Basically Dead!

Dear Family,
WOW – this is insane!
I’ve been wondering for like the past three hours what to say for my last email home. The truth is, no words can or ever will be able to describe how I currently feel.  It has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but it has been worth it.  I do feel like I’m literally dying – you might need to prepare a recovery room for me to sleep in for about 5 days. My mission means everything to me.  I would never change a day, moment or hour.

There have been a lot of these bittersweet moments this week.  It breaks my heart to leave Arizona.  It breaks my heart to leave these people.  I’m so full of gratitude to my Heavenly Father.  He really means it when He says how great will our joy be if we can bring save it be one soul unto Christ.  Oh my goodness JOY is the only word to describe the feeling.  I’m grateful that the Lord allowed me to serve in this way.

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Sadly, everything is changing.  I don’t know if I will really be stepping off a plane in a few days, but the transfer board says I am, so it must be true.  We got a new mission president- President Browning.  And good news mom – people really do read my blog of my emails- Sister Browning told me she completely stalked it when they got their mission call here, lol!  If she is reading this right now – hi Sis Browning!

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God has been raining down tender mercies for the past 18 months.  A big one this week- I got to see Nicolette again!!!!  She drove down to the Gila Valley to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead and we joined her!  I was so happy to see her again and hear about how she and the rest of the Gardner family is doing.  It was such a bittersweet moment! Sweet because what is sweeter than seeing someone progress in the gospel and LOVE IT. And bitter because my time to help people like Nicolette is coming to an end.  Well, as a missionary that is.

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During this week I began to feel a little anxious and wonder did I do enough? Did I do all the work He sent me here to do?  How well did I love people?  At first, I was desperately trying to seek out an affirmation from my Heavenly Father.  After a few days I was reminded that is not what matters.  Serving a mission was never about me so why would it be now?  It is about those we serve.  And as I realized that God reached out to me and he said-
D&C 124:
15 And again, verily I say unto you, blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith (Sister Packer); for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right before me, saith the Lord.17 And for his love he shall be great, for he shall be mine if he do this, saith the Lord. I have seen the work which he hath done, which I accept if he continue, and will crown him with blessings and great glory.

And then to even further helped me feel His love- Heavenly Father send me a monsoon last night!   I have been hoping to see the beginning of the monsoon season and guess what- GOD LOVES ME!

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I no longer think or just believe, I KNOW this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth.  I know that Christ has truly borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, and we are healed through His stripes.  He is the prince of peace, and He brings me peace everytime I cry out to him.  I know I never walked out in this desert alone.  He was and is always there, carrying me.  He is my strength and I know that I need him every moment of every day.  No matter what pain, shame, or guilt I have felt, he has lifted it from me as I have tried my best to follow Him.  I know that repentance is so much more than saying I’m sorry, but changing myself every day to become what He wants me to be.  And I want to be like Mormon in saying- “I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare his word among His people that they might have everlasting life.” I know the name tag I’m wearing will be removed but the call to be his disciple will never be removed.

I know that the full measure of our Father’s love is seen through His son and the restoration of His gospel.  I know that they want us to return to them and we can through making and living the necessary covenants.  We can all gain that knowledge as we read the Book of Mormon.  IT’S TRUE! READ IT!  Nothing brings me more joy than feeling loved as I read the Book of Mormon.

Alright!  Thank you all for the support and love you have given me over the past year and a half.  I cannot wait to see you all again!   Signing off for the last time as Sister Packer.

Love, Sister Packer!
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Breathe!

July 3, 2017

Dear Family,

We take care of the rest of His children much better when we just breathe.  So everyone just sit down and breathe, get a back rub, eat a cookie, and take a (very short) nap.

