Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Week 71 Sabaneta, Dominican Republic

Hermana Valdez

I was a little scared with Hermana Merril leaving me half way through the transfer. I felt like I didn't know the area (which is the whole town of Sabaneta) and I felt like I didn't know the members or where anyone lived, but I have been really blessed with the help of the Lord. I know that without his help I could not do any of this work. It actually has been a really easy transfer. My new companion is a mini missionary who is just filling in for 2 weeks until the transfers happen. Her name is Hermana Valdez. She is 22 years old and is from the best place ever, BONAO!!!! She is not from the same branch that I serve in, but she knows all of the members there and it's been fun to catch up on everything there.

We have been really blessed to find new people to teach this week and we are excited to see them all progress so fast.

Yulisa and her husband Jose Luis are a cute couple that never stop laughing. I enjoy teaching them, even though sometimes it is a little hard to keep the focus. Yulisa is more serious about the church and wants to gain a testimony. They accepted a date to be baptized the first week in October!

Yessica is a women who we contacted in a Colmado (little store that sells food and supplies) She really wants to find the church that Jesus created when he was on the earth. She practically yelled out the question. She was excited to learn that our church is organized after the same manner that Christ organized His church and that this is His church today. She was more than happy to pray to find out for herself if this is true. She also accepted to be baptized!

Milagros was a women who we found who actually has a daughter who is a member that lives in the USA. She said she likes the church and has gone a few times with her daughter. She said that she was willing to listen to us but this time wants to get an answer.

Ana Jimenez is the branch presidents neighbor who we contacted the other day. As we were contacting her the phone rang and it was president informing us that she knows a lot of members and other info about her hahaah. She also seemed interested and wants her husband to learn with her. 

Alba, Mercedes and Jose are my miracles this week. We contacted Alba a while back but never found her again in her house. We finally found her husband and he told us that she was across the street at her moms house. So we went over there to talk with them. We started to teach Alba and her mom and brother. It turns out that her brother has had the lessons from the sisters 1.5 months ago and had gone to church 3 times but then just got busy! They loved learning and were excited for us to come back.

Agustina is a Haitian who doesn't speak Spanish very well. We contacted her and invited her to church and she came! We passed by her house later that day and she asked us more about church and wants to come every week! Hhaha I love her and hope that some how we can teach her! I know the gift of tongues is real. I'm just not too excited to learn Creole! haha 

I've started reading a book called ¨The Continuous Conversion¨ by Brad Wilcox. Here are some quotes from the book that I just LOVED,

¨The journey of conversion can seem daunting unless we remember that we are not alone.¨ Everyone of us are on this journey of conversion, weather its slow going or fast. We are not alone. Our savior Jesus Christ died for us and for our errors. He wants us to remember him and his love and sacrifice. 

¨We apply the atonement by making covenants in baptism and renewing them week after week and weakness after weakness.¨

¨Heaven is not a prize for the perfect, but the future home of all who are willing the be perfected.¨ We are not even close to being perfect, but that is why we are here. To learn, to grown to act on our faith. To show Heavenly Father that we want to live with him one day. 

I love the teachings of Christ. I love the gospel and my Heavenly Father and I love the chance I have to serve a mission. I love you all and hope that you can have a great week! And everyday learn more, act on your learnings and everyday grow more closer to him.

Hermana Bake

Getting a ride in the back of a truck

My apartment

Last district meeting with Hermana Merrill

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 70 Sabaneta, Dominican Republic

Remember Yermi from Puerto Plata? She got baptized!

Update on the Bonilla family. We had a great lesson with them this week. We taught them about the word of wisdom. We were a little scared because the mom drinks coffee and the dad drinks beer. We taught about the blessings of this commandment and they reacted so well. They made their own goal to quit and told us that it would be no problem.

Sunday Mella and Neroliza went to stake conference with us in Navarrete! They made that sacrifice and loved it. Then we went back and taught them about the law of chastity. They aren't married but have been together for 14 years. Mella flat out told us that she wasn't getting married. It broke my heart, but we left her with the invitation to pray about it. I know that the Lord works miracles. 

Wednesday was the Dia de la restauracion Restoration Day 2. They have two restoration days here in the DR and so it was just another big party day with everyone drinking! 

Sunday we had Stake Conference in Navarrete. It was fun to go back and see my old converts and members. I felt at home and it made me realize how much I missed them all. 

Today was Pday and we went to Mao and played games with our zone. We took guagua pictures and had a blast. Hermana Merrill said good bye to everyone and prepared to leave.

Quotes of the week:

Decisions determine destinies-Thomas S Monson

A great leader is a great follower

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

Hermana Bake

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 69, Sabaneta, Dominican Republic

I LOVE THE GOSPEL AND I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!! I'm sorry I say it a lot ...but it's true..
It was hard coming to Sabaneta. We are the only two missionaries here and it is literally the middle of NOWWHERE! But there are some awesome people here who, just in these short weeks, I have learned to love with all my heart! We have some awesome investigators who have just changed completely! Its amazing how the gospel and the spirit changes people and gives them a light and a happiness that they didn't have before. I am blessed to have been able to see that in the lives of these people. I'm bleseds to have strengthened my testimony as I see them accept this wonderful gospel.

