Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Week 49, Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic


Martes we found out about transfers!!! I found out that I was getting transferred to Torre Alta, in Puerta Plata!!! I was super excited! It turns out that I will be a ¨step mom¨ to Hermana Shaw. Which means that I will be her second companion and that she just finished up her training. She is from San Tan Valley, Arizona. She is super cute and awesome and I'm excited to work with her here in Puerta Plata. We had a great last day in Navarrete and got to schedule baptism dates with the investigators who we had there and also say goodbye. It was sad to say good bye but I'm happy to know that Navarrete is safe in Hermana Lynch's hands. 

It was getting late that night but I had one last person that I NEEDED to say good bye to. Hermana Negra is a widow who always feeds us and helps us with lessons and with everything! I love her so much and was sad to say good bye. So we ran to her house so we would be back home in time. When we got there the Elders were already there (Elder Cordova was saying good bye too) They are our zone leaders. At 9:30 the district leader called us to see if we home so Elder Sheffield (our zone leader) answered our phone. Elder Reed was so confused because he thought it would be me and we had a good time with Elder Shefield messing with Elder Reed. Then we went home and began the long night of writing letters and packing.

Miercoles we had transfers. We all met up in Santiago and then made our way to Puerta Plata with our zone. It is a pretty small zone. Only 16 of us; 12 Elders and 4 Sisters. We have 3 new Elders which is fun. It reminds me of my first area and companion. Elder Abaroa is in our ward with his trainer Elder Najera. They are a funny companionship and they both stress out a lot. Elder Abaroa is American and Elder Najera is from Mexico and so it is fun to help them both out. I was blessed to have a trainer who was a Latina and I know that he is going to learn fast. Once we got settled in and ate lunch we headed out to meet and teach the investigators in the area. The truth is it is a lot different than my other areas. There are a lot of rich people here and a lot of white people! We don't have a lot of investigators but I'm excited to work in this area and see how I can help and what I can learn from the people here. As we went out it was down pouring and never stopped. We had massive floods waist deep and were called to go home early for safety reasons. We were fine though just soaked head to toe. Hermana Shaw was wearing a blue dress which died her underclothing and her legs and arms which was funny. She came out of the room and said, ¨HERMANA IM A STINKEN SMURF!¨ The good part was that I have HOT WATER for the first time on my mission. I've never been so happy to take a luke warm bucket shower in my life. It was awesome!

Jueves we went out to Burger King! I about cried then too. Wow the real world! Real fast food that isn't beans and rice and chicken! Puerta Plata is awesome! On Thursday I met Jefferson one of our investigators. We talked about the plan of salvation and about the important things that we need to do in this life to return to live with God again. We talked about baptism and set a date with him for April 15! Then we went to our ward mission correlation meeting and received a ¨boche¨ which means we got in trouble for not working, well the old missionaries did. The ward here is awesome and they want to help us. I'm excited to work hard and show them that we are here to work together and help everyone here in Puerta Plata to come unto Christ. 

We got a ride home from a member and all smashed in the back like normal. Here the law isn't a law. We just cram as many people as we can in a car and call it good. Elder Abaroa was new and didn't know that and was a little traumatized to find out that we all 4 had to be smashed in the back and that we had the touch so to make him more uncomfortable I smashed a book of Mormon in between us. ¨I can't touch you! I'm a missionary¨ 

Viernes it continued to rain all day. We contacted Torre Alta which is one of the richer areas in our area. We had little success but we did find an American couple who speaks English who lives here. I struggled as I tried to talk with them in English about our message and purpose as missionaries. Which was sad but funny. Its so much easier in Spanish. When we got back to the house to opened the fridge to get some ice for my water and found Antarctica in our freezer! It was almost all ice and it made sense why everything in the fridge was ice too! Oh missionary houses.. 

Sabado we went to a poorer area in our area called Munoz. We had to take a gwagwa to get there and its like 15 minutes away. We contacted around there and met some awesome people. I also met Edimar who is another investigator. He is 18 years old and is super awesome. We talked to him about faith, baptism and action. We also set a baptism date with him too. He has a lot of questions and like Joseph Smith he is really searching for the truth and wants to know the truth. We also got to watch the women's conference at the church which I loved. It was fun to watch it in Spanish. I'm SOOO excited for Conference!

Domingo was my first Sunday in Puerta Plata and my area! I loved it and I loved meeting more members. There are a TON of white people who came and who didn't speak Spanish and so I was asked to translate. It was so hard! I can easily translate in my head and understand but having to repeat it and listen at the same time is soo hard. The bishop said it was going to be a normal thing that I'm going to have to do. I'm hoping to get better.

