Bugs and Baptism

Letter from July 10,2016

Dear Family,

Okay I don’t have much time today so I will just tell you two quick miracles from this week.  Saturday we took the car into Big O tires to get our it serviced.  Well guess who works there? Jor-!  We met Jor- on the Fourth of July.  We were doing service with him and gave him a Book of Mormon. Guess who has been reading the Book of Mormon?! JOR-! Yayyyy.  Anyway he said he was open to having missionaries come over to help him understand it better!  Heavenly Father knows exactly where he wants us to be!!

Okay, then Saturday night we decided to set a goal to find a new investigator for the week.  Our week ends Sunday night by the way.  But we prayed and prayed and worked.   We showed up to dinner that night and they surprised us with a non-member coworker also coming to dinner!  Her name is Ka- and she had a lot of questions about our lives as missionaries.  She was very open and curious.  So our dinner message was of course about the restoration.  Oh the Spirit was strong!  She felt it and accepted a Book of Mormon and we are going to have another lesson with her at these members house again!  We got our new investigator!  Wow, He is just blessing us SO much right now!  I love this area and the people and Sister Brooks.  I’ll send some fun pics of the bugs we saw this week and our fun pday in Tombstone.

Yeah it’s been a great week, Sister Brooks is not trunky at all.  She is a hard worker and we are working so well together.  We are doing good stuff together – it’s awesome. 

Love you all,  Sister Packer

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Sierra Vista Zone; Swag District

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Anna’s Baptism

 

 

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Letter from July 5, 2016

My Dear Family,

The good!

Sierra vista is a wonderful little town at the bottom of Arizona.  It is actually a higher elevation than Tucson so it’s cooler here, but it gets more humid!  Honestly, it’s such a nice break from the heat wave of Tucson!!  I love it!  We are right by Ft. Huachuca.  There is a lot of military down here and border control.  

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Ft. Huachuca in Sierra Vista

We live with the Bingham family, well we actually live in the attic of their garage!  And it’s supposedly the smallest apartment in the mission but it is great.  Sister Brook’s and I cover the Hereford and Sierra Vista 2nd wards. The Ward boundaries go down to the border. So yes at times we can see Mexico!  This is an awesome area and I’m excited about the work here. There is a ton of potential and we have a lot to keep us busy.  So Sister Brooks is from Layton, Utah.  She’s such a nice girl and we have been getting along great!   We have some very interesting investigators here. The first one I met, J- , has about 70+ cats, and she lives in a double wide trailer.  Need I say more?

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 The first lesson we had with her this week we were discussing the Book of Mormon and  just trying to get to know her better.   After she told me about what she’s been learning, we talked about how we can receive answers through the Book of Mormon.  She said she has always understood the spirit as her intuition.  Haha in the middle of the lesson she says, “Sister Packer, you teach like the elders you know? ”  Haha ,Uhhhhhmmmm okay thanks. I hope that’s good, I’m just going to assume that was a compliment.   We taught her about the Spirit, the Godhead and how God’s Spirit speaks to ours.  She made a deal with us that she would start reading the Book of Mormon! Yay!

I also wanted to tell you about A-.   A- has been taught by missionaries since last September. She’s been terrified of the baptism interview because the last time she interviewed for baptism in October, she still needed to work on some things. She felt that she had failed.  Anyway we went over Saturday night with a member and ended up talking about how we can overcome our fears. Well it turns out A- didn’t understand why she needed to do the interview again or that she even could.  We had a good discussion and she realized she misinterpretted a lot of things and now is very excited to do it again. Sunday night she had her interview and passed (of course she is so ready) and she is going to be baptized this week! She wants to do it as soon as she can!

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Sister Brooks is an STL (Sister Training Leader), and this Friday was MLC (Mission Leadership Conference), so we had to go up to Tucson for the day.  I spent the day with the Binghamton sisters while she went to her meeting.  We had a great day.  I got to experience monsoon season in Tucson; so freaking cool!  The street outside of their apartment turned into a river!  And yesterday we had a fun but busy 4th. Normally it would have been our p-day but we were working as security at the town fair most of the day.  We had dinner with the Whitworth family who live on base.  It was a fun barbeque.  Later they took us up one of the hills there and we watched the whole valley’s fireworks from there! It was so pretty!

