Monday, November 4, 2013

Building the Kingdom in München 3 (SP)

This week has held so many miracles I could not write them all.  I feel like maybe what Moroni describes that only a hundredth part of the proceedings of the people of Nephi were written.  I wish there was even a way to write them all in my journal.
But I want to share a neat story that happened this week.
My last companion Sister Smith got a bachelors at BYU in family history.  Before I came to Munich, she met a friend of a member's in the Munich 1st ward here.  This friend is not a member but was also interested in family history and together they worked on it.  For the first 3 or so meetings after I came here, that's all we did together was family history!  We grew in friendship and enjoyed the wonderful people they were.  She married and started coming to church with her husband who, years before had served a mission and had fallen inactive.  Just this last week, we were invited again to dinner with them and some of their member friends.  As missionaries we share spiritual thoughts and so we promptly did so at the end of the meal.  We talked about the love of God, which quickly flourished into a discussion about revelation and recognizing God in our lives.  It was overwhelming the Spirit in that room, and most eyes were moist as experiences were shared, questions arrised, and answers were discussed.  I distinctly remember having the feeling that this inactive/nonmember couple was so important not just to Father in Heaven, but to His work as well, and the room felt full, despite the few people I could see.  The non member friend drove my companion and I to our S-bahn station after we said a word of prayer together.  We asked her how she was enjoying church, to which she said she loved it.  We then asked her if she wanted to know more about the church and what it really is, to which she promptly replied, ''Yes, I'd love that.''  We acted cool, Sister Jaynes and I after this took place, but inside, I was going to explode.  The scene that comes to mind of how I felt is the one in That Thing You Do when Fay (or however you spell her name) is licking stamps to put on letters while listening to the radio when all of a sudden, their band's song starts playing live for the first time.  Her reaction was EXACTLY mine.  But inside :).  There are a lot of sweet things and sweet moments in this world and I have to say that being a part of someone's journey towards salvation HAS to be one that is so new, yet not new at the same time.  I know I promised people before this life to be that missionary that would help find them and give them the promised joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Even though I didn't picture a deferral being a part of my journey coming on a mission, I know that deferring those two months before I came was a crucial key to the timing of meeting these people and doing this work.  The Lord never wastes time :).  I'm so grateful for all the people in my life that took part in preparing me get here so that I would be here when I was supposed to be.  Heart warm thanks to my family and friends whom I wish I could write every week every detail of what happens and how much I love them. 
Everyone's journey is different, but I know that this nonmember could not have been so prepared to make the right decision to receive the gospel if she didn't first have friends who were members.  Missionaries come and go, and those searching for the truth need a friend in the church.  

I haven't felt homesick in a while, and I still don't (a great blessing), but I know that I'm not the only one deeply homesick.  So many people are.  Everyone is, to a degree.  This earthly journey was our first away from home.  I think I may have the slightest idea of how it could feel leaving our Father in Heaven if we would have remembered it.  Although I have teary eyes when I see my niece whom I witnessed come into this world, grow in light and smiles, only in pictures, wishing I could share those moments with my beloved older sister, and even though my sweet dear sister BreAnne who will be baptized without me physically there cheering her on, and although I can't share wth my mom and dad all the feelings, struggles, good times, bad times, adventures of clogged tubs, rotten treasures in the fridge, being caught in the rain, making someone laugh, feeling that I missed an opportunity to share the gospel and how to move on hopefully... although all these things I wish sometimes I could be there for, I know that being here is where the Lord needs me.  He needs me to be an example to those who have not a family to miss like I do.  I can only be grateful that I miss something so deeply when some are swimming in sorrow and hardship.  I want you (my family) to know that I love you all so much.  I love and wish I could share every moment with you as I have growing up.  But I have realized so much more how important and short a time it is to bring a world of billions the gospel so that they may have th treasures that I have.  I pray for you.  I hope and have faith in your happiness because you live righteously.  If I could ask something from you, it wouldn't be the largest package for Christmas or a room waiting for me when I return, but for you to share the gospel with someone who needs it.  Become friends with those that need a friend.  Serve those who are in need.  Give someone of that peace that you so much enjoy.  Invite people and missionaries into our home and show them what a family can be.
Daddy, I'm doing great :).  Thank you for writing me every week.  Thank you for the little stories that really get me laughing EVERY time I read them.  Don't forget to write them in the quote book!  I'm keeping kenpo in practice and am ready to defend myself and my companion at a moment's notice ;).  I shine my shoes just like you and think of you as I do.

