Monday, September 18, 2017

My Comp got Beat Up

How's everything going?

All is well here just living the life in Richmond Hill Ontario!

Not much to report on this week unfortunately ....

The week started out good. I went on exchange with Elder Martin. Something that I absolutely love about serving in the most diverse city in the world is being able to teach the whole world without leaving the city. Elder Martin is my zone leader and he is a Mandarin speaking missionary. So for the entirety of the day he was teaching me how to contact people in Mandarin. Holy cow it is so easy to get people to stop and talk to you when you are white but speak their language, even if all you can do is say "hello, how are you?". We went about the day and I can now introduce myself as a missionary from the church. WOOHOO.

The other plus to this week was watching my companion Elder Dixon get punched, picked up and thrown around. Our investigator was a professional fighter in Iran and he was giving us some pointers. He also serenaded us with a song. What a guy! :)

Well sorry for the short letter but I hope you all have a good week :)


bubye

--

Elder Jack Bakker
ارشد جک باکر

Monday, September 11, 2017

Pokemon Go Revisited

How goes
Things are good here! Life is fun and Elder Dixon and I are pushing along!

There is really only one thing I want to talk about.
POKEMON GO.
Right before I left for the mission PokemonGo came out and it was massively popular and I remember looking around and just thinking about being a missionary and having every single person in the city out on the streets every single day. Then I left and I think while I was in the MTC Pokemon Go took a hard left turn and ended. I got out into the mission field and my trainers would tell me about the glory days of contacting people constantly that were playing Pokemon Go in the park and whatnot and I was just a dreamer.
FAST FORWARD ONE YEAR
We were visiting a member and we walk out of his building and we look down the road a little and I just thought of Schmidt, "youths".   There were like 15 people all gathered together on this street corner and we went over to talk to them only to find them fighting each other at a POKEMON GO GYM it lives. I know that technology is a scary thing but if used correctly it can work wonders, Pokemon go is one of those addicting games that lets missionaries spread the word even more.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!!

--

Elder Jack Bakker
ارشد جک باکر


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Diversity

Things are going great up here!!

Not much time to talk again, sorry I'm terrible at emailing.

But we have some highlights!
We had a sweet lesson on Sunday with a couple here at the chapel and we were able to have our friend in Taiwan Skype in and give his testimony on tithing! Hahaha when I started my mission I honestly didn't expect to have member present lessons from across the globe. Truly blessed to serve here!

Today we had lunch for an elders birthday at an all you can eat sushi place here (which apparently is a huge thing in Canada, 17-20$ for as much sushi as you want) and the other elders were going off on how they have found success contacting Born Again Christians, Catholics, and all these different christian faiths, and I just realized how interesting it is that we are all serving in the same city but I have literally no experience with those kind of lessons. I have been teaching primarily Muslims for the past year, and it is a totally different ball game. I feel seriously blessed to be able to live and serve in one of the most diverse cities in the world.

Have a good week!!!
Sushi


ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker

Thursday, August 31, 2017

No Barriers!

Heyo!!

This week was in the top 3 of my mission.

We did some stuff at the beginning of this week, honestly can't remember what happened.... sorry......
But towards the end is when everything actually happened. So I'll give you an update from Saturday on.

To start off our day we had a great meeting with our Taiwanese friends as we saw our investigator be baptized!!!!!!! It was so good! We went in just expecting to witness it and say congrats and what not but, no, we ended up translating the meeting for him over Skype. A missionary there translated from Mandarin to English and we translated from English to Farsi. Then when he gave his testimony we did the same thing only vice versa, Farsi to English to Mandarin. It was sooooo gooooooood!!!!!

Then after that we had an awesome had an awesome English class party and we celebrated our students "graduation"! They brought in all these different Chinese food dishes and it was super good.

Then after that we went to a BBQ with our investigators and the ward! Super good, the ward loves the couples we are teaching right now and they are being accepted super well.

The next day we enjoyed a wonderful Sabbath.







Have a good week!--

ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker

Monday, August 21, 2017

6 AM Interview

Hello all!

It has been a fantastic week of miracles and progression!

