No one Fails Who Keeps Trying and Praying

January 23,2017

The Gardner family is doing amazing!  They are working so hard towards their baptism and Jimmy is working hard to become a priesthood holder.  Jimmy is struggling with the word of wisdom but last night a family in the ward had us and the Gardner’s over for dinner.  They gave the lesson and they also gave Jimmy a powerful blessing.  It was an awesome experience for him and his family to see the Lord’s authority and power in the work. 

Guess how blessed we are?!  Just guess.  We went to the temple TWICE.  We are SO lucky. We had our zone temple trip on Wednesday and then Thursday we went back to see a family from Sister Squires old area get sealed.  I have never seen a sealing ordinance before and it was probably one of the coolest things ever.  It felt like it was everything we work and strive for right there in one room.  Family and friends in the house of the Lord and just so much happiness.  That is what Heaven’s gonna be. 

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This week Sister Squire and I did not know how we were going to find a new investigator. By Saturday we still didn’t have one and everything we had been trying was not working out.  Saturday we spent half the day finding and again got nothing. That night we planned diligently that with the small amount of time we did have we could find someone to teach. The next day in sacrament meeting we met Sister Sapp who had just moved into the ward and had also brought along with her her boyfriend who LITERALLY wants to get baptized. IT WAS INSANE. The Lord really answered our prayers and I know that he provides for us when we show that we are willing to give all we have.  Kevin (the boyfriend) told us he went to a temple visitor center and felt like he never wanted to leave and couldn’t stop crying while he was there.  He says he doesn’t know it all yet but he knows Joseph Smith was a prophet!  It was one of those moments where you just like stare back blankly and wonder if its real or a dream. 

This weeks “That moment when you”:

Find that the transfer has ended and a new one begins tomorrow.  Sister Squire and I will be staying together another 6 weeks- partyyyyyy – holla at yo Idaho girls!

Teach Shemar right after his 4:20 blaze it (gets high as a kite)

Make kimbob (aka sushi) with your Korean friends

Lose in a jalapeno eating contest to your companion (dang it…) 

Excel in the tie tying contest.

 Love ya, Sis Packer

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Answers to some questions:

  1. My companion is still Sister Squires, from Meridian Idaho and I will be killing her soon.
  2. Mission apartments are the least furnished places ever.  We have beds and a dresser and two desks, oh and a kitchen table.  That’s about it, but it really is awesome.  The inside smells better than the outside.  We do have a dishwasher and feel lucky to have it but it smells like rotten eggs every time we use it so that’s pretty funny.  Lot’s of smells
  3. My companion is awesome and I have learned a lot from her.   I just don’t think anyone can prepare for the 24/7 thing.  I am sure she would agree with that – sometimes you just really want to be by yourself so you do have a fair amount of patience to practice.  We are similar in a lot of ways so it’s also a blessing.  It’ll probably make marriage a little less scary and easier, right?

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The Harvest is Now!

January 16, 2017

Dear Family,  Just as John testifies, there is not four months and then the harvest- the harvest is NOW!  And there truly are people prepared for this gospel.  The Gardner’s are some of those special people.  We invited them to be baptized on Monday and at first they were like, “well, yeah maybe.”  And we went back Wednesday night and followed up with them about it,  Nicolette nodded and said- “Yeah, I’m ready, let’s do it”.  Demetri said- “I’m scared, but I’m ready”.  Ahhhhhhhhh, wow I love this family so much. What is really heart warming was when Jimmy, the regular guy, decided he wanted to become Jimmy, the priesthood holder, so he could be the one to baptize his family! 

We also went with one of our ward missionaries to meet her friend this week, Cynthia.  She started off by saying she was a happy catholic and by the end of our meeting she was basically rejoicing over the restoration!  Know why?  CUZ IT’S TRUE! dang!   I need be a little more appreciative like Cynthia.  We take a lot of small simple, precious truths for granted sometimes! 