Christi and Shawn Layton came to church this week and they were also able to meet with the bishop as a couple.  They have come a long way.  They still have a way to go but they are making plans for when Christi can be baptized and hopefully when Shawn can be the one to do it!:)
THE SPIRIT.  Wow this week I have really noticed the voice of the spirit.  It has not been loud this week, as a matter of fact it is not actually a voice for me it is simple thoughts and feelings.  We are promised multiple times in the scriptures that we will be able to perceive and discern through the spirit and I have seen that promise fulfilled.  It is just SO cool to be able to discern how someone we are teaching is feeling.  It’s like he is just always there saying now this person, now that person.  Now say this.  Now don’t say anything at all.  How could anyone not want to be guided literally 24/7?
We were on splits this week and I was with our ward missionary, Sherri O’Neal. Sherri and I went to visit a less active man, brother Gibbs.  Brother Gibbs told us a story about how he once used the priesthood to heal a young child in the hospital and it was an obviously touching story to him and we could see him remembering how the spirit had worked through him.  We read D&C 121:34 and asked him what it meant to be called and chosen.  We talked about how our choices determine if we are chosen, so in essence we choose to be chosen.  A priesthood holder can be “chosen” to perform the Lord’s miracles because he is founded upon principles of righteousness.  Man that really got Brother Gibbs excited… until we invited him to once again be founded on those principles. Despite the spirit in the room he did not accept the invitation (at this time, but there’s always hope).
Just last night we went to visit Mary Helen. We had a pretty honest talk with Mary about her desires as well.  Mary told us she doesn’t have a desire to know if Joseph Smith is a prophet because all she cares about is that everyone is worshiping God and our Savior and that makes her happy enough.
Agency is a pain, haha.  Everyone has to choose for themselves if they will follow and live the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  Even with the help of the spirit, guiding us in lessons and conversations, people don’t always act on the spirit they feel.  Why?  They all have different reasons why not to act on those feelings.  I always want to ask WHY NOT? What have you got to lose?  Nothing!  But we have everything to gain!!:)
According to my lil sis, we are down to 9 days… As I thought about that last night I decided to ask God what he would like me to do this week.  This is the answer I felt:
3 Wherefore, go ye and preach my gospel, whether to the north or to the south, to the east or to the west, it mattereth not, for ye cannot go amiss.
4 Therefore, declare the things which ye have heard, and verily believe, and know to be true.
5 Behold, this is the will of him who hath called you, your Redeemer, even Jesus Christ. Amen. (D&C 80:3-5)
I hope your July fourth is full of malfunctioning fireworks. If you would like to see pics this week…. ill show you them in 9 days!
Love, Sis Packer

Literally On Fire!

Hey Fam,

When Ed Sheeran said he saw fire on the mountain, burning the trees, he was really talking about Mt. Graham.  Who knew?!  It’s the second largest fire in the nation right now.  So yes, AZ is so HOT and things are literally on fire down here.  No marshmallows have been roasted yet, only people… and the Lords work of course!

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We met Mike this week who is a former investigator.  Mike was in his car about to leave when we got there and we were able to chat for a bit.  His biggest question was- who sent you??  We said Jesus Christ!  He didn’t believe that right away.  He explained that he had met with missionaries years ago but things didn’t work out.  About a year after the elder’s left, his ‘mormon wife’ divorced him and he took both of those as a sign from God. He asked again why we came and we explained that we had been sent by God.  We had prayed to know who to visit and felt impressed to visit him.  We then testified that we know that the actions of others are not always signs from God but the feelings he sends to us are signs from God and that he could receive them too.  He told us we could come back.  God puts us in the right place at the right time and he really does give us the words we need to say!

It has been a bittersweet week.  The Tucson temple open house is now over and we loved every second of it.  We had such a great experience going up to the temple each week and helping others to understand how families can be together forever!   Sadly, we also had to say our goodbyes to President and Sister Passey this week.  They don’t actually leave the mission until Saturday but we won’t be able to see them then. The Passey’s have made a huge impact on me and I have learned so much from them.  I am forever grateful they accepted the call to serve and to be my mission president.  As a mission, we set a goal for every companionship to hit standards of excellence for the Passey’s last full week.  I don’t know if everyone did it, but I do know that it pushed me to exercise more faith this week . We all worked our butts off to achieve that righteous desire and the Lord blessed us!  We not only hit standards, we exceeded them.  That is the kind of thing the Passey’s have taught us to do.  They have taught us how to exercise faith and work hard never doubting that the Lord will come through for us.  Even if the miracles don’t come until Sunday night.  This is sounding almost too gushy for me so imma stop there.

