Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Week 45, Navarette, Dominican Republic

Hermana Negras

Sorry everyone (MOM) that I didn't write yesterday. We had our independence day here and so everything was closed including the internet center where we write. Yeah we aren't as blessed as the other missions who have iPad. But The DR is still better..sorry

Lunes we finished up our day with teaching Luilli and Nicol, two of our investigators who have baptism dates, They are both awesome.

Martez we had our district meeting. Then we tried to go out to lunch. We walked into a shop that said CAFETERIA so we thought we could eat there. Turns out it was a barber shop that sold ham and cheese sandwiches and juice. Elder Reed said ¨heck no, every time I go to the barber shop I always leave with hair on me even if I'm not getting my hair cut. There is no way I'm eating here.¨ We laughed and then went to another ¨restaurant¨ and after that failed attempt we decided to just go to pica pollo again... ahhaa Failed attempts to eat good food.

We taught Ada and she said that she has been READING!!!
We also visited Luis Peres, our new investigator. His daughter was in an accident and so we prayed with her and her family. It was cool to see her gratefulness and see her faith grow because of a prayer. 

On our way back we passed by the drugstore to get medicine for my companion and saw Bienvenidos (an inactive member who we contacted) in the drugstore with a live chicken just hanging upside down from his hands. It didn't even faze me but when my companion freaked out I realized how weird that actually is. haha 

We visited another investigator Alba. She was having a hard time accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet. My poor companion was sick and Alba was just pounding us with her doubts and questions. I have never been so grateful for prayer in my life. I felt like crying and just walking out of the house. I prayed so hard and then said something (which I don't remember) and she changed. I was able to share my testimony of Joseph Smith and the Restoration and the lesson ended really well. 

Miercoles we taught Luilli in the morning then Nicauri and Rosemairi in the afternoon. Then we taught Luis Peres in the evening. When we showed up it was just him and his wife and daughter but then all of Navarrete seemed to show up. We ended teaching everyone about the restoration. It was actually really cool. What was even cooler was when Luis gave the closing prayer. We could see in his eyes the desire to change and know for himself. He gave a really heart felt prayer and even cried a little. 

Viernes we taught Luilli again. We taught him about the 10 commandments. I love teaching about the 10 commandments to people here because they are all so religious and ¨believe¨ in the Bible, but don't always understand or keep the 10 commandments. We talked about the ¨thou shalt not commit adultery¨ commandment which was a little awkward because we were teaching it to a 17 year old boy. We explained a little bit of the law of chastity. My favorite part was when he started laughing and his grandma said ¨He's at that age. Tell him. Give it to him plan and clear. He needs to know!¨ We all started laughing which made it easier to teach after that.  

We ate lunch at Hermana Negras house. We have an running joke that the Elders in our district from Villa Gonzalas have dinner appointments every night but we have one maybe once a week. We were so excited to get invited to eat with the elders in our ward, but when we showed up it turns out the zone leaders in our ward were going on interchanges with the elders in our district and so they got to go to our only dinner appointment too! Hahah

We talked a lot which Chela about prayer and answers to prayers. We talked about how they come in all different forms. It was fun to talk about the holy ghost and it was cool to see her realize that she has received an answer to her prayers. 

Sabado we ran into and met a lot of people who liked to talk talk talk. We also invited everyone to church!

Domingo we had so many people come to church. We went to go get Yoana and her family and when we walked up to her house we found Eudi and Leudi outside waiting for us all ready and excited to go to church. Luilli showed up with a member who has befriended him! Nicol showed up with her grandma and her cousin all cute in her little dress. Later, after sacrament had started, we got a call. I ignored it because we were singing but it turns out it was Luis Peres. He had gone to the other building farther away in Navarrete. He showed up a few minutes later and he knows a lot of the men in our ward! I was super excited and loved to see all our investigators all happy.

It was also a very sad day. Our neighbor's daughter has been suffering from cancer for a long time. They are members of our church. When we showed up to church we all found out that she had passed away that same morning. It put a damper in the mood at church. All the little primary kids lost a friend and all the parents saw two parents suffering from their loss. It hurt to see them like that.

I remember reading a talk called ¨The Choice¨ by Mary Beatty Duncan. She said, ¨After my sons death, I faced the dilemma of giving in to my doubts or holding fast to my faith in the resurrection.¨ I love this talk. Death is one of the hardest things. Young or old, people are people, friends and family. It hurts to say good bye to them. We are blessed to know that God has a plan for us. He loves us...All of his children. We are blessed to know that we can live with our family again. We can see them again. The challenge is remembering Gods plan and purpose. 

