In the Zone

HELLO!            November 14, 2016

 We went to zone conference Tuesday and had training on inspired questions, invitations to pray and really understanding needs.  We had a breakout session with just the sisters and Sister Passey had us all read this article I will send you and then we talked about our power as children of god.  IT WAS SO COOL.

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 It prepared us so well for our lesson that was thirty minutes afterward with the Hammond’s.  We thought we would be teaching the girls. WRONG.  We got to teach Darla about the Book of Mormon.  It was such a good lesson and it was nothing we had planned but the Spirit definitely was there leading the whole thing.  Darla told us if she read the book with an expectation to get an answer and faith that she would that Heavenly Father would tell her if it’s true…. Darla you ever read moroni 10:4 before???? She can quote scripture without every having read it.  She’s on the right track, it’s so exciting.  Then when we saw her Sunday afternoon she told us that the lesson in gospel principles was on the priesthood. Apparently, she basically took over the class from asking A TON of questions. It’s great she feels so comfortable she can ask anything she has a question about and she got her answers!   Sierra and Jordan are still on schedule to be baptized on December 3rd- pray that Darla will find her answer and join them on that day!!!

Branden Clark texted us twice this week.  Both times with very exciting news.  The first time was at 12:30am, yes am,  Wednesday telling us Donald Trump was the winner and soon would be President of the United States.  Apparently he felt someone needed to let us know the outcome of all the presidential craziness immediately, hahaha.  Didn’t really need to hear that!  The second time he texted us was after he met with the bishop.  This time the news was great to hear……. he is soon to be ELDER CLARK. AHHHHHH!  He just started the paperwork but so happy he is taking this leap.

Besides that we had a really cool lesson about the restoration in the middle of this dirt road. James and Micheal just happened to be walking down it the same time we were- bad planning on their part – haha, anyway they are both recovering addicts and recently out of jail… haha as I’m putting into words I’m realizing this is sounding sketchy, but it wasn’t – we were safe. AND IT WAS AWESOME.  It was Sister Ray’s first street contact. hollllaaaa!  Two new investigators for the week.

Sister Ray and I knocked on the door of this part-member family this week.  The wife was deaf but we were able to at least make contact with her and ask if we could come back because it just so happens that we have an ASL elder in the area right now!  She was genuinely excited.  Heavenly Father is so aware of everyone’s needs and he honestly has perfect timing.

So disneyland this weekend?!  What the heck?! No fair! Well I will have to get excited for the Packer and Pocock reunions this summer!   I really am doing so well and I know it’s because of my Savior helping me.  It takes a lot of work.  Faith is action and power right? right!!!!

Love you, Sister Packer 

We took a hike up Ramsey Canyon with the Domato Fam.  It is actually Fall up in the hills.

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Hump Day!

Dear Family,                                                               November 7, 2016                                                       

HUMP DAAAAAYYYYYY!  I’m officially halfway through my mission!!!! Holy Cow it’s crazy. I’m not sure how I feel about it.  It feels like forever ago that I stepped into the MTC but also it feels like time has flown by.  I have learned so much in the past 9 months and I am excited to see what will happen with the next 9.  Many adventures still to be had. 

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What’s new in Sierra Vista?  NEW transfer.  NEW month.  NEW district.  New goals.  We got some new people to the district last week and that always fun.  Transfers are always exciting!  Oh yeah and soon we get a NEW president of these United States.  Who knows maybe the world will end.  Some of the signs are so great here in SV.  Check out this classy one:

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Also NEW status update on Sierra and Jordan- they  have a baptism day picked out for December 3rd.  They came to Young Women’s in Excellence on Tuesday night for Sierra and got talking to Bishop Evershed and as it would turn out they are related!  Long last cousins or something!  So weird.  The ward has done a great job of welcoming this family in with open arms. 

Hereford ward also had some new visitors this week. Guess who’s back?  Back again?  THE THACKER FAMILY… kind of.  We haven’t started teaching them again but they have been talking with the Rawling’s who invited them to come back to church and so they did! 

We went and met this gal,  Amanda who is a total hippie and loves the good energy in the earth but was curious about religion.  It was a fun conversation!  We talked about the Holy Ghost and its “positive energy” lol, and she thought it made total sense! 

