From America’s Oven

Letter from June 20, 2016

And behold in the sixth month of the sixteenth year of the reign of Obama, Sister Packer and Sister Daun did sweat exceedingly.  Nevertheless, they did rejoice in the Lord for they knew that He would preserve them.  For by the sweat soaking their dresses and water that they chugged, were many brought to the knowledge of their God, and yea many were fully converted unto him that they might have everlasting life. 

Guys! We walked to our normal Sunday appointment with Krista yesterday…  in 118 degree weather.  It was not the smartest idea we have ever had.

IMG_0221

We may have also had an incident this week which started with the best intentions of giving our apartment some color and ended with a broken chair. 

Sister Daun and I had to give a training this week in zone meeting.  I think we had one of the loudest trainings I’ve heard yet on the mission. When we got to the front we said “Garcia (one of the elders) hit it!” – and he started flipping the lights on and off and playing the song ‘get on your feet’ from my speaker. We got everybody up dancing and then we all yelled  “what do we want?”  Baptisms!  “How are we going to get them?” Working with members! and then high-fived everyone. Don’t worry though, after that we turned off the music and had a spiritual meeting. We also handed out gravy packets as “treats” for answering questions, it was super funny! 

We also had exchanges this week and I went out to Marana with Sister Cook. Did you know there actually are green fields in Arizona?!  Oh how sweet was the joy.  I felt like I was home again. 

This week we had a very cool experience with Tammy. We brought her to a baptism on Saturday.  We were able to explain the program and how it all runs. She loved it so much. She kept saying it was the most beautiful baptism she’d ever attended.  And she also loved how there were talks to explain what she would be doing because she plans on inviting a friend and she wants him to understand what she is doing!  How cool is she?  Well then Sunday rolled around and we called up Sister Schwartz and she tells us that during relief society Tammy asked her to be a speaker at her baptism. She asked if we put Tammy up to it but we hadn’t said anything about picking speakers! Tammy is just taking charge. It is so dope!

Last night we had a lesson planned with a new investigator, J-. We had sister St. Clair pick us up and we were so pumped but we drove out there and then he called and cancelled.  We were only bummed for a bout a .0123672 of a second and then decided to try a less active who lived close by.  I can definitely say, God wanted us there. She was ready for invitation and really wanted to take the missionary lessons again to prepare for the temple.  And we didn’t even realize that going to visit her was a prompting. We had been debating between two different directions to go and just made a decision. 

The lord really can direct our thoughts and guide his work, even when we don’t realize it. I know he is so aware of each one of us and that he is trying to guide each one of us back to him. I found a quote from Joseph Smith that really stuck out to me this week- “If men do not comprehend the character of God they do not comprehend themselves.” That sentence hit me so hard because its so true. When people think they are missing something, or are trying to find themselves, its often because they do not understand that they are a child of god and that he loves us. I have made a goal to make sure I help whoever I teach understand that and to feel his love. 

I hope everyone is doing well! Dad, Hope you had a great Father’s Day!!

Lots of Love, Sister Packer 

IMG_0168
Thanks for the dresses, Edwina
IMG_0174
Shaking hands with Elder Holland
IMG_0173
The Huntington’s gave me the gift of Crunchy peanut butter.
IMG_0172
With Sister Cook out in the boonies, Marana
IMG_0169
Broke a chair in an effort to bring color to the wall.

IMG_0175 2

Advertisements

Week Full of Miracles

Letter from June 6, 2016

Hi fam!

 Okay so this week has been full of miracles. It seems like everyday we just look at each other and go holy cow thank you Heavenly Father!!  We met with Tammy Tuesday night. And she made us dinner! She was already on chapter 15 of the Book of Mormon. And this was her second lesson. Dang. She said a lot of her questions she had in the Catholic Church were answered as we taught her. It was very cool.  

Wednesday night we had an interesting experience. Wanna know what makes missionaries really feel the pressure when they teaching?  When the mission president is sitting in on the lesson!!! He came to our lesson with our Swahili family with a recent convert who speaks Swahili and was able to translate for us.  But it went well and they definitely understood way more than they ever have before.  The concept of the priesthood is clicking for them! FINALLY! That part of the gospel is so important. If they understand the priesthood they’ll understand why we are different from every other Christian church that says they are following Christ!  

IMG_0187 (1)

Our Thursday miracle was John. Yes sober John. We went to visit and introduce Sister Daun. And he told us about how God has just been raining down the blessings. He and Yvette were able to get a car, which they weren’t expecting. They have been trying to pay off debt from a surgery John had two years ago, and somehow it was paid off. He has no logical explanation of it!  John has almost finished reading the Book of Mormon.  He is a very analytical – critical person. He likes to see exactly how the puzzle fits together and why it fits. So he has always had a lot of concerns. But we committed him to pray about a baptismal date! Ahhhh yes! And he does want to be baptized. His biggest concern is that he won’t be able to keep the commitments he makes at baptism because he knows how important it is to promise God. How cool?!  He said he knows he has the faith now!  

We also became homies with the Tucson firemen. So we were biking to an appointment and we were running a little late so we were trying to get there fast. And when we got there they cancelled.  We were SO tired!  I thought Sister Daun was gonna faint. So we decided to just walk our bikes for a bit and who do we run into?  Only the fine men of the Tucson fire department. They gave us water and we took pics so it happened.  Also pretty sure one of them was baby Dwayne the Rock Johnson. And they told us we could come chill at the station and get water anytime we wanted.  

