Monday, August 25, 2014

HAPPY Birthday JESSIE (EP)

Dear people,

So I'll start with Jessie. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! YOU 16 YEAR OLD YOU.

No dating. No no annoying sounds... 

Thanks for your novel:) I really really enjoyed it! by the way, nice photo bomb Bekah Eggett.

Second thing. HOW IS NATALIE DOING?????

Oh school starting... The joys. Haha all of the parents that we are teaching are rejoicing that school is starting again. It is starting here as well.

This week has been alright. Nothing too big. Just a good week to start the mission off for Elder Lindquist.

Mina came to church! It was great. She missed sacrament meeting because she got lost when she tried to walk. Brother Mann our ward mission leader took us to do a rescue mission. We drove until we saw her and picked her up and brought her to church. She was way closer than she knew. She loved it. She is still struggling with English though. But she is happy being there:)

I'm running out of time. There will probably be loads of stuff that I will want to tell you all as soon as I'm out of the internet cafe. Probably. But for now, thank you so much for you emails everbody!

-Elder Packer

Trust in Him 8-25-14 (SP)

Familie und Freunde!

Where to start?  Well, I guess I'll start with THIS IS THE WEEK.  Sister Hemmi and I are shooting for 21 lessons again.  Wish us faith and the Lord's blessings.  We're really pumped.  It's about as exciting as making a game plan on P-day how we can finish cleaning, grocery shopping before we go out and see something.  I'll tell you about that.  We created a plan, detailed, who would get what, and planned the route in the store that would take us the fastest to all the items we wanted.  We even timed it.  We walked into the store at 00:07:20 minutes and stepped in line at 00:12:07.  We were out of the store at 00:17:24.  And we walked into our apartment at 00:27:30.  That was all withwalking there which takes about 7-8 minutes.  Obviously, we smashed any record made.  I thought about that afterwords and thought, do I have the same excitement and motivation to create a game plan for our area here and the people we're teaching?  It was such a wonderful example to use of what we're really capable of when we plan, prepare, believe, and stand still doing it cheerfully, all things that lie in our power as we wait for the hand of the Lord to be revealed (D&C 123:16-17).  Never had so much fun cleaning and shopping before.

Ya, missionary work is so amazingly fun.  If it's not, somethings wrong because the Lord's ''WORK and glory are to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man,'' which to me means, you're happy doing it.  It means choosing to be happy doing it and willing to do it.  It's a lot easier allowing someone to help you or even request it rather than someone coming in and telling you all the things you need help with.  God won't do that, but the blessings are withheld and consequences are in place.  I just love agency.  I love having the power to do something and meet challenges willingly.  It's like a big game.  I love games.

I learned about experiences this week.  Sister Hemmi and I have had incredible conversations, truly inspired and this came up the other day.  I learned that experiences are required for us to acutally appreciate the Book of Mormon.  Without having first experienced something similar to whatever is happening in the book, it's just a book full of neat stories and wars.  I didn't ever read the Book of Mormon and, after reading ''and they murmured'' ten zillion times and then think a second longer about it afterwords.  But it was when I realized that, ya I've complained in my life and it made things harder and the people around me didn't like to be with me, which was also lame.  Then is when I realized Nephi put up with TONS of crap and still loved them.  THAT'S hard. Then I try complaining less.  Then I'm happier.  I know that when I've actually identified how my life relates, it comes alive. 

That's how movies work as we know.  We can relate to the emotions and people in the story.  So, because experiences are necessary, then opposition is necessary or else we won't know between good and evil.  And if we don't know between good and evil, we'll never understand what will make us happy or sad or if anything is worth learning or progressing for.  And if we don't understand, we can't be edified by the Spirit who testifies of truth.  And if we're not edified by truth, then we cannot feel of God's love which is manifest to us through the Spirit.  And if we don't feel of His love, grace and mercy, we won't have the motivation to live for anything that will bring lasting peace, joy, and happiness. 

Our job as members is to help people relate their life stories to those in the Book of Mormon and Bible so that they can begin tounderstand what they mean and how they apply and be nourished by the good word of God.  And when they understand, they'll feel the Spirit, and in essence God's love, ''which is the it is the most desirable above all things.'' (1 Nephi 11:22)

I feel like I finally have been opened up to truths that I've always heard about, yet now I know that they are true and what they mean.  I love the gospel and know it's true and am grateful for the tests that come because they bring me closer to our Father in Heaven who loves me.  I leave my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
We did some exchanges and we went by on a less active that we'd never met or heard from.  After 3 clingals which I hardly do, she let us in, and instead of being yelled at, she let us in and we talked with her for an hour in her dark apartment drinking mineral water.  So neat :).