Hoy! Today we had an awesome PDay! We hiked Teleferico, which is a mountain. Well we actually just took a cable car up and then explored the mountain with our zone. Everyone came and it was a fun way to get to know all of the missionaries. It is so beautiful here! I can see the blue, blue beach and there are actually stores! I love it and I love being a missionary! I hope you all have a great week and stay safe!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Bake 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 48 Navarette, Dominican Republic

Joana and family: Eudi, Leudi and Lauda, and Joana's  cousin and daughter

Hola People! 

Lunes we went across the canal to contact a young man who we met last week. It turns out he is neighbors with Glenis and her husband who are members. The man wasn't home so we asked Glenis if there was anyone else who might be interested in our message. On our way we walked passed another neighbor instead. Her name is Yadira. We talked to her and her family. They are super cute and she was super excited to learn. It turns out the missionaries taught her neighbors a few years ago and she would go over there to listen to the lessons from time to time. 

Martes We had a super awesome opportunity. Elder Anderson from the quorum of the 12 apostles came to the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC......but he only went to Santo Domingo. Everyone is the mission met together in Santiago to watch the live broadcast from Santo Domingo. It was super awesome to see him and hear his council for us. He talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. His wife also talked at the end and told us that out of 100s of trips and reunions that she has gone with to with her husband she has never hear him give the same council as he has given us. 

Another part that really stuck out to me was that Elder Anderson spoke in Spanish! He speaks French, English, and Portuguese but not Spanish. It was really a testimony to me that the gift of tongues is real and that he really is an apostle who is called of God. He was able to communicate with us the things that we needed to know to be better missionaries here on the mission and better people after.  

My trainer's trainer, My trainer, Me and My trainee
After the meeting with Elder Anderson we all got together and took a mission picture and a lot of others too. All of our CCM group got together and our old companions and old zones and districts. It was fun to see everyone and talk to them too.
Friends from the CCM

Miercoles we had a district meeting and got to talk about the things that we leaned in the meeting with Elder Anderson. It was fun to learn from each other and learn how we can apply this council to our lives. We also had a really awesome lesson with a re activated member about her family and about the temple. It made me miss the temple but made me so happy that I have one so close and that through the ordinances in the temple my family can be together forever and have this happiness forever. We also got to plan Nicol's baptism. She lives with her grandma who is a member but it was cool to plan her baptism with her mom who isn't a member and to talk about the importance of her baptism. I was glad that her mom could see Nicol's excitement for her baptism.

Jueves we contacted more of Glenis neighbors and then talked to Yadira again. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and she was so excited. She took the book with a smile and straight up ¨I think ill finish this in about a month¨ I was shocked but I couldn't help but smile. This is someone who wants to know the truth and is willing to act. 

Viernes Nicol had her baptism interview. She was so ready and so excited. We also went over to our ward mission leader's house again and taught his nephews and friends. They were all excited about the Book of Mormon and so excited to go to church.

Nicol's Baptism

Sabado we woke up and cleaned the church. Claribel and Alijandro and there family were there to help us. We set up for the baptism and then set out to invite all of Navarrete to the baptism and to church.

The best part of this week was Nicol's baptism. Her whole family showed up including the ones who aren't members. It was fun to see her parents support for her in this decision even though they aren't members. My favorite part was when it was time to preform her baptism she literally RAN out the door and up to the font. Then after she was baptized, they shut the doors and Elder Cordova (Who baptized her) was joking and told her that she could swim a little. She didn't even blink or think and turned around and belly flopped back into the font and swam around! Elder Cordova just laughed as we hurried to get her out. 

Domingo we got to church and no one was there. Nicol finally showed up and was excited to be confirmed and to receive the Holy Ghost. I loved it when Henry, our ward mission leader, and his daughter showed up with his nephews and their friends! They all came and loved church! Nicauri and Rosmairi, two young women who we have been teaching, showed up too! and they knew other young women too! They stayed for all 3 house and loved it!

After church we went to lunch at a members house named More, Rosa Angelica and Angle Luis. I LOVE this family. We also had a great day teaching and finding new people to teach.
Lunch with More, Rosa, Angelica and Angel Luis

Ive been pretty nervous this week. It is the last week of transfers and I'm probably getting transferred this Wednesday. I love Navarrete and all the people here. I'm sad to leave but I'm excited for what the future holds. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for me and that he know where i need to be and with who I need to be!

