Monday, June 30, 2014

I'm going AP! Just kidding. I think I'm staying here in Westcotes. (EP)

Dear Everybody,

I'm NOT going AP. I think I'll be staying here in Westcotes for another two transfers, one more with Elder Shaw and then I will carry over the area. We'll know what is happening next transfer tonight when we get the DODGE CALL!

Well that's about it for this week. 

PSYCHE. Threw you for a loop didn't I?

Sorry, I'm in one of those moods. For real though, this week has been good. We got an AWESOME investigator named Sam who is a complete miracle. We had met him once before at a social event at our church building and I didn't get his phone number from him. I've been praying that he would come back into our sights. He called us on Tuesday using a friends phone asking why we hadn't contacted him. He wants contact from us. 

We taught him 3 times this week. The first two times were really short lessons with another investigator as well. The last one though was just him. we taught a proper Restoration lesson. It seems like I haven't prayed earnestly during a lesson for a long time. I prayed really hard.

The spirit was there. He enjoyed it, and when we finished testifying about the Book of Mormon he said something like "Ok. That is very encouraging. very encouraging. I want to read it now that I know more about it."  That is the first time an investigator has told me that they WANT to read it. 

The Bitter-Sweet part is that we found out on Saturday, when we taught him the third time that he lives in the De Montfort ward boundaries. The De Montfort missionaries will be teaching him. It's ok though. I trust that the Lord knows what he is doing. But I would really like to keep teaching Sam:) 

Quote of the week:
"You can count the seeds in an apple but you cannot count the apples in a seed."
-Sister Mann

Our other investigators are dwindling. We need to keep finding otherwise we'll have nobody to teach in a couple of days. 

Please pray for 
Sam (He is the gentle giant from Kenya) and
Elder Shaw (He's sick) and
Carole (A strong willed woman who has had loads of trials in her life. She wants to find faith but has struggled with coming to church and has not read the B.of M.) and

Altia (A nurse from Jamaica who loves kids and works crazy hours to support her family) Thanks!

-Elder Jacob Packer

One of the most peaceful and miracle filled weeks (SP)

Grüß euch!  (groos; oy - sound at the beginning of the word ''hugh'')

This week was one of the most peaceful and miracle filled weeks I've seen on my mission.  There's so much to be thankful for.  And there was a lot learned.

I learned that before any miracles happen, something crazy happens.  I can't say always, but often.  Someone yells at us (which actually doesn't happen terribly often thankfully), appointments fall out, joint teaches fall out, buses are missed, trains are missed...etc.  But, I've realized the meaning of trial of faith and what the ''witness'' talked about in the scriptures can look and feel like.  In Ether 12:6.

And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
​​When something crazy happens, I've realized that I used to take it as a personal blow instead of, like a child would, stand there with big eyes and think.  Haha wooooaaahh.  They must have had a bad day.  I've learned that every time that happened, a miracle was coming and Satan knew it!  I get excited now every time that happens.  Instead of a dreaded situation, I look forward to the screaming tantrums that Satan has through the situations we sometimes see.  He knows it's comin.  That gives me a thrill.  You know success is coming.  And it does!  Every time!  I'll give you an example.  Sister Hemmi and I had a full day on Tuesday.  We gained two new investigators.  We didn't always know where we were going, she doesn't know the area, and sometimes I don't either :), but any time we needed help making a decision, we prayed in our hearts and together.  It was as innocent as I imagine a child would pray.  I just say, ''Snap, Heavenly Father, I have no idea how to get to this person's house.  Where should we go?  Help us find a way.''  In this case we went a looked at the train schedule that was posted for all current trains leaving.  The next train was the exact one we needed left in two minutes.  Sweet.  We took the train.  Heavenly Father doesn't expect us to know a lot.  He expects us to use what we have and what we know.  