In our last zone conference we talked a lot about setting goals and making plans to achieve those goals. We talked about how if we plan prayerfully and seek inspiration we will then make inspired goals instead of meaningless goals. I was on exchange with Elder Leung this week in the Cantonese area and we tried to set inspired goals instead of just going through the motions of writing a number down that sounds nice. We did so and we both felt as though we should set a goal for 5 new investigators. I thought that was a little high to be honest, but I felt that it was right and so did he so we set it. We went out into the day and did everything we could to find those people. I'll tell you what, God knows. That day we made return appointments with 5 people for the next day. A family of 4 and an individual man. It's a testimony to me of listening to the impressions of the spirit and acting in faith. I know as we do so we will see blessings and miracles.

the rest of the week has been pretty similar to weeks past and not much else to report on....

JK...
We were able to commit another family to baptism!!!! They are excited to really follow Jesus Christ and take that first step.
Our investigator in Taiwan had his baptismal interview on Sunday and he is ready to be baptized this Saturday!! Its been interesting teaching him, our time is exactly opposite of his so when he gets home from work at around 8 o'clock PM we are starting our day at 8 AM and due to that we had to come to the church at 6 AM on Sunday for his baptismal interview. Good Stuff. Love the work of salvation!

Well I hope you all have a good week!!!!

--

ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Super Fast

No time....
sorry.
we have 2 more investigators on date!
Hope all is well things are going good here.
Have a good week!

--
ارشد جک باکر
Elder Jack Bakker

Translator Status

This week came and went pretty quickly honestly
not much to tell.

One of our Skype translation investigators is doing awesome! He is preparing to be baptized at the end of the month! We are super excited for him and he is still as excited as ever to do some missionary work himself! He wants to share everything he knows about The Church with everyone. Especially those people moving to Turkey. He is a super cool guy. I love being able to teach him and help him progress.

The other person we are teaching over skype is moving to Toronto!!! YESSSSSS super excited to be able to meet her and teach her in person! She is doing great, and is excited to come here!

We also have started teaching a great family. Its a mom and her 2 kids. They have started coming to sports night and have really started to dive into the gospel. They are really looking to know how they can receive real answers and how they can act in faith.Ssuper excited for them.

We also have been working with a great family who is working towards going to the temple in September!!!! They are extremely excited. Since they were baptized a couple years ago they haven't been close enough to a temple to be able to attend so they are excited to go for the first time in their lives.


It is truly amazing to see the progress and dedication of this family. They have extremely strong testimonies and a true dedication to the Gospel despite the dangers of their current situation.

love you all! hope you have a great week!

--

ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker

Tirgan Festival

As of right now, our investigators are doing amazing! If everything goes well we will have another Skype baptism in 2 weeks! Super excited for that!! And we have some other investigators that are ready to be baptized and we told them they can but it would be better and more special if they did it as a family so she is willing to wait for a bit.
Nothing new. We did get to go to the biggest Persian festival outside of Iran though! There were like 200,000 Persian people there! There was a pretty famous Iranian music artist and everything, it only happens once every 2 years. Its called Tirgan look it up! Also look up Shanbe Zade he is the artist, listen to one of his songs.

ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker

1 Year to Come

Happy Pioneer Day!

I'll be hitting my hump day on Thursday. Weird! time is flying, no way of stopping it.

This week has been great. we have a lot of great investigators coming out of the woodwork and things seem to be taking off here!
One investigator has accepted a baptismal date of August 19th! He is doing awesome and has expressed to us his desire to share the gospel with others the same way we are with him. He told us how much he disliked people talking bad about the Mormons and that we wants to learn as much as he can from us so he can go tell and show everyone else that they are wrong and that the Church Of Jesus Christ is the true church of God.
Another is having a hard time accepting that she can't be baptized right now, its a hard situation as she knows the Church is true and she has been taught everything and now is being re-taught everything. The only problem is that she doesn't have a permanent residency here in Canada or in any other country other than Iran... but she is strong and enduring and is even doing some great missionary work right now.
Our other is doing awesome! Reading 3-4 pages of the book of Mormon every night and feels amazing as he prays. And his only question right now is "why are we here." We hope to help him take off pretty soon!
We have two freshly found investigators who learned about the church through a friend in LA and now they won't go to any church other than the Mormon church. More to come on them next week.

We have been hitting the pavement hard and have been seeing miracles.

