Monday, December 28, 2015

There's a Snake in my Boot!

Yo yo yo!

Sup y'all! How was Christmas? We partied pretty hard here in Mem Martins! It was awesome! The sisters in Mafra were with us for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. We had a night with mega bed and the Polar Express (found the book in our house and we had to read it.) It was so great! Also it was really great to talk to you all! Crazy that that was the last time I will talk to you on skype. Next time will be in person! wow! I'm excited! So ya the rest of this week nothing too great happened. We did have a lady have a panic attack during a lesson and I had to watch her 2 kids and Sister Barron had to like wrestle a crazy lady and we had a member come help us. It was really intense but it all worked out!

Life here is good! I am glad that you are all doing great!

Also I have been thinking a lot about Toy Story this week. Don't know why. But that movie is really good. You all should watch it this week!

Love you all!

Sister Bakker
caroling in Mafra

Christmas Eve at our Bishop's house

Secret Santa Exchange

Pecan Pie and Peanut Butter Fudge
Thank you American Families!
Best thing I've eaten since I left the US!

Irma Lidias for lunch (she is at the head of the table, please note her cool purple hair!)

Christmas morning making Panakuk

Monday, December 21, 2015

This one goes out to Skipper

Sister Bakker and Sister Barron
we did not have time do do a Chirtmas card but if we did this is the pic we would use

Dear Skipper and everyone else but mostly Skipper,

This week was a good one! We had our Christmas party with our whole mission. It was really fun and really inspiring. Good old mission spirit that is even stronger around the time of Natal! It is good! We are getting excited for the big day! We are going to Christmas Eve with our bishops family and having a secret santa! and then on Christmas day we are going to lunch with a lady with purple hair named Lidia and then dinner with the Lees! It is going to be great! I am excited to see you but I have to give you a fair warning I am like really awkward and I don't know how to speak English without using Portuguese so ya... just go with it.

So funny story, yesterday at church our recent convert, Carlos, decided that he needed to tell us all the things that he used to do that were not good. Well we found out that he was a hippie coke addict and that his source of happiness was found in smoking strange drugs. That was the most off topic church class of all time. Thanks goodness for the gospel that the changes it makes in peoples lives!

Well the mission is good! Love you!

Skip you were the best dog ever! Love you buddy and I will see you in the reino celestial! Love you for ever buddy!

Com Muito amor!


Monday, December 14, 2015

Sister Bakker and the case of the missing scissors‏

I literally don’t even know where to start this email. So I will just start on the beginning of the week. Monday, we made shirts and pie and it was crazy. Tuesday we had a sister meeting and all of the sister cried and I was just like ahh why are there so many tears going on and it got weird. But it was really good. Wednesday is where it gets good...
the big yellow house on the right is the back of the Duke's house.  I feel like I look at it and just think of the words to "I Love to See the Temple--I'll go inside one day , to feel the holy spirit, to listen and to pray--"

So I go on a division with the sister of Amadora. Sister Donahoo came and served with me in my area, Mem Martins. Well our first plan of the day was to go to Sintra to find this weird reference that we got from someone in Porto. So we go and we are walking along and asking people how to get to this weird road and they are all like "sempre em frente sempre em frente" or in English "always in front" So we are walking on this twisty mountain road in the middle of nowhere when we get to this random city. And we are like wow we made it!! So then we ask people for the next road that we are looking for and they are like what do you need on that road and we are like, we are looking for Duque. And people got so excited when we said that and we are like what the heck. What is Duque? So we get to the road and we are like ok I see no house named Duque. But we found the number and we ask this little old spanish lady "o que é Duque?" and she gets all excited and tells us in half Spanish half Portuguese that the duke is not home right now but that his brother is and that we needed to just touch the doorbell. She then showed us where the door was. In that moment Sister Donahoo and I look at each other and are like OH MY GOSH IT IS A DUKE!!!! So we walked like 1 hour to this HUGE house like soooo big we thought that it was like an old mansion that was turned into like rooms for tourists or something. BUT no it was a house that a duke lives in!!! So we talk to this lady and tell her that the duke wants to talk to us and she is like well you need an appointment. Call this number. And she gives us this weird number. So we leave and we call the number and this lady is talking to me and is really, really formal and is like who gave you this number and I am like uhhh Orlanda... and she goes "AHHHH SENHORA ORLADA!! ok ok we will make you an appointment and call back!" Soooo ya that is right we are totally going to teach a duke!!! And so we ask around a little and find out that if Portugal was a monarchy he would be in line for king!! WHAT!!!!!! SOOO COOLLLL!!!

