Wow seeing all those pictures from the wedding makes me miss you all so much! It looked amazing and Jana looked beautiful in her dress. First off thank you thank you thank you for the letters! it makes my night to go home and read those!! And thank you Mom, and Smiths, and Olivia for the packages! I felt so loved this week so thank you:)
Honestly the first day of the MTC is kind of a blur. Once you walk away from your family you have just a few steps before you enter a building where you receive your nametag. So I had about 25 steps be sad about leaving and then it was right down to business. And no Mom, no one went A-wall and tried to jump the fence; they gave us 5 seconds to be sad then I was too busy to think. We basically had an orientation day and got a tour of everywhere we would be going and started to learn about our purpose as missionaries.
My companion’s name is Sister Inman (in-men). She is also going to Tucson Arizona and guess where she’s from. Surprise Arizona! Hahaha. She has actually already been out to the mission. And she served in the field for three months and then came here. So whenever we have questions about how things will work in the field we always ask her. We are different but we still work together pretty well. She has taught me so much and I just love her. I love the rest of my district as well. There are three companionships of sisters and two companionships of elders and over this past week we have all become so close. One of my favorite nights was about two days ago when we all were in our classroom doing a personal study before going to bed. One elder shared a story with everyone and after that we decided to go around and share our testimonies and how we got our testimonies. It was so cool to get a glimpse of everyone’s background and to understand each other better and it made us all closer too. My district is pretty dope. Seriously.
I have learned so much in such a little amount of time. I wish I had enough time to write down every experience I’ve had here but I can’t or that would take me hours. Everyday we have personal study and companionship study. We have two teachers, Brother Sorensen and Sister Saathoff. I love them they are awesome! They go over lessons and concepts with us and help us learn to teach things in more simplified ways. One cool experience was when we were learning about inviting people to pray and helping them pray. We were role-playing and I was the investigator and Sister Inman was the missionary. The cool thing about role-plays here is that they feel so REAL! Sister Inman invited me to pray and ask Heavenly Father if He was there and if He loved me and she talked about the answer I would receive if I prayed with real intent. And then I prayed. And I asked Heavenly Father those two simple questions. I don’t think I have ever prayed like that before till then. I mean I already knew He was there but the Spirit I felt when I asked was so strong there is no way I could ever deny it now.
We have had a lot of cool experiences like that all week. My testimony has grown so much. On the first day here they told us that our first convert would be ourselves. I totally know what that means know. Everyday I learn so much about this gospel and I convert myself a little more everyday. So my favorite quote up to now- “You must be your first convert. Everything in the conversion process must happen to you before it can happen to them.” Thanks, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.
Fast Sunday in the MTC is kind of like going to church all day long, With some breaks in between. We had an MTC conference and the mission president and his counselors talked to us. My favorite part was when the president had us all recite together 3 Nephi 5:13 (“Behold, 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”).It was so powerful to hear a thousand missionaries repeating that together. We had a sacrament meeting with our zone and branch presidency. We got to go on a temple walk together after church that was the first time we had all been outside of the gates. It was so nice to get out of there for a bit. I will send some pictures of that. Later that night we had a night devotional. Jenny Oaks Baker came she is Elder Oak’s daughter. She is an amazing violinist it was beautiful. And to end the night we went and watched this video from a talk given by Elder Bednar and it’s called “Character of Christ”. It was specifically for missionaries and it was the coolest talk ever. Look it up this week if you have time!!
Yesterday we started our TRC visits. So what that means we get to start teaching lessons to ‘investigators’. They could be members playing investigators or they could be real investigators or less actives. We don’t know though so that stinks. And today we got to go into the temple for the last time before we all go out into the field. As a district we did an endowment session. It was awesome and so fun to talk about our thoughts and impressions afterwards together.
So my companion and I are headed to Tucson as well as one other sister in our district. The other three sisters are headed to Philadelphia. All of the elders are going to Texas. Ask Grandpa Pocock if he knows a Ball family. There is an Elder Ball in my district from Rexburg. He talks more than Benson does, bet you didn’t know that was possible. Then there is an Elder from Alabama- Elder Stanley, and he has never seen so much snow. I told him about snow blowers the other day and he thought it was the craziest thing. The other sisters and elders are from Utah, they are all awesome and hilarious.
Ok so I have my flight plans and my plane leaves at 9:30am. So I should be at the airport by 7:30 I think. And I am going to buy a calling card at the bookstore here. So just expect a call sometime the morning of the 15th:) I can’t wait to talk to you all and I love you all so much!!
Love, Sister Packer