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.  

IMG_0243 (1)
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?


 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!


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


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