invited them in out of the rain. They told her that they were missionaries of the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that their purpose was to teach people about Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. She invited them back to teach her. Then I got transfered to Bonao. Hermana Sandoval and I started teacher her and her sister Patricia. They both started attending church and we shared to teach them the lessons. We shared them the story of Joseph Smith and invited them to pray like Joseph Smith to know for themselves if our message and this church was true. She said that she prayed and pleaded with Heavenly Father to know. She wanted to know so bad. She had been searching for a long time. She received her answer and hasnt missed a week of church since. She cant be baptized right now because she needs to get married to her husband first and keep the law of chastity but she is such a great example to me. She taught me that through faith and prayer we can know the truth of all things.   

Jueves a member Leonela who just turned in her mission papers helped us teach some investigators. It was fun to see her excitiment for sharing the gospel. She also went with Hermana DeLeon to visit less active members. She is super a great member missionary and loves to share her testimony and visit people in her area and invite them to church and offer to serve and help them. She is an example to me that even though members arent missionaries with name tags, that we can still be missionaries and help and serve people.  

Viernes we returned and taught an old investigator. She was super excited to see us and asked us when we were going to come back to teach her. Just another testimony to me that the Lords timing is everything. We also taught Milagros and her husband Fran. Milagros feels like she needs her husbands approval in everything so we are working with him to help her out to. He gave us a referance that day so im pretty excited about his progress. 

Sabado we returned and taught another old investigator and she was also so excited and wanted us to come back and teach her. She then went and invited her friend to join us in the lesson!

Domingo was a little rough. Our branch mission leader got released and the president said that we are to work with him to help the investigators and members. Its a little hard because he has so many other responsibilities but we are trying our best with this change too. 

BUTTT our investigator Hector came to church and bore his testimony! He is so sweet and is like a grandpa to me. He is awesome and has such a strong testimony and knows the scriptures inside and out!

Patricia joined us in teaching a new investigator Hester and she helped us a ton. We invited her to be baptized and she said yes! Patricia then bore her testimony and her conversion story and Hesters eyes just changed and where filled with excitiment and happiness. Ughh members are sooo important! Go help the missionaries!

Today we went back to the mountain and hiked a little more but this time with Elder Lagos and Hermana Butterfield as well as 2 of the elders investogators who are getting baptized this saturday and another member. It was super fun to relax and exersise in the nature. This earth is so beautiful and im so grateful for all the many blessing that God has given us. Trees, mountains, animals, ect. 

As I was re reading this message i was surprised how many spanish words were in here. I think I fixerd them all. Sorry if you dont understand hhaha I try my best to speak in English in the emails but its so hard to think in English. I have to translate from Spanish back to English now! Ughh haha

If there is one thing that i want you guys to know and remember it is that we have a father in Heaven and he loves us so much! He know us and wants us to return to him. Thanks to Jesus Christ and the Atonement we can live with him again. Its important that we continue to follow him and keep his commandment. I love this gospel and know that it is just pure happiness and peace!

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

Hermana Bake

A snake we found on our hike

Elders Morfin and Lagos

These are some investigators that the Elders are teaching and who are getting baptized this Saturday

Elder Paulino and Hermana Sandolval at transferes