Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 17

Dear Family,

I love you all! I have felt a lot of strength and prayers coming my way in preparation for coming home. I love you all, but I also have developed a deep love for Ohio and the people here. This place is a sacred part of the Lord's vineyard. It has been a privilege to be apart of fulfilling the prophecy of Kirtland being built up again. (D&C 124:83)

I know that this is Christ's church. It is led by Him, through a prophet today. Joseph Smith is a prophet, and the Book of Mormon is the truth. I know it. I know that Christ died just as much for me as he did for everyone else, and all we have to do is have faith in him, repent, make and keep covenants, follow the Holy Ghost, and make it to the end. I am going to heaven!

I love my mission! I love Ohio.

Sister Bakker

See you when I see you.
We had a very special dinner with the Kirks and President and Sister Vellinga.  It was amazing!

Elder Houser has a thing for mustaches. 

Monday, February 9, 2015



February 9

Dear Mom,

Wow! What a week! I finally feel like I am starting to piece together everything, and actually know how to do missionary work now, and it is coming to a close. So sad! We have had many miracles this last week, and they just keep coming!

I don't know if I wrote about this experience or not in the past, but over a year ago, Sister Frampton and I tracted into a home where the cleaning woman answered. She told us that no one was home, but we started talking to her before she could close the door. Once we told her what church we were from she told us, "I have the book!" She went on about how her friend from Columbus had sent her a Book of Mormon with his testimony in it and told her to read the book and to pray about it. He also told her to find the people that could teach her. It was such a miracle!! So we obviously set a return appointment with her to meet her at her own home. We went back to see her, but were chased off by her husband, who is from Ohio, who also threatened us. We tried to get a hold of her over and over again, but she never would answer or call us back. We assumed that he had something to do with the situation, and decided it would be better for her if we gave it some time. Fast forward a year and a few months. Sister Takeuchi and I were going through our area book, and I saw her name. That experience has haunted me almost my whole mission. So we decided to call her just to see. She was so excited to hear from us. She was quick to tell us that her husbands health had changed and that we would be okay to come over. So we did! A is from Honduras, so we brought a sister from the ward who served Spanish speaking, though A speaks great English. We taught her the restoration, and she very humbly told us that she believed it all. She wants to be baptized in two weeks! AH! I know that there are so many reasons why I came back to Alliance, and this is definitely one of them! MIRACLES!

D is doing great! We helped clean out his mother's old clothes with some help from a bunch of people from the ward. It was kind of fun in a weird Youngstown kind of way. He came to church, and wow you can see the difference in him! He told us this week that he received his witness that the Book of Mormon is true and that he knows Joseph Smith is a prophet. What a great lesson! Teaching him is totally unique to anyone I have ever taught on my mission, but it is a lot of fun.

I love my mission so much! I love seeing miracles like these every day. I know that the Lord is in the smallest details of our lives. I feel like I am finally learning how to be an instrument.

I love you all!

Sister Bakker

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February 2

Dear Mom,

I can honestly say that the super bowl is not as much fun as a missionary. We are advised not to go out during it all, so that was a bummer. Church actually was almost canceled yesterday because there was a huge snow storm that was being predicted for out here. Everyone was going crazy! They were buying bread and milk in bulk, and getting ready to hunker down, but it doesn't really make sense to me. It is not like snow is unusual in Ohio. And the snow was not even that bad. Sure it is still snowing, but we can go out just fine. Anyway, a lot of people didn't come to church because they were scared, which is understandable. It made for a fun day, though. It was smaller, and so many powerful testimonies were born. It is nice to have President Kirk and Sister Kirk there just as a part of the congregation.

Teaching is going well. We have been working with a few families who are doing great. Sister Takeuchi and I together have found quite a few less-active families that we didn't even know existed until recently. It has been fun to watch their progression. We have seen some good successes there.

The snow is great! I am loving every minute of it. Yes, it is cold. I know that the temperature says that it is cold, but when you check the wind chill factor it brings it down significantly. If it gets too much colder they will have us stay in, which would not be fun. The cold isn't too bad, though. You just dress right, and you are fine.

