Monday, June 24, 2013

Member Missionaries

Hey mom!
The broadcast was awesome! We have been officially (re)called out by our leaders and specifically our prophet! It’s time to buckle down and lock arms members and missionaries and grow the work of salvation! There's not a whole lot of progress going on here right now we are still trying to do our best to meet and teach all of the less active members on our role and also teach investigators when we can. The branch is small but there's much work to be done and I believe that the Lord will help us to be able to get it all done. After all he is all wise and powerful. The S’s baptism is this Thursday and President Irion is letting me come down for the baptism. I am really excited for that. Dwight and Jane are actually going to come pick me up!
Marion gets more and more interesting everyday. My latest word is Witchadidja... haha good one right? "ya brung your truck witchadidja?" haha it means "with you did you.”
The town is so tight there are no secrets. Recently the chief of police was busted for buying/selling illegal drugs. The whole town talks about it. The police department is so corrupt up here I feel like I’m in a different country. There was even a cop like 4 or 5 years ago that shot him self in his police car and left a note trying to bring down the corrupt cops. It’s like an episode of CSI or something... haha it’s crazy out here. But hey I love it.
There's a local greasy spoon called Dip Dogs, famous for corn dogs and onion rings and shakes. Really good, but really greasy. haha Im also going to try and make some seriously good apple butter in the next few weeks. I can’t believe y'all didn’t feed me apple butter and biscuits growing up. I missed out on that!
Well I love you and remember the Lord does too. 
love elder bakker  

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013

Hey mom!
Marion is Marion. Haha its hard to describe unless you experience it. The southern drawl is nearly impossible to understand if you aren't used to it. I’m going to have to take a few videos of the people I’m meeting here, you wouldn’t believe it unless you heard it. Its a lot like that Appalachian speech video we looked at before my mission. Plum this and plum that.
Oh and there’s this lady named Donna A in the branch and she is an old southern black woman and let me tell you, her fried chicken is out of this world good! She feeds us like twice a week and its an experience. She also makes a killer apple butter, biscuits, ribs, baked macaroni and cheese... out of this world I’m telling you! She is very secretive about all of her recipes but I'm getting them out of her one at a time. I got the macaroni and cheese recipe last night.
As far as our investigators go we have Laura H who was actually found here by Elder Christensen, my trainer, and has been taught by the missionaries since. She had a baptismal date of June 22nd but is still struggling with smoking. We are getting closer and closer though. Another investigator we have Is Donna's ex-husband Herbert S, but everyone just calls him "Slater". He was in a bar fight in his younger days and lost his leg and was shot in the back multiple times... on a brighter note he has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith. He doesn’t want to be pushed or commit to a baptismal date or coming to church so that’s a struggle we are working with. Lots of prayer to try and figure out the deeper concerns there.  Over all it's awesome here, but there’s sure a lot of work to be done and not a whole lot of support from the branch but we are doing our best and hopefully we will be bale to find some real success here in helping the saints in Marion Virginia!
love you 
elder bakker

Monday, June 10, 2013

Marion VA

elder hart
dearest mom!
Well theres some news I’m sure you’re all waiting for, and its some big changes! haha well I’m now emailing you from the library here in beautiful backwoods Marion, VA! haha this is where Elder Christensen was trained. It’s as far away as you can be in the mission and it's been named outer darkness for a reason. I went to a zone training meeting friday and drove about 160 miles round trip to get there, where as my stake center in Knoxville was less than 4 miles. It’s a small branch and small town. 
prison view from our window
There's so much work to be done here that’s one thing that is certain. The Lord has decided to white-wash the area so I'm here with my new companion and neither of us have been here previously and we have to start with a handful of names from previous missionaries, essentially from scratch right at ground one. My new companion is a greenie fresh from the MTC named Elder Hart from Cave Junction, Oregon population roughly 2400. So that's even a bit smaller than Marion! Our apartment is above a clothing store of one of the most popular gentleman in the whole town, plus he loves the missionaries. Across the street from our apartment is a prison. But not just any prison... its a prison for the mentally-insane... haha so like crazy serial killers and stuff! also there was a break out like 10 years ago.. I’ll attach a picture of the view out our bedroom window. The branch is small, like 80-90 people at church. Its also pretty sketchy I feel like I always have to correct false doctrine. In fact theres a whole section of gospel doctrine at the beginning of class devoted to "go backs" correcting false doctrine from the week previous... haha Its a blast. We already have a few promising investigators out here one Elder Christensen found named Laura and she is committed to being baptized on the 22nd of June. She has cut from 3 packs of cigarettes a day to half a pack a day so a lot of progress there. She wants to just quit it cold turkey now that she has made it this far though. So yeah all is well thanks for the love and support! love you 

Elder Bakker's new address is:

Elder Bakker
540 South Commerce Street #2
Marion, VA 24354

This is great for packages and stuff because its really hard to get me packages where I am because I’m 2.5-3 hours from the mission office. This is great for packages and stuff because its really hard to get to me.  Letters can still go to the main address: 
11320 Station West Dr. Ste. 101
Farragut, TN 37934

Me and Brother C
Me, E McNeil and E Arnold with the M family
me elder mcneil and elder arnold
me elder christensen and Brother S before transfers
 lineage picture of people who trained people who trained people 
brother r with his bonsi trees
Me and Tom R

Monday, June 3, 2013

District Meeting

hey mom, 
so there's some good news and some bad news. bad news first. As expected I am getting transferred to a new area. I will be white washing an area and being a district leader/trainer. so I can see the list of incoming missionaries and there are 4 so I have a 25% chance of guessing who I’ll get. 
I bore my testimony yesterday in sacrament meeting and I will say there were many tears both mine and the ward's. They have really had an impact on me here and it’s been hard to say goodbye and go. There's a lot I will miss here but I know it's my time to go. 
Ok enough of that now its time for the good news. Dwight and Jane S are committed for the 28th of june! and I don’t remember who you know is committed right now so here it is.
Julie P june 15th
Michael P june 15th
Jackson P june 15th
Laurence W  June 15th
Doug K june 22nd 
Dwight S June 28th
Jane June 28th
so these are some people to pray for. They really mean a lot to me and the farragut ward after june will have had 10 baptisms so far this year. They set a goal as a ward at the beginning of the year to have 12 by december so i think we are on track haha they typically don’t get 7 in a month so its been really awesome Also Robert B and Josh T are going to be baptized soon into other wards. I feel the lord has blessed me a lot here and its time for me to move on. I will Let you know how it all goes next week! love you all! 
love Elder Bakker 

Farragut's District Meeting 5-24-13

S Boggs, Manwill, Whatcott, Cady, S&P Irion, E Bakker, Arnold, McNeil, Kesler & Ogden