Family Bonilla are my family. Andres, La Mella and Neroliza (14 year old daughter). They have had there share of missionaries but have never really committed. Andres went to church before and loved it but once the missionaries left, he stopped. The other two were never ready or interested much. We found them one day and fell in love with this family. They promised to come to church and really started to have this desire to read, pray and come to church. THEY CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY and loved it! They got home so happy and filled with the spirit. We visited with them after church and invited them to be baptized. They pretty much cheered with joy and were sooo happy. We talked a little bit about the commandments that we live and follow because we knew that beer is a problem in this country. Andres told us that he was willing to do everything he needs to have the blessings and happiness that come from this gospel. They went on and on about their excitement and I literally almost cried. I love this family and am so happy for them. We invited them to stake conference which is an hour and a half away and they were so down for it and excited to go! La Mella told us that it was a sacrifice worth making! 

Yamilka has been sick but still wanted to meet with us this week. She has been reading and praying and is still excited about her baptism date. I'm hoping that stake conference will help these awesome people feel the spirit and receive answers to their prayers. It's hard being in a small branch but Christ's church is the same!

Kiara works at a lottery place and is never home. We have started to teach her at her work which is a little weird but she is also so great and loves to learn.

Griselda's mom died so we finally got to visit with her again after 2 weeks! We shared again the plan of salvation and I shared the story of Pedro (remember Pedro who's son died). She cried and we all cried and had a great lesson about families and how we will be with them forever. We have a purpose here on earth and a life full of happiness after this life and I am grateful to know about that. I'm grateful to be able to share that here too and help people to have this happiness.

Victoria has changed 100% from drinking and parting to going to church, working and loving her beautiful family. The gospel changes lives!

We have also contacted, and finally taught, some awesome new people who I just love!
Rosa and her kids: It started off buying lemonade and now she is learning more and gaining a bigger smile every time we pass by to talk to her. Her kids have also accepted to talk to us and are super smart kids.

We were wandering out in the middle of no where and found a super rich area. We saw someone leaving an apartment complex and we desired to run into the complex before the gate shut. The only one home was the owner and her 15 year old son. Yaquelina and Jose Ariel. They are super rich but super humble. The missionaries used to live in one of their apartments but never connected with them. We shared the restoration with them and they loved it. She said that it was time for them and we planned to come back to teach the whole family!

Maria and family are cute. Maria loves us and told us that she feels happy when we come. She tries so hard to understand the things we teach and asks awesome questions.

Stephani and family are Jehovah witnesses but have really loved our lessons. They have been praying and reading the Book of Mormon and are soaking up everything we say. Her 13 year old brother walked all the way to the church alone to go to our English class and always wants us to come by the house. 

Today I said Good bye to my trainer and best friend in the mission! She is from Argentina and so it was hard to say Good Bye. But I'm grateful for her and all that she has taught me and done for me on my mission! Till we meet again Hermana Sandoval!

There are people everywhere prepared to accept the gospel. Your friends, your family, your neighbors. Invite them, be an example to them and love them. Don't be afraid of the truth that we know and love. Share these blessings with everyone you know! I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Pray he is there, Speak he is listening, You are His child.

¨Get on your knees and ask for the blessings of the Lord, Then stand on your feet and do what you are asked to do.¨ Gordon B Hinckley

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Bake

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Week 68, Sabaneta, Dominican Republic

Wow the church is true. I mission is great and the DR is the best place on earth. Sorry for that last fact... 

I see miracles every day and see and hear and learn things that help my testimony to grow ever so stronger every day. 

Miercoles we had intercombios. I worked with Hermana Cristancho from Colombia. I love her and was so happy to be able to go to her area and learn from her and her investigators. It was fun to be back in Navarrette and was fun to have flash backs of my good times in Navarrette. 

Jueves we taught Stefany. Her family members are all JWs, but she really wants to know what church is true. We came back after contacting her and talking a little to find out that she had read a lot and had so many great questions. We also met a neighbor of the family Bonilla named, Deogene. I'm hoping that they will help each other and motivate each other to read and go to church.

Viernes we visited Dulce. We brought up baptism again with her and after a lot of talking she finally just said ¨not for a while¨ Its hard when people know things are true but don't act. I'm trusting in the Lord's timing and hope that one day she will decide to act.

We have a lady named Rosa who lives by us and who always sells us lemon aid. Finally we decided to contact her and set a date to go visit her and her family. When we came back the next time it turned out that our stake patriarch has passed by that same day and gave her a Book of Mormon with his testimony in it. It is clearly her time and she clearly needs to hear about the gospel.

Victoria continues to learn and read and pray. She is excited to be baptized but is nervous to fall in sin after. We are not perfect! That is why we get baptized and repent and repent and repent again! I just wished that everyone could realize that we don't need to be perfect to go to church or pray or even be baptized! It's a life long process and through baptism and the Holy Ghost we are not alone!

Sabado we were contacting and heard country music. I think it is the first time in 1 year hearing country music. Anyways so we contacted the house and found Maria! Her and her family are so cute and so willing to learn. I hope to give you happy updates on her next week! Then we had another awesome lesson with  Yamilka and talked more about her baptism. She is excited and loves the gospel.

Domingo was awesome! We got to church and met Leroy. He just moved here from Santo Domingo and isn't a member. He shared with us his story and bore his testimony too. While he was in the capital studying he met a member girl and fell in love with her. She was a RM and told him that she wants to marry a member. He studied for the next 7 years trying to prove that the church is false. He read 100s of books and magazines and read the book of Mormon 6 times trying to find an error. All he got was a testimony. He fell in love with the gospel but was scared to get baptized because he didn't want to sin! He told us that it is his time and that he wants to be baptized! What a surprise and what a blessing to be able to meet him and learn from his testimony!

The Lord blesses us in the most unexpected ways. I know when we are obedient and listen to the holy Ghost he will guide us to do HIS work and find HIS children who are ready to accept the gospel! I love the gospel and I love the mission!

Hermana Bake

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
Never give up on anyone that includes not giving up on yourself