My prayers have also changed.  I've learned that praying for things like, ''Help us to talk with everyone today.'' or ''Help us to study well today.'' are nice prayers, but ''Father, we want to talk to everyone today.  We're going to do our best.  As we talk with everyone, help us to know what to say and to feel thy love for thy children.'' is a faith action filled prayer.  There's already a plan of action and the Lord will support .  I'm so grateful to learn all these things haha.  I'm preaching to the choir.  I now see how you all have been examples of that for me.

The first new investigator was Muslim but then 2 months ago started looking into Christianity.  He's searching for truth.  We gave him a Persian Book of Mormon and he's reading, hopefully this week with his family too.

The next one is from Peru.  She's catholic and has a daughter.  She's so sweet and open.  We committed her also to read in the Book of Mormon.  She accepted the commitment.  Her daughter hugged us when she came home from school and she doesn't even know us!  Awwww it was so cute!!  

I learned about marveling.  Sister Hemmi and I have talked about it.  When a miracle happens, I've often been surprised or marveled that it actually happened.  What does a marveling reaction mean then?  That I didn't really believe it could or would or should have?  I love this scripture about that.  Jacob 4:12.

And now, beloved, marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come?  

I learned that marveling is a sign for lack of faith.  Of course the Lord wants to bless us with miracles.  Of course He'll bless us if we're obedient.  It's what happens, like one plus one.

I love my companion.  Sister Hemmi has so much faith.  She sometimes speaks Swiss German in our companion prayer :).  I like that.  I don't always understand it but it's awesome.  She's been so open and I've been able to share so much knowledge with her about my experience that I'd wished I'd learned earlier in my mission.  She shows me the real bread and cheese to eat here.  I've needed her so much.  I'm so grateful I could train again and hope to train again!  I'm so grateful to have this experience to help prepare me for my future family!  Oh!  Sister Hemmi invited our investigator David to be baptized!  She did so great!  I'm so proud of her!  I love letting a new missionary do the work.  I love seeing them grow.  I love watching her discover.  I don't have to be right all the time.  I love looking at her with the same big curious glint and tell her, man, I know as much as you.  What do you think?  Heavenly Father has the best job in the world to be able to do that for all his kids.  

I love you all so much!  BABIES ARE COMING!!  I'm praying for everyone and thank you all so much for your prayers!  

Sister Coco Packer

Monday, June 23, 2014

Now for the rest of it (Jacob first wrote Mom on update of Dr visit for cough) (EP)

Dear Everyone,
This week has been kind of wierd, mostly because I've been sick. But I've learned a lot of good lessons. Making phone calls can make a huge difference. Confirming appointments at least a day or two ahead of time makes a huge difference and I've found that I am so much more relaxed when I go to teach lessons. I'm sure it improves the ability of the Spirit who can be felt in our lessons as well. We didn't have tons of lessons this week, but the ones we did have went really well. The members in our ward are awesome and they are so good to come out and teach with us.
We haven't been able to teach Jacob again. We've played phone tag for a bit and it hasn't played out yet. Unfortunately he didn't come to church.
Dino has been out of town. He's coming back today so we'll get right back on him.
Oh man I wish I could have seen the UVCC concert. So much of my testimony has been rooted in that choir experience.
Life is good here in England. I'm pretty sure there is a lot more that I could talk about but I'm not remembering what it is. Enjoy the picture of my beautiful bike. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder/the person who made it ugly on purpose.
-Elder Jacob Packer.

Jake sent a picture of the pink and gray parrots because we told him that Andelyn just got new tennis shoes that were the same color : )

The Golden Rule (SP)

Guten Tag Familie!

Holy COW what a week.  

Tuesday was rough.  Appointments fell out and stress built up from running my area alone as I waited for my new companion.  I learned once again that I don't have to do it alone.  