I want to share two scriptures today.

Alma 29:4 – “I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.”
Moroni 10:23 –  “And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.”
I’ll explain why I like these:)

Remember the box theory from a few months ago?  Society likes to categorize, give names and place a value on everything including people.  I like to call it a box.  There is a ‘mormon culture’ box, there is catholic culture box, there is a box for everything.  We are never going to be able to stop other people from trying to place us inside a box based on who are and what we do.  We can however, break out of that mindset.  We can choose not to place ourselves into a box of our own making.  When we say “I can’t” or “I will never”, we place ourselves into a box.  We put up walls that are just holding us back.  The Lord has promised us that we will get what we desire and that if we have faith, all things are possible.  I know that the lord wants to bless us our desires.  My goal is not to put any boxes around myself so I can let the Lord bless me and help me achieve my goals and desires.  Wow! okay! I’ll get off my soap box now;)

Well fam, life is good.  Missionary life is still da best. We have seen so many miracles this week and they just can not all be contained in this one email.  We have been busy, and it’s been a bit stressful but the work just keeps going on.  I had a great confirmation from my Father in Heaven that I was doing my best and that everything would work out, and so far it all has!   Love ya.

Sister Packer
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The Three Broomsticks

June 19, 2017
Dear Family
Surprise Trio life is the best.  There is always something going on and we probably never will get enough sleep this transfer but that’s okay.  Sis Lund is with us MOST of the time but when we have appointments at the same time in both our areas we go on splits with a service missionary in the area.  Holla at yo trio’s covering 3 wards.
For zone conference this week everyone went into Tucson for a tour of the temple and then spent the rest of the conference at the mission home.  I have decided I do not get to go to the temple enough!  I just want to spend every second in a temple!  We are so blessed to be able to enter into the house of the Lord and to make the covenants there that will bring us eternal life.  How cool would it be to feel the way we do in a temple ALL the time.  That is going to be heaven.
Anyway, it was the Passey’s last zone conference. SO SAD!  I was asked to give my “dying” testimony since it’s my last zone conference too, but it was okay because they did too!  I had such a hard time trying to figure out what to say about the past months of learning and growing.  You can’t sum that up into a few minutes so I shared Alma 26:16 and if you wanna know how I feel read that verse.

“Therefore, let us aglory, yea, we will bglory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his cmercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.”
Here are some cool miracles from this week:
– Chuck came to the YSA ward this week and let us know literally 10 minutes before it started he was coming.   Due to a fire on Mt Graham the elders were out helping with evacuations so we went to our 3rd round of church meetings for the day with Chuck! Yahooooo 8 hours lesssgooo!  Chuck really enjoyed it (especially the fact that the bishop was the guy that sent him to prison, lol, they had a nice chat).
– We finally got back in touch with our investigator Christi Bergan who told us that three weeks ago she and her hubby got married so she could be baptized!  She hasn’t set an official date because she wants to make sure all her family can be there and that she doesn’t rush things too much but she is SUPER solid.  That was a miracle.
– Before going to Christi’s lesson we ate a quick dinner and afterwards I decided all I needed in life was a nice cookie. I prayed we might get a treat, hahaha.  As we were on our way out the door at Christi’s she ran after us saying, wait, wait I made you guys cookies – don’t forget them!  HA HEAVENLY FATHER ANSWERS PRAYERS!!!!
Happy Fathers day to my dear father.  I love ya and for Fathers Day I’m sending you a gift but you won’t get it until about July 12th… at noon.   And Happy Father’s day to our Heavenly Father!  He loves us so much and I know he is listening to my prayers (otherwise how in the world would I ever get cookies??) and he answers prayers in his own timing.  My cookie experience actually made me pause and reflect back on the prayers I’ve been saying and how they have been answered.  I have seen how prayers I said four months ago have been answered, even a year ago!  And it is cool to know that if we just hang in there and wait for it, Heavenly Father will bless us with what we need and we will get what we most desire!
Pictures to come soon, I love you – Sister Packer
Our trio – The three broomsticks
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I Need More Sleep