Have a great week! Until next week,

Hermana Bake


Rosa, Yajaira and Family

Monday, March 13, 2017

Week 47, Navarette, Dominican Republic

Teaching Rafael with all the kids

Hola Family and Friends,

Miercoles we had a reunion de zona. We got to see all our friends and learned a lot. We also had the chance to teach Luilli who had a baptism date. When we came back on Wednesday his mom sat us down and told us that Luilli needs more time before his baptism. I respect her and think that it's important to be prepared and understand the importance of baptism but it was hard to see Luillis face when she said that he needed to wait. He started crying which, as a 16 year old boy, shows his desire to be baptized and to change and to grow. From that point on i could see a change in him. He was determined to prove to his mom that he was ready. His prayers were more heart felt and his attitude in lessons changed. Later we went over to Nicol and Amerili's house to talk about Nicol's baptism. Amarili was still a little nervous and unsure because she didn't think Nicol was read either but said that she could be baptized and decided to have faith.

Jueves we found 2 new people to teach; Everlyn and Eddi. They both, at one time in there lives, were taught by the missionaries but never baptized. I believe they are now ready to accept and act. The Lord has a plan and a path for everyone, we just need to have faith trust in the Lords timing.

Viernes we had Intercombios. It started off trying to eat gwayavas. Hermana Robinson knocked the fruit onto the other side of a fence and so for some reason i thought it would be smart to climb through the barbwire fence to get the knocked down gwayavas. It was a fail and then I realized that there was a gate.... It was a struggle but we made some juice with them so it was worth it.

We went to a ton of peoples houses but no one was home so we went over to the side of the road to pray. We started walking down the street and passed a teenage girl. We passed her but then turned abound and yelled ¨Hey do you know us?¨ She said yes! And told us that the missionaries had taught her family before. She invited us to her house and it turns out her mom and dad are inactive members of the church and that her and her 2 sister all want to learn about the church! We had an awesome lesson with them and then continued on our way. We had a feeling that we should go down this big long road that looked like it led to no where. After walking 500 miles down this road we finally found a house and found out why we were prompted to keep walking. At the end of the road we found a mom and her son and then 3 other young men who all were interested and wanted to learn more. 

That night we met with a less active who was but but asked us to talk to her daughter who isn't a member. Hermana Robinson asked her if she would just join us for a scripture and a song. She reluctantly said yes and we talked about prayer and how we are never alone and how we don't have to bare our burdens alone. She cried and said that her life is so hectic. She is a single mom and her daughter is sick. She Goes to work, comes home cooks and cleans goes to bed and does it all over again. She said that she feels like she is alone and that she just has no time. She said that she does know that she needs to make more time for Christ in her life and that she needs to help her daughter to have Christ in her life too.

Sabado we switched back companions and areas. Hermana Lynch and I went to Lysbeth and Chela's house and saw their mom, Illiminada who was in pain and sad. She has really bad health but the most faith I have ever seen. We shared our testimonies about the atonement and the plan of salvation and how one day we will have perfect bodies. I am so grateful and blessed to know about these things.  Next we went to Amarillo's to talk  more about Nicol's baptism. She was still a little unsure. We asked about her conversion story and how she was inactive and how now she is active. When I got to Navarrete we were asked to go visit her. She was inactive and very sad. She had a job that made her work on Sundays. But a week later she lost that job. She came to church and felt the holy ghost once again in her life. We continued to visit her and her family and started teaching Nicol too. She got a new job that didn't require her to work on Sundays and I could see the light of Christ come back into her life. I truly saw her change. I am blessed to have seen the change in her and her family and how happy she is now that she have the gospel in her life again. 

We had an hour left in the day so decided to pray. My companion remembered a house that I said that I wanted to contact so we went. We met Geisel, Jose and their 2 little girls. They invited us in and we taught them about families, gods plan for us, and about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  Even the little girls participated and understood. We could see their fascination with the message and they asked to learn more!

We went to a colmado (little store with food) to buy orange juice (jugo de naranja) my companion walked in and asked for Jugo de arana! Which means spider juice. We all started laughing. Ill never let her live that down. Oh spanish...

Domingo we had 7 people at church! We called so many people to remind them and no one answered. I'll admit that my faith wasn't to strong and I was sad becasue no one was at church. Then one by one investigators came. First Luis peres came in, then Nicol, then Chela, and then Edidani and her brother Diego, as well as Martin and Rafael. After church the whole primary ran up to us yelling that Rafael wanted to be baptized. 