I love the gospel. I love my Heavenly Father and I know he loves us. I love being a missionary and having the chance to teach this marvelous gospel to the people here. 

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

Hermana Bake

Our District

Our Zone

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Week 44, Narvarette Dominican Republic

10 months down and 8 more months to work work, work! Time really flies by. I'm grateful for all I've learned and for all I've been blessed with. I can't wait to see what the next 8 months teach me! 

¨Que tal Elder¨ (whats up elder)..... I don't know why everyone still calls us elders...Its kind of an inside joke with my companion and I...ha ha its honestly just funny.

Martes we had our 1st district meeting with our new district. It is fun to be in a small district again. We talked about our purpose as missionaries. With our new key indicators it is clear what our purpose is as missionaries. I'm glad to have these new inspired goals. It has helped me a lot to remember why I am here and what I need to do. I have the gospel and there are people who don't. We are here to invite them to live this gospel and have these blessings that we have through faith, repentance, baptism and enduring to the end. Only through our actions can we change and be happy. God has invited and he is just waiting for us to act so he can bless us more.
Our new district; Elder St Rose and Elder Reed

We found out that our old investigator Luilli is moving back into our area but for good this time. We talked to him a lot and he knows that he needs to settle down in one place and focus on the gospel and school and his family to be happy. I'm excited to see him progress and have a more steady life.

Miercoles we had zone conference with Puerta Plata and Dajabon. It was fun to see all my old friends but also good to hear our mission president and the other missionaries share and talk about the new changes in the mission life. I know God calls leaders and guides them to help us. I know I am blessed to have such wise council and help.

We also taught Chela  (Lisbeth's sister) and talked with her about the importance of baptism. She didn't get baptized with her sister because she felt she was too young. We talked to her about how baptism is a commandment and about prayer. She accepted a date to be baptized but we also encouraged her to pray about it. I'm impressed with her, her desire to learn and follow God, and to have a testimony for herself of the church. I'm excited to see where her faith takes her.

On Jueves we realized that we didn't have any new investigators. It's important as missionaries to constantly be finding new people to teach and invite to come unto God. We contacted like crazy and found a new area of our area that we didn't even know existed. We were really blessed to find people who were not only willing to listen to us but also ready to act upon the things we talked about.  

Viernes we contacted our ward mission leaders house on accident. Our ward mission leader converted to Mormonism and lives with his family who aren't members. We also met his neighbors who are super awesome and very open to the gospel. 

We also taught Ana Maria, who prayed for the first time with us. Ever time we have taught her in the past it was a big struggle to get her to pray. It's important that investigators are praying...it's essential! We both just sat and waited for her to pray and she prayed! It broke the ice with her and now she is a pro at praying!

Sabado we went back to teach a man and his family who we contacted Thursday. He gave us his life story and told us that he wanted to change. He was very honest with us and I was grateful for that. He told us that he has had a bad past and hasn't made the best choices, but he is ready to change and knows he needs to. We have been praying to find new people who are ready to change and accept the gospel and I am here to say GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS no matter how small they are. Throughout my whole mission I've seen this to be true.

Domingo we had stake conference. It was fun to see all the missionaries in our zone with their investigators. I love them all. We are all in this together! We all have the same purpose and we all know that this gospel can bless lives and we all want this for these people, our families and our friends.

Sunday night we were walking past an empty lot and my comp noticed that the gate was open. She asked me if she could peek in and I told her to go for it. Then we hear this loud ¨Hey! Get out of there!¨ but in English. It turns out there is a big house of people from the USA who own the house and have service groups come stay in it. The leader of the group was the one who said that to us as a joke. We were able to share our purpose with them as missionaries and they shared with us the purpose of their organization. It was strange to speak in English but it was fun to share stories. 

Today we woke up to crying. Our neighbor, who lives under us, died and all the family was there. It was a pretty sad way to start out our pday. We bought them flowers and then went to play baseball in Mao. 

I'm glad to know to know why I am here and that we each have purpose here on earth. I know God loves us and has a plan for all of us. I know that we will live with him again and with our families too. I'm grateful for my family and friends and leaders who have helped me to gain an even stronger testimony of these things.