Sorry not much else to say this week!  Happy November, hope everyone begins this week with an attitude of gratitude.  I’m thankful for my Heavenly Father and how he reaches out in love towards me.  I’m thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ and for his atonement. I know I am nothing without them and I’m so grateful I have the gospel to guide my life! 

Love you all, Sister Packer 

Our District

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Happy Halloween

Hey guess what. ITS HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!

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Super Sisters – to the rescue!

Not much to tell for this week! Just more of the same old stuff.  Good stuff though.  Sister Ray and I finished out the last week of the transfer strong and are ready to work hard another six weeks together.  We just started a 40 day fast in the 2nd ward.  Different families sign up for different days to fast for missionary work!  It is going to start November first and we are excited to see what it will bring!!   Sometimes we just look around at the scene we are sitting in and laugh too.  Like last night at the Heckert’s.  While Joseph sat answering a question he had one hand over his little brother’s mouth who was also trying to talk while he laid across him backwards.  Solomon sat behind him picking his nose, analyzing the ‘product’, and then proceeding to eat it.  And Mathew was sprawled underneath his feet slowly rolling back and forth, blinking like he was having a seizure.  Haha what a family.  They remind me of FHE back home, JK.  

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The district

This week during sacrament meeting Jordan took the bread and the water (BIG SUCESS) and then proceeded to tell us that she would continue to take the sacrament AND get baptized because she wanted as many blessings as she could get from Heavenly Father.   We were so excited!! She and Sierra are going to be baptized on the same day but they have to talk to some family before setting the official date!  Proud of these girls and what they are doing. Jordan also informed us that she was able to overcome the dog situation by giving her dog the missionary lessons so that he too can learn to be a good Christian. She’s so funny!

 Randal we love you. Randal we do. When we’re apart our hearts beat for yooouuuuu. Ahhhh we freaking love Randal and how much he freaking loves Jesus!  We had a crazy lesson with him!  We were teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and as we started discussing baptism Randal totally opened up to us about the hard life he has had.  He told he has a hard time forgiving himself because he feels like his two kids will never know why he had to leave them.  I can’t begin to say how thankful I am for members that are so willing to help us missionaries.  Brother Rawlings swooped into the conversation, with tear-filled eyes, and told this heartbreaking story about the day his dad left him but as he got older he understood why and was able to build a relationship with him.  And we all testified that God and the Savior would be able to mend those broken relationships and heal his family. Randal also wants to get baptized so he can have the Holy Ghost to help him do these things.  Oh and also he said he was gonna get us some dope fire department shirts- please  follow through on that dear Randal!

 Last one is Branden.  He is so dope.  Guess what he told us?!   BRANDEN IS GOING TO SERVE A MISSION!  He is going to be talking with the bishop this week about it.  I guess those missionary chapters in Alma really moved him to action.  He feels it’s what he needs to do with his life.  Six weeks ago this kid wasn’t even active- how cool is that?!  Wanna know why he is active???  HE READ THE BOOK OF MORMON.  This guy is living proof that the Book of Mormon changes hearts.  The first time we met with him he didn’t know what he was going to do with his life, but he accepted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.  And gradually, week by week, he began to feel the Holy Ghost work within him.  He truly feasted upon the words of Christ and he has changed so much, so quickly.  His family is very excited to see this change and so are we,  Sister Ray and I.   He is going to be such a good missionary!

Amongst some of the crude humor and ill-placed comments people sometimes honor us with this week,  I did manage to have a few spiritual thoughts.  A very simple one too. I LOVE JESUS.  My testimony of my Savior grows SO much every day.  I honestly can’t even put into words how I feel about my Savior.  Definitely grateful. The more I learn about Him, the more I want to be like Him and follow Him.  The spirit converts me more and more every day.  I know that the spirit has testified to me that Jesus Christ is the son of God and that He truly is the one who will redeem us from our sins.  I know that by following His example and entering into the waters of baptism we just begin to accept Him.  We begin to follow Him through the gate and down the path to eternal life.  I have begun to realize how important it is to love Him and our Father in Heaven above everything else.  They loved us first.   Hope you are all having wonderful days this week!

