Monday, October 27, 2014

Smelling the Roses (SP)

Familie and Freunde (family and friends)!

So transfer calls!  Sister Harman goes home to Meeker, CO and I stay here with Sister Smith.  Starting and ending my mission with a Sister Smith in the Munich 3rd ward.  Hoooooow ironic :).  

We taught an investigator, Tina, who is married to a member.  She's so prepared!  I'm so excited to keep meeting with her.  She's ready to find an answer.  Pray for her.  Mom, your prayers have been felt in SPADES.  I've literally never seen on my mission the windows of heaven open so freely to us in this work.  Working with members has never gone to smoothly and with so much energy.  Thank you so much for your prayers!  They're blessing us daily!  Thank you to all the other prayers that have been sent our way!

I want to say a special thanks to the Lindon 16th Ward.  I received a letter yesterday and it brought joy to my heart knowing and feeling the support of ward members who love and encouragement to keep going!  Thank you so much! 

Now for the best news: Natalie was baptized!  Woot woot!!  We'd pushed her date back one week (before I got here, she'd actually wanted to get baptized the same week of her second appointment), but it all came together perfectly.  When I say perfectly, I mean perfectly.  It was all handed on a silver platter.  About 50 people came when we didn't know if many would show.  Many members brought food and gifts for her to congratulate her.  Some came up to her crying expressing congratulations.  Members came up to us afterwards and asked if there was any way they could help her feel more established in the ward.  WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE??  At her baptism she bore a powerful testimony.  She was so happy and couldn't contain it.  It felt unreal to watch and listen to.  As soon as she started expressing her thanks to us three sisters, the water works exploded.  Ah, man.  It's happened three times now on my mission when I jumped into a new area, someone was prepared for baptism, and I got to help them in the final steps towards baptism.  I may not have seen hundreds of people get baptized but I've talked to hundreds.  Hopefully planted some seeds!  Sometimes the Lord also calls us to plant those seeds!  

I feel like sharing a few other things I've learned :).

The Lord's taught me that I don't need to SEE all the work to feel satisfied and trust in Him enough to keep going and doing it anyway, no matter how many times people say no.  I've learned how to handle rejection (aka respecting people's agency with love and lovingly invite everyone).  I've felt the sweet tender love of God as He places one prepared person in our midst after a long day of hearing no, EVEN if it was said nicely. :) 

I've learned not to fear.  I don't fear to talk to people on the street, in buses, on trains, in stores, shops, or restaurants.  It's my favorite game :).  I know now how to play.  I know now what to look for.  I know now what it takes to help someone to learn more about the gospel.  It takes humility, trust, and obedience.  I know now that NO heights, depths, accomplishments, achievements of my own could ever measure up to the joy that I've felt in doing this work.  Nothing.  I know that this work is absolutely NOT an ''only full-time missionary'' thing!  Anyone and everyone can feel that joy no matter where they are, who they are, or what they're doing.  I can from experience say, that nothing has given me more satisfaction as thinking of the person next to me, writing them notes, washing their dishes, folding their laundry, telling them what they've done well today even when they felt like they failed.  I know that of ALL the souls I could have served with, all 14 of them, were given to me so that I may obtain salvation.  I love them all! 

I know that had I not come on a mission, people in this land would have suffered without knowledge of the gospel.  I would have been accountable before the Lord to tell Him that I'd felt the urge but hadn't acted.  I know that we will all be accountable at that great and last day to confess to the Lord all our acts, whether we served those next to us, most importantly our families, or not.  If we cannot love those the Lord gives us, our families, friends, strangers, neighbors in this life, how will we in the eternities.  I know that if we are capable to serve those around us and don't, we will be accountable before the Lord. 

I love this work so much!  I leave my testimony that God lives and loves us.  Pray to know how He communicates with you!  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love you all!  

Sister Packer

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