Monday, December 29, 2014

Coco's Birthday/Skyping/Christmas (EP)

For Christmas this year, we have learned to use our $ more efficiently when deciding what to get our overseas missionaries.  They have a UK Amazon.com as well as a UK PhotoPix.  We simply went online, made Jake a picture calendar and had it sent to the mission home for FREE!  And then we also got him a really cool, UNEXPECTED shoe warmer/dryer to help keep his shoes dry in all the rain and snow (also shipped free in 2 days!).  It was a huge success on both accounts and both presents cost less than the shipping for one present last year!  We also loaded his debit card with some Christmas money so he could get some needed white shirts and other necessities.  A great way to go!

PART 1: The main letter from Jake

I had a sweet, relaxed, sunny/cold Christmas.

COCO HAPPY 22ND BIRTHDAY! See I even remembered which one it was. The universe is in harmony again because you are two years older than me again.

How was your birthday?

What did you do for your birthday? I'll tell you what I did. I went birthday shopping for... Me?

I checked out some sweet suits and stuff that I'll probably purchase today.

Lots of stuff happened and we saw our families! Family it was so good to see all of you and laugh at random stuff.
Ah man, It felt like I was just chilling in the living room with all of you. Thanks for sharing your stories. Kori, I'm so excited to talk more mission stuff with you. Missions are so awesome! They are definitely an adventure. Yay England. I love it here.

Those babies are real! Eden and Holly. They aren't just pictures in my photo album any more. I saw them move and stuff live!

Josh, that story you and Courtney told was so awesome. Thanks. Funny enough, there is an investigator in the Notts 4 Sisters area from Armenia. They need some words to use. All that I remember is Shnork, hajo-gutteral sound-ootsoon, and yerets and berev. I have 0% confidence in my spelling of those words. Any tips that I can pass on?

On Christmas day we went to the other Elders flat to hang out and played some games. Then we went to Dean's place for a few hours to have dinner/skype. I love Dean. He is such a great guy. We had a good time.
Skyping was awesome too. I loved it so much.

Coco it was good to see you for the first time in... 18months? Something like that. We've got some serious mission-talk to do.

I hope everybody had a great Christmas and did some service for somebody! Happy New Year!

-Elder Jacob Packer

A shoe/wellies/sock/glove warmer--caught him completely by surprise!

Family Calendar we made for Jake--he loved it!

Elder Winder and Jake enjoying SNOW in Nottingham! (we were informed to not say "ham", just a "mmm" at the end of the "Notting")




PART 2:  A quick note to Mom and Dad from Jake that had some fun information in it:

Dear Padre y Madre,

I've been using a lot of Spanish lately. And Portuguese!

It was really good to see you both. Man, I'm glad it finally worked out. Thanks for doing all of the preparation work for it, it made it way less stressful on our side.

By the way, it snowed here. It actually factually snowed here! What the shnork? It totally snowed in England while I was on a mission here. I just didn't believe that it would ever happen and that the locals were just trying to "scare" me.

The snow here is incredible for snow ball fights. We naturally had one as soon as there was enough to make a snow man.

Bikes are super dangerous on the ice though. Way more exciting! Just kidding, we don't really ride much on it, we get lifts if we can and we take the tram also. President would rebuke us if we got injured because we were riding on the ice. He knows we know what NOT to do.

The SHOE WARMER was beautiful on the night of the 26th, because that is the night we got the snow and the night when my sunday shoes needed warming. Thanks for that:) The usefulness and the awesomeness collide!

Yes, I went shopping on Friday, but didn't buy much because I had a tough time getting funds. I think the new debit card has yet to be cleared for international use. I ended up just using the ATM card to pull out the money. You want to know something dumb. I got a fine for not having a ticket on a tram. £50. Ouch. But that is what I get for forgetting to buy a ticket.

I just plan on getting a suit (probably grey, maybe blue I'm so indecisive!), and then some more shirts and trousers to use. The suit is more for fun than anything. The shirts I actually need. Luckily they are only £5 at Primark!