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Well I apologize for the short letter. Not going to lie I just feel pretty lazy and don’t want to type today hehehe…. anywho in the seven days of January this week Heavenly Father gave to us:

1 exchange

2 zone meeting trainings 

3 baptismal dates/ 3 investigators 

4 less active lessons

5 cheesy jalapeño bagels 

6 hours of meetings 

7 member present lessons

In other awkward events, our ward missionary went on a date with our investigator (p.s. They are like 75 years old) and we got all the details from them both, hahaha, it’s great. Sister Squire and I took third in a zone water balloon toss at zone meeting. So a definite shoutout to us for not being pansies in skirts.  One other fun thing;  we “learned” from Brother Lee (from Korea) to pick up a single grain of rice using metal chopsticks.  And two of our new investigators are from South America!  We are getting quite a bit of culture down here. 

Love, Sister Packer

P.S.  Look up the Brownings (Eric Browning) from Shelley.  He is going to be the new Mission President this coming June.  He is from St. Anthony.

Another Week in the Dirty-T

January 9, 2017

Hey Fam,  this week went by so fast!!!!  Okay well we had a crazy Monday night and Tuesday.  We got five new investigators!!  I told you to pray for us last Monday night, right? Well you must have been. Not only did we get a lesson but we found a family to teach.  We have been praying to find a family since the beginning of the transfer. 

Sister Lines took us to see her neighbors.  The dad is actually a member but his wife and two kids are not.  They welcomed us in and we shared a message.  It hit them super hard. The daughter is turning 16 and is going through some rough stages and they all feel like change in their life would be good.  They even told us to come over twice a week!!!  What the?!?!  They are so awesome. 

Last Sunday we got a text from our ward mission leader with the information for a guy who literally walked into our church building, said he was mormon, and wants people to teach his family so they can be mormon too.  When does that ever happen?  Ever?  It did.  It happened, we made the visit and the whole family came to church yesterday!  So that’s how we found our other two investigators! 

I think I have really learned that God answers prayers.  When we have righteous desires and faith, God will answer us.  Yes, it will be in his own time according to his own will and sometimes in the strangest of ways, but he will answer us.  Miracles are abounding in the ever-dirty Tucson.

We went on a hike today…it was like 5.5 hours and definitely involved crossing water like 8 times, haha. 

Highlights:

-went on the weirdest exchange of my life….just so weird

-had MLC and learned a lot like usual

-found 5 investigators!! (0-100 real quick?)

-had an Arabic feast

-people came to church yaaaaaaaas

-a kind man gave me a huge jar of homemade salsa and his unopened bag of chips

-my district leader told me to start singing “I am a child of God” the other day and so I did it without asking why and he just started beatboxing to it and wow!  One day I will be that good.

-I learned a new beatboxing skill. #pollywantacracker #calltheambulance

Aight!  Peace Homies

Wonderful P-day Hike

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With Elder and Sister Wagner

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MLC

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This Jameel!

January 2,2017

AHHHHHH my life is insane.  I feel like no one believes in sleep in Tucson, missionaries included??? We seem to always have a mile long to-do list. I really love this area- we are working harder than I have ever worked and seeing miracles everyday. 

I was looking through our ward list the other day and I saw a name that I recognized. Someone from the Casas Adobes ward moved over to Pantano!  It was a less-active lady we had worked with- Aubrie Freeman!  We paid her a visit and it was a wonderful reunion with her and her three adorable children and her hubby, Michael.  Michael is not a member and previously when we had visited them he was never interested.  BUT, apparently he has been making a lot of changes lately.  He became an investigator this week!  On our second lesson with him, he told us he had read the first chapter of the Book of Mormon and he felt like Nephi was sitting right next to him telling him a story as he read.  Coolest moment EVER.  I know this family is one of the reasons I am here in this area!  Heavenly Father blessed me to get to be a part of this family’s progression. Wow!  Michael even remembered the handshake we made in Casas- I freaking love this family. 

Selfie with Sister Drown

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Another awesome miracle we had was on exchanges.  I left the area and went to Sister Drown’s area in the southeast zone.  At the nightly planning she said that one big goal they had was to find a new investigator for the week. So we decided no time like the present.  Let’s exercise some faith and see miracles.  We prayed and prayed and prayed. Literally the first door we knocked on the next afternoon (looking for a less active in the ward who had actually moved), became a new investigator!  And then we found another! And then we found someone who wanted to start coming back to church!  Piles of miracles.  It was one of the best exchanges I have ever been on!  Love you Sister Drown. 