Ok that was the coolest thing that happened this week. But the rest was still really good. Our bread friend is still giving us bread EVERDAY. Our freezer is really full of bread and cake and pastries and we are giving stuff away like we crazy! Hah it is great! For to love it!

We are getting excited for Christmas! It is going to be so fun!

Also I lost my scissors. Which is sad cause they are safety kids scissors that I found in my first transfer. I cut myself on the twice (yes even though they were safety ones for kids). I will find them though. I have faith.

Love you all so much!

Merry Christmas!

Love, Sister Bakker
This is a toucan we found on the way to the Duke's house

a weird fruit we found on the way to the Duke's house

Sister Barron with a man we found

a cool road in Sintra

Monday, December 7, 2015

Eagles and Bolo Rei

Warning this email contains shocking information read with caution.

This week in mem martins there was a festa de natal (Christmas party) there were booths and good food and all sorts of fun on the roads. Well, we had to use that road to get to and from a few appointments. So we are walking down the road pretending that we have horse blinder things on our eyes when this random guys pulls us from the crowd puts a big glove on Sister Barrons hand and goes "smile!" Next thing we know they are taking a pic of her HOLDING AN EAGLE!!! Then they go ok now its your turn. Well if anyone knows me they know my VERY VERY VERY big fear of birds. Well folks on that day I swallowed my fear and my pride and I held that eagle! thats right! I HELD AN EAGLE!!!! (pics to follow). It was so cool!

Also we have a bakery right across the street from our house and every night the baker looks out the window to our window and waves to us before we plan. Well on the same day that we held an eagle we decided that it was time that we talk to the baker. So we go over there and he showed us inside and then gave us 2 free loaves of bread!!! It was awesome! Then last night he was, "oh hey girls come here" so we go over there and he gave us a bolo rei! (which is just a gross fruit cake but if you eat around the fruit it is not bad!) WAHOO everyone was just lovin' the sisters this week! It was awesome!

Also this week on a more spiritual side, the temple ground breaking happened! WAHOOOOO PORTUGAL IS GOING TO HAVE A TEMPLE!!!! It was so cool to see it happen! We got to watch from a chapel close by. It was so amazing to see this huge great and wonderful event take place! We are so blessed! I love the church so much and I am so excited to have a temple here in Portugal! I cannot wait to come back one day and see all the people I love inside! Best thing ever!

This week was great! I love my mission so much!

Thanks for everything! Eu sei que nosso salvador vive! eu amo esta igreja e eu amo minha missão! vocês são minha força! Obrigada por tudo! Feliz Natal!
Com Amor
Sister Bakker!

We made tee shirts for our sisters with the help of a member!

Monday, November 30, 2015


Our pumpkin pie!


S Barron cut my hair
So this week was cool! for Thanksgiving we made a pumpkin pie! and it was dang good! like I was shocked! We had to first find a pumpkin and we looked like dummies going to all the fruit placing going "vocês vendem abobara?" ya we got some funny looks. Well we found one finally and so we took it home and cooked it and then turned it into mush and the next thing I know we are eating a pie!! It was awesome! haha!!! I will send pics! Also we ate Pizza Hut and wore red white and blue. American though and through!

Also last night we were teaching our awesome little 15 year old Lili with our bishop when my comp grabs something off the top of my head and I see her squish something in her fingers. Well we did this all very sneaky and no one saw and I just look at her and go "piolhos?" and she just nods her head. So ya that is right I got lice... ewwwwww!!! Worst thing ever! I am washing all my stuff and treating my hair! ahhh but we only found one so we think that we found it right at the start and that I don't have more! And she doesn't have any so I think we are going to be ok! Eww just typing this and my head is itching! gross!

Also next week is the first stone of the temple!!! wahoo!! I am so excited!! Everyone is freaking out! I am stoked! Portugal is finally going to have a temple! yes!!!!

Our Christmas tree named "Charlie Brown"
Well that is about it for the week! Love you all! Have a killer semana! Hope that you all stay lice free and happy!

Com amor,
Sister Alyssa Bakker!