But lo and behold, I traveled to my ''birth place'' of München, Bayern to pick up and meet my new Golden companion.  I traveled alone to Munich, which of course isn't a regular occurance, but under certain circumstances the president allows it.  On the way there, I prayed that I could find someone to give a Book of Mormon to.  On my last train, I began a natural conversation with a chinese man.  He was on his way to see his wife for the week.  He told me he'd studied the Bible.  I told him about the Book of Mormon.  I wasn't sure if he'd take it, but he did!  It was so cool!  I prayed for it and it happened!  I waited for the natural opportunity or at least the Spirit's prompting to start up a conversation and it happened.  So cool!  Being in Munich again was so neat.  I love that city and remember all the trams, U bahns, buses, streets.  It all came back in a lovely warm feeling :).  The meetings were so powerful.  They took us trainers and we ourselves talked about what good trainers do, what we liked, what we want to incorporate into these new Goldens.  It was such a refreshing blessing to have a fresh start.  My companion doesn't know anything but the first things that happen.  We met all the Goldens, but weren't sure who's companion was who's.  They announced it that first night and I never felt so good about a companion before.  She's 22 and from Canada.  She was born in Switzerland and speaks Swiss German somewhat!  She can hold her own and goes out with me although being only 3 days on the job!  She's fearless!  But going back, we rode back with a group of missionaries on our trains to our designated areas.  One thing we talked about was taking every opportunity to talk to everyone.  If I at the beginning don't do it, she won't.  It's a lot of pressure and a lot of responsibility, but with the Lord, I know I can teach her the very best I can.  So, on our way home, I was determined to be that trainer and show her that miracles are real.  While other missionaries talked and chatted, there was a beautiful opportunity for her to speak to a young woman who was sitting across the isle.  I encouraged her to talk to her, gave her a couple suggestions on what to say and to just go for it.  She was a little nervous, but began talking!  I let her lead it out.  I only piped in once or twice.  In the end she was very interested and took a Book of Mormon!  To the surprise of other missionaries, she said, ''Does that not happen all the time?''  Of course that can happen all the time.  But it's based on our obedience.  We continued to talk to more people as we went along.  We've started off with fire and energy and it feels so good.  I know I needed another opportunity to train and feel the freshness of faith.  We placed 3 books in the last few days together!  We pray and work hard.  Keep the Golden rule and teach like it's normal to be obedient, normal to do the right thing with a shrug of the shoulders and zero excuses, drama, or question.  The success of the mission and our surroundings starts with us!  I'm so grateful to learn that and to have had these last few days to real feel and see my, but especially her influence in this work. 

We came home and the next day, our sweet old man who sits outside was not there all day.  Very abnormal.  We went over and found out he's in intensive care at the hospital.  Specific prayers would be so appreciated!   

The members here are amazing.  I cannot express the love and admiration I have for them all.  Three priesthood holding brethren from the ward, who are all now married and having or expecting kids, are converts.  Our branch president is a convert.  Three other Sisters are converts.  And there's still others.  One of my favorite activities to do when with members is to ask them about their stories.  Some of them opened up after meeting their future spouse and investigated the church.  Others received strong promptings that God was with them and had a plan for them and they straight up changed their lives around.  I didn't realize until this week how literally our branch is made UP of first generation pioneers!  I'm watching the pioneers right before my eyes!!  It's caused me to think a lot about my ancestors and their stories and conversions.  Because the pioneers went acrosst the plains, the church was more fully established and missionaries continued to go out and serve.  It's spread to Europe and now missionaries flood the earth in tens of thousands!  And now after having ancestors who've paved the way, I'm here back in a land of some of my ancestors teaching and sharing the gospel with them once again!  I am a daughter of a rich heritage and inheritance!


Sister Coco Packer

first pic is of me and new Golden Sister Hemmi!
the second picture is for you dad.  I thought of you on Father's day and ate a Bit 'O Honey.  I know you eat those a lot :).  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Here is the main email of today. (EP)

Hey everybody,

We just played zone football. Our team had matching T-shirts. Oh yeah, go Glenfield district! We have had a couple of miracles this week. We've had some really powerful lessons and we've got some new investigators. The main miracle is a guy named Jacob. He just walked into church. He is twenty two years old and doesn't know a soul in the church. He just walked in and asked where he should go. Apparently he has been visiting all sorts of churches. He wanted to know about ours. 