Love you both! Thanks for everything!

Nativity program 2014, had to make due with an exercise ball for the Donkey since Jake was gone!
I love the fact that you've upgraded to a yoga ball for the donkey. Our family never ceases in it's creativity.

Monday, December 22, 2014

I'm still here in Nottingham. (EP)

Merry Christmas! I yelled that at a lot of random people today. I got some positive responses!

I don't have long so here is the low down.
 
I'm staying in Nottingham 2B. 
 
I got a new companion! Elder Winder from Highland, UT.
 
Christmas Skyping will be about 7or 8pm NOTTINGHAM TIME. By the way, I didn't get moved on transfers. "I'm still here..." (The Kid) so I'll be in Nottingham for Christmas for sure.
 
We will be skyping at a members home named Dean. He's the best.
 
Half of my district changed. Crazy huh. Literally, every team changed. 4/8 missionaries left.
 
Holy Cow I'm loving life here. People are opening up to us like crazy because they are feeling the Christmas spirit. Elder Vernon, shout out to you because we are teaching a man from Ghana!
 
FAMILY! HERE IS YOUR TASK! BE PREPARED WITH A BAJILLION QUESTIONS OR TOPICS OF CONVERSATION. WILL YOU DO IT? I PROMISE BLESSINGS.
 
-Elder Packer :)

P.S. Elder Winder has been going crazy with the DoTerra oils. We've been using all sorts for all sorts of symptoms. I even let this member in my ward try it because she has an eternal cough.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Conference: (EP)

We had our Christmas Conference this week. It was so awesome. I can't even tell you how much intense happiness was in those few hours. I got back to my home land of Leicester and saw everybody from that zone and my old district and some old companions. Elder Lindquist and Elder Ferrell! I haven't been with him for like... a year!
 
So many pictures were taken. Some with a purpose, some just for fun.  For example. I took a picture with President Rasmussen and Elder Horgmo. It is cool, but I don't know why we did it. We just took our chance when it came I guess.
 
There is a lot of stuff that I need to work on. I'm seeing miracles as I'm striving to be more obedient. I've gotten lazy in some of my missionary habits. I decided I need to be a robot when it comes to the morning schedule. No thinking.
 
But when it comes to finding/teaching I need to be the best ME I can be and think all about others and love them like Christ would.
 
On Tuesday I was sick all day. I woke up in the middle of the night, threw up, and then stayed up for most of the night feeling like I was going to throw up. It didn't get much better until the next day. Elder Severe and I had some good time to think.
 
Wednesday was a lot better. I still wasn't 100% but I could go out and work. I went to Nottingham 4 with Elder Ashby to do a baptismal interview for one of their investigators (now a recent convert!) and we had a DA with the Stake President. That was nice.
 
Thursday was zone conference like I explained before.
 
Friday was filled with random stuff including decorating the Notts 2 chapel for the ward Christmas party.
 
Saturday was a miracle day. We  went and had lunch with our ward mission leader. That isn't the miracle but it was really nice. Then we went to see a media referral that we received on Friday. The guy requested a Book of Mormon and let us in! I've never actually seen a media referral turn into anything... although I have only received a couple through my mission.
 
Anyway, he is a really cool guy. Pray for him. His name is Thamir.
 
Then the day got weird because we went to a 1 year old's birthday party for a DA. Not what I had in mind, but not bad.
 
Then we taught a member in the ward.
 
Then we went to the ward Christmas party. It was pretty good. It is the first ward Christmas party I've seen have a band playing. The band was made up of ward members.
 
 
I haven't written this much in a long time. Wow it is exhausting. I need to workout my writing muscles.
 
Mom, I got my card thank you!
 
Prayer request: I'll be seeing my doctor again tomorrow, so pray that he will have questions for me about the Book of Mormon. Last time he happily accepted one so I'm thinking he is a bit interested. Christmas miracles can happen!
 
