Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 28

Hey there! 
So sorry I didn't get to email last week! Life has been crazy! Transfers are coming this Wednesday and there is a lot to prepare for! Its the biggest transfer the mission has seen to my knowledge. 19 missionaries going home Thursday (6 more in a couple weeks for school) and 16 coming in. That's quite a few people to worry about. Its doubly crazy because it's president Griffin's first transfer. I enjoy helping, but its a big responsibility for sure. 
We are doing great in our area! We had 4 investigators at church last week and 3 this week. There are 2 on with a baptismal date: Chris on the 23rd and Andrew on the 29th of Aug. We are tearing it up out here. 
You know its pretty funny to see the work ebbing and flowing like it is and does, it seems to go however the Lord chooses for it to go. I have felt like an obedient diligent worker my whole mission and sometimes there is success to be had and sometimes there isn't. That's a striking part of faith, its not been about all the things you do to "earn the Lords blessings," rather its about our trust that the Lord knows what he is doing. We are obedient and diligent because we love Him and we try to qualify for the Lords blessings, and when it is right we receive. Its been a theme of my mission. 
Well all is well here and the days keep flying by. 
Thanks for everything!
Love ya! 
Elder R.A. Bakker

At a ball game for a YSA activity

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 14

Great week this week! We did a lot of traveling, we only slept at our apartment 2 days the last 7 days, every other day we were on the road staying with other Zone Leaders. We attended 5 zone training meetings this week and 4 last week. Pretty fun, I not only gave another on the spot 20 minute training, but the zone leaders stole our training we gave at mission leadership training so I had to write a new one from scratch during the meeting. It was kind of fun actually, the missionaries really seemed to enjoy it, I trained on "Becoming a Master Teacher." - I love it. So that was pretty good. I'm as tired as all get out from all these meetings. I was able to spend quite a bit of time with the Griffins this week especially, the youngest, she is like my baby sister. We played a lot of "princess pet shop" while I was timing and rotating missionaries out for interviews in the hallway during the meetings, the sisters in the mission tell me that I will make a great dad and that this is "good training" for me. The Griffin girls are all a lot of fun and and Elder Mumm and I have been adopted into the family. We even had Sunday dinner over there tonight and are having ableskivers for breakfast in the morning. YUM! 
For our investigators this week we were only able to see two of them. Chris was at church today and we had a great lesson with him and are anticipating his baptismal date of Aug 23rd. The other investigator was a kid named Andrew. He is kind of an interesting guy, but very intelligent and quite interested in the church. We are looking forward to several lessons this upcoming week with other investigators. 
Hmm other random things of the week. I broke a sisters hand in a zone activity game... that was rough. She seems to be doing ok though considering, and isn't too mad at me, apparently I owe her Panda Express (a Southern delicacy that you can find in Farragut) so maybe that will alleviate some of the hard feelings. And I can officially dunk a basketball again. I could a little bit at the beginning of my mission, but I'm getting back into shape a bit so basketball is way better now. I'm coming for ya in October Jack.
Life is good, time is moving fast, busy as a bee, being blessed, and loving every minute.
Love ya 
Elder R.A. Bakker

July 7

Sorry I wasn't able to email last week! I had no idea how crazy life would be now that we have the new president in. President Griffin is great! It is interesting to see the vast differences between President Irion and President Griffin. They are both absolutely perfect for this mission.  I feel very fortunate to be so closely associated with both of these supreme examples. I have the unique opportunity to learn closely from both and the lessons just seem to continue to flow. I can't hardly keep up with it! 
We are always on the road and always busy. Our investigators are doing well, Chris has a baptismal date for the 23rd of Aug. the day before Alyssa's birthday, so that should be exciting. He is ready to go now, I suspect he will move it up. Oh Elder Christensen (Mike J.) is back in town for a few days I had dinner with he and his family as well as Brother R this evening. And another cool thing, I was sitting in a Zone meeting this week and Elder Williams one of my old companions was in charge of the meeting looked at me (Elder Mumm was in the hall helping President with timing for interviews) and said "shoot this meting is going to run short, will you give a 20 minuet training?" haha so I did with minuets of notice. They all seemed to like it, in fact several members of the zone came up to me and thanked me saying it was their favorite training of the meeting. Never thought I would be able to do things like that, just goes to show that the power of the atonement not only helps cleanse us, but it empowers us to become better and stronger than we could ever imagine, especially when it comes to blessing God's children.
It was a good week! 
Thanks for everything love ya! 
Love Elder R.A. Bakker