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

Hermana Bake

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Week 43, Navarette Dominican Republic

Elizabeth, a member who often helps us

I don't think I've stopped crying and laughing in the past 1.5 months. My companion is the best and we are working super hard. It's fun to meet so many new people and help them with their faith in Christ.  

Martes we had our last district meeting. It was hard because Elder Gomez, Elder Medina and Hermana Gardiner left and we are all like family. After our meeting we all went to eat lunch together and met a parrot who could speak Spanish and eat beans and rice just like a Dominican! It was awesome! We got to take pictures with it. Once it started to eat my hair I gave it to someone else.

Hermana Gardiner
Elder Gomez
Elder Medina

We had an awesome lesson with Yoanna and her son Eudi. She told us that she has been reading the scriptures and we were super excited. She told us that she has been having a hard time focusing while praying. When she prays all she can think of are her personal problems. We talked a lot about peace and the power of the priesthood and how it can help to give her peace and comfort. As I bore my testimonies of this principle I began to cry because I am so grateful for the priesthood in my life and for the opportunity I have to receive blessings from God. I thought of so many times in my life when I was at home of at school and I was surrounded by priesthood holders who were there to help me. I'm super blessed. Yoanna  could also feel the power and the importance of the priesthood and started to cry as well. After a cry fest we ended our lesson. Then we had a laughing fest when I tried to give Eudi a high five and he accidentally smacked his forehead. Crying because we felt to spirit and then cring from laughing to hard.

Miercoles we were going to go back with a priesthood holder so he could give her a blessing. He ended up not being able to and as we brainstormed and prayed about who could help her I was overcome with peace as multiple names came to my head. Again I was reminded about the power and the availability of the priesthood in our lives. We went to ask a member to help us and he dropped what he was doing and said yes right away. He was not very free at that moment but I was impressed with his willingness to serve. He told us that he was blessed to hold the priesthood and that he is here to serve when needed.

This week was transfers but my companion  is still training so we will stay together. Elder Shefield (my zone leader from Bonao) got transfered into our zone and is now in my ward. It is fun to see him again and to have him as my zone leader again.

Jueves we taught Nicol how to read starting with the ABCs. It made me grateful for my teachers and parents who taught me young. But it was fun to see her improve in reading and the gospel. We also taught a investigator about faith and how we need to act to have our faith grow. We need to pray, study our scriptures and go to church and then we will feel God in our lives.

Viernes we found a new apartment complex and found 4 new investigators at the 1st apartment! We are super excited to contact the rest of the complex. 

Sabado we went around to all of our investigators houses and invited, and reminded, them about church. We walked a ton but it was worth it. We also ran into a drunk guy who yelled, ¨Im drunk! Don't steal my jeep! We don't need Mormons here! I'm drunk! Do you want to steal my jeep? You can't steal my jeep! I'm DRUNK!¨ I tried so hard not to laugh. then the next day we walked past him again and said hi and he didn't remember anything! Ha ha we also had to go to BON ice cream again to talk to Lysbeth our investigator who works there. And we just HAD to eat ice cream..such a hard life.

Domingo we went on another mission to pick everyone up for church. Yajaira Santos FINALLY came to church with her daughter and LOVED it. Church is the best and its so important for investigators to go to church to meet people and feel the spirit. Her daughter loved primary and wants to return. 

Today we went to Mao to meet our new zone and to play baseball. Thanks dad for teaching me how to play sports. You would have been proud. It was fun to meet our district leader and his companion. Elder Reed and Elder Saint Rose.

Change is sometimes hard but it is the mission and life. I love it! I love the mission and I love the church! I know the Church of Jesus Christ of later Day Saints is the true church and I know Heavenly father loves us and wants us to have the gospel in our lives so that we can be happy! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Hermana Bake

What happens when we go up on the roof to investigate why we don't have water again

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Week 42, Navarette, Dominican Republic

Antonio's Baptism

Lunes we had an awesome lesson with Antonio, his son Josilito, and his wife, who are members. We talked about baptism and the gospel and how much happiness the gospel brings. Antonio can see that happiness in the life of his son and wants it too. He was super excited for his baptism. And so were we.

Martes we went back to a family who we had contacted the other day. It turns out that the dad was baptized when we was a teenager. They are super interested and want to learn more. The dad remembers so much and has the desire to come back to church. We also had two awesome lessons in which members joined us. It's just a testimony to me how important it is to work together. Preach my gospel has a quote that says that there shouldn't be a line in between member missionary work and missionary work. It's the same work and it's the same goal. We all want salvation and happiness for our friends and family. It's so powerful to hear the testimonies of members. As missionaries we need to trust in the members and they need to trust us with their friends and family.

