Monday, July 28, 2014

21 Miracles (SP)

Family and Friends,
You know those times when you pray for something and you feel the faith that you will receive it and that all will go well?  You know you had a good thing you were praying for and had hope it would happen.
That was this week.
Sister Hemmi and I heard about two sisters in our zone that were striving to get 21 lessons in one week.  Hefty goal.  But both of us after breaking it down, believed it was possible.  And so came the spark in our eyes and determination to try. 

This last week was our attempt. We gave ourselves a good week and half/two weeks of prep time and also fasted the week before.  We fasted that we would reach 21 lessons with the purpose of bringing His children closer to Him. We intended to count all types of lessons including member lessons, other lessons with investigators, less actives, new converts...etc.) 

We made a ZILLION calls to everyone we were working with and past investigators.  Our motto, ''NOW is the Time'' gave us motivation to work every minute we had.  Our fast proved miraculous and so were the blessings that poured down from heaven.  Almost every call we made turned into an appointment!  Our week was full.  We were pumped!

What we thought would be 21 lessons, turned into an adventure that we weren't quite expecting.  We calculated that we needed three lessons a day to reach our goal.  Some days had two some had four etc.  It was going well until Wednesday rolled around.  Three of our four appointments that same day fell out.  It was crazy.  Baffled, we worked on our backup plans which were full as well and kept busy.  Thursday, a new investigator who was excited and eager to learn more about the gospel having already heard the 2nd lesson got cold feet and dropped us when we invited her to be baptized.  It was crazy and we were devastated, but not hopeless.  So is the work sometimes, right?  Then, to our continued surprise, the same thing that happened on Wednesday happened on Saturday: three out of four, gone the same day. 

Sister Hemmi and I reviewed the week.  We had obviously prayed and fasted for these lessons.  We'd felt inspired to work towards this goal.  We saw miracles in setting up every last appointment we strived to keep.  What was the Lord teaching us? 

We came up with a few crucial points that we took note of. 1. Although we were busy and filled our week with appointments, our studies suffered because of the amount of travel.  We always got Personal Study, but Companionship, Language, and Training were the intended ''back up'' plan more than once.  It was clear evidence to me how sacred ALL of our studies are.  Not just Personal or even Personal and Companionship, but all are important.  2. Weekly planning didn't receive all the attention it deserved as well. Weeks don't go well period if that doesn't go well.

But we did see some good points. Lessons learned.  1. God answers prayers especially when we've fasted for them and we feel it was for a good purpose.  2. God blesses His children with miracles.  You know what?  We may not have seen 21 lessons play out, but we planned and had planned 21 lessons.  We'd done it!  We'd planned, called, prayed, worked, reaped!  It is possible!  3. Having a full week feels good.  It felt good to just work and people were found along the way.  

We still believe that 21 lessons while completing our studies and obeying all the rules is possible. We're planning our second attempt with renewed goals and expectations. We learned some valuable lessons. 
I just want to give a shout out to a couple people that have inspired me today.  First, Jared C.  He is like a brother to me and has shown exceeding faith and trust in the Lord.  There's no one who know's each of us like our Father in Heaven.  We go through our own ups and downs for our salvation and for the purpose of being able to aid others along the way.  I cannot express the joy and gratitude, truly that encompass my heart every time I feel of my Father's love when I, being carried on the wings of angels, succussfully survive through something difficult.  It's only possible due to the Savior.  Second, Kori.  Your testimony has touched my heart.  I want you to know that you are family.  We love you as you were our own blood.  Thank you for your strong, enduring spirit.
I love you all so much.  I love the Lord and know with a surety that this is His work.  In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sister Packer
Mom.  Vitamins.  Tell me tell me tell me mooooooore.  I want to know.  I've been asking about them.
Dad, I love you.
Jessie, I just love ya.
Lyd, you too.
Dan and Bre, love and miss you both.
Nat, new baby!!
Courtney, how are you with Eden? 

What a strange week... (EP)

Yep this week has been a weird one. Blast Satan! Sometimes the dumbest little lies are all he needs to get people in a mess. Of course the influence of drugs/alcohol can make anything sound different than it is. 