Love you all!

God's blessings and have a wonderful week!

Sister Packer

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Dodge is in! (EP)

Elder Shaw is opening up a new area in Nuneaton. What a beast. I'm still here in Westcotes for two more because I'm training a new missionary. He is AWESOME. I love him already. His name is Elder Andreas Lindquist from Sweden. I'm so excited to be with him. He's 19 years old, his hobbies include pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. Just kidding. He really is 19 but he plays loads of sports and apparently is a beast at Judo. 

So other news, a missionary just returned home to this ward. His name is Elder Isaac Allison. He served in the Scotland Ireland. He's cool. There are a few missionaries who are heading out in the next few weeks from this ward. One to Ghana West Accra, Mesa Arizona, and Hong Kong. 

CAROLE CAME TO CHURCH! 
That was the miracle of the week. Thank you for your prayers. She is feeling support from somewhere, otherwise she wouldn't be moving forward like she is. Keep praying for her and her husband Tony.

Mina didn't come to church which was weird. She said she would come by walking on her own. I am fully confident she was going to come, she must have lost her way or something. We'll call her later today to figure it out. I'm not to worried about her.

Mama, I accessed the family search stuff. Who knew it was so simple?? Yep, I'm changed forever. Thank you for telling me how!

Natalie, I've been praying every night for you and the little tike to be healthy and safe. So... Keep being healthy and safe!

Love,

Elder Jacob Packer



I'm training a new missionary. He is AWESOME. I love him already. His name is Elder Andreas Lindquist from Sweden.


Elder Shaw is opening up a new area in Nuneaton. What a beast. (far left, Jake's last companion, barely!)



So the kid with the blue tie is going to Ghana West Accra. The lad in the glasses is going to Mesa, Arizona. The guy without the suit jacket just got home from Scotland/Ireland.




"This is His work, not ours..." (SP)

Family and Friendlies!
I don't remember what I've said about an investigator that we passed to the Freiburg Sisters, but there's an update from this week.  Her name is Lea and we found her on a train.  She was so sweet and asked us tons of questions about why we're here and what we do here.  It truly was a testimony to me that the Lord get's past our weaknesses because I didn't even ask her if she'd like to learn more, but Sister Hemmi felt that she was so open to it!  We met with her once in Freiburg and as we ran to catch the train, I had the thought to give her the Book of Mormon we'd brought for her.  The lesson wasn't that great, so I thought, didn't begin or end with a prayer, but we'd explained a little more about what we do here.  But I didn't give her the book because I always like to explain it so they know what they're taking.  (I don't even comprehend the greatness of it..).  Later we texted her and I'd forgotten we hadn't given her the book and asked if she'd been reading in the Book of Mormon.  She replied, that no she hadn't because she didn't have one, but asked where she could buy one.  How much did they cost?  HOLY cow, elect.  Then after passing her off to the Freiburg sisters, which she was way cool with (that's a sign whether people are ready if they really are only interested in the message not just being friends etc.).  The next thing we heard from the Freiburg sisters is that she'd looked up the Book of Mormon online herself, and read til 2 Nephi.  I was blown.  My mind is just blown at how the Lord sends His prepared children RIGHT in front of our faces, but that when we're doing our best, it works out.  And I know that the Lord works through our weaknesses, which strengthens my testimony even more that this is His work, not ours because sometimes Sister Packer doesn't see the obvious :).
Next, Miguel.  He left for Berlin and with permission, we called him to see how he was doing.  He'd gone to Mormon.org, referred himself, and was contacted by the missionaries in his area.  Turns out one of the elders he's meeting with was my Zone Leader in the MTC.  HOLY COW.  Even if they don't all stay in Lahr, at least they're SOMEwhere.  So neat!
David did not get baptized.  Complications and I don't know when things will clear up.  But he has so much faith and I know there's a plan for him!  


Business.

First, Mom, I went to Z├╝rich for a stake meeting and we slept over with some sisters that live close by.  They had TONS of clothes and shoes left over from other sisters.  I found a black pair of Danskos that are AMAZING.  I love the black ones we bought....but a little bulky and I find I don't wear them a ton because of it....but now I have these babies!  I also found some wintery things that I lost in my suitcases and two other pairs of flats.  Second, the ward responded with overwhelming love to my need for suitcases!  I've looked at one so far, but our members just jumped on it and are offering old things they have.  They're so wonderful!
My passport arrived and I'm legal again :).  I'm keeping it and other documents IN our apartment from now on. 
I got sick this week.  Prayed my guts out it wouldn't go into my lungs.  It didn't.  I recovered SO fast.  Feeling great.
Love you all!
Sister Packer

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tonight we get the Dodge Call. (EP)

Dear people,

Tonight is Dodge night. I'm probably going to be staying here. Elder Shaw is going far away... just kidding I don't know where he is going yet. It may just be one zone over.

