Monday, July 29, 2013

July 28

Wow that's really exciting for Dani! I can’t wait for her to go into the MTC! Behold a Royal Army! Well the battle is being waged and Elder Hart and I are putting forth our best! We have an investigator named Jerry S. Nice older black fellow, and we have been working with him for a few weeks and tomorrow we should be setting a baptismal date with him! He wants to be baptized we just gotta get a date set! so that's exciting! Also yesterday I received word that the P family is getting baptized on the 17th! (happy birthday Morgan!) haha and Their 14 year old son Jackson wants me to come down and baptize him! So exciting! I also talked to Robert B today and his son is getting back the 16th of August, so he will be getting baptized the 24th (happy b-day Alyssa!) so I should be able to go down for that as well! It's so exciting! Next week Elder Kopishke is coming from the 70 to speak to the mission leadership so I will be in Farragut for that as well. Hopefully they don’t get too sick of me down there! 
The Luau is pushing forward I have a meeting this Thursday with someone to work out the smoker situation right after I do a baptismal interview. It's going to be great the wards and branch are really grasping onto the idea and hopefully they will be successful in the vision to invite their non-member friends and less actives! It's really going to be exciting!   Anyways, Love you all.
Elder Bakker
Elders Christensen and Bakker at the S family baptism.  Brother S, Sister and Brother S Senior, Sister S

Anyways, Love you all.
Elder Bakker

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

Hey Mom,
The Luau is going great. A lot of struggles trying to communicate with 3 different units but we are working through it to get assignments made for food and decorations and games and what not.
Not a whole lot has changed. Transfers was last week and half of my district got transferred so I have been working with an almost entirely new group. 2 of them are brand new too, which I like because they have a little more fire. 
Well as always I’m grateful for my experiences and growth and pray for you all to have great missionary experiences, so reach out to those around you. I love you. My scripture for the week is 1Nephi 20:10 and 2ne 2:2.
love you
Elder Bakker
"Rooster's" Car

Elder Hart and Bakker at Bristol Caverns, TN.  (I looked them up on the internet and this is a very cool place.  Andrew didn't mention if he toured the caves or just saw the sign.)

Sugarlands Overlook, Grayson Highlands State Park, VA

Elders Bakker and Hart

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15

Aloha Madre!
All is well in the Bible belt!  Virginia is wet as well We already almost hit our average rainfall for the year I think. And trust me Utah is not humid like it is out here. You say you feel humidity but unless your hair never really dries and if you put your hands in your pockets and it takes you 30 seconds to get them out because you're too wet and sticky then you are in the humidity. 
So we have been adding on to the church building here lately and the construction is going well. We are getting kicked out of the church for about 3 months while they blend the 3 phases of the building together, so we will be meeting in the local life saving building where the ambulances depart from. So I have been praying hard for a baptism during those 3 months because chances are we will get to baptize in the creek out here. Boy oh boy that'd be an experience.
We had to move our date for the luau from the 24th of Aug (happy bday lyssie) to the 23rd so that we weren't interrupted by the NASCAR race at the Bristol Speedway. The south loves there NASCAR, something I will never understand but the stadium holds 160,000 people... so the whole area up here will be slammed and the freeway traffic will be unconquerable. But it will all work out.
We have been really digging deep lately into true and pure doctrine and I'm giving a training on the fall of Adam and Eve and have really been enjoying my studies. Well I gotta go! Remember there is no growth in our comfort zone and there is no comfort in our growth zone!  
Love Elder Bakker
E Bybee, Babbitt, Schouten, Bakker, Garber, Spencer and Brown

Friedman Bakker Schouten Brown Tayler Warhurst Vincent Babbitt MIlls C Robinson, E&S Nielson, E&S Wilcken, S&P Irion, S&E Miner, Jack Quada Kalani D Hatch Colwell Stone Hollon Boggs Bedke S Hatch Burningham Taylor Shurtleff deHoyos, Eckery Darrington Spen

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8

Hey Mom
All is well out here and this week.  We went to youth sunday school as opposed to gospel doctrine. I did learn a new word. Skitch- southern term for rabbit or cotton-tail. That was definitely a new one. And just to make it clear all of the southern terms that you have heard now I have heard in regular everyday communication with people.
Life in Marion is slow. Slow town, no one is really in a hurry to do anything let alone accept the gospel, no matter though, success will come as we are patient and keep working hard. We spend most of our time "strengthening the stakes" (isa. 54:2) where we are already at, basically visiting less-actives and trying to help them come back. This proves to be a very difficult task. Idleness is one of the 7 deadly sins and boy I will tell you it’s a killer out here. The adversary has put a church on nearly every corner, they don’t even have parking lots, so people can walk to whatever church is nearest to their home... tricky isn’t he? Nevertheless all is well in the work of the Lord.
We are spending a lot of time working on figuring out this luau and making sure that is going to work out without any last minuet rushes to figure it all out. I found someone to take care of the Wilber for us. Find, smoke and prepare. The whole 10 yards. It’s going to be great. The work of salvation is progressing onward, I urge you to reach out and continue sharing the gospel. Fast and pray for specific opportunities and the lord will bless you for doing so. Keep the faith
love you
Elder Bakker

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013

Dear Mom
Marion is great, we are really trying to turn things around out here.  I think Ill bring you back to church here so you can experience it for yourselves after the mission.
Back to the work, we are getting excited. The district up here has been in the dumps and kind of depressed for a long time. We needed something to get us going, and then "The Work of Salvation" broadcast came out and all the missionaries got excited. The only problem was, the members for the most part didn’t catch the significance of it and so we shared more about it in each of our 5th Sunday third hour lessons. But anyways the district has been down so I spent a lot of time thinking and pondering and I came up with what I thought to be a great and inspired idea. We are going to have a luau with the 3 wards/branches we are working in! It’s going to be great. It will be missionary centered so everyone is supposed to invite friends and everything. We are excited to get that going!
As far as Fourth of July goes we are going to have a flag raising and breakfast at the church in the morning and then we will have a cook-out (not barbeque haha) at Donna A’s home. She is making ribs, fried chicken, burgers and hot dogs, "tater-salad", "macaroni-cheese", and a few other things. It’s going to be great! ha there is a lot of patriotism down here but there are just as many "Southern Pride" folk. We see confederate flags hanging on ever other house.
Oh and the S’s baptism was amazing. I got to go down but Elder Hart had to stay up here with some other missionaries. We completely filled the chapel for the baptism, which is the size of the chapel in the Boulter building at home. There were more people there than come to church out here. The relief society room for the actual ordinance was standing room only and not everyone could fit in. I got to speak about the day that they actually accepted a date for baptism and explain how it went and what we felt. It was a truly humbling and amazing experience. 
Well out of time! love you
Elder Bakker
Typical country road

Over looking Saltville

Fireflies....too bad Utah doesn't have these