Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 57, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The gospel is true, miracles happen and God loves us!

Martes we went out teaching with Hermana Elsa Polanco and Hermana Bernadina. They are literally so crazy together but we had some awesome lessons. We had a super great lesson with Modesto who had some different thoughts about what happens after life. I was grateful for Elsa and Bernadina and their testimonies. It is super important that people gain their own testimonies but I love hearing member's testimonies. I could tell that Modesto could feel the spirit.

Miercoles we had a zone conference in Navarrette!!!! It was fun to go back and see my old zone and my companion again! We also had a super great training by our mission president. I know he is called of God and really does receive revelation for us here in the Santiago mission. 

That night we got to teach Yermi and Vladimir about the plan of salvation. It is funny how when I began my mission I didn't like to teach the plan of salvation because it was hard to teach in Spanish. Now it is my favorite to teach! I really love the gospel and the plan that God has for us! I know he loves us so much and wants the best for us. I loved to see Yermi as she learns more about this plan. She told us that she has been pretty sad lately but that she had received the prompting that she needed to pray she decided to pray and said that she knew that the gospel and the church is true!  

Viernes was a weird day but super awesome! I reached 13 months in my mission. Now that I have more time in the mission everyone seems to have the need to tell me how much time I have left in the mission! I've decided to take it as a wake up call that I need to work harder and harder! There are people here who need the gospel and I'm here to find them and help them to have the happiness from the gospel.

In the morning we had interviews with our mission president. I always love meeting with him and listening to his council. We talked about the mission and the gospel and our experiences. It was super different but super powerful. At the end we just stared at each other and he started to cry. Then I did too. I didn't know why so I asked him why he was crying. He responded that he didn't know, and I didn't either. We ended with a prayer and then I left. WOW I don't even know how to tell you guys but THE GOSPEL IS SOOOO TRUE! PROPHET Thomas S Monson IS A PROPHET OF GOD AND I KNOW THE OTHER LEADERS AND ARE CALLED OF GOD AND HERE TO HELP US! I'm so blessed to be on a mission and to have the chance to grow closer to my Savior and my Heavenly Father.

For or exchanges my trainer Hermana Sandoval came here to Puerto Plata with me and my companion went to Santiago.

It was fun to be with Hermana Sandoval again! It was fun to work hard together. I was prompted to have a day of contacting with her. We were blessed and guided to find 3 people who are very ready to accept the gospel and many others who have potential. 

Elizabeth was one lady we found. Turns about that her sister is a member and that she had heard the lessons when her sister was investigating the church. She said that she had been to the church before and that she wants to come back and learn more. She also has 3 young sons who could be future missionaries!

Christina was sleeping when we contacted her house. Her son answered to door. I started explaining to him who we were and what our purpose was. When I found that his mom was sleeping I asked if we could come back another day to teach their family. He said ¨Yes! I want you to come back! I'm a member but we go to the other ward because I was baptized in that ward and when we moved we just kept going to the other one. My mom isn't a member but goes every week to church and wants to be baptized!¨  

Eddy is a 16 year old youth who we contacted too. He was home alone so we couldn't teach him but we invited him to church and he said yes! Then he came to church and loved it! When we came back to teach him he told us his story. It turns out that his parents are divorced. His mom lives in Chili and his dad doesn't support him. His older brother lives 20 minutes away and buys food and helps his brother out but this kid lives alone. Cooks, cleans, goes to school, plays soccer (he received a scholarship) works (teaches little kids to play soccer) Studies and now goes to church all on his own! I'm so impressed by him! He is so well behaved and has the strongest desire to be good and do good! 

That night we stayed up talking til 2:30am. It was fun to talk about Bonao and all of our memories! I literally knew nothing hahah back then! We finally fell asleep but woke up at 3am by the loudest, ugliest sound and the brightest white light and our whole apartment shaking! I literally thought that I was dead. When I opened my eyes and caught my breath I looked to see if my companion was still there and awake. We both looked at each other and then heard yelling outside our window. We looked out to see that a Jeep had hit 2 electricity poles right outside out apartment. The driver was rushed to the hospital and everyone else was just left in shock. We didn't have electricity which meant no fans! But finally we got back to sleep.

Sabado morning we woke up early to go running down to the beach. Then we switched companions back. We went to go teach Christina and her sons. When we got there, they had a friend who joined us in the lesson. Since it had been awhile since they had heard the lessons we started to teach the restoration over again. It was so cool to see Christina remember the things that she had leaned a long time ago. She even bore her testimony to the friend. She knows the church is true and wants to be baptized so bad.

Domingo 6 people came to church. Chanika and her kids Michael and Christie, Yermi (and Vladimir) Christina (and her sons) and Eddy (who turns out to be super good friends with the Elders Investigator who is going to be baptized this next week!

After church we went out with Hermana Elsa and the Bishop to visit less active members in our area. 

The priesthood also had an activity were they all met up and then split off the find and talk to all the inactive and less active members in the ward! I was super impressed as I saw almost every single priesthood member old and young meet to go find the lost sheep! Whether they are inactive, less active or active, they are members and our family!

We also had an awesome lesson with Eddy. We talked about church and the duty to God book that he had received and then talked about prayer! I am so impressed with this kid and I'm excited to see the gospel bless his life!