-Elder Jacob Packer

And a sweet picture of the only Lindon-ites in the EBM (Sam Harris, Jake Severe, Jake Packer)

Elder Jake Packer with former comp Elder Ferrell

Elder Jake Packer, Pres Rasmussen, and Elder Horgmo


Here is a picture of us decorating.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sister Packer is HOME!! (And Homecoming Talk) (SP)

Sister Nicole Packer returned home December 5, 2014 happy and safe!  We are so excited to have her home and she is excited to be home (and still misses Germany!).  But we are adjusting as a family and having a wonderful time!

Nicole will be speaking in church on Sunday, December 14, 2014, at 1:00 pm at the Lindon 16th Ward building (approximately 100 S 600 W, Lindon).  We will all be attending our 3 hour church block, but feel free to visit her after church at 4:00 pm and have some snacks (sorry, the chocolate she brought home from Germany is NOT part of the snacks and is locked away safely for her dear family, so don't ask!! muawhaa haaaa haaaaaa!!!).  Our home address is: 645 W 250 N, Lindon--2 blocks directly West of the Los Hermanos Restaurant on State Street and 400 N in Lindon.

On to new adventures...as a RM!!



Monday, December 8, 2014

Not much time. (EP)

This has been a good week. Not too much success, but I'm learning a lot and loving nottingham!
 
Cheers Duck!

Monday, December 1, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BREANNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! (EP)

Hey BreAnne Elise. What's up Sista? How was your birthday celebration? Tu Tienes Nueve Anos!  Elder Nogueroles says "Hi". Elder Severe says "Hi" more.
 
THANK YOU Everybody for the Birthday cards! Haha those were a highlight for sure. And thanks for the recipes you included. And thanks for the copy of the Patriarchal blessing. Man, it has been a long time since I've read it. Sheesh. Personal revelation is a gift. And thanks for the little pictures of everybody! KORI's mission picture is grand. By the way, are they doing a new stand up/body shot for school pictures now?
 
Anyways, they are great.
 
Mom, the ATM thing is sorted. I've got funds as I need them.
 
We'll go see the city center today I'll definitley take pictures of all the Christmas craziness.
 
Well all of the sudden I have two minutes left.
 
Bye everybody. Let the Christmas Carols officially begin!!!! WITHOUT people getting really upset.

-Elder Jacob Packer



The last email of my mission... (SP)

Well, here goes nothing, the last email of my mission.  What a weird thought.  But hey, they gotta end sometime.

I'm not really sure what to say except that I'm so grateful to have been a missionary.  I read a talk today from last conference that gave me all the peace I needed to know that what I've felt and learned here won't stop when I take the nametag off.  What a relief!  So grateful!

I know this work is true.  I know Christ lives.  I know He is loving God who expects great things of us because we ARE indeed great.  I know that all things are possible through the merits and grace of the Atonement.  I know that prayer works!  I know that God's love is always there for us.  I know this work has turned me and others into the person I truly WANT to be, which I could not have become on my own, in any sort of measure, or world.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

Sister Packer
Alpine German-speaking Mission
July 2013 - December 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gratitude Attitude. (SP)

Sooooo, our email time got smashed into a fourth of the time so this'll be quick.  But I wanted to briefly share my experience with it all.

I was pretty upset because I was excited to bring you all to my mission this week.  So many miracles happened and I was excited to let you hear all about it.  We're sharing a computer and while Sister Smith was writing, I wrote down a list of alllll the things I'm grateful for despite my frustration in not getting a lot of time.  I'd like to share that list with you today.

I am (''going to be'' is *crossed out*) grateful today because...