Sorry its a short email.
Have a great week!
--

ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Montreal, Taiwan and LA


Everything is going well here! We are teaching 2 people over Skype, both of them are doing well! We are meeting with them weekly.
We also had a super cool experience yesterday! We had a good church meeting with one of our investigators who speaks no English so it was like 3 hours of translation........ pretty big headache to be honest, this was my first time doing 100% of the translation. After church we went home to do our studies but Brother Amato from our bishopric called us and told us that there was a Persian family that showed up at church! So we talked to them over the phone and hustled our behinds over to the church and talked to them! They lived in LA for about 5 months and over there they met a couple Christian Iranians and one of them was a Mormon! Apparently this guy had a huge impact on the wife. When they came here the husband offered to go to any of the other Christian churches but she said "no, I only want to go to the Mormon church." so 10 months later they found our church and now they will be coming to church with us next week!!!! super excited for that!

gotta go for now....

but things we did

biked to the lakeshore (downtown Toronto)
Skyped in Montreal and Taiwan
met the new family I told you about.

love you!!!!!!!!


ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker




 
 

Monday, July 10, 2017

I Love the Media!

Hey all

So here's the deal. When you are teaching people from the middle east, it's pretty uncommon to receive media referrals. I have been here in Toronto for about 11 months and I have been able to get 5 or 6. And 2 of those were duds. In the last 2 weeks we have gotten 3 media referrals and we are now teaching them all. One is here in Toronto, one is in Montreal, and the other is in Taiwan. WHAT.

Other than that we have been invited by our mission president to go out of our way and talk to every single person we see. I'll tell you what, we have seen loads of blessings from it. Yesterday we talked to a guy who gave us a referral for his buddy, address and all. Then like 30 minutes later we ran into this guys buddy while he was delivering a guy a pizza and he he was super nice, gave us his number and wants to help us find more people to teach so he is going to send us a list of people that we can go contact!

We have been bouncing around from appointment to appointment all week, busy, busy!

Welp gotta get going. Hope you all have a good week!

--

ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker












11 Months and July 4th


Rabbit by the entrance to our apartment

We made ground meat Kabob

hey fam
all is well here in the north.


Happy 4th!
This week we celebrated Canada day which is a huge hype here. They celebrate for like 3 days straight. Pretty nuts, and when anyone finds out we are American they just rip into us a bit hahah. super funny, when the people we meet on the street just take jabs at the states.

Anyways 2 pretty cool things happened this week!

First, we have been asked by our mission president to keep our prime proselyting time open (6pm-9pm) and if we have any meal appointments either try to reschedule them or make them, more effective by bringing an investigator. On Wednesday the Metcalf's wanted to feed us at 7pm so we told them about what President Shields asked us to do and they said that we could invite an investigator! We invited one, an ESL student who we recently started teaching and he accepted. We went over had a nice BBQ meal and talked about the Plan of Salvation and a bit about prophets! Super cool experience, Elder Dixon and I didn't say much during the actual lesson because Brother Metcalf was just bearing strong testimony. After the lesson our investigator expressed to us how important family is to him and that he really loves how important the family is to us.

The second cool experience is that we got a MEDIA REFERRAL holy cow this was amazing. I have only gotten like 4 media referrals my whole mission and out of those I've only met with 2. But this guy was awesome. He has been reading about the story of Joseph Smith online and requested us to come give him a Book of Mormon. He is a movie maker and was telling us that the Samuel the Lamanite picture looks like a scene on a set the he did for a film about Solomon. It was super cool. and now we are going back sometime this week! :)

Well I hope everyone has a good week!

--

ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker




Monday, June 26, 2017

Flood

It was super rainy this last week and our apartment flooded........
A drain clogged out side of our door and it just filled... when we opened the door our apartment it just wrecked us and we had to stay in cleaning until like 10 AM which was the worst.

Other than that we were able to go to a Returning Members home today and we ate dinner with their family :) The husband is a super good cook and he made us something called Zoreshk Pollo. oh. my. goodness. I love Persian food! If you ever have a chance to try zoreshk pollo do it. It's amazing.
we were able to talk to them about the temple as well, they are super excited to be able to be sealed as a family. She bore her testimony about the church and told her story about joining the church and then having to return to Iran for 2 years and how hard it was but how they were able to stay strong. She started crying and holy the spirit was soooo strong.

A couple days ago we got a random call from some elders in a different area asking us for some last minute help with moving a member into the Richmond Hill Ward. So we went over and there was only like 3 people helping her so it was good that we went. One of the members, Luigi Muia, actually trained in California with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He apparently was a huge body builder and but together a lot of the major body building shows in Toronto. Ha hes pretty big.

That's about it for today, sorry I don't have a lot of time..


Have a good week!

--

ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker

Monday, June 19, 2017

Ruze Pedar Mobarak

Salam fam bam!

Happy Fathers day!!!!!

Pretty good week.