I continue to see blessings every day and every week! I love the gospel and I know it is true. I hope that all of you can not only accept the gospel but live the gospel and see the changes in your lives as you put Christ first! I hope you all have a great safe week! I love you all!

Hermana Bake

Monday, May 8, 2017

week 55, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Hey sorry for the short update today, but everything is going great!

We had transfers this week! Hermana Shaw went to Cotui and I stayed here in Puerto Plata with Hermana Letinu! She is from Romania!!! She speaks English, Spanish and Romanian. We speak Spanish together and I love it! She has 28  years old and is super awesome! She has 4 months in the mission and Puerto Plata is her second area! We are killing it here and I'm  excited to see what Heavenly Father has in store for us and the people here! 

Sunday we had the baptism of Pedro! It was super awesome! He was super nervous but was so happy! After the baptism he came up to me and thanked me. He then told me that his next goal was the temple and that he couldn't wait to be sealed to his son who died and to his other children forever. It made me cry as I thought of our real purpose. Why we are here and what is our goal, where do we want to go! I am blessed to know that this isn't the end! We lived with God before we were born and we are promised that we can live with him again! We are here to show him what we want to through our actions, our faith, our willingness to repent, our willingness to follow Jesus´s example of baptism and then the make covenants in the temple that will allow us to be with our families forever and always! 

Oh how blessed I am to know the gospel of Jesus Christ and to have the chance the share it with the people here. Everyone always asks how much time I have in the mission, then they respond with ¨Oh pushhh you're almost done¨ it makes me sad! I love the mission! I am grateful for this opportunity that I have and I am sooo blessed. I love the DR! I love the people here and I love the Gospel with all my heart! I know it is true!

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

Hermana Bake

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Week 54, Puerto Plata Dominican Republic

Hey sorry I couldn't write. We were celebrating another holiday. I'm not sure what we were celebrating, but everything was closed including the Internet centers.

But I wanted to update you all on my awesome investigators. I have been very blessed to be sent to a ward that works so great with the missionaries and have just put their trust in the missionaries to teach their friends and family. I know we all need to work together in this work of the lord but, as a missionary I know how important it is to gain the trust of the members. We have been blessed with sooo many referrals and they are all progressing and all have baptism dates!

Pedro is the father of a young returned missionary who died the week I got to Puerta Plata. He is such a rock star. He works all day so we have been going out in the mornings to La Union to visit him. He asked for Sundays off so that he could go to church and keep the Sabbath day holy. He has great morals and such and sweet heart. His desire to be perfectly obedient is so awesome to see. I know that he will be such a great member and will be so active and a constant follower of Christ. 

Yermi and Vladimir are a cool story. We got a reference from the old bishop of our ward. We just received Vladimirs name and number which we called multiple times but he never answered. Then this week we received a call from Vladimir saying that he wanted us to come visit him and that he wanted us to bring someone who could give his wife a priesthood blessing. We were so excited and went that day to visit him and his wife. It turns out that Vladimir, who is from England, is a member but has been inactive. His wife isn't a member but wants to know more. His wife is bed ridden because she is having problems with her pregnancy. She received a blessing and then we got to know them and talked about families and eternal families. We read the family proclamation to the world. She was expecting twins, but later that week we found out that she lost one of the babies. I am grateful for the prompting that we got to talk about families and how we can be with our families forever. 

Jefferson is a young man who we have been teaching for a while and he has a baptism date but we lost contact with him and he wouldn't even answer his phone. I was about to lose hope but then he finally answered his phone again. When we went to visit him he asked about his baptism and had so many questions about what he needed to do to get baptized. One of his goals that he made was to finish the Book of Mormon before his baptism. When I asked him where he was in the Book of Mormon, he told me Moroni 10. Which is the last chapter and one of my favorites!

Carlos Miguel is a reference from a member who lives in Sosua. I love his desire to learn everything and understand in depth the lessons and the gospel. I like teaching in depth too. I love seeing his eyes light up and his smile grow as we answer questions and explain to him the happiness that comes from this restored gospel.

Modesto continues to learn, slowly, continues to read the book of Mormon and comes to church. 

Chanika, Christie and Marckendy are the cutest. They are a family consisting of a mom and two teenagers. They are awesome at the assignments we give them of reading and praying and they LOVE the church and activities. They came to the Elder's baptism and Christie held my hand so hard and had the biggest smile on her face. She leaned over to me and said  ¨I cant wait for my baptism¨ We had a family home evenly with them and Marckendy shared the scripture from the Book of Mormon. Chanika, the mom, prayed in French (which reminded me of my brother "talking funny" in French). We shared the message and Christie came up with the game. Ughh I love them all!

Monday for pday the ward had a day activity at the church because it was a holiday and no one had work. We all got togther as a zone too and with our ward had a big water balloon fight and played capture the flag. It was super fun. At first the zone leaders made a rule that the Elders couldn't hit the Sisters. 3 Minutes into the game one of the zone leaders, who is usually more strict, pegged me super hard in the face with a water balloon...that's when it got real. Hahaha

I love being a missionary! I love seeing people change, I love seeing people accept the gospel and I love seeing  people finding happiness that copmes from the gospel! I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and I know that it is true and it is what saves us and what makes us happy! I love all of you and hope you have a great week!

Hermana Bake

Oh, by the way, I'm getting a new companion from Romania! But I'm staying in Puerta Plata! And I'm about to witness like 8 baptisms!!!!