  • the sun is shining
  • I'm still a missionary :)
  • I have a family who loves me and is excited to see me
  • I have a stellar companion who supports me and is patient with me
  • we have a LOT of cake at home :) and mac n cheese!
  • we have more than enough food at home
  • Gorceries today: berries, milk, cheese, yogurt, and lightbulbs....good for the week :)
  • (we have a LOT of eating appointments this week...)
  • + Thanksgiving
  • Got a recipe for Arepas!  Columbian food
  • Christmans markets are opening up
  • We had two, count 'em, TWO appointments with Sebastian this week
  • Natalie is progressing beautifully.  She reads, prays, comes to church and is excited to prepare herself for the Temple (thanks gpa Packer for the temple pamphlet!) She can't do her own family names (doesn't have permission from her family), but is excited to help other members with theirs.  She's excited for the goals we've set to getting her to the temple.  TRUE CONVERSION!
Kori! Pumped for your call!!  Mom, Dad, loves to you and thank you so much for your help!

Til next week!

Sister Packer

This week in Notts 2 (EP)

Dear Family/Friends,
 
Hey everybody! Holy cow I'm so stoked to hear about Kameron and Kori's mission calls!!!!! I nearly cried when I read those.
 
Hey BreAnne, your birthday is coming up isn't it?? Exciting stuff!
 
Hey Dad,
 
I've been meaning to tell you that there are a lot of Portuguese people in my ward! I'm in Nottingham 2nd Ward. In the library in the chapel they have English materials and Portuguese materials.
I've had some Portuguese food since I've been here. It is GOOD. I was eating some prawns mixed in the rice. It was kind of a soup rice stuff called arosa minoche or something close to that... I didn't realize that I needed to pull off the head and the shell... So I ate a couple of them whole. They were kind of crunchy. Then we were told by Sister Andrade how to pull them apart. It was better after that.
 
This week I'm trying to remember what happened. It has been pretty cold, we got soaked and we found some good potentials.
 
We had this awesome guy from Nigeria just walk into church with his two children. MIRACLES! Apparenlty his car was broken down so he didn't have the ability to travel to his regular church which was far away. He decided to have a week in our church. We were on him like lightning. We got his kids up in Primary (it is upstairs) and he stayed for all three blocks. He liked it a lot. We gave him a Book of Mormon, got his address and we will stop by him this week.
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!
 
My ward mission leader is a legend. His name is Ossi. Isn't that just a sweet name. When I saw him I thought he looked like a little general authority. He is kind of short but powerful in the Gospel. I don't have a picture of him yet so I can't show you.
 
Mom I'm not quite sure what you meant in your email about Christmas being a missionary day/the email from President Rasmussen.
 
Love,
 
Elder Packer



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Spoke at Stake Conference this week. (SP)

Holy Moley.

Well, spoke at Stake Conference this week.  It was so fun!  I never imagined the work it takes to WRITE a talk first in English and then in German... But the Lord provided miracles and merciful members to help me out.  I'd prayed it would really help people  come closer to Christ by the words I said.  The Lord answered that prayer and people had expressed gratitude for thoughts I'd shared.  SO grateful to be in that place to help others receive the answers they need and at the same time learn LOADS.  :)

My dear mother, nieces, and sisters Natalie, Courtney, Lydia, Kori, Jessie, Danielle, and BreAnne.  A MAJOR slumber party is in order when I get home.  Probably my first or second night.  Calender it :).

Dad and brothers Josh and Christian, MAJOR missionary talk when I get home.

This week we taught Tina again.  We've been sending her scriptures via text every morning and she's loved it.  She reads as she takes the subway to and from work and says it fills her with peace.  Woo!  Her member husband has done beautifully explaining to her the purpose of the gospel.  Because their relationship is built on love and trust it's transistioned flawlessly!

We had an exchange this week.  HOLY MIRACLES.  Met 2 people that had met with missionaries before.  Met a 15 year old girl who wants to learn more about the Plan of Salvation.  Using the Restoration pamphlets has been a break through!

Was met with anti-mormonism and they also didn't appreciate Grandpa Packer, blaming him for a lot of the past few years of church history.  The conversation was very open and respectful.  The next morning I just BAWLED.  And was filled with knowledge that he is called of God.  I know the apostles and prophets are called of God.  It only makes sense.  Being a member and being in this church is the only place where I truly feel peaceful, loved, loving, and useful in life.

​Mom, I don't know on flight plans.  We'll find out :).