June 12, 2017

Dear Fam, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.  It’s been such a crazy busy week. The temperature right now is 91 so it’s a cooler day but we will be back to the high 100s later in the week. How does one transition to this weather?  Uou just accept the fact that you will sweat and its fine!

So an update on everyone.  William is doing really great! we met and read some of Alma 32 together and then asked what thing he felt he needed to work on to increase his faith.  He had some major concerns about prayer and that God didn’t hear his prayers or they weren’t good enough.  So we had a great discussion about prayer and he started saying prayers out loud and making them more of a “heart to heart” with Heavenly Father.  He said on Sunday that it really helped his prayers seem more meaningful just by saying the words out loud.  Amen to that.
We have had some interesting lessons with Chuck and Mary.  Turns out Mary has some crazy questions about the plan of salvation.  After teaching it to her she was very concerned and even scared by the thought of the plan because it did not guarantee that her family would be together forever.  We kept trying to explain that it was very much possible by simply living the gospel.  Afterwards Sister Holgerson gave a great insight. Elder Uchtdorf explained at conference that fear is the opposite of faith.  She might not have confidence or comfort in God’s plan yet because she doesn’t yet have faith in it.  It made me realize how important it is to just trust in the Lord that his plan for us will work rather than going through “what if” situations and stressing over what we cannot control!!
We spent Thursday and Friday in Tucson at the temple open house.  It was a whole different world up there.  The open house is crazy busy.  We spent a few hours each day in the reception area after the tour answering questions of those who had just finished the tour.  That was SO much fun!  At one point, a group that came through had questions and started asking me and before I knew it I had 7 or 8 people gathered around me in a circle asking questions!  It was insane!  Kind of a missionaries dream come true to just stand there and answer questions, although we couldn’t “proselyte” or try to invite them to do anything about what they felt.  Hopefully member friends will do that for us!
My highlight of working at the temple was when I saw someone who looked kinda familiar standing by the bathroom at the stake center.   I went up to her and BAM! I’m looking at KAYLA HANSEN.  hahaha, oh it was a joyous reunion with an old friend!  She was there with her friend who just happened to be my companion’s MTC investigator! haha, God has some pretty funny tender mercies.
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Mark Pablo was baptized Saturday and confirmed Sunday and received the priesthood. He is a very happy man! and it was a touching baptism.  We are so proud of him, and hopefully his daughter Jasmine will be getting baptized in July!
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Also we are in a trio right now! Whaaaat??? Sister Lund’s companion went home and so she is with us right now!  It is sure gonna be a party.  The poor girl is a trooper.  She will be having a service missionary with her during most days and then spending the night and mornings with us so that we can still have work happening in her area.
I would tell you funny stories from the week but I’m tired so I’ll send some pics.  Love ya fam.
Sister Packer
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Keep’em Awesome and Holy

June 6, 2017
Dear Family and Friends,
Those are the words of a prayer for us given by Mark Pablo.  “Keep’em awesome and holy!”
Safford is an interesting little place. It is little yet so much is going on!  I won’t go into too much detail about what’s going on but I’m pretty sure if they were to pick a new classic small town to make a new hit drama tv series,  it would be this place.

I feel like I’m living in a mansion!  We actually live in a renovated funeral home.  Ha ha no ghosts yet.  But we have a walk in closet!?!  What the?!  It’s such a nice place!  But it might be rubbing off on my companion… She told me she wanted to go to the cemetery today… anyway…  And the members here are even nicer.  Example: they made me chocolate chip cookies.  Example two: our ward missionary (Sherri) made us popcorn while we did My Plan.  Example three: a sister in our ward was the guest of honor at the grand opening of McDonald’s so of course she took the missionaries because who doesn’t love free McD’s hahaha. We got the full VIP tour and everything!

