Monday, February 24, 2014

Feb 24

Dear Mom,
"Sword of Laban"
I am just loving St. Marys!!  Sister Chapman and I are having so much success as we have been putting our trust and faith in our Father in Heaven.  The miracles we have seen would not have been able to happen on our own, that is for sure!  I know that if Sister Chapman and Sister Lemmon hadn't worked as hard as they did (even though they saw little success together) we wouldn't receive all of the blessings we are right now.  So this last week we have been finding like crazy!  We have so many people we are working with to help them come closer to our Savior.  Our Branch had around 45 people there this week.  It seems so small, but that is a huge jump from the last while. 

This week I attended my first Mass at the local Catholic Rosary here in St. Marys.  That was an interesting learning experience for us, but we really enjoyed it.  We went with one of our investigators named Annette.  She is really sweet.  We met her during our service we do at Agape, and she was just so impressed with us she had to have us for dinner (I have probably already mentioned her).  Anyway, after dinner she invited us to her church and we invited her to ours.  After Mass, she told us that she wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon, and really wants to attend our church.  How cool is that?!  I feel like we didn't have to do anything to find her except be a good example, and now look at where we are.   

So many other things have happened.  I don't know that I have time to talk about everyone, but we have a bunch of new investigators that we feel so great about.  One of them is Patty.  She is Southern Baptist, and has such a powerful testimony of having to work  to receive blessings.  We are also attending a Baptist service this upcoming weekend with our investigators Lucas and Lynne (a young couple, who love Glen Beck). 

One of our less-active members, Michelle is fun to work with.  We had such a great lesson with her on the Plan of Salvation, and she has never been so sure about attending church, until she suddenly was in the hospital.  This happens all the time.  Just as someone is almost there, something huge happens, and takes us back a few more steps.  That is okay though.  We still were able to go over, and she experienced the power of priesthood blessings. 

Christmas tree left on Grand lake St Mary's
As far as the Jim update goes, he is as golden as ever.  He really opened up a lot to us as we taught the importance of the sacrament during our church tour.  The spirit was so strong, and many of those there were emotional as Sister J testified that we all have times where we feel unworthy of our Father's love, but that is why we have been given the gift of repentance.  He is so awesome!  Keep him in your prayers that all will go well as he prepares for March 28th. 

I have learned many lesson recently, the least of which is the value of prayer.  During our Branch Conference, a sister spoke on her making prayer more meaningful and focusing on our Heavenly Father's will.  So I took her advice to heart and applied exactly what she told us to do.  I have taken my morning prayers and dedicated them to asking Heavenly Father what He wants me to do that day.  I take a long time to wait for promptings and thoughts to come to mind, and keep a paper and pen close.  At the end of the day, I thank Him for how He prepared me for the day.  For example, we had a lesson set up with an investigator one day that I was supposed to be preparing for.  I did not feel prompted to study for him, but instead to study something completely different.  We received a call later that day from him to cancel our appointment.  Not coincidence.  Furthermore, I was able to bear testimony of the things I had studied that morning in our contacting situations that I would not have been able to do under normal circumstances.  I know our Heavenly Father is just waiting to bless us and speak with us.  We just have to let him.  The things He wants to tell us will help us overcome obstacles and hard times as well as put into focus the things that are most important for us to worry about. 

I love being a missionary!  I never thought I would be here a year ago, but I am so grateful that I am.  No power is greater than the atonement.  Change through the atonement is not only possible, but essential.  I love you all, and am so grateful for your letters and support.


Sister Bakker

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