Monday, December 29, 2014

Coco's Birthday/Skyping/Christmas (EP)

For Christmas this year, we have learned to use our $ more efficiently when deciding what to get our overseas missionaries.  They have a UK as well as a UK PhotoPix.  We simply went online, made Jake a picture calendar and had it sent to the mission home for FREE!  And then we also got him a really cool, UNEXPECTED shoe warmer/dryer to help keep his shoes dry in all the rain and snow (also shipped free in 2 days!).  It was a huge success on both accounts and both presents cost less than the shipping for one present last year!  We also loaded his debit card with some Christmas money so he could get some needed white shirts and other necessities.  A great way to go!

PART 1: The main letter from Jake

I had a sweet, relaxed, sunny/cold Christmas.

COCO HAPPY 22ND BIRTHDAY! See I even remembered which one it was. The universe is in harmony again because you are two years older than me again.

How was your birthday?

What did you do for your birthday? I'll tell you what I did. I went birthday shopping for... Me?

I checked out some sweet suits and stuff that I'll probably purchase today.

Lots of stuff happened and we saw our families! Family it was so good to see all of you and laugh at random stuff.
Ah man, It felt like I was just chilling in the living room with all of you. Thanks for sharing your stories. Kori, I'm so excited to talk more mission stuff with you. Missions are so awesome! They are definitely an adventure. Yay England. I love it here.

Those babies are real! Eden and Holly. They aren't just pictures in my photo album any more. I saw them move and stuff live!

Josh, that story you and Courtney told was so awesome. Thanks. Funny enough, there is an investigator in the Notts 4 Sisters area from Armenia. They need some words to use. All that I remember is Shnork, hajo-gutteral sound-ootsoon, and yerets and berev. I have 0% confidence in my spelling of those words. Any tips that I can pass on?

On Christmas day we went to the other Elders flat to hang out and played some games. Then we went to Dean's place for a few hours to have dinner/skype. I love Dean. He is such a great guy. We had a good time.
Skyping was awesome too. I loved it so much.

Coco it was good to see you for the first time in... 18months? Something like that. We've got some serious mission-talk to do.

I hope everybody had a great Christmas and did some service for somebody! Happy New Year!

-Elder Jacob Packer

A shoe/wellies/sock/glove warmer--caught him completely by surprise!

Family Calendar we made for Jake--he loved it!

Elder Winder and Jake enjoying SNOW in Nottingham! (we were informed to not say "ham", just a "mmm" at the end of the "Notting")

PART 2:  A quick note to Mom and Dad from Jake that had some fun information in it:

Dear Padre y Madre,

I've been using a lot of Spanish lately. And Portuguese!

It was really good to see you both. Man, I'm glad it finally worked out. Thanks for doing all of the preparation work for it, it made it way less stressful on our side.

By the way, it snowed here. It actually factually snowed here! What the shnork? It totally snowed in England while I was on a mission here. I just didn't believe that it would ever happen and that the locals were just trying to "scare" me.

The snow here is incredible for snow ball fights. We naturally had one as soon as there was enough to make a snow man.

Bikes are super dangerous on the ice though. Way more exciting! Just kidding, we don't really ride much on it, we get lifts if we can and we take the tram also. President would rebuke us if we got injured because we were riding on the ice. He knows we know what NOT to do.

The SHOE WARMER was beautiful on the night of the 26th, because that is the night we got the snow and the night when my sunday shoes needed warming. Thanks for that:) The usefulness and the awesomeness collide!

Yes, I went shopping on Friday, but didn't buy much because I had a tough time getting funds. I think the new debit card has yet to be cleared for international use. I ended up just using the ATM card to pull out the money. You want to know something dumb. I got a fine for not having a ticket on a tram. £50. Ouch. But that is what I get for forgetting to buy a ticket.

I just plan on getting a suit (probably grey, maybe blue I'm so indecisive!), and then some more shirts and trousers to use. The suit is more for fun than anything. The shirts I actually need. Luckily they are only £5 at Primark!

Love you both! Thanks for everything!

Nativity program 2014, had to make due with an exercise ball for the Donkey since Jake was gone!
I love the fact that you've upgraded to a yoga ball for the donkey. Our family never ceases in it's creativity.

Monday, December 22, 2014

I'm still here in Nottingham. (EP)

Merry Christmas! I yelled that at a lot of random people today. I got some positive responses!

I don't have long so here is the low down.
I'm staying in Nottingham 2B. 
I got a new companion! Elder Winder from Highland, UT.
Christmas Skyping will be about 7or 8pm NOTTINGHAM TIME. By the way, I didn't get moved on transfers. "I'm still here..." (The Kid) so I'll be in Nottingham for Christmas for sure.
We will be skyping at a members home named Dean. He's the best.
Half of my district changed. Crazy huh. Literally, every team changed. 4/8 missionaries left.
Holy Cow I'm loving life here. People are opening up to us like crazy because they are feeling the Christmas spirit. Elder Vernon, shout out to you because we are teaching a man from Ghana!
-Elder Packer :)

P.S. Elder Winder has been going crazy with the DoTerra oils. We've been using all sorts for all sorts of symptoms. I even let this member in my ward try it because she has an eternal cough.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Conference: (EP)

