Monday, July 29, 2013

Hello from München Deutchland!

Hello from München Deutchland!
      First, I owe my companion the right to be mentioned first.  She is a straight miracle and tender mercy from Father.  Her name is Sister Rebecca Smith and comes from Logan.  She's 22 and has been here 12 weeks before me. She was a fast track missionary!  I've never been so loved by a stranger before.  Whoever my future husband and kids will be even more blessed by how much I'm changing with her!
     Second, I'm in Europe.  It is UNreal here.  The moment I came off the plane, It all turned into a dream.  We landed safely in Amsterdam, Netherlands, all I heard was Dutch.  I just had the biggest grin on my face.  Couldn't understand a thing, but it was real!  People do live in languages other than English!  Haha, but seriously.  Seriously.  It's so incredibly, indescribably, breathtakingly, insurmountably BEAUTIFUL.  Everything is older than all of America combined and it has this grand Disneyland, but older, kind of beauty that cannot be described.  Ya, mom it feels just like a place with so much history and personality.  Everywhere we go, I'm in awe at what I see.  Ok, Jessie.  I'm pretty sure if I'm dying to take pictures of every leaf and fence here, you'd be dead.  
     I am assigned to work in the München 3rd Ward!  Uncle Scott, you will be the first to hear if I go to Österreich later!  I spoke in church yesterday WOOT!  I was shaking like a leaf haha but I spoke on patience which has been the theme of my life these past 7 weeks.  I love speaking!  In German its a little different but just as beautiful.  Haha guess what?  I guess it's been record breaking temperatures here this past week (about 35 degrees C, 95-100 degrees F) which may not seem that hot, but with humidity, we melt :).  Everywhere we go.  Our skin is great!  And ha fun fact!  AC does not exist.  And neither does ice.  Both are unhealthy :).  So I'm apparently in better health than you all.  Even right now sitting in a puddle of sweat in this lovely internet cafe.  Haha, but hey, fans exist!  I don't bathe by bucket or have bugs crawling in and out of my hammock :).  I'm very grateful!  I actually said again to myself last night with Sister Smith, "Oh, man, I'm actually a missionary.  I've only seen videos of missionaries walking up streets like us.  But we're actually here doing it."  

Miracles this week:
     My first day here, Sister Smith and I are rolling my suitcases to the apartment in the blazing heat and we meet a black man and an Italian woman.  They came up to us and asked if we could help the woman who had severe depression.  We said we'd love to try!  We promised to meet them back at their apartment in 15.  We get there and teach a lesson while she's having a really hard time sitting and focussing.  They were Stanly and Valentina.  The lesson was great!  We talked about the Book of Mormon and that if she read it, she'd get help.  We told her we'd come back the next day and give her an Italian one.  We're trying to get a hold of Stanly, but he doesn't seem to have as much interest.  We've visited with Valentina 3 times and made progress!  She is very bright.  I am familiar with ADD or ADHD and we just played the game you play with some kids where you keep em interested!  I'm so grateful for the examples in my life who have gone through depression.  It doesn't make people ANY less capable of understanding faith, prayer, and trusting in God.  She totally gets it and was right there with us.  So exciting!!  First, I asked myself, what are her needs?  She was scared to find a job and not be liked in Italy.  I pulled out the story when Lehi and the family left Jerusalem.  We got right to her level and talked about it.  We read 1 Nephi 2:15-20.  It was hard for Nephi too to leave it all behind.  Same emotions as his brothers.  The difference was that he asked for the Lord to show him why it was important and to understand.  The Lord answered and told him he would be promised a choice land and prosperity.  We taught Valenina about prayer and doing what's right and how it brings prosperity.  She sat and listened and got it!  1+1=2 :).  If people are open, you find out what they need, link that to the gospel and it makes sense.  Not always that fast, but it was neat to see that.  She went back to Italy yesterday and we don't know what she'll do with the church, but she's got a Book of Mormon, knows about and, knows how to pray, wrote down what she learned with us, and knows a little bit about Nephi and Lehi :).  We're plantin' those seeds! 
     SO many other miracles.  This work is marvelous and there's no place I'd rather be, no language I'd rather learn, no people I'd rather talk with every day :).  That's another thing I learned.  People are people wherever you are.  It's not so scary when you put it that way :).  
     Loves to you all!  Bis nächste woche!

                    Sister Packer
p.s. THANK you so much mom and fam.  I know I ask and sometimes communication is not always clear.  But Im doing perfect.  The Lord is with us.  Ive never felt so safe.  It was so so good to talk with you last week.  Im praying for you all! 
p.s.s. I uploaded some pics on drob box finally!    