We had another good Skype call with the Farsi elders in Germany! It's soo nice to be able to come together and role play and just practice. Hopefully we will be able to get the other couple Farsi elders in on the Skype call as well!

We had interviews with the mission President and we have some Persian pass along cards on the way! sooooo excited to get those. It's not that big of a deal over all but it is like the only other material we have besides the book of Mormon so we are pretty excited!

We got a media referral this week!!! Holy cow, I have now had three media referrals my whole mission. But this referral was way up in Bradford like an hour north of where we live. We went up there and it turns out the address was either wrong or the guy moved within the last couple of days..... bummer. BUT on the way there we passed a Dutch Treats store and they sell POFFERTJES and PANNENKOEKEN. oh my gosh we we weren't able to go in to get any cause of time but I really want to go back.

Well not much time left right now but I hope you all have a great week!
--

ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

First Week Back

It's been a pretty hectic week this week!
Whitewashing is definitely has some challenges, but overall it has been good!

We were able to meet with Brother Yu first thing this week. He is the ward mission leader and we talked about the goals that the ward has for everything.
Good start to the new area.
We had a good meeting with the German missionaries over Skype, they brought a member of theirs to help us learn the best vocabulary for teaching the restoration which was great! I think he used to live in Utah and he knew my Mission President hahahaha weird connection.
We left that meeting early to go help Brother Pajkowski with his garden.

Thursday is our busiest day. Went to the food bank first thing and helped out there for a couple hours, We were able to help a Persian that spoke no English get some food:). Too bad we aren't allowed to proselyte during service projects.....
We then went to Brother Fred's house for lunch, he gave us some good TMNT (tmnt is what he calls pizza) and we were able to talk to some of his neighbors! One of which was Filipino but she speaks Farsi.... what?
After Brother Fred we had an awesome pass off lesson with the sister missionaries here! He is a super cool guy that knows like 4+ languages, the typical Persian, and he is interested in why the apostasy happened and whatnot.
Then we went to sports night at the church.
busy busy

We have also been teaching ESL this week! Super fun. We teach like 20 Chinese people and they have all been coming for like 2 or more years. Most of them have already finished the program but they still come for some reason. They love it.

Sunday was awesome. First Sunday back in Richmond Hill :).

Not much else happened this week.
Hope you all have a good week!

--

ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker



9 months in the waiting. RH HERE I COME

So its been a long while that I've been in the Don valley ward. When I first got there a member announced that she was pregnant, and about a week ago she finally had her baby.

I am now going back to Richmond Hill! I started my mission there and now I get to go back!

This week has been tons of fun.

Elder Ward and I were on exchange in the Borough (Scarborough) and we had a blast! We were able to teach a 9 year old girl more about the restoration so she can prepare more for her baptism on the 8th of July, and we also taught an older guy about the church and basically how he can really be guided in his life, and how the Spirit is necessary in that. He is also getting ready for his baptism in July! In the midst of these two lessons we were also able to talk to a Muslim guy who tried to prove to us that Islam is the most correct of all, lol not the first time someone has tried to tell me that. So we were just able to give him a few points about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and shared about the Book of Mormon and he was just taken back a bit and didn't really know what to say. Classic. Unfortunately they have to wait a month to go see him again because he is fasting. #Ramadanstrikesagain.

Earlier this week we were also able to skype with the German farsi Elders! Super cool to be able to talk to them and get ideas on how they are able to see success and what materials they are using and whatnot. They have been a big help so far as they have provided a Farsi translation of the Prince of Peace video and they are now sending us some Persian mormon.org cards!!
We are hoping to be able to skype with the LA and Carlsbad missionaries soon too.

We had a Cake auction with the ward the other night and holy cow it was successful. They throw the cake auction every year to raise funds for the youth programs and this year they pulled in about $4,000!!!! of course we put a cake into the bidding but I don't think the ward trusts the missionaries to be able to bake, so ours went for probably the least hahahhahaha, all good though.
All the missionaries ended up pooling our money and started a bidding war for the bishops family cake, things got pretty heated and a couple families started donating cash to us to win the cake! We did eventually beat everyone and bought the cake for $135.... hahaha a little pricey for me but it was all good fun!


well not much else to report on, I hope you all have a good week!

--

ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker

Monday, June 12, 2017

Bye Bye Baines

Pretty good week all in all

This past week week I've really enjoyed studying the Epistle of Peter, James, and John.  I've also really enjoyed studying the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It's also great to know that one of the last acts that Jesus Christ did while on the cross was making sure that his mother was taken care of.