Okay now I get to tell you about Jameel and our sweet cheese.  We have been teaching an Arabic family for a few weeks and it’s been so challenging because of the language barrier. We really thought we were going to drop them this week because there hadn’t been any progression.  They gave us an interesting Lebanese dish that they called sweet cheese.  It was the nastiest thing I have had to eat thus far.  Maybe just stay away from Lebanese food?  Anyway we ate while Wissaam looked over the plan of salvation pamphlet and Sahar read from the Book of Mormon.  After I was done choking down the food, Wissaam looked up and pointed to the pamphlet and said- This “jameel”. This “jameel”. Meaning: this “BEAUTIFUL”!  They thought it was beautiful!  They are islamic but they really love our plan of happiness. 

New Year’s Eve

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To kick off the new year we had a short zone meeting on Saturday night.  It was basically a testimony meeting where we all got say why we came on a mission or what we had learned and then the ZL’s introduced a new intiative for our zone.  The purpose is to get everybody pumped to expect miracles every single day.  So the zone is going to be doing this thing where one companionship completes a challenge and then they get to call out another companionship to do a challenge. We just got called out to do a p-day lesson with an investigator.  It should be fun and we are trying to go the rest through the rest of the transfer without breaking the chain of call outs.  Haha, pray for us.

Writing to our family’s on P-day

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I guess I have had my mind on miracles a lot this week!  We have been studying faith in the Book of Mormon and it’s cool to see how miracles can take place at any moment if we exercise our faith.  The scriptures teach us that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and I can definitely tell you He hasn’t changed.  Miracles in the scriptures are still happening today.  And it is JAMEEL!!!  Love you all have a good week.

Sis Packer 

Merry Christmas!

December 26, 2016

Hello everyone,

Christmas was awesome.  Face timing never lasts long enough but it was awesome talk to all y’all again.  I’m glad Grandma and Grandpa could be there!  I sure miss you all!:)  Also on Christmas day we had lunch with a Ghanaian family and a nice (semi-normal) American dinner with the bishops family.  That one was the most interesting.

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Jace and Jess got a little choked up seeing each other – Evidence of some of the sacrifices to serve.  It will be 3 years since they parted ways – Excited to see their reunion in July.

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I had a great christmas! Although, not gonna lie, the holidays are probably the worst time for missionary work. Nobody really wants to meet with you because they are with their families. So it was a slower week for us.

We had dinner Christmas Eve with a gracious family in a tiny house that they somehow squished over 50 people into it.  It was insane.  We had a Mexican feast with them.  I’ve never had enchiladas, tacos, tamales and pie for christmas before!  We also went caroling that night at one of the hospitals and it was such a cool experience.  One lady we visited requested O Holy Night and the second we started singing she burst into tears.  We didn’t teach a lesson, or testify of any principle, but listening to a song about her Savior deeply touched her in her struggles. 

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Since this is my last email of the year- I thought I would do a little recap of my year. This year was the greatest year! 

In January I started the year off living back home with my family after a semester at Utah State.  I probably bugged my parents a little too much by being home 24/7.  I felt and started to understand the blessings of the temple by attending many sessions as possible with my mom to prepare myself for a mission.  Then on Febrarury 3rd I entered the MTC and became a MISSIONARY! My first area was the Casas Adobes ward and definitely had some miracles there.  I was companions with Sister Smith and Sister Daun (best mothers evvveeeerrrrr) and learned so much from the both of them.  I learned the importance of loving the people and working hard.  We saw Precious and Mathew get baptized and met and taught Tammy Weiss who was also baptized in July!  Right before that though I was transferred to my second area- Sierra Vista!  Wow so much of the year was spent here!  I started there with Sister Brooks and our crazy miracle was sweet, sweet Anna! 

Then life got wild as I hit my six month mark.  I started training for the first time. The dream team was born when I got Sister Waldron as a companion!  Wow we had some awesome times and taught some amazing people. Jacob Springer, Joseph Heckert, and Angel were the most fun kids and we were lucky enough to teach them and see them make covenants with their Heavenly Father!  Sister Waldron was such a trooper.  By mid -September, Sis Waldron had to return home with major medical issues (doing much better now).  It was hard to see her go and then I got my second trainee, Sister Ray!. Ahhhhh love you so much.  We had an amazing three months together and definitely had some crazy miracles including the Hammond family.  We were also able to work with Branden Clark who is about ready to send his mission papers in, which catches us up to December where I have now returned to Tucson! 