Monday, November 23, 2015

I am Grateful for the Rain

This week on the mission was one for the books. NO ONE WANTED TO TALK TO US!!! NO ONE!! So you know what we did? We talked to more people. And in the end it gave us fruits! On Sunday we had 5 people come to church!!! It was so amazing!!! One of the best weeks of my mission! Also this morning I had to say good bye to one of my all time favorite comps in the world. Sister Bryner went home today. Sad. BUUUT now I am with Sister Barron! I was her STL for 3 transfers and now she is here with me! We are so excited to be together!!! I love her so much! She is tall and blonde and great! We are going to look like crazy people walking down these streets! yay!

Well I don't have a ton of time but I would like to tell you all that I love you and I am grateful for you all. This Thanksgiving I may not be with the ones that share my same DNA but I am still with family. And I am grateful for that. I am grateful for my savior and for his atoning sacrifice. I am grateful for my mission president, Presidente Tavares. I am grateful for the rain even though it is cold and never stops and I am grateful for this chance I have to serve. I love you all and have a great turkey day!


Sister Bakker!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Our Bishop and his Family
Carlos baptism

Pday Sintra Swag

Hey there fam! so I don't have a ton of time but this week was great!! We had another baptism! This is his story...I was studying and preparing to help this guy get baptized and one thing that I realized is that we do nothing. Literally nothing. The only thing that we can do is prepare to the best of our abilities and then the Lord does the rest. We made a great lesson plan to help this guy get an answer about the church. He has been investigating and coming since August. Then everything went crazy. we got to the compromisso and he brought his wife and that was the first time we were meeting her so we were like crap scratch the plan!! Then we were talking to him and he was like so this week after I get the holy ghost I want to read a talk I wrote. and we were like what? and he goes "ya last night at 4 am I got an answer and I was so excited and did not want to forget it and I wrote it all down and I want all of Gods sheep here in Mem Martins to hear it." (this guys name is Carlos) But we were shocked! So we were like ok LETS GET HIM IN THE WATER! We taught him the 5th lesson about temples and all that jazz! and marked him for Saturday. God does amazing things! He was baptized FINALLY on Saturday and got the Holy Ghost Sunday and he is doing great! I love the Lord. We were not prepared for what we ended up teaching but because we did our part in the beginning and then followed the spirit the Lord did the rest!

Mariano is also doing great! He got the Priesthood on Sunday! WAHOO!!! Life is great love you all!

Love sister Bakker

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mariano Mari Mari Mariano!‏


Well I am not sure how but another week has come and gone on the mission. Man time really does go so fast! This week was so crazy! We had mission council and Zone meeting so we were like not in our area at all this week but it was ok! Heavenly father blessed us so much!

So this week Mariano got baptized! One day about 3 weeks ago we had like 20 mins before we had to go home and no one to go see. So we decided to just talk to some people in the road. Well at 9 in Mem Martins there are not that many people. Well we see this man leaning against a wall and we look at each other and are like "vamos lá!" so we go over and talk to him. He was nice and gave us his phone number but did not really seem that interested. Well we call him the next day and set up an appointment with him. Well he actually came!! We invited him to think about baptism in the first lesson and to come to church. Well Sunday he comes. Then next week we saw him pretty much ever day and marked him for the 7th. In 2 days he quit drinking coffee and smoking. He got a job. He got an interview or something like that to get a house and he said that he had more energy and happiness. WOW!! So we kept working with him and as the day gets closer to his baptism he just gets more and more excited! Well Saturday comes and he comes and is just stoked. He gets baptized and right after he talks to the bishop about getting the priesthood! The next day at church he had a white shirt and tie (for the first time) and new shoes! And he got the Holy Ghost. He was no joke glowing. It was so amazing to see the change in him! He is so wonderful and doing so great! WAHOO Mariano! he tells us all the time that he is like our guardian angel and that he watches over us so that we can help more people that we helped him. SO amazing!

I am so happy to be out here! I love my mission so much and I know that the church is true!
love you all!

oooh also this week we decided that if I was a rapper my name would be Lil Sis. And yes I have been writing so sweet Portuguese raps about the mission so ya be ready for that when I get home. Swag.

lil sis, OUT!

paz e amor

the baptism (the sisters in mafra also had a baptism)

dinner with R family (some ward members)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

There's a Raccoon in the House!!!

Hey there!

