Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 11

Dear Mom,

I still love living with the other sisters.  I think it is a great time.  We don't walk a ton.  We still drive.  There is rumor that they will make this a biking area.  There are a lot of hills here, so it would be tough for whoever does it.  The highest point in Ohio is here.  

This week, we didn't have too much to report on.   Sister Kunz is a great missionary!  She really is learning quickly.  I feel like she is teaching me more than anything else which is awesome.  The area here is different.  We have less people to work with because it is so small.  We have pretty much no one in our teaching pool, but we are working on that.  We are trying to serve in as many places as we can.  The ward is good to us.  They have had a big turnover of missionaries here in the last few months, which has been hard for them.  It is hard to let in another set, that according to their past experience, will be leaving in a transfer or less.  They are really supportive, though.  

I know that nothing happens in missionary work until we have someone to teach.  Finding people to teach is primarily the role of members.  The members here in the Strongsville Ward have a huge desire to find people for us to teach.  Many of them are working on certain people as we speak, and that is so effective.  I can't wait to go home and do the same thing.  I love my mission, but a missionary is so limited in the impact that you can have on helping people join the church.  I have seen a lot of success on my mission.  More than a lot of missionaries.  The successes that I have had here is not because of the missionaries.  All of the success has come because of the primary support of the members.  I know that is true.  

I am so grateful for my mission, and love being here so much!  I love you all!


Sister Bakker

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Aug 4

Taken in St Marys, Ohio

Dear Mom,

So this week has been a lot of just stopping by people to try to get to know everyone in the little city of North Royalton.  Usually missionaries don't both start off new in an area like this, so it hasn't taken me as long in my last areas to learn names, and already have lots of people to teach.  Our teaching pool is literally zilch.  To me that is all just part of the fun.  I am glad that Sister Kunz and I get to figure it all out together.  I think that makes it less hard for someone who is being trained to not feel like they are the only new one.  It just makes for two clueless missionaries, some awkward moments, and fun contacting experiences. 

Everyone already knows how I feel about tracting.  It is not the most effective, though can work occasionally.  So we have been trying other alternatives, like service and such.  Sister Kunz really wanted to tract one night, though, so we did.  I was so impressed!  She was the first one to open her mouth without prompting from me or anything.  She is very bold, and has a lot of confidence.  I love that!  

Something else that has really impressed me about the Strongsville ward is the amount of sisters who are returned missionaries (who are only here temporarily for pest control) who just are aching to go out with us.  We had one family say, "Sisters, what can we do to help find investigators for you to teach?"  They understand their purpose.  That is for sure!  So many of the other members are willing and eager to go out teaching with us, or even have their investigators in their homes for lessons.  Members sometimes forget how powerful their influence is in just being involved in the teaching process without even having to teach anything.  I know that any investigator who is taught with the involvement of the members, their retention in the church is much greater than it is if their whole experience with solely with the missionaries.  I want to be like those good members when I return.  I want to be involved in going teaching.  I want to invite the missionaries to bring their investigators and less-actives they are working with into my home.  I want to help find people to teach. 

I love my mission and I am grateful for it every day!  I wish that there words that could describe how much it has changed my life, but I can't.  Everyone should experience this.  

I love you all!


Sister Bakker

There are so many White Tail Deer out here.  They are so over populated out here, and not afraid of people.
There are some pictures of cleveland and a church out there.