Monday, December 23, 2013

Everything We Need (SP)


Oders of business:
Skyping.  I will be logged on to Skype starting at 11am UTAH time.  Jake said he has his time slot 11:10 - 12:00.  I'll be sure to be logged on at 11 so that we can get started and get going smoothly.  I'm so excited it's working out!  I'm so grateful for the technology of our day and of the possibilities it give us.  

This week I learned something super cool about repentance and prayer.  It has been it's own struggle being here during Christmas time without my family.  Obviously it's amazing to be in Europe.  Obviously the Church is True wherever you go.  But it's is also not the same without the people you are closest to.  I was aware that sometimes I missed home, but I never fully gave it to the Lord.  I worried and missed and it sometimes was distracting!  I asked myself, ''Why wouldn't I want to be here?  I made it this far and have loved it!  Remember you wanted to come SO bad??  Remember those other times on a mission where you missed them, but then you remembered your purpose and was fine?''  I basically felt it was silly to continually feel this way.  But then last night my sweet companion Sister Clark and I talked about the purpose and need for prayer in giving and asking for EVERYTHING we need.  I thought I'd given Father all my thoughts and feelings, but I'd missed some.  I hadn't admitted to myself truly how much I missed the familiarity of home life during Christmas.  I read in Mosiah 4 this morning and the dots finally connected for me.  It is a commandment, not just a good suggestion to pray and to give ALL of our struggles and heartaches and hard things to the Lord.  It is required of us.  If you're stressed about buying gifts, take it to Father in prayer.  If you know you should be thinking more about Christ and can feel that prick, take it to Father.  If you feel that there's something you should talk to the bishop about and are not sure, take it to Father in prayer.  One thing I learned here is that, every time, not just sometimes, not just when Father takes his lunch break and pops online for a minute, but every time you leave a silence during your prayers and humbly, sincerely, and patiently listen, thoughts always come.  He listens to you 24/7.  Take time to listen to Him.  He pays you His time.  Pay Him your time.  Then in Mosiah 4:  

2  And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified.
3  And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them.
12  And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, [not just sometimes or during Heavenly Father's ''good days''...always rejoice...and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.

I finally sat down and ''went to lunch'' with these thoughts and feelings and faced the facts.  I cried.  Crying is so healthy it's rediculous.  It's like never trying to work out before and that first morning you work out and feel like the world is yours with your blood pumping and spirit soaring... maybe I just feel that way... But getting it out is what our souls need.  It may seem silly, but I have a testimony of processing problems.  When you have a problem, PROCESS IT.  NOTHING will be clear until you just acknowledge your weaknesses, cowboy up, and face the fact that sometimes we do DUMB things.  Welcome to life :).  Glad you could make it Sister Packer.  Please wait here while Father processes your call.... beeeeeeep.  

No, but really.  I'm just so grateful for dumb things.  I've learned this lesson a million times and relearn it every new area, every new ward...etc etc etc.  I'm pretty sure there's a book that was written in the premortal life called ''All the Questions That Will Be Asked Every Time a Speck of Unfamiliarity Comes into Your Mortal Life'' (which is every day...).  And I'm pretty sure all the prophets in the Book of Mormon sat down for a Heaven BBQ before this life and wrote it out.  We would have to figure out all those questions by living life, and then  they mapped all the answers out in the Book of Mormon, where we could read it for our day and age.  I don't know.  I just think the Book of Mormon is the greatest.  

To end, Sister Courtney King in Madrid, Spain wrote this in her email home and I loved it.  She can say it better than anyone sometimes.   

''So many people are skeptical as we teach them about the Book of Mormon. So many people have doubts about modern-day prophets, about Joseph Smith, and about having more scriptures. But I bear solemn testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. I know it. If someone told you to try a restraunt because it's the best food they've ever eaten, there's no way you can say it's not good if you don't go there yourself. Even if you know of a better restarunt and eat there all the time and everyone knows there are better restraunts....or even if your neighbor says it's not good because they went there etc...even if you personally know the owner and the chef and know he's not a good cook, it doesnt' matter how much you will never know if you don't walk in, pay the price, sit down with an open mind, and EAT the FOOD. So many people put up walls. They don't want to believe. They say it's not true before they even read the Book of Mormon. But what happens if you never go to that restraunt and then 10 years later, you try it and find out if really IS the best. And you've been stubborn all those years, thinking you knew what it would be like. Think of all the good food you'd have missed! It breaks my heart when people aren't willing to even open the Book of Mormon, when I know how true it is and when it has blessed my life so much. I just want to grab them, shake them, look them in the eye and say: Do you think being away from my family is fun? Do you think I came to Spain, do you think my family and friends pay for me to be here walking around ALL day in the FREEZING cold just for fun? I would NOT be here if it were not true. I would NOT be walking down an empty, cold street in Spain on Christmas if this Book were not true. The Book of Mormon changes lives. We have to read it. We have to open it every day to recieve our own spiritual experiences. It's like going to the restraunt once and never going back! FEAST on the words of Christ, for they will tell you ALL things which you should do. If you read the Book of Mormon daily, you will give the Lord opportunities to bless you and answer your prayers. Let him in. Let him bless you.''

Ahhh.  Wasn't that great?  She's so great. :)

I leave my testimony with her's and testify that I know these things are true in the name of our Savior even Jesus the Christ, Amen.


Sister Nicole Packer

Dramatic cheesy pic and View from Vienna apartment window :)

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