The two teams of Elders will most likely be changing this transfer. I've got a funny feeling that Elder Harris is either going to be a Zone Leader or he's staying here to train... I guess we'll find out tonight. The group that is coming in is has 34 missionaries. That is a massive group, so there will be loads of trainers. 

We've had such lovely sunshine lately. Apparently this is an unusual Summer here. Not quite as hot as Utah. Then again, I have never done missionary work in Utah during the Summer. Collecting fast offerings doesn't quite count, but it's close.

We had two people come to church this week! Our investigator named Mina, and she brought her friend Rae. They are both chinese and didn't understand everything being said in church, but they liked it. Mina even said the closing prayer in the Gospel Principles class. The one who asked her to say it didn't realize she was an investigator/didn't speak much English, my heart stopped and I waited for her response. I was ready to jump in and volunteer to say it or something but when Elder Shaw explained to her what was being asked of her she was like "ok" and said a perfect prayer in English! What the!? Somebody has been keeping their commitment to pray every day! 

Mina could use your prayers everyone! Her family is Buddhist so she is worried that she won't be allowed to be baptized. 

Carole is doing ok. She will be sad to see Elder Shaw or myself leave. We ate lunch with her on Friday and she loved it. My main concern is that she is keeping commitments just to make us happy and not to make herself happy. That is the ultimate goal of the Gospel after all, to be happy. She could use your prayers as well. 

Elder Shaw and I went down this wicked slide with Carole's two grandchildren. Whatever it takes to get these people to progress!

-Elder Packer


These are some pictures of the slide. It was pretty cool. Notice The young lad right behind me coming down the slide head first. :) That is Connor:)




This last week was so good. SO GOOD. (SP)

Hey y'all!
This last week was so good.  SO GOOD.  We had Mission Leadership Council in Munich and HOLY SMOKES.  It was so powerful.  We talked about Diligence and how it relates to Patience.  To be diligent, we're efficient, hard working, effective planners, steadily enduring to the end.  Sister Kohler applied it to Patience.  It's like running a race in elementary school.  All the kids start out and sprint their hearts out until they're pooped, stop, rest, and burst again.  She told us how she and her family would take a steady pace so that they'd finish with greater ability and endurance.  She told us how the Lord doesn't need people who burst and die and burst then die.  He needs people that are steady runners, who keep their eye on the prize and steadily, patiently, move forward with faith.  I loved that.  I get that ''burst'' every new transfer, but eventually it fades, you settle in, routine sets in, and your faith is tried.  But with diligence, we can always keep that fire and excitement of the Spirit. 
It was incredible to see other missionaries from other zones there, many of whom I've worked with, including my trainer mom!!  I hadn't seen her for about a year and I got to see her.  It was so amazing to connect to all these people that are all working hard in the faith of the work.
David is progressing.  Keep praying for him.  We want him to feel comfortable and ready for baptism. 
I love you all so much!  I have an invitation for y'all!  Read about Diligence in Chapter 6 of Preach my Gospel and the scriptures with it.  I know you'll be inspired and the Spirit will direct and guide you.  Loves!
Love, 
Sister Packer

Sister Hemmi and I....out of breath :).
Two of our investigators Emmanuel and Kenny.  They love the Book of Mormon and are progressing.  In between work....and life.  But progressing!



Freiburg District!
Elder Packer in our mission.  Who knew?!  Gpa Packer is his Grandpa's 4th cousin...or something like that.  He was in my area before I got there.






Monday, August 4, 2014

I've also had a weird week. (EP)

Dear everyone, 

I was just reading some other missionaries' emails and it sounds like they had weird weeks as well. Mostly because we had some lessons fall through that weren't expected and then we had some unexpected ones come up. The lessons falling through is only weird because they were our more solid investigators. 

Live and learn, and make back up plans. I'm just looking over my planner now and I realized that I rarely had a solid back up plan on any days this week. Ouch. I was just rebuked while typing this Email.

On the upside though, there is this awesome couple in our ward named Robert (Polish) and Maria(Philippine). Best culture/accent combo ever! Maria is a member and Robert chose to join the church as well. He was baptized on Saturday!!! He is in our ward, but he's a baptism of the Sister missionaries. 

After the baptism we had a fireside thing called "The Gospel Around the World". I was volunteered to represent the U.S. with some food and some church history. Guess what food I made. I made funeral potatoes (Corn flake Potatoes, same thing). The Utah classic. I got a member to Google the recipe for me. The other Elders in my district (One from Utah, the other from Idaho) helped me out a ton. It was so stressful to get it all made right before the fireside started. 