He was unnaturally confident, in a good way. He just sat in the classes, got fellowship from the members, and enjoyed himself. Elder Shaw basically taught him the Restoration lesson right after church and we got his phone number. He invited us for coffee one day. Here we go! 

We had a solid lesson with a former investigator who was re-found by the Sister missionaries in our ward. He wants to be baptized. He asked the perfect questions. "I just want to know my purpose in life. I want to be closer to God. Can you teach me about baptism? Could we meet as often as possible?" He seriously asked that. Whoever has been praying for us, THANK YOU! Now pray for our man Dino.

I'm still sick. Mom, I've got a Doctors appointment on Wednesday. I've diagnosed myself with bronchitis/walking pneumonia. I'm taking it easy, we don't travel anywhere fast, I drink loads of liquids and I stay away from the... majority of sweets:) Seriously though, I'm tired of being sick. Thank goodness for doctors!

Thanks for the updates everybody! I appreciate them!

-Elder Packer

I speak German. That still blows my mind. (SP)

Hey Family!

Orders of business.

Dad, I got my debit card in the mail.  Thank you SO much!  I logged onto UCCU and miraculously remembered my passwords.  I can see it all and keep track!  AND Happy Father's Day!!  What did ya'll do to celebrate?

This week has been so amazing.  I speak German.  That still blows my mind.  I'm fluent in another tongue.  And the sounds have meaning.  It makes me want to learn other languages.  Starting with Spanish.  I learned how to say ''I'm 21 years old.''  And I also learned the name of a chicken recipe that the coasts in Peru are famous for.  Pollo e la Braza....or something like that.  I want to go there someday and try it :).  

Harald is making progress.  We had 2 lessons with him this week.  When we walked into his room (he lives in an old folks' home if I haven't mentioned that) and he had a glass of alcohol on his desk.  He tried to drink it fast and hide the bottle before we came in.  I was sad to see it, but I've been working on showing the right kind of disappointment.  They need to know that we're sad because the behavior makes them sad by doing it, not that we're disappointed in them.  We're still in a threesome and the two Sisters from Freiburg don't know the investigators in Lahr so I take the lead.  I asked him a little about the drinking, how much he'd had etc.  He said he didn't drink a lot, which is good.  We went on with the lesson which was a continuation of the Plan of Salvation.  It went well.  Reeeaaallly slow, but good.  He's slooooowly gettin' it.  At the end I committed him to stop drinking.  And to throw out the bottle he had.  He'd already had a little alcohol in him, and he got upset and yelled at us.  I've never been yelled at by him.  Means Satan's screamin'!  Ha YA!  We patiently waited for him to get all his anger out.  After some time, we just sat there with him.  He cried.  We sat with him.  He finally told us angrily to take the bottle.  He was still mad, but told us we could take it.  My heart soared.  And became somber at the same time.  I've never witnessed how real the fight between Satan and his followers and us is.  His grip is so tight if we let him in.  After waiting some more, just sitting with him, I told him I was going to pray.  I knew he wouldn't necessarily want to, but some good tough love is always in order.  I prayed and peaked at him as I prayed.  He folded his arms and bowed his head with us.  What a champ.  I love him SO much.  He's made so much progress.  He wants to go to the Spirit Paradise not the Spirit Prison as we taught in the lesson.  He wants to follow God.  We went home and I dumped the alcohol down the toilet.  It's the little victories, yet not little, that we need to focus on.
Miracles!  On Friday, we had a finding day in Offenburg, which is norht of Lahr.  It was us three sisters, Elder Durrant and Elder Jensen from Offenburg, Elder Anyawu and Elder Christiansen from Freiburg and two members Sister Runge and Sister Schiffeholz.  I split off with Sister Bognár and Sister Schiffeholz.  Holy cow, I LOVE FINDING.  The Lord inspired me with a question that I used that day.  It was, ''What do you do when a trial comes in your life?''  They'll say things like go for a walk, talk with best friend...etc.  Then you apply it to the gospel.  I told them that I'd sometimes eat chocolate, take a nap etc.  And then talked about Jesus Christ and how he is and can become our Best Friend.  He died for us so that we could have that.  And then I'd whip out the Book of Mormon.  SO many people stayed and listened.  It was SO cool.  Between the 9 of us that finding day, we placed Books of Mormon and found 16 potential investigators.  Crazy!!  Miracles!!!  I've never felt so alive in my life!  The Lord truly blesses and gives opportunities to find those that are ready.  