We had our Christmas Conference this week. It was so awesome. I can't even tell you how much intense happiness was in those few hours. I got back to my home land of Leicester and saw everybody from that zone and my old district and some old companions. Elder Lindquist and Elder Ferrell! I haven't been with him for like... a year!
So many pictures were taken. Some with a purpose, some just for fun.  For example. I took a picture with President Rasmussen and Elder Horgmo. It is cool, but I don't know why we did it. We just took our chance when it came I guess.
There is a lot of stuff that I need to work on. I'm seeing miracles as I'm striving to be more obedient. I've gotten lazy in some of my missionary habits. I decided I need to be a robot when it comes to the morning schedule. No thinking.
But when it comes to finding/teaching I need to be the best ME I can be and think all about others and love them like Christ would.
On Tuesday I was sick all day. I woke up in the middle of the night, threw up, and then stayed up for most of the night feeling like I was going to throw up. It didn't get much better until the next day. Elder Severe and I had some good time to think.
Wednesday was a lot better. I still wasn't 100% but I could go out and work. I went to Nottingham 4 with Elder Ashby to do a baptismal interview for one of their investigators (now a recent convert!) and we had a DA with the Stake President. That was nice.
Thursday was zone conference like I explained before.
Friday was filled with random stuff including decorating the Notts 2 chapel for the ward Christmas party.
Saturday was a miracle day. We  went and had lunch with our ward mission leader. That isn't the miracle but it was really nice. Then we went to see a media referral that we received on Friday. The guy requested a Book of Mormon and let us in! I've never actually seen a media referral turn into anything... although I have only received a couple through my mission.
Anyway, he is a really cool guy. Pray for him. His name is Thamir.
Then the day got weird because we went to a 1 year old's birthday party for a DA. Not what I had in mind, but not bad.
Then we taught a member in the ward.
Then we went to the ward Christmas party. It was pretty good. It is the first ward Christmas party I've seen have a band playing. The band was made up of ward members.
I haven't written this much in a long time. Wow it is exhausting. I need to workout my writing muscles.
Mom, I got my card thank you!
Prayer request: I'll be seeing my doctor again tomorrow, so pray that he will have questions for me about the Book of Mormon. Last time he happily accepted one so I'm thinking he is a bit interested. Christmas miracles can happen!
-Elder Jacob Packer

And a sweet picture of the only Lindon-ites in the EBM (Sam Harris, Jake Severe, Jake Packer)

Elder Jake Packer with former comp Elder Ferrell

Elder Jake Packer, Pres Rasmussen, and Elder Horgmo

Here is a picture of us decorating.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sister Packer is HOME!! (And Homecoming Talk) (SP)

Sister Nicole Packer returned home December 5, 2014 happy and safe!  We are so excited to have her home and she is excited to be home (and still misses Germany!).  But we are adjusting as a family and having a wonderful time!

Nicole will be speaking in church on Sunday, December 14, 2014, at 1:00 pm at the Lindon 16th Ward building (approximately 100 S 600 W, Lindon).  We will all be attending our 3 hour church block, but feel free to visit her after church at 4:00 pm and have some snacks (sorry, the chocolate she brought home from Germany is NOT part of the snacks and is locked away safely for her dear family, so don't ask!! muawhaa haaaa haaaaaa!!!).  Our home address is: 645 W 250 N, Lindon--2 blocks directly West of the Los Hermanos Restaurant on State Street and 400 N in Lindon.

On to new a RM!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Not much time. (EP)

This has been a good week. Not too much success, but I'm learning a lot and loving nottingham!
Cheers Duck!

Monday, December 1, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BREANNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! (EP)

Hey BreAnne Elise. What's up Sista? How was your birthday celebration? Tu Tienes Nueve Anos!  Elder Nogueroles says "Hi". Elder Severe says "Hi" more.
THANK YOU Everybody for the Birthday cards! Haha those were a highlight for sure. And thanks for the recipes you included. And thanks for the copy of the Patriarchal blessing. Man, it has been a long time since I've read it. Sheesh. Personal revelation is a gift. And thanks for the little pictures of everybody! KORI's mission picture is grand. By the way, are they doing a new stand up/body shot for school pictures now?
Anyways, they are great.
Mom, the ATM thing is sorted. I've got funds as I need them.
We'll go see the city center today I'll definitley take pictures of all the Christmas craziness.
Well all of the sudden I have two minutes left.
Bye everybody. Let the Christmas Carols officially begin!!!! WITHOUT people getting really upset.

-Elder Jacob Packer

The last email of my mission... (SP)

Well, here goes nothing, the last email of my mission.  What a weird thought.  But hey, they gotta end sometime.

I'm not really sure what to say except that I'm so grateful to have been a missionary.  I read a talk today from last conference that gave me all the peace I needed to know that what I've felt and learned here won't stop when I take the nametag off.  What a relief!  So grateful!

I know this work is true.  I know Christ lives.  I know He is loving God who expects great things of us because we ARE indeed great.  I know that all things are possible through the merits and grace of the Atonement.  I know that prayer works!  I know that God's love is always there for us.  I know this work has turned me and others into the person I truly WANT to be, which I could not have become on my own, in any sort of measure, or world.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

Sister Packer
Alpine German-speaking Mission
July 2013 - December 2014