After lunch we taught Martin and set a baptism date with him. When we walked up to teach Rafael we saw Henry, our ward mission leader, and his daughter with Rafael and 8 other kids all sitting and waiting for us. They were all so cute and all so excited to sing and pray and learn. Then last night we went to visit our neighbors - The Garcia family who lost their little girl to cancer. We sang the song Families can be Together Forever and shared a message. We talked about their little girl and were blessed to hear the testimonies of the mom and dad and see their strength in this time of difficulties.

I love being a missionary. I love learning from the people I teach and from the experiences I have. I love seeing people change and invite the gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives. I love the church and I love my Heavenly father and Jesus Christ.

Hermana Bake



Friday, March 10, 2017

Weef 46, Navarette, Dominican Republic

Hola Family and Friends,

Martes we invited Rosmairi and her sister Nicauri to be baptized.

We worked really hard all day but at 8:55pm we didn't have any more lessons and felt that we shouldn't go home yet, but instead contact. We met this lady named Viviana and set up a date to go back and talk with her. It just shows how important it is to work till the last minute. There are people you can find in the oddest of times but it could be the only chance you have a talk with them. As members and missionaries we should be looking out for people always. People we can help, people who need friends, people who we can share our testimonies with etc.

Miercoles we went to Elizabeth's house. She is a youth who loves to help us with lessons. Her mom was the only one home and so we talk with her. She told us about her conversion story and her life story (Dominicans are very open and trusting) I was impressed by her story and by her attitude through all of her challenged and trials. She then offered to help us teach our investigators and shared the strongest, sweetest testimony. 

That night we saw everyone walking around with crosses on their foreheads. I realize now how uncultured I am. It was for Ash Wednesday. I approached our neighbor lady to ask her about the crosses. As I walked up to her she chanted something under her breath and then swiped a cross on my head and said, ¨Be converted to the gospel¨ and then walked away. I was super confused and then we hurried home to wash it off. We didn't think it was appropriate for Mormon missionaries to be walking around with catholic ashes on our foreheads.

When we got home our neighbors were blasting their music louder than a mother bear and it was pretty much impossible to sleep. At least they had a good time.

Jueves Chela told us that she didn't want to be baptized. It kinda broke my heart. She said that she knows the church is true but she is just too young. I don't know if they were her words or someone else, but I was still pretty sad. She knows a lot and goes to church every Sunday. I finally realized that she has her own time, that everyone has their own time and that one day she will be a super strong member with a awesome conversion story. For now she can continue to learn and grow and gain a stronger testimony as she continues to go to church.

Viernes we were super excited when we taught Luilli. I asked him if he had been reading and he said yes! I then asked him what he read and he said ¨your note/ testimony in the front of my Book of Mormon¨ Ohhh Luilli.... aha that doesn't count as reading! We then talked a lot about prophets with him. I'm impressed and excited with his progress. He is remembering a lot knew a lot about prophets and the importance of them already. 

Then we went contacting. A cute dog came up to me and I started petting it. Then it jumped on me and wouldn't leave me a lone and then chased after me. Its owner came out of the house and saved my life and then we started talking to him and made a date to come back and teach his family, Thanks and no thanks DOG. The truth is I'm scared to go back and teach them because I don't want to be killed by my new ¨friend¨ dog.

Then we passed by Lysbeth Castillo´s house and felt kinda sad. I really thought she was ready to be baptized and was sad when she told us that she didn't have time EVER to go to church or be taught. As we walked past she called after us and asked us if we had time and if we could teach her! We could see in her eyes the desire to learn and grow in the gospel. 

Sabado Nicols sister had a baby and so we went over to the house to help Amarillis clean her house to prepare for the baby to come home. Then we put her hair in rollers so she could look beautiful for company. It was an experience to say the least. Cleaning was fun but I've never put rollers in anyones hair before.

Domingo we didn't have anyone to visit so we decided to look in our area book for past investigators. We then went to two members houses who live close by for suggestions. We then found a lot of cool people to contact. It shows that there are always people who are ready and willing to listen and learn about the gospel. 

Lunes we taught Luilli and his family and a few friends and had a little Family Home Evening with them. Then we played a game with flour and mints and ended up making a big mess on the front porch. But it was fun and I'm pretty sure the kids and the parents will never forget that day.

Week after week I continue to learn and grow in the gospel. I LOVE the gospel and am so blessed to have it in my life. I'm excited and happy to see others except it in there lives too. I know this church is true with all my heart. I hope you all have a great week and stay safe!

Hermana Bake