hey hows the tricks at home? The great tennessee knoxville mission carries on quite well! We got to hear from Elder Dallin H. Oaks yesterday and boy was that a spiritual experience! I wrote down like 6 questions that i had prayed about and wanted to be answered during the special stake conference, and all of them were answered as well as a few I had in my heart that God new I wanted to hear but I didn’t really write down. such a special spirit there. Also I shook his hand like 9 or 10 times, We had 6 investigators at church and I made it a point to take him to meet everyone of them as they arrived. He is a really really nice guy and he talked to each of them and most of them had answered prayers there too. Maria is one of our investigators that has a testimony but has a hard time committing to come to church and also is having trouble overcoming her smoking addiction. Our ward mission leader picked her up for the meeting and she was in tears almost the whole time. She talked to him after the meeting and told him she felt it was taylor-made for her and she really loved it. boy was that an answered prayer. She is really strong! We also got together as a whole mission to hear from him after stake conference was over. And the coolest part of the whole experience which had me literally in tears (which as y'all know doesn’t happen too often) is before the meeting he went around and met almost everyone in the building and when he got up to speak he said there are two types of talks he does, the first is a general conference address which he takes about 20 drafts to complete and the other is a stake conference talk which he doesn’t prepare for at all. He just meets as many people as he can and lets the spirit tell him what to say to everyone. And what he spoke about for about 85% of his talk was specifically for our investigators! He essentially testified of the first two lessons (restoration and plan of salvation) and told them what was up. he even mentioned elder christensen and I in his address! haha so cool! One of our newer investigators (Josh T) who we will be committing for baptism tomorrow night, over heard him telling president how good of a job he thought elder christensen and I were doing here as missionaries! I really can’t even remember ever being happier than I was feeling yesterday! Alma 29:10 puts it perfectly "And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled been with joy;..." I've been reading the book of mormon jack sent me for christmas and I don’t go anywhere with out it, and Alma 29 is just destroyed haha it's become one of my very favorite chapters in the book of mormon. Jeanne and Mekenzie are finally really going to be baptized this saturday and boy are we excited. Well there has never been a better time to be a missionary. I love it and am excited to move forward! Love you all!
Love Elder bakker