Well another week has come and gone and I am still here in Portugal! LOVING IT!!! Halloween was cool! They don't really do anything big here. They had some decorations in some stores and some kids dressed up. But nothing too big. They do trick or treating on the fisrt here from 9-12 in the morning cause at night it is too dangerous. Me and my comp totally got pastries to celebrate and we dressed up. duh. She was an Indian (Pocahontas) and I was a raccoon (Miko her pet). It was really really funny! I will send pics!

district meeting

This week was crazy! So many things happened! We marked Mariano for baptism and he will be baptized this Saturday! wahoo! He is actually really cool. He is going through a hard time right now but he said that he has already starting seeing his life change for the better since we stopped to talk to him. This week was cool, he was talking to us and asked us why we decided to talk to him of all people. We answered that really we talk to everyone and that he seemed like he needed this message. He was so happy and grateful! He is really funny and always is like "ahhh Sisters voces sempre sabem!" what we know we don't really know but he thinks we know everything! He is going to get a house this week... we think. So ya that is great!

Yesterday was Dia Das Almas (it is like Portugal Memorial Day) so we did a mission thing where we all went to the local cemeteries to talk to people about the plan of salvation. There were 6 of us in one TINY cemetery. It was kind of awkward. We started to sing hymns and the elders talked to everyone. It was actually really cool and spiritual. A little old lady walked past with tears in her eyes and just said "obrigada". It was really cool! Kind of weird but cool! It was pouring rain and we were cold and wet and just loving it!

Love you all! Hope you had a spooky Halloween!!!
Sister Bakker

division in Torres Vedras ( with sister Doman and Sister Baugh)

Halloween lunch at S F's. Her son closest to the camera is preparing for a mission!

Monday, October 26, 2015

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Sup familia de poder!!

So over here in good old Mem Martins not too much is going down. We are teaching some pretty cool people. One girl from Brazil named Marina. She is super cool and we are hoping that she can get a new job so that she can come to church. Also we are teaching this guy named M. He is something else. Oh man. Lets just say he may or may not be homeless and he may or may not be a really really big liar. We are really hoping that he is not cause if he is not it means he is super elect and ready to go! We will have too see in our lesson with him tonight! We also are teaching this girl named Tania! she is sooooooo amazing! She is a nanny for the American family in our ward and she heard the prayer of their 6 year old girl one night and said that she knew that there was something different. So she talked to the mom and said that it was like her heart had a lid on it and then when she heard that prayer it was like the lid was open and all she wanted was to feel like that all the time. We taught her the restoration of the gospel and she cried. She is so amazing!! We love her so much!!!

Other news from the week. Ummmm well it has rained like everyday so that has been cool. I love huge random rain storms. VIDA BOA!!!! We also did a division with the sisters in Cascais! That was super cool! The sisters there are super legit! So that was way fun! But ya other than that my life is pretty much the same!

Also this week is halloween! que bênção!!! We are going to carve pumpkins (if we can find any) and I am going to be a cow girl and sister Bryner is going to be an Indian. Well as best as we can while still looking like missionaries :) I AM SOOOO EXCITED! I love Halloween and we are praying that someone will come trick-or-treat at our house! yay!

love you all! have one heck of a semana!
Sister Bakker

Monday, October 19, 2015

Look, Mom, I Caught a Lizard!

This week was cool! here in Mem Martins we are a ward! wahooooo I love it so much! we have like a gazillion Brazilions so I am scared that my accent is going to be a little funky by the time I leave. We will see. But I am liking it a lot! The people are great! We have meals with members all the time! And we even have an American family that lives in our ward and they live in a real house! That is right I went into a stand alone house for the first time in over a year! That was cool!

A lizard we found in the street
My comp and I are working really hard! We are going to have to do at least 5 divisions this transfer and so we are going to be really busy and not in our area a lot but that is ok the Lord always provides away! Right now we are teaching this cool Brazilian girl that actually contacted us on the road. She was behind us and called to us and asked if we talked about Jesus. She is really cool! Also I got news from Póvoa that Janette was baptized yesterday! I am so happy for her! I love her so much! She is soo cool and really just so so great! Such a future missionary I know it! I am so happy that she was able to receive an answer that these things are true! I love this church so much and I am so grateful to be a part of it! If you know anyone that has not yet had the chance to hear about the happiness and joy that is this gospel please make sure to open your mouth and share it. Let the missionaries help you! Love you all so much! thanks for all the support!

My adivse for this week comes from a contact that we did one day. A wise old man told us "VIVE MENINAS!! VIVE!!!" So that is my advise for all of you. Live girls, live!!!

Boa semana! Fica com Fé!

Sister Bakkstertot

Doing a rap with S Alexander for our English class

You can't beat Portuguese Pastries!

Sister Bryner