Monday, October 28, 2013

Oct 28

So we have had a great week!  We have been working hard, rain, sleet, or even snow.  It is starting to get pretty cold out here!  Mom, I don't think you would like the winter here.  The cold is simply different.  Sister Frampton has this crazy long down coat, which essentially looks like a sleeping bag with arms.  I may have to go that route soon.  I will wait and see for a bit and hope for a more mild winter. 
We taught Karen twice this last week, and she is simply incredible!  She talks to her daughters, who are also investigating the church in their own states, all the time.  Her daughter Ally is hoping they can be baptized on the same day.  How cool is that?  She picks up on all the lessons quickly, and is eating it up.  She is trying to get her masters degree right now, and she still is willing to make time to read scriptures and meet with us often.  She and Sue fed us on Saturday.  She cooks a lot like you mom, except she made Sue's recipe for goulash.  I guess it is a Youngstown favorite.  You would love them!  I will try and get a picture with them this week.  We are going over on Halloween to help with candy, and then teach a lesson.  We aren't supposed to work on Halloween (go figure).
We started teaching Mike and Bryce.  It was a super interesting experience.  Mike is the father of two sons, Kyle and Bryce.  Bryce is 16, and really wants to know more.  Kyle is 21 and has cerebral palsy.  They don't have a couch in their upstairs living room, or really any furniture.  So we brought a member with us, who has never been teaching in her whole life.  We were all surprised when we were invited to sit on the floor in a circle and share our message.  We really brought the power of the spirit into the room.  We talked a lot about the purpose of life, and Bryce opened up a lot.  He told us how his mom had died 2 years ago, and how they had been getting along since.  Bryce definitely is interested to know what he needs to do to be with his mom again.  Mike seems far more skeptical.  Hopefully our lesson will go well this week. 
Dani and Sis Becca Williams
We have been doing a mission prep class with some of the young single adults in the stake.  One of the girls just received her mission call for South Salt Lake, meaning she is going to come stop by and say hi to you all when she gets transferred into the Draper area.  If you meet a Sister Becca Williams anytime after December 4 or so, tell her hi.  I told her you would all feed her something tasty too...  :)  The meetings are going really well, and the kids are so excited to share the gospel!  The members are really trusting us!  We meet at President Kirk's home (which is really the greatest house I have ever been in).  I can't remember if I have told you about it before.  It is in an old grange home, and it is just a little ways away from their orchard.  Right now they have been producing thousands upon thousands of apples.  We have been doing service up there, and after they give us a fresh gallon of apple cider and a bunch of apples.  The apple cider is so good!  I wish there was a good way for me to send it home to you all so you could try it. 
Well as always, I love you all, and pray for you daily.  Keep Karen in your prayers and her date.  She is trying to receive her answer about the Book of Mormon right now. 

Sister Bakker 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Oct 20

Hey Mom!
A lot of people here are from Michigan.  Some of them even remember missionaries from back in the day (probably was dad) in good ol' Michigan.  I even know what they are doing when they pull out their hand to describe where their city is.  Most people haven't seen a whole lot on the church on the web here.  Usually they just make comments on the commercials they see on TV or Marie and Donnie. 
The weather here is cold!  I am going to go and buy tights today, and maybe even a warmer skirt or two.  I should be okay on sweaters though. The sweaters have been the best! 
This week we have been tracting a lot in the rain, and it is pretty cold!  We pull out the umbrellas.  It is nice though because people think we are crazy, and want to know why it is so worth going out and knocking on their door despite the rain.  In fact one guy yesterday even said he would come to our church once just because we were out in the rain. 
We have been worried about meeting with Karen, because she canceled on us last week.  She had something come up.  So yesterday we took her some apples and left them with her friend Sue (who is 92, and who Karen takes care of).  We got a text from her later rescheduling an appointment for this week.  Keep her in your prayers!  She has so much potential to progress! 
Katie is doing awesome as well!  She has been living all the commandments, and trying so hard!  All of her friends are noticing a difference too.  Katie invited her friend Sarah to continue sitting in on the lessons with us, and invited her to learn more.  Sarah accepted, and we are teaching her the restoration tonight!  We are so excited for her!  She even wants to come to church, and see what is making Katie so different.  It is all because of the Mormon Glow! 
Our week was full of a lot of tracting, and we actually tracted into a lady named Shari, who just moved from Arkansas.  She is from a little town outside of Fort Smith.  She has never heard of Hackett, but she does have a lot of sayings we hear from Grandma all of the time!  I love it!  She is investigating the church as well because she felt "blessed" when we were talking with her on her porch.  Good things are coming! 
Sorry the letter today is pretty short.  I hope all is well at home.   I love you all, and pray for you each day. Keep being awesome, and keep sending pictures:) 
Love, Sister Bakker
P-day at Berlin Lake Ohio with S Frampton, Dani and Katie