I learned a lot from these two Sisters who work in Freiburg as I wrote last week.  Sister Bognár herself gave away 4 Books of Mormon that Friday.  FOUR.  She's a boss when it comes to being bold.  She just doesn't care what anyone thinks.  She just knows that the Book is true and that it can change people's lives.  The first picture is of her and a man that took a Book of Mormon on a train.  

Another miracle happened this week.  We were on our way home and we came to a light that we cross often.  Suddenly someone says ''Hey!'' to me.  I turn and it's Guiseppe!  In the EXACT same spot where we first met him!!  We set up an appointment to meet for the next day.  ....Sadly he didn't come.  But I know the Lord has all power to help us meet up with the people that we need to stay in contact with.  SO COOL.  Thank you all for your prayers!  

Being in a threesome between two areas has been interesting and hard.  I feel like my area's getting hammered, but the Lord reminded me that it doesn't matter what the situation is, I can get all the numbers and goals accomplished I want.  I know it's all possible.  I'm getting better at not believing the excuses.  Excuses are false.  I'd rather be excited about the goals I set and the things I want to do.  I've discovered the game of fighting the excuses.  And I've discovered how fun it is :).  Making Satan mad is a fun game.  He hates it, but it's just too much fun to tease him.  If it wasn't a challenge, it wouldn't be so enjoyable.  I've loved the challenge of grasping my agency in it's fullest and not caring what ANYone says and setting those goals want to reach with the Lord.  Life's so much easier that way.  

I read a talk by Sheri Dew called ''You Were Born to Lead, You Were Born for Glory.''  I want to share a quote from it.  

''The simple fact is that our Father did not recommend Eve or Moses or Nephi or countless other magnificent exemplars for this dispensation—He recommended you and me. Do you think God would have left the last days to chance by sending men and women He couldn’t count on? A common theme of patriarchal blessings given to men and women your age is that you were sent now because our Father’s most trustworthy children would be needed in the final, decisive battle for righteousness. That is who you are, and it is who you have always been.          

''Because the Holy Ghost will show us everything we should do, it only makes sense to learn how He communicates—or to learn the language of revelation. Our challenge is not getting the Lord to speak to us; our challenge is understanding what He has to say (see D&C 6:14).''

Sheri Dew is MY FAVORITE PERSON.  Language of Revelation.  Have you ever asked Father how He communicates with you?  If you have not, DO IT.  Do it tonight.  You will have the most incredible week.  As a representative of Jesus Christ, I promise, and I know it is a promise from the Lord, that if you ask Him how He communicates with you, and sincerely watch and pray, you will see the very windows of heaven open up to you.  All of those answers you wanted.  ALL of those moments of comfort you thought God wasn't there, will be enlighted to you.  God is always there.  If we didn't see Him, we had our eyes and hearts closed.  We're among the creatures of pride and excuses.  How soon we blame EVERYthing else around us for the trouble and heartache instead of taking the blame, or giving understanding, looking in our hearts, and humbling ourselves enough to ask the Lord for help.  I know that the Lord is there.  I know that He was there in your hard times.  I know He'll always be there for you.  If you didn't know it, pray that prayer and ask Him how He talks with you.  