Monsoon season – instant river:  This is Sister Quinonez and Diderickson

Service Project of the 4th of July:  This is me and Sister Brook’s with my district and ZL’s (Elders Potter, Stephenson, Jordan, Watson, Carico and Price)

The bad:

BUGS.  They are everywhere.  The rain is flushing them out.  And they are HUGE.  So here is the worst story evvvveeeer.  The worst night of my mission so far.  First we were walking into the house and closing the garage door and right by the button was this big spider spinning a fly so it could eat it!  Blehhhhh I HATE HATE HATE spiders. Then we walk in and see a huge spider on the wall.  Took us twenty minutes to kill it. Then we went to bed.  About 11 I got up to use the bathroom and found three sun spiders ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ewwwwwwwww ewwwww! (If you don’t know what those are google it, then cry because they are so gross!)  We caught those little nasties and put them in tupperware and then put them in the freezer!  We came across two other strange bugs that I don’t even know what they were!! One was a popping bug and another was some sort of cockroach.  So the night became devoid of sleep, just full of bug catching!  But that wasn’t the end of the night!  

The Ugly:

Around 12 or 12:30pm, I started having the WORST pain in my left lower back, just unbearable.   I was so nauseated I almost threw up.  I tried to take some anti-inflammatory medication but it did absolutely nothing so finally after thinking I was gonna die for three hours I woke up my companion at 3:30am.  She ended up calling our mission president and his wife and they talked me through it.  Sister Passey thinks it may have been an ovarian cyst that ruptured or a kidney stone.  I “toughed it out”.  It was a very long night, but by about 5:00ish the pain subsided, quite quickly amazingly! It was really weird and hasn’t hurt since then , thank goodness!

Even more Ugly:

Okay, back to the bugs.  We found a baby tarantula at the beginning of the week while we did service and I was scared of it!  It was UGLY and terrifying to see just crawling along.  Well your never going to believe what I did yesterday.  While we were at the Whitworth’s for dinner last night their daughter went and got her little pet to show us.  Any guesses what this girl has for a pet?!   It was a tarantula!  Also ugly by the way.  And this was not a baby one!!  It took me about ten minutes to get used to even looking at it, but I eventually held it, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!  I had to close my eyes at first, hahaha.  I am still alive.  

You could definitely say I am out of my comfort zone.  This week for sure has had a few uncomfortable elements in store for me.  I love you all.  Stay safe and check your bed for monsters before you hit the hay each night.  The struggle is real.

Sister Packer

Rowchie Numchucks

Letter from June 27, 2016

Dear Family,

ROWCHIE NUMCHUCKS! I’m leaving Casas Adobes and also leaving Tucson. President is sending me down to Sierra Vista.  I literally had a tiny panic attack when we got the call I was getting transferred, but now I am excited.  So I will be headed to Sierra Vista tomorrow morning and my new companion will be Sister Brooks!  I am actually going to be killing her (aka she is going home after next transfer).  It should be fun!  I’m pumped to be in a new area and meet new people, but I’m going to miss my first area here and Sister Daun so much – she is a homie. 

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You are never gonna believe what Sister Daun and I got to do this week.  WE WENT TO GIRLS CAMP!  Well okay it was just for one day but still!  We went up Friday morning to help out with their service project and then just got to hang out with the girls, and be there for the last night devotional and testimony meeting!  It was such a blessing that we went.  There were only three girls from our ward that went and interestingly, none of them are active members!!  So we had three less active girls up there and no active girls there to fellowship them- messed up!  They had those three girls combine with another ward because we were so small.  These girls didn’t even have a leader with them until Thursday night!!  When they saw that we came they just lit up and said- “Our missionaries came!” They didn’t even have a member of the bishopric come up for ward night so the extra love mean’t so much to them. 

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One cool experience we had was with CoreyLynn. She was out in the woods looking for another girls pocket knife and we went to help her. We suggested saying a prayer and she didn’t want to,… but we are very insistent gals.  We said a prayer with her and literally five seconds later we found it.  So we said a prayer of gratitude and she ran off to give it to her friend.  Later that night we talked with this girl and found out she didn’t even know who Joseph Smith was and she doesn’t know how to pray.  What a blessing she had been able to see that afternoon how God answers prayers.  It was a cool experience that this girl definitely needed. 

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Being up there with these three girls made me realize how important love is.  For them to feel God’s love and be loved all week made such a huge impact on them.  I think the most important thing we can do as members and as missionaries is help others feel God’s love.  Everything we teach comes back to that fundamental doctrine that God is our loving Heavenly Father.  Literally everything; tithing, word of wisdom, agency, EVERYTHING.  Our salvation is His work and His glory- He is an active participant in our lives.  It’s His love that changes us. 