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

On her way to Germany! (SP)

Nicole called the family on Tuesday, July 23, from the Detroit airport.  She is doing great and will be writing as soon as she gets settled in Germany.  She sounded great, her language skills are amazing, and she gave away 2 Book of Mormons before landing in Detroit!  She is definitely on fire!  Until we find out her new apartment address, send letters to the mission home address listed on the right under her picture.  We will update the addresses as we get them.  We're not sure what the mission rules are for her email yet (if friends can utilize it as well as family), so until then, sending letters via post office will be the best option. Thanks for all of your support!  It means the world to Nicole (Sis. Packer : )).

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Oh, mensch!


Mom and Dad:

     Flight Plans:  We're flying Delta all the way.  **I will be calling to check in while in Detroit.  If our flights are on time, I'll be calling sometime that day.  I could call in Salt Lake, but we're not positive if we'll have time so Detroit was our best bet we were thinking.  I'll have to go through security in Amsterdam which will take more time.  I wish I knew exactly when would be the best so you wouldn't have to have a foggy few hours of waiting.  SOME time for SURE I'll call.  If Salt Lake works out and I call, I'll send angels to help it get through :).  Woot!        
     Family!  Thank you so much for all your prayers and letters!  They've brought me so much comfort and blessings.  Dad.  I LOVED your analogy with the horses.  It really put a lot of things into perspective for me.  Jessie, you remind me so much of myself sometimes ha ha!  And I was going to tell you, I prayed the other day for you because I was feeling the telepathy... maybe I already mentioned it.  But it's still intact!  Hope you're doing well!     
     This week teaching our investigators was wrought with power.  I'm learning how it works.  I'm SO EXCITED to use all these tools when I get home!!  Yes I'm so happy to be here.  Yes I'll be super sad when I leave.  But it's not done after the mission and I've wanted so many of these tools and truths for so long.  Now I'm learning them!!  It's incredible.  I'm so humbled.  Yay for the work of mommies!  You're all doing an incredible job.       
     So many sisters here are unreal.  I know that compared to how many children Father has, we few chose to be here during THIS time.  The work is moving forward and it's because of our mothers.  And stalwart Fathers.  And the work of the Military, Air Force, Army, Navy, and all forms of defense for our country.  
     I know God lives and that Christ is our advocate.  In His name, Jesus Christ, Amen.

              Sister Nicole Packer

This is our district!!  We're divided into two rooms for class but they are the BEST! 
(order from left to right in group pic)  Elder Stout & Elder Bruneel going to Berlin, GE; Sister Kirvinen, Sister Lewis, Sister Packer going to Alpine German-Speaking; Elder Rogers & Elder Bulkley going to Frankfurt, GE.
Elder Rogers is a wiz at Lord of the Rings and knows how to write in Elvish; so genuine and bright.  Elder Bulkley is a ROCK and doesn't say much but is solid in the gospel.  Elder Bulkley and Elder Rogers are in our classroom with us and it is THE FUNNEST.  Brothers :).

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"I love a challenge :)" (SP)

Guten Tag family!

     First of all, I want to thank you for your prayers.  I can feel them every day and it's incredible.  I think part of the "time-unrealistically-flying" feeling in the MTC is that there's so much support under you that you really do feel like you're spiritually flying.  And sometimes physically.  I don't hesitate to use that term literally.  The blessings are paramount here and indescribable.  Your prayers are channeling in miraculous ways. 
      I know that obedience opens up that channel to receive those blessings.  I feel that people are probably praying for us all the time but sometimes blessings aren't accessed because we're not obedient.  We know when there's something we know we should be doing, let go of, fix, resolve...etc. and as long as we feel that, something else is withheld from us.  Working as a missionary is like peeling back a layer of the veil one layer short to actually seeing human figures good and bad working with or against us as God's children.  It is so literal the action and consequence as a missionary.  We are on the front lines of the battle field taking perhaps some of the hardest blows because of the work we're doing.  It's of course not just full-time missionaries.  For me, this is the place where I've seen it more literally than at any other time in my life.
     I've learned about Questions this week.  I've known a ton about them, but putting them into direct use for the Lord has been an incredible experience.  We did an activity in class where we were with an investigator and had to teach a certain principle using only questions.  I love a challenge :).  If you want anyone to hear something you want to share that is for their benefit and there's love behind it, ask questions.  ONLY questions.  It was powerful to see what, like in working with people before the mission, what power questions have for people to feel loved and listened to.  Doesn't the Lord answer people's questions with more questions?  I'm going to try that.  Only answer questions with more questions.  A powerful and unselfish way to help someone by empowering them to think and discover it.  
     I also learned about Faith.  I've known and learned about Faith 1 (Action) and Faith 2 (God's Power).  I learned a Faith 3.  It's (Say in your head that you can and you will do it).  When you're in line with the Lord's Will, doing only what you know He'd want you to do.  Haha funny enough, the first thing I practiced this principle on was singing.  I sang in our room and in the community bathroom (where accustics are awesome) and I could just feel Heavenly Father laughing.  I knew that He just WAITS for us to ask.  He very often answers in another question causing us to think.  If we're not willing to, faith stops and more powerful, self-discovery answers are missed. 