This year I have learned so much from each companion, and every lesson we’ve taught.  I have studied the gospel more in-depth than I had ever thought possible.  Heavenly Father is continually blessing us and teaching us.  We had the privilege this year to learn from Elder Holland, Elder Foster, and Elder Robbins as well as all the training we continue to receive from our awesome mission president and sister prez. 

Sister Squire and I have thought up some pretty good goals for this next year. I have a goal to learn to do the splits and  to beat box. I accomplished the heel click this past year so I guess its time to move on to bigger and better things!  Expect miracles.

Love, Sis Packer

Arizona Tucson Mission Christmas Party

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Exchanges with Sister Smith

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Got the Christmas decorations up just in time!

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Nice to relax and snuggle up to the fire place and christmas tree on a cold night after Christmas caroling!

Lot’s of beat boxing to tunes of our own making

Bright Lights in the Big City

December 19, 2016

HEY HEY HEY!  I hope everyone is having a FANTASTIC week because I sure am.  First of all, leaving Sierra Vista was so so hard but I am loving my new area.  It is wonderful to be back in the city of Tucson.  I am just trying to get used to all the cars and people and missing my Sierra Vista mountains.  Good news it is warmer here than it was there!  My new companion is Sister Squire and she is from Boise, Idaho!  Holla at your Idaho girl’s workin’ it in Tucson!  And oh my goodness have we been working!  This area is so awesome and we have been so busy.  Probably because there are a lot more people to talk to in Tucson… I am serving in the Pantano ward and Bear Canyon ward.  So last transfer the Sister’s pink washed Pantano so the ward is still adjusting.  And then this transfer, President decided we should also pink wash Bear Canyon so everything is really new.  There have already been some crazy miracles happening.  We found three new investigators in three days… I LOVE TUCSON!  (Pink washing is white washing but done by Sister’s, hahaha.) 

Sneak Peak at my new companion, Sister Squires!

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The ward mission leader really fulfills his responsibility in trying to find people for the missionaries to teach.  He decided to pray specifically that he would know who he should invite to hear the gospel that could meet with us the next day.  The next day at work he saw his co-worker and felt prompted that she was the one, but he got scared and didn’t approach her.  So that night he prayed for courage and two days later he invited her.  Kathryn, the co-worker, is incredible and so prepared for us.  We have met with her twice already this week and she has a baptismal date! All because last weekend Bro ther Flannery decided to extend an invitation. It was such a powerful lesson for us and for other members to see how overcoming fears and inviting friends can bless everyone!!  It also reinforces the truth that Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives.  He comes to our rescue and will use those who pray to be helpful to Him.

This week we invited Kathryn to be baptized she was like, “well, yes, I have always wanted to get baptized.” Again this whole experience has taught me that we never know when someone is ready or when they aren’t but God does. God gives us opportunities and sometimes we take them and sometimes we don’t.  We met with a less active lady this week and her name is KeyIn.  In the middle of the lesson I felt I needed to share the parable of the lost sheep.  I began to pull out my scriptures and looked over at Sister Squire who had just turned open her scriptures and guess what she had them open to – THE PARABLE OF THE LOST SHEEP.  It was so inspired.  As we shared the story with KeyIn, it immediately softened her.  She teared up and told us she was ready to come home.  It was a powerful moment.

Other fun facts of this ward- TAMMY. Anyone remember Tammy from my first area?? Guess what she is now in the Bear Canyon ward and I am her missionary again!!  So stoked for that!

Funny story.  We met with a dude named Vince who was attempting to “read” the Book of Mormon.  He could not get very far because on the contents page (haha yes he only made it that far) he saw the word, Omni, and decided that made it illegitimate.  We attempted to testify of the truth of the BOM, but he interupts, trying to guess my astrology sign and what country my ancestor’s are from because my eyes were crazy.  SO IRRELEVANT VINCE. 

Hope you are all having a fantastic week. It is Christmas so you better. Enjoy the snow.  It did happen to get below freezing the other night and we had some frost on our window in the morning- so it is cold here too! Love ya.

Sis packer

Sister Ray is ready to leave the nest!

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Pday activity:  Egg Roulette

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