25 ¶ Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
28 ¶ After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst

On monday Brother Minhsull took us to see John Harrison at Sunnybrook hospital! We talked with him for about 30 minutes. While we were there we were talking about how church was on Sunday and he talked about his past callings and how much he loved them. He was also going off on how much Brother Minshull would like the show American Pickers. classic.

Later in the week we were able to have breakfast with the De Paula family!!! I love that family. They are the best, they help us in every way possible for fellow-shipping and just love to have us over, and they are teaching me Portuguese so win win win!

Then right after that we helped Brother Baines pack up his apartment into his jeep so he could move back to Alberta! sad day. Brother Baines and I were homies. While packing up he gave us some Australian Ginger Beers and he gave me his legit Wallabies rugby jersey from his mission. Such a stud.

Through out the week we have been doing a lot of less active contacting and it turns out that having a less active in Toronto is the hardest thing ever. I'm sure that other missionaries serving in big cities understand. People that live in Toronto move about every 2-5 years and they change their number for some reason as well.... so now we have a full Less Active list of about 200 members but we have no way to contact about 50-75% of them..... yaaaaaaaaaaa good times.

Elder Dixon is killing it. Learning extremely fast. I can see the gift of tongues working through him and it is amazing.

well not much left to say...

have a great week!!!



--

ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker


Elder Bakker and Elder Dixon

Brother Baines and Elder Bakker

Jersey and Ginger Beer

Monday, May 15, 2017

Week 42: Mother's Day

Hey Hey!!!
Happy Mothers day!!

This week was great!!!!!

Had interviews with President and Sister Shields and talked about the things happening in the mission for us as Farsi elders. a lot may be happening soon but I can't really say now cause I could be wrong.... :/

Zone conference was long as usual but a lot was learned from all the instructions.

Also apparently we are getting new Car Monitors for all the cars.

Went on exchange to Scarborough (Drake's hometown), with Elder Holden!!! super funny Elder. Had a small lesson through the door of a ladies apartment because she was tending to her baby and contacted some in Mandarin!

Not a lot else to say other than that it was super good to see you all yesterday!!!!

Love you all and hope you have a good week!




--

ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker







Week 41: Rains Came Down

so its been a pretty wet week.
rained like 99% of the time.
its been great.

Well here's the story about how my area got turned upside down.

On March 26th a famine of investigators came over Farsi South. Day in and day out we tracted, street contacted, asked for referrals, did service, everything we could think of to bring investigators, but nothing came of it. 40 days came and went with no change of effort or success. Then the miraculous day came when I was on exchange with my zone leader, Elder Carroll.
At the beginning he prayed that all Canadians would be put in the path of the English elders and that we would only see Mandarin and Persian people, and that is exactly what happened! We contacted for hours and talked to 2 Canadians but the rest for the time Elder Carroll stunned those around us with his Mandarin and I did my best with my Farsi. The day came and went with a lot of potential investigators but no new. The last door we knocked on was stunned that a white guy spoke Persian, accepted a Book of Mormon and wants us to come back on Tuesday.
Day 41: 1 new investigator. Thus ending the famine. And since then we have found 5 more investigators, in the span of 4 days. 1 of which was about an hour ago when we stared emailing. :)

We have seen so many miracles come in the last 4 days. It's been wonderful, we are truly blessed.

The rest of the week has just been a lot of contacting and tracting. so not much to report there.

Love you all, and I hope you have a good week!
-
ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker



Monday, May 1, 2017

May 1

Not much to report on this week....Been a kinda slow week, and not really anything has happened.

Monday we went to the zoo with Elder Holden and my MTC buddy Elder Ward! Super fun. It was a bit chilly so like no one was there and we had the place to ourselves!

The next day we had a member take us out to a place called The Dragon Pearl. Pretty good all you can eat Chinese food.

After that we OYM'd or GQ'd or whatever you want to call it on York Mills Rd for about an hour and in that time I had about 100 people say no. 50 just ignored me. and 1 guy with some gorgeously crooked teeth try to convert me to the Church of Scotland. Pretty awesome day!



We met with our two investigators this week. Both progressing decently well.

One wants us to bring over some of the sisters in the ward to his house so that they can play piano and violin together. ha.

He loves the church and everything in it. He told us that it is the closest thing he has seen to a perfect community. The only problem is that he has other obligations on Sundays so he can't come to church.

I hope that everyone has had a good week!

--

ارشد جک باکر

Elder Jack Bakker