Yes we had training and interviews with President yesterday and so P day was today.  SORRY forgot to give you a heads up!

I know the church of Jesus Christ is the only true church on the earth, and I am proud to wear His name on my chest alongside my Packer name.  I'm proud to be related and representing both.  I know what President Packer has said is truth and according to God's laws and commandments.  In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Sister Packer​

Monday, November 17, 2014

Jaw breakers (EP)

So... Once upon a time Elder Sever and I had two large Jaw breakers. Now it is important to remember that these jaw-breaking balls were filled in the center with bubble gum. Just remeber that. We were doing our weekly planning and needed a sugar buz. We decided to put them in our mouths. When we realized that they were too big to close our mouths around them we decided to take selfies. (See first picture)  


Later (about 2 minutes) we decided we had enough sugar in our system and didn't want to continue eating them. Elder Sever then had inspiration strike him in the face.

"Lets put them in the microwave and see what happens!" He says.

"Yeah lets do it!" I say.

So, we put our Jaw-breakers in the microwave, we were smart and put them in a plastic container, uncovered, just in case it got messy. With the power on medium high we let them run for about 2 minutes.

Like we do when we have loads of sugar inside of us, we got distracted and were talking about random stuff outside of the kitchen door. then BAM! I gunshot was heard in the microwave followed closely with a second gun shot.

We rushed back into the kitchen to find the microwave smoking and a bad smell in the air.

Convinced that we had murdered our microwave Elder Severe looked at me and exclaimed "WHY ARE TEENAGE BOYS SO STUPID?" I was just laughing and panicking at the same time.

We turned off the microwave and opened the door. The Jaw breakers were both split clean in half and there was molten bubble-gum ALL OVER the microwave. Burnt bubble gum does NOT smell delicious.

Luckily, the microwave still works. The door just doesn't open very easily anymore.

Other than that, our week was pretty good.

-Elder Packer


Notice: No missionaries were harmed in the making of this email

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Someone already knows Jake in Nottingham!! (EP)

We received a sweet letter from Jake's aunt Kathy Bullock (Dave and Kathy served as the Mission Pres and wife : ) in the Manchester England Mission a few years back).  It is good to know someone is looking out for Jake in his new area!!  We got this the day before we got Jake's letter, so we knew he was transferred to Nottingham!

Hi Lawrence and Leslie,

We received this email from Tim Farrant who was one of our great missionaries and also one of our assistants.  He has given a wonderful compliment to Jake in saying he is a great missionary (which we all know he is!) because Tim surely would recognize a great missionary when he met one. :)

We thought you would love seeing the picture and knowing how Elder Packer is being received.  Hope all is well with you and your family.

Love, Kathy


Hi President,
Just thought I'd let you know that your nephew, Elder Jacob Packer, is serving in my ward in Nottingham.
I can really see the resemblance between him and Sister Bullock!
He seems like a great missionary and was really excited when he heard I served with you both!
Hope you're both well.
Love
Elder Farrant (Tim)

"Elder" Tim Farrant and Elder Jacob Packer in the Nottingham ward building (not sure which ward)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Formula for Success! (SP)

Friends and Family,

This week was so cool.  Number wise we weren't doing so hot, but we took some serious time to pray and fast about what this area needs at this time.  Sister Smith is a rockstar and I couldn't have picked a better companion to end my mission with.  We started a fast one night, ate late which is not advised, but just whipped up some rice and spices, prayed, and went to bed.  SO AWESOME.  Sometimes you just need help and you scrape together a fast, a prayer and do your best.  (I woke up at 4 am DYING of thirst.  He understands those moments too.  I had a small cup of water and went back to bed.  I'm so grateful for a loving Father who's practical and REAL.)  

We had two less active lessons this week with members there with us.  SO POWERFUL.  We basically were the excuse to talk more about the church for one of the appointments and it was just awesome.  I've grown to love them so much.  I now know what visiting teaching is and WHY WE DO IT as President Uchtdorf has talked about.  I'm SO grateful!  Happier life fulfilling that calling at home!  And so much more joy in being obedient!