Love you all so much!  Bis Spater!

Sister Packer

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

"EVERYthing has a reason for being in your life." (SP)

     I have never felt more pupose for the events in my life than while being on a mission.  EVERYthing I read, experienced learned, felt is pulled out and applied.  People skills, communication with those you're with a LOT (dating/best friends > companions), eating right, doing my hair and makeup fast, exercising, the gospel, working at a restaurant with TONS of people, loving my family no matter what, seeing those in need and helping, doing service to fix your own trials, attending church meetings cause you WANT to, not letting anyone else ruin your day, being accountable (thanks mom :)), etc etc etc.  It's incredible.  EVERYthing has a reason for being in your life.   
     Teaching investigators even though they are our teachers is AMAZING (thank you musicals and plays).  I learn SO much from that.  Yesterday, we taught our "investigator" Stephan more about the Atonement and being cleansed from our sins.  I had prepared so well and the words just came.  It's a rush!  I honestly felt so much love for this investigator and desired Salvation for him.  I desired to do whatEVER it took to help him understand what was waiting for him, what was SO close to being his.  THAT is what I've learned from working at restaurants.  I remember last summer a guy named Jeff who worked construction that would come in about every day during lunch at Zupas that looked sad and NEVER smiled.  It was kind of the staff's unannounced goal to get him to smile if they could, but no one was able to.  I remember feeling so much love for him and wishing he could just know that someone cared for him.  One day I had the thought to secretly buy a brownie and give it to him saying it was "on us" without him know it was me.  If you know me I'm AWFUL at being secretive so he totally knew, but he smiled for it.  I think.  Ha can't quite remember, but I remember  later, I was on hands and knees up to my elbows in stainless steel cleaning cleaning under corner booth and I hear a voice say "is that Nicole?"  It was Jeff!  He was smiling and had paused to say hello to me.  It was one of THE best days working ever!  THAT is what I feel.  It's this soul yearning desire to do something, anything to help them be happier.  If it's not the whole gospel or conversion, it's a ray of hope.
     This work is SO far above me.  It's so far above my own issues and struggles.  I know the Lord knows me personally and desires more than I know help me at all times.  I know that by obedience I can ask for anything in line with the Lord's will and it's granted.  We had an AMAZING speaker: Rober P. Swenson.  INCREDIBLY motivating.  One thing he said that struck me was, wouldn't it be sad if you went to the Lord and asked for something, but the reply was "I'd love to give you that more than you know, but I can't because you haven't been obedient."  My take was not that the Lord does not desire to bless us.  Absolutely.  But we also know in D&C that it is upon the law which it is predicated.  Being obedient is key.
     Our second "investigator" is named Joel and he's more difficult.  It's a process to learn not just a desire for the work, but helping those you teach establish a trust in you.  One lesson we gave was totally skewed off what we planned.  He did NOT seem terribly interested in what we were saying about the Plan der Erlösung (plan of salvation).  I was determined to get to the bottom of WHAT he needed, in a way that he could feel trust and absolutely knew we loved him.  I finally talked about the Book of Mormon (again aside from other lessons).  I bore my testimony that reading it SOME how brings me peace every day.  I'd studied that morning but not in the Book of Mormon.  I was obedient, but hadn't read the "main dish."  Only the opptional side dishes.  I talk with Heavenly Father frequently in my head which is hilarious most of the time, and He taught me that great lesson of reading in the Book of Mormon EVERY every day.  I asked tons of questions, not probing, but sincerely to find out what need he had.  I bore my testimony to Joel that I hadn't read that morning from the Book of Mormon and my day had been a little more foggy than normal.  I bore it with such conviction, clarity, and accountability that the Spirit came.  I told him with fervor that we were NOT there to waste his time.  We were there for him.  If the book wasn't true, we wouldn't come back.  I then asked if he would commit to reading the Book of Mormon with his "family" and pray to know if it was true.  He said he would.  Wha-BAM.
     The Spirit works so clearly its INCREDIBLE.  I totally feel like a power ranger after those lessons.  Every swipe of my arm or whip of my head makes a "whip" sound.  Your spirit is taut with energy and love!  It's amazing to me that that is felt even when we're quasi ("kv-ah-zee" more or less in Deutch) acting!  I've also loved applying the principle, Speak and Revelation comes.  Amazing and useful! ;)
     Jake and Jessie!  HAVE SO MUCH FUN ON TOUR!!  We're BOTH on missions :).  Lyd I'm so proud of you for making that decision to go to girls camp.  HARD before but peaceful and there's always a witness after that you did the right thing. 
     I love you all so much.  I love the work!  It's there EVERYwhere and now I know HOW to give it both here and for when I come home, YES!  I'm so grateful to finally know!

Sister Nicole Packer