My new companion is Sister Holgerson. Holgy for short.   She is from North Carolina, has mad piano skills and I am a proud owner of her first CD- holla at her when she famous. She wants you to know she has lots of freckles and all her toenails are painted hot pink except for two.

We have had some freaking awesome miracles this week. Every single day.  Our investigator Mark Pablo got an interview about a month ago for baptism and has been waiting for FOREVER to get first presidency approval.  This week we got a text from Prez. saying he was good to go!!  Mark is planning on getting baptized on June tenth and we are so excited for him.  Mark has made a lot of changes in his life and is currently still on parole.  He has a strong testimony of the gospel and he keeps saying he’s gonna have all the protection he needs once he gets the gift of the holy ghost.
We had a crazy referral this week too from a bishop of another ward.  He sent us over to see Mary Ellen.  Turns out it’s her son who is really interested.  Her son is Chuck Long and he has been out of prison for only 14 days.  While there he had an incredible experience with the Book of Mormon which was given to him over a year ago!!  Lots of seeds have been planted here.  He is now looking to learn if this is something he wants to keep in his life and if he wants to be a part of the latter day saints. And Mary, his mother, said she is also willing to learn. AHHHHH!
One of the most spirit-filled lessons we had this week was with a young man named William Hemphill.  William has been less-active for most of his life and has recently decided he needs something more in life.  The bishop sent us over last night to meet with him.  He has been so humbled by the Lord that he is ready to absorb everything!  He admitted he thinks he has a testimony but it is very weak and he wants it to be stronger. We were able to teach him about the restoration and testify that the Book of Mormon would bring the strength he needed and that he would begin to learn how the spirit speaks to him.
Another lady I am excited about is Stephanie Farar.  Stephanie hasn’t been active in church since she was a kid.  She has a load of concerns and has gone through so much. She is going to let us teach her the lessons though.  She even committed to start praying. Haha she wants to take the small baby steps (which are the most important steps anyway).  Her son is the only one in her family who is active and he is on a mission serving in Rexburg, Idaho right now!!  Shout out to Idaho.
Speaking of people serving in  Idaho- I believe there is an Elder Lutz in Shamrock Park right now yes?  Well I’m serving in his Grandma’s ward!  The Mormon world is a small one.
It’s been a good week.  Love you, Sister Packer
Me and the Desert of Safford
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With Sister Holgerson
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me and Toni Palmer (Elder Lutz’s grandma)
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A Mighty Change of Heart

May 29, 2017
Hey Hey fam,
KIM! KIM! KIM! We had the CRAZIEST miracle this week.  Probably one of the greatest ones in my whole mission.  Remember Kim and Steven who we watched Meet the Mormons with?  Well this week we went to read with Steven and we read Alma 34.  I gave Kim my Book of mormon to follow along.  She started asking questions and making comments and the spirit was super strong.  We left and went to our next appointment and then saw we had a text from Kim asking us if she could have her own copy of the Book of Mormon and a text from Steven saying Kim was thinking about converting!  Long story short, Kim felt the spirit when she read the Book of Mormon and she said in all her years as a catholic she NEVER felt anything like that.  She is now preparing to be baptized on June 24th.  Oh and at church yesterday she informed us (after reading the Plan of salvation pamphlet we gave her) that her biggest goal is to make it to the celestial kingdom.
When I first met Kim she had a lot of negative anti-mormon feelings and it has been SO COOL to see the small things over time change her heart.  Steven has been really good about bringing her to ward parties and inviting her to listen to our lessons.  What brought the biggest change was reading the Book of Mormon though.  I know the Book of Mormon is a gift from God and the quickest way for us to feel the spirit and gain answers to our deepest questions about life.  I am so grateful that Kim has been able to discover that and is now FEASTING upon the word!