I love you all! I am grateful to be out here :)

Sister Bakker

Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26

I hope that you are enjoying the winter weather as much as we are! I don't mind how cold it is especially when it is snowing real good like it is right now. I am loving it!

So yesterday was Stake Conference. I don't remember if I told you all, but Elder D. Todd Christofferson came. His purpose in coming was to release President Kirk. I must admit, it was really sad for me, but also really good for his family. I am happy for him! I love that family so much. We had a lot of people come out for stake conference. D even helped everyone get parked and such with the other brethren from the ward. G loved it, and shook Elder Christofferson's hand. We had a whole slew of less-active members come out for it, who all loved it too. So many miracles came from that event, and we hope to be able to keep those who came coming to church in the future.

I know that this is the true church. I have been working recently to strengthen my testimony in Joseph Smith, as a prophet. As I have done so, my mind continually goes back to how I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and the first time I prayed to know it for myself. I know that Joseph Smith was called as the Prophet of the Restoration. I know it because the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that "no wicked man could write such a book as this. And no good man would write it unless it were true, and he were commanded by God to do so."

I love you all!

Sister Bakker

Friday, January 23, 2015

January 20

Dear Mom,

All is well here.  We have been making good progress with D.  We actually only really get to see G once a month, and pray that she gets to come to church more than once a month.  That is her rules for right now.  We are expecting both of them for church this week, though.  We actually have Stake Conference, which not only means that we only have to drive 20 minutes this week, but also that Elder D. Todd Christofferson is coming!!  It was supposed to be a different member of the 70 coming, but last minute it changed and now he is coming with someone else from the 70, I think it might be Elder Gerard.  We are so excited!  Everyone is speculating that some big change is coming, but I will let you know for sure what happens next week.  

I have gotten some good news this week.  Sister Hemenway, who is still in Strongsville, sent me a letter.  I guess they randomly got a call on their phone from someone who was asking for me and Sister Kunz.  It was T!  She had changed phones, and lost our number, and decided to come back to church and re-investigate!!!  It is so good to get news like that.  

I know that this church is true.  I know that the atonement is real, and that because of it we can each change and become better and stronger.  I also know that we can know where we stand with Heavenly Father at all times.  We don't have to guess to know if He is pleased or not.  It is the best thing ever to get so serve Him in this capacity.  

I love you all! 


Sister Bakker

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12

 Dear Mom,

 We have had a cold week! Thank goodness for my  big purple coat! Through thick and thin, that thing has been the  best! I am so grateful for the boots Grandma sent last year, those have also been great! I have been loving the snow, though. Everyone has pity for Sister Takeuchi because of the cold. I can't imagine why...
David and Gia are doing good. It has been hard to meet with anyone this week for the most part. The rumor is out here that the flu shot didn't work, and everyone is getting the flu. Tons of people are super sick out here, and so we are just trying to avoid getting it. Hopefully we have better updates for you after the bug dies down.  We had a great week at church. There was a bunch of people who came, who don't normally make it. So that was great! We have been working really hard to bring more people back into activity.

 I am loving working! We are just plugging alone, despite the cold and snow. There is no better time to work hard than right now. I LOVE IT!
 Love you all!

Sister Bakker
P.S. Talk to you probably next tuesday because of MLK day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January 6

Hi Mom,

D is doing great! He came to church this week, and he really stood out. He seemed to really like fast and testimony meeting. He liked it so much that before we knew it, he waltzed right up there to the podium and bore his own testimony. He showed the congregation that he had been reading the Book of Mormon, and that he was determined to find out if it is all true. It was actually pretty cool. He sounds like a baptist minister when he speaks, and there was a lot of power in what he said. I think that the ward was pretty excited to have him there. Then better yet, one of the members who remembers his father from 20 years ago, also got up and bore her testimony and over the pulpit welcomed D. We think he will be coming back to church. It was a warm welcome.

G is doing great too! She is trying to come to church every Sunday, as much as her parents will permit, at least. She has grown a lot since I taught her a year ago. She is so much more willing to accept things on faith, and live all the commandments. I love her!

I love being able to be here and be apart of the work I did a year ago. It is pretty special to continue with these same families. I love being a missionary!

Well, I love you all!

Sister Bakker