We received the impression to go to the area book this so we'll see what the Lord has in store for us there.  Working with members is SO amazing.  They blow my mind.  I've never been with so many first or second generation converts and felt like I was with someone famous!  Ah man it's so amazing!

We've had some AMAZING studies.  I've made it once again a goal to read from the Book of Mormon, Preach My Gospel, and conference talks every day.  HOLY MOLEY.  It's incredible, especially the times of companionship study when Sister Smith shares her wise insights and Sister Packer scribbles as fast as she can the wisdom that's poured out.  I wanted to share one insight that she gave this morning.

Formula to a Successful... missionary, Mom, Dad, sister, brother, husband, wife, grandma, grandpa, boss, colleague, in-law, bishop, visiting teacher, Program passer-outer, ANYTHING)

Obedience + Righeous Living + Doing your best to help others live the gospel

=

Successful (blankety-blank) 
(I think she means "fill in the blank" : ))

**Baptisms.....organized house, clean kitchen, perfect reports for whatever, nice car, perfectly organized chore chart, organized basement, fixed lights/doors/toilets (all the things men so wonderfully fix and build), perfect grades, a million dates, a million friends on facebook, the perfect job...ETC. ETC.SOLD SEPARATELY** 


I looooove you all :).

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sister Packer


Sis Smith is a Rockstar!!

It is a small world within the church. (EP)

Mom, you guessed it. I'm in Nottingham!

My area is Nottingham 2B. I'm still a district leader. My companion which is the part that makes it a small world is.... drum roll......

ELDER JAKE SEVERE FROM THE 14th WARD IN THE LINDON UTAH WEST STAKE.

Haha, he is from my stake. I went to Oak Canyon with this kid. He went to Timpanogos High School. What a beast.
Elder Lindquist stayed in Westcotes and has Elder Hardy as his new companion. Elder Hardy is from Australia, they should do well together. They are both into physical fitness and such. They will do great.

So yeah. that is the Dodge.

Mom before I forget here is my address:

25 Potters Hollow
Bulwell
Nottingham NG6 8PB
ENGLAND, UK

I'll most likely be here for several transfers but you never know.

We've had some good times already. Lots of finding. The first week with a new companion is always a little bit stiff. You aren't really yourself until a week or two into it. We have had a good time nonetheless. We have been finding loads of people here in Bulwell. It is the main city center where we GQ.

I went tracting for the first time in ages. Wow. It is a whole new workout. The people here aren't as... abrupt. They are just as honest, just nicer about it:)

We actually got some potentials from tracting. My mind has been blown.

Leaving Leicester was super hard. I really really really didn't want to leave. Then Brother Mann made the final blow. He was like, "Well, this may be the last time I see you in this life.". OUCH. I had to take a cry break in the bathroom after that. It became real that I was leaving.

Anyway, I'll send loads of pictures, mostly goodbye pictures. You probably won't know these people but I need to share my emotional load with somebody!

Oh yeah, one more wierd thing. I'm now the district leader of my old district leader, Elder McFarland. Weird. He is cool.

I don't have a picture of my new district but the people in it are these:

Elder McFarland (Bountiful, UT) with Elder Nogueroles (California, San Diego) (the one wearing the santa hat)
Elder Ashby (Colorado) and Elder Gros (Proper French accent! He made us crepes for district meeting!)
Elder Packer and Elder Severe
Sister Pickett (Las Vegas, NV) and Sister Pascua-Dozon (Philipino, raised in Spain). 