What a good way to end my last week in the Pantano ward amiright??!  By the way I will be heading to the Gila Valley for my last 6 weeks.  I’m so stoked.  I will be companions with Sister Holgerson.  She used to serve in Central Tucson so I already know how awesome she is.

Oh my goodness. We found out that every single sister in the ATM will be able to go to work at the Tucson temple open house. We will get to come in from the Gila about twice a week to work the open house.  It is going to be crazy.  I am super excited though.  On Sunday, every single sister from across the mission met in Tucson at the temple.  It was amazing.  We did a little VIP tour.  All of the sisters and President and Sister Passey stopped in the bride’s room and in the sealing room.  It was pretty sweet.  President Passey has 6 weeks left, he got a little emotional with all of the sisters in the sealing room.

other fun events this week:

– tasted the best lemon bars evaaaa s/o to E. Sherwood

-for district meeting we had a testimony meeting fireside at our Bishop’s house and it was such a cool uplifting experience to remember we are all in this together and cool to see how much we all LOVE being out here!

-we had zone conference this week and it was exhausting.  We did training rotations between two zones and sister G and I gave the same training 4 TIMES. agh!   But it was fun.

love you all:)

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At the Temple with the Central Sisters

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Family photo with my baby

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With Kim and her dog @ church

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Sister Walker

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The Gardner’s

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Like a Roll of Toilet Paper

May 22, 2017
Hey Everyone, missions are like a roll of toilet paper.  They always go faster at the end.  It’s going too fast!!!  So I started to have a MAJOR freak out this week because I realized I only have 7 weeks left as a missionary.  While at the temple, I was praying and praying for some guidance and I ended up reading some verses in Doctrine and Covenants 90.
 11 For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus Christ.
12 And now, verily I say unto you, I give unto you a commandment that you continue in the ministry and presidency.
So at first I read this and thought… “okay Heavenly Father, I’m already a missionary, so you want me to just keep it up? is this like “just keep going”?   The answer to my question was YES.  But I didn’t really make the connection right away.  Long story short, Sister Passey came in and saved the day (as usual), and she helped me recognize the significance in this verse.  I had started to worry about my growth and change over the past months but realized it’s not really what matters.  What matters is that Heavenly Father accepts the service and work that I have done and that I should accept what I’ve done.  She helped me realize that Hevaenly Father was telling me, “yes you are doing it, so CONTINUE what you have been doing!”  It was a pretty good pep talk, I’m not gonna lie.  I am so grateful for leaders like Sister Passey for taking the time to calm down a crazy missionary, haha.  I feel very calm and ready to progress for the next sevenish weeks and then for the rest of my life!
This week we had some awesome members (the Buckley family) invite us over for dinner with our investigators, Steven and Kim.  After dinner we all watched Meet the Mormons together.  It was great!  Steven finally talked to someone in the ward besides his sister and Kim made friends too!  Kim is still pretty adamant that she will never convert BUT in her words, “yeah you mormons are actually pretty cool.”  So it was definitely a success!  She has softened up towards the gospel so much.
We had another temple trip (heyooooo) out to the Gila Valley Temple.  Sister Walker drove us and Sister’s Diderickson and McMaster. Sister Graff and Diderickson got to see one of their recent converts go to the temple to do baptisms and we did an endowment session.
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We also went to our Stakes blood drive and donated blood.  I was able to talk to the guy taking my blood about the temple being built in Tucson!  He was muslim and he told me about how important family was to their religion and the different roles men and women play.  He took a temple invite card, and I really hope he goes.  I think the best part of talking to him was that I realized that I didn’t do that just because I was a missionary.  I wasn’t inviting him to be baptized, just to learn more and that is something we are all able to do!  It is so much easier than we might think!
Have another good week!
Love, Sister Packer
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Death By Pool Noodles

May 15, 2017

Happy Moms Day!  Hope all you moms out there felt loved and blessed.