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Rain!!!

It was a wonderful last week in Casas Adobes.  Yes it does cool off in the evenings- it gets into the 90s in the evenings! I actually experienced a sneak peek of monsoon season last night. A storm hit out of nowhere and we were walking from our car to an apartment and we were literally soaking wet.  IT WAS AWESOME! 

k love ya bye,  Sister Packer

PS – Tell Tristan and Corey hello for me and goodbye to Spencer Shull!!!

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Tammy
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John and Yvette

 

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Amanda Neufville and kids

You and I, We’re Made of Glass, We’d Never Last

Letter from 6/13/16

Dear Family,

We dropped a couple of investigators on Tuesday.  It was pretty hard because we love them so much but they just aren’t progressing.  Y- and G- say they believed the Book Of Mormon was truth but don’t understand exactly what that entails or care to explore further.  If the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet, then we also have a prophet today, then this church really is Christ’s church again on the earth. And the principles of exercising our faith unto repentance and baptism as taught in the Book of Mormon are ‘ the gate by which we should enter’.  Sometimes we just want to stand up and yell- “hello this is salvation we are talking about! This isn’t just a church to go get some warm fuzzies. It is a church that becomes your eternal family and helps you progress to your salvation.  It is a BIG deal.  They told us that they have felt the spirit to know its true, but they just don’t want to do the Mormon thing. We have to respect that.

We also had to drop our sweet refugee family.  President brought Emmanuel to another lesson to translate for us. And things started out well.  However, after asking questions we began to realize that they don’t see our church as any different than the Catholic church they attend.  Despite our many efforts and prayers, they just don’t understand.  But I do have faith that they will one day.  They have a very strong love of their Father in Heaven and their brother , Jesus Christ.  Elizabeth told us how God carried her through the hardships that she and her family experienced in camps until they could make it to America.  God knows that and He will take care of them.  I really do think one day when they are more prepared temporally, they will be able to receive more spiritually.

I think the Lord knew that this would happen and so he has been helping us find new people to teach the past few weeks. It has definitely strengthened my testimony that he will bless us, if we are working hard.  Speaking of new investigators, the guy we met last Sunday R-?  We don’t get to teach him anymore, he relapsed!   And is no longer at the Cope Facility. We don’t even know where he is actually so… yeah… bye R-!

Okay last sad bit of news from the week, M- had to push back her Baptism! She is stuck in California taking care of some business for her mother and doesn’t know when she will be back. We think the baptism is going to end up being in July.  No worries though.  She is still as solid as ever and was very disappointed that she would have to wait longer to get baptized.

T- gave us some exciting news this week. We met with her Tuesday night and asked if she had been praying about a baptismal date. She had been but she wasn’t sure yet. Then Thursday we got a text from her- “I think July 23rd, is that alright?” Yes, Tammy that is more than alright! haha she is so funny she is always asking “oh is this okay?oh can I do this?”  Yes, Tammy you can still drink coke. Seeing her receive revelation was the coolest part though.  And she came to Stake Conference on Saturday. And she was overwhelmed when she walked in. Overwhelmed by all these mormons in one building, and why are there so many?!   But we got her sat down with the two nicest ladies in the ward and prayed and prayed that she would begin to feel comfortable and feel the spirit.  God answers prayers family. She LOVED the conference.  One speaker even brought tears to her eyes. 

I did get to experience what a trio would be like this week. Sister Quinonez spent a day with us while her companion went to MLC. It was pretty freaking fun and I wouldn’t mind being in a trio I decided! 

I don’t think I mentioned this last week, Sister Daun and I are in a competition with the Binghampton sisters. BIGGEST LOSER.  Actually not really, it kinda sucks.  We are trying to “diet” but we can’t because we don’t control our dinners at all. Haha, the second day we started we had a double dinner and we just about cried.  Anyway, at the end of our competition, whoever lost the most weight wins and the losers have to buy the winners cheesecake. Kinda counterproductive huh? 

We have also been helping this older lady in the ward, E-, move. She is such a hoot. She literally has a watch and set of jewlery for everyday and a different outfit for every day of the year. Being kind of weighed down by all her stuff, Sister Daun and I finally convinced her to go through it give some to the goodwill.  Haha so next time we came back she had one box.  Just one box.  She’s a fun lady.

Sounds like an interesting week in Idaho filled with s’mores… Miss you love you bye!

Sister Packer