Anyway, we had a significant increase in the number of drunk people talking to us and saying random things. One guy even gave myself and Elder Shaw a hug. One guy asked us for a Bible, so he could rebuke his wife/partner with its teachings, they were both drunk, because his wife was with him when he asked us and she was super polite saying thank you over and over again. 

We ate lunch with an awesome guy in the park who was playing guitar.

A few of our investigators are doing well, some are just stalling and others are kind of avoiding us. We had a lesson that didn't go so well due to a language/cultural barrier and we think our investigator has dropped us. :(

Our lesson with Carole was alright, we committed her to live part of the Word of Wisdom. Taking it one step at a time. We'll probably have to move her baptismal date back a week or two but no worries. It will happen in the Lord's time. 

Our district is still doing well, we're teaching loads and we've got some baptisms coming up that are for the Sister missionaries in Westcotes. Exciting stuff!

Yuck, you know that feeling when you go into a lesson, the TV is on, the music is on (even if it is quiet) and the lesson doesn't go super well because you are personally distracted by the TV, music and every other thing in the room. And you didn't have the guts to ask them to turn it all off. Then you leave the lesson and you kick yourself because you should have done it... you know that feeling? 

Well I do. It is gross. The moral of the story is this. Don't let your investigators or yourself suffer from the lack of the Spirit. The worldly influences are pretty tough when the Spirit isn't there to fight with you.

I've learned some heavy but valuable lessons this week. I am learning to pray with a different sincerity. The "Gospel" and my "real life" are becoming fused together... if that makes sense. 

All it takes is trying to be better, day by day. Take notes about spiritual promptings. Act on those promptings. read the scriptures. I KNOW that doing those things does exactly what the prophets promise. 

"What do the prophets promise will happen when I read the scriptures and pray?" you ask. Go to and click the first talk that comes up, just read and search. seek and ye shall find. :)

Much love from the Westcotes Ward in Leicester!

-Elder Packer

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hello! We're killing it as a district here in Leicester! (EP)

I'm not sure why I sent that first bit without this bit. I blame the computer I'm using. Some of these internet cafes are dodgy. As I was saying. Our district is doing awesome! We've been doing really well with our goals, and on average I think we've nearly doubled the number of lessons taught.

Elder Shaw and I are doing swell. Today we were GQ'd by this guy named Gary. yeah, He stopped Elder Shaw and I was coming up behind him. Basically the story is that this guy had the six discussions years ago and just didn't go to the church on his baptismal date. He wants to be taught again and move forward with it. (Angels were singing in the background).

It makes me think that we were in the right place at the right time. Even though it is P-Day and wedidn't have to proselyting at the time, in fact we were heading to the chapel to have District P-Day,we were still being blessed. We found out he lives in another ward's boundaries, but hey, that is one baptism that will be happening in the Leicester Zone! Seriously, I can't even believe that it happened. 

What is the lesson to be learned here? I'm not sure yet. Just make sure you thank the Lord for blessing you with these sorts of things!

Keep praying for Carole. She is on a baptismal date for the 9th of August. PRAY PRAY PRAY that she has the strength to live the Word of Wisdom. She came to a baptismal service on Saturday night and loved it. She is really considering this stuff. All in good time. Prayers can only help.

Jacob's status hasn't really changed yet. 

Ok, I'm not sure what is going on but this computer is freaking out. I better send this before it all gets deleted or something. 

I'm grateful that you are doing well, keep me updated about the random happenings. 

Honestly, I don't even know what is happening here in our area. The Lord is definitely in charge here because we couldn't possibly be making all of this stuff work on our own. 