Wow!  This week went by so fast!!  The highlight of the week was a guy we met named Oshawn (pronounced as ocean).   We saw him across a parking lot waving around these green pool noodles, so what do nice missionaries do?  We waved and said hello!  The next thing we know he was running, faster than I’ve ever seen someone run, RIGHT at us!  All I could think was – DEATH BY POOL NOODLES!  But no, once he reached us he pulled a Tim Tebow and knelt in front of us asking to be read to from the bible… What?!?!?!  So we did!  And yes, he was a little bit ‘off’ (if you know what I mean).   We set a return appointment with him for another time (everybody needs the Gospel).  The second time we met him, he prepared a “cool place in nature” for our lesson…  It looks sketch from the pictures but we are in Tucson…a big city, out in public, don’t freak out.  In the end, he is still crazy and you can refer to pics below for the location of our “nature setting” lesson, hahaha.20170512_191448
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We also got to drive up to Mesa this week with Kevin and Monica Haller.  Kevin did baptisms for the dead for the first time.  He loved the temple so much and it was so cool to hear him talk about the different ancestor’s names he was taking and how excited he was for them.
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This week in each of our active member lessons we have tried to spend ten minutes with them and just bear our testimonies on why we came on missions and why we are still out on missions.  It has been really cool to share a bit of our own stories with members and share why we love being out here.  The coolest things that have come from this is a strength in my own personal testimony and conviction of serving the Lord, as well as a closer relationship with our ward members.  It’s like they feel closer to us as we share a bit of that with them.  It has been really exciting to then invite them to share their own testimonies!
Well I really enjoyed Mother’s Day and seeing the family.  I don’t have too much to write because I feel like I talked so much yesterday with you all!  I love you, have a good week!!
Sister Packer
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Keep Winning

May 8, 2017

Hey everyone!   What a week.  We once again spent the week doing a few crazy and creative things to find and teach people down here in the dirty T.

 Best finding highlights though:
-This week a teenager who lives in our apartment complex asked us if we back each other at all times because we don’t know how to drive or because its a rule.  We were able to dispel a few mormon myths.
– During exchanges, Sister Kennach and I asked if we could share the love by singing someone a song about Jesus Christ.  We sang a hymn right on the doorstep.  Thank you Vocal Point for our inspiration!  It bought us a conversation.
– To start another conversation we asked a family who had recently moved into the area if we could steal fruit from their lemon tree.  They thought we were a little weird but now we have fresh lemonade!
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-We sent off like two more referrals to areas that are not our own:( …. BUT, we are so excited because we got our own referral last night!!!  Stay tuned to hear for hopefully good things.
In case any of you were wondering, if I lived in Ghana my name would be Sister Adowa Packer because I was born on a Monday.  That is what our new friend Kwame told me.  He is Sister Bink’s father and she fed us peanut butter soup last night.  The best part of the dinner was that we got to eat with our fingers.  Very interesting!
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This week was fairly busy.  We had exchanges with the Sisters on Thursday.  Sister Kennach and I went on another exchange.  I freaking love her and we had a blast. On Friday, we went to another round of MLC.  Our zone’s focus for the month of May is finding and we have got a bunch of cool finding challenges for the zone to be doing! Some of them we did this week but hopefully more exciting things to come.
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I read a talk this week that really hit home.  It talked about how the word “can’t” is false doctrine in this church.  If we are saying the word “can’t”, then we don’t understand the atonement of Jesus Christ.  We can do literally ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.  Also, it gave a great example of Babe Ruth.  Though he is famous for his total of 714 home runs, he struck out more times than any other player in history!!!  It’s okay to swing and to miss!  Its okay to keep messing up!  “There is no disgrace in falling down; the disgrace is lying there.  To get up one more time than you fall is to be a winner.  To stay down is to be a loser.”  I have always been a sucker for cool sports analogies and so I loved that.  No matter how much we fall in life, if we get up and try again, teach another lesson, knock another door, try to talk to one more person, then we are succeeding.  We are winning.
I love you all! Keep winning!
Sister Adowa Packer
Sister Freeman and I at the Ward’s Cinco De Mayo Party
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MLC Selfie
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