Monday, October 14, 2013

Oct 14

I have to tell you, Ohio beats Utah ten fold when it comes to fall!  I love it here this time of year!  Sister Frampton and I are going to go and take pictures today to just try and prove it to you.  So amazing!
S Frampton, Dani and Mike's kids
So I forgot to tell you a story from last week.... So we tracted into this guy named Mike.  He is really nice, and has a nice family.  It turns out that his family was just in Hawaii.  His son is a cancer survivor, and an organization similar to Make a Wish sent Mike and his son to Hawaii for a hunting trip.  Their tour guide was.... MORMON!  Ha!  So they attended a church service while they were there and loved it.  So of course the Lord would send us only three weeks after they got home to knock on their door.  Mike isn't sure he is looking to convert, but he invited us to dinner.  We had a great time!  So we get this call later on and we hear... "A-L-O-H-A!" His tour guide, Sister Cummings, called us all the way from Hawaii to hear about our experience!  So cool!  We are hoping to go back and have dinner again with Mike and his family soon. 
Berlin Lake while tracting in the rain
This week we set up a date for our investigator, Karen, for December 7.  She is doing awesome.  I feel like our lessons with her go so perfectly because she has such a genuine desire to find out if Joseph Smith is a prophet.  I love teaching her.  We will be seeing her again tomorrow.  Also this week, we went on exchanges.  It was my first time taking over this area, and I took Sister Bell to the C’s.  I am not sure if I mentioned the C’s before.  Sister C breeds Dachshunds, and so they have a lot of dogs.  We have been preparing Sister C to receive her patriarchal blessing.  Since going over there we met John, who is Sister C's brother-in-law.  Everyone in the home is a member, except for him.  He used to avoid us like the plague, but recently has been sitting in on lessons.  Naturally we have been catering our lessons to him, and last week he accepted the baptismal invitation!  I am so excited!!!!  Things are going really well with those two investigators. 
Finally, I received some great advice from Andrew that I put to use this week.  He gave me some ideas on how to help members feel more enthusiasm for hastening the work of salvation.  So after our cool experience with Shanique, I invited the K’s, who invited her to listen, to share their testimony and experience in testimony meeting yesterday.  After that testimony was born, it was referred to many times, and started a chain reaction for the rest of the church service!  It was a theme, and we could see others catching the bug a little bit at a time.  We know that the work we do will be far more effective with when we are working with the members. 
The church is true.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  I know that this work is the most important thing we can be doing!  I love being a missionary!  I love you all! 
Sister Bakker

The Zone

Monday, October 7, 2013

Oct 7

Hi mom!
I have a huge testimony of members opening their mouths.  Sometimes we never know what the Lord has in store for us.  In the last week we have found 2 new investigators from members who opened their mouth at one point or another in the past.  Neither of these girls expressed the interest to take discussions at the time, but are now doing so because of their experience and talks with members from 5 or more years ago!  How cool is that!!!!!!!  They were planting the seed!!  They were also apart of hastening the work of salvation, which they talked a ton on in conference!  They even compared it to the first vision!   
So the work here...  It's definitely moving and rolling.  So our area is very diverse.  We have a lot of country folk, as well as a lot of ghetto areas.  This week we met Karen.  She is an older black lady, who went in for a general procedure, and the doctor accidentally hit a nerve in her back.  She is paralyzed from the waste down.  She talks a ton, and has a beautiful shrine to Africa in her kitchen and a couple pictures of Malcom X framed around the house.  She found one of our cards just laying somewhere, and called us.  It has taken us a while to finally get over to seeing her as she has been in the hospital.  When we finally got over there, she gave us each a hug that was so warm and loving.  She loved having us there.  Not exactly sure if she understood the message, but she was so funny to talk to.  She has a lot of crazy stories, and just wants to be closer to God.  I wish I could describe the scene to you better, but to put it simply, Youngstown is nothing like Utah. 
We did have a very solid investigator that we tracted into last week.  She had a good experience from one of the members just being an example/missionary a few years ago.  Her name is also Karen.  We had a lesson with her, and she said that she believed everything we shared with her.  She texted us just last night and told us that she was excited to learn more.  I am so excited to teach her more about our church!  We never know who the Lord is preparing, and how they are doing it.  We are all just instruments in the work of salvation. 
Of course I have to mention how awesome conference was!  How cool is it to have a living prophet to guide us through life?!  I want to take President Uchtdorf's talk with me everywhere and just share it with everyone we meet.  We need ipads! 
The Church is true!  We are all so lucky to be apart of the Work of Salvation! 
I love you all and am praying for you daily!
Sister Bakker