Peace out Homies, Sis Packer

Happy Halloween

Today Has Been a Hard Week!

Dear Fam and Friends,                  October 24th, 2016

Just so you know, the title of this email doesn’t make sense, but hopefully conveys my feelings. Ahhhhhhhrg!  I feel like I can summarize this week in two sentences: We dropped people, cars are stupid and so are people and clothing racks stink.  But Costco rocks and I have a lot of popcorn.  So first off, we had to drop our investigator Jim this week.  And it made me SO sad.  I have been teaching him since I got to Sierra Vista.  I have seen him progress and learn to recognize the spirit as he reads the Book of Mormon. However, he informed us that despite these things he just cannot logically get over his hang ups on Joseph Smith and become a member of the church.  I love Jim and his honesty.  He really sincerely wants to find truth but I believe he is scared to commit. Scared to take a leap of faith.  He did say he would continue to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.  Maybe now just isn’t his time.  But I do firmly believe that if he really does read it like he said he would he will one day know that this is Christ’s kingdom on the earth, and he will find his place in it.   And then on the same day we had to drop Elizabeth. 

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Now I will tell you why cars are stupid.  They are stupid because they are so easy to break!  Yes dad, I did it again.  So our beautiful Captain Teancum has a small bean shaped dent in the front fender.  Sometimes when you decide to do service at an alpaca ranch you have to go down a hill of dirt and gravel to park.  Sometimes it’s steeper and slicker than you expected.  This sometimes results with you accidentally bumping into the car you are trying to park next to. 😬 Thankfully, the other car barely had a scratch and Lou Ann could have cared less.  And thankfully Elder Andersen is a very forgiving vehicle coordinator who helped me fill out an incident report. Ha. Oh the joys of life. 😑  Oh yes and our clothing rack (because our apartment is so small we don’t have a closet, just a rack) broke and our clothes had to chill on the kitchen table for half the week.  But what a blessing it is to have a kitchen table right?!  Also at one of our dinner appointments this week, Kennely Cooper told us that she and two friends were walking home and had a ‘clown experience’.  You know the week is going downhill fast when someone gets chased by a clown here in freaking Sierra Vista. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  I’m never leaving the apartment again. 😨😨😨😨😨 😂  What a week guys, what a week.   The good news is that we were in Tucson on Friday and Sister Ray has a Costco card.  We went to the magical land of Costco. It was like stepping through the wardrobe to Narnia, but better because there were free samples and giant bags of popcorn.  Balance restored!!!

We met with Sierra and Jordan this week twice.  They are doing awesome.  Sierra accepted the invitation to be baptized- YAAAAYYYYYY- on November 26th. So excited for her. Jordan said this to the invite- “No thanks. I’m going to have to decline that offer.  I have to prepare for my dogs birthday and I don’t think I’ll have time to prepare for a baptism too.” Lol Jordan, maybe we can work something out. The dogs birthday was yesterday so we will try again next week. We have had some interesting moments with these two girls! They are definitely a handful at times, but it is cool to see how they are coming to enjoy the gospel and enjoy attending church.  Jordan got to be a part of the primary program this Sunday!  The women in the ward are taking Darla under their wing.  Hereford ward is still the bomb.  

The last thought I want to leave you with is this scripture- Mathew 7:21  

21 ¶Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

I came across this during personal study and I have kind of fallen in love with it this week. One of the ideas Satan tries to plant in our brains is that to hear the word is enough or that to declare our belief is enough.  This clearly states that it is not enough.  Mack Lawerence of the seventy said- “Please note that it is insufficient to just hear the word of God in gatherings such as this conference. In order to have God’s word impact our lives–to receive the promised blessings–we must follow it.”  Sierra is willing to follow and do.  She is such a great example of childlike humility and submission.  She is ready to do whatever He asks.  I know that it is hard to do his will.  I often want to question His will.  But how comforting is it to know that he that doeth His will, will return to Him?  I am grateful that the Lord helps us to do His will. He does want us to learn and grow which means we will be subject to some hard times but He stays with us the whole time.  I love my Savior and my Heavenly Father.  I love having Sister Ray as a companion and love, love, love this area.