That's why I love the scripture I chose for my plaque.  Didn't know that until coming out here.  2 Nephi 31:3 ''For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding.''

Life is about talking with our Father in Heaven and getting to know Him and His Son.  When we can communicate with them, we'll beable to become like them and thats when the joy starts.  I know that '' are that they might have joy.''  2 Nephi 2:25

1 Nephi 11:21-23 ''And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?  And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.  And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul'' (emphasis added).

I know God loves us.  I know that we can feel that love now.  We don't have to wait.  We can feel it now.  Ask for it.  Ask to know how He speaks with you and He'll tell you.  Even if you think you know it.  There's always something we don't know.  Haha He'll tell you.  He'll tell you in flying colors :).  He's a Dad.  I know this gospel is true.  I know it blesses are lives.  It IS the way that life was meant to be lived.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

True to the Faith,
Sister Nicole Packer

1st pic.  Me with President and Sister Miles.  That day of crying.  Last Zone Conference with them. 
2nd.  Threesome Freilahr, Lahrburg!
​3rd.  Ya.  That's where we live.​

Monday, June 9, 2014

Rainbows Through the Storms (SP)


This week was awesome!!

I'll start by telling you how amazing my two companions are.  I don't know if I've ever had so much fun on my mission.  This last week might have made top 5 experiences in my book.  Ya, I'll be honest and say that I was pretty nervous about working two areas between 3 sisters again.  I am, once again, fending for my area alone, thinking of investigators, potentials, less actives, members, new converts.  It's a challenge.  But after much prayer and pondering I now know the Lord has given me this, what started as a challenge, beautiful tender mercy.  He's taken His Fatherly time to show me how much he trusts me to lead this area alone!  Could you not find joy in that??  I've felt His love in abundance this last week through His small yet mighty miracles.  Two of those miracles were my companions, my comrads in the field.  I'd like to take time to tell you about them and their greatness in this work. 

First imagine with me meeting people like Alma the younger.  He was basically converted in his youth to the gospel and turned around to become a legendary missionary.  Can you imagine working with Alma the younger on a mission?  Or doing home teaching with him?  Just imagine that.

First, there's Sister Bognár.  She's from Hungary and a ball of fire and passion.  She was converted when she was 19 (found through a member) and then came on a mission.  She's A - MAAAAAAAA - ZING.  She doesn't think about doing missonary work.  She just does it.  There's no drama or questions on if or why.  She understands the worth of souls and works to harvest them in our small corner of the earth.  She knows what she wants and who she is.  She makes jokes and lightens the mood.  She's honest about how she feels and isn't self concious about what others think.  She contacts like a beast in natural ways, with sweetness, naturally affection, and with boldness.  She's also obsessed with soccer.  Obsessed being an understatement.  And also chocolate.  Obsessed also being an understatement. :)  I love her to death.

Then there's Sister Green.  She's from Alabama/Iowa complete with her southern accent and love for fried chicken.  Sister Green also discovered the church at age 17 through a member (also through a member!).  She is a power house of faith and personality.  She says what she thinks, does what she wants, yet centers her desires and worth in Christ. (That's her line.  After we talk about hair or clothes for eg. she'll often say, ''But, I know my worth is in Christ!'').  She's a fountain of truth, of truly being who she is, giving in to no excuse for why she can't be who God wants her to be.  She hungers for knowledge.  Her questions are striking and her faith leads her to ask.  We talked today for an hour about gospel topics, just questions that she had.  My spirit was enlightened and filled with joy talking about it.  There are so many questions I've never even thought to ask!  

I want to be like Sister Green someday and be me in all I do and say, centering my worth in Christ, doubting not the God that gave me life!  

I want to be like Sister Bognár, embrace who I am and loving people enough to be bold and out there (which reminds me of a story.  We went to see a less active and Sister Bognár rang her clingal over and over and over and OVER again for about 10 minutes.  Not to mention knocking and calling to her through the door.  She is fearless.)  

