Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April 28

Norwegian Kick ball (he's in a blue shirt/white shorts)
Spring is in the air here. Today we are actually going to hike to some waterfalls where they filmed Hunger Games at, so that will be cool I suppose. We dyed Easter eggs this week with Ash and Jen. They are both 19 and are making some major improvements in their lives.
As far as our teaching pool goes, the member we have been teaching the lessons too again to help her strengthen her conversion is doing swimmingly. She made amends with the person that offended her yesterday at church and is still reading and praying which is good. We have really been able to see her heart soften over the short time we have been working with her. So yeah she is doing pretty good.
Hmm oh Monty who came to general conference, well we were able to locate his home (he told us 43 instead of 34 on his address, but no matter we found him!) and invite him out to church again and he came! So that was good we will be teaching him this week.
Easter eggs w/Ash and Jenn
Oh boy we went on like 3 exchanges this week and I slept on either a couch or a floor 3 nights in a row with nothing remotely healthy to eat, needless to say I’m glad to be back in the mansion again sleeping like a baby. On one exchange I ate nothing but scones with maple glaze and cheerwine for 24 hours because they spent all their money on ingredients for that and cheerwine, that was rough. Oh and too bad they don’t have cheerwine in Utah because its fantastic. Many southerners consider it to be the nectar of the gods, ambrosia from heaven.
Ricky Boone the magician (check him out on Google)
We are preaching and possibly doing a question and answer at a Baptist church here in Asheville Tuesday or Thursday.... so pray for us please! worried about walking into an anti-Mormon trap of some kind or another so we are hoping for the power of Paul or Aaron in our tounge, and the courage and conviction of Captain Moroni... so here goes nothing #putitupforthemormonpreachers
Well that’s all for this week! love ya take care!
Love ya!

E Woolums and E Bakker

E Woolums, Bakker, Garber, Dreeson

Asheville Zone w/Pres and Sister Irion
ELder R.A. Bakker

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 21

On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 10:51 AM, Robert Bakker ‪<> wrote:
Wow what a great Easter week! It was quite interesting to note the symbolism of our weather. It was cold, gloomy and rainy Thursday, Friday and Saturday (with a grim story to follow soon about this rain) and then out of no where Easter Sunday its a beautiful sunny 74 degrees!  Ah! the hope that rises with the resurrected Lord. Bible Dictionary: " The Resurrection of Jesus is the most glorious of all messages to mankind." It is an awe inspiring time of year for sure.
Things are going really well with sister R. Her heart softens and testimony strengthens daily, amazing what happens when you humble yourself and put in the work. It’s like MAGIC!
Speaking of, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this to you but when I was on exchange with some other elders nearby we met a magician in his magic shop . He is disabled and does some magic shows for churches based around gospel messages and he taught me some cool tricks, so lately we have been teaching the gospel through magic. Highly effective. I love to teach with variety. Also we are trying to put together a plan of salvation chalk art thing in downtown Asheville, (its totally an Asheville thing to do) and we are hoping to get some of the local branch artists out to help us with it. Should be good, its like the missionaries in Russia and New York you mentioned to me earlier mom. We will keep you updated. That’s about all that is going on around here now, so life is good.
Thanks for the Easter goodies everyone that sent things! graciously enjoyed!
Love ya!
Elder R.A. Bakker

oh forgot to tell the story of the rain! so I was in Hendersonville on exchange on Friday and they didn’t have the car that week so we were on bikes.... it was raining, anyways after dinner we had an appointment with a recent convert family. We were to bike over there, the appointment was a 45 min bike ride.... in the rain… and anyone who knows me knows I really don’t like being wet when I don’t have to be. 3 years of early morning swimming to wake you up is the catalyst. So we are biking and I’m soaked... and we have to pass over this over pass and there isn’t much traffic so its alright, and in the middle of the over pass is this large puddle about 8 inches deep that we have to sneak through so as to not completely splash our selves... well out of know where I see this car start to speed up from behind me, he switches over into the lane where the puddle is and speeds through it sending a mountainous tidal wave down on me RE-soaking me from head to toe... then he proceeded to reenter the lane in which he was previously with no apparent need to actually be in the lane with the big puddle right as I happened to be moving slowly through it... times like these make me thankful for cars. my shoes just dried out fully today.

planking" happy easters from the elders of the haunted mansion!
random earth day concert we happened upon downtown, never know what youll find in Asheville...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 14