-Elder Jacob Packer

The Elect Can Be Found (SP)

Sister Hemmi is such an incredible companion.  I realize every day how blessed I am to be able to serve with her and enjoy her Swiss German outbursts and accent.  She works SO HARD and get's things done no matter what I'm doing or if I've done what some might say ''my part.''  She just does the work.  I realized how much I've thought on doing the same amount of work and keeping it ''even'' so to say when working with my companions.  Maybe I learned that from home as everyone called ''spots'' at the table or on couches.  But I've realized moreso how important it is to just do the work and to respect every person in how they do it themselves. 
A common conversation she and I will have is as follows.
Sis Hemmi: ''Wait, I keep forgetting.  How do you do this?  No, wait don't tell me, I'm going to figure it out first.''
Sis Packer: *Chuckling* and waiting patiently.  I give a tiny little hint, and she goes,
Sis Hemmi: ''Oh, ya right right!  Ok ok I got it.  Thanks.''
Too much fun.  She's so confident in doing things that I'm impressed that she knows how to do so many random things.  For example, how to make a Sunday casserole from scratch.  We get going chopping away and I ask her, ''Have you made casseroles before?'' Without a pause she admits she's never done one in her life.  Hahaha I love it.  (It did turn out good by the way.)
I learned about humility and gratitude this week.  In Zone Training I remembered this as one missionary made a comment about it.  He said that there's a peace that only comes when we're humble.  And in that meeting I really felt peace sweep over my heart as I deepened my grasp on what that means for me.  It means that no matter where I'm at, what I'm doing, what success I think we're having, it all belongs to the Lord.  The Lord truly has blessed us in our area and having this lesson softened my heart even more to His grace.
David is progressing well towards baptism!  Every time we meet, his faith blows me away.  The Lord IS going before us preparing His people!

I don't remember if I related a story to you or not, but there was one day when an appointment fell out and Elder and Sister Bignall went clingaling with me to some of her neighbors (when I was in a threesome between Lahr and Freiburg areas).  We met a woman during those few minutes that I've gone back to a couple times just to say hi and eventually she agreed to an appointment.  She told us right up front in her Polish accent that she's also seen Jehovah's Witnesses and would allow us to meet twice max and that was it.  With a little gleam in my heart we agreed to her offer.  We visited her the first time and the Spirit was so strong.  She was blown away at how long we'd been outside walking and doing only missionary work.  She was interested in the Book of Mormon and took one.  We met again yesterday and she was so excited to have us there.  She made us evening bread so it's called and we taught her the whole Plan of Salvation and even went into work for the dead in Temples.  She ate it up and kept shushing her husband who bless his heart has dementia and would frequently interrupt the lesson :).  She started the intro and read the witnesses pages to the Book of Mormon.  She was so excited to get a book in Polish and agreed excitedly to read.  She also prayed without hesitation and was so humble.  In the middle of her heartfelt prayer she'd ask us for the next step.  She could just feel that what we were bringing to people was important to learn.  She loved that we believe in visions and revelations.  It was truly miraculous to see how what started out to be an ''unlikely investigator'' turned out to be one of the elect. 
I love you all so much.  I know this work is real and as we put our works and our faith together, miracles will follow.  And it starts NOW with a prayer.  The Lord's way is simple!  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Sister Packer       

pic: we sometimes have adventures and clean our floor rugs :).

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hey family and friends! (EP)


So This week has been awesome. Elder Shaw and I saw miracles happen. Mostly because we stopped moping around and went finding like crazy! We went on exchange with the Zone Leaders this week and I learned a ton. The Zone Leaders usually exchange with the district leaders in the zone only. Apparently they are doing exchanges with all of the teams in our Zone, at least most of them, during this transfer. 

So I was in Loughborough with Elder Sam Harris (He went to Oak Canyon Jr. High, and Timpanogos High School! Lindon Pride!). It was weird to be in a car. I enjoyed it:) He had to remind me to guide him when he backed up the car like 5 times.

Miracles just happen on exchange. They do. We were able to teach one of their investigators who accepted a baptismal date. We taught a first lesson to someone. We did some finding as well. Talking to foreigners is so much better when you can say a few things in their language. Chinese, Italian, African, anything. Just knowing simple words breaks down some walls in the first few moments of a GQ.

The biggest miracle of all was that Carole came to church!! She came with her daughter and two grandchildren. She only made it for the last hour (Relief Society) but she loved it. After having zero investigators at church for 3 weeks we had FIVE show up on Sunday. What the blessings!? Do you remember Jacob the random guy that walked in on his own? Well, we invited him again and he came! We've got an appointment with him on Wednesday


Would you mind doing us another favor and praying again for Carole, Jacob, Tom, Suzie, Altia, and Roberta? Thanks. 