We need more people like these two converts who listened to the voice of the Shepherd when he called.  We need more people that trust in this our Great Shepherd and forget their problems and work.  Who trust in God instead of themselves, pay their pride for humility and remember that our GOD created this world and knew the problems that would be there.  He knew them and all things before we even lived or were aware of such things.  

This is the person that I want to be.  

I want to leave my testimony that I know Jesus Christ knows all things.  He has the power to overcome heartbreaks.  He has the power to overcome anger towards another person.  He has the power to give understanding and peace.  He has the power to change circumstances.  He has the power to find me and you a better job.  He has the power to thwart our enemies.  I know He lives.  I know His power is real power and is reality.  No one can tell you you're wrong if you prayed about it and God gave you an answer.  If ANYONE said that to me when I tried to tell them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that they'd prayed to God specifically and knew that they were supposed to be where they were at, who could tell them they were wrong?  I know this Gospel is true.  I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Sister Packer

Westcotes week 2 complete (EP)

Dear people of various relation, specifically DANIELLE,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DANIELLE! 12 years old? That's weird. How was the temple?? How was your birthday?? Did you eat cake for me?? Let me know! 

Family, send me pictures of your little trip to Newport/Crestline please.

Ok. Now for the main email:

Highlights of the week:

Man vs. Food. I totally finished it.

Flat inspection. It was better than it sounds.

Zone Meeting.

Exchange with Elder Thomander (from Idaho).

I got sick.

So I already, sent a picture of the man vs food challenge. It was quite good. Sister Mitchell was sneaky and put a lot of spicy stuff on one of the layers of burger. It was delicious.

This flat inspection was so cool. The Willmotts came over, they brought a little treat for us, gave us a spiritual thought and left us with a challenge. Of course they did all of that after they inspected the flat. My challenge is to get my line of authority printed out. I am not sure if I had it with me when I first came out but I don't seem to have it now.

Coolest flat inspection ever.

I just loved zone meeting because I got to meet the zone. There are a couple of people who I already knew, but most of them are new faces to me.

My exchange with Elder Thomander was way fun. We got straight into the finding mode and talked to a lot of people. Finding is so much better when both companions are doing it whole-heartedly. We met some awesome people and got some return appointments. He made me laugh so much. He reminds me of Jordan Kocherhans (he is my cousin for those of you who do not know who he is.)

About getting sick, I just had an itchy throat/runny nose. It didn't leave me for a couple of days and yesterday I was feeling kind of feverish and my ears felt all block up so I couldn't really hear. But, I've been loading up on vitamins and resting here and there. I feel much better today.

OH one highlight that I forgot. I wrecked on my bike again! Yay.

This time I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, we were on our way to play football (soccer) with the ward. I was riding down a path where there are a lot of people. I rode just off of the paved path onto the dirt to avoid some people. No problem. As soon as I tried to get back onto the path though... I went onto the path but my bike didn't want to come with me. I wrecked right in front of this young couple. They didn't say anything. They just stared at me as I got up and kept going.

I don't think they were English speakers because I said "how's it going?" to them and they just smiled and kept walking. All I got were a couple of little scrapes. One on my knee and one on my elbow. Don't worry mom, I got them cleaned and free from infection.

Once again, I testify that angels protect missionaries!

That is pretty much it for this week.

-Elder Jacob Packer

It is not a very good picture, but that is a triple stacked hamburger with loads of wedges and onion rings. It was SUPER good and both Elder Shaw and I finished it in good time and had more to eat afterwards! Our reward, a candy bar.

A member in our ward took us to a tropical bird garden. We fed Emus raisins and grapes. It was pretty sweet.

The classic cottage with a thatched roof. Yep, that is where we live. Just kidding. We live in a flat in a big apartment building.

more pictures of parrots:) The pink/grey ones were my favourite. God must have had a good time choosing the colors for all of these birds.