So pretty good week! Spring is in the air and the flowers are blooming and the trees are a variety of hues of pink and white. We are really loving the weather. No updates on Monty , the address he gave us was a bad address, I’m pretty sure it was a mistake but who's to say? We also had a random lady named Beverly come to church this week on a whim just because she was passing by! Pretty cool! She is supposed to get in touch with us this week to learn some more. Other than that we are really trying to find some more people. No luck from our own efforts we keep getting rejected over and over, but we do have a few members with some referrals in the works for us which we are excited about. Especially the B's, their friend Steve is a water polo player and I’m going to see if I can get permission to go play in a masters game with him. (its a fat chance but hey you never know unless you ask right?) We also started teaching a person who’s testimony was just shaken because of some offense here at the branch, we went over and taught her yesterday and will be back today. She never read the Book of Mormon or really did anything to sure up her conversion her whole life and had a plethora of questions and concerns. We taught her the Doctrine of Christ and really helped her understand what’s important and what’s not, (I feel that is one thing my mission has instilled in me) and she is committed to change and strengthen her conversion. It really is true that the small and simple things to strengthen your testimony are the large monumental things that keep you from falling away... the Book of Mormon, understanding the gospel of Christ (faith repentance, baptism, receiving the holy ghost , and enduring to the end) coming to partake of the sacrament weekly, saying prayers. Its not rocket science but for some reason its so difficult. D&C 123 16 " You know, brethren, that a very large ship is abenefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves." Oh I also finished reading the Doctrine and Covenants this week, that was pretty cool. Cruised right through it, it has a way of keeping you hooked till the end it seems.
On other notes the attic is the attic.. the assistants came to do a power up in our area (two sets that double the work for the day in one area) with us before our zone meeting this week, and while they where here we decided to get to the bottom of the mysterious lights in the attic. We go up and the lights don’t work and are even unplugged... creepy right? how did they go on in the first place last week? further more when entering the attic the first time one of the flash lights completely stopped working... coincidence? probably? and we get up there and there is a blanket and old musty pillow spread out up there from what appears to be someone sleeping there... not there last time we went up there... and all the windows are nearly impossible to get up into so creepy times in the haunted branchion!
well love yall have a great week! if you’re going to pray for us pray for our members to find people for us to teach!

Elder R.A. Bakker

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7

Wow! conference was amazing wasn’t it!? I enjoyed so many of the talks! I felt a personal theme through the whole conference on priorities, submitting to the will of the Lord, and importance of good communication. Really it was such a powerful conference for me. I couldn’t seem to unglue my eyes from the screen. Another cool part of it was I got to hear from Elder Zwick and Elder Corbridge and Elder Rasband the three of which I’ve heard here locally and they have a special place in my heart. I have been listening to the 2013 new mission president seminar and elder Zwick speaks on there quite a bit and is really something else. I also enjoyed hearing from the apostles I have met personally as well, it seems to me that their words are more piercing when I have had the opportunity to meet the person in real life and try the virtue of their character so to speak. They really are special witnesses of the resurrected Lord.  I greatly look forward to being able to revisit some of these talks that made such an impact on me later. I hope as always that I will be able to be a "doer of the word and not [ a hearer] only", thus we are applying some of the things we learned already in hopes that these subtle changes will make great impact (d&c 123:16). I also enjoyed the testimony-talks especially from Elder Packer. Another thing that interests me greatly is the mastery of the English language these men of God have. There is a certain beauty of being able to say exactly what you mean no matter how you look at it. Deliberate speech is enthralling to me I have been observing the speech and language of others, especially the brethren, when they speak the words that come out of their mouth are divinely sent. I guess it’s a motive for obtaining a quality education of my own.
So we were able to see one person show up to conference from all the invitations we made and fliers and pass-along cards and posters and everything. His name is Monty and he is an artist living "off the grid" here locally. Interesting fellow, but we hope to see some kind of progress with him in the near future. Other than that everything seems to be the same. Life is good and Asheville is lively!
Love ya
ELder R.A. Bakker

ps the house is still haunted... we walk out of the church and walk to our house and the attic light is on in our house! (see the picture) you can only get that light on from inside the attic and we go upstairs and the padlock is still secured and there is even a chair we left in front of the door still in its properly place... there was also some newly discovered bird skeletons and other creepy things up there when we went up to turn the lights off again....