It turned out alright. People said they liked it. Even though most people thought it was really weird that there was cereal (cornflakes) on top of it.  And to add to it, We made loads of PB&J sandwiches for people to sample. There were only a couple of people that really liked it. 

Elder Shaw made this awesome South African dish called Bobotie. Lots of other countries were represented and I ate WAY too much food. It was really fun. 

Carole is doing alright, she is definitely starting to make more baby steps on her own. We aren't going through material as fast as  we would like. But it isn't about us in the end. She is working as quickly as she will. She is starting to show the signs of being converted, ever so slowly. Seriously, we missionaries expect things to happen so quickly sometimes. Hold your horses missionaries!

-Elder Packer


Holy Lanta (SP)

Family and Friends, Servus!  

Holy Lanta.  So much happened this week.  I'll start with David.
David is progressing well and is so excited to get baptized.  We taught him about the Sabbath Day and asked him if he could ask about getting work off for Sundays.  He said he would ask.  He asked and told us he now has work off every Sunday (which is not a common thing here).  We were blown away!  He came to church yesterday and was the third person there, being about 35 minutes early.  He's a gem.  He's stopped drinking coffee, tea, and keeps the Word of Wisdom.  He told us that he feels closer to God because he does it.  He really wants to learn more and although he doesn't read as well, he loves listening to the Book of Mormon in German on cassette tape (never thought I'd see those used again!).  Those were a miracle in themselves to find because you can't find them on lds.org.  A member had them and let him borrow it!  Ah, so cool!!

There's a recently found investigator of ours that's been taught by missionaries some time before.  We found him on the street and have been teaching him. They told us they really want to change.  They really want God in their life. He's ready to experience the atonement of Christ. He told us about a miracle that happened to him Friday. He's got a rough history and summing it up, they were arrested Friday.  He knew he had to face his punishment.   He told the police he'd accept it.  He was mocked and ridiculed.   He told us how he prayed to the Lord in the midst of the mocking and asked God for deliverance, that he was ready to change his ways.  He said he didn't know what came over the police, but they miraculously (like no miracle I've ever EVER heard of before) told him they'd let him go.  He couldn't believe it.  He came to church on Sunday and told us his story.  He just said over and over how he wants to give his life over to God and to become a better man.  He knows God's giving him a second chance.  I've never in my whole mission witnessed so much faith and dignity and humility in a person who was so willing to accept his fate whatever it may be on this earth because he knew that nothing would be worse than facing judgement with God.  His heart was racked with fear, like Alma, for his judgement.  Please pray for him at home.  I won't give his name at this time, but he needs help.  He wants to change.  He needs a way to start over, not just spiritually, but temporally as well and he's ready to do it.
I remembered this week how inseperable talking with everyone and being my true self is.  I cannot be the person I truly want to be unless I'm keeping all of God's commandments.  I had a couple days of emotional trial and wasn't sure what it was.  Sister Hemmi knew something was up too.  Then Saturday I realized I could be taking more opportunities to talk to everyone.  I committed to the Lord that I'd do better that day.  We placed 4 Books of Mormon in a couple hours.  It was amazing.  But I didn't have a feeling of marveling.  It was one of those ''duh'' moments.  The Lord will give us the blessings as we're obedient.  He's not a manipulative or lukewarm kind of God.  He's a just and merciful God, who doesn't accept excuses because he loves us unconditionally.  He doesn't reward our drama or laziness because in His law, disobedience and idolness don't reap blessings.  Fact is fact.  Black is black and white is white.  He allows us to choose and to learn and teaches us as we seek His guidance.
Sister Hemmi is a rockstar.  I'm learning Swiss German from her.  Did I mention that?  I'll give ya'll a rendition when I get home.  I make my own mix of it but she says I'm getting better :).  I'm so grateful for her.  She has more patience than I could ask for from a companion.  She talks through problems with me and helps me talk through my emotions.  Working with her has been such a miracle and blessing for me. 
I love you all so much!  One thing I learned last night was how important the study of Christlike attributes is.  One thing I've done while being out here is to study one attribute for a whole month and to rotate through them constantly.  I realized last night how the very center CORE of my happiness and answers as a missionary and the success of missionary work was by being not just doing but becoming those attributes.  I still have a long ways to go, but it filled my soul with joy.  In Preach My Gospel chapter 6 I encourage and challenge you all to try it.  Just setting the goal will bring miracles.  I know God loves us and wants us to be happy.  Being like Christ is the key to that.  It all leads back to Him!  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love,
Sister Packer