Love you guys, Sister Packer

Our favorite signs so far… “Signs are Stupid!”  hahaha

This guy named Troy who had the coolest cars.  He is a hot rodder.  He taught us a bit about the car world.

We spent today in Bisbee for pday.  It’s an old high hippie mining town.

Every Morning and Every Night

Hi Fam!             October 14, 2016

If it is possible for sacrament meeting to be lit- then I would say that was the status of Hereford ward this week.  It was poppin!  The Hammond’s ALL came to church.  When the sacrament began, Jordan (age 10) leans over and says to me, “I don’t want to take that.  I’m not really hungry or thirsty right now.” Hahaha, but she also asked her mom if they could come every week.  Yes Jordan yes you can!  Also, Branden came!  Finally!!!!  Brother Rawlings told us that he had spoken with another one of our investigators, Randal,  and he was supposed to come and so we were watching the doors so closely waiting for our last compadre to show up – but not before sacrament meeting started.  We both sat there in sacrament and prayed that he would come.  And guess what?  Nothin. THEN. On the way out of gospel principles, we went walking past the foyer and BAM! There’s RANDAL. (Hallelujah chorus plays) it was awesome!  So big party in the Hereford ward with everyone there.  

Some cool experiences that we had this week:  We had two lessons with Sierra and Jordan Hammond.  All I can say is God has been preparing them and preparing us for them!  Wow!  At the beginning of the second lesson we were getting ready to read some of the Book of Mormon together.  Sierra, who is thirteen, showed us this bookmark she had made for hers.  On one side it said- “This Book of Mormon belongs to Sierra Hammond”. On the other side it said- “Jesus Christ is the Savior. I have felt the Holy Ghost and I know it is real and true.” AHHHHH. We felt so much happiness. She was so ready and open to feel the Holy Ghost and let God’s love into her life.  And they LOVE it. The spirit has been so strong in each lesson.  I know it’s because these girls are inviting it in.  They aren’t just curious, they really sincerely want to feel God’s love.

Randal had a lesson with us on Sunday.  We haven’t seen him in two or three weeks.  He even acknowledged how hard Satan has been working on him but because of some awesome fellowshipping going on he felt like he could come to church.  Thank you Brother Rawlings!  Teaching him the first lesson was crazy.  He still has such a strong testimony of the Savior and he said he will never lose hope because he knows his Savior.  This lesson was also very special to us because it helped us reach a goal we had set for the week. We wanted to be able to teach a certain number of lessons and were one short.  We prayed and had been thinking up plans to help us achieve our goal while at church and then Randal showed up and we asked him and it just worked our perfectly.  Thank you Heavenly Father.

Okay – okay, this is probably the best one.  We’ve been doing new member lessons with Joseph Heckert and doing family home evening’s with the whole family.  So there are 11 kids in this family.  Sister Ray was teaching them about enduring to the end and she asked what they could do every morning and night. Their responses? Solomon- “EAT BREAKFAST!”  Sebastian- “GO POOP!” Kid’s responses are golden!  Now you too know what you can do morning and night.  

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Other happenings of the week:  We became bff’s with some alpacas.  We spent one day in Wilcox after a meeting up there and were stranded there with the Passey’s and the AP’s.  We also got free matching shirts.  We became professional cement pourers and fence fixers.  We prayed every night not to be attacked by clowns.  We discovered the beauty of ghost Reese’s peanut butter cups. It was a solid effective week.

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 In my personal reading, I finished the Book of Mormon this week.  It is the best book I have ever read.  I know it’s true.  I know that it was meant for these days and that I was meant to read those words.  I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that he was able to translate this book for us through God’s power.  I am so grateful for him and his life.  I love seeing how the Book of Mormon strengthens me daily but even more, how it strengthens the people here.  Seeing the Hammond’s and Branden read this week and hearing their experiences that they are having with this book strengthens my testimony so much and makes me feel such joy.  It was meant for them!   To be able to read these words and know that this gospel is true.  And we can all do that!  We can all read and pray every morning and night so that we can always KNOW it’s true.   Ready, Set, Go do it!

Love, Sister Packer

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