We sang hymn 307 in sacrament meeting. If you remember, Jacob told us last time that we would meet at a coffee shop. If you read hymn number 307 you'll see that it pretty much lays out the whole Word of Wisdom. Jacob afterwards was like "Oh so that is why you didn't want to go the coffee shop. We'll have to go to a different place." He was cool about it. He's got a lot of questions for us about the priesthood. Time to cram knowledge into my brain! we've got an appointment with him on Wednesday.

Carole is doing well, we've got an appointment with her tomorrow

Yep, we're buzzing about it. I've felt my testimony grow a bunch as I've shared it with people. It unexpectedly comes out at random times.

All I've got to do is keep up this pace, and maintain my happy/finding attitude.

Welp, until next time.

-Elder Jacob Packer

This week will sadly be short. (SP)

This week will sadly be short.  There were some other things I felt I needed to write.  But for the family email, I want to officially say,
Happy Birthday to Courtney on the 2nd!!
Happy Birthday to my brand new glorious Eden (Jaquiline??) ;) Packer!!
And Happy Birthday to my wonderful Daddy Bear on the 7th! 
These people really were an influence in my life of people that give up their own comforts to allow us to enjoy who they are and be blessed from their service.  Eden, for leaving her Heavenly Home, taking the leap, and joining our family who is more than ecstatic that she's here.  I couldn't hold back the tears just thinking about Courtney doing a natural birth.  I can't tell you how in awe I am at both mother and daughter.  Babies are miracles as they are and to know that, if the atonement covers all pain and sorrow.
I know our Redeemer lives and loves us.  I know this work is His work.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all so much.  Don't give up no matter how hard something might be.  Trust in God.  Trust that He's there.  Pray to Him and give Him everything.
Sister Packer

(FYI from Mom: In Jake's last email, he made his request that Eden's middle name be Jaquiline, named after him, of course.  But the actual name for their newest niece is Eden Monique Packer, born July 5, 2014 in Brigham City, #100 Great Grandchild on Packer's side and Lawrence and my second granddaughter--we only have 2 and they're both girls, with another girl coming in 7 weeks to Natalie and Christian!  So, just to clarify so that there are no confusions on family history records!)  This is Josh and Courtney's little Eden, 12 hours old.

Eden Monique Packer

Christian, Natalie, and Andelyn Brinton 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

''Be still and know that I am God.'' (SP)

Well, among all the adventures of the week there are a few that come out above them all.

I'll start with Thursday.  We had our Zone Training/Conference with our new mission president, President Kohler!  He isincredible.  Words could hardly describe how much at peace and how much hope I gained from meeting his family and hearing his vision of the work.  He talked about three things I wanted to briefly share that made a HUGE difference.

1. Connect.  Learning to really truly connect with people.
​2. Teach clearly and simply.
3. Help people.  ​Learn how to really truly help people.  If we know how to meet needs, they're needs can be met because the gospel truths meets everyone's needs.

​He was literally left here with his family knowing close to nothing about how to be a mission president.  But in their humility, the Spirit bore such powerful witness that when someone is called they are qualified.  He was clearly nervous, but those were some of the most powerful meetings I've been in on my mission.  No matter what callings we are called to, trust in that Almighty Being who called us.  He knows and has already prepared the way for that calling to be met.  Taking time to ''be still'' helps us realize, at least it did for me, that I allow myself to get worked up.  It's kind of like when you witness those moments when a toddler gets a good konk to their noggins and there's a brief moment of decision whether they'll be ok with it, or be really sad.  I'm not saying we suck it up when something painful happens, but there's always a choice in how we act and sometimes, I make up a lot of stories, excuses, or just plain worry.  But it's ok.  We all do it.  That's why we have our Father in Heaven to help us.

