Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 23

Hey there! 
Everything seems to be coming along swimmingly in preparations for President Griffin to arrive on the 30th in the afternoon. We just had a lesson with our most progressing investigator C, super good lesson, anyways Pres Griffin might be able to come to our lesson with us the night he gets out into the field, that is if he isn't too busy going over things with President Irion before he leaves the following morning. We are as always just running around trying our best to get everything ready for all of that to take place. 
In other news we have been greatly blessed (special assistant blessings of finding when you can't really even work in your area) with 5+ really solid referrals this last week. We are real excited about that. We have found some new investigators and potential investigators from tracting (in the 30 min or so we were able to do it total the last couple weeks we had 2 great sit down lessons, which like never happens). 
Sorry I'm so scattered, but back to C. We had a great lesson with him tonight about baptism, he loved it and is looking forward to being baptized himself in the near future. We don't have a date for him yet unfortunately, but that will come soon. He has more real intent than nearly any investigator I have ever seen. Plus he actually studies. He is a mechanical engineer and is contracted out in Oak Ridge at ORNL, but is originally from South Carolina and travels there quite frequently for business and pleasure. Things are going really well how could I complain?
Love Elder R.A.  Bakker
Ps- side note about the maxwells their cousin is in my mission. Elder Macduff... Oh boy what a kid. One of the funniest people I have ever met, you will have to tell them that I know him well and have several hilarious stories about him. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June 16

I honestly dont even know what to write about. We are still super busy preparing for transfers which is on Wednesday.  Elder Garber goes home on Thursday morning, then Elder Mumm and I are officially on our own here with President and Sister Irion for 2 weeks before the Griffins come in. The Griffins seem great. I was able to talk to him on the phone today and he mentioned that he called you all and got ahold of Alyssa and you would be returning the call shortly. I like what I hear about him and from him so far! Hoping for a fairly seemless transition.  I am excited for it however. The harder you are able to work the faster time seems to go... It's all a blur. It feels like 2 weeks have gone by since I moved to Knoxville. Its been 6... I have a short time left and I feel like it is going to feel even shorter. All is well, I'm working hard and trying to learn as much as I can all the time. Thanks for the love and support, and sorry my emails are short and dry haha.
Love Elder R.A. Bakker

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 9

Hey Family!
Life here is good! I don’t know what I have and haven't told yall so I’ll just go through a few things.

A couple weeks ago we had a visit from Elder Pino of the 70 for President and Sister Irion's departing interview. Just before he came President talked him into speaking at a Spanish conference. So with a couple days notice we pulled together a Spanish conference and arranged to get missionaries here from all corners of the mission (we do a ton of driving) Well my companions went down to Chattanooga to take a big van down and stay down there for the day while the Spanish missionaries drove the van up and I stayed up here by myself to make sure the meeting ran smoothly. It was pretty cool to be able to have some one on one time with Elder Pino but other than that it was 5 straight hours of listening to Spanish. Also the guest speakers would frequently point at me and the whole group would laugh because I was the only one there that didn't speak any Spanish. But all in all it was a neat experience.

We rely mostly on referrals with us being all around the mission all the time its hard for us to be able to do any finding. Being in the young single adults branch is also tough because we are looking for a very pin-pointed group of people. Not the easiest to find especially with the University of Tennessee being out for summer there aren't many students around. Lucky for us though the YSA is pretty good about finding people for us to teach. We have one solid investigator right now that was a referral from our branch president named Chris. He is doing super well and we have a lesson with him tomorrow. He already knew the Book of Mormon was true before our first lesson. RIGHT?! pretty cool. He took the lessons several years ago in South Carolina and wasn't quite ready for it, this time around however he is much more serious and definitely sees this all leading to his baptism in the end. We are stoked about that.

Transfers are next week. Elder Garber has spent the day making airplane sounds and day dreaming... ha not really, its more like we have been teasing him about it for the whole transfer. It will be an interesting transition here. Elder Mumm and I have still only been here a short time, and at transfers Elder Garber leaves (next Wednesday) and then 2 weeks later President leaves. This is going to be one heck of a roller coaster for the last few months here... President Griffen arrives late on the 31st of June and President Irion leaves early the next morning, then that day we have a staff meeting with the new president and a whole mission leadership council. It's exciting for sure.
This week is full of some more Zone meetings like last week. Luckily we only have to go to a few of them instead of all 9... holy smokes that would be killer (and will be killer when we do it with President Griffen next month...) So yeah Zone meetings and basically preparing for transfers. Saturday we will have a conference call letting everyone know if they will be leaving or not, then lunch with Brother R and then we will drive all over the mission moving beds around for the new trios that will be happening for the next transfer.

Well that’s about all I got! Working hard! Life is crazy but it's good.

Love Elder R.A. Bakker

ps! I totally forgot there is this city in Georgia called Dalton and that’s where Elder Dreesen went (the AP I replaced) to finish his mission. Anyways there is a killer taco truck there, it’s out of this world! so we went to Villa Juarez taco truck (its been there so long they literally cemented it to the ground) while we were in town down there and it was some of the best Mexican food I have ever had. Seriously good, then we followed up with some churros from La Esparanza (spelling?) bakery down the street. Can’t forget about that!

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2

Hey not much time this week. I'll try to check in better later this week. Lots to do. We had a spur the moment Spanish conference where I got to meet and talk with Elder Pino of the 70. Awesome experience. We have another mission leadership conference tomorrow so that should be good. I'm busy as ever and working hard! 
love ya! 
Elder Bakker
4: Garber Waring Woolums Froelich Garcia McRae 3: Olson, Adamson, Gerig Mumm Sorensen Searle Livingston Bakker Larson Hagans Shaw Hansen Hart 2: Paxton Wheelhouse Clove Ogdens Irions Taylor Tomlinson Huntsman 1: Brown Nelson Wynn Colwell Steiner Goates