Monday, April 29, 2013

Welcome Elder McNeil!

hey family! whats up?
the good news of the week is brother m's baptism! I got the opportunity to baptize brother m this saturday, elder arnold confirmed him in church and then his home teacher gave him the aaronic priesthood! so awesome! the spirit was so strong! His favorite way to feel the spirit is through music and we have a sister in our district here that is an incredibly gifted pianist, and she wrote him a beautiful version of amazing grace/how great thou art. it was beautiful I love the spirit that music brings.
In other good news we gained a new companion! elder arnold and I are training a brand new missionary waiting for his visa to go to bella hrozante, brazil. His name is elder McNeil from newark delaware. He is an awesome addition to team Farragut!
another cool thing is the P family! They are really progressing towards baptism! Sister p and her son jackson who is 13 are ready to commit to baptism but we are waiting on brother powers. he is a bit more cautious. This family is one of the closest families to the lord as anyone i have ever met. It's a real privilege to meet them and help them take the next step in their progression toward the savior and utilizing the full power of his atonement, through baptism and receiving the holy ghost.
I love my mission, through exact obedience I’m seeing success and growth in myself and in those I teach. It’s going by too fast. I pray that the spirit of the lord will be with you guiding you to share the gospel with those who need it in their lives. It brings more happiness than anything else you can do. The lord told peter whitmer (D&C 16:6) And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen. I love you
Elder Bakker

love you mom see you on mothers day (which im sad to say i didnt realize was so soon haha i found out yesterday its around the corner)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hey mom!
So the first bit of exciting news is that I'll be here in Farragut one more transfer! I've been here 6 months... makes you think about what you've been doing with the last half year of your life right? Also they are splitting my district and I'll be the new district leader here, also Elder Arnold and I will be getting a new greenie. He will be a new elder from the MTC waiting for a visa to Argentina or Brazil. So this will be an interesting transfer! haha
But some more good news. We have Brother M being baptized this Saturday! We went over there the other day and said he was praying about what to do and he finally got his answer that this is right and he can’t wait to be baptized!
Also we got in with Maria again finally, she does a good job at falling off the face of the earth and she asked for help quitting smoking and accepted a baptismal date of may 11! So that will be great too!
I gave a talk in church this Sunday about effective member missionary work and we had 8 of our investigators there! So good, that has to be a record for Farragut.
But yeah those are the most exciting happenings here all is well and thank you much for your prayers love and support! 
love elder bakker

Elder Bakker and Elder Arnold roll playing at Zone Confernce.

Red buds and daffodils on the side of the freeway in April.

Monday, April 15, 2013

hey family!
 All is well in the land of Tennessee, not a whole lot has changed. This may be my last full week in Farragut, I don’t know but I find out Saturday what’s going down for transfers the 24th. I will miss Farragut dearly if I leave. This is a place I could come back to and live. I really love it here. I love the people and its just a great place to be.
I don’t know how much I have told you about Brother M, but he right now is our most progressing investigator. He has been 6 days with out a cigarette and is preparing for the 27th of this month for baptism. He is a really nice guy. He works 2 full time jobs at Walmart and jewelry television and his wife is physically pretty handicapped. He only listens to Christian music and is really progressing well. So any prayers for him to overcome his smoking would be much appreciated.
As far as Robert B goes, he is on fire. He wrote a letter to Elder Oaks after he came for the stake conference, telling him about his situation and how he now knows he has found the lords true gospel, and also talked about how he wanted to wait for his son to be back from military training in August. Well just before Conference Elder Oaks responded and told him to tune into his talk for some pertinent info and also he thinks he is making the right choice to wait for his son’s return. Robert gave his son and daughter a Book of Mormon and they are reading it. He is one of the best missionaries in the ward. haha and he isn’t even in the ward yet!
The S parents, not a lot of new stuff there. They have been out of town for a while, they like to take off to the beach, but all is still well there.
Well I love you guys :) talk to you soon!
Love elder bakker

so I’ve recently put together a list of things I’ve gained an appreciation for on my mission:
g. conference
almond pasteries
jaffa cakes (from inessa in ireland)
dark choclate
uplifting music
the word yall
boiled peanuts (very southern)
pickled beets
pickled eggs
and the desert air

Monday, April 8, 2013

Mon April 8, 2013 hola madre, all is well here in the east. conference was awesome my favorite by far was elder oaks! he spoke to the world and told them the bible says we are right and everyone else is not even close. also L. Tom Perry shook the whole church with his sternness. love that guy. Elder Holland as usual showed us the fire. and elder Bednar really gave us some sweet sound doctrine on chastity its going to be a new classic talk often referred to i think. Also two women prayed in conference. That’s new, women haven’t prayed in conference before. Not a whole lot of updates however we do have a sweet new investigator. His name is reb. He has like maybe 15 or 16 teeth. We are helping him achieve peace in his life and we can see his life really turning around. he gave me a bunch of classic small historical confederate flags ill send home for y’all to show your southern pride. remember its the war of northern aggression not the civil war haha. but yeah all is well, not a whole lot of updates with the sextons they are still rolling along. the dutch guy hans (brinker) v i met, we went by and gave him some salted licorice and shared a little thought with him and he invited us to come to their catholic mass yesterday morning, so we went... boy that was different, stand, sit, kneel, stand, kneel, stand, kneel, recite prayer, kneel, recite prayer again. it was quite foreign. we invited him to our service afterwards and because he’s a stubborn dutch-man he says "nope" haha i told him he is stubborn and he says "what do you expect i'm dutch?" haha so that’s the updates. love yall! till next time elder bakker

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter Sunday

Mon, April 1, 2013

hey hey fam
Sunday was an awesome day. Easter was great, being a missionary on Easter is exciting, I loved going out tracting sharing the message of the resurrected savior this week. In fact there is one cool story I’ll share from the week. We had an extra 15 minuets before a dinner appointment so we decided to knock a few of the neighbors doors. The first door we knocked on I saw a jeep in the drive way with an NL sticker on it. I had a clue there that it may be interesting. We knocked on the door and the man said through a familiar accent, "guys unless you want to talk about becoming catholic we don’t have a whole lot to talk about." I asked him where he was from and he said Holland. He looked at my name tag and I told him I was Dutch and he said " oh yes Bakker that means baker or bakery. We talked about Amsterdam, Kroquettes, Salted licorice, almond pastries, and so on. He invited us in and gave us a coke and talked a bit and we prayed with him. He told us we could come back sometime, and we will. Elder Arnold couldn’t get over it he thought it was so funny how excited he was to talk about Holland. I proceeded then to explain the Phrase "if ya ain't Dutch ya ain't much"
Just one of many cool experiences I've had here lately we are really working our butts off, I love it. I'm convinced no one else in the mission could have gotten in that door, and we have met some people really only Elder Arnold can touch. We are called where we are for a reason and I know that it is divinely inspired.
Well all is well love ya! Elder bakker