NEW COMPANION: IT IS A SMALL WORLD! My companion is Elder Jake Severe from the 14th ward! What the shnork?! I went to Oak Canyon with this kid! (shnork is an Armenian word passed on to us from Jake's older brother Josh who served a mission in Yerevan Armenia)



more pictures:
Chris Abley
Theo Zake
Morgan Abley (ward missionary, beast)



Ok, it is not very easy to see the faces, but here are the people from my beloved Westcotes district:
Sister Lamb(Syracuse UT), Sister Curtis (Provo UT she just went home! Weird!), Sister Powley (Las Vegas), Sister Ellis (Vernal UT I'm pretty sure...), Elder Wagstaff (Billings, Montana), Elder Lindquist (Stockholme Sweden), Elder Packer, Elder Magda (Hungary)

My beloved Westcotes district:  Sister Lamb(Syracuse UT), Sister Curtis (Provo UT she just went home! Weird!), Sister Powley (Las Vegas), Sister Ellis (Vernal UT I'm pretty sure...), Elder Wagstaff (Billings, Montana), Elder Lindquist (Stockholme Sweden), Elder Packer, Elder Magda (Hungary)


Elder Nogueroles (California, San Diego) (the one wearing the santa hat)




Monday, November 3, 2014

Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast (SP)

Freunde der Kirche!  (friends of the church!)

Sister Harman went home this week and Sister Smith and I hit the cobble stone together!  We'll miss Sister Harman.  She's a BEAST in missionary work and will convert her home town!  It's been so wonderful to work with Sister Smith.  She's just a chill bug and keeps us focused and working hard!  We've already had some fun adventures from running to catch trains to recieving random calls from strangers or members asking for visits and help.  It's awesome!  Sister Smith isn't a big fan of running as a hobby but she told me the other day, ''You know, I know I don't like running, but when we're running so that we can help more people, it's like I'm in an action movie and I actually enjoy it.''  The Work of Salvation = more satisfying than the bread, cheese, milk, and EVEN the chocolate here.

We had a miracle story happen the other day.  We had some lag time in between appointments and going home and I thought, hey let's contact.  We began talking with man from Nigeria.  He was really open.  Sister Smith started and said to the effect of, ''We're missionaries of our church and we help people find relief from feelings of guilt and shame through Jesus Christ.  Do you have a belief in God and Jesus Christ?''  HOLY NOT GOLDEN OF MY LIFE.  She's a rockstar!  We had a great conversation with him about communicating with God.  He was leaving back to Nigeria within a week, but Sister Smith then went and asked him if he knew anyone that would be interested in learning about our message.  He paused.  And thought.  He pulled out his phone and for a good two to three minutes just scrolled through his contacts.  He ended up giving us 3 different contacts!!  We called one right there and they were interested in hearing about our message and agreed to come to church!  The next day we called the second and invited them to church.  They said yes!  The third one I called Saturdaynight.  I said ''Hi, I'm a missionary from my church and we teach people about God.  Would you be interested in hearing a message about God and Jesus Christ?''  He replied, ''Um, wait what church are you from?''  
''The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.''
He laughs on the other end.  I'm thinking what?  He says, ''I'm a member of the Church of Christ.''
''....wait what?''
''I've been baptized.''
I said, ''Wait, so you're Mormon?''
''Yes, I was baptized in 2012.''
It was crazy!  We talked for a bit and shared Helaman 5:12 with him and prayed with him over the phone.  He was so great and sounded like he needed a boost and call from a friend.  I bore my testimony to him that I knew God loved him and knew where he was.  It was really really neat.

​We went as a joint teach to an old investigators home (she's technically not in our ward, but it was allowed to go as a joint teach because I know her from my time before).  She cooked us Rouladen with Knoodl and sauce.  Rouladen is meat, usually beef laid flat and spread with bacon, onions, spices all sorts of things, rolled up, tied with string and cooked for hours in a sauce.  Knoodl is like mashed potatoes but boiled in a pot of water in balls about the size of baseballs.  You eat the meat and knoodl together with the sauce and......aaaaahahhahahahahahahfj sdioa ruwe89uv4523..... no words to describe how delicious.....  The meat just falls apart and melts in your mouth..... I'm already salivating...  A-hem, besides the food, we had a REALLY awesome lesson about coming to church.  It was so powerful and so neat to see the progress that's been made since I was here last.  I came away with a renewed desire to be committed to the tripod of church, scripture study, and daily prayer.  Key to happiness!