Miercoles we put our new schedule changes to work. I like the flexibility of changing our schedule to fit the needs of the people we teach and the area we are in. We had a activity for our ward and the people we are teaching. Our mission has a rule that we can't go to activities which I don't understand but that's okay. Blessings from being obedient are better than activities. We did go to the church during it to plan Antonio's baptism and it was fun the see the ward members fellowshipping our investigators.

Jueves every single lesson that we had planned fell through. We were over in Jalisco -the worst part of our area. That area is so hard. It's hot and there is no shade and lots of hills. I ALMOST died, but we felt like there was a reason that we had nothing planned and we were over there so we contacted all day. AWFULLLLL. We did have a good lesson with Antonio. We talked about his baptism. At the end I asked him what time his baptism interview was and then I asked him ¨wait....whos getting baptized?¨ he is so funny and said ¨ME! Oh you thought I forgot about my own baptism!?¨ He is such a funny old man. 

Viernes we taught Kevin and his friend. He has the desire to learn and join the church and wants to change so it's fun to teach him. As we were teaching him his little nephew walked over by the sidewalk and so Kevin whistled to get his attention and then called for him. A second later not only did is nephew come back over to us but also 5 other neighborhood dogs! Ha-ha we could not stop laughing. Antonio had his interview later that night. It was fun to see his face all excited.

Sabado was a great day. We captured four lizards, killed centipedes and spiders, and cleaned the baptismal font. Antonio got baptized and it all went great. He and his family were all so happy. After we went to Bon (Ice-cream) to celebrate. We ran into one of our investigators and ended up setting a baptism date with her that same night while eating ice-cream. We told her that we were celebrating a baptism and she said ¨when is the next baptism? I want to be baptized too!¨ I almost cried right there. She is super awesome. Then we came home and went to bed....well yeah know sister missionaries after a baptism don't really sleep but we tried to sleep. After and hour of talking about the baptism and investigators and 30 minutes of freaking our selves out because of the demons in our closet and Hermana Lynch jumping on my head because she was scared we finally got to bed.

Domingo we woke up early and went on a secret mission again to pick up everyone for church. We got 6 people to church but next week we will do better. When i walked into church I was a little confused... Yeah know when you accidently walk into the wrong class at school and then you stop and slowly start to turn around to leave all awkwardly? Yeah well that happened to me. We walked into the chapel and saw 30 Americans all sitting there. I was so confused and almost started to walk out because I was all confused and though that I was in the wrong place. It turns out BYU had a humanitarian trip hear and the teacher was one of the first missionaries that served in Navarrete! He bore his testimony to us and told us his story. It was fun to meet all of them and talk in English for once. 

We also had an awesome lesson on Agency in Sunday school. The teacher was explaining how to be happy and sad. He said yeah if we want to be sad ¨Bueno...Vamos a llamar Satanas!¨ (Well. Lets call Satan) haha its funnier in Spanish. 

After church we eat Mongu at a members house with the Elders. Then we had some pretty awesome lessons with help from some members too. WE also visited a young girl Nicole. She lives with her grandma who is a member. We first started visiting her grandma to help her become re active in the church and then started teaching Nicole. We were able to set a baptism date with her as well. It took a lot of convincing on her grandmas part. Nicole wants so bad to be baptized but her older brother went inactive right after getting baptized and her grandma doesn't want that to happen with Nicole too. We talked about the importance of baptism and how it is an essential step to live with God. After a lot of prayer and testimony her grandma gave her permission to be baptized. It was a great end to out week.

Today we went to play sports with our zone in Esperanza. It turns out that we were the only sisters who showed up which was a little awkward but fun to play sports and get a sunburn. 

But yeah that was my week! I'm happy as ever! I love my companion, my area, my mission and all the people that God has blessed me to teach and serve here! The mission really is the best 2 years ...well year and a half. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Hermana Bake

Zone Meeting

We both got packages from our Grandmas the same day

Eating Mongu

Elder Gomez and I fighting about who is wearing the best shirt. Mine is better obviously.

Elder Dent who got a package from his mom. Ha-ha it was really funny because he didn't want to open it but wanted to at the same time and he kept peaking in it... Typical missionary ahaha We all understood