Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 28

Dear Mom,

I wish you all could have been there to see the branch for the last time, and my last few moments there with everyone.  I think about St. Marys all the time, just like I am always thinking about Youngstown.  I am now training Sister Kunz (from Pocatello, ID), in the Strongsville Ward.  We opened up a sisters area in the city of North Royalton.  We literally only cover that city and that is it.  I just came from a place where I covered two counties, and had a thousand little cities (some of which, I never even saw), lots of farm land where you can see for miles and miles because it is so flat.  I am now in a place that is very hilly (our car makes weird noises each hill it tries to tackle) and I can get from top to bottom in our area in 30 mins or less... So strange.  The ward is HUGE!  there was probably more than 150 people there on Sunday, and I haven't seen more than maybe 120 my whole mission.  It was so crazy!  There a three sets of missionaries in the ward, Sister Kunz and I live with the other set of Sisters, Sister Jackson (Colorado) and Jarvis (Washington).  The Sisters work in Brecksville and Broadview Heights, and the Elders cover Strongsville.  It is definitely a different world living with another set of missionaries, but we all get along really well.  I have been enjoying it!  

The ward seems ready for some changes, but I am not 100% sure where all of those changes will be happening yet, if that makes any sense.  Sister Kunz and I are still trying to find our feet and figure out how we can better work with the ward in a way that we are working together towards the same goal.  There are a lot of young pediatry residents here as well as young couples selling pest control. Many of the women are returned missionaries, and want to go teaching with us.  It is so awesome! 

Sister Chapman went home last week, and Sister Frampton came to that transfer since she is leaving mid transfer in August.  It was really sad to have them up there and to sing our mission song and God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again.  They both looked at me and we all started crying.  I have become a softy out here.  I wish that everyone could take the opportunity to come on a mission, or could at least get a taste of how incredible it is.  I am excited to start training Sister Kunz.  She was one of 22 that came out this transfer, which was a little less than mine, but it seems that our mission is still having pretty high numbers coming out.  

I love you all! 

Sister Bakker

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