Monday, June 2, 2014

First full week in Westcotes! (EP)

Dear Everybody,
Wow this place is so awesome! We live by a university and there are tons of people to talk to. The ward is a big and there are tons of young families. It is good to hear the kids playing games, crunching on cheerios, and coloring in their coloring books again. :)
So like I said there is a University here. De Montfort University. There is a much greater diversity here than in Cwmbran. We meet a lot more people from other countries and consequently, a lot more people who speak different languages. We met this Italian guy. He thought we were police at first. When he saw our badges he began to smile. In very very simple English he told us he was from Italy. I know Italian is different than Spanish (especially Utah-Spanish) but there was no way English would work with this guy. So I gave it a shot. It didn't work. He just looked at me with a blank stare... But, it was fun to try! Advice for missionaries coming here! Learn how to greet people in every language possible. It opens doors.
We played football again with some ward members. I didn't have cleets so I slipped a few times getting nice and muddy. I'm starting to enjoy it. Maybe by the end of the transfer I'll be a professional (Just kidding).
Tonight we are having a Dinner Appointment with an AWESOME family. They are doing a Man vs. Food challenge for us. I hope I survive.
Our investigators are having a lot of ups and downs. One of our investigators, Leslie is reading the Book of Mormon a lot and even defending the church when he talks to people of other faiths. Another investigator is sadly avoiding us even though she is/was super into it. It seems that people always have to travel to London for some reason. That is everybody's excuse! Ok, not everybody's, just a few people.
Now for the spiritual part of this letter. Pray for Heavenly Father to fill your heart with love. Specific love for someone or general love for anybody and everybody. It doesn't matter. Just pray for love. It casts out fear and weakens temptation.
That is what I have been learning this week. I thought I would share it with you.
Oh and by the way, having sisters in our district is a party! 

-Elder Jacob Packer

I would send pictures but the computer doesn't seem to like me today. Sorry.

Baptismal Date! (SP)

This week was..... yup interesting.  Exciting news, we set a baptismal date with dear sweet Harald Geiler!  He has so much faith and has loved reading even if he doesn't understand everything.  We're working towards next June on the 25th and could use your prayers that we can help him quit smoking and drinking by then.  I know the Lord will help us as we do our best!
Other exciting news.  We had an emergency transfer this week!  We'd called president to ask him about Harald, seeing that he has no legs, and baptising someone could be interesting and also other medical questions about the situation.  We got a call back on Saturday around noon and to our surprise, he says nothing about that voice mail we left him, but he tells us that Sister Brinck will be going to Wels, Austria and will be leaving Monday.  Wooo hoo!  So!  I was sent to be in a threesome with the Sisters in Freiburg about 40 minutes away by train.  We had to get her packed and sent off and figure out appointment between two areas, living in two areas, etc etc.  It'll be fun :).
Sister Brinck, under the circumstances traveled alone to Munich to meet her companion and travel from there together.  I hung out with the Elder and Sister Bignall, ate some subway and now I'm here emailing.  It'll be interesting to keep this up for the next two weeks, but I'm trusting in the Lord and He'll help us figure it out!  It's not like I haven't done a baby version of this before in Vienna.......  The sisters were so nice and gave me my own little space in their appartment to put clothes the days we stay in Freiburg :).  And we have three boxes of strawberries to eat all week :) :).  Little tender mercies are already there.
I remembered this week about how grateful I am to keep a journal.  I read back on a few experiences in my journals and they were AMAZING.  It brought me so much hope and a sense for who I am and the confidence the Lord has in me.  I remembered too that if it wasn't for journal writing, we wouldn't have the Book of Mormon, OR the second record Nephi wrote that was a repeat when some pages were later lost due to Martin Harris' wife during the translationg of the Book of Mormon.  Crazy!
I love you all!  Thanks so much for your prayers.  I can feel them all the time and miracles pop up when we're not expecting. 
Sister Packer