Sister Smith and I ALMOST got sick this week.  Almost.  And then we downed a load of vitamin C, took it easy, a nap for us both and we climbed out of it.  It's so important to go slow when the red flags come up!  ''Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.''  Got that from President Kohler.  He's truly an amazing and inspired man.

Thank you for your letters and prayers!  I feel them daily.  That's an interesting feeling.  It's like a, ''I shouldn't normally feel so pumped and energetic...yet I am.''  So so blessed.  Thank you!

Love you all!  Have a wonderful week!

Sister Packer

It was SENIOR WEEK! [Haha I can't believe I actually sent that! RE-DO] (EP)

I hit send when I didn't even finish the story of Elder Lindquist's prompting! I'm a vegetable.

Rewind. Play.

Dear people,

I am here to announce that I have an incredible companion. By royal decree, Elder Lindquist will be charged with being senior companion for the rest of our companionship because he did a great job this week. Sadly though (also by royal decree) we may not be companions next transfer because I may move to another area. We don't get the dodge call until tonight so I can't say for sure. 

Week 11 in the 12 week training program for new missionaries is nicknamed "Senior Week" because it is during this week that the new missionary takes the lead in all teaching and planning situations for the entire week. To be honest, Elder Lindquist adjusted to it pretty quick and bada bing he is doing great. 

It was way cool to see him follow the Spirit. He had a particular prompting one morning to stop by a family. During companion study He asked me "Do you want to go by so-and-so today?"
"No." I said. Knowing that it was a bit of a cycle, and realizing that he probably didn't know how far away it was.And that we could be doing our weekly planning.

"Well I prayed this morning and their name came into my mind." He explained.

"Oh, Ok then. I'm not going to go against any revelation. Let's do it."

So we went. Half an hour later we were riding up to their house. 

We got to the house and we knocked on. We were let in. Sister so-and-so wasn't doing too well. Her friend, another sister in the ward was also there trying to help her out. Basically what happened was this. We were told that there was something that wasn't so good in the house and wasn't making things easy for the family (some sort of bad spirit). We were able to say read some scriptures, say a prayer and finally give a blessing to sister so-and-so, It was actually pretty intense. After the blessing, I felt so much better and the Spirit seemed to enter the room. That is what I felt anyway, and I know that we did the right thing.

They told us that they had just said a prayer asking for protection and that is when they saw us through the window walking up to their door. WHOA. 

They thanked us for coming over. Afterwards, Elder Lindquist and I went down the street a little bit and said a prayer of gratitude for being placed in the right place at the right time.

Prayer works. Following the Spirit helps others.

All that we had planned to do was stop by for 2 minutes and share a scripture on the doorstep. The Lord had other plans. 

We had a great lesson with Alexander. He wants to take it slow, we aren't going to push it. His testimony is building like crazy! It is kind of cool to see a man like him, who has such a vast knowledge of religious things start to gain knowledge of spiritual things, My favorite thing he has said this week was this "Joseph Smith was either a very clever man or he was a prophet. I have a PHD and I couldn't come up with this stuff! (while holding the book of mormon in this hand) He must have been a prophet." 

Bear came to church again! This is his 4th time and he has started to walk there by himself. Not to mention he has started wearing a suit to church! What a stud. We are planning on having hot pot with him this Wednesday.

I really really really love this ward. I don't want to leave. I feel it is my time. Now there is a teeny tiny chance that I stay... but alas, it is teeny tiny.

I'm excited to let you know next week!

This mission isn't about me at all. I'm just here to do what I can. I will do what I can. 

-Elder Packer

Pictures sent from a member of the Westcotes Ward and short note:

Hi
I'm a member of Westcotes Ward where your son has been serving.
He is a wonderful missionary & we will miss him coming over for DA's. He has looked after his newbie companion really well - he's a lovely trainer. He has asked me to forward these photos from a wedding we had in the ward, and also 2 we took when they came over for dinner :)
Best wishes
Liz Quick xx