Mom, I'm keeping my apartment and room clean :).  I wipe off the sink every time I use it no matter where I am just like you taught me.  I'm eating balanced meals and drinking water EVERY morning (and waiting an hour) before I eat.  I do my makeup every day and wear nylons and put myself together before I go out AND do my lips (most days) :).  And I do it all fast just like you.  I take care of me and my companion and then go out and take care of Germany.
BreAnne, thank you for your email :) :) :).  I'm SO excited for your baptism!  Hey, I have a cool idea that I thought of.  What if you invited a couple friends to your baptism that aren't members?  Like Ella Savage?  I bet she'd think it was really cool and would love to go with her parents.  Sometimes people don't know what baptism is and they could watch yours and see!  People sometimes also don't know that when we're baptised like Jesus, it gives us more happiness than we could imagine!  Just like Christmas when you open up new presents!  But, do what you feel you should.  Remember how I asked you and Danielle to pray every morning before I would do your hair?  In your prayer tomorrowor tonight, will you ask Heavenly Father who you should invite to your baptism?  There doesn't need to be a limit!  You could even ask the missionaries in the stake to come because then it could be like Jake and I were there!  And maybe the missionaries know someone who wants to see a baptism!  I know I don't always wrtie back, but I'm always here reading them, just like Heavenly Father and your prayers.
Natalie and Christian, I could not hold back tears and laughs when I got those pictures of little Andi.  My heart is so full seeing such beautiful parents raising their daughter with an overwhelming amount of love and care.  Her eyes still look blue in the pictures :).  She is stunningly beautiful and full of light. 
Jessie and Lydia, I'm not even going to comment how worried I am for all those boys who have to enjoy the fact that there's only two Packer beauties lighting the hallways of their highschool.  But more than beauty, radiance, and charm ;) those who you're with I know are also watching the incredible examples that you are and look up to you.  They LOOK UP to you and your example.  If you were the private teacher to all those people you're around, what would you want to teach them?  I know they're already learning much.  I'm so proud to be your big sister (big as in age ha) sister and get to learn from your examples.  It's so cool realizing how much Father loves us and helps us help others.  I learned that at your age and loved being a missionary in high school.  I know He's so blessed to have you too to help Him do so much!
Danielle, how are you?  I know you haven't heard from me in a while, but know that I think about you and pray for you when I think of it.  I know that Heavenly Father loves you and is so proud of you for being BreAnne's big sister (ah, man here come the tears..).  He is so proud that you can take care of all your fish, can laugh so much, can take care of Mya, and bring so much joy in our home.  You really are such an important piece to our family as is BreAnne.  You two keep us all in line (Your ALL know what I'm talking about).  I learned so much from you about listening and helping you learn things on your own instead of being a bossy big sister.  I needed to learn that before helping people learn about the gospel.  I'm so grateful you kept me in line :).
Well, my time is about up.  But I know this church is true.  The members are not perfect, but the gospel IS the gospel of Jesus Christ and it is through HIM that we gain true happiness.  I have one last quote I wanted to share from President Monson:
''From experience we learn the need to reach Heavenward for assistance as we make our way along life's pathway.''
I'm so filled with the Spirit.  I'm not sure WHAT kind of member this nonmember could maybe be if she accepts it at this time, but from that experienced stemmed so much gratitude and rememberance of how much I love my family and why I'm here.  I love this work and am so grateful for the chance to be here and become a better servant for Him who sent me.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sister Nicole Elizabeth Packer

No comments:

Post a Comment