Letter from August 1st, 2016
It’s crazy that Jaces two years are up already. Don’t worry mom this next year will also fly by. So it’s been a busy week and it kinda just felt like a normal week too. Not much to report. We have started doing some really fun service. We are volunteering out at a horse rescue ranch!🐴🐴🐴 It’s so cool. I think I am going to be a horse expert by the end of my time here in Sierra vista. We get to feed them, groom them, and next week we will learn how to take care of crap… 💩, literally! This week Sister Brook’s and I learned the grooming from head to toe and then how to saddle and bridle them. It wasn’t bad but it did make me nervous to clean their hoofs. It’s freaky to be that close to a huge normal that could kill you. My favorite horses name is Sundae- he is gorgeous. I will have to take my iPad this week so I can send you pics, it’s a beautiful place.
We got two new investigators this week! Brother Rawlings, our ward mission leader in the Hereford ward, told us a few weeks ago to visit a family they have been friends with. The grandpa is inactive and none of his family are members but the 8 year old boy goes to scouts so they know a little about the church. Anyway, we had a lesson with them this week at the Rawling’s house and it went really well. The father remembered a little bit about the gospel because the grandpa had taken him to church when he was a boy. So when we shared the first vision and asked their thoughts and feelings the mom told us she felt good about it but didn’t know why. The father replied before we could, “you were feeling the spirit!” Ah, it was so cool to see him answer her question! So they accepted a Book of Mormon on one condition. That we sign the inside cover and come to their son’s birthday party next week. We seriously love them so much. The son is so cute and we got to teach him how to pray at the end of the lesson.
M- and her family are doing pretty well. We asked them if they have prayed about a baptism date but M- feels she isn’t ready yet. She voiced her concern for not having enough dedication or conviction yet. She thinks it all makes sense and that it’s good but she wants a sign that this is meant for her.😑 Well, we boldly told her that we had been inviting her to make commitments that would help them to gain a conviction of the gospel and she hadn’t been keeping them. So far they haven’t come to church (although they keep saying they want to) and she hasn’t read the chapters in the Book of Mormon we give her. Actually her two daughter’s have been reading and they are doing AWESOME. They told us that they enjoy the reading and the lessons more than they like their children’s bible! They said this stuff was easier to understand! How cool?! So anyway we invited M- to commit to do the reading with her kids. And she said she would. We just have to keep inviting, hopefully she will find her own conviction. When she does follow through, she will be blessed with answers.
As you know, there really are so many homeless people here!! There’s a family here with hearts of gold who are letting homeless people live in one of their houses. They told us to go visit them. One of the guys living there has been a preacher and apparently he is one of God’s anointed. When we started talking about prophets being called of God he was like, “oh yeah like me”. ….uh no not like you… When we shared the first vision he was like, “yeah, I totally believe it because I have been visited by God too”. …wait what?… It was interesting. It led Sister Brook’s and I into a very serious discussion after the lesson about priesthood power, priesthood authority and miracles. It came down to whether or not people need the priesthood to perform miracles and to prophesy. We brought the matter up with brother Rawlings. We all had a good discussion on it and came to the conclusion that miracles and hearings depend on faith. Faith fuels the power. So when righteous people with enough faith do something in the name of Christ, there can be miracles. But we still need priesthood authority to perform miracles because it’s not only organization in the church but it’s what makes our saving ordinances count in the next life.
Remember those cool storms I was telling you about last week? Well we had a really big one last night. It was crazy. Sister Brook’s and I went outside to jump in the puddles by the church before our nightly planning. We went inside the church to plan but decided we needed a picture of the rain so we went back out. And guess what… We locked ourselves out in the freaking rain and lightening! We had no keys, and we had no phone – everything was locked in the building! We started walking to a member’s home, in the rain and puddles, and luckily some member’s saw us about halfway and had keys to the building and saved us! We were completely soaked, the closest we will get to swimming probably😂.
Okay, love you all! Sister Packer
Addition to the bugs and scorpions of Arizona, I present the Western Diamond Back Rattlesnake. We chatted with some workers catching this little guy in some grass along the sidewalk (the 10th catch of the day for them). And a pic of someone with an actual rattlesnake bite one month later. Ouch!
Pretty Sunset in Sierra Vista