Monday, August 4, 2014

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  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.

Sister Packer    

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