Monday, November 18, 2013

Nov 18

Hey family!
Well, transfer call came Saturday and it looks like Elder Russo and I are staying here and Elder Schouten is off to be a zone leader in Maryville (pronounced murrvol). So we will be getting a new companion, a brand new zone leader President has asked me to train up.  New transfers are great because it gives us an opportunity to reevaluate our vision and goals so that we can grow and be more effective, even though we will miss Elder Schouten it'll be a real treat. Should be a good transfer.
Maria is doing well she has a baptismal date for December 7th (happy Pearl Harbor day...) She has had the hardest time understanding and really getting the gospel so we have taught her over and over as simply as we can and she really is finally starting to figure it all out. She came with us to the addiction recovery class this week and loved it. She told me the other day that if she wants to continue seeing these positive changes in her life she has to put forth the effort. So she has been reading the scriptures and working through the addiction recovery workbook on her own. She really is a sweet daughter of God. I have been able to see a bitter, scared and scarred woman turn into a happy and open individual through the atonement of Jesus Christ. The pain and grief of her past is being washed clean through the blood of the lamb. She really makes me happy. 
We have been blessed out here with people like Cody and Maria to teach. We have a really hard time finding people to teach because we live about 10 miles or so from our area and there are only like 5 active members in our whole area and its humungous with very few people... However like I said if we do our best the Lord continues to bless us.
All is well out here! Love you! sorry for the short time to email!
Love Elder R.A. Bakker 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Nov 11

Hey Mom!
All is well out here! Transfers are coming up on the 20th so a week and a half and there's probably going to be a change of some kind. Elder Schouten goes home in 2 transfers so that is weird, who knows what will happen to us. There's a lot that has been learned here so by next week I'll know what's happening right now anything could happen.
little possum friend at zone conference  
As far as my week goes it was pretty good a little different. We had a zone conference training to prepare for Thursday, so we naturally were putting it off till Tuesday and Wednesday to flesh it all out and it was last Monday afternoon around 2:00, when we get a call from the assistants and they said "hey Elder Schouten and Elder Bakker is your training ready for zone conference?" we were all uh... no haha and they said "well can it be ready to present at mission leadership council tomorrow at 2:00?" .... haha we didnt have anything done for it except a few thoughts we had the week before. We accepted and that night spent hours creating this training and miracle after miracle helped us to pull it all together with a 24 hour notice to have it presented. We had an Idea for a piñata and thought hmm… piñatas are like $20... so we went to check it out to see if it was affordable to use for our training and Kmart is having a clearance and practically begged us to take these two big yellow truck piñatas for $2 a piece... Ha like that happens everyday. 

The training was great! We gave an wonderful training on goal setting and "the most important thing" or your purpose as a missionary and for our demonstration before we did the role play we had a piñata to demonstrate how if we don’t have a "vision" of want we are to achieve then we can't hit our target. It was fantastic! The lord helped us really prepare for the training and I have never had preparation or presentation of a training go so smoothly! Keep your eyes on the prize!
Love ya! Elder R.A. Bakker

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nov 4

Hey everyone!
The winter hasn't really hit here yet and the fall was kind of weak but that's ok the weather is still nice and we haven't had to layer up too much yet actually just a jacket here and there.
Well, Halloween has come and gone we weren't really allowed to do much proselyting on Halloween so we studied at the church and made candied bacon and hires root beer! great time! One of the member families stopped by to pick something up and they talked us into trying this pepper that one of the other elders had.... big mistake haha! It was a ghost pepper which is the second hottest pepper in the world aka the Bhut jolokia pepper... google it... it set us on fire for nearly an hour and we ate the smallest bite. So that was basically our Halloween, a lot of screaming and ice cream and washing the eyes out of elder arnold who decided to rub his eyes after partaking...  
We have a lot of fun serving here together. There's always a lot of stress that comes with missionary work but the good times always out weigh the hard times and you always are learning and becoming more like the savior day by day. We are pretty low on investigators right now, but our hope and faith is high that the lord will help us to find those that are prepared. Maria is progressing very slowly, her traumatic childhood and life up to this point prevents her from learning concepts quickly so we have to be patient and help introduce the atonement in her life one step at a time. She will get there. We also are preparing a training this week for our zone conference. We are training on how goals help us o focus our sights on the most important thing. Pray for us! we are going to need it. We had a meeting with president irion and the stake presidency yesterday a meeting with the missionary higher leadership tomorrow and zone conf on thursday... meeting after meeting after meeting... haha gotta love it. Love you and remember to focus your sights on the most important things!
Good better best!
 Elder R.A. Bakker

Multi Zone conference with Elder Corbridge