The next story was Friday.  As my companion and I were walking out of our apartment around 1:30 in the afternoon, I noticed that a door to one of our storage units in our hallway was open.  Hm, weird, my companion must have gotten it and not closed it.  I went over and without realizing it, saw her suitcase inside like normal and not my two pink ones or her second blue one.  I thought, oh I probably took them inside.  And then I saw the bang up marks on the door and that the lock on the door was still in ''locked'' position.  It had been forced open.  And our luggage was gone.  Along with my passport, other important documents, clothes, old planners, old study journals, etc.  Both of us were not even sure how to react.  But we both had no fear about it and calmly, very calmly I might add, called our land lord and Elder and Sister Bignall to confirm what had happened.  We couldn't go to our finding day because we went to meet with our landlord and the police to investigate the scene.  Both Policemen were astounded and head never seen such a clean break in (close to no damage) and without anyone knowing about it.  I myself was bewildered!  I still feel no panic about it.  Ya, my cute pink suitcases were so cute and I loved em, the steal deal they were!  But immediate action was taken, passwords were changed (thanks to mom), calls made, parents emailed, nothing to worry about.  Just need to order a new passport :). 

Moral of the story, the Lord's got your back when that happens.  It could have been a LOT worse.  I could be missing ALL my stuff and journals and wallet.  I'm really grateful.  We'll figure it out haha and now we have a great story!  Oh AND the same day I got a letter from a friend :).  Heavenly Father couldn't have given me anything else that would have cheered me up more.  So, WRITE LETTERS.  You never know when someone get's all their luggage stolen and passport and needs a cheer up.  Hahaha.

Other more important news!  David wants to be baptized!  We committed him to a date in August and he's so excited!  He's coming to church on the 13th when he's not working and is looking forward to it!  YAY miracles!  The Lord is so good!  

We're setting a goal to get 21 lessons in next week.  We're fasting for it :).

Love you all!!   

Sister Packer


Dear Everyone,

Happy Birthday Courtney on the 2nd!!! Happy Birthday to the USA on the 4th!!! Happy Birthday to Eden on the 5th!!! andHappy birthday to Dad today!!! I'm an uncle again!!! I am loving this. I cried when I saw little Eden. What a great name by the way. I suggest the middle name be...  jaquline. It is the closest thing to Jake that I can think of. Never mind. That would be weird for her to say that she was named after her uncle...

ANYWAY,  I'm so excited to see her!

Congratulations Josh and Courtney! You two will be awesome parents. Josh, wait a while before you give her the BB gun. 

For the 4th of July we did... nothing, except for a whole load of missionary work. It was good. My district leader and his companion gave me a voice mail in the morning of them making firework noises and singing "I'm proud to be an American". It was a good way to start the day:)

On the 5th of July though, an American family in our ward had a big party celebrating the 4th. Loads of ward members were there along with some non-members. Besides having some amazing food, Elder Shaw and I did some solid missionary work. There was a big England Flag and a big USA flag in the front yard. It was really cool to be here in England for this holiday, for reasons you can guess. There were some playful jokes here and there about "we were glad to get rid of you" etc. There was no awkwardness about it at all. We all truly enjoyed ourselves.

The nicest part was when we sang the Star Spangled Banner. It was so nice to sing that song. A member played it on his tuba and we all sang along. I am proud to be an American citizen. I love my home. I love it here in England. I love these people more and more. One guy was wearing a statue of liberty costume. Yep, that is our ward mission leader.

Mom, I'm feeling better. I am able to work out now in the mornings and not be exhausted. I'm gradually getting back into it. Elder Shaw didn't go as deep into the sickness as I did. He  is either really good at faking it, or he is on the mend as well.

Coco, way to have a great attitude about the luggage deal. 

I'm excited to hear the girls' stories about choir tour. 

Life is good here in England, the weather has been really nice. We've met some awesome people. 

Carole is doing well. She enjoys our visits more and more. We've introduced baptism and she didn't say no. We'll still try to get the yes out of her. Pray that she can read and pray.

We haven't gotten the update on Sam, the other missionaries taught him a lesson on Saturday and hopefully it went well. Keep him in your prayers though. He is an easy going guy and might take a while to really get into the Book of Mormon. Is it bad to pray that he will get into it sooner? I don't know. Just pray for Sam.

We met with Altia this week again. It was good. She still won't be able to come to church because of work. We are trying to get her family involved by stopping by when she isn't in and getting to know them.

Thanks for the prayers everyone. Keep them coming! 

-Elder Jacob Packer 

Here is a picture of the party.