IMG_0189

Sunday was the best though.  Krista got special permission to come. And then we went to  visit her and we met Roberto!  And he is also staying in the facility and he saw us and walked up to us and told us how he wants his life to change. We invited him into our lesson with Krista and the spirit freakin slapped us all in the face. He was so excited and he can’t wait for next Sunday when we come back, and so are we!  And then to make our Sunday even better we contacted these two people in ASL (american sign language)! Say whaaaa? Ya das right. And then called the ASL missionaries and got them down there and watched them teach them, it was so dope. The gospel really is for EVERYONE!

IMG_0183

It doesn’t matter where they are at in life, what they doing, who they are, or what or how they speak. I love it so much. I don’t have much time today because we went to the Tucson zoo. The IF zoo needs to step up their game, that’s all I gotta say.

Love, Peace, Sister packer

IMG_0186 (1)

 

 

IMG_0198 (1)

High Standards

Letter from May 31, 2016

Dear Family,

We have biked a pretty good amount this week and it has been really fun! We like it so much more than our car because we get to talk to more people on bikes and we also get to be outside- which we may not like that as much within the next few weeks because it is about to get pretty hot! One of our favorite parts was when we stopped to get water at a gas station and this guy stopped us and asked what we were doing. I mean we were sweaty and wearing missionary badges and riding bikes in skirts- we looked weird. He had a shirt on that said HIGH STANDARDS with a bunch of marijuana leaves but he thought what we were doing was cool and even said he would like to learn more. Maybe we can teach him some actual high standards, lol.

We had three lessons with Marlos this week because she left today for California to visit her mom and will be gone for a week. But she is bound and determined to be baptized on the 18th.  Her determination is incredible.  She is so prepared and she just takes in everything we teach.  The only lesson we thought she might have concerns about was Word of Wisdom, because she told us in the first lesson she liked her coffee and knew we didn’t drink it.  But we taught it to her and she said oh I have already decided to start weening myself off of it so I can quit.  Sunday she told us she was putting her coffee pot away into the closet and she started to have doubts. She began to wonder if she was betraying her Jewish Heritage. She had a grandfather die in the holocaust. So she prayed and then opened up the gospel principles lesson book and opened up to the chapter on baptism.  She said she took that as God saying, “Yes Marlos, don’t stop now this is what you need to do.” And nothing is going to stop her now. AH. What? Marlos you are AWESOME! She has even made a list of people for work to be done in the temple!!! 

Sister Daun and I have been feeling very very blessed this week. Not just because we have Marlos to teach, But for two other reasons:

1. someone paid for our gelato on friday

2. we got two more referrals!!! 

So yeah gelato isn’t a big deal- but we were feelin the love. Two referrals is a big deal though. One was Tammy.  Tammy’s friend is a member in another ward and had the missionaries come over and teach her.  They taught her one lesson, she was ready and they set a baptism date and then gave her to us because she lives in our area.  How crazy is that?!  We just met her on Sunday though when she came to church. She really doesn’t know much about mormons or what we believe but we do have our first lesson with her later tonight. She seems like such a sweetheart. She saw on the ward bulletin the “Help Feed The Missionaries” announcement and was like, “I better take a turn, I’ll feed you Tuesday and next Sunday ,dont worry.” So sweet!!!  haha  Before sacrament meeting we were introducing her to people.  When we sat down, Marlos was in front of us and she turns around to Tammy and basically just started comforting her. She just told her its a bit intimidating at first but don’t worry it gets better. Marlos, we freaking love you!

Our other referral was a lady who called the bishop because she wanted to talk to missionaries. She had been studying her bible and book of mormon all day.  No words describe this woman! We honestly aren’t sure why she wanted missionaries to come over because she didn’t have questions for us but she just kept showing us scriptures she liked (she had an endless list!) which was pretty funny.  We taught the first lesson and started using the pamphlet and she freaked out a little bit about the ‘images’. She doesn’t look at images because we are not supposed to look at ‘graven images’. And she also believes Saturday is the sabbath and that she has been saved three times already. She preached to us for about fifteen minutes about the “Dem christians, dey da church of da devil!” and the Catholics are the great and abominable church. She crazy but its cool crazy. 

We have been working with a lot of less-actives this week as well. One night we were teaching a part-member couple. We were out on the porch.   The husband would come in and make a comment every now and then about how he doesn’t go to church anymore. One of the times he came in and got food and then starts heading out and says alright bye I gotta go smoke some dope. And tried to explain how our bishop gave him permission to smoke dope. k… sounds like you got high standards too?!

We have really been feeling the power of setting goals and having faith that the Lord will help us accomplish them. The Lord really does provide a way as long as we go and do. Now thats ‘dope’.  How dat for high standards?!

Although I missed all of our Memorial Day traditions- this Memorial Day was the BOMB. The zone got together and had a big barbecue and an arm wrestling contest. Not just any arm wrestling contest where people just come up and go- they set up a legit bracket so EVERYONE would be involved. Even the senior missionaries! And the winner got a 10$ giftcard to Buffalo Wild Wings. So hope you enjoy a couple short videos I sent- it got pretty funny. 

So here is a study topic for the week- Pokemon and how to win in a pokemon battle. This is not a joke. We desperately need to know or we gonna get our butts kicked by a 14 year old, help!

IMG_0180

Fam- I can see how like to go camping and fourwheeling and take pictures where you are smiling BUT I know you are secretly just crying because I ain’t there to DJ the music for that event.  Love you all. Don’t let anyone else get married until I get home. Seriously. I love you all and I miss you all and that’s all I have to say about that. 

Love, Sister Packer

 

My first goodbye to some great ward members!

IMG_0159